case study

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Case Study

Learning Outcomes: Demonstrate general understanding of:

  • Leader-Member Exchange.
  • Goal Setting.
  • Adult Development, equity, expectancy of motivation, and path goal theories.
  • Outline and discuss a practical strategy to manage personal conflict.
  • Understand how personal conflict affects the whole organization.

Scenario:

  • Mark is a tenured Sergeant. He is seen by his peers and followers to be a rising leader who will be at the top of the candidate pool for the next promotional exam. During an operational meeting, he questions his Captain about a new policy, citing operational complication issues, and identifies potential litigation issues.  Several people seemed surprised by his reaction to the new policy and how he addressed the Captain. After the meeting, he is asked why he would attack a Captain’s pet project. Mark was surprised by this response to his questioning of the policy. He did not intend to upset anyone and immediately began to track down the Captain to explain that his only objective was to seek out the best possible outcome.
  • The Captain reassures Mark that everything is fine. Shortly thereafter, Mark takes the Lieutenant exam, administered by the same Captain, and is later advised that he is not one of the many selections that were made. Upon feedback by many peers, his responses to the interview seemed to beat his competitors. He requests a feedback interview with the Captain and is told that the process is competitive and while he was close, he was beat out by the other applicants.
  • A few months pass. Mark’s specialty position has been absorbed by another team and he is rotated back to patrol. A peer tells Mark that he’s got a bullseye on his back for what he did to the Captain and he should tread carefully.
  • Mark is distraught as he attempts to remedy what he soon believes to be a futile situation. He makes every effort to get a meeting with the Captain for a potential remedy, but the Captain ignores him and does not give Mark a meeting.
  • Mark has always been a high-performer and has never been in trouble.  More importantly, he’s never experienced work stress caused by a superior until now.  This and the events of the situation start impacting his performance.  He seems to be fatigued during his work, his reports are constantly being returned for errors, his communication skills take a turn and his standards of appearance start failing.

Assessing the Situation: 

  • Mark decides to reach out to you, Chief Jones, who served as his FTO nearly 16 years ago. You have been with the agency for the last 28 years, hold good credibility with the personnel and the community and are known to be deliberate with your leadership and known for your high level of integrity.
  • During the meeting Mark describes the situation and dissatisfaction with the Captain’s behavior.  In doing that he tells you “…I feel the Captain is a Toxic leader and he knows it.  I want to make you aware of that although I love what I do for the agency and care for all we do for our community together.  I do not want to be a part of an agency that tolerates such behavior.  I have decided to pursue my MBA at the Tango University and take care of myself.  I will continue serving this agency until I finish my degree and pursue a career with Corporate Security upon graduation.”
  • After the meeting, you meet with the Captain who tells you that Mark has an attitude and he needs to get over it, continue doing good work and wait his turn.

Resolution:

As a Chief,

    • 18 days ago
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