Harvard Case Study Kramer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. By: Derek A. Newton Management “Honors” 3300 Section EMWA Professor Walsh Kris Bonilla Daniella DiBenedetto Fact Sheet: * Company name: Kramer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. * Major manufacturer of prescription drugs. * Sales force of over 500 detailers * Detailers responsible for about 200 accounts * 35 District managers * Detailer: Bob Marsh * Worked for Kramer Pharmaceuticals for 12 years * Territory in Toledo, Ohio * District Supervisors * John Meredith * Bill Couch * Jim Rathbun Vince Reed * Tom Wilkens * Ted Franklin * Starting Salary $14,000 * Ending Salary $25,000 * Hired under John Meredith * Fired under Ted Franklin Issues: 1. Expectations 2. Managing Your Boss 3. Coaching 4. Sales Training Expectations Although Bob was good in the field and communicating with others, his new supervisors had certain expectations as to how things should be done. Their expectations are one of the issues that caused the management failure in question. A. Make Bob a Team Leader| B. Orientation| C.
Do not focus on his previous record with the company| Pro’s| Con’s| Pro’s| Con’s| Pro’s| Con’s| Bob can see the importance of planning and organizing| Might feel too much of a sense of entitlement| Chance to learn what’s expected of you| Too much information in one day| Supervisors won’t cast immediate judgment| Might fall back into bad habits| Bob can consider a leader’s point of view on his behavior| Might influence others in his group to be disorganized| Get to know company’s culture| Not all information from company is shared| Allows Bob to prove his worthiness| Might not get better| Interact and learn more about other employees| Cause too much self worth| Sense of pride in your company| Not a lot of interaction| Gives bob a chance to change and not be judged on his previous mistakes| Only chance to prove himself| We have chosen Decisions C
The solution we feel will help overcome this issue the best is solution C. In this case, Bob has been fired because of his lack of ability to organize and plan as his employers feel is necessary. Although he always gets the job done and has amazing customer rapport; his higher ups weren’t happy with the way he goes about doing things. Each time a new supervisor came into Bob Marsh’s district, they reviewed previous reports from previous supervisors. We feel as if this has played a big role in their assumptions of him. If instead of doing so, they should evaluate him as if he’s never been evaluated before so they won’t cast immediate judgment of him. The pside of this solution is that it allows him to prove himself and his changed working habits. In the first scenario under supervision of John Meredith after he brought disorganization and lack of planning up to his attention, Marsh made it his duty to fix it and he did. So much so, that Meredith stated “Marsh’s effort to improve his call planning and overall organization had impressed Meredith to the point that he now rated this aspect of the job as completely satisfactory”. This proves that he did in fact change his working habits if it wasn’t that the supervisors saw previous reports of him the seed wouldn’t have been planted in their head about his lack of organization skills.
The down side to this solution is that he might fall back into bad habits. Sometimes you need to be reminded of the wrong your capable of doing to ensure you don’t fall back into that path again. But to ensure that this will not happen, you can just remind employees of what is expected of them and how it’s expected to be done on a regular basis. Managing Your Boss Another issue we feel played a role in this “management failure” is his lack of ability to manage his boss or in this case his bosses. He didn’t make his bosses aware of all the good he has done for the company and how much customers of Kramer enjoyed him as a sales rep. A. Foster a relationship with your supervisor | B. Let things be| C.
Have the customers that believe in you show support| Pro’s| Con’s| Pro’s| Con’s| Pro’s| Con’s| Supervisors change perception of Bob| Bob could get too comfortable| Don’t have to communicate as often| Nothing will change| Boss will see how well your doing in the field| Supervisor may neglect outside views| More efficient channel of communication| Takes a long time to establish a relationship| | Bobs performance may worsen| Get yourself noticed, get yourself promoted| Bob will have to swallow his pride| Increase trust in each other| Might not be a perceptive approach| | Supervisors performance may worsen| Will have a sense of pride in his job| Can become too cocky| We have chosen decision A The solution we have chosen to help overcome this issue is to build a relationship with your boss. In this case study Bob Marsh is constantly being written up for his deficit of planning and organization skills. We believe if Bob would have known how to manage his boss he wouldn’t have so much of a problem. If you know how to manage your boss correctly performance doesn’t matter much, “Those who advance in a company do so, on the basis of the impression they make on superiors”.
Building a relationship with your boss will in turn change your boss’s perception of you drastically. A boss will tend to focus on all of your good qualities as a worker instead of your bad ones. This can be extremely helpful, especially when you’re under constant review. Your reviews determine whether or not you will get a promotion or salary increase. This solution will also allow you to build trust with your supervisor(s), which in fact is an extremely important aspect in any job. Like everything, there are some downsides to this decision. Sometimes if you build a relationship with your boss they can let too much slide and you as well can get to comfortable and slack off.
In order to assure that this doesn’t happen, you as the boss need to make sure that you always keep in mind although you can have a relationship with someone under you, you still need to make sure you do your duties as a boss. As a subordinate you need to make sure you as well do what’s expected of you to avoid this dilemma. Any relationship needs building and that could be another downside to this solution. In Kramer Pharmaceuticals, managers are constantly being moved around to different districts, this made it difficult for Bob Marsh to have enough time to build a relationship with his supervisors. Coaching One of the biggest issues at hand is that we feel Bob’s supervisors set him up to fail. A. Supervisors changes perception of Bob| B. Discipline Bob more| C.
Employee Evaluation| Pro’s| Con’s| Pro’s| Con’s| Pro’s| Con’s| Bob will perform better due to less micromanaging| Bob might perform worse| Bob might perform better| Bob might over work to prove himself| Bob improves employee moral| Supervisors might feel regret based on employee’s perception of them| Bob might plan and organize to how the supervisors want him to| Bob could try to do things his own way| Bob might have better communication with his supervisor| Bob might build a wall towards boss| Boss will see what their strengths and weaknesses are| Supervisors might totally over exam it| Less judgment will occur| Lack of judgment can make him feel as if he’s doing nothing wrong| Bob will do as he is told | Bob might quit due to pressure| Sudden positive change| Over sense of entitlement about their good behavior| We have chosen decision A
The solution we have chosen to help this issue of coaching is Decision A. In this case study, Bob’s supervision that came in, had a perception of Bob’s strengths and weaknesses from previous supervisors. Due to their perception, they increased their supervision and caused him to perform worst. We believe Bob was set up to only fail when his supervisors used his reputation of what he was lacking in the past, such as planning and organizing; and thought increased supervision will help him to perform better. When supervisors change their perception of an employee in a positive way, they will decrease their supervision; allow some of pressure off the employee and he or she may start to do better.
In this case study, all the supervisors began to doubt their negative perception of Bob and they started to behave differently towards Bob. As new supervisors came into the picture, they provided more guidance when assigning tasks and some even got more involved in his decision making. If Bob wasn’t under constant supervision, he might have planned and organized better at work. The supervisors might have meant well in highly supervising Bob based on his perceived working experience, but it caused Bob to care less and less about performing to the best of his ability. The down side to this solution is that there is a chance Bob might have performed worst or tried to do things his own way. We feel Bob would have performed better in the areas he was lacking because under his first wo supervisors, John Meredith and John Rathbun, he was under less supervision, applied the advice they had told him to improve upon and was graded as a well above average employee. When employees begin to feel constant pressure due to increase supervision, they lose their basic fundamentals to perform their jobs and in reality managers begin to “manage a person out of the business”. Some employees can handle high supervision but others might be on a path towards forced resignation, quitting or being terminated. Sales Performance If there was a more effective sales compensation for employee’s performance, the situation with Bob and his supervisors would have not risen at all. A. Build a workshop| B. Better management recruitment | C.
Mentorship program for managers and employees| Pro’s| Con’s| Pro’s| Con’s| Pro’s| Con’s| Receive training on your weaknesses and build your strengths| Finding days and times that work with employees schedule| Bob would have been promoted asDistrict Manager| Might take time to implement effective managers| Give employees guidance | Can become too dependent on mentor| A series of workshops can build on each other| Could Victimize the individual that’s told to attend| Bob might have helped Kramer become more successful | Current managers might disagree with decision| Interact and learn more about employees| May feel threatened by mentor| Promotes active discussion| Could be intimidating for some people| Customers will have more respect towards Kramer| | Immediate questions and answers (Feedback)| Disagreements| We have chosen Decision B The solution we have chosen to help the issue of sales performance is decision B. In this case study, Bob’s supervisors always compensated him based on his change of behavior to meeting company protocols. We feel if there was a better Management recruitment program where managers were taught how to analyze their employees, Bob would have been promoted to District manager. Although detailers have performance valuations every year, detailers were to be evaluated based on their sales volume and the improvements in relationships with customers. Bob’s supervisors neglected his sales performance and criticized on weaknesses. With a better management recruitment put into place in a Sales business like Kramer Pharmaceuticals, employees are able to move up positions and can ultimately make the company more successful. Although Bob did receive annual raises throughout his twelve years with Kramer, he was never promoted because of manager’s perceived methodologies. Under this better management recruitment, the company can be able to hire and promote the most experienced employees.
In this case study, Bob’s supervisors turned out to be younger and less experienced then he was and because of their lack of management experience, they got rid a hardworking and dedicated worker. The down side to this solution is that current managers are going to disagree with company’s new management recruitment and might try to sabotage any process. Kramer’s District manager would disagree because they like to manage their employees like they managed Bob. Another down side is that it may take time for a sales company like Kramer to implement effective managers since current managers have an influence on future zone and district managers. This might be a big issue but if the Sales Vice President promotes and terminates the right people. Kramer can have an overall better compensation for employees and customers.