Lisa Benton Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


Lisa Benton graduated with a degree of MBA from Harvard Business School. According to the case, Lisa has to clear selection between two jobs: First, as a Director of marketing at Right Away and other as an assistant product manager of House World a Home Care Division. Lisa chooses House world over Right Away because she wants to pursue her career in large organizations, where she can gain classical marketing training in a structured environment from market leaders.

As the case portrays, Lisa faces many problems and challenges in the House world, which leads her frustrated and dissatisfied with her new job. As a result, lack of responsibility and poor relationship between Linton and associate Scoville arise, which leads to negative performance review from her boss. Benton is concerned about her career in House World and during her first week, she developed a good relationship with other employees of the organization.

However, she was consistently excluded from strategy and challenging task, and as such, she felt that her talents, abilities and training are not fully utilized. Benton is troubled by Linton’s lack of interest in her development and block her expert power. The reason of dislike towards Benton, is that she does not possess an MBA degree and not impressed by individuals who earned an MBA degree. Her belief is the only way to move up the corporate level is by hard work not by receiving MBA degree. However, Bob Mitchell changed the recruiting practices, now for entry level position only MBAs from top universities or institute should be considered.


Deborah Linton has been with House world for seven years and possess a position of first product manager in the company. Benton met her supervisor on her first day of job, because she had not met her during the interview. This first meeting with the Linton shows a lack of different leadership styles. Linton made clear to Benton during her first meeting that she did not like Harvard MBAs and further says that she did not have time to train and familiarize her new team member. The reason of dislike is that she herself does not possess a degree of MBA. She warned Benton that she has to work hard and would prove to herself like anyone else. She believes that the only way to climb up the corporate level is just by hard work not by an MBA degree. Unfortunately, her beliefs are not shared throughout the company.

Bob Mitchell, the vice president of the House World, is an MBA graduate himself. He had changed the recruiting practices in the company. At first both MBA and non-MBA get the opportunity to work as the assistant product manager, but now the emphasis is only on individuals who possess a degree of MBA from top notch universities and institute to the entry level marketing position. As a result, the Home Care Division has become increasingly dominated by the individuals holding MBA degree. The culture of the company has changed due to new recruiting practices.

According to the Jack Welch’s leadership style, a good leader must possess high energy, articulate a vision, inspire and strengthen others to perform effectively. Linton gained reputation in the company as a hard working woman with a great track record in brand success, but poor trainer, manager of people and lack of leadership qualities. As a product manager at house world, it is her responsibility to motivate and groom other associates to gain promotion, but is so opposed and focused to fulfill her individual needs. In other words, she is assertive, uncooperative and a power oriented mode.

Lisa Benton Case Solution

Moreover, after receiving an opposite response from Linton and Scoville, Benton thought that she cannot fulfill her emotional needs which motivates her to stay with the company in a long run. Furthermore, Linton seems to ignore Benton’s ability on purpose and did not assign her challenging task, so that she would not gain more skills and abilities. Although Benton has the expertise and the ability to use her power to make effective opinions, but Linton block her development to expert power. Even Benton failed to show her expert power due to intimidating conversations with Linton and Scoville.

The associate product manager Scoville, possesses the same concept like Linton, because he also does not have an MBA degree. Benton’s working conditions became even worse when she started working with Scoville because her task become as a secretary, lack of responsibility, repetitive, and don’t have much challenges. In these tasks she could notuse her skills, abilities and power to grow in the future. Further, Linton does not want to make her relationship with Benton, because she was unable to understand that what kind of leader qualities she has and how to help her to get better results..............

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