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The Jim Davis Case


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The Jim Davis Case

  1. 1. The Jim Davis Case
  2. 2. Problem: formal power and interpersonal relations <ul><li>Immediate question: how to do about Patty? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patty is a symbol </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We cannot conclude with certainty that Patty is sick, or testing the limits of Jim’s real power, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sooner or later a test will come </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Long-term question: How to exert influence, in particular across otganizational boundaries (these are Allen’s and not Jim’s subordinates) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Jim’s mistake: relying on formal authority (too much) <ul><li>- Jim’s interest in meeting Allen and Johnson is based on the misguided notion that he can lean on their authority to get things done </li></ul><ul><li>(coercive tactics) </li></ul><ul><li>- Have already created a conflict – and accused on not doing his not job, while blindly relying on the support from the ” top ” </li></ul>
  4. 4. Real sources of power <ul><li>Formal position: Johnson’s and Allen’s support, but </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Allen has already been in trouble in imposing his own legitimacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Johnson also has limited power (story about part-time secretary) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key point: how Jim can use this support, if he gets it </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Real sources of power <ul><li>Expertise </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing skill to branch managers can be rewarding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No informal power (ignores the importance of positive personal relations: relations with Allen) </li></ul>
  6. 6. ” Whom are you facing ? ” : branch managers <ul><li>do not consider Jim and Allen (and maybe Johnson) as completely legitimate person to give orders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allen is too young </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jim is too young and not direct superior </li></ul></ul><ul><li>force: form a group, integrated into an even more large network of interpersonal relationship (+tenure) </li></ul><ul><li>potential sanction: sabotage, hidden – and efficient (Patty) </li></ul>
  7. 7. What to do? <ul><li>Relying on the bosses can help… </li></ul><ul><li>only so long as the bosses continue the pressure. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cooperation problem </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Possible solution: reward (form of praise or smth more tangible from Allen or Johnson) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- signals the importance of the new effort </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- reinforces cooperative behaviour </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. What to do with Patty? <ul><li>Error : to try to discipline on the assumption she was lying </li></ul><ul><ul><li>it probably could not be proven </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patty as a « victim », social desapproval (no cooperation) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Allen: inquire about health and indicate that Jim will personnally work with her on tutorial basis to help acquiring the skills </li></ul><ul><li>Jim: try to make her see new values in the new learning </li></ul>
  9. 9. What to do (cont) <ul><li>Understand his real advantage (expertise power) and try to play the game of interpersonal network </li></ul>
  10. 10. Power relationships: conclusion <ul><li>2 sides (should be accepted) </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic </li></ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><li>Formal authority is not sufficient </li></ul><ul><li>Subordinates may have a large space of autonomy and protection against control </li></ul>