Society for Case Research MBAA 2023

Experience level: 
Intended Audience: 
Neil Tocher, Pedro Mena, Tyler Burch, Tesia Kellar

No Good Option: How to Deal with a Combative but Competent Office Manager in a Small, Successful Family Firm

This decision-based critical incident considers how Lourdes should deal with her combative but competent office manager Dixie. While Dixie had effectively performed her duties at Cascade Design Construction Company (CDC) for nearly two decades, she had always been a poor communicator and a bit difficult to work with. Complicating the situation, Dixie’s combativeness had increased recently as she regularly argued with Lourdes about completing certain tasks, inserted herself into work duties outside of her job scope, attempted to micromanage other employees, and even argued with CDC’s subcontractors. Lourdes was left frustrated by the three options of maintaining the status quo, firing Dixie, or working with Dixie to neutralize her combativeness.