How job promotions in today's world can be based on playing office politics rather than merit
by Cathleene Filmore
Created on: October 18, 2010
In a case study of office politics, Thomas Green of Dynamic Displays finds himself engrossed in drama as he struggles to meet the expectations of a boss whose power was superseded in his hiring. Green’s boss Frank Davis would have normally hired for Green’s position; Davis’ boss McDonald had hired Green instead. Although the case study advises the reader that McDonald warned Green that he would be in a “sticky situation” her intentions in putting him in the situation are ambiguous leaving the reader to make their own assumptions (Sasser & Beckham, 2008, p. 3). At best the reader can assume that McDonald’s agenda was to advance the company objectives and she felt that Green was the best new hire for the team although she must have known that he was not a team player.
This hiring situation puts Green in an awkward position with Davis and off on a bad foot from the get go. Davis’s expectations were not only very different from what Green anticipated would be expected of him but it also seemed that Davis may have expected Green to perform better than what would have normally been expected considering the hiring circumstances. In addition to this subliminal expectation on the part of Davis, he also seemed to have a very different work style than Green. While Green wanted the freedom to be creative and go where he deemed best on any given day, Davis wanted Green to report frequently and post to his Outlook calendar whenever he changed his schedule (Sasser & Beckham, 2008, p. 4). Although this was clearly a cultural norm for the whole of the organization, Green did not seem to care and was determined to do things his own way. This could have been a reflection of Green’s age or a character flaw in general; regardless it was not a smart move for Green as a new employee hired in by the boss’s boss.