WORKING COMPUTERS, INC.1
Jennifer Sobey, an analyst in the headquarters of Working Computers, has been asked to evaluate whether or not Working should sell a division of the firm which has been losing market share and requires a great deal of new investment to remain competitive. The ailing product is a personal data appliance, or PDA, that once led the market in features and innovation, only to fall prey to competition from numerous firms once it had paved the way for the product category.
Complicating Jenniferâ€™s analysis and recommendation are several political issues involving the wayward division. In particular, Workingâ€™s recently returned CEO, Stewart Workman, has decided that the product (the Bernoulli device) is a â€œloserâ€ and has plans to use the capital
currently committed to Bernoulli to boost the ailing performance of other parts of the firm.
In the jobs she worked throughout high school and University, Jennifer Sobey had never
encountered a corporate culture as intense and pervasive as the culture at Working Computers.
The corporate motto, displayed on banners, T-shirts and coffee cups throughout the headquarters complex, was â€œEveryone here really believes in Working.â€ On her long commute home, often after twelve hour days in the office, she imagined that monks of the Dark Ages had faced a similar environment. Even though she was just a beginner, she could see than becoming part of the company was going to be as challenging to her social and political skills as it was to her technical background. Working Computers had a long history of internal struggle, and it had a loyal user base that had to be kept happy as well.
Jennifer had been hired as a marketing analyst, in accordance with the jobs she had worked during school. After several months, however, it was clear to her superiors that she was far more valuable as someone who could see the future and attach...