The case primarily revolves around the clash between Karen Leary, the resident vice president and general manager at the Elmville branch of Merrill Lynch, and Ted Chung, a financial consultant under Leary who hails from Taiwan. The key issue in this situation is Chung’s demand for a private office, which he insists he deserves. He goes as far as threatening to leave Leary’s branch if his request is not granted. However, Leary holds the belief that Chung lacks the necessary experience and education to warrant a private office.
The problem was briefly discussed in the initial section of the case. The paragraphs provide background information on Merrill Lynch, Karen Leary, and Ted Chung, as well as Leary’s management style. These details give readers a clear understanding of the situations and thoughts of Leary and Chung, allowing for inference of the specific problem they are facing. The additional information also adds subtle emotions or gestures, enhancing the reader’s ability to visualize the problem. I have mixed feelings about how the problem was addressed. On one hand, I believe Leary did a commendable job convincing Chung that having a private office was not appropriate at that time.
She provided a logical explanation for the inability to fulfill his request. Initially, she noted that no financial consultant, regardless of tenure, has been assigned a private office within just one year of employment. Furthermore, she emphasized that granting Chung a private office would create unfairness among other consultants who have been with the company for over 10 years without their own office. While rejecting his request, she recognized his exceptional work but highlighted the importance of gaining further experience before attaining independence.
However, I have some concerns about Leary’s treatment of financial consultants under her. I want to clarify that I don’t think she did a poor job in conveying her points to Chung. He appeared to agree with her and her explanation was clear. The situation highlights Leary’s unique management style, which involves closely monitoring market indicators and current events through Quotron screens. She regularly engages in informal coaching and counseling by inquiring about consultants’ current projects and their knowledge of new tax-free bonds.
The business experienced a 30% increase during Leary’s initial year, indicating her effective management style. However, it is uncertain if this style will be compatible with Chung. The case portrays Chung as a prosperous real estate salesman who displays maturity, stability, and responsibility. Despite being of Asian descent, Chung has assimilated well into Western culture and even owned his own moving business. Furthermore, he excelled in a rigorous four-month training program and demonstrated his capabilities by securing a 6 million dollar account.
The text indicates that he has a strong belief in his own value. This is shown by his refusal to let anyone use his desk and his wish to keep a distance from other consultants, including Leary. As a result, Leary’s attempts to be helpful may have been seen as bothersome by him. For example, the case demonstrates that Chung assured Leary he would develop relationships for important accounts. This demonstrates confidence in himself. In summary, Leary successfully conveyed her viewpoint to Chung.
Despite understanding why Leary denied him a private office, Chung disliked her interference in management because he valued himself highly. As a result, he resorted to threatening her to secure his own office. If I held a position of authority, I would handle the situation differently. I believe that Leary did not fully comprehend Chung’s perspective. She only considered the struggles faced by other consultants who were unable to establish their businesses despite having more than ten years of experience. In doing so, she disregarded Chung’s vast expertise and education. Furthermore, I could not find any instances where Leary was open to accepting Chung’s viewpoints.
In my opinion, she believes that there is nothing else to do to convince Chung, and she also disregards the cultural differences. Personally, I am not fond of Chung’s attitude towards his superior. Despite having high self-esteem and accomplishing a great job in securing a 6 million dollar account, it is not acceptable to threaten a superior. However, Chung is a successful and capable businessman. Additionally, he will serve as a crucial link between the Taiwanese market and Merrill Lynch. Consequently, I would ensure that he does not leave.
If I were in charge, I would make an effort to engage in more conversation by pretending to listen to his complete opinions. However, I cannot grant his request as it would be unfair to other consultants who have more successful careers than him. I will acknowledge his abilities and have no doubt about his success in his own business, but granting him a private office would result in discrimination issues for me. Instead, I propose that if he can bring another major account like the one he previously brought, I would gladly provide him with a private office.
In my opinion, this suggestion is budget-friendly. If the person in question can successfully bring another one, it would demonstrate their competence as a salesperson to other consultants. On the other hand, if they fail, it would prove that they need more experience and education. Despite their inappropriate attitude, this individual holds great importance in Leary’s branch. Given Chung’s high self-esteem, Leary should make an effort to appear attentive to his opinions and propose an additional test that would be fair to both Chung, Leary herself, and the other consultants.