Xerox Case Study

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Problem Summary

John Clendenin is at a career crossroads. While he has achieved swift advancement in a relatively short amount of time at Xerox, he is now faced with role options that appear, prima facie, to be lateral in nature. Clendenin’s boss, Fred Hewitt has made two clear offers to Clendenin: remain as head of Xerox’s Multinational Development Center (MDC) with a two-year commitment, or transition to a staff support position on Hewitt’s staff.

While Clendenin’s success and ascension at Xerox is attributed to his role at the MDC, an additional two-year commitment is certainly not an advancement in role or position at Xerox. Clendenin also has to deal with the current pressure from Hewitt to cut MDC budget and headcount substantially.

Taking the staff opportunity with Hewitt, is a clear change in role – but is it aligned with Clendenin’s ultimate career objectives? Based on Clendenin’s history and success at Xerox, is there equity in relation to what he’s done and what he is now being offered? Do the job characteristics for this new role meet his needs for personal and career growth – and do the characteristics align with Clendenin’s natural skill-set?

Clendenin has set clear, defined career goals and objectives for himself. He intends “to be successful enough to be a corporate officer in a Fortune 50 corporation and on the boards of several others, and eventually to be appointed to a cabinet-level position in our government.” Clendenin must now examine how these options may align to his career goals.

Analysis

John Clendenin is something of paradox. In terms of cultural alignment, John’s past experience and current success at Xerox would suggest that there is a high level of alignment between John’s working style and the culture at Xerox. In reciting his rejection of more lucrative offers in other industries, John states that “[he] felt very comfortable. The corporate culture of Xerox is in many ways the same as...
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