DebiColeman - Background and Relevant Facts Debi Coleman...

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Background and Relevant Facts Debi Coleman received a BA in English Literature in 1974 before Texas Instruments (TI) employed her as a production supervisor. In her words, she had "two and a half strikes against" her because of her youth, gender and non-technical education. She vigorously pursued a self- directed program of education to overcome these strikes, first through courses in electronics and accounting, and later through an MBA program. Over time, she progressed from TI to General Electric to General Foods and finally to Hewlett-Packard (HP) as a financial accounting supervisor. She continued to find herself interested in manufacturing and so continued to take courses relevant to that discipline. By 1981, her abilities had matured enough to land her a job as project controller of the Mac group at Apple Computer, Inc. In 1982, this group evolved formally into the Macintosh division of which she became division controller. As time progressed, Coleman encountered swelling sources of stress. Given that Steve Jobs considered the Mac a vastly superior product that held the future of Apple, a rivalry had emerged between the Mac division and the rest of Apple with the former "alienating everybody in the rest of the company." Coleman's close working subordinate relationship to Jobs led the alienated parties to view her as "the wicked witch of the West." Major problems at the main Mac plant in Fremont, California which she oversaw added even more stress as those problems grew such that by May 1984 they threatened the very future of Apple. By the middle of 1985, despite Coleman having gotten the Fremont plant to "click," Apple faced numerous challenges to its continued survival. In addition to major internal problems within its own organization, it also faced the external threat of a severe slowdown in the computer sales market as a whole. Together, these adversities posed enormous stressors on Coleman, now the company's director of operations. These motivate a concise:
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Problem Definition Debi Coleman has grown immersed in a stressful situation due to organizational conflicts between the Mac division and the rest of Apple as well as values clashes between her role as an individual and her role as the Apple director of operations. Solving this problem demands: Relevant Theories and Models Stress
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2010 for the course MAN 5245 taught by Professor Tosi during the Fall '07 term at University of Florida.

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DebiColeman - Background and Relevant Facts Debi Coleman...

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