In simple terms a case study denotes an activity, problem or event context that bases its content on realistic or ideological situations. These situations are characterized by complex challenges that one is likely to encounter in working environments. In case study analysis, one needs to practice the art of critical thinking. The art of critical thinking relies on ones’ knowledge, experience, and skills. This is because the combination of knowledge, experience and skills, is imperative in solving dilemmatic circumstances presented by many working environments. In this regard, this paper seeks to present a case study on ethics in respect of Lennix and Lennix Company’s employee hiring and layoff policy.
Lennix and Lennix Company (LLC), which is headquartered in New York, is a real estate company with various branches distributed around the city. The company stems from an original idea of Tom Lennix and Andrew Lennix. The two brothers’ experiences as little boys while living on building projects prompted their commitment to invest in housing. However, Andrew did not live to see the reality of their childhood dream. He died in a tragic car accident together with his family. Tom remained the sole Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. Tom hired competent staff members to increase the company’s sustainability, continuity, and productivity. In the hiring process, Tom noticed that he needed to appoint a trustworthy family member who would take over in case he suffers the same fate as his brother. Moreover, the family member needed to familiarize himself/herself with the company’s operations to limit losses that are normally incurred during business transition processes following the death of the owner.
Among all existing family members, Lniwald Lennix, Tom’s son, proved competent enough to take the company’s chairmanship position. However, Lniwald did not meet the qualifications needed for the position. Tom perceived that familiarity with the business was likely to provide his son with the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to handle any position in the company. Even so, Tom hired Peterson Peters as the assistant CEO not only to guide Lniwald on how to handle the business’ operations, but also to play a key role in management of the business. In this case, the management of the company entailed planning, organizing, coordinating, controlling, and staffing processes. Unfortunately, Peters and Lniwald differed on many issues that concerned the growth, development, and productivity of the company. Tom had a hard time convincing the two to solve their conflict and cooperate for the sake of the business’ success. Tom could not fire any of them because Peters had invested a lot of time, competency, and motivation in the business, prompting the business’ continuing high performance and productivity. As such, it was clear to Tom that it was hard to replace Peters ‘established’ position in the company. Moreover, there was a risk of Peters suing the company on charges of ‘unethical layoff’ coupled with no guarantee that Lniwald would get along with a newly appointed assistant CEO. In a nutshell, Peters represented the realistic future of LLC in the US.
On the contrary, Lniwald was a show type of person. He carelessly handled business matters, prompting the recent decrease in company’s productiveness. For instance, he was involved in financial scandals that led to significant losses in the past two years. The company faces an imminent downfall if the same trend continues into the near future. Alternatively, Lniwald shows little interest in the firm’s matters. He is always complaining about work overload and conflicting with the CEO on appropriation of management skills. In this regard, Lniwald reported to work late or even failed to turn out on several days. He fails to engage in vital company meeting, especially those headed by Peters. There are reports that Lniwald’s poor interpersonal relations with other employees are the reason for increased resignations. As a result, the company has lost many competent employees due to Lniwald’s harassing and patronizing nature. There are rumours that other employees may also resign if Peters decides to resign. This means that the remaining employees are loyal to Peters and share the company’s vision, mission, and goals.
Recently, Peters had a long conversation with Tom about his son’s behaviour. He explained to him how such behaviour is threatening the company’s sustainability and productivity. He based his argument on the ‘status quo’ of Lniwald in the company, citing that, he is willing to quit if his behaviour does not change in the next three months. Prior to Peters complaints, Tom had received several complaint letters from various staffs about his son’s behaviour. The complaints criticized the presence of Lniwald in the company. The criticism showed that Lniwald’s presence is a hindrance to employees’ commitment and motivation to work hard. This implies that many employees yearned for Tom to fire Lniwald. Tom dismissed the employees’ complaints as indefinite accusations with mild evidence. Every human can make mistakes and Lniwald is not an exception. Even Tom went ahead to reproach the complaints and urged all employees to give Lniwald a chance to amend his mistakes, especially in handling the company’s finances. However, after Peters left Tom’s office, it was clear to the proprietor that the company’s future continuity was not guaranteed with Lniwald’s overall guidance. On the other hand, Tom was convinced that Peters was capable of ensuring that LLC achieves its set vision, mission, and objectives.
Therefore, Tom decided to address the matter once and for all. He scheduled a meeting with his son the following day. In the meeting, Tom addressed Lniwald in a fatherly manner; he explained to Lniwald that everything was going wrong in the company due to his behaviour. It was mandatory for Lniwald to change his behaviour or risk the downfall of the company and the family legacy. Lniwald explained to his father that the company’s employees disliked the fact that he was going to inherit the company. Therefore, they were doing everything possible to make sure that he does not get a chance to become the future CEO. Moreover, because of Tom’s lenient approach, most employees tend to lazy around. When Lniwald discovered the employees’ laziness, some of them resigned out of shame. According to him, the remaining lot of employees, especially Peters, feel threatened by his position. That is why they are capitalizing on every indefinite mistake to ensure that Lniwald does not inherit the company. Tom did not anticipate Lniwald’s explanation. It was a surprising explanation that contradicted his previous one-sided perception. For a moment, Tom realized that he had never taken time to analyze every employee’s performance because the company was performing well. With the future of LLC hanging in the balance, Tom realized that his son and Peters could work together; consequently, he had to make a tough choice between his son and Peters. From that day forward, every choice Tom made was accompanied by dire consequences.
According to Ali, Yousof, Khan, and Masood (2011), every CEO needs to evaluate the performance of the employees to familiarize with each employee’s weaknesses and strengths. Such familiarization enables the CEO to design frameworks that capitalize on the employee’s strengths, thereby inhibiting the negative outcomes of employees’ weaknesses. Research shows that frequent baseless complaints characterize employees’ work environment weaknesses. Such weaknesses propagate laziness, which in turn affects every employee’s productivity and the overall business output. Therefore, Tom needs to realize that he is the source of the company’s crisis. Initially, he did not explain to the company’s management staff why he appointed Lniwald as his assistant. Tom needs to inform both Peters and Lniwald that they are there to stay, because they both have no other suitable replacements. To solve their differences, O’leary, Mortensen, and Woolley (2011) state that it is important to utilize the aspects of working teams. Teamwork improves interpersonal relations, communication skills, good decision making processes, service delivery, and conflict resolution techniques. In other words, Tom needs to invest in teamwork to resolve Peters and Lniwald’s differences (Oakes & Galagan, 2011).
In conclusion, this paper presented a case study on why LLC was making losses regardless of its previously-recorded high productivity rate. The case analysis identified that the problem was embedded in the company’s management. Drastic solutions to the problem involve organizing employees in working teams (teamwork). However, the CEO needs to reassure employees that they are part of the company. The reassurance intends to prevent an imminent resignation and the future downfall of LLC.
Ali, S. I., Yousof, J., Khan, M. R., & Masood, S. A. (2011). Evaluation of performance in manufacturing organization through productivity and quality. African Journal of Business Management, 5(6), 2211-2219. Retrieved from xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/24709041/1931750329/name/Ali+et+al.pdf
Oakes, K., & Galagan, P. (Eds.). (2011). The executive guide to integrated talent management. Danvers, MA: American Society for Training and Development. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=6IyN93i5ehcC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=why+an+organization+fails+in+productivity&ots=xLeT3ZAJ75&sig=JEhJweebJ_kCo7s4gzc_UCbqMi0&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=why%20an%20organization%20fails%20in%20productivity&f=false
O’leary, M. B., Mortensen, M., & Woolley, A. W. (2011). Multiple team membership: A theoretical model of its effects on productivity and learning for individuals and teams. Academy of Management Review, 36(3), 461-478. Retrieved from http://amr.aom.org/content/36/3/461.short