PAULA SCOTT

     Paula Scott was examining the notes she had taken on three applicants
 for a management position. Paula was a manager herself and had worked
 her way up from a clerical job. She was the only female manager in a staff
of seven and was acutely aware of her gender in her corporate position. 
Paula was highly respected by her peers, and her boss often praised the
quality of her work. She took pride in her work, and she had the satisfaction 
of knowing she had made it on the basis of competence. Yet, she felt that 
being a woman had been a handicap to her over the years. She really 
thought she would have been promoted to her current position sooner if she 
had been a man. It was tough to break into an all-male management staff, 
and she questioned whether some of her male colleagues would have endured 
the same frustrations she had accepted. Paula demanded and got high 
performance from her staff. Her subordinates regarded her as a nononsense 
type of manager, someone who set high standards for them as well as herself. 
They admired her tenacity and perseverance in the company. Many felt she 
was the most talented manager on the staff. 
     Paula perused her notes. The management staff had interviewed each 
applicant, and at 3:00 they would meet to make their selection. The person 
chosen would become the eighth manager on the staff. Two of the candidates 
were male, the third female. The applicant selected must step in and assume 
a great deal of responsibility quickly. Paula knew if a bad choice were made, 
it would only mean more work for her and the other managers. A lot was riding 
on the decision and nobody wanted to blow it. 
     On the basis of the interview and past work experience, Roger Morgan 
appeared to be the most qualified. Paula was sure the other managers would 
support him. A close but definite second was Claire Hart. Hart came across 
very well in the interview, but her academic training wasn't in business even
though she had several years of business experience. Finally, Kevin Joyce 
seemed a distant third. His background training and experience weren't as 
strong, and his interview performance didn't help his case either. 
     Paula was torn between Morgan and Hart. Morgan appeared to be the stronger  
candidate, but his career had been handed to him. He was a business major 
from an excellent university and had six years of experience in his uncle's company. 
Hart got her degree in sociology, but she worked her way up to a responsible
position after five years with the same company. Paula figured Hart got 
few breaks along the way, and whatever she got, she undoubtedly earned. 
Paula saw some of herself in Claire Hart. She would like to have another 
female manager on the staff since she was tired of the being the company token.
If the company was going to be more responsive to the talents of women, the
candidacy of Claire Hart would be a good test case. Paul believed she and Claire
would be two role models for other women in the company. 
     Yet, Roger Morgan was also truly qualified. It shouldn't be held against 
him that he went to work for a relative. He came very highly recommended, 
and nothing about his credentials or personal conduct was objectionable. If 
Paula plugged Hart too strongly, she feared she would lose some of her reputation
for being objective and performance-oriented. She could ill afford to lose her 
credibility by backing Hart primarily because she was a woman. If Hart had been a
 man, her choice of Morgan would be fairly clear-cut. Yet if she didn't take a 
stand on Hart, she saw little chance for change. 
     Paula thought maybe she should support Morgan and secretly hoped he wouldn't 
take the position. Surely they would then offer it to Hart. No, she concluded, 
that's too much of a gamble. If she wanted Hart to join the company, and she
 knew she did, she would have to support her outright from the start.

     1.  You are Paula.  Make a decision and justify it with logical arguments.

  • Business 340 Syllabus

  • E-mail: Duane.Dove@sonoma.edu