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Thomas Green: Power, office Politics and a Career in Crisis – Case Analysis

Essay by   •  June 13, 2019  •  Case Study  •  1,688 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,277 Views

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Problem Statement:

Thomas Green was chosen as the new Senior Marketing Specialist at Dynamic Displays by Shannon McDonald, who did not collaborate with the marketing director, Frank Davis. Thomas Green and Frank Davis have many differences in their working style and opinions as well as a lack of communication which could have a strong negative affect on their team members and productivity.

Hypothesis 1: There is an apparent personality conflict between Thomas Green and Frank Davis.

Upon receiving his promotion, Shannon McDonald warned Green that this could be a tricky situation. She took a chance by promoting Green without Davis’ approval. Davis, the marketing director, would not have chosen Green if was given the option. Frank Davis has worked for Dynamic Displays for 17 years and has worked his way up through various positions. Green, on the other hand, was 17 years younger than Davis and was fresh into his career. Davis has had many issues with Green from the beginning and explains them to McDonald in multiple emails.

He explains to McDonald that Green does not keep him updated on his plans or schedule, does not follow up on information requested of him, and that he lacks enthusiasm. Davis explained these to Green and he also set up corrective measures to succeed in the position. Green needs to make a communication strategy, update outlook calendar and return calls promptly, provide feedback to requests, and demonstrate a more positive attitude.

It is very clear that Green does not have the same personality or management style as Davis. There is also a lack of communication between the two of them. It is possible that Davis entered the situation with a sour taste due to the fact he did not want him to receive the position in the first place. This might be causing him to create larger problems or exaggerate them. Thomas Green has a much more laid-back approach than Davis who has much more urgency and intensity at work. His management style may be seen as micromanaging, which most do not agree with.

Davis is also very hands on by using presentations, proposals, and data to back him up with clients. This helps his clients fully understanding what they are investing in. Green, on the other hand, prefers face to face. He delivers his ideas directly to clients and keeps all the data “in his head.”

Hypothesis 2: Thomas Green does not fully understand the expectation of his new promotion as the Senior Marketing Specialist, since there was no official meeting between Green and Davis before the promotion.

Before his promotion, Thomas Green spent a week in Boston for training at the company headquarters. McDonald and Mary Jacobs, the national sales director, spend time with Green, getting to know him better. They had very similar backgrounds to each other causing an instant connection. This is when he learned about the open position. Over the next month, he traveled to Boston often to meet with McDonald and built a relationship with her. This ultimately awarded him the position.

This would have been perfect if McDonald was his direct supervisor, however he made a mistake not creating a relationship with Frank Davis. Davis is his direct supervisor; one level below McDonald. Green did not have any background on Davis because he did not take the time to meet with him while he was visiting Boston. This would have helped him better understand his management style and job expectations.

Hypothesis 3: Shannon McDonald made a mistake hiring Thomas Green without the input of Frank Davis.

As Vice President of her division, McDonald has every right to hire and fire people as she sees fits. However, she should let the direct supervisors help make those decisions. Green spent a lot of time in Boston meeting with McDonald, but neither one of them made it a point to introduce Davis into the situation. He should have been involved in the interviewing process and then decide if Green would be the right person to fill the position. I believe McDonald overlooked his qualifications and focused more on their relationship when considering him for the position. The fact that she warned him there would be issues with his direct supervisor should have been a big enough red flag.

Hypothesis 4: Thomas Green may have spent too much time dazzling Senior Management which helped him be awarded a promotion he was not quite ready for.

Green was able to impress McDonald and Jacobs from the beginning. He used their common interests and relationship to help further his career goals instead of realizing what would be best for the company at the time. They went to the same college and grew up in the same state. These two commonalities caused McDonald’s judgement to be clouded. She took a chance with him even though she knew he was not qualified. Green knows that he is not qualified for the position either. He has poor strategic and tactical skills and also does not take the time to understand the company culture and values. He is very bright and has potential, but his stubbornness might be getting in the way. He has a lot of self-confidence and has not asked for guidance from his boss or McDonald.

Hypothesis 5: Frank Davis may have started their relationship with a bias opinion and a closed mind.

Davis did not think Green was correct for the position. He believes he is not experienced enough and is not able to handle the responsibilities of the position. As mentioned in hypothesis 1, the negative start could be causing Davis to create more conflict or exaggerate the issues. Green also made the mistake of publicly disagreeing with Davis during a sales meeting in front of all their co-workers. This is something he should have discussed with Davis outside of the meeting. Davis was not impressed with Green’s performance and his work style.


- Green and Davis should reduce the communication gap between them in hope to improve their professional relationship.

- Dynamic Displays could complete a 360 review for their employees.

- Dynamic Displays should create more training programs for new and promoted employees.

- Dynamic Displays should increase training and team building.

- Shannon McDonald should include her supervisors when considering candidates for positions in her division.

- Davis should learn more about his own management style



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