Midwestern Art Museum

3648 Words Apr 16th, 2012 15 Pages
Midwestern: Contemporary Art Case Study

Negotiations
March 20, 2012
Abstract

Background The present paper reviews a case study as written by Lewicky, Saunders and Barry in the text Negotiations titled Midwestern::Contemporary Art, case number 6. Its focus is on a financial crisis that the museum is facing due to a donors failure to pay a five million dollar pledge. The donor was the museums previous president of the board of directors who had a falling out with the museum director over financial matters and felt minimized by the lack support by board members. The museum is in the process of completing a major capital project and faces the near term possibility of bankruptcy if the pledge is not fulfilled.

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She must decide if the MCA should try to pursue negotiations with the Smiths or legal action. It is a big decision to make and the boards’ next meeting is in five days.

Who is in Charge?

Let’s consider the leadership crisis that got them in the situation to start with. First of all, Keith Schmidt as the executive director should be able to answer the board chairman’s questions in a clear and logical manner and should not expect an “unsigned check” regardless of how he was treated elsewhere. Beyond that, Peter Smith as the board chairman is clearly micromanaging the director and as a result, both men have let the business relationship become personal. If you insist on micro-managing, you have a problem; if you believe you must check on every detail, your style is symptomatic of insecurity or paranoia. Your style is based on a lack of faith and trust in other people. And, it is repressive. It leads to little growth, it discourages any human resource development, and it focuses on problems of detail, and discourages teamwork. If you don’t trust your manager or his judgment, and you are unwilling to allow him to assume any responsibility, you are cheating yourself of the talent you are paying for. As much as you may want to, you can’t build a one-person organization that will succeed in the long run. Micro-managing may work for a while, but in time, it acts as a brake on all progress. In this case, it is stifling

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