TLC Pools Ltd. (TLC) is a commercial pool service company that provides pool maintenance and lifeguard services for apartment building pools. Paul, one of TLC’s best division supervisors, was having problems because one of his employees, Cindy Carruthers, was not fulfilling her duties. Paul had a motorcycle accident shortly after another confrontation with this employee. Although able to return to work, Paul had decided to resign. Jack Armstrong, company president, believed that Paul had felt responsible for Cindy’s poor work and that Paul was frustrated at not being able to resolve the situation.
Jack was wondering whether he and his team could have prevented the escalation of events experienced by Paul. Additionally, what should he do now?
This case is a suitable introductory case to Organizational Behaviour/Human Resources. Students often have difficulty believing situations in business cases and understanding the perspectives of the individuals involved. This case overcomes this concern because it deals with a summer job problem encountered by a university student. The teaching focus should be on an introduction to Organizational Behaviour/Human Resources rather than on specific theories and tools for analysis. Teaching objectives include:
- Encouraging students to understand why people are viewed as valuable employees and why the management and motivation of people is worth study.
- Introducing the notion of putting oneself in others’ shoes in an effort to understand a situational problem.
- Students realizing the importance of taking action and considering how such action will be interpreted by those affected by it.
If the case is not used as an introduction to this topic, additional analysis may be desirable. At the conclusion of this note, a supplement is included that covers additional topics.
A qualitative analysis is required that addresses the identification of the issue(s), why the problem has occurred, how could the situation have been prevented, suggested solutions to the problem, and an action plan.