Don’t use any references !!!
GUIDE TO WRITTEN CASE ANALYSIS
1. Dissect the case, studying the contents several times.
2. Distinguish between evidence and opinion.
3. Devote considerable thought to human sensitivities, personal aspirations, and positions of power.
4. Deploy practical creativity at every stage of case analysis.
5. Determine objectives which are actionable, testable, and reasonable.
6. Define the “real” problem(s).
7. Don’t copy lengthy data or facts from the case.
8. Dig for additional information.
9. Develop practical alternatives.
10. Don’t evade needed action by recommending “research”.
11. Decide what to do. BE SPECIFIC!!!
12. Demonstrate that the decision will lead to attaining the objectives. (This justification of the decision is the most important part of the analysis.)
13. Delineate future consequences, including problems arising from the solution.
The written analysis should be typed, double spaced, with the following sections of the project headed appropriately:
INTRODUCTION (A short synopsis of the information in the case)
ENDNOTES (Where appropriate)
APPENDICES (Where appropriate)
In your analysis don’t forget that this is a class in Organizational Behavior. As you read the case think about what factors in individual behavior, group behavior, and organization-based are present. Consider personality, perception, motivation and satisfaction, as well as problem solving styles. What elements of group dynamics are in place? What part does leadership play? Is there information in the case that would call attention to communication at the interpersonal and organizational level? What about conflict handling strategies? Does the case information provide insight into the corporate culture? Are power and political behavior present? How is the organization designed and what do specific jobs in that organization look like and how is this affecting behavior?
Margaret Jardine was sure when she completed her bachelor’s degree in business at Oregon State over thirteen years ago that she would go places at Pacific Security Bank. She had graduated with honors from OSU with an emphasis in finance and had joined PSB because she had felt it was a very progressive bank and sufficiently large to allow for movement into a variety of areas. She had done very well in the bank’s credit training program and had gone, after one year with the bank, directly to the position of loan officer at the Albany branch of PSB. Albany is located in central Oregon about 100 miles south of Portland, where PSB has its headquarters.
She had been successful in her first assignment, she felt, because she had been able to work closely with Ben Compton,the branch manager, who had given her a good deal of direction and guidance on handling accounts during her first year or two. She had also put in a great deal of extra time in that assignment keeping up with pending loan requests and making sure of each analysis. The only disconcerting thing to Margaret was that she had spent a full seven years in the assignment. This, she felt, had been too long.
When Ben Compton left the bank, Margaret felt there were a lot of reasons why she should be his replacement. When she did get the position as Albany branch manager, this confirmed her faith that she was on her way up in the bank. She was only the second woman in PSB to attain the position of branch manager. Recently, though, she had begun again to wonder about her future with the bank.
She had now been branch manager for over five years, and from her current perspective, she could see what kind of opportunities were open to her in the bank. There was only one other branch manager in the division who had been in his position less time than she had, and there were several who had been branch manager for ten years or more. The division manager, Dan Martin, was new but had himself been a branch manager for twelve years at Corvallis before becoming division manager. Recently at a bank dinner, Dan had introduced her to someone from another division and had referred to her as “one of our new branch managers.”
In her four years at Albany, the branch had done well, with substantial increases in loans outstanding and earnings. Recently, though, she felt that she had lost some of her motivation. Now if she put in extra time, it was only out of necessity of getting something done that had to be done. It certainly was not voluntary.
Margaret felt trapped, pigeonholed in some way. She felt like she had no idea where she was going in the bank. Others who had joined the bank and gone through the training program with her had stayed near PSB headquarters in Portland and had gotten a somewhat broader experience than she had. They were probably more promotable now than she was. She was at the stage with the bank where, although her market value was still high, her salary increases were getting smaller and smaller and her options were becoming more limited. Recently, Margaret had turned down a very attractive offer from Northwestern Security and Exchange, a small finance company in Salem near Albany, because there, too, she thought there would be little opportunity for advancement. Now she wondered if it would have been better to take the opportunity.
Still, there was an ambiguity in Margaret’s feelings about the bank. She felt that a move to corporate headquarters would be advantageous for her at this point in her career. At least, that seemed like the next logical move; and if she could do that, there was a great likelihood she would be made an Assistant Vice President. Yet she had really come to enjoy living in Albany. She was not sure that she wanted to leave Albany for the big-city atmosphere of Portland even if a better opportunity presented itself there. Her dilemma was that as long as she stayed in Albany, there was no place for her to go in the bank, and realistically speaking, an offer to go to Portland was not exactly imminent.
After dialing Northwestern’s number, only to hang up before it rang, Margaret decided she would put off any decision for at least a month so she could have plenty of time to think over her situation. Besides, Dan Martin had called from division headquarters and asked to see her on Monday morning. This would be a good time, she felt, to raise her concerns with Dan and to get his ideas.
Dan Martin had felt like he had it coming. After twelve years as manager of the Corvallis, Oregon branch office of Pacific Security Bank, Dan had been made division manager of PSB’s southern division. PSB was a large northwestern bank centered at Portland and the southern division covered most of the southern half of Oregon. Since division headquarters were in Corvallis, Dan had not had to move with the promotion.
Along with the benefits, the new position had brought its share of headaches. Dan’s biggest challenge, he felt, was keeping the branch managers in his division motivated. Margaret Jardine, the branch manager at Albany, was of particular concern to Dan. Margaret was a very promising young employee who, at 36, still had a bright future with the bank. Margaret’s problem was not exactly motivation, since she was one of the most outstanding performers in the division and her branch had significantly bettered its financial position during her term as branch manager. Nor was her problem one of complacency or stagnation. While several of the other branch managers had been in their positions for ten years or more, Margaret had only been a branch manager for five years or so.
From Dan’s point of view, Margaret’s problem was simply that she had become dissatisfied with the bank. She apparently felt, from comments she had made to Dan and Ed Finnerty, the former division manager, that she had not had sufficient opportunity to move around within the bank and to gain a broad exposure to PSB’s operation. She also felt, according to Ed, that her advancement opportunities had not come quickly enough. Ed had said that he expected her to leave PSB sometime in the near future if she could not get the kind of opportunity she wanted within the bank.
Of late, Dan had noticed a subtle change in her attitude. Margaret seemed to be less enthusiastic than Dan had come to expect of her and had been, on occasion, very critical of PSB’s operations. One or two of the other branch managers in the division had described her as being “cynical” and even “apathetic.” Dan decided he had better bring her in to talk over her situation.
Dan turned to her file to learn more about her background and her history at PSB. Margaret had been at the Albany branch for twelve of her thirteen years with the bank. She had spent only seven years as a loan officer before becoming the branch manager. That she had been very highly rated in her appraisals throughout her career also corroborated Dan’s impression of her. Her salary increases had been generally quite high. Considering the age at which she had become a branch manager and the kind of increases she had received, it was difficult to understand her dissatisfaction.
Dan read through the appraisals Ed Finnerty had written on her in the last few years. The following comment from her most recent appraisal was typical:
“Margaret is a highly competent professional with sound quantitative skills and credit judgement as well as the skills necessary for bank leadership. She gets along well with the people who work with and for her and the Albany branch has shown consistent improvement under her direction.”
Dan found some of Ed’s concluding remarks interesting:
“Margaret is anxious to continue her career at Pacific Security and looks forward in the future to taking on new and diverse assignments within the bank. She would like, however, to remain in the southern division and her preference would be to remain in or around Albany where she has lived for some time.”
It occurred to Dan that Margaret wanted to have her cake and eat it too. She could never really advance in the bank without moving close to Portland. To remain in Albany was impossible if she really wanted to develop her career at the bank. Dan might be able to offer her a divisional assignment in Corvallis sometime down the line, but this would not really be a step up for her, and Dan was not sure she would want to move to Corvallis. Dan did not want to see her leave the bank, and he also felt that her present frame of mind needed to be changed if she ever wanted to advance beyond her present position at the bank. Not knowing exactly what he planned to say to Margaret or what he could do for her, Dan phoned her and arranged an appointment for the following Monday morning.