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Vidsoft Triangle

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Vidsoft Triangle


Facing an unexpected conflict in one of his team, Alaji Babatunde, a senior customer care manager at a software company needs to solve a problem, challenging the rectitude of a business decision he took after a long period of deliberation. The escalating crisis is threatening the chemistry and most of all the integrity of his department. Decisions need to be taken quickly in order to prevent the negative impact, but a deeper look into the company reveals managerial practices that could have influenced the chain of events.

Problem Description

In a effort to cope with a growing number of employees in his product line support team, Alaji Babatunde, a fresh MBA graduate from Darden, senior technical support manager at Vidsoft, decided to promote one of his staff on a managerial position, introducing an additional layer of management between him and his team. This business-wise decision however generated a conflict between the promoted employee and another team member. Dealing with a mix of group dynamics issues, prejudice and multicultural background issues, Babatunde had to make decisions that will have repercussions not only on the conflicting teammates, but at the whole group he manages. Understanding the conflict’s causes and implications, possible solutions will allow Alaji not only to overcome the problem, but also to avoid such impediments in the future.


All the world's a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages.

William Shakespeare, As You Like It Act 2, scene 7, 139–143

The Ancient Greek Theater was built on two main types of plays – Comedy and Tragedy. What we have as a case here can easily compared to a classical Greek tragedy – “a literary composition written to be performed by actors in which a central character called a tragic protagonist or hero suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental and therefore meaningless, but is significant in that the misfortune is logically connected with the hero's actions.” (Roger Dunkle (1986, The Classical Origins of Western Culture, Brooklyn College, The City University of New York). In order to understand the lessons from the play, we need to know the roles, the actors and the actions that led to the events, described in the case.

Keith Nash

Keith Nash, the charismatic CEO of the company was indeed one of its main generators of the company’s corporate culture of openness and team-work. Focusing on creating a customer-centric company, Nash emphasized on the importance of the success-driven collaborative work by Vidsoft’s employees, rewarding high customer satisfaction achieving teams with designated bonuses. Nash’s policy included a results-oriented work environment – employees were not enforced to stick to a strict work policy rather than expecting results from them.

Nash insisted managers should be found within the company, using this as a strong motivational tool. Only when no one in the organization was qualified for such position, managers were free to hire external people.

Nash seems to be a typical transformational manager. According to the Hersey and Blanchard Situational Leadership Model (Fig. 1), he is a delegating (S4) type of leader, with low task and relationship focus. This type of leadership results from a highly motivated - a D4, High Competence, High Commitment type of followers - team (Fig. 2) Nash has the opportunity to build. His policy towards managers to hire employees “smarter than themselves” has created this very productive S4-D4 type of relation in the company. According to Goleman’s leadership stiles, Nash is a Visionary leader who is able by his positive attitude (he is described as a mild and charismatic) to create resonance with his followers by inspiring, motivating and making them commit to the company’s goals and vision. Nash is a highly emotional intelligent manager who is able to manage his own emotions and to handle relationships with his followers, creating in them a drive in performance.

James White

White is with Vidsoft since its inception. In fact, he had been the first employee hired to run the customer support department. James White is a self-made man and his management style reflects his beliefs. His approach is direct, efficient and practical. But his management style is mostly transactional. Using Daniel Goleman’s classification

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