Chapter 12: Managing Conflict, Stress, and Time – THE MISSED PROMOTION

Subject: Business / Management
Question
Chapter 12: Managing Conflict, Stress, and Time

THE MISSED PROMOTION:
SusaLn Wiuiamson was worried. For the past six months, her husband, Paul, was a different person
from the man she married. Un[fl that time, Paul had
been a cheerful and caring husband and father. He
took an interest in their children, was active in church,
and had a zest for day-to-day living. In recent months,
he turned moody, abrupt, and withdrawn. He spent his
time at home watching television and drinking beer.
He never talked about his job as maintenance supervisor at the ABC Company as he once had. Recently
Susan asked if something at work was bothering him
and, if so, whether he would discuss it with her. His
reply was "No, there’s nothing bothering me! You take
care of the house and the children, and 1’1] take care of
the job and making a living!"
Actually, the job had been bothering Paul for about
a year. Before that, he was considered one of the outstanding maintenance supervisors. In those days, his
two immediate supervisors, the maintenance superintendent and the maintenance manager, called on him
frequently for advice and used him as a troubleshooter
within the plant. Although Paul did not have a college
degree in engiveering, the maintenance manager
strongly hinted when the maintenance superintendent
retired, Paul would be promoted to his position. The
maintenance manager told Paul that, despite having
three engineering graduates in the supervision group,
he considered Paul the best in the department.
A year ago, the maintenance manager was transferred to another plant. A new maintenance manager
came aboard and from the start, favored couege graduates. Graduany Paul was used less and less for troubleshooting assignments, and his advice was rarely
sought. Then, six months ago, the maintenance superintendent retired and a young engineering graduate
named Bobbi, whom Paul trained, was promoted to
the superintendent’s job. That was when Paul’s personality changed. He began sleeping longer each night,
often faning asleep in front of the television set. He 405 also developed a tightness in his stomach that created
a burning sensation.
Bobbi, the engineer promoted to maintenance
superintendent, was worried. For several months, she
had concerns about the performance and health of one
of her maintenance supervisors, Paul Winiamson. Paul
had been Bobbi’s boss at one time and she always
admired his ability as a supervisor and his knowledge
of the maintenance area.
Recently, while attending a regivnal meeting of
maintenance managers from different plants of the ABC Company, Bobbi ran into the fomer maintenance manager at her plant who was now at another
plant. He asked how Paul was doing. Bobbi, glad to
share her concern with someone, said she was worried
about him. "His performance has slipped, for one
thing. Also, he used to have perfect attendance, but
lately he’s been calling in sick a lot." The maintenance manager replied, "I wonder if disappointment over not being promoted to maintenance
superintendent has affected his performance. No
reflection on you. of course, but before I left, the plant manager and I agreed Paul would be promoted
to maintenance superintendent. Then the home office
changed its corporate policy so only college graduates
could be promoted to superintendent. This made Paul
ineligible, and you got the job instead."
Bobbi didn’t know Paul had been the first choice for
the position she now held. Upon reflection, she decided
to have a coaching and counseling session with him
when she returned to the plant, because she certainly
didn’t want to lose him.
CASE QUESTIONS
I. How should Bobbi approach Paul about the situation?
2. What do you think Paul’s reaction(s) will be? 3. Do you agree with the company’s policy of promoting only college graduates to the maintenance
superintendent position? Why or why not?

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