Dr. Jamie Thompson: Diagnosing an Organizational Issue

by: Christopher Myers, Kathleen Sutcliffe, Yemeng Lu-Myers

Publication Date: February 2, 2017
Length: 4 pages
Product ID#: 1-430-501

Core Disciplines: Communications, Leadership/Organizational Behavior

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Teaching Note

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Dr. Jamie Thompson: Diagnosing an Organizational Issue describes a challenging decision faced by Dr. Elizabeth Clarke, Chair of the Surgery Department, regarding what to do about Dr. Jamie Thompson, an employee causing disruption within the organization. Clarke recently hired Thompson to work as a surgeon in her department but is now getting complaints from many other staff about Thompson’s behavior. Thompson is delivering excellent results but ignores systems and processes, and frustrates coworkers. Clarke, who hired Thompson on the recommendation of a colleague, must now step in and address this issue. Students are asked to evaluate the situation Clarke faces and recommend the best course of action.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Recognize that there are multiple, different ways of seeing an organizational issue.
  • Analyze an organizational issue through several different “lenses,” including individual, organizational/strategic, interpersonal/political, and cultural lenses.
  • Explain the benefits and challenges of viewing an organizational issue through one particular lens or another.
  • Appreciate their own biases and tendencies in understanding organizational issues.
  • Develop strategies for incorporating different lenses to improve decision-making in organizations.