Stage 1: Problem identification

David Rees is a young and recently promoted Advanced Market Development Specialist, with a bachelor degree in Engineering Management from Indiana State University. David Rees has had a brilliant performance in his first job at IBM with an impressive sales record and have moved to a new job at Universal Computers where he have seen the opportunity to fast advance his career. This could be linked with the four factor that directly influence individual behaviour and performance as stated in McShane and Glinow book (p. 24, 2013), which means that Rees has the motivation, the ability, role perception and situational favourable factors. In his new position, David Rees report directly to Brad Carter, the Marketing Manager at Universal Computers and manages a team with 3 Market Development Specialist (his old position) and indirectly 15 sales representatives.

Two main critical problems have been identified in David Rees case. First there is a political problem, as Brad Carter was not favourable to David Rees promotion and had preferred another person for the position. Secondly, there is a performance gap between the expected performance for David Rees and results that will be achieved by the end of a period of 6 and 12 months. David Rees also suspects that his direct supervisor Brad Carter is building a case to fire him. These situations bring problems for both David Rees and for the organization. David Rees is facing a situation where he will not achieve the expected performance and could be fired. For the organization having to high expectations about employee’s performance could lead to unrealistic goals and investment with subsequent client loss and associated risk of decrease revenues. There is also a strategic problem, as the promotion of David Rees has not been taken with accordance of all superior hierarchies as it is the case of Brad Carter. The main problem is the political and strategic conflict between Brad Carter and David Rees.

Stage 2: Root cause analysis

Applying the model for case analysis in identifying the root cause for the problem, it should be analysed what is causing the current gap performance and political problem, why has the problem started and what is the reason for conflict now. A conflict is generated when a person or a group perceive that their interests are being threatened by other person or group’s interests (McShane, 2013, p. 194). When asking why there is gap between expected performance and results that will be achieved, the root cause identified is (1) the lack of reliability in the forecast analysis that Brad Carter has reported before his promotion. This fact has contributed to the conflict between David Rees and Brad Carter once (2) Carter has preferred another person for David Rees position. Trying to answer why has Brad Carter fabricated the forecast reports it could be assumed that he was trying to impress his direct supervisor in order to get a promotion. The subsequent (3) promotion of David Rees may have in somewhat threatened Carter’s position and competence and that may be reason why Carter is so upset with Rees.

Stage 3: Solution Building

To address the root causes identified in Stage 2, some possible solutions have been suggested matching each root cause. For the lack of reliability in Carter’s forecast analysis it is suggested to our client to redo it with precise data and drawn an updated report forecasting expected results for next 6 and 12 months. About the preference of Carter for another person for David Rees position, Rees should comply with Carter’s orders regarding schedule visit plans, travel booking requisites with the travel agency and about the twice daily calls to office to update about his work. In order to not threaten Carter’s position, Rees should openly talk about the different forecast results if he founds it in his new analysis and give the opportunity to Carter to retreat himself inside the organization. If Carter does not agree with the correction of forecast, then David Rees should schedule a meeting with Dawson, the group vice-president to present his findings. This way, Rees is responding to the conflict with Carter in a constructive way, focusing in the issues they have, and not focusing on the person himself (McShane, 2013, p. 197), even if Carter may focus in the relational conflict. These actions will also show emotional intelligence and maturity of Rees, giving his young age (only 25 years compared with 40 years old, the age of the other person in the same position). The less positive part of this solutions is that they reflect a forcing style of conflict handling, where Rees has deep conviction of the fabrication of forecast reports, the situation requires a fast solution and maybe Rees can take advantage of the situation and further reinforce his position. However, the drawback of these style of conflict handling is that it may damage future long-term relationship and increase personal conflict from Carter in relation to Rees (McShane, 2013, p. 203).

Stage 4: Action planning 

For the implementation of solutions, an action plan should be prepared. The stakeholders in this plan are David Rees, Brad Carter, C. S. Dawson and the three market development specialist directly under the supervision of David Rees that are also compromised with Carter’s forecast report. David Rees should start by reanalysing data to forecast sales by collecting correct available data from reports that come from clients and market development specialists. During the next time, Rees should also comply with Carter’s orders about the calls to office and comply with schedule meetings and reports that are due and do not complain with the arrangements from travel agency. Doing this will eliminate the reasons Carter has to not be happy with Rees behaviour, and also create a good impression with Dawson by showing that he is capable of improve his behaviour and comply with organizational requirements. If Carter does not restructure and recognize de errors in the previous forecast report, Rees should schedule a meeting with Dawson and explain the situation and show the evidence that Carter’s forecast was fabricated and the goals are impossible to achieve. Rees should also present the accurate forecast report and the new goals that must be achieved in the 6 and 12 months period of time.



McShane, S., & Von Glinow, M. (2013). M Organizational Behavior. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

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