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Things went from bad to worse. Finally, I decided to try to solve the problem myself. I had known Dinah well for many years and had a good
relationship with her before the incident. I took her to lunch to address the issue. Over lunch, I acknowledged the stress the Partco situation had put on her and suggested that she move away for a while to the West Coast where she could handle that area independently.
Dinah was hurt and asked why I didnít just fire her already. I recounted by accusing her of causing the problem in the first place by going to Partco.
Dinah came back at me, calling me a lackey for having taken her story to Fred and brought his management message back. She said I hadnít even attempted a solution and that I didnít have the guts to stand up for what was right. I was only interested in protecting my backside and keeping Fred happy. As her manager, I should have protected her and taken some of the heat off her back. Dinah refused to transfer or to quit. She told me to go ahead and fire her, and she walked out.
I sat in a daze as I watched Dinah leave the restaurant. What the
hell went wrong? Had Dinah done the morally right thing? Was I right in defending MagRecís position? Should I have taken a stand with Fred? Should I have gone over Fredís head to Mr. Leed? Am I doing the right thing? Should I listen to Fred and fire Dinah? If not, how do I get my department back on track? What am I saying? If Dinah is right, shouldnít I be defending her rather than MagRec?
1. Place yourself in the role of the manager. What should you do now? After considering what happened, would you change any of your behaviors?
2. Do you think Dinah was right? Why or why not? If you were she and you had to do it all over again, would you do anything differently? If so, what and why?
3. Using cognitive dissonance theory, explain the actions of Pat, Dinah, and Fred. ?
It Isn't Fair
Developed by Barry R. Armandi, SUNY-Old Westbury
ary Jones was in her senior year at Central University and interviewing for jobs. Mary was in the top 1 percent of her class, active in numerous extracurricular activities, and was highly respected by her professors. After the interviews, Mary was offered a number of positions with every company with which she interviewed. After much thought, she decided to take the offer from Universal Products, a multinational company. She felt that the salary was superb ($40,000), there were excellent benefits, and good potential for promotion.
Mary started work a few weeks after graduation and learned her job assignments and responsibilities thoroughly and quickly. Mary was asked on many occasions to work
late because report deadlines were moved forward often. Without hesitation she said ďOf course!Ē even though as an exempt employee she would receive no overtime.
THE OB SKILLS WORKBOOK 275
Frequently, she would take work home with her and use her personal computer to do further analyses. At other times, she would come into the office on weekends to monitor the progress of her projects or just to catch up on the ever-growing mountain of correspondence.
On one occasion her manager asked her to take on a difficult assignment. It seemed that the companyís Costa Rican manufacturing facility was having production problems. The quality of one of the products was highly questionable, and the reports on the matter were confusing. Mary was asked to be part of a team to investigate the quality and reporting problems. The team stayed in poor accommodations for the entire three weeks they were there. This was because of the plantís location near its resources, which happened to be in the heart of the jungle. Within the three-week period the team had located the source of the quality problem, corrected it, and altered the reporting documents and processes. The head of the team, a quality engineer, wrote a note to Maryís manager stating the following: ďJust wanted to inform you of the superb job Mary Jones did down in Costa Rica. Her suggestions and insights into the reporting system were invaluable. Without her help we would have been down there for another three-weeks, and I was getting tired of the mosquitos. Thanks for sending her.Ē
Universal products, like most companies, has a yearly performance review system. Since Mary had been with the company for a little over one year, it was time for her review. Mary entered her managerís office nervous, since this was her first review ever and she didnít know what to expect. After closing the door and exchanging the usual pleasantries, her manager, Tom, got right to the point.
276 THE OB SKILLS WORKBOOK
Tom: Well, Mary, as I told you last week this meeting would be for your annual review. As you are aware, your performance and compensation are tied together. Since the philosophy of the company is to reward those who perform, we take these reviews very sincerely. I have spent a great deal of time thinking about your performance over the past year, but before I begin I would like to know your impressions of the company, your assignments, and me as a manager.