Bob Knowlton Case Analysis Essay

887 Words Nov 22nd, 2011 4 Pages
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Bob Knowlton at Simmons Laboratories
Introduction Simmons Laboratories are in a difficult situation following Bob Knowlton’s sudden, unanticipated resignation. This paper outlines what Bob Knowlton could have done differently and identifies specific ideas about teams, organizational culture artefacts and underlying assumptions and organizational and personal values that could have resulted in a positive outcome. Question 1 Appreciation for honest dialogue amongst his team would have aided Bob Knowlton in ensuring supportive team norms. Knowlton had concerns from the first night he met Fester, yet he remained silent. He neglected to be open and honest with his team and with Jerrold, his boss. Knowlton could have demonstrated
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Question 2 Morning group meetings were custom for members of Knowlton’s lab and can be described as an organizational culture artefact. Knowlton felt far less secure if he had to direct the work out of his own mind; he counted on these meetings to both challenge and reinforce his ideas. Knowlton was proud that his lab’s work was guided and evaluated by the whole group. As team meetings were increasingly skipped, this important custom was in jeopardy. Knowlton considered the morning group meeting a principle of his leadership. The demise of the strength of morning meetings greatly diminished Knowlton’s confidence and authority as a leader, impacting Knowlton’s approach to the situation. With the principle of his leadership challenged, Knowlton decided to seek employment elsewhere. Through presenting Fester with a problem that his team had previously concluded that no solution was possible, Knowlton was openly challenging an organizational underlying assumption. He was likely testing both Fester’s competency along with that of his team, including his as a leader. Fester’s insistence that the problem could be approached and that a solution was possible destabilized the group and led to anxiety amongst team members. For Knowlton personally, his apprehension grew regarding his personal knowledge, leadership

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