Lisa Benton Hbs Analysis

Lisa Benton Case Analysis Benton is a Harvard educated MBA who chose to work at the Home care Division of Houseworld based upon the classical marketing training in a structured environment from an industry leader over Right-Away which she had interned at. Benton was informed she would become a product manager within 2 to 3 years, yet was not informed of the importance of her performance in the first year. She was informed that the product manager’s responsibility was to groom his or her associates to be “promotable”.

Benton was assigned Deborah Linton as her product manager who informed her of her dislike for MBA’s with “MBA’s act like they know a lot more than they do.

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” & “the only way to learn is on the job and your formal education won’t help you. ” And made it clear she would have to prove herself like everyone else. Linton informed her she should feel free to stop by her office if she had any questions and she was to report to her and not to Scoville, the associate product manager.

She also was informed to get objectives for her job which she never received and also learned Linton was recently promoted and Benton was the first Assistant manager she ever had showing limited ability to groom associates for promotion. Scoville, the associate manager reiterated that he was not impressed with MBA’s, and later in the case yelled at her and used her MBA degree against her. Scoville consistently undermined her and asked her to do his work and she hesitated to ask for more responsibility for fear of coming across as an aggressive MBA.

She also consistently deferred questions due to Scoville telling her she was in “learning mode” and thought it best to be quiet and act like a learner, causing Scoville and Linton rarely to ask for her opinion. He also informed her that she would need to stay late at certain times and not rely on the train while later on she was told not to stay late in the office after 6:00 by another employee because it will limit her chance of promotion. To further complicate issue, Linton was always very secretive with her work and was rumored to be having an affair with Scoville.

Benton understood that her first year with houseworld was critical to her later success and promotional status and so desires to make advancements. She also had several problems with her superiors with Vernon telling her that word processing was secretarial work and should never be done by her while Linton telling her sometimes it was necessary and she viewed it better to follow senior management instructions. Furthermore, Linton insulted her for having her MBA for not performing Scoville’s task of copying immediately which is clerical work and therefore counters the senior manager, Vernon’s rule.

Benton furthermore received a performance review that identified she did not take initiative, was unassertive, and lacked confidence with her quiet manners; the things that she felt she was told to do by Scoville as she was in “learner mode” and Linton had never encouraged. In the end, Scoville opened up to her that he was upset that he had not been promoted yet. Benton feels that her talents were not being utilized and that Linton’s mind was preoccupied with other matters and that she now needed to decide whether to approach Vernon to ask her to switch to another brand, but was reluctant to alienate her superiors and her peers.

She also was considering calling her former boss, Kingston and telling him she made a large mistake and to see if he would take her back. The core problem here is communication, Benton’s desire to not step on anyone’s toes as she progressed toward her goal of getting promoted up the corporate ladder, and a cognitive dissonance with the view that she would play a very important role immediately as she was informed by the individuals who interviewed her versus what has taken placed where she feels underutilized.

Benton has to take partial responsibility for the situation she is in.

She was specifically directed to report to Linton, and Linton however made false promises and has not carried through with objectives and specific goals. Yet as a result of her desire to not interrupt and be consistently polite she decided to go to the inferior, Scoville. This associate manager specifically has set her up for failure with the recommendation that she will have to stay late, which is detrimental to her goal of advancement. Benton also consistently agreed to do his work which undermined her with her manager Vernor, and she was told that she is in “learning mode” for the first several months.

Benton has not stood up for herself and clearly pushed for these defined objectives that would dictate what is secretarial work and what is her job so she is not at fault again. This has resulted in negative feedback from Linton which causes further cognitive dissonance as this is not the view she has of herself as a person who is quiet and not taking charge. Furthermore, Scoville has complained of not getting promoted which leads one to think that Scoville could possibly be giving her untrue advice in order to make her unlikely to et a promotion. Furthermore, Scoville & Benton both understand how important the first year is for her advancement and thus by giving her the wrong advice, he is significantly limiting her advancement. Benton’s desire to not cause any trouble also carried over when she was consistently insulted for being educated with her Harvard MBA; by not establishing right away that this was unacceptable behavior and not communicating effectively she set herself up for insults, problems, and detrimental activities.

Benton’s loyalty to her superior and desire to be polite has further resulted in her muting her own voice in times when she has had opportunities to speak out.

For example, when Vernor asked her if she was happy with her work she had the opportunity to voice her opinion and get help. Yet, she did not out of her desire to not cause problems and her inappropriate loyalty to her upper managers. I also believe that Scoville and Benton are afraid.

Without the education of an MBA, it looks as if the company may not advance them due to their desire to have top ranked MBA programs run their programs now which is why they are consistently acting quiet and not including her in their activities. This problem is further compounded by the fact that there is a rumor of an office affair occurring between Scoville and Linton.

Several times, Linton has not talked to Scoville or handled the problems with Scoville and Benton and encouraged her to work it out.

Although I believe this is good original advice after this occurring several times, it is clear that Linton is biased and this relationship may be real. If Benton was vocal and communicative, she would refer this to HR and have this handled in an appropriate manner. Furthermore, Benton has simply complained to others and has shown little initiative to change her situation. It is inappropriate to cause office “drama” by complaining to others versus handling the issue directly by talking to Linton or Vernor.

If she was vocal about her feelings and clearly came in with determined objectives and held Linton accountable, the majority of the issues at hand could be solved. Benton has several options to move forward to solve the situation that she in in. She could try and start over and contact Kingston at Right- Way stores and explain to him that she has made a mistake and validate that he was correct and ask if there is any position open. She has been gone only a short period of time and with this she would take a pay raise and an opportunity to restart and help grow a smaller company. Benton could ommunicate directly with Linton and have Vernor mediate and demand objectives that she can be held accountable to that she asked for on the first day and separate opportunities for her to show her advancement and abilities from Scoville which she also was promised by Linton.

With Vernor present, she has the opportunity to make sure there is agreement across all levels of management and there are fewer problems with direction as well as no insults based against her education which is harassment in the workplace. Benton could request that she be transferred if she does not have the confront to deal with the issues at hand.

She has been told by other staff that Linton and Scoville did not grow their abilities in any way and Benton could clearly explain that they have severely limited her and not given her an opportunity to grow as she is a poor trainer and manager of people but a very hard worker in other areas. Benton could clearly explain that she is the first assistant manager that Linton has had under her and she has lacked this ability to properly train her and for her to stay in the company and become a valuable asset, it would be best for her to transfer.

The Benchmarks for which each decision to be held to should be * Will Benton be happy from this decision? * Will Benton feel in control and not regret her actions? * Will Benton be learning and advancing her career? * Does Benton feel her talents are being utilized? * Will Houseworld increase profitability by taking a certain direction? * Will internal conflict be stopped, and problems with Linton and Scoville be stopped? With the Criteria above, we can successfully judge what action would be best suited for the advancement of Benton.

If Benton leaves Houseworld, she may be happy due to not having to deal with unhelpful management, but she may be unhappy due to limited opportunities to grow as the company is small and she may regret her actions of not trying to solve the problem at Houseworld. Furthermore, nothing was truly solved and Houseworld would most likely lose profitability due to the extensive hiring process and the time to recruit a high end MBA from a program such as Harvard. Therefore, I would not recommend leaving Houseworld unless it is unbearable.

If Benton requests a transfer she would most likely be happy and her talents would be most likely utilized due to the majority of people she has talked to at Houseworld having high opinions of their job satisfaction, and she most likely would continue to advance in her career. Furthermore, Houseworld was stay profitable and maybe even increase profitability as they are fully utilizing a valuable person to their full potential which is also rewarding for Benton.

However, Benton may regret her decision to not confront the issue at hand and try to remedy the situation as this is an opportunity to grow for all parties involved.

Benton also specifically chose the division she is in due to the fact that it is the highest in the industry and transferring to another area would almost be a downgrade. If Benton had Vernor act as a mediator between Linton and herself and arrive at the requested objectives and achieve individual items that she separately could be held accountable for, she would most likely be very happy.

Linton could no longer attack her for her education background as Vernor has an MBA as well, she would confront the situation and most likely take a great deal of pride in this, and she could advance in the company and gain the skills she desires. Furthermore, Benton would once again be in control as she would have set objectives to achieve and she would have the satisfaction of confronting the situation. Houseworld would also increase profitability because they would be fully utilizing an employee to their complete ability which would mean increased production and thus increased profit.

Scoville and Linton would also have an opportunity to learn how to be better managers and accountability would be across the whole spectrum of managers as they have had a meeting with all individuals knowing what each will be held accountable for.

Therefore, I believe that that this would be the most desirable plan as it hits each benchmark successfully while the other plans do not hit every benchmark. The first step to implement the desirable plan would be to contact Vernor immediately.

Benton then could explain that Linton has made promises and has not carried through since she arrived with the objectives that she should work towards and individual goals that she personally can achieve that are separate from Scoville. She could further explain that she has been personally attacked from Linton based on her MBA experience and feels uncomfortable doing it alone. Therefore, she would like Vernor to mediate a conversation to take place between the 2 of them in order to let it be known to Linton’s superior that she will be held accountable to get the pre-determined objectives and oals to Benton.

This can be excellent for both parties as it could be known what Benton is being held accountable to by Linton, and Linton can approach this as a growing opportunity with her managerial skills. This also should limit the problems that exist because Benton would know what she is held accountable to based upon targeted objectives and goals that she can work towards versus relying on another person, Scoville. If this does not work and there continues to be problems, Benton can decide the correct actions to take whether it be to proceed with Right-Away or the request for a transfer.

Houseworld could evaluate the effectiveness of the solution to the problem that Benton faces by a multitude of ways. They could determine if they had greater productivity by assigning individual assignments to Benton, or they could see if the determined tasks she is given are achieved or result in a higher output. By giving the business a method to measure the success of the solution, Houseworld will further its goal of increased profitability and having productive workers who are fully utilized.

If the assigned goals and objectives do not work, housewrold can see if it is actually due to the problems that she states or if there is another issue at hand that needs to be determined. In conclusion, Benton has an opportunity to grow along with other members of her team. By addressing her communication deficits, the improper instructions and poor training by Scoville and Linton the team has an opportunity to move forward and achieve objectives that they all can be held accountable to and improve for the benefit of Houseworld and achieve a solution that is successful for everyone.