Essay on O' Reilly Case

Words: 3541
Pages: 15


Introduction & Background Analysis This paper provides a case study analysis and case solution to an organizational behavior and leadership Harvard Business School case study by Michel Anteby and Erin McFee concerning the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Boston’s Logan Airport (Anteby & McFee, 2009). The case focuses on supervisor and managerial responses to a Transportation Security Officer’s (TSO) role in enabling a security breach at the airport. The time setting for the case study is a Monday morning in 2009, the day after the security breach. The principal decision maker is Mina O’Reilly, one of about 100 Supervisor Transportation Security
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On the one hand, her historically favorable view of Sanchez might lead her to take a more lenient view of his role in the security breach. On the other hand, there is also the risk that O’Reilly will, feeling betrayed by Sanchez’s error, over-react and agree to “make an example” of him. While historically favorably biased towards Sanchez, O’Reilly’s own career path and standing at TSA has been threatened by this security breach. Some senior managers at TSA are pressing O’Reilly to take strong action and “make an example” out of Sanchez by summarily firing him. While such action might well please some senior managers at TSA, it would not necessary reflect well on O’Reilly. Indeed, if she did summarily dismiss Sanchez, it might appear to other managers that she made Sanchez the fall guy, thereby absolving herself from any responsibility for the breach. O’Reilly also needs to consider how her response to the situation, and her treatment of Sanchez in this matter, will look to her other subordinates. If her response appears to be unfair, it is likely to adversely affect the attitudes and performance of her other subordinates. Studies in organizational behavior have repeatedly confirmed that the fair treatment of employees “promotes the effective functioning of the organization” (Cusack, 2009, p 24). It is not vital that her subordinates personally like her, but it is vital that O’Reilly’s subordinates respect her and view her decisions and