Thomas Green: Power, Office Politics, and a Career in Crisis Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Thomas Green: Power, Office Politics, and a Career in Crisis Case Solution

McClellan's theory:

Based on the leadership skills and the behavioral responses against different situations;there is a requirement to identify the key driving motivation factors of one’s performance,because such motivators are not known to be inherent but they do require development through life experiences and culture of the organization. According to the theory of needs:Frank Davis had represented all the motivators in his leadership skills, i.e.need for achievement, intrinsic motivation, and need for power. Whereas, the leadership skills represented by Thomas Green mainly included need for power–desire to control and influence others’ behaviour because he had been making mistakes since the day he was promoted, based on his decisions and some unwanted actions, and need for affiliation – desire to develop friendly and warm relationship with other team members because Green is more concerned about and focused on working independently. (Murphy, Power and Influence, 2019)

Green’s decision options:

Performance as Account Executive:

As an Account Executive, Green had led the development of a good understanding of the market scenario and had developed healthy relationship with clients,which impressed McDonald during informal meetings with him.Such performance allowed him to get noticed by the senior executives. His performance as an Account Executive was commendable as he led the completion of a project for the acceleration of the roll out of kiosks in around twenty airports. He was considered as highly ambitious and a bright employee, because of his good reputation among the clients. Based on such performance; he was promoted to the position of Senior Market Specialist.

Actions as Senior Market Specialist:

The actions of Green as Senior Market Specialist, mainly included the following:

  • Review of the past two years’ sales.
  • Tour of the major airline industry and attendance of the meetings with clients, which resulted in good response from clients, about the ideas but lacked any market data that could be provided to the client.
  • Visit to clients and account excess in major hubs.
  • Independent working and later meeting with the national sales and software development’s director, hashing out the building of a new cross-selling and up-selling the software program which was expected to allow the clients to upgrade their travelling experience.
  • Because of an independent working behaviour; he avoided maintenance of interactions with his team members,followed by the ignorance of Frank’s consultation and direction, which represented a Single Wolf behaviour.

Criteria for decision-making:

The criteria for the evaluation of Green’s performance tends to be based on the effectiveness of the metrics, such as: decision-making, market evaluation, development of strategic approaches, communication, team work and sense of responsibility.

Decision matrix

Attributes Rationale
Market evaluation 3 –Because he represented his ideas in the meeting without any backup documentation.
Decision-making 2 –Initial job service as a sales person did not require the ability to make decisions.
Development of strategic approaches 2 –Inability to analyze the market trends and to understand the clients’ details.
Communication 2–Irresponsible behavior and lack of concern to meet the expectations, being busy in resolving the issues of personal life, not promoting the face-to-face interaction.
Team work 1 - Valued working independently, which led towards the development of the communication gap.
Sense of responsibility 2 – No physical presence in the office working hours and no response to the calls and messages by Frank, to report him about the projects he asked.


Based on the analysis of the leadership skills and Green’s performance;he is recommended to work on his abilities to gain more marketing knowledge in order to develop the capability to justify his claims with appropriate evidences and facts. To eliminate the probability of an increased misconception to work as a Single Wolf; he must express his commitments to the team members, in orderto bring a significant reduction in the communication gap that he had created. Similarly, he must be present in the office and deal with his personal issues after the working hours,which would allow him to work more efficiently, leading towards the development of proposal that was raised by Frank in the meeting.

Additionally, there is a requirement to mend his relationship with Davis as it is one of the most important things to bring an improvement in the working styles and leadership skills. This can be significantly done by looking over the mistakes done in the past and should communicate his views directly to McDonald, because she promoted him to this position and was accountable for his actions. Furthermore, rather than focusing on influencing or changing the behavioral responses of others; he should work on his actions and be accountable for his responsibilities. (Curphy, Skills for Building Personal Credibility and Influencing Others, 2019)

Implementation Plan:

Based on the recommendation, i.e. reflection on mistakes, meeting the expectations of Frank and identification of locus of control;Green is required to consider the following steps in order to bring an improvement in his skills.

Before the meeting:

Harnessing the bias towards the overemphasized actions like provision of a favorable evaluation by Shannon, because of a similar background. This can be done through bringing a calendar to the meeting,for the demonstration of his time consumed in the key activities over the past few months. Similarly, he must produce the framework for a marketing proposal, to represent in the meeting with back-up documentation.

During the meeting:

He must avoid being aggressive to the clients’ responses and he should remain calm and persuasive. The response should be logical and supportive that represents efforts. The ability to listen and respond effectively, would allow him to bring a reduction in the communication gap, i.e. building of bridges between them. Similarly, the expression of commitment by fulfilling the needs and expectations of Frank, would reduce the probability of conflict occurrence.

During next month:

Over the period of next thirty days;Green should be visibly present in the office, lead the production of proposal based on the direction provided by Frank, invest time with other senior executives, in order to gain additional knowledge about how business operations are conducted and managed efficiently, which would lead towards the development of his responsibilities and his strong position in the organization..........

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