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COMM 151
Bill Cooper

Short cases from the first two classes 1. Dealing with Richard Millar Rebecca Olson handles a harassment case - Rebecca Olson had just become CEO of St. Clement hospital - She was a surprising nomination, as many thought it was going to be someone with more experience from the firm - One of the main employees complained about sexual harassment she had been facing by a long time employee who has made generous contributions to the firm (Richard Miller) - Richard Miller was thought of as the most likely person to become the next CEO, and Rebecca Olson needs to decide on how to deal with the situation - Agreed upon a severance package - Dr. Olson had been receiving threatening phone calls and a rock through her window - 2. The new product launch Whether to share credit with a subordinate? - You have been asked by your boss to come up with a strategy for launching a tough new product - You get help from an assistant, and they come up with some brilliant ideas that made it a huge success - Do you share the credit or keep it all to yourself? 3. My Teflon boss Working for a non-responsive boss 4. Dear Lucy Some FT advice for a reluctant promotion-taker - Lucy has been offered a position high up in the company - She does not feel as if she’s ready or qualified for the position, and is worries that she’ll mess it up - She also does not want to be upset at herself in the future for not taking the job 5. The Winnipeg case Paul is bringing Robert to Peter’s banquet - Peter Bell is confronted with a situation when one of his most important employees enters his office and wants to talk about the upcoming company banquet - Paul, a new member of the company, asks Peter if he can bring his partner (another man) to the banquet - Peter is worried about the impressions that this will make on the company - All his clients come from conservative companies 6. The speechwriter What to do about getting credit - You were asked by your boss to write a speech for the company that she could use to motivate other employees - The speech went very well and your boss asks if you can keep writing speeches that she will be presenting - This is a time consuming obligation that you won’t be paid or recognized for, but your boss is becoming a star - What to do? 7. Janice Donovan Donald Byrd introduce the new CEO 8. Tina Babcock Tina arrives by limousine and cleans house - Tina is now in charge of turning around a division of a large company - After assessing the situation from afar, she sets up a meeting with all the top managers to tell them what she thinks - She fires a lot of top managers, makes appointments to meet with everyone, and will sabotage the careers of anyone who tries to stop what she is doing (she arrives in a limousine) - Was this an effective way of handling the situation? Controlled information processing – went in with a plan of attack 9. Tucker Sealing the barrel after the carcinogens are out - Tucker was moved into the company from another division - Soon after him and his colleagues found out that one of the components of their products was a carcinogen when emitted in dust form - One of the workers inhaled it - They shut down the plant to change the way the production was done to keep it from happening - They never told the workers what happened or why things were changed - Is this ethical? 10. Worried in Vancouver To take a promotion or turn it down? - You have been offered a promotion that you don’t really want - How do you let the company know that you are not interested in the promotion without committing career suicide? 11. Should I tell the truth? Afired banker wonders about being honest - Abanker has just been let go from a major bank in London - They have planned a fair well party for him and everyone else who was fired - He is going to give a speech about the reality of working at a place like that, and is wondering if doing so is ok 12. Stitch in time Kerry says Building B is 80% done - Stanley was put in charge of his first big project which was to oversee the construction situation in the new plant to be created in Portland - There were problems associated with construction and they had not even started in the B section - When Stanley was explaining the situation to Kerry (his boss), Kerry answered a phone call from upper management and told them that everything was going according to plan 13. Barbara Spector An ad executive does not get the coffee - She was an executive meeting with all the other executives who were all male - She was asked to provide coffee for the room in a very condescending manner - What would you do if you were Barbara? 14. My first real job Her boss asks how a project is going - You are assigned to a project working with Pat that is going to be due next Monday - You and Pat are unable to meet because of conflicting schedules and Pat’s lack of initiative - Just as you are going to confront Pat, your boss calls and asks for an update 15. My Teflon boss Your boss doesn’t back you up on policies - The boss is responsible for implementing new policies into the company and uses you as a cover for being the one who is responsible for the decision - This makes you the focus of the criticism for new policies - The throws you under the bus and whenever you confront him about the situation he lies or refuses to talk about it 16. Dating my manager Your colleague is paid more than you - You are in a team where one of your colleagues is in a relationship with their manager - They came as a package deal into the company and you think that the HR office is well aware of what is going on - The colleague of yours is about in equal in terms of career, but gets paid more - You’ve gone to your manager for a raise, but didn’t get it. What should you do? Readings 1. Gladwell. The locked door On not having full access to our thinking Examples in the text: - Vic Braden could predict double faults, but didn’t know how he knew - Bernard Berenson could spot fake art, but the only clues as to how he could do so was his stomach hurting/feeling weird - John Bargh administered sentence scramble tests with certain words embedded. The subjects acted similarly to the connotations of the words, but did not notice - Speed dating in new york showed how stated and revealed preferences were different, showing a disconnect between the conscious and unconscious ideals - Normal Maier set up two ropes in a garage, asking people to tie them. No one could do so until he brushed one making it swing and everyone suddenly figured it out. They could not explain how though Relation to concepts - Snap judgments are quick and rely on the thinnest slices of experience - The locked door of our unconsciousness makes it challenging to describe how we figured certain things out 2. Gary and Elliott. When Steve becomes Stephanie Some worries when a sales director announces an upcoming gender change - SteveAmbler was a director at LaSalle Chemical, and he announces to the HR manager (Henrietta Mercer) that he is going to have a gender transformation - Alex, a partner of Steve’s is appauled at her decision to let Steve stay, as he is worried about the impressions that it will make on the firm Relation to Concepts - Different people perceive different situations in completely opposite ways 3. Gioia and Corley. Being good versus looking good Business School rankings as quality proxies and impression management - Business schools are so concerned with rankings, that they have sacrificed unmeasured but useful teaching techniques for strictly public identifiers - Looking good to prospective students and recruiters, but actually being the best - Schools’goals have gone from the pursuit of knowledge to the pursuit of resources - Funds are shifted away from teaching and more towards public image - Information asymmetry makes it difficult for outsiders to know exactly how the schools work, having to rely mostly on rankings 4. Lemann. Kids in the conference room: How McKinsey became the next big step The Lawn at UVA and the life of business analysts at McKinsey & Co. - Consultant group McKinsey gets top business undergrads - It offers them a good job, and then offers to pay for an MBAif they are good employees - Good for both parties, as students don’t need to offer a long term commitment, and McKinsey gets top talent and has a chance to keep it - McKinsey’s image gets a boost, because they get all the top students - Social life is to be spent with co-workers - McKinsey is mindful of its image, and uses impression management 5. Fryer and Kirby. Fat chance Bill has to decide about promoting the overweight Sid - Sid is an overweight employee and Bill has to decide about promoting him (he is great at his job) - Worried about both Sid quitting if he doesent get it, and is worried about the impression that his obesity will make on clients - Bill does not know if he can manage the impressions made by Sid on potential clients 6. The case of the missing time Sarah Ibrahim tries to get her project done - Sarah Ibrahim has been promoted to plant manager - She has a million things going on in her head and doesn’t make planned out schedules for the work that she does or needs to get done - She neglects her personal life in favor of her work – she misses her daughter’s soccer game - She is worries about the short term (mindlessness) - Her lack of planning indicates not employing controlled information processing 7. Gawande. Big med Managing at Cheesecake Factory/hospitals Week’s Topic: MANAGERS - Big chains thrive because they provide products of greater variety, better quality, and lower cost than would otherwise be available (ex. Cheesecake factory) - There has been a tendency for hospitals to gravitate towards large chain operations similar to Walmart and McDonalds - The issues with this is that patients often require unique medical treatment, and often a blanket approach (to things like knee surgery) is not effective - Surgeons are having to conform to standards and change their typical practices - It may cut costs, but they loose out because they can no longer cater directly to their customers 8. Hamel. First, let’s fire all the managers Morning Star processes tomatoes without the usual hierarchy Week’s Topic: MANAGERS - There are no managers at Morning Star - Managers add overhead and, as an organization grows, the cost of management rises in both absolute and relative terms - The more mangers, the less people are able to challenge decisions - The lack of managers can disincentivize creativity and critical thinking - The “self-management” model - Things are run by colleagues - May not work with large scale operations 9. Schwartz. When only the best will do Maximizing vs. satisficing - It can be difficult choosing between doing your absolute best and what is simply good enough - People who seek and accept the best are called maximizers, and they need to be assured that every decision they make was the best possible one - Asatisfier will settle for anything that is good enough - When you are a satisfier, the number of alternatives will not have an effect on your ability to make decisions - We tend to maximize when we are faced with a decision that carries a lot of importance 10. Hart. Corporate securities lawyer To quit or to stay lawyering and running? - The idea of being a lawyer appeals to peoples vanity - Corporate Securities lawyers work in harsh environments, with long hours - Time management is one of their main challenges, as everything is treated as a “crisis” - Sacrificing family time for work is routine - Running seems to be the only thing that lets John Hart depressurize 11. Canabou. John Woods turns the page From Microsoft to equipping Tibetan libraries - Success at Microsoft - Defies the escalation of commitment - Starts Room to read, with very little extrinsic motivation - Decided to opt out of the tournament - Commitment with the new Tibetan communities 12. Magretta. Will she fit in? What should Susan Carter do about Brian? - Brian Hanson lunges at Susan Carter during a meeting - Worries about telling Justin, her boss, and she doesent want to risk the Pellmore account - Susan can either talk to Brian first, or superceed Justin and go to John 13. Gladwell. The 10,000 hour rule How practice matters - The most successful people in the world have all done what they do for more than 10,000 hours - Practice makes perfect - The message shares the ideals of our employers (The Ropes #30 Success Story) - Bill Joy (sun microsystems) - Bill Gates - The Beatles - Violinists **Performance =Ability x Motivation 14.Auletta.Awoman’s place Sheryl Sandberg in Silicon Valley Class 8 – Ability and Personality (Jan 31, 2014) • Identify the abilities that Ms. Sandberg uses • How did she develop them? - Sheryl Sandberg: 38 year old VP of global online sales and operations at Google - Wanted more challenge than she was exposed to at Google - Took a job at Facebook as COO - Personally introduced herself to all the employees in Facebook, showing her drive to work well with the entire company, not just Zuckerberg - “She builds trust because she’s honest” - Opened a debate on issues regarding the business model, in particular, revenue and advertising - Showed introversion at Harvard, not participating in class discussions - Unbelievable management skills - Realized/concluded that women experienced tradeoffs between success and likability - Very organized and knew how to get things done - “She was tough and she was fearless” - Pushed for Women to be more aggressive when it came to finding challenges, negotiating salaries etc. – Extroversion - Sandberg led sessions at Facebook encouraging more female involvement in leadership roles 15. Wolfe. Lab rat NASAseducing test pilots like Pete Conrad Class Topic: Commitment - Follows the story of Pete Conrad, a test pilot in the US - Alarge group of test pilots were chosen to be a part of NASA’s first space training program - The tests were extremely challenging both mentally and physically and forced all the subjects to their breaking point - The point of the story is that NASAdid this to ensure and foster commitment - Because the pilots were put through so much they because committed to the cause (ie. Why back down now) - Pete Conrad did not get the position because the commitment did not work on him, as he has a personality complex that does not require consistency Relation to Concept/Cialdini - The pilots were all given the choice to join - The pilots had to put in massive amounts of effort - The pilots actions were very public (another cause for escalation of commitment) - The actions were very active - Connects to the tournament model, as there are several tests along the way, with ever increasing commitment 16. Hassan. Arsenal of believers Testing potential suicide bombers Class Topic: Commitment - S. described his days on suicide missions the happiest of his life - The biggest problem is the hordes of young men asking to be sent on missions - Supporting Islam against the Israilies soon escalates into sacrificing your life 17. Schlosser. Kenny Kenny packs meat in Colorado & Nebraska Class Topic: Commitment - Kenny Dobbins worked for Montfort meat company for 16 years, he was an extremely loyal employee - He was injured repeatedly and bumped down to lower positions, but continued working - Had very little education and got the job when he was young - Has always worked for them and is extremely loyal, even acting publically against the union (showing public commitment) - He is fired at 46, having no money, no pension, and is physically unfit to work - *Too loyal and too committed for his own good 18. Thomas. Film development assistant Abuse by your boss + meeting Sean Penn Class Topic: Commitment - Jerrold Thomas worked for a Hollywood producer as his assistant - He hates his boss and is going nowhere - His boss tells him that his time will come and he will be able to develop something of his own - Even though Jerrold hates his job, he stays because he feels as if he has already committed so much to it 19. Surowiecki. Bankers gone wild Wall Street LIBOR imitation Class Topic: Conformity - The LIBOR is used as a benchmark for interest rates around the world - LIBOR was rigged, as the estimates are not audited - After the crisis, banks underestimated LIBOR, making themselves look more financially stable to investors than they actually were - No one did anything to stop this corruption, as it was inevitable and there was a supposed belief that banks would not jeopardize their reputation like that (as to under or over estimate LIBOR intentionally) - Self-regulation does not work in finance - CHEATING IS CONTAGIOUS – once a few traders at Barclay’s started to lie, it became a social norm amongst peers** - 20. Brooks. What it takes Organization kids play it safe Class Topic: Conformity - Elena Kagan is a high achiever at every stage in life – most who meet her like her - She has never made an opinion about something in public - She refuses to say anything that could be controversial - She shows little creativity but it is really just her total compliance to social norms - Take away: She totally conforms to whatever situation she is in, and is rather bland because of it - She is hesitant and very risk averse, not wanting to jeopardize anything for her future - Conformity has severe negative implications 21. Osland. Your eccentricity ratio? When performance is <=> eccentricity (Reading #10) Class Topic: Conformity - Kathleen McDonald says businesses will keep you around as long as your perceived competence is equal to your perceived eccentricity - Eccentricity can be tough to control, however, you are who you are - Eccentricity is defined (in this context) as how much you deviate from social norms - *It is better to prove your competence first, and then show your eccentricity - Although, being competent but having no personality is also bad - *Important to find a good balance between conformance and deviance - Ex.Awoman who wore slack suits to work when everyone else wore pants 22. Thomas Bluefield’s dilemma Thomas has trouble with Frank and maybe Shannon at D7 (Reading #11) Class Topic: Conformity - Thomas is a fast-rising worker who is now in a marketing management position in a company that sells and services kiosks at airports and hotels - He believes that his boss (Frank) has a bad strategy - Thomas engages in an argument over strategy vs. his boss in a board meeting in front of his colleagues - Frank is pissed off, and writes an email to Thomas’sponsor, Shannon - They are to meet on the topic, and Thomas can either conform to his bosses strategy or get relocated - He feels abandoned by his sponsor The Ropes 1. Hi, call me Stanley plays horseshoes with Mr. Marsh at the company picnic - At the picnic, Stanley is talking to man who turns out to be Mr. Marsh - Stan is worried about his future life in the company - Although, the truth is, that Mr. Marsh will not even remember Stanley, as he is confronted with countless employees who seem the same at Stanley – Mindlessness as he has had prior experience with similar situations 2. The power of positive thinking Stanley learns to insulate with Expandrium - Stanley insulates the new plant with what he deems is the best insulation (past experience = mindlessness), but Ben Franklyn notices this and freaks out - He makes Stanley cover the insulation, and is displaying mindfulness in the face of a new experience o He had a plan set out to use Expandrium to stay consistent with what the company is selling - Mr. Marsh is also mindful, as he pays attention to the insulation 3. Cleanliness is next to …..? Stanley shows Lesley the importance of a dirty manual - Stanley displays mindfulness by determining that the way people will actually gauge Lesley’s performance is how dirty he manual was - The inspectors would be mindless, and they would make the assumption that dirty = hard word 4. Look of a winner Stanley’s Army coat at HQ/mid-management flannel shirt - Stanley wears an Army coat and mid management flannel shirt, standing out from everyone else at the meeting - We rely on our store of knowledge and our sense of what is and isn’t reliable to interpret what is going on around us - Because Stanley stands out, he evoked mindfulness in the other members 6. The sincerest form of flattery Stanley as Little Kerry on construction blueprints Topic: Conformity - Stanley working for Kerry - Stanley almost imitated Kerry in his attitudes towards the project - Stanley could imitate Kerry’s moves within the context 7. “Hi, sweetie …..” Lesley fixes the machine and Chuck Toole the supervisor as well - Lesley amazes Chuck tool with her controlled processing approach to assessing and fixing the machinery - Aform of carefully planned impression management - Aprime example of “if you are going to be different, you better be better” 9. Rocky Stanley is stuck as Ben’s web guy and wants to get out - Possible to be good at one thing - Stanley’s skill at one job is preventing him from being promoted - Reciprocity does not occur when one is valued where they are 12. Scarlet letter “What’s in it for me?” and Red Wood’s “my good will” - Ms. Wood pitches an idea to HR - HR doesn’t like the idea, and asks for one good reason that they should go along with it (what’s in it for me) - Ms. Wood responds by saying “my good will” o Symbolizing that she will reciprocate in the future if this is done for her 17. Rite of passage Stanley finally gets to use Ben’s back door Topic: Motivation - All employees had to use the front door - There is a list of people who could use the door - The ability to use the door is employed as a form of motivation to work harder - Extrinsic motivation 18. Sunrise service 6:30AM construction meetings to encourage cooperation - Ben is unhappy about how a certain project is going - The organization and commitment are not there - Ben decides to hold early meetings at 6:30 before work - Things start going well and Ben calls off the early meetings as the project was on track - The removal of the early meetings was contingent upon the production of a desired behavior - People were motivated, and became more productive because they did not want to wake up early 20. Made to measure Willa develops yet another measure of performance Topic: Decision Making - Connection to the tournament model - The SHRIMP program developed by Linda is actually hindering managements ability to perform because they are so overwhelmed with decisions they have to make but are barely informed of - Managers are too disconnected from their subordinates 21. Spend it, burn it Year-end spending mania Topic: Decision Making - Minimaxing, as TheAgency decides to spend all the money before year end, as they have excess in the budget - If they didn’t spend the money, they may not have been doing their jobs - If they do spend the money, they may get in a bit of trouble if its needed elsewhere, but they were allowed to spend it 22. Excess inventory Stanley gets golf clubs from Woody - Woody does Stanley a favor by giving him a set of gold clubs - It was in return for a favor in the future - Ethical implications of gifts - Concept of reciprocity 24. Hold that line Ted cc Mr. Marsh on training Ben’s forepersons Topic: decision making - Ted wants
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