The purpose of this memorandum is to analyze the situation and make
recommendations for de-escalating the situation before it reaches crisis, improving
the relationship between Davis and Green, and generally improving the
atmosphere and culture of that division of Dynamic Display. After careful reviewing
of the situation at Dynamic Displays, I have come up with some possible solutions for the
problems between Frank Davis and Thomas Green. Frist of all, based on the background
of the company, Dynamic Display was founded in 1990 as a provider of self-service
options to bank via ATMs, and in March 2007, Dynamic Display recruited Thomas
Green for an account executive position. On October 15, 2007, Green met with Frank
Davis, the marketing director, to discuss his performance, but Davis wrote a list of
problems he encountered with Green’s work. Green claimed that he felt he was being
criticized for disagreeing with him in the meeting and after that, Davis claimed that
Green made no improvements in his attitude or his managerial skills. In a word, the
conflict between Thomas Green and Frank Davis was created by their distrust for each
other and their working style’s difference. Here is my analysis for this situation.
First we must evaluate Frank Davis’s leadership .Looking at Davis’s leadership
behavior using the managerial grid, we see his style as Authoritarian or high task and low
relationship. Instead of having a transformational leadership style, Davis has a
transactional leadership style. His leadership style is active management by exception.
His form of transactional leadership is lead with contingent reward. He essentially is
telling Green that if Green does as he asks, he will stop sending these e-mails.
According to Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership theory, Frank Davis’s
leadership style does not match Thomas Greene’s worker readiness. Green things that he
is a delegate as an employee with high employee will and skill. This probably is due to
his quick hiring. However, as McDonald points out earlier to Green, in reality Green is
ambitious but inexperienced. Davis shares this same view of Green actually being at the
Guide level, an employee with high will but low skill. Frank Davis’s leadership of
Thomas Green under House’s Path-Goal Theory of Leadership. This theory essentially
states that you want to make the people you lead believe that they can complete a certain
task. However, the problem is that Davis and Green have a fundamental disagreement
between them on what the job is and which is needed to be successful. Davis more
focuses on the data, preparation and the general bureaucratic process. Green is more
focused on pushing for new products and new ideas.
Next we should examine the power and influence of Davis. Davis most
relies on legitimate power and least on referent power. Davis has Legitimacy which
gained from acting in ways that are consistent with the prevailing value system and are
viewed as credible by other organizational members. He does not rely on personal
power, but more on positional power. Personal power serves as a critical element in
forming leadership and building relationship with employees. Personal power contains
expertise, effort, attractiveness and legitimacy. Based on Davis’ leadership style and
behavior, he is typical a leader with expertise, effort, legitimacy but not attractiveness.
Expertise is gained from both formal education and on-the-job experiences. Davis, is
obviously a very skilled director with a lot of experience since he is age of 45 and he is a
17-year veteran of Dynamic Displays. Effort refers to working hard and being committed
to success. Davis devotes higher-than-expected effort to his work, which can be viewed
as more committed and more dependable than others. Although he is very strict to his
employee, he made lots of efforts making procedures and evaluating Green’s report as his
responsibility. Attractiveness, which stems from having attributes that others identify
with and would like to emulate, including physical appearance, charisma, and likability.
Davis is not attractiveness due to his leadership style. As a result of relying more on
legitimate power, when he loses power as he does in the meeting with Green, the
result is ruthlessness, a lack of empathy and inflexibility. He is not open, flexible and
empathetic because he did not concern about Green as Green was just a new employee
with less managerial experience. He did not allow Green to have any mistakes and was
unfriendly during the meeting. He feels he has lost this power as he unilaterally
imposes the set projection foal without consulting Green. Those who lead with
legitimate power, as Davis does, end up meeting resistance and do not acquire
commitment from those they lead. Green in this meeting then confronts Davis in
what is seen as an affective conflict.
Power also impacts subordinates in negative ways, which cause conflict. The
relationship between Davis and Green is called dependence asymmetry. Under the
circumstance, the firm is less dependent on Green, the degree of difference in dependence
shows that Davis has power over Green because Green relies more on the firm to
promotion. Besides, disagreement about priorities also exits between Davis and Green.
While Green was satisfying his succeed in the banking division and focusing on the ATM
sales, Davis has already prepared a list of problems that Green had because Green did not
reach the sales within his forecast. Davis sets the goal much higher than Green, which
leads to the disagreement about priorities and goals.
We should examine the conflict and negotiation paths that they are taking
and should take based on what we have determined of the power and influence and
leadership style. Davis and Green have interpersonal conflict since they are all in the
same marketing group. In group situations, members are dependent on one another for
achieving goals. In this case, conflict arises when Davis has a higher goal than Green’s
expectation, and thus, this incompatible goals and interests become the basis of
interpersonal conflict. Conflict also escalates when they spend more time on attacking
others or defending themselves instead of negotiating. Besides, Green started to avoid
interactions with Davis after the second meeting, which further escalates the conflict. The
source of conflict is cognitive conflict, which result from disagreement over work-related
issue, Green and Davis have a different perspective about their task, Davis expects the
division to be a growth engine for the company with a 10% CAGR over the past 5 years;
However, Green concerns with the sales target and is conservative outlook. Frank Davis
and Thomas Green might come to an acceptable and more functional relationship by
avoidance. It is likely to reduce the tension created by disagreement by avoiding conflict
and it is appropriate in this situation when Green and Davis both need to gather more
information to cool down. Davis and Green can also use Integrative Negotiations to
smoothen their relationship. This type of negotiation seeks for alternative to satisfy both
sides. Although it might be hard for them to make a consistency on temporary by
negotiating, it would be considered effective in long term.
The way the relationship between Green and Davis is working currently.
Davis is failing to motivate Green. Davis failed to apply Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy
Theory to motivate Green because Green already satisfied with the current salary and job
position, as a new employee, he has strong ambition and only desires the acceptance of
his superior to allow him explore potential. Davis should give some rewards to Green
instead of just listing problems. His inclusions and acceptance are not met as he
automatically is seen as an out-group person. He is much younger than the rest of his coworkers
and just recently joined the group. It didn’t help the Mcdonald explained how if
it weren’t for her, Davis would not have chosen Green for his current position. Another
motivation theory Davis fails to consider is acquired needs theory. Green is highly
achievement oriented. Those who are achievement oriented are more effective in
entrepreneurial venues rather than bureaucratic ones like Davis is trying to lead. He also
is less likely to provide feedback which was one of Davis’s concern about the change in
the Outlook calendar.
It would be best for Dynamic Display for Davis and Green to meet together
separate from the remaining co-workers and agree what would be a realistic goal rather
than 10%. Perhaps they could reach a compromise where Green would complete the
required data anlaysis so that before any future meetings Davis and Green could discuss
reasonable numbers. This would also Green to feel like his voice is heard while giving
Davis the comfort of the bureaucratic process. Also perhaps Green could be allowed to
do what he feels is necessary to reach his goals as long as he accepts guidance from
Davis and actually communicates with Davis