The case describes the dilemma a young leader, First Lieutenant Toomey, faces after arriving at a new organization. Toomey’s subordinate (sergeant first class Rodgers) is more experienced and accomplished and has enjoyed a degree of autonomy under Toomey’s predecessor. Rodger’s demeanor and the physical setup of the joint office space speak to a dysfunctional dynamic in an organization that values a traditional hierarchy and relatively high power distance between supervisor and subordinate. The potential for conflict exists as Toomey contemplates how to address the dysfunctional norms he has observed while maintaining a functional relationship and reputation as an effective leader in his new unit.
The case was created via an interview of the protagonist.
Relevant courses and levels
This case is designed for use in undergraduate and graduate level courses on leadership and management. The case is useful for teaching lessons (or electives) on power, influence, conflict management, culture and leading change.
Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision making. The authors may have disguised names; financial, and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.
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