Analysis: Tough Guy Case Study
The Tough Guy Case Study examines the employees of investment bank Hudson Smith Gordon (“Hudson”) and their reactions to the behavior of one of its vice presidents, Chip Mazey (Yemen & Clawson, 2007). This analysis will discuss the issues of unresolved conflict among Hudson employees and possible remedies to consider. Recommendations will be provided which should be implemented by Hudson management to minimize conflict and its effects in the workplace.
Several employees have witnessed varied offensive conduct by Mazey but have kept opinions to themselves until recently (Yemen & Clawson, 2007). Senior management at Hudson is aware of his behavior via 360o reviews; however, Mazey’s ability to produce revenue secured his promotion to vice president (Yemen & Clawson, 2007). Mazey acquiesces to upper management and believes employees of lower stature should do the same for him, while also accepting his unprofessional, degrading and condescending habits (Yemen & Clawson, 2007).
Defining the Problem
In the 10 years Mazey had been employed with Hudson, he was observed throwing things which barely missed employees, yelling at subordinates “in a rage” and making “derogatory and demeaning remarks” possibly regarding ethnicity or origin, among other inappropriate behavior (Yemen & Clawson, 2007). Mazey can be considered as a workplace bully. Hocker and Wilmot (2011) define bullying as “repeated and persistent patterns of negative workplace behavior that is ongoing for six months or longer in duration” (p. 175). The excessive bullying behavior Mazey displayed created interpersonal tension that affected productivity. Hudson associates were hesitant, or refused to work with Mazey due to prior experiences, or had adapted to working around his behavior (Yemen & Clawson, 2007). They believed addressing the issues with senior management would be moot or might worsen the situation (Yemen & Clawson, 2007). If not addressed and corrected, Hudson could be confronted with the costly consequences of employee turnover and possible legal liability due to mental injury or discrimination (McCullough, 2011).
Criteria for an Effective Solution
Hudson’s top priority in resolution should be to find one that will most benefit the business itself. The most effective solution must consider the needs of the company (McCulloch, 2010). To ensure a successful future, it will also need to consider the needs of the employees. Therefore, it is paramount to find a solution that will:
• Prevent litigation – court proceedings can be costly and may blemish the Hudson’s reputation due to Mazey being a member of senior management.
• Minimize turnover – the costs of losing employees and having to replace them may becomeexorbitant.
• Help each party mend broken relationships (Seagriff, 2010).
• Prevent the issue from escalating further (McCulloch, 2010).
• Keep focus on the problem as a whole rather than an isolated event. The goal...