A case analysis presented by
Karen Leary worked as an FC at Merrill Lynch for six years before moving to a management role.
Leary’s management style was hands-on and aggressive.
She developed innovative sales and training programs as well as a voluntary mentoring program to motivate older, possibly complacent top producers and help younger FCs get started. Although her aggressive approach to sales and compliance paid off with 30% increased business her first year, some FCs found her hands-on style off-putting and complained that she was “always pushing you and looking over your shoulder.”
Leary hired Ted Chung specifically “to attract customers from the thriving community of Taiwanese.
Chung brought in a $6 million account from a local Taiwanese industrialist who, according to Chung, only spoke Chinese.
He was careful to formally document all activity and fulfill standard compliance procedures. After one year with the company, Chung had yet to secure another client but hinted that there would be accounts soon.
he told Leary that he was confident he would soon become one of the top producers and was therefore requesting a private office
The breakdown in Leary and Chung’s relationship escalated from a series of miscommunications rooted in cultural differences
PROBLEM OF THE CASE
1. The most significant problem lies between Karen and Ted is cultural difference.
Karen and Ted have come from different backgrounds and even though Ted is more American than Taiwanese, it is still rooted in him somewhere. This brings a a huge difference in the way they handle things.
Hence, even though Karen has given Ted the sole responsibilty of handling the Taiwanese accounts, she cannot get through to him either as she doesn’t understand his style of working. This creates a major communication gap between them too.Therefore, the problem is caused by both of them. But the solution should be approached from Karen first because she is the manager over Ted chung. She is responsible to take care of her employees. 2. Failed to Understand the Target market.
The thing Karen had to do first is not hiring people for Taiwanese market development but studying Taiwanese culture to know more about her target customers’ characteristics but she has not studied about her new potential customers but let Ted do everything instead of her.More problems continued to occur because of her ignorance towards Taiwanese culture.
3. Isolating Chung.
Leary herself is also responsible for isolation of Chung from his co-workers. Leary first began islolating Chung from his co-workers by assigning him to only acquire new Taiwanese investors. This led to him being separated from others and didn’t give him any reason to want to interact with his colleagues and reinforced his status as an individual worker than team player.
OPTIONS & ANALYSIS
The first option is to acquiesce and give him the office.
The advantage of this option is that it will serve to satisfy chung and also act as an acknowledgement of his status which is clearly very important to him. However, This might not be a sound decision because this is not the company culture. There are many Financial consultants who have been for longer periods of time and still don’t own an office. It will send a mixed signal to the the other employees in the company and they might not take it well. It also opposes the underlying values of the company which is team work and long term commitment. It is also highly likely that overlooking senior, more established, and higher producing FCs will cause a morale problem in the office.
The second option present is to decline i.e. not give in to chung’s demand for a private office. This is more appropriate as it falls in line with the work culture that Karen Leary has established at her...
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