Case Scenario: Report to President and CEO Alexandria Marvel

Instructions: 

The Scenario

Read the Case Scenario that follows and answer President and CEO Alexandria Marvel’s questions in the form of a report. Address the report to President and CEO Alexandria Marvel.  

You walk into your office one morning and see an article on your desk. You pick it up and realize that the President and CEO placed it there! She also has some questions on a post-it note and a request for recommendations.  

Alexandria Marvel was exhausted. She had just finished a long meeting with her current VP of Headquarter Operations, Michael Brown. Michael, who was getting ready for retirement, gave her a rundown of a recent crisis that impacted the company. While the dust seemed to be settling, Alexandria recognized that this was one of the worst things to happen to the company.

Michael recalls the crisis in the following way: 

“On the morning of January 19th, I got a call from Joanne Edwards, my contact at our major distributor, Happy and Healthy Foodmart. She told me that three of her customers had complained that LSN’s echinacea had made them ill. I called our legal department immediately to put them on alert.  By noon that day, the number of reported illnesses had risen to seven. By January 22nd, the worst possible news came in – one of those people had actually died. 

I called my team together immediately to come up with a plan for an immediate Recall. We needed to manage this crisis with our employees, our distributors, and most of all, our customers. Controlling the message to the public and the media was critical. We’d had Recalls before, but never in reaction to a customer’s death. This was a whole new ball game for us. 

Once the Recall had been put in place, we needed to get to the bottom of the echinacea problem. We started looking at the suppliers and ended up in the Purchasing Department. When we discovered that Henrietta Higgins, the Assistant Director of Purchasing, had cut a deal with a new supplier, I became furious. I mean, it was not one of my proudest moments.” 

“That’s understandable,” replied Alexandria, “go on. Tell me more.” 

“Well, Higgins received an offer from a new supplier to buy genetically modified echinacea. She explained that she thought it was a good move because it would save the company over 20% on the wholesale price. She made the decision unilaterally, without ever going to her supervisor or to me to discuss it.” 

“What did you do when you found this out?” asked Alexandria. 

“I fired her, of course. We had no other choice, Alexandria. It’s because of her we have this crisis. And on top of that, we’ve decided to halt all sales of all echinacea in the foreseeable future.” 

“Who’s we?” Alexandria asked, with concern in her voice now. 

“My team, of course. I told my managers about my decision, and they’re all behind me 100%. We all know how important it is to act quickly in this situation. You can trust me to turn this situation around.” 

Alexandria left the meeting sure about two things. First, she was secretly relieved that Michael was nearing retirement. The new VP of Headquarter Operations could start fresh. Second, she had just finished reading an article about a “Crisis Ready Culture.” She knew that it was time for LSN to start developing a crisis-ready culture.  

Alexandria drops by your office with a copy of that article. She has a post-it note on the article, with the following questions and a request for recommendations: 

  1. Identify and discuss the primary leadership style of Michael Brown in his handling of this crisis.
  2. Discuss an alternative leadership style that could have been used by Michael Brown that could have been better suited than the one he used.   
  3. What leadership competencies did Michael Brown present in the recent echinacea crisis? 
  4. Identify the leadership competencies beneficial for a crisis-ready culture.
  5. Identify the role that EQ played in the Echinacea crisis.
  6. Identify the role of EQ for a crisis-ready culture.  
  7. Did either Michael Brown or Alexandria Marvel use Authentic Leadership in the Echinacea crisis?
  8. What role should Authentic Leadership play in a crisis-ready culture?
  9. Thinking about Michael Brown’s actions in handling the crisis and Henrietta Higgins’s actions leading to the crisis and the fact that Alexandria Marvel was excluded from the decision-making process about handling the crisis, what conclusions can you draw about LSN’s current culture played in the echinacea crisis?
  10. Describe the relationship of strategy, culture, and structure for a crisis-ready culture.
  11. Give three specific and actionable recommendations that could be implemented to develop a crisis-ready culture for LSN. (Each recommendation should be supported by course materials).

Step 1: Course Material

For this project, you are required to use the case scenario facts and the course material. In addition to information from this week’s reading relevant to answering the questions below, you are allowed to use any course material from prior weeks useful in addressing the questions. External sources are not permitted.  You are not researching on the Internet or using resources from outside the course.  You are expected to answer the requirements identified below, showing the connection between the case scenario facts and the course material. Using course material goes beyond defining terms and explains the ‘why and how’ of a situation. Avoid merely making statements but close the loop of the discussion by explaining how something happens or why something happens, which focuses on importance and impact. In closing the loop, you will demonstrate the ability to think clearly and rationally, showing an understanding of the logical connections between the ideas presented in a case scenario, the course material, and the question(s) being asked. Using one or two in-text citations from the course material will not earn many points on an assignment throughout the paper. The use of a variety of course material is expected to support what is presented consistently. The support must be relevant and applicable to the topic being discussed. Points are not earned for mentioning a term or concept but by clearly explaining or discussing the question at hand.

Step 2: The Questions to Answer

You will answer the 11 questions above provided in Step 1. 

Step 3: Write the Report. 

Report Format

Create a Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) report with no more than seven (7) pages double-spaced.  Those seven pages do not include the required Title Page, Reference Page, and Appendix. You will use the following format.

The report should use Roman Numeral numbering for each section. Each section should be titled and listed exactly in the order listed above. All answers are to be supported by course materials, cited, and referenced in APA format.

  1. Identify and discuss the primary leadership style of Michael Brown in his handling of this crisis. 
  2. Discuss an alternative leadership style that could have been used by Michael Brown that could have been better suited than the one he used.   
  3. What leadership competencies did Michael Brown present in the recent echinacea crisis? 
  4. What leadership competencies did Michael Brown present in the recent echinacea crisis? 
  5. Identify the role that EQ played in the Echinacea crisis. 
  6. Identify the role of EQ for a crisis-ready culture.   
  7. Did either Michael Brown or Alexandria Marvel use Authentic Leadership in the Echinacea crisis?
  8. What role should Authentic Leadership play in a crisis-ready culture?
  9. Thinking about Michael Brown’s actions in handling the crisis and Henrietta Higgins’s actions leading to the crisis and the fact that Alexandria Marvel was excluded from the decision-making process about handling the crisis, what conclusions can you draw about LSN’s current culture played in the echinacea crisis?
  10. Describe the relationship of strategy, culture, and structure for a crisis-ready culture.
  11. Give three specific and actionable recommendations that could be implemented to develop a crisis-ready culture for LSN. (Each recommendation should be supported by course materials.) Make sure these three recommendations are actionable (in other words, leadership can take your advice and put it into practice immediately) and specific (in other words, not too general that it cannot be easily understood). For example, “change leadership style” is not actionable today and too general to be clearly understood. However, “train leaders on different leadership styles” can be put into practice today and is specific enough to be understood. (Do not use this example in your answer!)
  12. Reference Page – provide references to match your in-text citations, written in APA format.

Step 4: Submit the Completed Report in the Assignment Folder. 

Submitting the project to the Assignment Folder is considered the student’s final product and, therefore, ready for grading by the instructor. It is incumbent upon the student to verify the assignment is the correct submission.   

Other Required Elements:

  • Read the grading rubric for the project. Use the grading rubric while completing the project to ensure all requirements are met, leading to the highest possible grade.
  • Contractions are not used in business writing, so do not use them.
  • Paraphrasing is allowed for providing examples from the Interview. Use direct quotation marks if you are providing a direct quote from the interviewee. You do not need to cite or reference this leader for this report.
  • Direct quotes are NOT allowed if they are quotations from course materials. This means you do not use more than four consecutive words from a source document. You must put a passage from a source document into your own words and attribute the passage, using the correct APA in-text citation format,  to the source document. In other words, once you paraphrase a source document, the source document must be shown in an in-text citation.  
  • In-text citations should be included in ALL SECTIONS of the report and should demonstrate the application of the course material. Note that a reference within a reference list cannot exist without an associated in-text citation and vice versa.
  • You may only use the course material from the classroom. You may not use books or any resource from the Internet.
  • Provide the page or paragraph number, where applicable.

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