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The Leadership Experience

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Check out CengageNOW for additional cases
with interactive activities.
Chapter 5: Leadership Mind and Emotion: 5-6d Leadership Development: Cases for Analysis
Book Title: The Leadership Experience
Printed By: Isaac Addae ([email protected])
© 2015, 2011 Cengage Learning, Cengage Learning
Chapter Review
5-6d Leadership Development: Cases for Analysis
The New Boss
Sam Nolan clicked the mouse for one
more round of solitaire on the
computer in his den. He’d been at it for
more than an hour, and his wife had
long ago given up trying to persuade
him to join her for a movie or a rare
Saturday night on the town. The mind-numbing game seemed to be all that calmed Sam
down enough to stop agonizing about work and how his job seemed to get worse every day.
Nolan was chief information officer at Century Medical, a large medical products company
based in Connecticut. He had joined the company four years ago, and since that time
Century had made great progress integrating technology into its systems and processes.
Nolan had already led projects to design and build two highly successful systems for
Century. One was a benefits-administration system for the company’s human resources
department. The other was a complex Web-based purchasing system that streamlined the
process of purchasing supplies and capital goods. Although the system had been up and
running for only a few months, modest projections were that it would save Century nearly
annually. The new Web-based system dramatically cut the time needed for
processing requests and placing orders. Purchasing managers now had more time to work
collaboratively with key stakeholders to identify and select the best suppliers and negotiate
better deals.
Nolan thought wearily of all the hours he had put in developing trust with people
throughout the company and showing them how technology could not only save time and
money but also support team-based work, encourage open information sharing, and give
people more control over their own jobs. He smiled briefly as he recalled one long-term HR
employee, 61-year-old Ethel Moore. She had been terrified when Nolan first began showing
her the company’s intranet, but she was now one of his biggest supporters. In fact, it had
been Ethel who had first approached him with an idea about a Web-based job posting
system. The two had pulled together a team and developed an idea for linking Century
managers, internal recruiters, and job applicants using artificial intelligence software on
top of an integrated Web-based system. When Nolan had presented the idea to his boss,
executive vice president Sandra Ivey, she had enthusiastically endorsed it. Within a few
weeks the team had authorization to proceed with the project.
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But everything began to change when Ivey resigned her position six months later to take a
plum job in New York. Ivey’s successor, Tom Carr, seemed to have little interest in the
project. During their first meeting, Carr had openly referred to the project as a waste of
time and money. He immediately disapproved several new features suggested by the
company’s internal recruiters, even though the project team argued that the features could
double internal hiring and save millions in training costs. “Just stick to the original plan
and get it done. All this stuff needs to be handled on a personal basis anyway,” Carr
countered. “You can’t learn more from a computer than you can talking to real people—and
as for internal recruiting, it shouldn’t be so hard to talk to people if they’re already working
right here in the company.” Carr seemed to have no understanding of how and why
technology was being used. He became irritated when Ethel Moore referred to the system
as “Web-based.” He boasted that he had never visited Century’s intranet site and suggested
that “this Internet obsession” would blow over in a few years anyway. Even Ethel’s
enthusiasm couldn’t get through to him. “Technology is for those people in the IS
department. My job is people, and yours should be, too,” Carr shouted. Near the end of the
meeting, Carr even jokingly suggested that the project team should just buy a couple of
good filing cabinets and save everyone some time and money.
Nolan sighed and leaned back in his chair. The whole project had begun to feel like a joke.
The vibrant and innovative human resources department his team had imagined now
seemed like nothing more than a pipe dream. But despite his frustration, a new thought
entered Nolan’s mind: “Is Carr just stubborn and narrow-minded or does he have a point
that HR is a people business that doesn’t need a high-tech job posting system?”
Questions

  1. Describe the two different mental models represented in this story.
  2. What are some of the assumptions that shape the mindset of Sam Nolan? Of
    Tom Carr?
  3. Do you think it is possible for Carr to shift to a new mental model? If you
    were Sam Nolan, what would you do?
    Sources: Based on Carol Hildebrand, “New Boss Blues,” CIO Enterprise, Section 2 (November 15, 1998), pp. 53–58; and
    Megan Santosus, “Advanced Micro Devices’ Web-Based Purchasing System,” CIO, Section 1 (May 15, 1998), p. 84. A version of
    this case originally appeared in Richard L. Daft, Organization Theory and Design, 7th ed. (Cincinnati, OH: South-Western,
    2001), pp. 270–271.
    The USS Florida
    The atmosphere in a Trident nuclear submarine is generally calm and quiet. Even pipe
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    See It Online
    Check out CengageNOW for additional cases
    with interactive activities.
    Chapter 6: Courage and Moral Leadership: 6-6d Leadership Development: Cases for Analysis
    Book Title: The Leadership Experience
    Printed By: Isaac Addae ([email protected])
    © 2015, 2011 Cengage Learning, Cengage Learning
    Chapter Review
    6-6d Leadership Development: Cases for Analysis
    “What Should I Say?”
    The sudden heart attack of his
    predecessor, Bill Andrews, propelled
    Russell Hart into a temporary top
    management assignment for Kresk
    International in the company’s new
    Middle East Division in Riyadh, Saudi
    Arabia. Kresk management had targeted Saudi as a must-have division and was
    enthusiastic about the expansion.
    After six months of a one-year assignment in Riyadh with travel throughout the Middle
    East, Russell was making a brief trip to Dallas to report at the semi-annual board meeting
    before returning to Saudi. He understood that in addition to his assessment of the
    company’s situation in the region, a portion of the board meeting would focus on the
    improved health condition of Andrews and, based on that, a determination would be made
    as to whether he or Bill Andrews would have the permanent assignment at the end of the
    year. The two were close friends and had corresponded regularly over the past months,
    and Russell looked forward to Bill’s full recovery and return to work. However, single and
    adventurous by nature, Russell enjoyed the company’s top assignment and hoped to
    impress management at the meeting so that he would be named director of the Middle East
    Division.
    “Here’s where my personal ambitions and my personal ethics collide,” Russell admitted to
    his assistant Christopher Dunn as the Kresk corporate jet left Riyadh. “I mean, look at all of
    this. It’s a dream job. It’s my dream job and I can do this. If anyone had told me back in high
    school in Nebraska that I would be on a corporate jet flying from Saudi Arabia, I’d have
    laughed them out of Sydney.”
    “Excuse me, Russell, would you and Christopher care for anything to drink?” the cabin
    attendant asked.
    “Yes, a Jameson,” Russell said.
    “Same here,” Christopher added.
    As the attendant walked away, Russell leaned over, speaking quietly. “Corporate is so
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    enthusiastic about this region. They are expecting nothing short of a glowing report that
    basically says, ‘Wow, we really hit the jackpot with this move.’ And that’s what we’ve put
    together here over the past few weeks. It looks fantastic! But my little man in here,” he said,
    pointing to his stomach, “keeps nagging me—do I give them, ‘Wow, we hit the jackpot’ and
    become the darling of the company, or do I give them the truth, that we have some
    potential serious problems with this division…”
    “… And hand the job to Bill,” Christopher said as the drinks arrived.
    “Exactly. By the end of the year, their numbers may look great and they may meet our
    performance standards, but I have serious problems with the management here. I realize
    that we’re working with a different culture and I can make allowances. I have no problem
    pacing my day around their prayer obligations. I know to avoid any business during
    Ramadan or around the two Eids. I’ve become comfortable meeting a sheikh or sayyid
    and I’ve even lost my sense of self-consciousness when a businessman holds my hand to
    lead me into a room. I can deal with all of these things. But there is a level here within the
    organization that bothers me and that I think would bother most managers at headquarters
    and that’s what I struggle with in this report. Should I be honest?”
    “Well, you know—honesty is the best …”
    “Don’t say it. This is my career we’re talking about.”
    “OK, what do you want to add—or not add?”
    “The major problem here is Youssef Said,” Russell said.
    “I know. But I think I would stay away from mentioning that. The company loves the guy.
    Bill Andrews has been his champion because of excellent results, at least in the short run.”
    “I don’t agree. And I think they won’t when they see him in action. I don’t understand why
    Bill supports him.”
    “They’ve seen him in action,” Christopher said.
    “Oh, they’ve seen what he wants them to see. You and I have seen his interaction with staff
    and employees on a daily basis. His mistreatment of people is appalling. I see a total
    disregard for the opinions of others, and he seems to take considerable pleasure in
    humiliating people. He screams at them! A few have quit. I’ve questioned him about it a
    couple of times and all he says is, ‘I know. Please understand …’ ”
    “It is the way it is done here,” Christopher said, completing the phrase the two heard on a
    regular basis.
    “I don’t believe it is the way it’s done here. It’s not our culture, at least not in the U.S. and
    Europe. I think this has always been his way. I wonder about the effects on morale, and I
    think the people who work here will believe the company is in agreement with him and
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    that this is our policy,” Russell said. “Youssef has that little inner circle of family and friends
    that he trusts and really nothing beyond that. To me, it seems he’s always working a deal,
    bending a rule. I know that Arabs love to trade and love to negotiate, but there are too
    many favors, too many unwritten agreements and payments, and I wonder if we should
    intervene. I wonder if international laws or the company’s own ethics are being set aside. I
    have serious doubts that this guy is going to work with the Kresk culture and our company
    ethics. But do I need to include my concerns in this initial report …”
    “Or will you just be busting the board’s bubble, and raise doubts about Bill, or perhaps they
    will doubt you and risk your shot at the job you want?”
    “On the other hand, if I am seeing what I consider severe long-term problems and say
    nothing now, in this report, and the problems show up later, will I be guilty of breaking a
    code of ethics?” Russell paused. “So, Christopher, what do I say tomorrow at the board
    meeting?”
    Questions
  4. What do you think Russell Hart should include in his report about Youssef
    Said? Why? What would you do in his position?
  5. What amount or kind of courage will be required for Hart to disclose
    everything honestly? How would you advise Hart to acquire that courage?
  6. At which stage of Kohlberg’s moral development scale would you place
    Youssef Said, Russell Hart, and Bill Andrews? Why?
    The Boy, the Girl, the Ferryboat Captain, and the Hermits
    There was an island, and on this island there lived a girl. A short distance away there was
    another island, and on this island there lived a boy. The boy and the girl were very much in
    love with each other.
    The boy had to leave his island and go on a long journey, and he would be gone for a very
    long time. The girl felt that she must see the boy one more time before he went away. There
    was only one way to get from the island where the girl lived to the boy’s island, and that
    was on a ferryboat that was run by a ferryboat captain. And so the girl went down to the
    dock and asked the ferryboat captain to take her to the island where the boy lived. The
    ferryboat captain agreed and asked her for the fare. The girl told the ferryboat captain that
    she did not have any money. The ferryboat captain told her that money was not necessary:
    “I will take you to the other island if you will stay with me tonight.”

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