Introduction & Problem Definition
Konigsbrau A. G. , which was a Munich-based brewer company, has subsidiary in Ukrainian. Wolfgang Keller who is the managing director of Ukrainian subsidiary with having succeeded as a hands-on manager, worked for food manufacturing companies in the past. He generally took his success with effective solutions such as changing marketing strategy, reconfiguring the sales force, hiring a new top-management and many others. As a result of this effort, he set one’s sights on and also he expects to be promoted to the firm’s Vorstand for the future.
Dmitri Brodsky, who is the Konigsbrau-TAK’s commercial director, attended to firm 2 years earlier and his performance in this company is checked and is not admired by Keller. Ivan Zelenko, who worked for food manufacturing subsidiary with Keller in the past, is Keller’s close friend in daily life and now marketing director of Konigsbrau A. G.. In this report, the problem is Dmitri Brodsky’s performance progressively got lower and hence this situation disturbed Keller. So, Keller, as he applied his work style into the business area effectively, needs to decide to shift in some processes or find out some alternatives so as to solve this problem.
In order to catch objective analysis in this case study, there will be explanations of perceptions and perspectives of each person in the case, in other words trying to solve this socio-physiological issue as making empathy for each person. Before going in deep analysis, it should be mentioned about characteristics of each business man.
As can be seen from the mostly used word “suspect”, Keller is a bit suspicious person to peoples, and action-based, impatient, hands-on approaching personality he has. Conversely, Brodsky is patient, analyzer, deliberate in his behaviours. The problems generally are originated from two main issues which are being close interaction with people in social and business lives, secondly working performance based on deadlines, processes and as a consequence of all reasons absence of leadership skills for Brodsky according to Keller. Apart from these problems there is also notable relationship between with Keller and Dr.
Haussler about the working style of Keller. Initially, in accordance with the perspective of Keller, Brodsky generally doesn’t tend to and cultivate personal contact with customers, distributors and many others, for example distributors is the crucial and potential factor to increase selling of beers to pubs, hotels, and the others, but Brodsky does not concentrate on this carefully he thinks. Keller thinks salespeople should need to keep hands-on on contact with them, because of the importance of serving them as a guide for the sales force. This also causes some problem in well integration into the management team.
Keller also suspected and concerned about lack of face to face contact of Brodsky with subordinates. As he said, camaraderie is so important to develop enthusiasm and loyalty with using personal contact. Besides, Brodsky chooses to separate his private life from business life, in the business generally people prefer to talk about their families with their colleagues but Brodsky does not. For instance, after the party the distributors called Brodsky for fishing but he didn’t choose to attend them and he went his home; then distributors went to his home but they were a bit uncomfortable when Brodsky still called them in formal way at his home.
As a result of these weaknesses of Brodsky, Keller regards him as a weak line manager or leader, but on the another hand Brodsky claims that if Keller does not interfere his situations and processes he can analyze and accomplish each steps in a successful manner. Against to Keller, Brodsky feels himself as a leader, but maybe not a charismatic leader. According to “Pygmalion in Management” article, Keller should consider as people get older they become harder to influence, beliefs and abilities of self begin to harden.
Also, article stated that what managers expect from subordinates and how they treat them largely determines progress and performance. With this definition, from Brodsky’s point of view, Brodsky can find much more effective area to work and cultivate. Apart from these analyses, also over-communication between individuals brings negative feeling to Brodsky’s mind as it is supported by “Pygmalion in Management” article. If feedbacks are investigated deeply, it can be seen a bit more negative comments were given instead of giving much more encouraged and motivation-oriented definitions.
On the other hand, Haussler wrote a feedback to Keller about his performance and leadership. Haussler mentioned about his success and abilities he can fulfil. In addition to that, Haussler recommended Keller to focusing on way of work with Mr. Antonov but as it is known Keller suspected that Mr. Antonov occasionally missed attendance in daily operations. In order to support his ideas, Haussler referred consideration of Ukrainian work style difference and age difference, in other words experience difference, between him and Antonov. This also contributes Brodsky perspective with probability of not to notice various working style among nations by Keller.
After all, what is need to be done is focusing on this problem? In order to handle this organizational behavior based problem, two alternatives proposed: Alternative I: In the first alternative, Keller should rearrange the Brodsky area like separating it as marketing and sales, then give the responsibilities of Marketing to Brodsky and Sales to Zelenko.
This solution will reduce Brodsky’s responsibilities by half as it mentioned, so Brodsky can follow and arrange all the things which he should handle during working times. Also, he will have much more time to interest with customers and distributors; and then Keller can reevaluate his personal contacts and hands-on connections. Besides these, Zelenko also will improve himself with taking the responsibility of Sales Directorship. As it is mentioned in the case, Zelenko has not much experince about these area, it can cause some problems; but he can also find a chance to improve his skills in this area even if he may make some faults.
For this alternative, Sterling Livingston claimed that confidence gives credibility which make goals seem achievable, so this alternative can demotivate Brodsky, and decrease his performance during his business enviroment. Alternative II: For the second alternative, Keller should help Brodsky in motivated, tolerant and multioptional manner. In the “Pygmalion in Management” article, if there is a undevelopment, underutilization, and ineffective management, there is a greatest challenge with it by using most valuable resource, young-talent.
Keller can hire two or more member contained new active and young-talent team so as to support Brodsky. One of the teammember will be a secratary and the closest person to him in order to remind all tasks, plannings and preparing a schedule for each day. Another member of the team will be active hands-on contact person who will helps to Brodsky in the active areas which communication and personal interactions are crucial. By this way, these two young-talent will also experienced under Brodsky’s professional directorship, as it is known from the case, Brodsky’s experience and maturity can balance young managers as Keller was appriciated.
Therefore, Brodsky will be more motivated and it is defined in “Pygmalion in Management” article, if the managers are motivated and confident in their selves, they will be more able to evoke productivity from subordinates. Also this action will be beneficial for Keller, he will be activate Brodsky with the approach of “Pygmalion in Management” article; and with the increase in performance of Brodsky will contribute Keller’s leadership and career which are critically followed by Vorstand. Disadvantes of this alternative can be unchanged manners of Brodsky in the business area.
Recommendations and Plan of Implementation
In this reorganization and improvement of case study, it is proposed two alternatives. Finally, the second alternative is chosen. As mentioned in the section above, the second alternative has more advantages because of having motivation-based, human-centered approach, hiring opportunities. If the proposed alternative was not achieved, although the first alternative does not have as much benefit as the second one, in the emergency case, it could be used for the sake of having profitable economy of company.
Wolfgang Keller at Konigsbrau-TAK (A) case study is reviewed and analysed, then 2 alternatives are found up so as to analyse and reconfigure the behaviours and attractions in Konigsbrau Company. As a result, one of the alternatives is chosen to be applied in the real business area, and this solution will match with their vision and future expectations.
- Gabarro, J. J. (2008). Wolfgang Keller at Konigsbrau-TAK (A).
- Harvard Business Review. Oct. Livingston, J. S. (1988). Pygmalion in Management. Harvard Business Review. Sept-Oct. 121-130.