Read each case study below and answer the questions at the end with a minimum of 3-5 sentences each using support from your readings. include a header at the top of the page and make sure your answers are free from grammatical errors and typos.
Case Study #1
Liam, a vice president at a consumer products company, had heard some complaints about a product manager, Jeremy. Jeremy consistently delivered high-quality work on time, but several of his subordinates had grumbled about his apparent unwillingness to delegate. They felt their contributions weren’t valued and that they didn’t have an opportunity to learn and grow. What’s more, Liam worried that Jeremy’s own career prospects would be limited if his focus on the day-to-day details of his subordinates’ work kept him from taking on more strategic projects. As his boss, Liam felt a responsibility to let Jeremy know about his concerns. Here’s how the conversation unfolded:
Liam: “I’d like to discuss your work with you. You’re doing a great job, and we really value your contributions. But I think you do too much. You have some great people working for you; why not delegate a little more?”
Jeremy: “I don’t understand. I delegate when I think it’s appropriate. But a lot of people in this company rely on quality work coming out of my department, so I need to stay involved.”
Liam: “Yes, and we all appreciate your attention to detail. But your job as a manager is to help your employees grow into new roles and take on more responsibility. Meanwhile, you’re so focused on the details that you don’t have time to think about the bigger picture, about the direction you’re taking this product.”
Jeremy: “That’s not true. I’m always thinking about the future.”
Liam: “I’m just saying, you’d have more time for strategic thinking if you weren’t so mired in the day-to-day stuff.”
Jeremy: “Are you saying I’m not a strategic thinker?”
Liam: “You’re so busy dotting every ‘i’ and crossing every ‘t’ that I just don’t know what kind of thinking you’re capable of!”
Questions for reflection:
1. Is Liam attributing Jeremy’s behavior to situational or dispositional causes? If so, how? (10 points)
2. What are some aspects of destructive or constructive conflict present in this exchange? (10 points)
3. How can Liam focus on interests instead of rights and power? (20 points)
4. What emotions does Liam need to consider? (15 points)
Case Study #2
“Jane” had worked with her team to pull together a report for field sales to use in their sales efforts. Since the field team hadn’t kept the customer account database updated, the information was obviously not 100% accurate. Her plan was for the field to use the report as a “starting point,” review the sales potential of the accounts, and provide Jane’s internal team with information to update the database.
One field manager (Tom) met with Jane to discuss his displeasure at the amount of inaccuracies in the database. Jane calmly listened to all his complaints and acknowledged the frustration he was feeling. Once he ran out of steam, she explained that her team had no way of knowing the up-to-date information about each account, only the sales reps would know.
She explained how they hoped to relieve the administrative burden by updating the database for the field team, once the field provided them with the missing information. Tom left her office appearing to be satisfied.
A few days later on a team conference call, Jane briefed everyone about the plan to ensure a smooth database update. The discussion was positive with many managers promising to work together to implement Jane’s plan. Tom then jumped into the conference call like a bitter child throwing a wet blanket over the proceedings.
He brought up all the same negative comments he had already explained in Jane’s office earlier in the week. He vented to everyone on the call and then proceeded to bash Jane and her team for the quality of the report and for not taking on even more of the administrative burden.
Questions for Reflection:
1. What “dirty trick” did Tom play? (10 points)
2. How should Jane respond? (20 points)
3. How could Jane prevent this situation in the future? (15 points)
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