Project #54266 - Case Study

Case Study 1: Individual Level of Analysis


·         To recognize and better understand the effect of individual characteristics and behavior (individual level of analysis) on organizational performance and effectiveness.

Related to the following course objective:

·         Maximize individual contributions to the organization based on an understanding of individual behavior


Three to four-page paper, in addition to a cover page containing your name, the course name, the date, and the professor's name, and bibliography.

Introduction to Assignment

For this assignment, you will read and analyze Case Study 1: Reach for the Stars—Developing Salespeople, Achieving Organizational Success. The case describes information and key observations concerning manager and worker behavior. You will identify and—to evidence critical thinking skills—analyze the critical incidents (problems, situations, issues, and consequences) in the case influencing individual and organizational performance and effectiveness, and make appropriate recommendations to improve problems, meet challenges, and take advantage of opportunities.  Overall, your analysis should include:

   Identification and explanation of all relevant OB concepts and theories, using examples where appropriate

   Explanation of the specific case characteristics, incidents and/or situations that addresses the concepts or theories

   Analysis of the relevance of identifying and better understanding individual characteristics

   Analysis of pros and cons of key incidents or situations (i.e., what are the drawbacks and/or positives associated with the situation as it related to individual performance and/or organizational productivity and effectiveness?)

   Specific recommendations to address problems, challenges, and opportunities, and a proposed follow-up or evaluation

Read and follow all the Instructions carefully.  The paper must clearly demonstrate your ability to understand how and why individual characteristics and behavior influence organizational performance and effectiveness.  Demonstrate critical thinking, as described under higher thinking levels in Bloom’s Taxonomy (find through Google). Strive to be original along with applying data, information, and ideas from the required reading and outside research.  Use examples and research information to support claims.  Use American Psychological Association (APA) format for in-text citations and the reference list.  Use the comprehensive outline format described in Instruction 9 to present your research findings, analysis, recommendations, and significant personal learning.


1)         Review the assignment purpose, course objective, and introduction above and the Assignment Grading rubric

2)         Read the case below, Reach for the Stars—Developing Salespeople, Achieving Organizational Success.  Your analysis must evidence understanding of the case's specific characters, context, and circumstances. Avoid generalizations that might apply to similar cases available on the Internet or in previous courses.

3)         Compose a brief abstract (no longer than a paragraph) synthesizing case highlights, putting the characters and incidents in context, and generally setting the scene for the detailed analysis to follow.

4)         Identify and analyze at least three critical incidents (problems, situations, issues, and consequences) in the case that influenced individual and organizational performance and effectiveness.  Explain how and why you think the incidents influenced individual and organizational performance and effectiveness.  Discuss the pros and cons of key incidents or situations (i.e., what are the drawbacks and/or positives associated with the situation as it related to individual performance and/or organizational productivity and effectiveness?)

5)         Make appropriate recommendations to address problems, meet challenges, and take advantage of opportunities, and propose follow-up or evaluation.

6)         Draw data, information, and ideas from at least six required resources (at least two from each of Weeks 1, 2, and 3) listed in the weekly Schedules, plus at least two credible, authoritative, relevant outside sources for a total of at least eight references. Your outside references should show a mix of scholarly and applied/practical sources, largely drawn from UMUC’s Information Library System (ILS), and including classic writings. Review APA citation materials and Tips on Research Sources in Course Content.  Cite research sources within the paper’s body using APA in-text formatting.  Include a Reference list with complete source information at the end of the paper.  See specific formatting and heading template instructions below in Instruction 9.  Alphabetize references under each subheading. Please note my preference for including publication date within in-text citations. You are expected to paraphrase, using quotes only when the source’s verbatim statements uniquely enhance meaning and understanding. Deductions will be taken when quotes are overused and found to be unnecessary.

See examples below and in Formatting and Citation Samples under Course Content:  

In-text citation:

(Casey, 2002, p. 50). [Include publication date]

Reference citation:

Casey, C. (2002). Critical Analysis of Organizations: Theory, practice, revitalization. London: Sage.

7)         Identify and present in bold font at least six different OB concepts, theories, methods, strategies, or practices in your analysis. Demonstrate through context and/or endnotes your understanding of the terms’ definition and meaningfulness to the meet the assignment's purpose and course objectives.


8)         Determine what significant learning and understanding you gained from your research and analysis.  Identify and evaluate at least three valuable take-aways you learned from your organization change analysis, and how you envision applying them to your job or career.


9)         Use the template below for headings and subheadings.  Your deliverable will use a comprehensive outline format.  Feel free to add other headings or make modifications as your findings, ideas, and assertions dictate.  Analysis and recommendations should be presented in standard expository form under each heading.  Use examples and cite support sources as presented above.

I.          Title page [your name, the course name, assignment, the name of the organization, the date, and instructor’s name]

II.        Case abstract

III.       Critical incidents

A.    Critical incident 1:  [name, e.g., Product diversification and market growth]

B.     Critical incident 2: 

C.     Critical incident 3: 

[and so forth]


IV.       Recommendations


V.        Follow up [or evaluation]


VI.       Significant learning


A.    Learning [or Take-away] 1:

B.     Learning [or Take-away] 2:

C.     Learning [or Take-away] 3:  

[and so forth]


VII.     References

A.                Required course materials See Attached 

Week 1 

Week 2

Week 3

B.        Outside research sources

10)       Use Microsoft Word for your text documents.  Use the following title:  your last name_Case Study 1_464.  Be concise and keep your paper at three to four pages in length (plus cover page and references), but rest assured that substance is more important than length.  Again, APA reference format is required.







  Case Study 1, BMGT 464

Reach for the Stars—Developing Salespeople, Achieving Organizational Success

As he read the email from his company's CEO, Ravi Verghese rolls his eyes and whispers to himself, "Oh boy, here we go again….":


To celebrate PRME's fortieth year in business, and our successful customer expansion from "seniors" to all ages served by a burgeoning sports and active lifestyle market through our new PRMESport line, I invite you, our invincible, "take-charge" marketing and sales units, to REACH FOR THE STARS!  The goal is to increase PRMESport sales by 10% by the end of this year….


Ravi, sales director at New Jersey-based Providence Rehabilitation and Medical Equipment (PRME, or "Prime" as employees liked to say) remembers all too well the challenges he and his coworkers weathered 18 months ago when PRME expanded its product line from aging-related to sports injury-related medical supplies and equipment.  The new products are branded PRMESport, developed to grab a share of a fast-growing medical and rehabilitation supply and equipment market segment.  To achieve this, PRME bought a small, thriving manufacturing enterprise created by a couple of sports orthopedic surgeons—however no salespeople came with the acquisition.  PRME executives decided to up-skill and retrain its existing sales force—"no sales associate will jobs will be lost because of PRMESport," they reassured—rather than recruit additional people. Ravi, whose stellar sales performance caught the attention of company executives, was promoted to director of the sales unit, a group of twenty-five people. Task one, executives said, is to reorganize the unit, establishing self-managed teams to penetrate the new market segment rapidly, efficiently, and effectively. 


In spite of Ravi's initial eye-rolling reaction to the CEO's email, he rereads the message with an open mind and restored positive attitude. We can do this, Ravi acclaims. Bottom line, he is grateful that at age 35—young for a PRME senior manager—he has the opportunity to hone new management skills, focus more on his interest in strengthening PRME's human/intellectual capital, solve harder problems, and do his part to make his organization a top competitor.  He was proud to work for PRME. The company's rags-to-riches founder, James Cleavon Jefferson, who started the business in a run down New Jersey warehouse with Chapter 8 support in 1974 and grew it into today's well-respected, successful global supplier, serves on the board as a conscience to the new owner, a multinational company.  Ravi's own hard working parents, immigrated from southern India to the US, opening a family-run restaurant in Trenton—also with Chapter 8 help—that flourished in their diverse community.


While he loses no time moving forward with a strategy to reorganize into self-managed teams, he's determined to know more about the individual associates that make up his sales force before making final decisions.  Right off, he conducts an all-hands meeting to brief the unit on the impending reorg, and, under the circumstances, he thinks it went well.  Ravi's known as a straight shooter and consensus builder, although rapid company growth, headquarters relocation, top-down pressure to implement an electronic enterprise data system, along with increased travel to meet new customer needs, are taking a toll on the sales staff.  He needs to identify and tackle—individual by individual—PRME's sales force "soft spots" (his gentle way of saying "weak links") before forming teams, hoping to optimize human capital and meet—hey, maybe exceed!—the CEO's sales goals. 


After reviewing annual appraisals and quarterly reviews, talking to trusted senior sales associates who report directly to him, examining statistical reports sales records, observing the unit's daily activities, and collecting his thoughts and checking his instincts (his MBTI "N" makes this easy), Ravi's can-do enthusiasm is tempered by reality.  He calls his close colleague and friend, Portia Kingston, a fellow MBA student at Rutgers, presently teaching organizational behavior at a college in Boston, to advise him on where to begin.  Portia laughs saying he surely knows how to manage the reorg from reading the first five chapters of her just-published OB e-textbook!  Always an appreciator of Portia's sharp wit, dynamic intelligence, ambition, and immigrant roots and experience (she was born in Jamaica), Ravi laughs too, congratulating his friend on her publication and promising to download the information as soon as they hang up. "Seriously," Portia continues, "look at the stuff on analyzing—by that I mean understanding better—the individuals in your unit.  Get a handle on how they act, what they do or don't do—in other words, on their behavior within the organization.  For example, my friend, examine learning styles, generational, demographic, cultural and fault line factors, and the role of perception, attribution, personality, motivation, emotion, values, attitude, and ethics."  "Will do, Portia.  And thanks a million," Ravi signs off, deciding to begin with his notes and records on the lowest sales performers, described below.




-Mid 50s

-Introverted, yet good listener, speaking up when prodded

-Jokes about being "the token old white guy"

-Over lunch recently shared his resentment about PRME's latest "bonus" programs, employee wellness and counseling, and sales incentive awards, sales incentive awards, free gym memberships and Knicks tickets

-Not a natural networker, can be temperamental, moody

-More than held his own in company until higher tech systems introduced

-Last couple of years, productivity flat lined




-Late 20s

-Cut sales teeth in pharmaceutical sales

-Gun-ho when hired, exceeded sales goals

-Passionate marathoner

-Proactive, confident, ambitious, competitive

-Bristled when company implemented more formal HR policies regarding work hours, telecommuting, regular staff meetings, and dress code performance began to falter




-Mid 20s

-James Jefferson's grandson

-Star athlete in college

-Outgoing, thrives on immediate interaction

-Well educated, razor sharp mind, gifted sales communicator

-Consistently falls behind in record keeping, customer data collecting, and monthly reports




-Late 50s

-Worked up through the ranks at PRME, starting as an admin temp when PRME first founded

-Superb customer service skills, widely recognized as solid organizational citizen

-Warm, convivial, conciliatory—"Oh, ask Carmen to handle that customer's complaints—she never says no"

-Quick learner—consciously compensates for no college education

-Increasingly heavy care-taking responsibilities of extended family resulting in absenteeism, frequent rescheduling, declining productivity and performance




-Early 40s

-Promising engineering-oriented career selling precision medical equipment and service in Iowa before moving "back East" with a young family because his spouse got an coveted promotion in -VP at a large hospital

-Hired two years ago, just before company announced the PRMESport acquisition

-Good naturedly teased by co-workers about being a "techie geek"

-Strong work ethic, conscientious, though takes full advantage of PRME's work-life balance options

-Overly meticulous, uncomfortable dealing with big picture concepts, strategy, ambiguity, and rapid change

-Struggled to get a foothold with new product line—"I assumed I'd be working more with customers through the new software system than cold calling and pounding the pavement…."


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Due By (Pacific Time) 01/29/2015 12:00 am
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