Case Study 1

New administrative assistant in the Research Branch

             The research division is responsible for developing new management assessment and developing products.

Sue’s responsibilities

·         To keep track of the branch’s $300,000 budget,

  • To make travel arrangements for the lead researcher and provide graphics and word processing support,
  • To provide managerial support for other four members of the research division,
  • Sue’s unsatisfactory performance for the past six months,
  • Sue’s reluctance to follow the requirements of new projects and duties,
  • Sue’s personal life issues and how they have affected her performance,
  • Other members’ dissatisfaction over Sue’s poor performance

The research branch performs important duties of research to an organization. All members should perform their responsibilities effectively to ensure success of the branch. The duties bestowed to Sue are very important and her poor performance will hinder the branch from achieving its objectives in developing products and new management assessment. This requires prompt intervention to keep the branch’s performance on track.

The first duty of Sue is to keep track of the $300,000 budget of the branch. Sue’s need for assistance in making the budget may lead to delay in the carrying out of the branch’s projects. Budgeting and implementation needs competent people to deal with financial matters. In addition, failure to follow the right procedure when budgeting may lead to misappropriation of branch finances leading to losses.

The second duty of Sue is to make travel arrangements for the chief researcher and provide him/her with graphics and word processing assistance. However, Sue does not perform these duties effectively. For instance, she assembles materials for a workshop in the way they are supplied without following a given plan. In addition, she arranges to have the lead researcher later than the stipulated hour. Sue is not able to prepare new graphs without aid from other members; she fails to follow new instructions. These factors affect the efficiency of the branch’s performance in meeting its objectives due to wastage of time.

The last duty for Sue to perform is to give managerial support to other members of the division. However, due to Sue‘s incompetence to perform her own duties, she cannot be able to give other members the managerial support. In fact, they complain that she is hindering them from accomplishing their duties and projects.

It is imperative to note that Sue’s poor performance may have resulted from her unsatisfying family life. Sue, together with her husband, had been laid off from a good job. Their migration to Minneapolis to search for work has affected the whole family. Her husband has not been able to secure another job. These factors may have contributed to her poor performance.

Several interventions can be used to rectify the situation involving Sue’s unsatisfactory performance. The lead researcher needs to understand the emotional distress Sue’s experiencing. It is shown that Sue shows some distractions from work. This is a sign of emotional discomfort. Therefore, the leader should discuss with Sue some of the possible solutions to her mental distress. This may include giving her some time to regain from previous trauma. Another intervention is to have an effective teamwork of helping each other to learn. Since Sue is new to the branch, it is important to help her adapt fully to the new work and this may take a long period but she should be motivated to work hard. She should not be criticized negatively but rather be guided and counseled on how to put up with her personal life issues. Another intervention is to relieve her some of the duties in which she has less experience. However, she should be allowed to learn while performing those jobs (Fairholm & Fairholm, 2008). Using these interventions will help Sue to develop positive attitude to work and improve in her performance.


The research branch performs duties that are vital to an organization. Every member of the branch should perform efficiently the duties given to him or her. Sue’s duties are critical to the research division’s efficiency hence her poor performance can result into inefficiency of the branch in accomplishing its projects. Therefore, there is need for intervention. Some of the interventions include emotional support for Sue to recover from past trauma, motivating her to work hard, relieving her some duties and allowing her to learn while performing some duties. Laying her off will not help but affect her further. Therefore, the strategies should aim at improving her performance by.

Case Study 2

The Notorious Business Professor

Steve’s job duties

  • To teach two classes in every semester,
  • To develop management research program,
  • To advice and develop PhD candidates
  • Undergraduate students attitudes toward Steve,
  • Steve’s behaviors and factors influencing how he behaves,
  • Steve’s relationship with others in the business school and the PhD candidates,

The business school has eight professors and each has duties to perform. Professor Steve has been performing his duties effectively for five years in teaching two classes every semester. This is seen from the way undergraduate students gauge his performance as being above average. Therefore, Steve performs well in teaching undergraduate students and he has therefore found favor with them.

Another duty Steve performs is to develop management research program. This is where Steve has excelled by bringing positive impacts to the school. His management research program has brought in $600,000 to the school, which accounts for more than fifty percent of the school’s budget. Steve has also won several prominent rewards due to his research and these factors show that Steve is qualified in the management research program.

Steve advices and develops PhD candidates. However, Steve is not doing well in this area. Steve has not maintained a good record in developing and graduating PhD candidates. Steve is hitherto to be on a PhD thesis committee or an advisor to any PhD candidates.

Steve has problems in dealing with graduate students. This is due to some factors such as his belief that the business school and PhD students are not especially good. He does not acknowledge the school’s reputation for good performance nationally. In addition, Steve graduated with honors from a reputable business school in the nation. Therefore, Steve believes that his qualifications are very high and the current school cannot offer them. He believes that the PhD candidates are not qualified for his attention. Steve underwent through a competitive program and he is younger than other PhD candidates are and this makes him feel superior over them. These are factors influencing Steve’s behavior leading to poor attraction of graduates into the school.

Steve has developed a poor relationship with PhD candidates. He has hired twelve PhD candidates as his research assistants but none of them works with him for more than two years. Steve fires them frequently, for instance, the one he fires due his failure to do laboratory research after attending his uncle’s funeral. Steve also wants to make others feel insufficient when presenting their materials. He has a negative attitude to them and asks questions to prove them wrong. These are some of the factors that have made Steve to have a poor relationship with others. This has led to PhD candidates telling other applicants to focus on other places apart from the school of business.

To continue Steve’s tenure has both positive and negative impacts. However, this depends on the agreement between Steve and the dean of the school. It is notable that some professors are for continuation of Steve’s while others are against it. As the dean, I will discuss with Steve issues concerning his behavior and how it has affected the school. It is likely that Steve is not aware of the losses he is bringing to the school like that of making other candidates to go for other programs. Therefore, as the dean I will tell Steve to change his behavior within a particular time limit otherwise his tenure will be over. Despite Steve’s record of good performance in management research program, Steve needs to realize that his work is to bring positive change he needs in the school rather than regarding the school as being inferior. Steve should change his attitude, avoid his superiority complex, and enhance cohesion and teamwork in the school. He should be a team player and coordinate well both with other professors and PhD candidates to make the school successful (Boje, 2008). This means that he should contribute toward attracting other candidates instead of being an obstacle. Since he is a researcher in management, he should realize that good management is leadership by example. Thus, he should be a model to the PhD candidates by cooperating with others to make the school successful and attract more applicants.


For the school of business to be successful in attracting and developing PhD candidates, Steve has to change his attitude and behavior. Instead of regarding the school and the PhD candidates as less qualified, Steve should coordinate with other professors and graduates to bring progress to the school. Therefore, to continue Steve’s tenure depends on how well he changes his attitude and behavior within the one-year period prior to the renewal of his tenure. Nevertheless, if Steve does not show effective and prompt change of behavior and attitude, his tenure should not be renewed.






Boje, D. M. (2008). Critical theory ethics for business and public administration. IAP publishers

Fairholm, M. R., & Fairholm, G. W. (2008). Understanding Leadership Perspectives: Theoretical and Practical Approaches. Springer Publishers

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