CASE STUDY: Why are we losing all our good people?

ASSIGNMENT: The Case Studies (Find the cases here)
In this module, you will select one case study to read and review. Each person will then write a brief summary of the case and post it in their cohort’s discussion area. Your goal is to not only post a summary, but to also read the other cohort learners’ posts and have a discussion. Remember, discussions can be generated with questions or comments. If you read a post from someone who has reviewed the same case, this is a great opportunity to see where you have similarities, and where you might differ in approaches. That doesn’t mean that the other person is wrong, it means that you may have viewed something in the case with a different lens and may find that you learn how to take a different perspective.
If you happen to read a post with a different case, then here is where you can ask good questions about how the person got to that conclusion and decision, etc. Remember these are opportunities to learn and to stretch your critical thinking skills.
Below are links to four case studies. Each learner should select ONE case to analyze and discuss for this assignment. Be sure to read the case study, analyze it, and develop a possible solution and recommendation. The point of the analysis is to see how you structure your argument and support for your claims, strengthen your skills in critical thinking, and to encourage you to communicate in a clear manner.
CASE STUDY: Why are we losing all our good people?
Lawler III, E. E., Pringle, A., Branham, F. L., Cornelius, J., & Martin, J. (2008). Why Are We Losing All Our Good People? Harvard Business Review, 86(6), 41–51. Retrieved from
CASE STUDY: Gen Y in the Workforce
Erickson, T. J., Alsop, R., Nicholson, P., & Miller, J. (2009). Gen Y in the Workforce. Harvard Business Review, 87(2), 43–49. Retrieved from
CASE STUDY: When one division makes all the money but the other gets all the attention
Hamermesh, R. G., SANKARAN, V., & CLARK, C. (2019). CASE STUDY: When One Division Makes All the Money but the Other Gets All the Attention. Harvard Business Review, 97(4), 152–156. Retrieved from
CASE STUDY: The case of the team-spirit tailspin
Foster, R. D. (1991). The Case of the Team-Spirit Tailspin. Harvard Business Review, 69(1), 14–25. Retrieved from
Your initial discussion post will include:
An introduction
A summary of the case you have chosen to review written in your own words
Your assessment of the problem or issue in the case
A conclusion
Include the reference(s) at the bottom of the discussion post
Proper APA Format for Discussion Post
This is how your posts should be formatted. While the below example is not perfect, it does give you an idea of how to format your posts. It also gives you an idea of how to summarize the case you reviewed and how to incorporate the readings when discussing the case. If you use this format, your video/podcasts will flow much better because you have really set up the summary of the case in your discussion post. Please add a conclusion so your post doesn’t just *stop*.
Systems thinking is a useful tool in responding to changes and complexities in an organization or an industry. According to Gharajedaghi, (2011) the aim of systems thinking is to find the balance between chaos and operationality in an environment, identify facets of the chaos that are controllable as well as those that are not controllable and to develop directional strategies as a result. In the early 1990s The Marriott Corporation was confronted with mammoth challenges that threatened its market share. The purpose of this post is to present the principles and attributes of systems thinking that were used in the case of The Marriott that led to successful outcomes. The manner in which systems thinking led to disruptive innovation at the Marriott and the way I might apply these principles and attributes in my own leadership practice will also be discussed.
Overview of Systems Theory Principles and Attributes that were Applied
Three key systems principles played a role in the successful outcome at The Marriott. First, there was acknowledgement of the openness characteristic of a system. Leaders recognized that while everything in the system depends on everything else classifications can be made about what can and cannot be controlled. This allows for prediction of environmental changes and preparation of the system to meet these changes (Gharajedaghi, 2011). The Marriott leaders identified controllable elements such as the way in which they would design and create a system to meet the current challenges and noncontrollable elements such as changes in the real estate market (Gharajedaghi, 2011).
The second system principle that was applied in The Marriott case was the concept of purposefulness. In order to exert influence in a transactional environment and to be an effective player in the transactional game, insights must first be garnered as to why actors in the transaction do what they do (Gharajedaghi, 2011). Company leaders identified that the reason (purpose) why their main customers were cutting costs was because they were unable to secure cash to remain viable. Knowing whether the purpose for customers actions was cultural, emotional or rational, aides in the design of a solution.
The multidimensionality principle is the third system principle used by Marriott leaders. According to Gharajedaghi (2011), multidimensionality presents that different infeasible parts can form a feasible whole because while they may be opposite, parts can form a complementary relationship. This principle is very important when dealing with disruptions in an organization that forces the organization to develop disruptive innovations. It is important because it allows leaders to gain insights about the importance of differences (such as in way of thinking, culture, etc) as complementary positive parts rather than contradictory and opposing elements that can be useful in developing solutions for chaotic challenges.
A disruptive innovation is a new or changed innovation that results in a new market being created that disrupts an existing market such as the invention of the telephone that disrupted telegrams as a major communication tool or the demise of Block Busters due to Internet based methods of movie viewing. By using the principles of openness, purposefulness and multidimensionality Marriott leaders were able to redesign a system that led to a disruptive innovation. They garnered greater understanding about what was going on in the environments in which the company was operating, identified the purpose of the system they wanted to design in response to the challenges and developed a vision and direction of a learning system that could quickly respond to environmental changes. As a result, cost reductions were realized by redesign of a system that moved from an expensive divisional structure to a simple, cost contained structure (Gharajedaghi, 2011).
Application of Systems Theory to Personal Leadership Practice
The thought of applying systems theory in my leadership practice is very appealing. The industry in which I lead is constantly changing due to governmental, societal, and healthcare changes, discoveries and innovations. As Gharajedaghi (2011) puts it the chaos becomes predictable because of its chaotic nature. Therefore, using a systems approach could help in preparing for changes by being able to predict potential challenges and develop strategies that can meet these challenges.
Gharajedaghi, J. (2011). Systems Thinking: Managing Chaos and Complexity: A Platform for Designing Business Architecture. Retrieved from
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