| HBS Case Collection
(Revised from original 1994 version)
Visionary Design Systems: Are Incentives Enough?
A compensation case about Visionary Design Systems (VDS), a small, high-tech full service systems integration firm based in Silicon Valley with eleven offices throughout the country. All employees, including engineers, administrators, and receptionists, received a significant portion of their income from commissions and bonuses, and all were shareholders. The company espoused a philosophy of empowerment, under which all employees were given substantial decision-making authority, and were expected to act in the interests of the firm. This case examines one group that, although it had both the authority and the incentives to exploit a new market opportunity, continued to wait for top management's instructions and approval before making decisions or taking action.
Keywords: Decision Making;
Cost vs Benefits;
Compensation and Benefits;
Employee Stock Ownership Plan;