Caught in a Bind: Exploring Corporate Culture in a Promotion Decision


This case places students in the role of the founders and leaders of a fast-growing consulting firm as they wrestle with the costs and benefits of promoting a high-performing yet counter-culture associate to a prominent leadership position. The candidate is strong on paper. He has the skills and experience required for the job. Clients like working with him. However, associates within the firm do not like working for or with him because of his communication and management styles. This is a serious concern for the firm founders because they pride themselves on having a positive corporate culture that sets them apart from competitors. This case offers students an excellent opportunity to explore concepts related to corporate culture, morale, communication, poor management, and leadership as they grapple with the issues presented in this case. Students are challenged to consider the importance, or not, of soft skills to successful management.

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