Does Wanda have a problem with Beverly? Explain your answer. (10) 1.2 Discuss steps could Wanda have taken in order to reduce or avoid the problem after she was promoted. (25) 1.3 Explain steps that Wanda should take now to deal with the issues at hand. Recommend specific actions and steps. (30) 1.4 Comment on Wanda’s leadership style.

The Worst Part Was That She Often Was Right
The Winston County Bank was founded in 1928. The institution managed to survive and grow over the
years by adapting to changing markets and taking advantage of improving technology. The Winston
County (as it was called) was doing well: it had remained solvent and profitable even during troubled
periods in the banking industry.
As a recently promoted manager in charge of the Consumer Credit Services Department, Wanda
Vaughn felt as if she was progressing along with Winston County. Her department handled all aspects
of consumer credit: analysis, account establishment, file maintenance, and payment processing.
Indeed, she had moved into her current position just six months ago when her boss, the former head
of department, was promoted to head the newly formed Investment Services Unit. Wanda wanted to
show that she could take charge and make things run effectively, so she became a very ‘hands-on’
manager. She made decisions, took close control, and worked closely and often with the employees
under her chargeRead the case study below and answer ALL the questions that follow.
The Worst Part Was That She Often Was Right
The Winston County Bank was founded in 1928. The institution managed to survive and grow over the
years by adapting to changing markets and taking advantage of improving technology. The Winston
County (as it was called) was doing well: it had remained solvent and profitable even during troubled
periods in the banking industry.
As a recently promoted manager in charge of the Consumer Credit Services Department, Wanda
Vaughn felt as if she was progressing along with Winston County. Her department handled all aspects
of consumer credit: analysis, account establishment, file maintenance, and payment processing.
Indeed, she had moved into her current position just six months ago when her boss, the former head
of department, was promoted to head the newly formed Investment Services Unit. Wanda wanted to
show that she could take charge and make things run effectively, so she became a very ‘hands-on’
manager. She made decisions, took close control, and worked closely and often with the employees
under her charge.
At the time of her promotion, Wanda could not have been happier. Having worked as a senior
representative in the department for almost three years, she had been able to develop close working
relationships with the other representatives in the department. Currently there were four
representatives in the unit. Three of the representatives were relatively new, having been there less
than one year on the average. The fourth employee, Beverly Beutell, had been in the department
almost as long as Wanda, and they had a good working relationship.
‘Or so I thought,’ she mused to herself late one afternoon after the latest run-in with Beverly. Wanda
was sitting at her desk, looking out the window at the emptying parking lot. She was still trying to
recover from the staff meeting that had just ended.
Wanda thought back to how things had changed between her and Beverly since Wanda had become
supervisor. Before Wanda moved into her supervisory position, she and Beverly had been very
friendly, even close. Wanda always respected Beverly’s ability, even though she was wary of Beverly’s
habit of speaking her mind directly and quickly. Wanda could understand why others might think that
Beverly was defensive and belligerent. Indeed, Beverly’s quick tongue and tart manner easily put
people off.
When Wanda was promoted, Beverly became the most senior person in the department. However,
when it was time for Wanda to pick an assistant to help run the department, she selected another
employee who was junior to Beverly in years but easier to get along with and more liked by the other
employees. Beverly reacted badly to this decision, believing that she should have been selected as the
department assistant manager. Since then, Wanda had noticed that Beverly directed more and more
of her argumentativeness at her. For example, it seemed that Beverly would drag out staff meetings
to twice their necessary length simply by asking question and voicing concerns. The only thing these
tactics seemed to do was get her to the point where she would finally say, ‘I think we ought to do it
this way…’
As she looked out the window, Wanda thought back to the times when Beverly’s action had become
a real point of friction. One instance really stood out. Shortly after taking charge of the unit, Wanda
issued a change in the account processing procedures. This change was intended to remedy a longstanding ‘glitch’ in the system that required unnecessary work.
Within minutes of receiving the memorandum, Beverly was in Wanda’s office. “This will never work,”
she said waving the memorandum. Wanda was surprised. ‘What do you mean, it won’t work?’ she
replied. ‘Sure it will. We’ll be able to cut our work load on that task by 10 percent.’
‘Yeah, but you forget about the last audit and the regulation on consumer notification,’ Beverly said
without missing a beat. ‘If you do this, we’re going to have the worst audit next time, plus get in
trouble with the consumers we turn down.’ Wanda realised Beverly was onto something, even if she
was overstating it a bit. After thinking about Beverly’s remarks, Wanda realised she had to revised
parts of the new procedures.
This incident seemed to capture the nature of what their relationship had become. Even though
Beverly did her job well, Wanda felt as if Beverly was always challenging her. It appeared that for every
decision Wanda made, Beverly was almost playing a game of ‘I’ll get in the last word’ with her, and
she was becoming tired of it.
Indeed, at one point Wanda felt compelled to tell Beverly that her behavior might have to be taken in
account during the performance appraisal. After hearing Wanda’s caution, Beverly had responded,
‘Well, if that’s the way you feel. I’ll never say anything else.’ Wanda told her, “That’s not what I meant.
I just want you to keep an open mind.’ Beverly has seemed satisfied with that.
Then, at another staff meeting, it happened again. This time the problem centered on Winston
County’s new computer system. For over a year, the bank had been preparing for a large-scale
conversion to an integrated system. Even though the conversion had little direct impact in Wanda’s
group, it did have an impact on other departments in big ways. As a result, Wanda wanted to make
some important changes in their own processing operations to anticipate and support the conversion.
The meeting was devoted to explaining what the conversion would involve and what they would do
differently. Wanda began the meeting by bringing everyone up to date on the status of the conversion
project. After Wanda answered a few questions, she then announced the changes she was going to
institute for various procedures. Wanda believed her proposed changes would be right on target, and
she decided on these changes, in part, because they were just slight modifications to current practices.
Almost as soon as she had finished, Beverly announced: ‘Those changes will never work. If we do that,
things will be chaos around here.’
Even the other employees who were used to Beverly’s behavior were surprised and looked at her.
‘Sure,” Beverly continued, ‘think about it for a minute. If we start following those steps, here’s what
will happen.’ She spent the next three or four minutes reeling off a list of potential problems and
difficulties. She concluded: ‘I think we just ought to continue doing things as we have been. Then, after
the new system is operational, we can see whether we need to do anything differently.’
Wanda looked at the other employees, who seemed to be agreeing. Wanda realised that some of
Beverly’s ideas were in fact valid and that she did have a worthwhile point of view. Not wanting to let
the meeting get too far out of hand, Wanda said something about it being late and that she
appreciated every everyone’s reaction. She said she would get back to them with the final decision as
soon as possible.
She adjourned the meeting and went back to her desk. As she watched the parking lot empty out, she
wished all her problems would drive off too.
Source: Clardy, A.B (2005). Case Studies in Management Training. Jaico Publishing: Mumbai.
Questions:
1.1 Does Wanda have a problem with Beverly? Explain your answer. (10)
1.2 Discuss steps could Wanda have taken in order to reduce or avoid the problem after she was
promoted. (25)
1.3 Explain steps that Wanda should take now to deal with the issues at hand. Recommend specific
actions and steps. (30)
1.4 Comment on Wanda’s leadership style.

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