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Business Management: Case Study:
Summary of Case Study:
This case study is about Meg and her employers at First Union Bank. She was Vice President for training at First Union Federal. Her division (known as “staff”) was responsible for the training and development of “line” divisions. These divisions had direct communication with the customers which allowed them a higher status in the company. Meg was promoted to Vice President of her division after 5 years of hard work and was given an office one week after her promotion. She tried to keep the cost of her office amenities as low as possible. After sometime she was told by her boss that the president of First Union was concerned with Meg’s office size as it went against building code. Upon further research she found that the restrictions in the building code had been broken in the past for departments that generated high revenues. She felt unsure how to proceed with this situation as she was not as politically active as her male colleagues. So, she started formulating plans to elevate her political position in the company.
A situational analysis has four parts 1) Product situation 2) Competitive situation 3) Distribution situation and 4) Environmental factors (Weihrich, 1982). In Meg’s case the product or service is her experience, work ethic and relationship with her colleagues in her department. As she is the first women to get to a senior position only after EEOC’s intervention. It is prudent to think that her product or service is not greatly appreciated or widely thought of at her workplace. Then, her competitors are mostly men with considerable political power and close relationship with the senior management. If she were to fight back on this issue she could be replaced by anyone of them. Her distribution network in terms of getting her product or service recognized is not present. This is because she never considered playing the political arena and also has no mentor or link to anyone higher above her. Her belief in reward for hard work has always led her away from such games. Her office environment is more patriarchal, where women are not easily allowed to gain success and grow. The patriarchal mindset of the president is even shown with the choice of his office decoration that clearly demeans and demoralizes women.
There are several key issues that need to be addressed if Meg wishes to solve her problems. She has to consider first and foremost that is she willing enough to lose her job for the right thing. This is because she just came out of a recession and will go back to it if she confronts the situation head on. Also even if she wins in solving this problem by confronting it head on, there is a possibility that her future within the company would be more constrained. Her growth within the company might not have the same pace as before. Another issue arises that if Meg does play ball and go with the unjust wants of the company, she will indirectly signal other women in the company that their hard work and work ethic means nothing and by only playing political games can one prosper in such an environment.
The recommendation would be based on whether Meg gives more preference to her moral code or her job security. If she wants to be a good role model for other women and thinks fighting for rewards based on hard work will set a good example. She should confront her superiors regarding her situation. If she considers her financial stability more than anything, she would have to learn to play the political field as it’s a man’s world in her organization with less space for women.
Weihrich, H. (1982). The TOWS matrix—A tool for situational analysis. Long Range Planning, 15(2), 54-66. doi: 10.1016/0024-6301(82)90120-0
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