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begins by stating that the story was told from memory by Jane Kravitz. Already we can assume that the story may not be 100 percent accurate, and may also contain a slight bias since we are only given Jane¶s perspective. As will be pointed out in the following section, each individual¶s perception will have a major influence on the attitudes and behaviors exhibited throughout this case. PROBLEMS Perceptual Differences and the Self-fulfilling Prophecy: The problem begins when Chuck Taylor, who is the Director of Strategic Marketing, provides negative information to Jane about one of her new staff members²Lyndon Brooks²by stating that he had not received very good performance reviews over the last three years that he had been with the company. Despite the fact Jane had worked with Lyndon in the past claiming that he was a ³very charming African-American businessman who had a way about him that suggested he could be a star if given the right situation and motivation´ (Gentile and Maus 2), Chuck¶s negative comments about Lyndon influence her thought process regarding Lyndon¶s ability to perform well and meet expectations. This corresponds to the social information processing model, in which ³people adopt attitudes and behaviors in keeping with the cues provided by others with whom they come into contact´ (Greenberg 194). As a result of Chuck¶s negative comments, Jane develops a lack of confidence in Lyndon¶s performance²indicated by her constant monitoring of his progress²leading him to uphold the golem effect, in which ³people holding low expectations of another tend to lower that individual¶s performance´ (Greenberg 83).
when Jane desired that Lyndon manage the strategic performance objectives for the African American market. However. which is ³the uncomfortable feeling that people have when they run the risk of fulfilling a negative stereotype associated with a group to which they belong´ (Greenberg 85). Additionally. This shows us that Jane¶s perceptions about what might be best for Lyndon are misconstrued. her behavior throughout the case indicates that she simply wants the best for Lyndon despite the fact that she is not necessarily aware of what that may be.2 Stereotypes: Stereotypes involve ³the belief that all members of specific groups share similar traits and are prone to behave identically´ (Greenberg 84). this could have come across as stereotypical if her feeling was that an African American would be the best candidate to work with that particular market. we see that she tried to help him find a new job in Distribution. she assumes that he simply does not want to do his job. Jensen Shoes¶ managers ³value [their] employees as much as [their] products´ (Gentile and Maus 1). and Jane clearly states that she ³was conscious of wanting to keep [Lyndon] happy´ (3). For example. therefore. Communication: When Lyndon finally discloses to Jane that he plans to visit his brother during his trip to the trade show in San Diego. While Lyndon may have perceived this situation as stereotypical on Jane¶s part. but Ron Johnson²the head of that department²reminds Jane that Lyndon¶s background is in marketing and that distribution would probably not be a good fit for him. This may be so as it is a common stereotype that African Americans are lazy. it is possible that Lyndon feels he is being stereotyped by Chuck. . What he perceives as an attack are merely Jane¶s acts of kindness and her desire to be helpful. Since Chuck has little faith in Lyndon¶s performance. After all. Lyndon might perceive that Jane holds this stereotype as well because of her constant monitoring of his progress. Lyndon may be experiencing a stereotype threat.
g. providing flexibility by allowing him to take the time off to travel given that it might help him with his proposal. For instance. their open display of devotion and spirit towards Lyndon will also spread throughout the rest of the organization. On the other hand.3 Jane should have thought about why Lyndon wanted to visit his brother (e.. Chuck and Jane need to take the necessary steps to promote the Pygmalion effect²³a positive instance of the self-fulfilling prophecy´ (Greenberg 82). throwing him a birthday party. Jane is committing a fundamental attribution error²³the tendency to attribute others¶ actions to internal causes (e. Another quality of communication that is missing here is proper feedback for Lyndon¶s behavior and accomplishments. The feedback that Lyndon is receiving from his superiors is mixed. is he sick? Is he having a child? Is there some type of an emergency?). It is possible that Lyndon is unable to focus on work because of external factors at home that are occupying his mind. taking him out to lunch. In order for Chuck and . ect. Chuck was less than impressed saying ³anyone could have done that project´ (Gentile and Maus 3) rather than providing positive reinforcement for his accomplishment.. SOLUTIONS Perceptual Differences and the Self-fulfilling Prophecy: In order to combat the problems related to each individual¶s perceptions. In this way.g.) despite the fact that his negative behavior calls for some form of punishment. Jane and Lyndon¶s failure to communicate properly in this scenario most likely reinforces any prior notions Lyndon had about Jane stereotyping him as a lazy person because of his race. and Jane should have considered these things before jumping to conclusions about Lyndon¶s behavior.g.. In this situation. Jane is constantly rewarding Lyndon (e. their traits) while largely ignoring external factors that also may have influenced behavior´ (Greenberg 79)²by assuming that Lyndon simply does not want to do his job.
and that is attempting to be creative. this approach is very delicate as chances of rebound effects occurring are fairly high at first. she fails to do so appropriately by repeatedly treating him like a child (monitoring him and giving him small rewards). this will trigger a rebound effect. Compare the common phrase ³Nothing is impossible´ to ³Our products lack quality. Chuck and Jane need to point out to Lyndon that he has potential to be successful. An obvious fix to the problem would be to consciously suppress such thoughts. It is possible that Lyndon sees this type of work as beneath his status and is. they should consider that their behaviors toward Lyndon could indeed have stereotypical implications. however. therefore. Stereotypes: It is very hard to refrain from stereotyping because people often do it subconsciously. and realize that stereotyping other people ruins their images of themselves. causing both supervisors to think about those stereotypes even more. they must have high expectations and continue to be committed to Lyndon¶s professional growth²something Chuck has clearly given up on. Raising expectations and Lyndon¶s self-efficacy will surely push him into providing his superiors with his best effort. there are a few things that Chuck and Jane may be able to do to rid themselves of any stereotypes against Lyndon. Primarily. However. refusing to complete it²an indirect way of calling for higher expectations. they will be able to eventually rid themselves of any stereotypes against Lyndon or others. Although Jane tries to be positive towards Lyndon. Leaders who expect more will typically get more in return. while motivating him to believe that he can achieve more. There is one creative approach to avoiding stereotyping. . If Chuck and Jane can continuously think creatively by approaching different situations with new and unique methods. Of course. This runs parallel to high performance results in workplaces that set high performance goals.´ Embracing the former spirit will push Lyndon as well as others to fulfill a positive prophecy.4 Jane to become effective leaders.
After speaking with Patty. The lack of proper communication is rampant throughout this case. but is doing so in an incorrect fashion. etc. allowing them to avoid similar problems in the future. fear of being stereotyped. such as issues with his brother. and Lyndon need to do is to sit down as a group with Patty Russell²the HR professional²and discuss the reasons behind Lyndon¶s poor performance. it is likely that Lyndon perceives Chuck and Jane¶s behavior towards him as stereotypical and negative. CONCLUSION While the first two solutions regarding the self-fulfilling prophecy and stereotyping would be effective in combating their respective problems. . In this way. Since open communication among these individuals would certainly bridge the gap between conflicting perspectives and curb any stereotypical thinking. Chuck must begin to set clear goals for Jane and Lyndon alike. The first thing that Chuck.5 Communication: As mentioned previously. and in turn understand what they might have been doing to aggravate the situation. Jane. It is clear that Jane is indeed trying to help Lyndon. it is clear that the most crucial underlying issue in this case is a lack of proper communication. Lyndon will have the opportunity to voice any concerns he may have. This strategy would promote more kinship and compatibility in the workplace by encouraging each individual to express themselves openly. a lack of feedback. we have concluded that the third solution regarding communication provides an excellent remedy to all three of the key problems listed. and constantly verbalize his support. it is important that Chuck begins to practice inclusion and develop diversity-management programs. rather than disregard Lyndon¶s efforts. to assure that other members of different groups do not fall into the same slump as Lyndon has.
" Harvard Business School (2008): 1-7. "Jensen Shoes: Jane Kravitz's Story. Jerald. Greenberg. . Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education.. Inc. Behavior in Organizations. 2011. Mary C and Pamela J Maus.6 Works Cited Gentile.