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Peggy Waterman was the senior secretary to the regional vice president of a financial services firm, a position she held for years.  In Peggy’s contacts with other regional offices, she discovered that her counterparts were promoted to executive assistants.  Peggy wanted to be an executive assistant because the position would give her more status, salary, and vacation time.  She approached Ken Jackson, her manager, and requested a promotion to executive assistant.

Ken liked the idea and asked Peggy to draft a job description that would increase her level of responsibilities, including work on special assignments.  Ken reviewed the description with Peggy, contacted the headquarters human resource department, and secured the reclassification.  Peggy could not understand why Ken was placing more demands on her time and requesting that she accomplish more tasks independently.  Ken, in turn, could not understand why Peggy was blocking his requests because it was she who had asked for the promotion.

Peggy would openly complain, “What good is it to be an executive assistant and get more vacation time?  Every time I turn around, Ken has some new project for me.  I never get to take the vacation time I have.”  Peggy soon began bad-mouthing Ken.  She would answer his telephone calls and say such things as, “I don’t know where Ken is.  He never tells me anything anymore.”

Peggy’s disgruntlement continued, and she stopped providing Ken with the information she was supposed to.  On one occasion, Peggy scheduled several people to meet with Ken but did not tell him about it until the last minute when the group suddenly appeared at his office.  Peggy insisted to Ken, “I told you the meeting was scheduled.  Don’t you listen to me anymore?”  Her rhetorical question was asked in front of the guests who had arrived for the meeting.

Peggy insisted that all the information sent to Ken had to be reviewed by her first, and that email messages for Ken be sent to her for forwarding.  Even hard-copy items were plucked from Ken’s box and reviewed.  Peggy would then openly pass judgment on the contents.  Once she told a manager reporting to Ken that he would most certainly approve a promotion for one of her people.  Yet Ken had not yet read the request.

Once day the company CEO telephoned Ken, and Peggy took the opportunity to describe Ken’s inability to run his operation.  Upon speaking to Ken, the CEO said, “Muzzle her or fire her.  I don’t care which.”

What would be an ineffective structural response by Ken? What would be an effective structural response?


What would be an ineffective human resource response by Ken? What would be an effective human resource response?


What would be an ineffective political response by Ken? What would be an effective political response?


What would be an ineffective symbolic response by Ken? What would be an effective symbolic response?

Last Updated on November 19, 2019 by EssayPro