Bob Knowlton and Blue Collar Brilliance

There are various factors that are contributing to the interpersonal dynamics between Knowlton and Fester in their team. Bob Knowlton is a photon unit project head in charge of team. However, one day Bob felt that his leadership was at stake because a new brilliant scientist, Fester, was hired into the Simmons Laboratories and placed in Bob Knowlton’s work group. Fester demonstrated that his skills as a photon manager were, perhaps better than Bob’s.

Jerrold, Bob and Fester’s boss, was extremely impressed with Fester and also was expressing that openly with the team.

This made Bob feel intimidated that Fester was very sharp and competent and had solved some old problems, which were considered unsolvable by his team. He felt that Fester was slowly taking over leadership informal control of the team. As a result of this Bob may have lost some self-esteem and the respect of his team members. Bob Knowlton’s problem was that he was unable to discuss his opinions, feelings and conflicts with his boss Jerrold and teammates.

Although Jerrold and Bob shared an open relationship, Bob did not indicate to Jerrold that he was having a problem and felt threatened by Fester’s brilliance and challenge to his leadership. Because of this Jerrold did not have a clue what was going on in Bob’s mind. Bob did not respond in the manner in which the leader of the team should have done. This demonstrated Bob’s inability to exercise authority and control when parity in team is disturbed.

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As a result his self-confidence in his capabilities reduced. Instead, Bob decided to quit his job as photon manager and left the lab, giving Jerrold a false explanation.

The If Bob would have communicated his thoughts to Jerrold, he would have found out that Fester was being assigned to a different project and not there to take over his job. But lack of communication skills lead Bob to making the wrong decision, which affected the lab by leaving teammates alone to continue and solve the photon project without a project manager. On the other hand, Fester also could have approached the team in a less aggressive manner, to fit into the team, rather than creating a perception of himself as an individualist and not a team player. He was very confident about himself and his ideas.

However, he was judgmental about people and even thought some were of lesser competence. For example, he could have approached his teammates Davenport and Oliver to give them tips on how to do the work better but instead he went behind their backs to let Jerrold, their boss, know they were both not knowledgeable enough. This created some division in the team and teamwork was affected. A solution and key point would have been communication. But most importantly, Bob Knowlton as a manager should touch up his skills and get more trained on how to deal and understand people of different backgrounds.

According to the textbook, Developing managerial skills in organizational behavior, effective managers need to establish and manage relationships with everyone on whom they are dependent, and that includes the boss. Therefore, Bob’s job was to accept Fester’s ideas and solutions and consider them as contributions to the project. Also, he was to let Fester know his responsibilities as a team player. Since, Bob did not communicate his feeling and thought this to his boss Jerold or Fester, he failed as a manager.

He was to know the application of information regarding the way individuals and groups act within organizations In order to become proficient in developing this skill. On the other hand, Fester also had to work on his approach towards people when sharing his thoughts and ideas. He lacked the ability to work in a team and also did not communicate effectively. It is important to practice these managing skills in order to guide the company to success in a healthy work environment.

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Bob Knowlton and Blue Collar Brilliance. (2019, Nov 27). Retrieved from

Bob Knowlton and Blue Collar Brilliance
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