1. What are the background factors important to understanding the case?
In the Benton Case, important background to understand is how Lisa questioned if her decision on accepting the position with House world was the right-move for career goal. Second, her initial meet with her boss and lack of communication to what is going to be expected from her. Lisa felt, as she is not being utilized to her full potential.
Benton, decision on accepting the product manager position, she based it on a long-term goal. She based it on what best will benefit her in the long run. When Lisa met who her reporting supervisor was, she felt as if there was a lack of interest on her being a part of the team. Linton should have met and have some type of initial counseling to go over the expectancy from Lisa and Benton.
2. What are the issues of power and influence in the case, organizationally, managerially, interpersonally, and personally?
In the case study it did not seem that there was any power of influence organizationally. Houseworld, seemed like a great place for Benton to work and reach her career goal. However, managerially there seems to be many issues of power. Linton really did show Benton a great interest of joining her team, which made Benton feel as if she was not being utilized for what she was really worth. When both managers from pure & fresh met Benton, they both expressed their feeling towards Harvard MBA’s. Ron did have some influence on Benton, because of him she was under the impression that she should be in a learning mode.
By being in a learning mode it made Lipton assume that she lacked motivation, which led to the negative statements in her evaluation. Personally, I think that Benton did have all the right intentions to succeed in her current role, but because there were communication barriers it led to many assumptions that caused a great deal of frustration. The one thing that Lisa can do is learn from her experience and utilize what she learns to future situations.
3. Is Benton powerless in the case? What are the sources of power? It might seem as Benton was powerless, but in reality she had the upper hand to improve her leadership and communication with management, which would empower her to become a product manager and reach her career goal.
The source of power that Benton has in this case is the opportunity to move every 12-18 months. She can utilize her learning experience that she learn from her current team with pure & fresh to improve her communication when introduce to future managers or team members.
4. List and discuss the critical incidents in the case and suggest how Benton could have been more effective in each one.
When Benton started to feel frustrated by the way her team made her feel, she could have taken control of the situation by communicating to Linton, which would have allowed her to take control of the situation. It would have primed Linton to meet with Lisa and go over her expectancies in her position, instead of thinking that she was in a learning mode. A critical incident that Benton could have been more effective is by being more assertive in her role with Pure & Fresh.
5. What are your recommendations for Lisa at the end of the case?
I would recommend that Benton continue to work with Houseworld, she should keep in mind her motive on accepting her current position, as Houseworld offers the benefit that encouraged her to make that transition from Right-a-way. One thing that Benton can take away from the situation is not assuming what will be expected from her, but to actually know her expectations of her duties. If Benton had not allowed her frustrations to build up and to actually communicate to Linton, she could have avoided the negative aspects of her evaluation.
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