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Thomas Green Power Office Politics and a Career in Crisis Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2447 1790 Words (6 Pages) W. Earl Sasser, Heather Beckham Harvard Business School : 2095
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Thomas Green was recently promoted to division senior market specialist in Dynamic Displays. Green preferred to work on his own time and in his own way, letting his work and the results of his division showcase his progress. However, his boss (Frank Davis) did not like his approach. He wants his employees to give him documented strategies they are implementing in their regions along with charts to back up their claims. Despite his attempts to discipline Green, Davis feels that Green has exceeded the stage where it is possible to ensure that he works positively for the company and insists he must be let go. Green who had not paid much heed to his boss’ persistent requests and complaints about him is now faced with the issue of negotiating a way to keep his job.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. What are the work styles and personalities of Thomas Green and Fran Davis?

  2. How do the actions of Thomas Green differ from the expectations of Frank Davis?

  3. What is your analysis of Thomas Green’s actions and job performance and what errors has he made?

  4. What are the possible underlying agendas of Davis and MacDonald? Describe them.

  5. What should Thomas Green do? Discuss using slides, summaries, and your textbook chapters and consider this question in terms of concepts such as power, conflict management styles, negotiation, and bargaining models (Bolman and Deal, Fisher and Ury)

Case Analysis for Thomas Green Power Office Politics and a Career in Crisis

1. What are the work styles and personalities of Thomas Green and Fran Davis?

Frank Davis has worked in the same company for 17 years; his work style is very detailed oriented and focused on the small aspects of the job. He expects his subordinates to follow through on his expectations and is not particularly fond of being publicly challenged. In addition to that, Frank Davis himself is an organized individual who likes to keep track of his schedule and all his ideas and strategies. Moreover, he expects his subordinates to also write down their approaches and strategies and come up with data to back up their claims. He also expects his colleagues and subordinates to be prompt with their responses to his requests. His approach to dealing with problems is methodical and to-the-point. He prefers to have meetings and discussions written down and communicated over email so as to keep track of them. 

On the other hand, Thomas Green is fairly new to the company and the job market itself. He is more big-picture-focused and believes as long as he gets the job done, the small details do not matter. The lack of experience in a managerial role for Green makes him easygoing towards his superior's requirements. In particular, he thinks that his boss wanting to know his schedule is a sign of micromanaging. Moreover, Green also prefers having his strategies and ideas in his mind rather than having them written down and having concrete data to back up his claims. In addition to that, he also publicly and privately challenges his boss based on his own understanding. Thomas Green is more easy-going and focused on meeting his targets rather than following office guidelines and meeting expectations set out by his boss. Both these individuals have different work styles and personalities. With Davis being Green's boss, this has led to the current situation for the latter. 

2. How do the actions of Thomas Green differ from the expectations of Frank Davis?

Frank Davis expects his subordinates to be organized and methodical in their approach. He expects his employees to regularly update their calendars so that he can know where they are and which meeting, they have set up. Green prefers to work on his own schedule and frequently fails to update his calendar. Thomas Green also moves around his meetings if he thinks they are not yielding fruitful results. He does so without taking Frank Davis into confidence. Moreover, Thomas Green prefers to have his ideas and strategies in his own head, rather than print out charts and write down his ideas to share with the clients and his boss. This is starkly different from Frank Davis' expectations. Davis prefers that any ideas or strategies be written out in detail with supporting data so he can know how well or poorly each region is performing. In Frank Davis' opinion, having several PowerPoint presentations, spreadsheets, models, and emails are an effective method to keep track of how a region is performing and also prove to him (as a boss) how effectively his employees are performing. On the other hand, Thomas Green views such efforts as flashy, unnecessary, and political as they do not show any real sales. The lack of documented strategies and their implementation differs from how Frank Davis expects his employees to operate. This proves to him that no creative strategies are being implemented. In addition to that, Frank Davis views Thomas Green's approach to addressing future sales forecasts as unacceptable and detrimental to the organization. He expects disagreement but he does not agree with Green's negative approach to his forecasts. Moreover, Green frequently ignores or forgets his boss requesting information from him, viewing his requests as mere reminders than an urgent need to provide information, this goes against Frank's expectations of his subordinates. He expects them to deliver information requested of them in a timely manner and follow up to his calls and emails, something Green fails to do. 

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