Brad was the office manger whose branch of a large architectural firm had 25 architects and 8 personal assistants. While Brad was in charge of the entire office, Laura was in charge of the assistants who were not assigned to work for particular architects.
One day, Rachel had been brought to the office by her father, one of the firm’s founders who worked at a different office. The father announced that he had hired his daughter to work for Laura during this and future summer vacations from university. Unfortunately, Rachel had no skills whatsoever that related to the duties required. In addition, the office was fully staffed and did not need any additional help.
Laura was irate when she learned that she was supposed to find work for Rachel and supervise her. She was particularly upset that Rachel had been hired without the firm following the standard selection processes, and that Rachel had just been dumped on her doorstep. She told Brad, “Rachel has no knowledge of architecture whatsoever. I have no work for her. I don’t want to have anything to do with her!”
On her first day of work, Rachel was shown to her desk but was assigned no specific tasks. Within a few days, she had introduced herself to all of the architects and started spending more and more time in their offices. Wanting to make a favorable impression on Rachel’s father, the architects willingly talked with her at length. One of the young architects was particularly taken by her, and vice verse. She spent more time in his office than in any other. Meanwhile, the other personal assistants were starting to complain about all of the attention that Rachel was receiving and about the fact that she wasn’t doing her “share” of the tasks. In addition, the architects were falling behind in their work.
A vicious rumour was circulating that Rachel had a brother, Ben, who might also be thrust upon the office. During all of this, Laura refused to have anything to do with Rachel and reminded Brad that she (Rachel) was HIS problem.
1.1. What are the major problems in this case?
1.2. If you were Brad, what steps would you take to solve the problems depicted in this case?
1.3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a ‘no nepotism’ policy?