A person’s success in an organization not only depends on his or her personality and ability, but also how he or she manages office politics and resolves conflicts. In order to successfully manage interpersonal relations within a corporate environment, one also needs to understand the power and influence structures in one’s organization. Failure to develop effective work relationships can cause job dissatisfaction, low work performance, unnecessary conflicts, and potentially getting fired from one’s job.
Thomas Green Case is a great example of how different work styles and office politics can result in a career crisis. After reviewing the following case study, I have concluded that both parties are responsible for the lack of synergy between the employee, Green, and upper-management, Davis. The underlying root cause of these problems occurring in the office is from the lack of respect the co-workers have for one another.
There are several other possible underlying root causes of these employee-managerial altercations such as Thomas Green’s immense amount of confidence in himself, or Frank Davis’ approach on how to handle certain situations, however, the lack of respect for one another is the root cause of the inappropriate challenges to authority Green has expressed, and the ill-favored atmosphere Davis has created. Company’s Background
Dynamic Displays was founded in 1990 as a provider of self-service options to banks via Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). In 1994, Dynamic Displays launched a new division at the Travel and Hospitality Industry, and developed their first self-service check-in kiosk for Discover Airlines. These kiosks not only reduced costs but also improved customer service, shortened passenger wait times, and provided valuable information to these travelers. But now due to web check-in facility is kiosk is facing a danger of lacking behind. Introduction:
This is a case about Thomas Green, a 28 year guy, who was recruited in Dynamic Displays as an account executive got promoted to senior marketing specialist within few months was finding difficulty in adjusting with immediate boss Frank Davis. The conflict between the two now had reached its limit affecting the enthusiasm of Thomas Green and can result in termination of Green. This case throws light on role of politics, dynamics of the power and importance of communication within an organization. 1. Define the Problem: Describe the type of case and what problem(s) or issue(s) should be the focus for your analysis.
Problem: In the case of “Thomas Green: power, office politics, and a career in Crisis”, it describes the dilemma of Thomas Green who works in a company called Dynamic Display. Thomas was recruited as an account executive, and then five months later, he was promoted as a Senior Market Specialist directly by the President Shannon McDonald. Thomas’s boss Frank Davis hadn’t expected to choose Green as the new senior market specialist, and he was very dissatisfied with Green’s work style and performance three months after the promotion.
After being informed that Frank Davis had emailed McDonald about his concerns about Green’s performance, Green was getting really worried about his situation and not sure how to explain his perspective to McDonald. I’m going to analyze the issue for Green and suggest solutions to solve the problem. Thomas Green has a serious problem at Dynamic Displays. After joining the company in March of 2007, Green spent 6 months dazzling his superiors with his salesmanship and ability to create a strong rapport with his clients.
He was also able to create a rapport with Shannon McDonald, the division vice president and Mary Jacobs, the national sales director. Green was able to impress McDonald to the point that, when a senior market specialist position opened up, she promoted him to the position, while advising him, “This new job will require you to think strategically as well as tactically…I am hoping you compensate for your lack of experience by seeking out guidance from some of our more seasoned managers. ” The promotion of Thomas Green did not go unnoticed, of course.
The position had been vacated by Frank Davis, who had been promoted to marketing director and now supervised the position. Davis had hoped to choose his replacement for the position and Green would not have been his choice. Be that as it may, both Green and Davis appeared ready to work together, with Davis stating, “We had some good meetings this week and the clients responded well to your ideas. However, I think we would have been more effective if we had been able to provide the clients with some market data. ” Problem Statement:
Thomas Green, a young account executive, was offered by Shannon McDonald the opportunity of a lifetime to quickly climb up the career ladder at Dynamic Displays, and become a senior market specialist. However, this wasn’t kindly embraced by the person who was going to be his boss, Frank Davis, who was the one supposed to choose a person for that position. Several conflicts arose between them, mainly due to work style differences and failed expectations, and Green is facing a meeting with McDonald to give his point of view about the whole situation.
Now the question is “What should Thomas Green do? ”. He just started to look for a new place to live and was dealing with a long distance relationship, is it the best time to quit the job? Root Cause and Analysis Current scenario /Problem The main problem is that Davis and Green both believe that they have the power to perform their job better than the other. Lack of proactive action taken by McDonald as she never the mail regarding Green’s performance seriously. Davis want of maintaining the power distance was also one of the problems. Highly individualistic nature of both Green and Davis. 2.
List any outside concepts that can be applied: Write down any principles, frameworks or theories that can be applied to this case. One of the reasons one might think that all these conflict happened is because Davis was the one supposed to choose the person for the job Green was assigned to, and he wasn’t definitely going to pick him. He could be also somewhat resentful towards Green since he had worked all the way throughout his life to have a successful career and Green just “won” the career lottery. Hence, even if Green met with all his expectations and went above and beyond, he would have never been satisfied.
A second theory was that Davis had a really hard time dealing with Green’s attempt to challenge his forecasts in front of an audience, since he didn’t have the experience or knowledge to question them and decided to make is life miserable from then on. A third hypothesis, and the most plausible one, is that Green just didn’t cope with Davis’s requirements and was not the professional he was supposed to be. A difference in work styles was certainly one of the main causes for this clash. While Green adopted a more “face to face”, informal and intuitive approach, Davis was much more organized and structured, and adopted an authoritative stance. . List relevant qualitative data: evidence related to or based on the quality or character of something. 4. List relevant quantitative data: evidence related to or based on the amount or number of something. 5. Describe the results of your analysis: What evidence have you accumulated that supports one interpretation over another. Respect is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as “esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as the manifestation of a personal quality or ability. The underlying root cause of the lack of synergy in Dynamic Display’s work place is the lack of respect the employee has for his superior and vice versa. Thomas Green doesn’t respect Frank Davis’ leadership strategies and the amount of experience Davis has, while Davis doesn’t respect Thomas Green’s potential and his ability to correctly do his job effectively and efficiently. Frank Davis had his mind set on whom he wanted as the new senior market specialist and Thomas Green was not who he originally had in mind.
This is displayed when Shannon McDonald informed Thomas Green about his new boss, “ Tom, you are walking into a sticky situation with Frank Davis. Frank had expected to choose the new senior market specialist and it would not have been you. You’ll have to deal with any fallout that might result from that” (p. 3). Frank Davis had very high expectations in a little amount of time for Green to show the best of his abilities. 6. Describe alternative actions: List and prioritize possible recommendations or actions that come out of your analysis.
Possible Solutions / Recommendation McDonald can remove Green from the current position of Senior Market Specialist and put him at the new position where his Sales skills can best utilized in interest of organization. McDonald can act as an intermediary between Davis and Green. She can separately talk to both and try to convey the point of views of Green and Davis to each other in order to create win-win situation and aligning their individual goals with the organization goals. She can encourage Green to ask Davis for managerial advice and try to convince Davis to help him.
Green can be given adequate training so that he can understand the necessary managerial skills that are needed for the position he is in and he should also be educated about employing correct office politics. Davis should clearly lay down the organizational goals and rules and should use his position of power to influence Green to abide by them. Green shouldn’t change the job (too much loan) and try to change his style of working and try to develop skills which he lacked (pointed out by Davis and others) which not only helped him in his growth within the organization but also will add to organization success 7.
Describe your preferred action plan: Write a clear statement of what you would recommend including short, medium and long-term steps to be carried out. Learning’s from the case This case portrays office politics and if not treated properly can create problems in an organization. This case gives insight how power distance in an organization can cause problems. This case illustrates the importance of proper communication between the different members of organization. This case is also proves that point that if proactive action is not taken by leader then it can result in bigger issues a.
What is Thomas Green’a situation? The case describes the dilemma of a marketing manager, Thomas Green, who, after being rapidly promoted, is harshly criticized by his boss, Frank Davis. Green and Davis disagree on work styles and market projections. Green believes the sales goals set by Davis are based on “creative accounting” and grossly overstate the current market environment. A mood of silent conflict develops quickly between the two men, and Green is concerned that Davis is building a case to fire him.
Green’s situation is one in which his failure to adapt his work style and fully understand the demands and boundaries of his new position may lead to his discharge. A factor in the background is Green’s relationship with his boss’s boss. Radical thoughts and style: Thomas Green is a young and dynamic graduate from University of Georgia in Bachelor’s degree in Economics and has a six year work experience as account executive. He is relatively still not that experienced and he is very power hungry, which probably caused him to use Shannon to further his goals rather than looking after the interest of the organization.
Inability to blend in the organization and not listen to his immediate boss: Green was reluctant to listen to his boss, Davis and hence was unable to mould himself to the needs of the organization. As a result, the boss got vexed with his lack of documented numbers and updating his scheduler properly. Inconspicuous promotion of Green: Green’s (having less age than others plus only few months of job with the organization) promotion was not clear. Although Shannon took a chance in promoting Green, Davis might have asked for an experienced person to take the position.
Just because Green and Shannon were in the same college alumni and from the same state (Georgia), and the fact that he cajoled her into promoting him. Lack of showing interest on feedback of a guy whom she hired: Though we see that Shannon promoted Green, she was not concerned enough to carefully read through the performance review given by Davis and taking some proactive action. It can be assumed that if she would have taken enough interest in giving Green some important suggestions, about how to improve his work, things might have been different.
Personal relationship is a source of conflict: The personal relationship between Shannon and Green is also cause of concern as it already caused Shannon to err in her judgment. There is very little visibility of Greens work in the organization which also accounts for his lack of alias in the organization and his low-influence. b. What are the different work styles, personalities and expectations of Davis and Green? What are the work styles and personalities of Thomas Green and Frank Davis? Thomas Green and Frank Davis have completely different work styles, and their personalities are also very contrasting.
Thomas Green is an ambitious, bright and aggressive young man without any managerial experience. Green was unable to look at issues based on a structural and long-term view. Most of all he is interested in the end result of the performance, not in the detailed plan or a structure of the job. Although he is an excellent seller with strong hard skills, he has a poor strategic and tactical lore, ignoring office politics. Green is clearly annoyed by office politics and rather than taking the time to learn about the culture of the firm he chooses to ignore the cultural norms and values that existed.
Thomas is too self-confident to ask for guidance from more matured colleagues that results in a complete failure of an effective work and establishing of friendly relations with his boss, Frank Davis. Frank Davis on a contrary is an excellent strategic player. Davis would rather to make memos and presentations for a meeting, while Green prefers to deliver his ideas directly to clients and talk face to face. Frank pays much attention to the office politics, strong efforts and enthusiasm of the employee.
As he had just been promoted from the position of a senior market specialist he for sure was competent and experienced in the way the things should be done. He got used to a precise planning of an every detail, schedule and documentation. That depicts him as a highly organized person with perfect managerial skills. Thomas Green and Frank Davis use different working styles, and their personalities are also very different. When dealing with clients, Frank uses memos, proposals and also uses data to back up his proposals and give the client a better idea on what they are investing in.
Thomas is more of a face to face to guy. He delivers is ideas to the clients and expect them to jump on board just by trusting his ideas. In the article Thomas is sketched to be very intelligent and talented and that causes him to be arrogant and overly confident. Frank Davis on the other hand was very concerned about the future of the company. He is portrayed as a visionary that believes in facts to achieve his goals. Even though they were so different in working styles and personality, both Frank and Thomas were trying to achieve the same goal but their methods were very different.
How do the actions of TG differ from the expectations of F. D.? Generally TG work style does not align with FD strategy and procedures. For example; TG doesn’t keep Davis updated about his sales appointments. He doesn’t even listen to FD when he receives orders or other vital information. TG has an inappropriate work style for his new role. FD has optimistic Thomas Green ‘s evaluation of his job as senior market specialist did not meat the expectations of his boss. According to Frank as a senior market specialist, Thomas should think outside the box and develop strategies to capture aggressive growth target.
After the first 2 month in the position, Thomas didn’t get a good review from is boss due to his actions. The first thing that affected Thomas performance was the fact that Frank could not locate him because he wasn’t keeping is Outlook Calendar updated. Frank wants to be informed on the progress of his specialist with the tasks that he assigned, and not being able to get in touch with Thomas wasn’t a good look. The second thing was the fact that he wasn’t keeping up with the specific tasks that were assigned to him by Frank. Frank Davis:
His long career makes him feel better than Thomas Green: In the initial meeting (Green’s first meeting), Green challenges his position on the growth rate forecasts for following year calling them unrealistic and unattainable. Davis feels that Green is too inexperienced to justify to him how he got to the 10% growth projection. Positional power also has influence in his actions: Frank Davis thinks that Green is not capable enough to handle the responsibilities nor is he experienced. Therefore he sends along negatively biased report against Green to Shannon in an effort to remove him and get some one more able.
About Frank Davis: * Frank Davis is a 17-year veteran of Dynamic Displays. * He joined the company in 1990 as an account executive with the Financial Services Solutions Division. * He also held the position such as market specialist and senior market specialist with the Travel and Hospitality Division. * He is currently the marketing director of the Travel and Hospitality division. * Thomas Green’s immediate boss is Frank Davis, the marketing director. Davis had recently been promoted from position that Green assumed. Thomas Green:
Radical thoughts and style: Thomas Green is a young and dynamic graduate from University of Georgia in Bachelor’s degree in Economics and has a six year work experience as account executive. He is relatively still not that experienced and he is very power hungry, which probably caused him to use Shannon to further his goals rather than looking after the interest of the organization. Inability to blend in the organization and not listen to his immediate boss: Green was reluctant to listen to his boss, Davis and hence was unable to mould himself to the needs of the organization.
As a result, the boss got vexed with his lack of documented numbers and updating his scheduler properly. Thomas green Case Study:- 1) Thomas Green was a high performing individual and could have been a very good leader, if he would have exhibited all the qualities of a true leader. Here is an analysis of Thomas’s leadership style based on Ancona leadership model. a. Inventing:- Thomas was very good on this quality of leadership. Soon after his promotion, when he met Davis, his boss, he was able to come with many new ideas and client responded very positively to these ideas. . Another example of Thomas being inventive:-one of the market specialists who accompanied Thomas to several meeting during the special software project said that Thomas is very creative and can quickly think of new ideas on his feet. b. Visioning:- One of the very important example of Thomas being a visionary was that he know what he wants in his career. He was able to see the position where he wants to be in his organization. And using his inventing capability he was able to make a way to that promotion i.
Another example of Thomas’s visioning skill:- In-spite of positive indicators of the market stats (as per Davis) Thomas was able to see that market is actually not going in that direction. Thomas was more close to the consumers. After he stepped into this new role he met many clients, their account executives and market specialist. Based on his meetings he was able to predict that 10% growth, which Davis forecasted was not achievable. c. Sense making:- Thomas was good in this skill also. His ideas made sense to clients (clients responded well to his ideas).
Also he was able to convince McDonald that he is a better fit for the new senior marketing specialist position. While in meeting he was able to invent new ideas for his clients which totally got the clients interested in his ideas. d. Relating: – This was something Thomas fell behind on. McDonald informed him that he is walking into a tricky situation; still he was not able to relate this warning to Davis’s behavior. During Budgeting and forecasting meeting he openly challenged Davis’ forecasted growth of 10 %.
He was not able to relate that Davis was doing this forecasting for past several years and Thomas is the young new guy, challenging Davis Openly will make Davis very upset. In addition he was not able to relate to McDonald either. After the promotion he did not follow up with McDonald to keep him posted of the dynamics going on between him and Davis. Further he was not able to relate to his clients. He was able to walk them through the benefits they will get based on his idea, however, he was not able to provide data supporting his ideas.
Green was a high potential worker, if he has been more successful in relating to the people around him then he could have been very strong and influential leader. c. What is your analysis of Green’s actions and job performance to date? What is your analysis of Thomas Green’s actions and job performance in his first five months? What mistakes has he made? Thomas Green doesn’t have much to show for after his first five months on the job. I feel Mr. Green was the most effective during the first few weeks after his promotion. He was able to accomplish a lot before the Budget Plan Meeting on October 8, 2008.
One of Mr. Green’s biggest mistakes was publicly disagreeing with Mr. Davis’ sales growth projections. Mr. Green’s performance decreased drastically after this meeting. Mr. Green, in my opinion, spent the next several months complaining about the inflated sales goal, and trying to get others in Dynamic Displays to see his point of view. During Mr. Green’s second month performance evaluation, Mr. Green and Mr. Davis spoke about several things he had been doing wrong. Some of these problems were: not keeping an updated schedule, not following up when information is requested, and a lack of enthusiasm.
Because Mr. Green felt like he was being micromanaged he was very reluctant to do what Mr. Davis had suggested. Mr. Green did not heed his boss’s advice about using hard data and presentations. Mr. Green later received feedback from several of his sales associates that this hard data was going to be essential in closing the sales with many of the prospective clients. What actions, if any, would you recommend for Thomas Green to take? (Be sure to explain WHY these are the actions he should take. ) Mr. Green’s first plan of action should be to complete the self-evaluation of his performance that Ms.
McDonald, Mr. Davis’ boss, asked him to complete. Mr. Green should use the points Mr. Davis suggested when completing the self-evaluation, because this is how upper management will be viewing him as well. Furthermore, I feel Mr. Green needs to listen to Mr. Davis more. Mr. Davis was in the same position he was just a few months Analysis: Although Green is willing to achieve a high selling growth for the company, he concentrated too much on achieving the goal instead of observing the surrounding situation.
Moreover, Green did not have enough managerial experiences so he was not able to deal with issues based on a structural and long-term view; that’s why he decided to avoid interactions with Davis instead of making improvements or rebuilding his relationship with Davis after Davis first criticized him. Their divergence in work style and personalities also contributed to the problem. For example, Davis prefers using memos or presentations when a meeting is set up, while Green would rather talk to his client directly or talk about things face to face.
In addition, lack of communication further deteriorated the situation between Davis and Green. Despite Green’s relationship with Davis as a subordinate, they were less connected with each other for their job progress and they didn’t communicate well. Lastly, the most important thing we need is trust when working in a company or collaborating with other people. The environment in Dynamic Displays lacked trust. On the one hand, Davis required his subordinates to keep him informed of their progress and schedules.
On the other hand, Green didn’t trust Davis’s evaluation and he suspected Davis had an intention to get rid of him. Analysis: One of the problems that has aroused was the inconspicuous promotion of Thomas Green. Shannon McDonald promoted Green due to the fact that they graduated from the same college and were both from the same state. They shared a similar background which gave more incentive to promote Green, although he lacked experience in the organization. Personal relationship between the two was a source of conflict, which altered Shannon’s judgment.
Shannon also lacked interest of the Davis’s performance reviews. To avoid conflict, she should have provided Green with suggestions on how to improve his work ethic. As described in the case, Thomas Green is a young graduate from the University of Georgia, with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a six year work experience as an account executive. Although Green has little experience, he aggressively seeks to advance his position in the organization, using Shannon to further his goals. Instead of pursuing the goals of the organization, he only looks out after his own personal gains.
Another problem of Green’s was his inability to connect with the organization and refusal to follow Davis’s instructions. Due to Green’s reluctant behavior, Davis was faced with a lack of documented numbers and failure to update his schedule accordingly. Therefore, he was unable to reach the goals of the organization. Frank Davis’s problem is that he feels that he is much more experienced than Green due to his long career. Green challenges Davis’s position on the growth rate forecasts for the following year, calling them unrealistic and unattainable. Davis feels that Green is too inexperienced for his justification.
Some solutions that could have avoided the problem is that Shannon could have put Green in the new position, allowing him to fully utilize his sales skills in interest of the organization. Also, she could have individually spoken to Davis and Green creating a win-win situation for them and aligning their individual goals with the organization’s goals. Green should have received training so that he could understand the managerial skills needed for his position. d. What are the possible underlying agenda’s for Davis and McDonalds? Power, Office Politics, and Career in Crisis
In this essay I will attempt to answer why the actions of Thomas Green were so different than what his boss Frank Davis expected of him. I will also address the individual agendas of the two bosses and how each person wants to be treated. In identifying the power bases that were used by each person, I will go to French and Ravens personal bases of power to see how each could have used them more effectively, while also identifying if any of those powers were abused. An old Yugoslavian Proverb states, “If you wish to know what a man is, place him in authority! ” Actions Differ from Expectations
From the information given Thomas Greens promotion given by Shannon McDonald was one that put him in a very difficult situation from the beginning. His new boss, Frank Davis, was promoted out of the very position that Green just assumed and Davis had not wanted to promote Green to this position in the first place. Then Thomas spent most all of his time during that first week reviewing the old sales reviews, after which during the following week, Frank Davis gave Tom a whirl wind review and tour of all the major airline clients he had contact with for the company.
After which Frank told Tom that their meetings had gone good and the clients really liked his ideas. At which point Frank said, “I think we would have been more effective if we had been able to provide the clients with some market data. ” (Sasser ; Beckham, 2008) Frank even gave Tom some very specific things he needed to do like; spending a lot of time preparing to meet the clients and have proposals with supporting details that can be given to the clients. He also tasked him with developing the Market Strategy for his assigned area of responsibility.
The back ground of Tom was that he is a guy that is able to keep it all in his head and this makes a great salesman, but his new position is one that requires him to have the documentation to back up what he is e. What should Thomas Green do? In the case of Thomas Green, the best possible solution would be to set up a meeting with McDonald. As the company Vice President, it would be best for Green to speak directly to the head of the department, especially since it was McDonald herself who granted Green’s promotion.
In this meeting, it would also help for Green to request Frank Davis’ presence, so that there are no hidden or mixed messages among the two employees. Judging from the three’s characters, it is easy to see why their current problem occurred. As vice president, McDonald became too trusting with Green’s abilities despite only having minimal experience in the position he sought for. As an aspiring corporate leader, Green was all too confident in his ideas and determination to see any mistakes in his actions. Finally, as the marketing director (not to mention, the previous holder of Green’s current position) Davis’ was more ager to doubt Green rather than to trust him. Collectively, each person made it difficult to have teamwork, and a sense of unity as a company. While Green recognizes the different options he has, nothing will benefit him more than choosing to discuss his performance with his superiors. In doing this, not only will he be able to plead his case, but a personal and physical discussion of the problem would avoid the possibility of having his reasons misunderstood, something an impersonal note or email would do. One of the contributing problems to their current situation is that Frank Davis has all but faith in his newly promoted subordinate.
In telling Green to keep quiet of his forecasts being overstated, not only is Davis misusing his power as a superior, but he is also being close-minded. When superiors are reluctant in having their decisions challenged, subordinates are less encouraged to throw out ideas and suggestions. This is a reason why keeping quiet is not the best option for Green. Although it may not be written that it is his responsibility to question his boss, just because Davis is Green’s superior does not mean his forecasts are always accurate.