Sloan & Harrison: The Associate Challenge Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Introduction

Sloan and Harrison is a law firm founded by two attorneys in the city of northwest Washington D.C.; the company is involved in providing legal services to customers. By the end of 2013, the number of employees and attorneys had grown to 1500 and 1100 respectively. The current revenue of the company is $500 million. The law firm is engaged in providing legal services but is famous for providing government contracts practice groups and intellectual property. In government contracts practice groups, the firm is engaged in providing its clients with guidance for all aspects of congressional lobbying and competition within the federal marketplace. In addition, associates and partners have successful and stable careers as congressional chief-of-staff, legislators and federal judges.

Problem statement

The major issues faced by Sloan and Harrison were related to high turnover and low morale within the associates of the company. The associates were not happy with the rules of the company as they did not have any share in the business like the equity partners of the company. The company had done an annual survey to find out the problems among company’s associates, and it revealed that most of the associates were extremely dissatisfied with their current jobs. Basic issues confronting them were pertaining to work-life balance, lack of communication from the partner side and lack of mentorship for the guidance. As of now, the company has to analyze these concerns of associates and suggest some recommendations to solve it.

Analysis

In order to address the associates’ concerns, the company needs to find out the ways to reduce them. Issues related to associates were low morale and high turnover rate, which were caused by lack of mentorship, communication and work-life balance. In order to cope up with that situation, the company decided to implement a program in its Washington office; in order to check the validity and reliability of the program. In order to increase the communication level between associates and partners, much more concerted effort was made by the office partners to communicate and to help others communicate more effectively. These efforts by partners helped associates to find a way to become a partner in the company. In addition to that, training programs were provided to associates to increase their managerial skills that would help them in becoming a partner of the company.

In order to maintain a work-life balance amongst the company’s associates, the company has shifted its focus from being a process-oriented organization to outcome-oriented organization. As long as the quality of work was up to Sloan’s standards, the firm became very tolerant of work style variables such as working from home. This was part of the firm’s overall tolerance and encouragement of diversity; this was not just in terms of gender or ethnicity but in terms of allowing associates to develop their own distinct leadership and professional styles. Associates felt that this allowed them to be authentic and develop their own voice within the Sloan brand. To provide proper mentorship to the employees, the company has tried to formalize what was traditionally an informal process.

Statistical Analysis

The program implemented in the Washington office was evaluated by comparing it to the Atlanta office of the company. Six variables had been chosen to identify the effectiveness of the program that included: workload, intention to quit, work-life conflict, organizational commitment, perceived burnout and perceived organizational support. By taking the average of these variables in the Washington and Atlanta offices, it revealed that after implementing the programs, the workload in the Washington office was less than the Atlanta office. In addition to that, associates in Atlanta office were more intended towards leaving the job as compared to the associates of the Washington office. In terms of balancing life between work and family, again the Washington office scored better as compared to the Atlanta office; which indicated that associates in the Washington office were better able to maintain a work-life balance as compared to the associates in the Atlanta office.

As far as organizational commitment is concerned, the Atlanta office scored low with an average of 3.16 out of 5 whereas, the Washington office scored high with an average of 3.44 out of 5. Next variable in the study includes perceived burnout that showed a relatively less score in Washington office as compared to the associates in the Atlanta office. The last variable in the study was perceived as an organizational support that again showed the same trend like other five variables.

In addition to that, regression analysis has been done too in order to analyze the relationship and interdependency among age, gender and marital status and the five variables that have been used in the study. Data from the Washington office revealed that there was no significance between age and the level of workload, intention........................

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The law firm, Sloan & Harrison, confronted issues related to morale and turnover of associated series. Annual surveys of others have shown an increase of discontent, especially in relation to the partner communication, work-life balance, and mentoring. Management of the company wondered how legitimate are associated problems? What can and should be done to address them? "Hide
by Boris Groysberg, Elliot Sherman Source: Harvard Business School 10 pages. Publication Date: August 15, 2008. Prod. #: 409032-PDF-ENG

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