Facing an Impossible Situation?
Neil Tocher, Alexander R. Bolinger, William E. Stratton, Ivan Kong
May 1, 2016
Strategy & General Management
cultural differences, negotiation, goal alignment, coercion, rational persuasion
Journal of Case Studies
This case describes first lieutenant Mike Dawson’s experience during his U.S. Army 2011-2012 tour in Afghanistan as an engineer advisor attached to an Air Force unit advising Afghans in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His primary responsibility was to coordinate an on-the-job training (OJT) program providing the Afghan military with the skills needed to maintain base facilities under construction and scheduled to be turned over to the Afghans. The key issue in the case is that Dawson faces a stoppage in the OJT program for which he is responsible, a situation created when an Afghan military intelligence officer named Colonel Farhim failed to sign passes permitting the Afghan OJT trainers to enter the base. Dawson, a young and lower ranking U.S. Army officer in an advisory position, must convince the older and much higher ranking Afghan Air Force officer to sign paperwork to keep Dawson’s OJT program running.