Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2011

Kay Sunderland: Making the Grade at Attain Learning

by Linda A. Hill and Heather Beckham


Kay Sunderland is an account director at Attain Learning Inc., a business training solutions company. In January 2011, one of Attain's most important clients, Juan Nunez of Gramen Equipment Company, contacts Sunderland with a request: Nunez would like Attain content development director Mike Morgan to stop contacting him directly. Sunderland is surprised that Morgan, an experienced and talented contributor, is potentially jeopardizing the account by ignoring Attain's communications policy of restricting client-facing communication to the account director. Now Sunderland must decide how to handle the situation with both the client and her colleague Morgan.

Keywords: communication; Interpersonal relations; power and influence; Personal strategy & style; creativity; conflict; Interdepartmental relations; talent management; Management Style; Interpersonal Communication; Talent and Talent Management; Relationships; Conflict and Resolution; Communication Strategy; Power and Influence; Service Industry;


Hill, Linda A., and Heather Beckham. "Kay Sunderland: Making the Grade at Attain Learning." Harvard Business School Brief Case 114-289, April 2011.