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Case Study - Joe's Problem

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Case Study: What is Joe’s Problem? Lisa A. Jones

Introduction This case study describes the problems resulting from the promotion of Joe Doss at Ajax. Joe had an outstanding technical mind. He enjoyed doing research and working alone in his lab. Recognized as an outstanding contributor to the company, he received a promotion to head of a new research team. Problems immediately ensued, administrative details went unattended, and team members found it difficult to talk to Joe. He was preoccupied with technical problems.

Organizational Level Problems The organization promoted Joe based on his technical skills, without taking into consideration Joe’s individual personality or evaluating his ability to lead the new research team. By promoting an individual prior to evaluating his leadership capabilities, the organization created a situation in which job dissatisfaction occurred among team-members and the team leader, Joe. This also created unnecessary stressors for all involved. Due to immediate conflicts among the team members, there was no cohesiveness within the team. This created an internal struggle for the team and the beginnings of an individualistic culture, where team members did not regard the importance of teamwork. The administrative model for decision makers in this case included limited knowledge of the employee in question and of his abilities to lead a team effectively.

Supervisory Level Problems Joe’s supervisor failed to recognize his inexperience as a leader prior to promoting him. He did not communicate the role expectations to Joe in his capacity as team leader and failed to recognize Joe’s inability to lead effectively. There was no leadership training and no discussion or explanation of group norms. There was a lack of management support for Joe. The framing through which the supervisor...

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