Assessment Title: Case Study Assessment Description Read the following case study and answer the questions. Case Study: Challenge the Boss or Stand Down? W. Earl Sasser FEBRUARY 28, 2011 HBR Thomas Green winced as he reread an e-mail message from his new boss, Frank Davis, marketing director for the travel and hospitality group at D7 Displays. â€œTom, this weekâ€™s client meetings went well, but they would have gone better if you had been on top of the market data. When youâ€™re on your own, I expect you to be better prepared. Itâ€™s essential for your new responsibilities in developing market strategies for your region.â€ Tom looked up from his paper-strewn desk and glumly surveyed the view from his new 29th-floor office in downtown Boston. Just a few months ago he was the companyâ€™s fastest-rising star, promoted, he thought, to bring fresh thinking to the firmâ€™s self-service kiosk business. Heâ€™d catapulted from account executive to his new position as a senior marketing specialist, bypassing colleagues and collecting a 50% raise. And hardly six weeks later, he was being lectured â€” again â€” about how to win a sale. Unless he could get a handle on his new boss, Tom figured heâ€™d be lucky to make it to his one-year anniversary. A single rap on the door snapped Tom from his reverie. Frank Davis immediately let himself in. â€œTaking a break, Tom?â€ â€œNo, Frank,â€ Tom replied coolly. â€œI was thinking through my kiosk-services development project. If we canâ€™t get new offerings out there soon, we wonâ€™t be able to compete in this business. I know youâ€™re not a fan of the project, but . . .â€ â€œDid you read my e-mail?â€ â€œYes, I did.â€ â€œAnd?â€ â€œAnd, yes, I will prepare better.â€ â€œGood,â€ Frank said. â€œAnd, Tom, I need you to put your skunk works project on hold. The market-strategy meeting is next week, and I still havenâ€™t seen your plan, which was due yesterday. That is your one and only priority right now. Capisce?â€ â€œUnderstood,â€ Tom said wearily. The Tricky Fast Track D7 Displays, launched in 1990 as an ATM provider, now dominated the self-service kiosk business. With 1,500 self-check-in stations in 75 airports, the firm had sewn up 60% of the air-carrier market and was making inroads into hotels and car rental agencies. Tom had joined the company just a year before, at age 28, and he immediately set about getting noticed. Within weeks he had secured a contract with a major airline to accelerate kiosk rolloutin 20 airports and buy software upgrades across their locations. Heâ€™d also worked the back channels to get the ear of his divisionâ€™s software-development director and push his ideas about new service offerings â€” an unorthodox move that ruffled some midlevel feathers but got senior managementâ€™s attention. It was clear to Tom that for the kiosk business to compete with web-based check-in services, increasing penetration wasnâ€™t enough. Kiosks had to offer unique advantages to both customers and clientsâ€“for example, digital advertising displayed on screens while kiosks are not in use and cross-selling opportunities such as links to travel partners whose services fit the check-in passengerâ€™s profile. At a training session in Boston, Tom hit it off with Shannon McDonald, the division vice president. Both were University of Georgia alums, and McDonald, sensing his potential, made an effort to get to know him. Tom, for his part, instantly realized that McDonald could be his ticket to the fast track. When a senior marketing specialist position opened up for the Eastern North America region, he pounced. During the ensuing month, he made multiple trips to McDonald at headquarters and outlined the client opportunities he saw and his strategies for winning them. She offered him the job over dinner. Tom vividly remembered that evening. He and McDonald had appeared to see eye-to-eye on the companyâ€™s imminent challenges. But he particularly recalled her words of caution, which in retrospect seemed especially ominous. â€œTom, youâ€™re ambitious and creative,â€ sheâ€™d begun, solemnly. â€œThis group needs a fresh perspective, and Iâ€™m willing to take a chance with you. But youâ€™ll have to learn quickly. You donâ€™t have managerial experience, and while youâ€™ve nailed your sales roles, this position requires you to think strategically as well as tactically â€” and to work across layers of management. I expect you to seek guidance from some of our seasoned managers. Tom had assured McDonald that heâ€™d do his best, and he was taken aback by her response. â€œIâ€™m sure you will, Tom, but youâ€™re walking into a tricky situation with Frank. He has very aggressive growth goals for next year â€” maybe more than the market data warrant. Youâ€™ll have to manage that. Heâ€™d also expected to choose the new senior marketing specialistâ€“and he would not have chosen you.â€ She paused. â€œI need you to do better than your best.â€ Um, That Went Well By the time Tom found the strategy-planning meeting, the rest of the 12-person senior sales and marketing team had already assembled. Catching his breath, he squeezed in at the long oval table, planting his iPad before him. â€œGlad you could make it, Tomâ€ Frank began. After a deliberate pause, he continued. â€œWelcome, everyone. Weâ€™ll be reviewing sales projections for the coming year, performance expectations for the senior marketing specialists and their teams, and overall strategy for meeting those. Weâ€™ve realized a 10% CAGR over the past five years, and corporate expects this division to continue to be a growth engine. Before I walk through the detailed analysis, let me give you the executive summary.â€ Frank projected a slide showing a U.S. map with each of the companyâ€™s five sales regions. â€œGiven the market opportunities in the Eastern region, Tom and his team will have the most- aggressive growth targets â€” 15% for the airline, hotel, and car rental markets combined. Next, the South Central regionâ€¦â€ â€œFrank?â€ Tom interrupted. â€œThereâ€™s no way we can achieve double-digit growth this year.â€ â€œExcuse me?â€ Frank responded, astonished. The room was silent. â€œIt canâ€™t be done with our current offerings. I was with clients in New York, Atlanta, and Orlando last week. Airline kiosks represent a mature, saturated market. The airlines are hurting, and theyâ€™re locking to competing web-based check-in and asking why they should keep buying an outmoded product thatâ€™s expensive to install and maintain. Web services do the same thing but cheaper.â€ Frank took a deep breath. â€œTom, most of our revenues come from the airlines market. But hotels and car rental agencies are wide open: 15% and 5% of revenues, respectively. As weâ€™ve discussed,â€ Frank continued,enunciating each word, â€œyouâ€™ll be pushing into those markets. Thatâ€™s where the growth will be.â€ Tom spun his iPad so that everyone could see it. â€œBefore the meeting I checked in through this web service for my flight this afternoon to DC. It was almost too easy. It doesnâ€™t require hardware installation, maintenance, or expensive proprietary-software upgrades. The only way our kiosks can compete is for us to develop kiosk-based services that generate revenues for clients or offer other benefits web services canâ€™t. The writingâ€™s on the wall.â€ â€œTom,â€ Frank interjected, â€œI donâ€™t seem to be getting through. Our client airlines have invested heavily in our kiosk hardware and infrastructure. They wonâ€™t just pull the plug. If you turn your attention to developing market strategy, you could put kiosks in every hotel and car rental agency in your region.â€ Tom hesita
ted but couldnâ€™t contain his frustration. â€œActually, Frank, Iâ€™ve been out there talking with prospects and clients. A lot. Those industries have nothing like the appetite that airlines had in the early years. Hotels are high-touch services: Customers want a human, not a kiosk. Car rental companies need no more than a few kiosks, even at high-volume airports. Youâ€™re comparing apples and oranges.â€ Silence. At last, Frank spoke. â€œAs I said, Tomâ€™s growth target for the Eastern region for next year is 15%. Now, does anyone object to moving on to South Central? Good.â€ And That Went Even Better Tom poked his head in Frankâ€™s door. â€œYou wanted to see me?â€ He knew what was coming. From day one, heâ€™d felt like Frank was out to get him. Yes, sometimes Tom liked to shoot from the hip, but that style had helped him land some big accounts. Unfortunately, it roiled Frank. â€œHave a seat, Tom.â€ Tom dropped into a low leather chair facing Frankâ€™s desk. â€œI have just e-mailed Shannon McDonald and ccâ€™ed you. Your performance at todayâ€™s meeting was way out of line. If you ever publicly challenge me again, Iâ€™ll do more than send an e-mail. But the problem is bigger than bad manners. This jobrequires more than your sales smarts. Youâ€™re thinking like a lone-gun account executive when you should be focusing on regional strategy development, teamwork, and clear communications up and down the chain of command. Itâ€™s not just your attitude; itâ€™s your entire outlook.â€ Frank handed Tom a copy of the e-mail heâ€™d sent to McDonald. â€œThis memo details your shortcomingsâ€“and corrective measures for them.â€ Skimming, Tom caught phrases like â€œpoor judgmentâ€ and â€œquestionable behavior.â€ â€œTom, Iâ€™m going to keep closer tabs on you. Youâ€™ll inform me of your detailed plans and update me on your schedule on a daily basis. I found out from one of your account execs that you were in New York when I thought you were in Atlantaâ€¦â€ â€œBut I was going to tell you!â€ Tom interjected. â€œI finished my Atlanta client meetings early and was able to get time with the software VP at IndiZm in New York to discuss new kiosk services. Itâ€™s part of the software- development project.â€ â€œYes, but youâ€™re off that project now. Your Outlook calendar said you were in Atlanta, and I got shunted to your voicemail when I called. From now on, youâ€™ll update Outlook daily and return messages from the office promptly. Also, I will need to see your specific client-communications strategies before your sales calls, and to review all sales collateral in advance. You will stop making client calls purely to meet people. Youâ€™ll producematerials I request on deadline. Finally, youâ€™ll have a more positive attitude both inside and outside the company.â€ â€œI donâ€™t have a bad attitude,â€ Tom objected. â€œIâ€™m trying to develop our offerings so that web services donâ€™t eat us for lunch. Five years ago, only about half of U.S. leisure passengers used web check-in. Do you know what the figure is today? Frank narrowed his eyes. â€œYes, Iâ€™m aware of web competition, Tom. Iâ€™ve been doing this for 20 years. As I said, the airlines wonâ€™t throw their big investments in hardware out the window, trust me. Next yearâ€™s growth is in expanding our penetration of the hotel and car rental markets, and thatâ€™s where youâ€™ll focus. After youâ€™ve made progress there, we can talk about your software project. End of discussion.â€ As Tom headed down the hall to his office, he muttered under his breath, â€œI donâ€™t think so.â€ Heck of an Outlook Tom laid low for the rest of the week and considered his options. The lull in Frankâ€™s criticism gave him a dim hope that the worst was over. As Tom scanned his Outlook calendar and gloomily considered updating it, he spotted an alarming new e-mail in the queue. It was from Shannon McDonald. cc: Frank Davis. Subject: Performance. â€œFrank Davis has explained to me his point of view on your performance,â€ the message began. â€œI think all of us want to improve the current regrettable situation. Frank has articulated his expectations for your improvement over the next 30 days, after which he and I will re-evaluate your continued suitability for the position. At this point, I would like to get your ideas about how you can improve your performance. Please send a statement in writing within 48 hours so that we can resolve this issue promptly.â€ As Tom merged his E82 coupe onto I-93 and headed for his new condo in North Andover, it seemed unwise to have bought a car and house so soon. Frank wasnâ€™t merely whining about Tomâ€™s style; he appeared to be building a by-the-book case for firing him. Tom could envision only two scenarios for staying with the company: (1) Do as he was told, change his style to suit Frankâ€™s agenda, and execute on a strategy he believed was flawed; or (2) expose the full extent of Frankâ€™s dubious projections and strategy to McDonald, his original sponsor, and hope sheâ€™d rescue and redeploy him. As Tom fought his way through the rush-hour traffic, he kept coming back to the only thing that was certain: It was a hell of a time to be out ofwork. Answer the followingquestions. 1. Identify the most important 5 specific management issues drawn from the scenario. (Typed half page) 2. Discuss the impact of these issues to the organisation.(Typed half page) 3. Tom is a valuable employee and would be a loss for the company is he walks away but Frank wants Tom to work on the projects he needs to complete; not the kiosk project! Apply 3 of the motivation theories, models or concepts to provide strategies to help Frank motivate Tom to work on the projects Frank urgently needs to complete. (30 marks) (Typed 1.5 page). 4. Apply 2 of the Human Resources theories, models or concepts to improve this organisationâ€™s performance. (20 marks) (Typed 1page) 5. Apply 2 of the Leadership theories, models or concepts to help Frank be a better leader. (20 marks) (Typed 1 page) Requirements: Research: Use at least 5 high quality research papers and you can use as many other resources as you want. AssessmentRubric Exceeds Standards (HD and D) Meets Standards (C and P) Fails to meet Standards (F) Issues 10% Identifies most important 5 issues clearly. Meets all formatting and research criteria Identifies 5 issues but may not be the most important ones. Meets some formatting and research criteria. Identifies less than 5 issues. Does not meet majority of the research and formatting criteria. Organisational Impact 20% The impact of the issues on the organisation is identified clearly, and stated in terms that are actionable by the companyâ€™s leadership. Meets all formatting requirements. Well researched and clear link to the subject content. The impact of the issues on the organisation is identified but may not be linked clearly, and may not be stated in terms that are actionable by thecompanyâ€™s leadership. Meets some formattingrequirements. Relevant but limited research and link to the subject content. The impact of the issues on the organisation is not identified, may not be linked clearly to the issues, and/or may not be stated in terms that are actionable by the companyâ€™s leadership. Does not meet majority of the formatting criteria. No evidence of strong research and link to the subject content or no in-text referencing Motivation 30% Theories or models well researched and applied to the case. High level critical thinking is evident. Meets all formatting and research criteria Theories or models researched and applied to the case. Some critical thinking is evident. Meets some formatting and research criteria. Theories or models are not researched and applied to the case. No evidence of critical thinking. Does not meet majority of the research a
nd formatting criteria. HR 20% Theories or models well researched and applied to the case. High level critical thinking is evident. Meets all formatting and research criteria Theories or models researched and applied to the case. Some critical thinking is evident. Meets some formatting and research criteria. Theories or models are not researched and applied to the case. No evidence of critical thinking. Does not meet majority of the research and formatting criteria. Leadership 20% Theories or models well researched and applied to the case. High level critical thinking is evident. Meets all formating and research criteria Theories or models researched and applied to the case. Some critical thinking is evident. Meets some formatting and research criteria. Theories or models are not researched and applied to the case. No evidence of critical thinking. Does not meet majority of the research and formatting criteria.