This case study, while fictitious, demonstrates all too clearly some of the real problems that exist in so many workplaces. Howard Lineberry is not an ideal employee, but nor is his situation ideal. This workplace suffers from a number of structural problems that are exacerbating the problems that Lineberry himself is bringing to the job. Thus his own weaknesses as a worker are being reinforced by problems in the company, a recipe for dissatisfaction on both sides if changes are not instituted.
We may divide those changes in those that the company should make and those that Lineberry himself should make. The company should make at least two major changes. The first is that the hiring practice should be made more rational. The company seems to hire new workers (including ones into positions of significant authority) very much on an ad hoc basis as it takes on new projects. This can result in good people being hired (as it seems, in general, to have done so) but it also tends to guarantee that those workers who are already employed by the company will feel that they have been overlooked. This seems to be one of the problems vis-à-vis Lineberry’s performance: He feels that incoming workers are being treated with favoritism. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that many of these workers are younger than he is. Nothing can be done about this latter fact (if young workers are qualified then they should be given a chance). However, there should be an orderly and transparent method of assigning work from within the company.
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