To read this content please select one of the options below:

The worker bee’s dilemma: move out to move up?

Tyechia Veronica Paul (Department of Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Fire and Emergency Services Administration, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA)

Publication date: 27 April 2022

Issue publication date: 23 June 2022


Theoretical basis

This case is underpinned by multiple motivational theories, including Maslow’s Hierarchy, Alderfer’s existence relatedness growth, equity theory, expectancy theory and Herzberg’s two-factor theory.

Research methodology

This data was gleaned from the protagonist and corporate documents. Names have been changed to conceal the identity of the firm and its employees.

Case overview/synopsis

Vivienne consistently earned high-performance ratings at her firm. She designed the internal firm university, a permanent learning program. She then noticed other employees being promoted based on her work. She was not offered a promotion, so she conducted a job analysis. Based on those findings, Vivienne decided to develop and present a retitling proposal for her promotion to a title better aligned with the level of work she performed. This case analyzes Vivienne’s organization, the firm university program, and her retitling proposal using management theories, human resources laws, and concepts, and it leads to an important career crossroads.

Complexity academic level

Undergraduate courses: organizational behavior and human resource management.



Disclaimer. This case is intended to be used as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. The case was compiled from published sources.


Paul, T.V. (2022), "The worker bee’s dilemma: move out to move up?", , Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 630-640.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles