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Case Study 1: Dick SpencerDavid WhitleyMGT 585 – 02WDr. Sonia Taneja
Analysis of Critical IssuesThe case study of Dick Spencer’s career with Tri-American Corporation depicts the successes, failures and challenges experienced by the character Dick Spencer in his pursuit to transition from sales person to manager. This paper will be comprised of two distinct sections. First, an analysis of the critical issues will attempt to identify the pivotal factors that contributed to Dick’s early success as a sales person, mixed success as a middle manager, and tribulations as a plant manager. Second, recommendations will be delivered for how Dick could have better handled The Siding Department Incident. The case study describes each stage of Dick’s career with both personal and professional details. These details allow the reader to form a more comprehensive analysis of the character, outcomes and, most importantly, a more developed set of recommendations. Dick Spencer experienced a great deal of early success in his career with Tri-American Corporation. After completing his MBA, he joined Tri-American as a sales person at the age of twenty-two. In his first year he landed a huge single contract that propelled him near the top of the organization’s sales team. Despite failing to land another massive contract in year two with the company, Dick performed well enough on a consistent basis to remain near the top of the sales team. With a mixture of jealousy and envy, many of his peers ascribed Dick’s continued success more to his appearance and affability than his determination and sales skills. However, taking into consideration that Dick maintained his status as a top performer in year two due to consistent efforts and outcomes versus landing a single large deal, his coworker’s opinion seems unsupported. In a 1985 study (Churchill, Ford, Hartley & Walker), researchers identified six predictive sources of superior sales performance, including personal factors, skills, role variables, aptitude, motivation, and organizational/environmental variables. After researching
more than 100 articles, the authors concluded that these six pivotal factors were less predictive individually than they were when viewed as a whole. Churchill, et al, concluded that while personal traits like appearance and affability were a piece of the sales success puzzle, they were less important than factors like training, motivation and aptitude, which could be influenced by the individual, group and organization. The conclusions by Churchill, et al, were upheld in research that followed. First by Spencer & Spencer in 1993 and then by Vinchur, Schippmann, Switzer and Roth in 1998. Spencer & Spencer concluded that the competencies for workplace performance were far less dependent on physical characteristics than on the developmental skills.