Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2011

Jamie Turner at MLI, Inc.

by John J. Gabarro and Colleen Kaftan

Abstract

The case describes the evolution of an interpersonal mismatch between a previously successful manager, Jamie Turner, and his new boss, Pat Cardullo. Turner, a 32-year-old MBA graduate, has been recruited by Cardullo to be vice president of marketing and sales at Modern Lighting Industries, Inc. (MLI). MLI, a struggling regional distributor of industrial lighting systems and equipment based in Chicago, has recently been acquired by a division of the much larger San Diego-based Specialty Support Services (Triple S). Cardullo, the president of MLI, is the chief proponent of the Triple S acquisition, and he has told Turner to revive MLI, implying that if Turner succeeds he will soon advance to company president. It becomes apparent, however, that Cardullo and Turner have very different assumptions and expectations about turning MLI around. The case portrays Turner's developing problems and his unsuccessful attempts to resolve them, and also Cardullo's passage through several managerial challenges.

Keywords: communication; Interpersonal relations; Superior & subordinate; Micro organizational behavior; performance management; Personal strategy & style; conflict management; Management Style; Conflict Management; Interpersonal Communication; Employee Relationship Management; Rank and Position; Performance; Communication Strategy; Personal Development and Career; Acquisition; Distribution Industry; Consumer Products Industry; San Diego; Chicago;

Citation:

Gabarro, John J., and Colleen Kaftan. "Jamie Turner at MLI, Inc." Harvard Business School Brief Case 114-254, February 2011.