discussion questions 0


Assignment 1: Discussion Questions

Case Study Inside Intel. For years, Intel thrived on a business model that co founder Andy Grove prefected and reinforced under his leadership and the leadership of his successor, Craig Barrett. But Intel’s latest CEO, Paul Otellini has different plans. Rather than continuing to build faster chips just for PC computers, Otellini sees bigger opportunities in new “platforms.” Otellini also wants to raise the profile of marketing, rather than let engineers determine what products are developed……. This Businessweek case study reviews the changes that Paul Otellini is introducing at Intel and explains how he is building momentum toward these changes (see page 465 in the textbook)…… Read this Bloomberg Business Week article at http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_02/b3966001.htm and prepare for the discussion questions below.

By Wednesday, November 28, 2012, go to the Discussion Area and post responses to discussion question 1 as assigned by the facilitator. Your responses should range between 300 and 350 words to receive full credit. Support your responses with relevant citations, from both the course materials and outside resources, using proper APA format. Post all discussion questions to the appropriate topic in this Discussion Area. Your discussion postings should reflect what you have learned from reading the course text as well as any other reading from the suggested bibliography. Be sure to use content and language that is consistent with the level of the course material.

Before the end of the week, comment on at least two of your peers’ responses. You can ask technical questions or respond generally to the overall experience. Be objective, clear, and concise. Always use constructive language, even in criticism, to work toward the goal of positive progress. All comments should be posted to the appropriate topic in this Discussion Area. Integrate the theory, principles, and concepts in the module’s reading material (including additional research) into the area or topic under discussion. Analyze the material from your own perspective by integrating your own personal experiences and those of past or present employers to show how your experiences fit into the concept being discussed.

All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources.

Include the following in your discussion:

Grading Criteria

Maximum Points

Response Criteria


Provided an in depth explanation or analysis of subject or topic


Used a clear, logical, and organized line of reasoning


Provided adequate justification and evidence supporting the opinion expressed


Submitted on time


Participation Criteria


Participated in the discussion by asking a question, providing a statement of clarification, providing a point of view with rationale, challenging a point of discussion, or making a relationship between one or more points of the discussion


Displayed consistent sensitivity when working with individuals from varied backgrounds


Justified ideas and responses by using appropriate examples and references from texts, Web sites, and other references or personal experience


Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources, displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.


Responded to the posts of at least two classmates with meaningful and relevant responses that add value to the original post or the discussion. Offered criticism that was respectful of the other person’s feelings




For assistance with any problems you may have when completing this assignment—OR—to offer your assistance to classmates, please use the Problems and Solutions Discussion area located through the left side navigation link.





Select a discussion question from the drop down menu below and click Go to begin. Use the http://myeclassonline.com/ec/courses/AUO_files/AU_add.gifRespond link to post responses and materials that pertain to that question. To respond to an existing posting use the http://myeclassonline.com/ec/courses/AUO_files/AU_add.gifRespond link beneath it.



Discussion Question 1

What change management strategies has Paul Otellini used to help introduce the various changes at Intel? Discuss evidence that some employees are resisting these changes? What, if anything, can Otellini do to minimize this resistance?


Steven L. McShane, University of Western Australia, and Terrance Bogyo, WorkSafeBC

TransAct Insurance Corporation (TIC) provides automobile insurance throughout the southeastern United States. Last year, a new president was hired by TIC’s board of directors to improve the company’s competitiveness and customer service. After spending several months assessing the situation, the new president introduced a strategic plan to strengthen TIC’s competitive position. He also replaced three vice presidents. Jim Leon was hired as vice president of claims, TIC’s largest division, with 1,500 employees, 50 claims center managers, and 5 regional directors.

Jim immediately met with all claims managers and directors, and he visited employees at TIC’s 50 claims centers. As an outsider, this was a formidable task, but his strong interpersonal skills and uncanny ability to remember names and ideas helped him through the process. Through these visits and discussions, Jim discovered that the claims division had been managed in a relatively authoritarian, top down manner. He could also see that morale was very low and employee management relations were guarded. High workloads and isolation (adjusters work in tiny cubicles) were two other common complaints. Several managers acknowledged that the high turnover among claims adjusters was partly due to these conditions.

Following discussions with TIC’s president, Jim decided to make morale and supervisory leadership his top priority. He initiated a divisional newsletter with a tear off feedback form for employees to register their comments. He announced an open door policy in which any claims division employee could speak to him directly and confidentially without going first to the immediate supervisor. Jim also fought organizational barriers to initiate a flextime program so that employees could design work schedules around their needs. This program later became a model for other areas of TIC.

One of Jim’s most pronounced symbols of change was the “Claims Management Credo” outlining the philosophy that every claims manager would follow. At his first meeting with the complete claims management team, Jim presented a list of what he thought were important philosophies and actions of effective managers. The management group was asked to select and prioritize items from this list. They were told that the resulting list would be the division’s management philosophy and all managers would be held accountable for abiding by its principles. Most claims managers were uneasy about this process, but they also understood that the organization was under competitive pressure and that Jim was using this exercise to demonstrate his leadership.

The claims managers developed a list of 10 items, such as encouraging teamwork, fostering a trusting work environment, setting clear and reasonable goals, and so on. The list was circulated to senior management in the organization for their comments and approval and sent back to all claims managers for their endorsement. Once this was done, a copy of the final document was sent to every claims division employee. Jim also announced plans to follow up with an annual survey to evaluate each claims manager’s performance. This concerned the managers, but most of them believed that the credo exercise was a result of Jim’s initial enthusiasm and that he would be too busy to introduce a survey after settling into the job.

One year after the credo had been distributed, Jim announced that the first annual survey would be conducted. All claims employees would complete the survey and return it confidentially to the human resource department where the survey results would be compiled for each claims center manager. The survey asked the extent to which the manager had lived up to each of the 10 items in the credo. Each form also provided space for comments.

Claims center managers were surprised that a survey would be conducted, but they were even more worried about Jim’s statement that the results would be shared with employees. What results would employees see? Who would distribute these results? What happens if a manager gets poor ratings from his or her subordinates? “We’ll work out the details later,” said Jim in response to these questions. “Even if the survey results aren’t great, the information will give us a good baseline for next year’s survey.”

The claims division survey had a high response rate. In some centers, every employee completed and returned a form. Each report showed the claims center manager’s average score for each of the 10 items, as well as how many employees rated the manager at each level of the 5 point scale. The reports also included every comment made by employees at that center.

No one was prepared for the results of the first survey. Most managers received moderate or poor ratings on the 10 items. Very few managers averaged above 3.0 (out of the 5 points) on more than a couple of items. This suggested that, at best, employees were ambivalent about whether their claims center manager had abided by the 10 management philosophy items. The comments were even more devastating than the ratings. Comments ranged from mildly disappointed to extremely critical of the claims managers. Employees also described their long standing frustration with TIC, high workloads, and isolated working conditions. Several people bluntly stated that they were skeptical about the changes that Jim had promised. “We’ve heard the promises before, but now we’ve lost faith,” wrote one claims adjuster.

The survey results were sent to each claims manager, the regional director, and employees at the claims center. Jim instructed managers to discuss the survey data and comments with their regional manager and directly with employees. The claims center managers, who thought employees would see only the average scores, went into shock when they realized that the reports included individual comments. Some managers went to their regional director, complaining that revealing the personal comments would ruin their careers. Many directors sympathized, but the results were already available to employees.

When Jim heard about these concerns, he agreed that the results were lower than expected and that the comments should not have been shown to employees. After discussing the situation with his directors, he decided that the discussion meetings between claims managers and their employees should proceed as planned. To delay or withdraw the reports would undermine the credibility and trust that Jim was trying to develop with employees. However, the regional director attended the meeting in each claims center to minimize direct conflict between the claims center manager and employees.

Although many of these meetings went smoothly, a few created harsh feelings between managers and their employees. The sources of some comments were easily identified by their content, and this created a few delicate moments in several sessions. A few months after the meetings, two claims center managers quit and three others asked for transfers back to nonmanagement positions in TIC. Meanwhile, Jim wondered how to manage this process more effectively, particularly since employees expected another survey the following year.

Discussion Questions


What symptom(s) exist in this case to suggest that something has gone wrong?


What are the root causes that have led to these symptoms?


What actions should the company take to correct these problems?

Copyright © 2000 Steven L. McShane and Terrance J. Bogyo. This case is based on actual events, but names, the industry, and some characteristics have been changed to maintain anonymity.


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