What a Star – What a Jerk Paper
1.What are the facts (note: do not include opinions, observations, or assumptions)?
The facts are as follows: the study is focused on a series of email between former coworkers Jane Epstein and Rick Lazarus of BCP that took place from 5/14/01 through 6/12/01. Jane just began to work at TechniCO, based in Minneapolis, as a group leader. Her new team consists of four team members: Caroline-who has been employed at TechniCO the longest, is going through a divorce, and has a sick mother, Tom-who works in sales, Jack, and Andy. Andy has on multiple occasions verbally accosted some of the team members and the administrative assistants (AAs). Andy has achieved positive numbers. Andy sent an email scolding Caroline about backing out of a meeting last minute. Jane held a meeting with Andy to discuss his behavior with his coworkers and in the meeting she told Andy to be nicer. Andy agreed to try to listen better and stop insulting the AAs. Eleven days after talking to Andy about his behavior Jane asked him to chair a meeting until she arrived. When Jane arrived she observed Andy sneering and using dismissive language towards the group. Upon entering his office after the meeting, Jane looked at Andy and he shrugged and shook his head
2. What can be inferred from the facts (e.g., attitudes, values, group/individual relationships, relative power/influence)?
Based on the facts of the case, attitudes, values and perceptions of the employees in the organization play important roles in building group or individual relationships and differences in these aspects can trigger conflicts and problems in the relationships established within the company or department. Moreover, the culture and norms reflect and mold the personality of each and every individual. In the business setting, employees work to meet a common goal and to effectively achieve such, the differences in values, culture and preferences must be tolerated and surpassed.
A good working relationship can motivate the employees to work harder and enjoy the doing the job at the same time. Evidently a problematic relationship among employees can affect the productivity of the employees and the revenue of the company. Hence, it is essential to ensure a good and professional relationship among employees. To ensure such, the roles of each employees and the expectations of the company must be clearly defined. Office decorum, rules and regulations must be implemented to govern and control conflicts. Moreover, a manager or supervisor is appointed not only to monitor the productivity and performance of his subordinates but also to oversee other factors that affect both. Consequently, it is the job of the manager to ensure that harmonious and professional relationships exist among his subordinates.
3. Which expert’s approach do you agree with and why (note: more than one expert or portions of more than one expert’s approach may be selected)?
Each of the four expert opinions use approaches that I would agree with in some regard. The situation between the manager, Jane, and her employee, Andy, is common in most corporate structures. When an employee shows strong numbers and pleases external clients, managers may turn their heads away from internal interaction issues .Ms. Rowe’s approach came from a neutral position, and it can be important to ask for input from a similar source. Ms. Rowe’s neutrality allowed her to suggest that Jane should quickly collect information and analyze the situation. An effective manager should always ask all the questions first and analyze the data collected to determine the best solution for the whole team, including your personal interest. Ms. Jordon goes even further and believes that “clear expectations” should be set. Ms. Jordon thinks that it needs to be explained to Andy that not only numbers will be a measure of his success, but his behavior will also contribute to the measurement of his success. Though it is often much more difficult to quantify behavior compared to numbers both should measure ones success with a company. Mr. Waldrop suggested some very good points to analyze whether Andy’s behavior is acceptable according to societal standards. Mr. Waldrop also suggested setting clear expectations and lay them out on the table to what type of behavior is acceptable in a workplace. Although Mr. Waldrop’s approach was a bit dramatic and focused more specifically on a single employee, it might work better to set the expectations and examples of acceptable behavior with all employees in a more standard setting.
The approach that I would most agree to if I had to only choose one approach and not a combination of the various approaches is that of Mr. McKenzie. Due to Andy’s performance it would be a bit foolish for any company in this situation to fire an employee that pulls their own weight and tends to perform in the top ranks. Bottom line, revenue is one of the most important aspects of a business so as long as the company comes off as transparent to their external clients, internal issues should not be the highest concern. The best suggestion is to put Andy in a role that is the most suitable toward his personality and allows him to continue to succeed for the company. People are extremely difficult to “re-shape”, so instead an effective manager often needs to reorganize and adapt the team to “best fit” the company’s needs. Jane is in a difficult situation. On one hand Jane needs to prove that she is a team leader, but on the other hand she has a disruptive member on her team. If Jane is able to pull from the expertise, and suggestions of each Jane will be able to shape her team to maximize productivity both internally and externally.
4. Discuss why you disagree with each of the remaining perspectives (note: discuss the remaining perspectives individually).
Ms. Mary Rowe’s perspectives are focused on gathering information which is essential in formulating corporate strategies and decisions. However, if her suggestions are closely scrutinized, the objectives of her perspective is more on the protection of Jane’s position in the company. Moreover, it is fixated at controlling an individual employee and not on improving the relationships of all the employees of the group which should be prioritized in the first place.
On the other hand, Ms. Kathy Jordan’s perspectives require Jane to act as quickly as possible. Although a manager must be decisive, sometimes the need to study and contemplate the situation must be done. Otherwise, unfavorable results will be achieved due to impulsiveness. Her suggestions are a bit vague but simple. What is impressive about her opinion is the fact that she recognized the hidden agenda that Rick Lazarus might have against Jane. She was only the one who mentioned something about it. However, she failed to notice that Jane should also respect her subordinates’ and company’s right to privacy and confidentiality by not divulging information to outsiders.
James Waldroop’s outlook, on the other hand, were more practical and hands-on. The tips he provided in handling Andy were really helpful and simple. He provided ways and tactics on how to handle a person like Andy by citing examples and providing a profile and background about the type of personality that Andy has. However, the suggestions failed to spot that the problem is not solely focused on Andy’s attitude and personality. Although it is apparent that his attitude is affecting the performance of the group, the core problem and concern of this case is on improving the employee relationships to achieve the goals of the company.