Leadership Anxiety at PharmOrg

Abstract

This fictional case involves an expatriate executive, Dr. Schmitz, who became head of the Indian Research Division at PharmOrg, a company that specializes in agrochemical products. He was the youngest head to serve in India and had planned to return to his original position at headquarters (HQ) upon expiration of his new assignment. During the final phase of his tenure in India, his organization experienced structural changes due to a merger. These changes led to a sense of uncertainty and apprehension for Dr. Schmitz, who worried that he might not reclaim his desired position at HQ after his stint in India. With the emerging nature of the situation, he felt threatened and desperate to prove himself to regain visibility at the HQ level. The case provides an opportunity for students to explore what happens to an individual in a leadership position when an organization undergoes changes and how leaders can avoid creating a toxic culture in the face of uncertainty.

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