Published on March 12, 2014
Cooper Pharmaceuticals Inc. Case Analysis SDM, NMP Term IV Group 5 Abhijeet Tomar - 03 Argha Ray - 15 Khushal Malik - 28 Vipin Kathuria– 59
Context • Cooper is a major manufacturer of prescription drugs. • Bob Marsh was abruptly terminated from his duties after serving 12 years as a detailer in the Toledo region. • Irate customers are complaining about Cooper’s decision. • Cooper has initiated enquiry into the circumstances of Bob’s dismissal. • Bob’s record suggest long history of unsatisfactory performance reviews.
Bob’s Individuality: • Excellent Customer rapport. • Loyal and sincere employee. • Cooperative with managerial instructions. • Citizenship with fellow sales representatives. • Lack of planning and untidy record keeping. • Non identification with company promotion policies. • Cluttered sample bag and car. Strength Weakness
Honeymoon under Meredith and Couch: • Steady progress under both Meredith and Couch during exploration stage. • Both managers pointed out his lack of planning and record keeping. • Indications of an inherent personality trait of lack of an eye for detail manifested in untidy upkeep of bag and car. • Lacks the urge to work on non important record keeping and follow up. • Predisposition to think of selling as an art rather than science manifested in relationships with customers (inborn vs learned). • Motivation seems to be achievement of end goals (sales volume and long term relationship) and not on the paraphernalia. • But, still shows adaptability to improve on aspects he thinks as non important to keep managers in good humor.
Torrid time under Rathbun: • New manager with new eccentricity. • Too detail oriented to Marsh’s comfort. • Marsh takes recourse to falsifying facts to avoid being constantly under the scanner. • Shows signs of helplessness while signing probation agreement. • Still tries to mould himself in the establishment stage of career. • A free flowing affable character finds himself as prisoner of rules. • Finally passes the Rathbun test.
Continued agony under Reed and Wilkens: • Finds himself reporting to much younger lot. • Lack of career advancement seems to take a toll as Marsh reverses ground gained under Rathbun. ( Return to untidy bag and car) • Managers may be going by past records of Marsh’s files. Even Wilkens notices only old attributes in her short association with Marsh. • No manager may be willing to develop a fresh perspective about Marsh other than old appraisal reports. • Repeat probation may have shattered Marsh during his maintenance stage of career. • Constant debacle turns Marsh passive.
Career Plateau under Franklin: • Satisfaction with income in comparison with peers. • No upward mobility. • Burden of unfair treatment from previous 3 managers. • Withdrawal during disengagement stage. Continued managerial apathy helped rush the stage. • No remonstration during termination reveals how Marsh had left the happenings to fate and reconciled to the fact that the job was no longer his cup of tea. • The rejection of even the last request may have catalyzed feeling of reprisal against his beloved company.
Decision: • All managers were transactional and nobody attempted to be transformational. • Cooper never realized Marsh’s unique motivational needs. It never tailored company goals with Marsh’s personality. ( More weightage on outcome rather than paraphernalia) • Nothing explains why sales managers were changing so frequently while Marsh stayed constant. Nobody tried to communicate to Marsh about the benefits and pitfalls of tidiness by setting examples. • Very little signs of job enrichment for Marsh. ( No new territory or assignments). Only financial rewards were forthcoming. • One way communication and order barking. Cooper didn’t care to take inputs from Marsh even on ethical issues like promotion or his career development plan. • Termination is too harsh a decision for a salesperson who is a favorite with the customers. Reconsider the decision.
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Citation: Cespedes, Frank V. "Cooper Pharmaceuticals, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 590-111, May 1990. (Revised October 1993.)
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Citation: Cespedes, Frank V. "Cooper Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Teaching Note." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 591-027, September 1990.