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A case study of developmental conflicts and challenges

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Amber is a 35-year-old woman who immigrated to this country several years ago from Nigeria. She recently graduated from a prestigious law school and legally changed her name to Amber. She was hired by an affluent law practice. Although Amber is involved with her local Nigerian community, she has recently discarded her cultural wardrobe for an expensive American wardrobe, dyed her hair blonde, and purchased a BMW. Amber enters into counseling because she feels rejected by her Nigerian friends. She says, "They do not understand me; I feel so alone. While I have made friends with my law associates, I often feel excluded. I wish people would accept me for who I am."

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The first question to ask Amber, to identify conflicts and challenges, is why the change? What did she hope to gain, see, or find necessary for the name change, hair dye, and clothes exchange? Ask about some of the positive things in her life; the law school, job and associate/friends she made. Another assessment is for her to list what are the things that make her feel excluded and not accepted. I see her conflicts and challenges are basically trying to fit in and play the part. I ...

Solution Summary

This is a short story of a fictional client and possible treatment option based on cultural sensitivity.

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Ace Consulting Case Study: Building Effective Teams

Scenario -

You are one of four regional Human Resources Managers employed by Ace Consulting, an international consulting firm. You have been assigned to the International Sales division. Currently, one HR Manager is assigned to each of the four global regions: the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. You report to the Corporate HR Director.

It has become apparent to management that their global customers are critical to their future growth. If there is a need to serve any locations of a customer in another region, there is no good contact point or process to handle it. This gets confusing and is not effective for the larger customers. There is a desire to greatly improve the communication and coordination across regions. Top Ace management has decided that the sales force needs to be organized in teams across regions to better serve these critical global customers.

The HR Director has given you and the other three HR managers the task of developing and implementing a new global-team-based sales force. You will need to design the appropriate team make-up, determine the best way to staff these teams, provide guidance on developing a consistent global approach, design the team-building tools needed to establish these teams, and conduct the necessary training. You also need to design a compensation program that will support the team concept, give incentive to the best performers, and maintain a stable workforce.

Task needing assistance -

As a group of HR managers you have been given the assignment to develop measures for successful performance for the teams that are being created to serve the global customers.

Focus on the teamwork and interpersonal skills the team members will need to exhibit. Assume these measures will represent 50% of the person's evaluation. Use the list below in your discussion. (from the ELT Newsletter web-site). These skills are important skills helping individuals better perform in their roles. From the 18 choices select a minimum of 5 to review prior to your meeting. Make your choices based on the assignment below.

Interaction Skills

attitude awareness
conflict handling
diversity tolerance
teamwork willingness

Self-Management Skills
decision making
learning willingness
stress resistance

Communication Skills
delegating skills
listening skills
presentation skills
Organization Skills
problem solving
systems thinking

Now go to the Small Group Discussion Board, and as a group, discuss how performance for the teams involved will be measured. Include a discussion on the need to balance between team and individual rewards. Discuss the elements of a performance measurement tool that could be presented to the Corporate HR Director for approval. Comment on at least two other postings.


Individually, based on your group's discussion, compose a 1-2 page analysis for the Corporate HR Director that addresses each of the following elements:

-How did the discussion change, alter or enhance your view of the measurement tools to be used for team members?
-What do you believe are the key elements for the employees involved? How would you communicate these to the employees in your region?
-Are there any cultural-based issues with these measures that you foresee for the employees in your region? If so, how will you handle them as you introduce these measurements?

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