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Six Samurai

(Group 10, Section F)

A V Rahul 2013PGP001 Abhishek Garg 2013PGP010 Aditya Ghosh 2013PGP018 Malpure Sanket 2013PGP207 Niharika Sharma 2013PGP250

Rihana Shaik 2013FPM010

Thomas Green: Power, Office Politics, and a Career in Crisis

Case Analysis Written Analysis and Communication Group Assignment 1 Submitted to Prof. Abha Chatterjee

A Report on

Thomas Green: Power, Office Politics, and a Career in Crisis

Six Samurai
(Group 10, Section F)

Letter of Transmittal

January 20, 2014 Prof. Abha Chatterjee, Department of Communication, Indian Institute of Management Indore, Indore -453331. Respected Maam, Subject: Submission of Report on Thomas Green: Power, Office Politics, and a Career in Crisis As per the guidelines provided by you during the classroom discussion, we hereby submit a report on the case titled Thomas Green: Power, Office Politics, and a Career in Crisis. This report has been prepared after going through the entire case and carefully scrutinizing the facts and assumptions. The report contains the relevant facts in the introduction, problem statement and list of possible alternatives and best action plan to be implemented. Kindly evaluate the same and provide your valuable inputs. Regards, Six Samurai (Group 10, Section F) PGP-I Indian Institute of Management Indore Indore 453331

Executive Summary

Just after working for 4 months at Dynamic Displays, Thomas Green was directly promoted to Senior Market Specialist from an account executive by the VP Shannon McDonald. The decision was not favored by his immediate boss Frank Davis. Shortly after moving into the position, Green openly disagreed with the sales targets set by his boss. Davis, on the other hand, considered Greens style of work unacceptable. This further worsened the relationship between the two. The problem in the case is for Green to save his career, while at the same time maintaining a healthy relationship with both his bosses.

Table of Contents Page no Letter of Transmittal Executive Summary 1. Introduction 2. Problem Statement 3. Analysis 4. Alternatives 5. Evaluation of Alternatives 6. Recommendations 7. Appendix 2 3 5 5 5 6 7 7 8

1. Introduction
Company background:
Dynamic Displays specializes in self service options in the banking industry, travel and hospitality industry, hotels, and car rental industry. It is a full service provider offering hardware, software, engineering and maintenance support. According to a report, airport kiosks were a mature application with most US leisure passengers shifting to web check-ins.

Thomas Green
A graduate from the University of Georgia, Thomas Green started his career as an account executive in the banking division of National Business Solutions, selling ATMs to regional banks. In March 2007, he moved on to Dynamic Displays as an account executive in their travel and hospitality division. He is currently the Divisions Senior Market Specialist for the Eastern region of North America. His currently reports to Frank Davis, the Marketing Director, who in turn reports to Shannon McDonald, VP Travel Division.

Path to Senior Market Specialist

Green, in his first four months, as an account executive, performed more than expectation which gained him visibility at the company headquarters. McDonald rewarded his performance by directly promoting him to Senior Market Specialist against Daviss wishes.

2. Problem Statement
What steps should Green take to save his career by managing his situation with Davis and McDonald?

3. Analysis
Given that they both are University of Georgia alumni and Georgia natives, Green can assume that McDonald will back him up in whatever decision he takes. Looking at Greens exceeding performance, Davis may be insecure about his own job.

Working at National Business Solutions, Thomas Green enjoyed impressive success at selling ATMs. Descrying the large opportunities at Dynamic Displays, he joined as an account executive accelerating the rollout of automated kiosks in 20 airports and purchasing the upgraded

versions of the software. His fast growth and marketing prowess were observed at the company headquarters. Moreover, the geographic connection with Shannon McDonald and his perception of the client opportunities in this field directly promoted him to the position of a senior Market specialist, against Daviss wishes who had previously chosen another person to fill this position. On the surface, he was successful in his role because he identified the industry trends, evaluated new business opportunities, and developed strategies to obtain sales. However, his position required more accountability and structure which he clearly lacked. Green followed an entrepreneurial spirit whereas his boss had a more micromanaging style of leadership. So all in all, even though Green was successful in handling clients, he failed in basic structuring and reporting of his work. Also, the objectives of these two people were very distinct in that Green focused more on long term returns while Davis had a short term focus. Thomas Green developed new upselling and cross-selling software program after realizing the continued financial distress in the airline industry. Due to this reason, he opposed the 10% sales target. Davis however, supported this because the company has had a 10% CAGR over the past five years and he felt that the hotel and car rental markets were still untapped. The conflict between Davis and Green was not only based on the data available to both but a lot of psychological biases as well. Initial apprehension by Frank Davis in the appointment of an account executive to the post of Senior Market Specialist was aggravated when Green openly challenged his 10% targets in the annual budget meeting. This deteriorated the relationship between Frank Davis and Thomas Green with Davis using strong words like lack of enthusiasm, illogical, unfeasible, dangerous and negativity towards Greens attitude. Green on his part did not follow Daviss instructions on way of working. He started confiding in other employees rather than sorting things out with Davis one on one, which was his forte.

4. Alternatives
1. Green has been working on the field for 3 months. Based on his experience, he can negotiate directly with Davis about why the 10% target was unfeasible from the beginning. Once the communication gap between them is bridged, the differences of opinion about how to go about with the sales targets can be resolved by negotiating with each other. Green can try resolving the perpetual conflict between them by justifying his working style. 2. Another alternative can be going to McDonald first. Thomas Green can explain to her that the basic issue is the difference in working styles of Davis and Green. McDonald,

being their boss, will come up with a compromised solution to be followed by both Davis and Green. 3. Thomas Green can also adapt himself to Daviss way of working. Although this would be in contradiction with Greens personality and values, it would resolve the present conflict between the two.

5. Evaluation of Alternatives
Bypassing the immediate boss and talking directly to the Vice President might aggravate the current situation to the extent beyond a solution, since Davis would feel left out. Involving McDonald directly by Green in the situation would put her in a very tricky situation and that would seem to be a sign of favoritism. Since McDonald had already asked Green to take care of the situation with Davis, she may regard this initiative from Green as his incapability. Hence, option 2 is unfeasible. A person develops his work style over years of practice and changing the same is not possible within a very short span of time. Even if Green resorts to Daviss style of working, it is highly unlikely that he will be able to continue working productively in the new style. Hence, option 3 is also unfeasible.

6. Recommendations
Matters concerning power and politics are best resolved by negotiation and diplomacy, and hence this situation calls for an effective dialogue between Davis and Green. Additionally, interpersonal communication has been Greens forte, so he can leverage his skills to improve the current situation. He can also recommend having a personal assistant during his client meetings, where the assistant will be responsible in keeping records for later documentation and data presentation.

We briefly illustrate below the various theoretical models used in arriving at the above alternatives. Different Kinds of Powers Exercised Green: Powers Davis: Powers

Referent power Individual Power

Expert power Informational power

Individual Power

Coercive Power Legitimate power


Increasing Non-substitutability of Green

Controlling Knowledge


Differentia tion

Controlling Tasks

Powers at Greens Disposal

Attacking and Blaming Managing Impressions Organizational Politics Creating Obligations Cultivating Networks Formin Coalitions Controlling Information