Case Study

Philip Chase: An organizational powerand influence case

11 pages
May 2010
Reference: IMD-4-0301

The case is a true story with disguised names, and was developed with the help of the protagonist, “Philip Chase,” who runs a “successful” executive placement agency, Retail Personnel Flow (RPF). However, the case reveals that it is perhaps not as “successful” as he seemed to think. Philip has just learned from an employee that his company’s biggest client, Winterplain, is about to offer the important Kash-n-Karry contract to RPF’s main competitor, NY-Lon. At first, Philip thinks it is just a rumor, but later that day discovers that a prospective candidate has already been through several rounds of interviews with NY-Lon. The HR director at Winterplain confirms that there are service quality issues. She agrees to meet Philip the next day and sends a memo listing Winterplain’s concerns with RPF for him to go through before the meeting; some of the points are valid but Philip is furious about the others! It was a happy ending: RPF won back the Winterplain account, including Kash-n-Karry. NY-Lon’s foray into retail placements was short-lived since it could not cope with the complexity of the retail labor market.

Learning Objective

The case provides participants with an understanding of the political dynamics of the relationship between professional firms and their clients. Participants get to appreciate the role of networks in improving one’s social power and influence ability. The case can also be used in role-playing how difficult political situations can be resolved.

Power, Influence, Professional Services, Entrepreneurial Organization, Retail, Recruiting
United Kingdom
Business Management Services, Staffing and Recruiting, Consumer Services, Retail
Generalized Experience
© 2010
Available Languages
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