Can Management Afford to Look the Other Way? Harry Rull had been with Shellington Pharmaceuticals for 30 years. After a tour of duty in the various plants and seven years overseas, Harry was back at headquarters, looking forward to his new role as vice president of U.S. marketing. Two weeks into his new job, Harry received some unsettling news about one of the managers that he supervises. During a casual lunch conversation, Sally Barton, the director of human resources, mentioned that Harry should expect a phone call about Roger Jacobs, manager of new product development. Jacobs had a history of being “pretty horrible” to his subordinates, she said, and one disgruntled employee asked to speak to someone in senior management. After lunch, Harry did some followup work. Jacobs’s performance reviews have been stellar, but his personnel file also contains a large number of notes documenting charges of Jacobs’s mistreatment of subordinates. The complaints ranged from “inappropriate and derogatory remarks” to charges of sexual harassment (which were subsequently dropped). What was more disturbing was the fact that the number and the severity of the complaints have increased with each of Jacobs’s ten years with Shellington. When Harry questioned the company president about the issue, he was told, “Yeah, he’s had some problems, but you can’t just replace someone with an eye for new products. You’re a bottom-line guy; you understand why we let these things slide.” Not sure how to handle the situation, Harry met briefly with Jacobs and reminded him to “keep the team’s morale up.” Just after the meeting, Barton called to let him know that the problem that she’d mentioned over lunch had been worked out. However, she warned, another employee has now come forward, demanding that her complaints be addressed by senior management. What Would You Do? 1. Ignore the problem. Jacobs’s contributions to new product development are too valuable to risk losing him, and the problems over the past ten years have always worked themselves out anyway. There’s no sense starting something that could make you look bad. 2. Launch a full-scale investigation of employee complaints about Jacobs and make Jacobs aware that his documented history over the past ten years has put him on thin ice. 3. Meet with Jacobs and the employee to try to resolve the current issue, and then start working with Barton and other senior managers to develop stronger policies regarding sexual harassment and treatment of employees, including clear-cut procedures for handling complaints. View Less >>
Based on the complaints about Roger Jacobs and his long term issues and complaints with personnel it would be difficult to just look the other way about this particular manager.  Get solution

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