organization behavior

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The resignation
George, a graduate consultant at ABC Consulting, sat nervously outside his
manager’s office thinking how to quit. He had joined the company only three
months earlier, never thinking things would deteriorate so quickly. Looking at
his watch, which read 11.07 am, he reflected on why he took the job in the first
place and why he was quitting so soon.
The offer
Having completed an MBA, George was excited about stepping into ‘the real
world’ and becoming a management consultant. He had two offers; one from a
Big 4 organisation and the other from ABC Consulting, a medium-sized
company. The Big 4 organisation offered a better salary and exposure to bigname
clients and multimillion-dollar projects. However, George assumed that
consultants in larger organisations worked extremely long hours, in conflictridden
environments, and under the ‘kiss up, kick down’ management style.
Money was important to George, but more important was a work–life balance,
the freedom to be creative and having supportive and collaborative colleagues. In
the end, George chose ABC Consulting because he believed that the company’s
espoused values matched what he wanted.
George’s first day began with a meeting involving the HR director and Janet,
his area manager. ‘We’re excited to have you here, George’, Janet said. ‘Your
interview was impressive; you’re exactly the sort of person we’re looking for!’ ‘We
don’t offer big salaries’, the HR director added, ‘but you’ll be eligible for our
bonus system after three months’. The company offered a 10% annual bonus to
all confirmed employees. ‘To be clear, you’ll be eligible upon successful
completion of your three-month probation, but that’s just a formality, everyone
gets onto the bonus system after three months’, the HR Director said
reassuringly. George sensed the target was easily achievable.
‘As you know’, George said, ‘it’s not the money that attracted me, I’m mostly
looking forward to working with good people on interesting projects’. ‘Well, that’s
what differentiates us from other firms’, Janet replied. ‘Clients like us because
MGMT1135 [ASSIGNMENT CASE] Copyright © 2016 McGraw-Hill Education (Australia) Pty Ltd
McShane, Olekalns, Newman, Travaglione, Organisational Behaviour, 5e
we deliver creativity and innovation. Our projects involve lots of collaboration
and thinking outside the box. Most of your time will be spent in brainstorming
meetings where you can dazzle us with your genius!’ Janet said with a smile.
This was exactly the environment George was seeking. He sensed he would have
long future with the company.
The project
George was quickly assigned to a project team, which also included Daniel, the
project manager, and Janet, the client manager. George spent several nights
reviewing the project brief and developed what he thought were fairly creative
ideas that would impress Janet and Daniel. Over the next month, the team had
collected a mountain of data, which would form the basis of their first client
report. George was responsible for writing the report, due in less than a week.
One afternoon, Daniel scheduled a team meeting to discuss the report. As the
meeting began, George was taken aback by how quickly and easily Daniel and
Janet were throwing ideas around and interpreting the vast amount of data they
had. George suddenly thought he knew very little about the project and knew
that soon they would expect him to say something. His heart began to pound.
Sure enough, Janet turned to George, ‘What do you think, George?’ George felt a
knot in his stomach. ‘Umm . . . ,’ his mind went blank as he flipped aimlessly
through his notebook. Just say something! Anything! he thought to himself, ‘I
just need some time to absorb all this stuff, I think’, he finally said. Daniel and
Janet stared at him inquisitively. Janet finally broke the awkward moment,
‘Well, George, in consulting you need to think on your feet, you need to make
sense of information very quickly. I guess we thought you were a little more
extroverted.’ George sensed from Janet’s comment that she was disappointed.
With his review meeting approaching, George decided he would make amends
with the client report. He saw it as a good opportunity to be creative and add his
own ideas. He would be in the office by 7 am and not leave before 7 pm, and often
continue working at home. In the end, he completed what he thought was an
excellent report, and emailed it to Janet and Daniel two nights before it was due.
As always, he was at the office first thing in the morning, and was surprised to
see that Janet had already replied. What followed, however, came as a complete
MGMT1135 [ASSIGNMENT CASE] Copyright © 2016 McGraw-Hill Education (Australia) Pty Ltd
McShane, Olekalns, Newman, Travaglione, Organisational Behaviour, 5e
shock. Janet had gone through his report paragraph by paragraph, criticising
everything, including all of his ideas. The report had been ripped to shreds.
‘Hopefully, we’ll have something useful to present on Monday’, her email
George spent the entire weekend revising the report, following precisely
Janet’s comments. He removed all of his ideas since it was clear they were not
On Monday morning George did not feel like going to work. He wanted to call
in sick, but instead decided to sleep in and go in later than usual. Stuff them! he
thought. Why should I work this hard when they treat me like this? A feeling of
anger and resentment began to build up inside him. He decided that from then
on, he would not do anything on the project unless instructed to. I’ll only do the
absolute minimum, nothing more! he told himself.
Over the next few weeks, George’s enthusiasm for the job gradually
diminished. He came to work later, left earlier than usual, and took increasingly
longer breaks. He was no longer interested in ‘dazzling’ anyone. The thought of
resigning crossed his mind, but so did the 10% bonus he was entitled to if he
The review
On the day of the review meeting George was excited that he would finally go on
the bonus system. He figured it would make up for all his work that had not been
recognised. ‘Take a seat, George’, Janet said. Also present was the HR director.
Immediately George sensed a colder and more serious ‘vibe’ compared to last
time they met. George sensed that the feedback would be harsh.
‘You see, George,’ Janet began, ‘the problem is that you haven’t performed as
well as we expected’. Janet continued: ‘Obviously the potential is there, but we
don’t think you’ve performed at a level needed to get on the bonus system, so
we’ll re-evaluate your performance again in three months and make a decision
George was confused; his thoughts began to race. Potential? His mind flashed
back to the meeting three months earlier, when Janet had remarked: ‘You’re
exactly the sort of person we’re looking for!’ Moreover, the HR director had
MGMT1135 [ASSIGNMENT CASE] Copyright © 2016 McGraw-Hill Education (Australia) Pty Ltd
McShane, Olekalns, Newman, Travaglione, Organisational Behaviour, 5e
clearly said that everyone gets onto the bonus system after three months.
‘Any questions, George?’ asked the HR director. George suddenly realised he
had not been listening for a while, but his mind was already made up. That night
he began sending out job applications. He also emailed Janet with a request to
meet at 11 am the following morning.
What strategies can the company implement to prevent turnover among
new consultants? Draw on relevant organisational behaviour theory to
justify your recommendations. (In your analysis report, you first need to
analyse and specify the problems that existed for George at ABC Consulting.
Next, you also need to apply two motivation theories to explain George’s
attitudes and behaviours as described in the case. Finally, please list your recommendations with supporting arguments.)

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