Case Analysis: Jensen Shoe Introduction Jensen Shoe explains a situation between an employee (Lyndon Brooks) and his immediate supervisor (Jane Kravitz). Here, both parties came into a situation with different motivations and perceptions. Brooks felt that he was being demoted by being taken off the line management and this interfered with his plans of advancing within the company. While, Kravitz also wanted to be a successful manager and have her team complete their task at hand. The initial working conditions started off well however, it took a turn for the worse once Brooks voiced his concern with his ability to complete both of his s. . ’s. This led to more discussions and they renegotiating how much work Brooks was to complete. By this time, both parties felt very differently about each other and were much less enthusiastic about their working relationship. It all boils down to each individual’s perceptions and motivations and how this shaped how each viewed the situation to be. ANALYSIS Brook’s Standpoint Brooks had previously worked with Kravitz before and thought she was reasonable. He was very optimistic in the beginning of this project because he wanted to prove himself and thought this would be a fresh start.
However, once Brooks got assigned to the African American and Latino vertical markets his fears about his past management experience began to resurface. Since he had previously led his own team in this area and did not complete his s. o. ’s, his feelings were that he was being set up for another failure. Also, this was an area in which he is not familiar with; he had the impression that he was being pigeon holed into a certain stereotype due to his race. In addition, it seems that his race as being an African American played a role in what type of projects he wanted to work in.
He did not want to be limited to just the African American market and wanted to work on his own topic of choice. Additionally, Brooks was uncomfortable with the fact that Kravitz was so willing to help his find another position within the company. Also, he was embarrassed by the extra attention that she gave him after he completed his environment project. His insecurities regarding his past work could have played a factor in it, and it shows that sometimes the Hawthorne effect does not necessarily always increase job productivity and satisfaction. Brooks came into this with a whole different set of motivations.
He had his own agenda to advance within the company, get back into line management, and have upper management recognize his worth. Thus, because of the extra attention that he was receiving he produced high quality work for the environmental project. Also, he planned to use the San Diego trip as a way to explore outside job opportunities. As a result of his lack of enthusiasm, Kravitz then pushed harder for him to complete his task on time. Brooks then started to question whether she was on his side and felt that she was being unreasonable with his request.
He grew wary of her and felt that she was only in it to advance her own career. Here, selective perception is playing a part, because he is now only trying to find the things that support his conclusion that Kravitz is no longer supporting him. In addition, there is an issue with over confidence bias. Brooks over estimates his own abilities and adamantly believes that he should be in management. Due to his superior attitude, it prevented him from being an effective team member under Kravitz’ management. Kravitz’s Standpoint Kravitz had previously worked with Brooks and found him to a charming and very professional.
She even expressed that given the right situation and motivation he could be a star. However, her immediate supervisor, Chuck expressed his reservations about Brooks and his work ethics. But, Kravitz realized that Chuck is quick to judge and went into the situation open minded. This self awareness is one of the ways that was discussed in class in how a manager can avoid the pitfalls on forming these biases. In addition, her initial judgment of Brooks was formed back when they worked together. However, even though she came into the situation open minded, the initial onversation between the two caught her off guard. He stated that he should be part of line management and not working as part of someone else team. Kravitz emphasized with him because she had previously been in the same situation. She wanted to help him get to where he wanted to be. However, once she saw that he was not going to finish his tasks, and then she started to question Brooks’ work ethics, and started to feel like perhaps Chuck was right. She desperately tried to find a way to motivate him and tried to work with him in coming to an acceptable conclusion.
Since her position has changed, confirmation bias plays a factor in which she might only gather the information that appears to conform to her beliefs about Brooks. One example is during the conversation about the San Diego trip, she only selected the information that he was trying to be sneaky in combining a business/ personal trip and trying to get out of doing his work. In addition, based on attribution theory, it is most likely that the cause is internal because Brooks is well capable of producing high quality work when he chooses to do so.
Kravitz is now frustrated because she does not know how to motivate him, yet, she tried to give him the benefit of the doubt but it has proven her wrong. It appears that for a while, an escalation of commitment did prevent her from seeing the early warning signs, however, this soon dissipated once she realized that she was not going to meet her own goals in completing the project. Conclusion Therefore, for this situation to work better, both parties could change a few things. First, Brooks’ motivations for advancement cannot take precedence over being an effective team member and completing his tasks.
He chose to prioritize the projects that he wanted to work on because it was at the attention of the Executive Management which would advance his own agenda. Also, he needs to recognize that perhaps it was a demotion, but Kravitz is a prime example of how the company allows its employees to get back into management positions when the time is right. He needs to set his ego aside and learn to work within areas which are unfamiliar to him and stop blaming his past team members for their failure to get their s. o. ’s done.
As an effective manager he needs to learn how to deal with unfamiliar situations, inexperienced team members and adapt to change. Instead of blaming the external factors, he needs to reevaluate his own management style. Kravitz, on the other hand, believed that she was doing the right thing when she tried to find him another position, gave extra recognition for his work on the environmental project, and accommodated his request to do one less s. o. However, because Brooks was a little insecure about his previous performance, coupled with the fact that he over estimates his abilities, led him to not fully appreciate her actions.
Even Kravitz mentioned that she never threw anyone a birthday party, this non conforming behavior could make one suspicious. In addition, she did make it clear that this was everyone goal to have these s. o. ’s done within a certain time frame, and by being more flexible with Brooks in his timetable, gave him the impression that he could get away with anything. She prided herself as being a reasonable manager and tried to make things work. However, towards the end, both parties got frustrated because they do not know where the other party is coming from.
Brooks believed that she was going to let him only complete one s. o. , while Kravitz, after seeing the work he did on the environmental project thought he would be able to complete both his assignments. Both parties expectations were mismatched, and thus, this whole conflict arose. If each party could recognize the other’s position and perhaps adjust their expectations and perception, then this conflict could be easily resolved. However, while it is good in theory, both parties need to enter into it with the same, open state of mind.
In addition, there are other issues that play a role throughout, such as communication, motivation, personality, emotions and values, conflict and negotiations, and leadership power and behavior. It is important for all parties to remember that the working climate is ever changing and that workers need to update their skill and knowledge in order to remain competitive. They are fortunate that Jensen Shoes prides themselves on investing in the employees and wanting to increase diversity in the workplace. Here, they are given the opportunity to thrive to their full potential.