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CASE STUDY

The Transferred Sales Representative












In partial fulfillment
Of the course requirement
In HUMANBE K36











Gerald Kagaoan
Shawn Uy
Rochelle Triguero



May 30, 2014
1. Comment on the positive and negative events in this case as they relate to organizational
behavior.



The events in the life of Harold Burns, a district sales representative in an appliance
firm, as viewed in a dichotomy of positive and negative events can reinforce or deter his
good performance in the organization.

The positive events which happened in his experience as an employee of the firm is
that he has been consistently meeting his sales target ever since he stayed with the said
business. As a veteran sales representative, he received a recognition from the company
through the receipt of a 20-year service company pin. The pin is given prestige and high
regard by members of the organization as it is a sign of loyalty and a proof of hard work by
the employee wearing it. It serves as a reward to a good performance and service given to
the company.

While the company professionally sent notice to Burns that he will be assigned in
the Gunning district branch of the firm, it was a late notice which has somehow resulted to
several negative events in his experience. The company informed George Dowd, the
replacement of Burns, prior to notifying Burns. As such, Burns knew of the re-assignment
plans from other people instead of receiving the message directly from the higher executive
of the firm. Since the news came from an unofficial source, he chose not to believe it. The
official notice came thereafter which somehow brought to light positive events. However, it
came 3 days prior to his transfer to the underperforming Gunning district.

The negative event in which the news came to Burns through a third person may
have caused him to ask several questions in which he may have felt that a sense of doubt or
neglect from the firms management since his replacement was informed first, prior to him.
It may have generated inquiries such as Why was I not informed first? or Why am I
being transferred to another district?. The late notice from the company may have also
caused discomfort in the part of Burns as he has to prepare things in a shorter period of
time such as the transfer of necessary documents and information to the replacing
representative and preparing his transfer to another district which may result to a change
in his lifestyle and routine. The situation may have caught him off guard and is
underprepared for the said transfer.

His reaction, either conformity or defiance, will depend on his maturity and the
management style or the environment of the firm. If he is mature enough, the reception of
this incident will not be taken personally as the management prerogative for this decision
has sound basis, which is for the betterment of the firm. Moreover, this maturity can go
hand in hand in a firms climate which depends on leadership rather than material
rewards such as power and money. The firms climate, thus, is a firm believer that
members of the organization are not naturally passive and resistant but are made so
because of an unsupportive work environment. Furthermore, based from the situation, the
firm seems to support employees job performance and satisfaction over benefits and
payments in shaping the behavior of employees.

Transferring Harold Burns might be a difficult decision for the appliance firm in his
present district, because this can result in a possible drop in their sales in the year without
the contribution of their veteran sales representative. Though knowing the possible


outcomes of the firms decision, giving the opportunity to another district having low sales
to get one veteran sales representative can yield to an increase to their yearly sales and
inflows. His presence in the new district firm can help the other sales representatives or
members of the firm to learn his skills in order for them to improve.

The positive events, on the other hand, can somehow reclaim the negative event. The
recognition given, although not in the form of money or material rewards, signifies that the
firm has appreciated the contribution of Burns and is significant in the development of the
company. This can be a positive reinforcement which can dissolve the doubt he may have
had as a result of the negative events. The pin shows that his efforts do not go unnoticed
and is worthy of the acknowledgement.

The performance of Gunning district is lower than the performance of the current
district. Thus, it is the intention of the regional manager to increase the performance of the
district through Burns leadership. This challenge can help Burns grow as a person since it
as an undertaking which can challenge his skills as a manager. This is an opportunity for
him enables him to develop and realize his self-worth in the firm, with a supportive
management and the right opportunity for growth.

2. Was a human resources approach to Burns applied in this instance? Discuss.

The human resources approach should have been applied to Burns in this situation.
This approach is also known as the supportive approach. In this approach, the people,
environment, structure and resources in the organization are utilized to build the personal
worth and importance of an employee. Hence, it is an approach which factors in leadership
above money or power. Supportive behavior is not the kind of approach that requires
money. The leadership in the organization enables members to achieve both personal and
organizational goals which are within their capacity. As such, the members are active and
adaptable to the needs of the organization through a supportive work environment. Thus,
if given the opportunity, employees have the initiative to contribute in the development of
the organization. Aside from that, they have the motivation to improve their personal
abilities with these opportunities.

In the case of Harold Burns, the management provided him the chance to develop
himself and to achieve organizational goals by offering an opportunity to improve an
underperforming branch. The motivation given by the company is also not in the form of
financial compensation but compensation in the self-worth and performance of Burns. In
this way, he has felt that he is vital in the organization through the acknowledgement. This
act of recognition is a strong sign of support in the performance of Burns which can
encourage him to participate more and to be more involved in the endeavors of the
organization towards achieving its purpose or goal.

As a result, the supportive approach develops a we feeling in the organization where
the needs for status and recognition of members of the organization are better met. This
can increase the employees motivation to perform. As the needs for material rewards and


security become satisfied, the needs of the employees for recognition and realization of self-
worth becomes a more potent factor in shaping organizational behavior

3. Apply the goals of Organizational Behavior (Describe, Understand, Predict and
Control).

Describe: Harold Burns is an expert sales representative who has been diligent in meeting
his sales quota.

Understand: He has been this type of employee since he has been goal-driven in his work.

Predict: Burns will be motivated to do better by giving him due recognition and by
challenging him in his work.

Control: Burns will be encouraged to improve the performance of Gunning district
because of his receipt of the 20-year recognition pin and by knowing that there is challenge
in the district in which he is assigned as it creates an opportunity for him to improve.