The following study is based on a case wherein the protagonist, Alex Sander at the age 32 is the youngest and the newest product manager in the toiletries Division of Landon Care Products Inc, an U. S based company which was taken over by a European beauty products giant- ‘Avant-Garde’. The protagonist can be said of possessing a Type-A personality and occasionally flashes traits of being a Machiavellian. Alex within one year of joining Landon has successfully rebranded two national skin care products and has been roped in by Avant-Garde to reformulate a stale product of the company in the U.
S under a new name-Nourish. The case is in the form of a combination of narrative and dialogue and the central characters apart from Alex include Alex’s boss – Sam Glass and Alex’s neighbor and employees of the organization. The case is seen from the view point of two parties-Alex and Sam. Alex wants a higher position in the organization, more say in the strategic decision making roles and on the flip side to it we will see how the demanding, critical and controlling behavior is becoming the roadblock in begetting Alex higher managerial positions.
The case revolves around a 360 degree performance review in which Alex is supposed to get the performance feedbacks from the supervisors, colleagues, direct reports and everyone with whom Alex was working. Sander is reluctant about the feedback and has skepticism as to how genuine will the feedback be and considers it as a waste of time. As the case unfolds we get to see a number of facets of Alex’s personality. There are instances where the Machiavellian traits get highlighted for e. g. In a conversation with the neighbor , Alex conveys, If being pushy and commanding is the only way to get things done then it’s worth it to me.
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Even if I have to steamroll over someone’s feelings. Later in the case Alex can be seen scolding Betsy Garrison, a veteran to Alex. This instance shows the aggressive, dominant and demanding character of the protagonist even if the person in conversation was a senior. Later in the case Sam has a dialogue with Sander where Sander argues with him that the process of feedback is inconsequential as performance can be judged by the compensation one received and that Sander was receiving what was deserved which implied that there was no lack of performance.
Although this argument was negated by Sam and the pivotal question of whether Sander will be accepted as a leader emerged. In the closing paragraphs Alex hints of there being a possibility of quitting the job owing to lack of say in the organization. Although Alex was at the helm of a lot of strategic decisions but wanted more freedom which indicated that Alex needed complete autonomy in operations and decision making. Sam on the other hand admits that while hiring Alex he knew there would be waves caused due to the working style of Alex but since his personal interest was getting served he wanted Alex to continue.
There are exhibits attached to the case out of which one exhibit tells about the feedbacks for Alex. Although a lot of them praise Alex for the exemplary talent and hard work a lot of the feedbacks are critical about the stern and mean behavior of the protagonist. The beauty of the case lies in the fact that there has not been any use of a pronoun for Alex which leaves us with open interpretation of the topic of either perceiving Alex as a Male or a Female. Some women managers feel like they aren’t taken seriously have to work twice as hard to get half the credit.
So you have to consider whether she felt like she wasn’t taken seriously as a manager. The group has to consider the excellence of Alex and the effect of the stern behavior on other employees’ productivity and motivation and come to a concordant solution which establishes success for the company and caters to the needs of the individual as well. BACKGROUD OF THE CASE The case study gives a glimpse of a normal day in the life of Alex Sander. Alex Sander, an MBA from MIT Sloan, is the newest and youngest product manager in the Toiletries division of Landon Care Products Inc.
... the Life of Alex Sander: Driving in the Fast Lane at Landon Care Products” Situation/Analysis: Alex Sander is the newest and youngest product manager in the Toiletries ... serious. He needs to let Alex know that the organization takes this process and feedback seriously. * Third, Sam must not only focus on ...
, a cosmetics products company headquartered in Connecticut, which in January 2007 had been acquired by Avant-Garde, a European Beauty Company. At 5:25 A. M, Alex is in conversation with Neighbor at gym, discussing about his 360° performance review. Alex explains the working of 360° feedback tool and how it is different from traditional review system. Alex also conjectures his boss, Sam’s feedback about Alex, temper and way of dealing with people. Alex expresses his displeasure about 360° not being entirely anonymous.
Further, Alex discusses about own style of working at Landon, how Alex keeps employees engaged and tries to find out attitudes of those who are not happy with the assignments given to them. For example, if he entrusts somebody with an assignment, he would just keep track of updates and offers his help as & when needed and when somebody is unhappy, he pushes them to find out their thinking process. Alex is impatient and intolerant with lack of commitment from employees but he believes that his temper is an effective management tool for getting work done. At 9:00 A.
M, at office Alex is shouting on Betsy Garrison, who is the marketing department’s senior sales analyst as she couldn’t meet Alex’s expectations at work place, around that time Hansen Leong, Alex’s assistant comes to inform Alex about alumni magazine’s interviewer. The magazine was interviewing Alex for an article on “High-Potential” product managers as part of a career development issues. The interviewer asked him about few aspects like how Alex ended up with product management at Landon & asked for Alex’s views on the type of person best suited for product manager.
At 10:30 A. M, Alex is in discussion with Sam Glass, over Alex’s 360° performance review. Glass is one of the three product group supervisors in the toiletries division of land and care product. Sam handovers the 360° feedback report to Alex to read and analyze his own working methods and take corrective actions to improve. Glass points out some issue which needs attention from Alex, such as the feedback highlights contradiction in what Alex says and does & even though Alex is younger than other product managers at Landon, Alex wants influence over
One of the most important things to keep in mind when assembling work teams is team efficacy. Team efficacy is basically where effective teams have confidence in them and each other in the ability to succeed. Everyone that will be a part of this developmental team will have to come together and agree on what is best for the subject at hand. You will have to come in agreement with one another to ...
strategic decisions. Glass suggests Alex to improve as a motivator, leader and team player. Glass emphasizes the point that Alex’s peer may respect him but doesn’t want Alex as their leader. At 2:00 P. M, Alex is in conference with four Connecticut-based U. S members of Nourish team for weekly meeting. They were disturbed with the Alex’s working style and pace. Alex further joined 12 virtual members from France, Japan, England & Germany, and discussed about the progress of the project.
Satisfied, Sander then spent the next hour expanding on the brand’s market strategy for winning market share from competitors. Alex assigned appalling list of action to team members, and one of the German team members raised the issue against Alex regarding behavior. At 9:00 P. M, Exercising again at fitness center Alex and neighbor were discussing about Alex’s performance review, Alex was thinking of taking one of the two carrier paths. All Alex wanted to do was figure out Sam’s mentality and 360° feedback process.
Alex considers 360° review as a waste of time and refused to read 360° review feedback. At the end of the day, Sam was reviewing Alex’s situation with another senior, a product group supervisor. He agreed to the point that though Alex is shaking the environment and creating vibes Sam was having very high personal interest to keeping Alex. MAIN PROBLEMS Alex sander had the following issues 1. No interest in the whole 360 degree feedback process. Thought it was a total waste of time. Did not really appreciate his criticism 2. Alex wanted everything according to own wish.
Used aggressiveness to instill fear in the minds of people and even hurt their feelings to get the job done. 3. Alex had no fixed interest in his job. All that was wanted was to improve self and wanted to explore different fields in the job. The main problems faced by the Alex Sanders’ colleagues 1. Since Alex Sander shows traits of a Machiavellian, so he wanted all the colleagues to work at quick pace. There was no time given to the colleagues to adopt his working model. The ruthless, egotistical behavior with the other employees is also not appreciated by his peers.
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2. No one was really very comfortable with Alex Sander. He never really mixed around or interacted with any of his peers. He really lacked people skills; He never went and appreciated people on their work performance. He had a superiority complex as he always undermined the people in his team and thought his ideology is always right. 3. Alex sander was not a team leader and player. No doubt he was their best performer but he was never an inspiring character. He never motivated other employees to work hard. He just gave them work and expected it to get completed.
His main problem was that he wanted high results but apart from his own work he never bothered extending a helping hand to his peers. 4. He never really had a lot of trust in his colleagues. He would ask for every minute to minute updates. Sometimes showing confidence and faith in itself proves to be a lot of inspiration but this was one quality sander lacked. This proved to be very de motivating for his peers and colleagues. Problem faced by Sam Glass 1. One of the biggest problems faced by Sam Glass was how to channelize Sander’s talent and skills in the right direction.
When he hired him, he knew that Sander would create problems. Sander was no doubt a brilliant performer and having someone like him in your company is a huge asset. The main concern was how to avoid the waves created by Sander and still have him in the organization s Possible solutions 1. Alex should be suggested to indulge in activities like yoga or do courses like “art of living”. This would make him more calm, patient and tolerant. 2. Alex has always got his promotions very easily. With his dedicated work he has successfully climbed the ladder very quickly.
Maybe this is one of most important reason of him being arrogant. Removing him from his position of product manager temporarily and making him a part of the team could help in reducing his arrogance and changing his attitude towards colleagues. 3. Alex had a very strict authority over other employees. Firms have employees who work efficiently and other employees who don’t want to work at all. So this non efficient type of employees can be singled out by carrying out an evaluation. After finding them they can be put under Alex Sander’s
What is a team? As noted by Dwyer (2006) “The terms ‘team’ and ‘group’ are frequently used interchangeably, since on many occasions that they share almost identical characteristics”. Or in other words, a team is composed of two or more individuals who are working together interdependently and cooperatively towards a common purpose or goal. The team is the most important asset of any project; an ...
authority. Best possible solution Sander’s problems were lack of teamwork, lack of leadership, no consideration for others, narcissism, arrogance. We can say that he had a superiority complex. One best way in which these problems could be eradicated is making Sander realize that every individual has his/her own importance. Everyone has their own capabilities and strengths and to attain the best possible result one has to work with everyone as a team. This can be done by making Sander spend some time with the peers and colleagues outside office.
Arranging for corporate team building games, recreational activities like playing sports, watching movies together, arranging team suppers etc would build the necessary bonding required to work as a team. This would automatically build respect, compassion and consideration inside Sander’s heart for his colleagues which would automatically eradicate Sam’s problem. This would transform Sander into a team player which could beget Sander top managerial positions and respect from the employees in the future. There can be a 3 point solution to improve the 360 degree evaluation process 1.
Enlightening employees about the 360 degree feedback process. 2. Converting subjective type feedback into MCQs. 3. Automating the whole feedback process. MANAGERIAL LEARNINGS 1. A manager should be more open to experiences and should learn from them. 2. A manger should not hurt the self respect of his subordinates rather he should try to motivate them for good results. 3. A Manager should be good listener and should have the courage and humility of giving credits to the sub-ordinates they deserve. 4. Manager should be more conscientious. 5.
Manager should be opportunistic in his approach and should be evaluative in his ideas with respect to the market situation. 6. Manager should have the ability of synchronizing the work of all the departments before making strategic decisions. 7. Manager should be open to feedbacks and should utilize feedbacks for his/her self development. 8. Organizational ethics & values should be strictly adhered to. 9. There should be a fine balance of professionalism and emotions in the behavior of a manager and the employees should get ample time for their personal lives so that they are more focused towards their work when on job.
Teamwork: Pros and Cons There are several types of teams and reasons for forming them. There are academic teams, consisting of a group of students in a learning environment, whose purpose would be to reach a common goal such as a class project. Teams in the workplace could consist of a group of administrators or employees whose purpose could range from deciding on what type of food to serve at a ...