|It Isn’t Fair|
Developed by Barry R. Armandi, SUNY-Old Westbury
Mary Jones was in her senior year at Central University and interviewing for jobs. Mary was in the top 1 percent of her class, active in numerous extracurricular activities, and highly respected by her professors. After the interviews, Mary was offered positions with every company with which she interviewed. After much thought, she decided to take the offer from Universal Products, a multinational company. She felt that the salary was superb ($40,000), there were excellent benefits, and there was good potential for promotion.
Mary started work a few weeks after graduation and learned her job assignments and responsibilities thoroughly and quickly. Mary was asked on many occasions to work late because report deadlines were often moved forward. Without hesitation she said “Of course!” even though as an exempt employee she would receive no overtime.
Frequently she would take work home with her and use her personal computer to do further analyses. At other times she would come into the office on weekends to monitor the progress of her projects or just to catch up on the ever-growing mountain of correspondence.
On one occasion her manager asked her to take on a difficult assignment. It seemed that the company’s Costa Rican manufacturing facility was having production problems. The quality of one of the products was highly questionable, and the reports on the matter were confusing. Mary was asked to be part of a team to investigate the quality and reporting problems. The team stayed in poor accommodations for the entire three weeks they were there. This was because of the plant’s location near its resources, which happened to be in the heart of the jungle. Within the three-week period the team had located the source of the quality problem, corrected it, and altered the reporting documents and processes. The head of the team, a quality engineer, wrote a note to Mary’s manager stating the following: “Just wanted to inform you of the superb job Mary Jones did down in Costa Rica. Her suggestions and insights into the reporting system were invaluable. Without her help we would have been down there for another three weeks, and I was getting tired of the mosquitoes. Thanks for sending her.”
Universal Products, like most companies, has a yearly performance review system. Since Mary had been with the company for a little over one year, it was time for her review. Mary entered her manager’s office nervous, since this was her first review ever and she didn’t know what to expect. After closing the door and exchanging the usual pleasantries, her manager, Tom, got right to the point.
Tom starts with category one (Quantity of Work) and ends with category ten (Teamwork). In each of the categories, Tom has either given Mary a 5 or a 4. Indeed, only two categories have a 4 and Tom explains these are normal areas for improvement for most employees.
|Tom: As you can see, Mary, I was very happy with your performance. You have received the highest rating I have ever given any of my subordinates. Your attitude, desire, and help are truly appreciated. The other people on the Costa Rican team gave you glowing reports, and speaking with the plant manager, she felt that you helped her understand the reporting system better than anyone else. Since your performance has been stellar, I’m delighted to give you a 10 percent increase effective immediately!|
|Mary: (mouth agape, and eyes wide) Tom, frankly I’m flabbergasted! I don’t know what to say, but thank you very much. I hope I can continue to do as fine a job as I have this last year. Thanks once again.|
After exchanging some parting remarks and some more thank-you’s, Mary left Tom’s office with a smile from ear to ear. She was floating on air! Not only did she feel the performance review process was uplifting, but her review was outstanding and so was her raise. She knew from other employees that the company was only giving out a 5 percent average increase. She figured that if she got that, or perhaps 6 or 7, she would be happy. But to get10 percent …wow!! Imagine ….
|Sue: Hi, Mary! Lost in thought? My, you look great. Looks like you got some great news. What’s up?|
Susan Stevens was a recent hire, working for Tom. She had graduated from Central University also, but a year after Mary. Sue had excelled while at Central, graduating in the top 1 percent of her class. She had laudatory letters of recommendation from her professors and was into many after-school clubs and activities.
|Mary: Oh, hi, Sue! Sorry, but I was just thinking about Universal and the opportunities here.|
|Sue: Yes, it truly is ….|
|Mary: Sue, I just came from my performance review and let me tell you, the process isn’t that bad. As a matter of fact I found it quite rewarding, if you get my drift. I got a wonderful review, and can’t wait till next year’s. What a great company!|
|Sue: You can say that again! I couldn’t believe them hiring me right out of college at such a good salary. Between you and me, Mary, they started me at $45,000. Imagine that? Wow, was I impressed. I just couldn’t believe that they would …. Where are you going, Mary? Mary? What’s that you say, “It isn’t fair”? What do you mean? Mary? Mary|
Please respond to the following Questions
- From the case study, analyze Mary’s attitude before and after the meeting
with Sue. Determine which motivation theory applies best to this scenario.
Support your answer
- From the scenario, determine the actions you would take following the
discovery of the document. Predict the legal and ethical implications of the
action you are proposing.