The case study, “Wolfgang Keller at Konigsbrau-TAK (A),” describes a managerial challenge faced by Wolfgang Keller, the Managing Director of Konigsbrau’s Ukrainian subsidiary. Although his subordinate Dmitri Brodsky, the Commercial Department Director, has great work experience and expertise, Brodsky fails to reach Keller’s expectations and only receives a “sufficient” evaluation on the annual performance. The main problem is Keller’s dissatisfaction with Brodsky’s low performance, which causes conflicts between these two people that could be attributed to several issues—problems with communication, leadership style, and personal variables. All three of these issues are plaguing the team, but would be well addressed by the implementation of the FINAL RECOMMENDATION (detailed discussion of ALTERNATIVE 3). Other possible solutions to alleviate the conflicts between Keller and Brodsky include ALTERNATIVE 1 and ALTERNATIVE 2. Communication is one of the main causes of Keller and Brodsky’s conflict: their ineffective communication created barriers that stopped the pair from setting up a common goal and working well together. First, Keller and Brodsky have different communication channel preferences with their employees and colleagues. Keller favors an informal communication channel such as face-to-face conversations with his subordinates and clients. He believed that creating a close relationship with his employees could cultivate their loyalty and enthusiasm, which would increase their work performance. However, Brodsky prefers more formal and lower channel richness communication to avoid face-to-face communication and prefers written communication methods like memorandums and letters (shown in Exhibit 7). To keep his distance in his work life, Brodsky refused to attend “Keller’s usual practice of having follow-up meetings” and is unreachable through his direct contact information. In addition, there is a lack of informal communication between Keller and Brodsky. Keller is annoyed that Brodsky set a
clear line between his personal life and professional life. Brodsky barely talks about his family and he did not join in with the other managers for lunch and other social events. Since Brodsky avoids all kinds of informal communication, Keller had little chance to determine Brodsky’s thoughts and needs. Therefore, Keller reasons that Brodsky’s introversion limits his capacity to effectively lead as a “socially charismatic leader.” Furthermore, Keller is disturbed by Brodsky’s insistence on using the formal vy form of “you” when addressing his peers, which makes him less fit in the company culture, even when other executives had agreed to use the informal ty form.
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- Spring '10
- Brodsky, Dmitri Brodsky