Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2014

The Promotion Process at Chung and Dasgupta, LLP

by Ian Larkin and Karen Huang

Abstract

The "Promotion Process at Chung and Dasgupta, LLP" set of cases explores the roles of general and firm-specific human capital in employee performance measurement, feedback, and promotion/compensation decisions. In the cases, a leading law firm must decide whether to match an outside partnership offer to one of its leading litigators, when the litigator is not yet eligible for partnership according to the existing rules by which the firm elects partners. A second non-litigator at the firm has performed just as well as the star litigator, but has no outside partnership offer, because her role and skills are specific to the firm, and not as valuable to the outside market. The case can be taught via a role play, where one student plays the role of the non-litigator, and a second student plays the role of a formally-assigned mentor from the law firm's partnership group. (If using the role play option, instructors should use the general information case "The Promotion Process at Chung and Dasgupta, LLP," 914-044, and the roles: "Chung and Dasgupta: Information for Jordan Ramirez," 914-046, and "Chung and Dasgupta: Information for Casey Clark," 914-047.) It can also be taught as a traditional case, without a role play, by using general information case "The Promotion Process at Chung and Dasgupta, LLP" (914-044) and "Chung and Dasgupta: Supplemental Information on Jordan Ramirez and Casey Clark" (914-045). The cases provide a rich backdrop to explore issues around firm-specific human capital, and can also be used to discuss subjective performance evaluation, best practices when giving employee feedback, and careers at professional service firms.

Keywords: human capital; performance appraisal; performance measurement; employee feedback; motivation; promotions; Human Capital; Performance Evaluation; Management Systems; Compensation and Benefits; Retention; Legal Services Industry; United States; Massachusetts;

Citation:

Larkin, Ian, and Karen Huang. "The Promotion Process at Chung and Dasgupta, LLP." Harvard Business School Case 914-044, June 2014.