Case Study #4

Read the case study “National Products” at the end of Chapter 6 and answer the questions at the end of the reading.National ProductsSusan Thomas is the vice president for human resources at National Products, a manufac-turing company with 500 employees. The company has an opening for a general manager in oneof its product divisions, and the president asked Susan to review the backgrounds of three depart-ment managers who are interested in being promoted to this position. She is expected eitherto recommend one of the three internal candidates or to begin recruitment of external candi-dates. The internal candidates are Charley Adams, Bill Stuart, and Ray Johnson. The followinginformation about each candidate was obtained from performance records, interviews with thecandidates, and discussions with the boss of each candidate.Charley AdamsCharley Adams has been a production manager for the past eight years. He is an easy-going person who loves to swap jokes and tell stories. Charley stresses the importance of coop-eration and teamwork. He is uncomfortable with conflict, and he tries to smooth it over quicklyor find an acceptable compromise.Before becoming a manager, Charley was always willing to take on extra assignments forhis boss and to provide helpful advice to less experienced coworkers in his department. Charleyis proud of his reputation as a “good team player” and a loyal “company man.” It is important toCharley to be liked and appreciated by people in the organization.Charley comes from a cultural background emphasizing the importance of close familyties. He holds frequent Sunday dinners at which the entire Adams clan gathers for an afternoonof swimming, baseball, eating, and singing. On Saturdays, Charley likes to play golf with friends,including some of the other managers in the company.Charley wants his department to have a good performance record, but he is reluctant tojeopardize relations with subordinates by pushing them to improve their performance beyondcurrent levels, which he believes are adequate. When Charley gives out performance bonuses tosubordinates, he usually tries to give something to everyone.Bill StuartBill Stuart has been the manager of an engineering department for three years. He waspromoted to that position because he was the best design engineer in the company and was ambi-tious to further his career by going into management. At the time, Bill had little understanding ofwhat the job would be like, but he saw it as both an opportunity and a challenge.Bill grew up as somewhat of a loner. He still feels awkward around people he doesn’t knowwell, and he dislikes social functions such as cocktail parties and company picnics. As a designengineer, Bill preferred assignments where he could work alone rather than team projects. Heis impatient with bureaucratic authority figures and he is critical of corporate policies that heregards as too restrictive. Bill gets along well with his present boss, because he is left alone to runhis engineering group in his own way.Bill likes challenging assignments, and he tries to save the most difficult and interestingdesign projects for himself. Although Bill usually performs these tasks effectively, his preoccupa-tion with them sometimes takes time away from some of his managerial responsibilities, such asdeveloping and mentoring subordinates.Ray JohnsonRay Johnson has been a corporate marketing manager for five years. He grew up in a poorethnic neighborhood where he learned to be tough in order to survive. He has worked hard toget where he is, but for Ray, good performance has been a way to get ahead rather than somethinghe enjoys for its own sake.Ray lives in a large house with a big swimming pool in the best part of town, and he likesto throw big parties at his home. He wears expensive clothes, drives a luxury car, and he belongsto the best country club. Ray is married, but fancies himself as quite a playboy and has had manyaffairs, including some with female employees.Ray views the organization as a political jungle, and he is quick to defend himself againstany threats to his reputation, authority, or position. He tries to undermine or discredit anybodywho criticizes or opposes him. He keeps a tight control over the operations of his department,and he insists that subordinates check with him before taking any action that is not routine.Copyright © 1978 by Gary YuklQuestions1.  What are the dominate motives for each candidate?2.  What are the implications of these traits for the success of each candidate if selected for thegeneral manager position?3.  Should Susan recommend one of these candidates for the position, or look for externalcandidates?

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