Case Detail

Case Summary

Growing Managers: Moving from Team Member to Team Leader

Case Number: 5-411-757, Year Published: 2012

HBS Number: KEL629

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Authors: Brenda Ellington-Booth; Karen Cates

Key Concepts

Decision Making, Diversity, General Management, Human Resource Management, Management Development, Motivation, Organizational Behavior, Organizational Effectiveness


This case describes a newly promoted middle manager in a global, multi-cultural organization who is challenged by a number of factors in the workplace which are impacting her and her team’s ability to perform to the expectations of her regional manager. While it would be easy to blame the new manager, deeper analysis in fact reveals that many forces are at work here in addition to her inexperience including communication of strategy and performance objectives, mismanaged team members, cultural inconsistencies, and a lack of leadership direction and/or skill from the very top to her supervising manager.

Learning Objectives

After reading and analyzing the case, students should be able to
1) analyze and diagnose unmet expectations for performance at work,
2) apply motivation theories and constructs to common behavioral and attitudinal challenges in a team setting, and
3) learn to avoid the fundamental attribution error described in the social psychological literature on judgment in decision-making.

Number of Pages: 11

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Management, Organizational Behavior

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: Arizona, United States

Industry: Greenhousing, Flower Supplier

Organization Size: Medium

Decision Maker Position: Sales Manager

Decision Maker Gender: Female