1.Describe the people-related problems or issues Ann Wood faced during the day. Did she handle these effectively? If not, what do you believe she should have done?
Do they notice that Ann is one step (international experience) from reaching her goal of becoming a senior manger? No longer just a successful individual performer, now Ann’s success is measured by overall results of her whole marketing team.
Is the Internet breakdown strictly a technical problem? Will they probe to consider that people may have run this analysis too close to the deadline, leaving no room for such setbacks?
Do they pick up on the question of loyalty? Is it about money, or is this a sign that Jackson’s (and/or Ann’s) management style is not inspiring loyalty?
Do they question why it appears that this company is not paying talent at market rates? Are they missing the three factors: value, rareness, imitability?
Is Ann Wood a high-involvement manager? If so, provide evidence. If not, how well do you think she’ll perform in her new job as head of marketing?
Encourage them to consider, even debate, both sides of this question
She has her MBA and was a successful performer as an associate and in her first assisting role. She knows the business from a broadened and seasoned perspective. What might the Career Style Inventory reveal about her?
Ann may be inclined to be a high-involvement manager, but is she working in a system of high-involvement managing? Ask them to apply the five key components (Exhibit 1.3) to this case to look for positive or negative signs of the prevailing Norwich Enterprises way of managing their strategic organizational behavior.
Assume that Ann Wood wants her managers and associates to be the foundation for her department’s competitive advantages. Use the framework summarized in Exhibit 1.2 to assess the degree to which Ann’s people are a source of competitive advantage at this point in time.
There is room for disagreement on where her team will fall in this analysis. They may agree that they are valuable, but are their talents rare? Perhaps, for it appears they are able to leave for ‘better jobs.’ Are their talents difficult to imitate? Again, it depends on how sophisticated the analyses and productions the company needs them to do to keep them competitive are.
Students may note that consumer products place Ann’s companies on the field of fierce battles for the customer’s buying choices. Thus, if her people fail to rise to the challenge and give the company the information that it needs to stay out front, then, they can put Norwich at a competitive disadvantage.
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