The purpose of this memorandum is to analyze the situation and makerecommendations for de-escalating the situation before it reaches crisis, improvingthe relationship between Davis and Green, and generally improving theatmosphere and culture of that division of Dynamic Display.
After careful reviewingof the situation at Dynamic Displays, I have come up with some possible solutions for theproblems between Frank Davis and Thomas Green. Frist of all, based on the backgroundof the company, Dynamic Display was founded in 1990 as a provider of self-serviceoptions to bank via ATMs, and in March 2007, Dynamic Display recruited ThomasGreen for an account executive position. On October 15, 2007, Green met with FrankDavis, the marketing director, to discuss his performance, but Davis wrote a list ofproblems he encountered with Green’s work. Green claimed that he felt he was beingcriticized for disagreeing with him in the meeting and after that, Davis claimed thatGreen made no improvements in his attitude or his managerial skills. In a word, theconflict between Thomas Green and Frank Davis was created by their distrust for eachother and their working style’s difference. Here is my analysis for this situation.First we must evaluate Frank Davis’s leadership .
Looking at Davis’s leadershipbehavior using the managerial grid, we see his style as Authoritarian or high task and lowrelationship. Instead of having a transformational leadership style, Davis has atransactional leadership style. His leadership style is active management by exception.
His form of transactional leadership is lead with contingent reward. He essentially istelling Green that if Green does as he asks, he will stop sending these e-mails.According to Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership theory, Frank Davis’sleadership style does not match Thomas Greene’s worker readiness. Green things that heis a delegate as an employee with high employee will and skill. This probably is due tohis quick hiring. However, as McDonald points out earlier to Green, in reality Green isambitious but inexperienced. Davis shares this same view of Green actually being at theGuide level, an employee with high will but low skill. Frank Davis’s leadership ofThomas Green under House’s Path-Goal Theory of Leadership.
This theory essentiallystates that you want to make the people you lead believe that they can complete a certaintask. However, the problem is that Davis and Green have a fundamental disagreementbetween them on what the job is and which is needed to be successful. Davis morefocuses on the data, preparation and the general bureaucratic process. Green is morefocused on pushing for new products and new ideas.Next we should examine the power and influence of Davis. Davis mostrelies on legitimate power and least on referent power.
Davis has Legitimacy which gained from acting in ways that are consistent with the prevailing value system and areviewed as credible by other organizational members. He does not rely on personalpower, but more on positional power. Personal power serves as a critical element informing leadership and building relationship with employees. Personal power containsexpertise, effort, attractiveness and legitimacy. Based on Davis’ leadership style andbehavior, he is typical a leader with expertise, effort, legitimacy but not attractiveness.Expertise is gained from both formal education and on-the-job experiences. Davis, isobviously a very skilled director with a lot of experience since he is age of 45 and he is a17-year veteran of Dynamic Displays. Effort refers to working hard and being committedto success.
Davis devotes higher-than-expected effort to his work, which can be viewedas more committed and more dependable than others. Although he is very strict to hisemployee, he made lots of efforts making procedures and evaluating Green’s report as hisresponsibility. Attractiveness, which stems from having attributes that others identifywith and would like to emulate, including physical appearance, charisma, and likability.Davis is not attractiveness due to his leadership style.
As a result of relying more onlegitimate power, when he loses power as he does in the meeting with Green, theresult is ruthlessness, a lack of empathy and inflexibility. He is not open, flexible andempathetic because he did not concern about Green as Green was just a new employeewith less managerial experience. He did not allow Green to have any mistakes and wasunfriendly during the meeting.
He feels he has lost this power as he unilaterallyimposes the set projection foal without consulting Green. Those who lead withlegitimate power, as Davis does, end up meeting resistance and do not acquirecommitment from those they lead. Green in this meeting then confronts Davis inwhat is seen as an affective conflict.Power also impacts subordinates in negative ways, which cause conflict.
Therelationship between Davis and Green is called dependence asymmetry. Under thecircumstance, the firm is less dependent on Green, the degree of difference in dependenceshows that Davis has power over Green because Green relies more on the firm topromotion. Besides, disagreement about priorities also exits between Davis and Green.While Green was satisfying his succeed in the banking division and focusing on the ATMsales, Davis has already prepared a list of problems that Green had because Green did notreach the sales within his forecast. Davis sets the goal much higher than Green, whichleads to the disagreement about priorities and goals.
We should examine the conflict and negotiation paths that they are takingand should take based on what we have determined of the power and influence andleadership style. Davis and Green have interpersonal conflict since they are all in thesame marketing group. In group situations, members are dependent on one another forachieving goals.
In this case, conflict arises when Davis has a higher goal than Green’sexpectation, and thus, this incompatible goals and interests become the basis ofinterpersonal conflict. Conflict also escalates when they spend more time on attackingothers or defending themselves instead of negotiating. Besides, Green started to avoid interactions with Davis after the second meeting, which further escalates the conflict. Thesource of conflict is cognitive conflict, which result from disagreement over work-relatedissue, Green and Davis have a different perspective about their task, Davis expects thedivision to be a growth engine for the company with a 10% CAGR over the past 5 years;However, Green concerns with the sales target and is conservative outlook. Frank Davisand Thomas Green might come to an acceptable and more functional relationship byavoidance.
It is likely to reduce the tension created by disagreement by avoiding conflictand it is appropriate in this situation when Green and Davis both need to gather moreinformation to cool down. Davis and Green can also use Integrative Negotiations tosmoothen their relationship. This type of negotiation seeks for alternative to satisfy bothsides. Although it might be hard for them to make a consistency on temporary bynegotiating, it would be considered effective in long term.The way the relationship between Green and Davis is working currently.
Davis is failing to motivate Green. Davis failed to apply Maslow’s Needs HierarchyTheory to motivate Green because Green already satisfied with the current salary and jobposition, as a new employee, he has strong ambition and only desires the acceptance ofhis superior to allow him explore potential. Davis should give some rewards to Greeninstead of just listing problems. His inclusions and acceptance are not met as heautomatically is seen as an out-group person.
He is much younger than the rest of his coworkersand just recently joined the group. It didn’t help the Mcdonald explained how ifit weren’t for her, Davis would not have chosen Green for his current position. Anothermotivation theory Davis fails to consider is acquired needs theory. Green is highlyachievement oriented. Those who are achievement oriented are more effective inentrepreneurial venues rather than bureaucratic ones like Davis is trying to lead.
He alsois less likely to provide feedback which was one of Davis’s concern about the change inthe Outlook calendar.It would be best for Dynamic Display for Davis and Green to meet togetherseparate from the remaining co-workers and agree what would be a realistic goal ratherthan 10%. Perhaps they could reach a compromise where Green would complete therequired data anlaysis so that before any future meetings Davis and Green could discussreasonable numbers.
This would also Green to feel like his voice is heard while givingDavis the comfort of the bureaucratic process. Also perhaps Green could be allowed todo what he feels is necessary to reach his goals as long as he accepts guidance fromDavis and actually communicates with Davis