Kramer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was a major manufacturer of prescription drugs for the medical and dental professions. It had a sales force of over 500 detailers, whose primary responsibility was calling regularly on hospital personnel, doctors, and dentists to describe the product line and to persuade these medical personnel to use and prescribe Kramer drugs.
After having worked at Kramer for 12 years, Bob Marsh, a detailer of the company, was fired for unsatisfactory performance, poor attitude, and reluctance to improve. Marsh's abrupt termination of the services stunned some of his clients, who regarded him as an outstanding detailer. A number of doctors, physicians, and pharmacists strongly expressed to Kramer's executives and …show more content…
Based on what were covered in class, two choices can be used to solve this issue:
Alternative 1: Communicate key priorities and performance measures
Instead of providing a list of suggestions with mixed significance, a new manager at the beginning should communicate key priorities and performance measures. In this way, the most important issues that concern the manager is made explicit. The subordinate, subsequently, has a clear priority on what areas to improve. In addition, the manager needs to convey the important evaluation criteria so that the subordinate understands how to improve the performance to a measurable level. In sum, these steps are used to provide a clear guidance to the subordinate how to improve performance.
Alternative 2: Allow and prepare for setbacks
Changing a habit, regardless of good or bad, takes time and persistence. In Marsh's case, his first two supervisors noticed his bad habits in planning and organization. They pointed them out in his performance reviews, but did not specify a timeline to break these habits. It seemed that they allowed for Marsh's setbacks. These mindsets did not hurt Marsh's self confidence such that his sales performance continuously improved. However, their successors were not patient enough to tolerate the bad work habits. They