NEWGEN is a software company in northern CA., started in 1999. Since inception, Newgen has seen positive growth in the business and has hired aggressively. Abdul and Hahn have worked well together until Abdul decided to promote Amie Lee as a supervisor for the team. Abdul has been thinking about this move for some time now, he appreciates the excellent customer service skills that Ms. Lee possesses and is aware that both the customers and Newgen’s team are very happy with Ms.Lee’s outstanding customer service skills.
On April 3, 2009 Abdul announced to his team that Ms. Lee will now be the department supervisor, a welcome relief that will give him more time to concentrate on new product development.
On April 7, Hahn Chen came to Abdul and asked for a transfer. He told Abdul that he cannot work under a “non-technical supervisor” and that Ms. Lee did not have the skills to help him with his projects. He also informed Abdul that he would prefer to stay as a direct report to him, but does not wish to stay under Ms. Lee.
On the same day Abdul asked Ms. Lee and Hahn to meet with him. At the meeting Hahn did not make eye contact with Ms. Lee, but repeated to Abdul that he wants a transfer, and that he does not want to work for Ms. Lee because she is not a technical expert. Ms. Lee left the room in tears, confused at the events.
THE CAST @ ‘NEWGEN COMPANY’
Amie Lee – Newly appointed supervisor, has a B.A. degree from China, she has been working in the US for 10 years, 1 year with Newgen, she was hired for her Customer Service abilities, and is well liked within Newgen and has built a positive reputation with the customers.
Hahn Chen – B.S. (Computer Science) Degree from USC, born and raised in California of Chinese immigrant parents, first from his family to go to college, has been with Newgen for 2 years and is a good software engineer but does not participate in any team events as he feel they distract him, he has minimal contact with the customer and feels that it is the salespersons job to deal with the customer.
Abdul Balli –Manager, Engineering Dept, emigrated from Kenya to study and was offered a green card to work at NewGen. Abdul has been with Newgen for 5 years. He was promoted to manager because he got along well with the team and also his customers.
Graham Raphael – CEO – Native of CA., a Software Engineer & Programmer who built the Company from ground up. Admires people skills and believes that Positive Attitude and Teamwork are keys to corporate success.
Ella Smith – External Consultant – Available upon request; specializes in Contracts, HR, and Business Law.
Carlos Montoya – Manager of Human Resources believes in company mission and vision.
Loren Buzby – New member of the team, is an MBA student at Stanford, specializes in OB.
Department Members – (1 or 2), same level at Hahn Chen. Department members are team players.
Could this problem have been avoided by Abdul ? How?
What is your solution to this problem? What needs to be done to get the department running smoothly again?
How will you prevent this problem from occurring again in the Company?
What is this case study about? What areas of OB does it cover?
What are some of the theories that are covered in this case? How would you apply them?
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