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Bob Knowlton Essay


This case is about a work team that worked together effectively, bonded well and felt comfortable around each other. All until another person (Fester) came into the company who had more knowledge that the leader of the group (Knowlton), causing a form of intimidation causing Knowlton to resign, and the group to be without a leader.


The main problem in this case was the lack of confidence Knowlton developed due to a new member to the company who had more knowledge to bring to the table. Knowlton was impressed by Fester’s approach to the group- analyzed reports, defined the flaws in the group, and new ways to address things. In addition the group was uncomfortable with the amount of knowledge Fester obtained causing lack in work performance- not able to speak out their thoughts/opinion, act with hesitation, and less team meetings. Basically Fester interfered with their normal routine.


The theory behind all of this was Fester was supposed to be partnered up with Knowlton to get an ideal of his work. However, due to propinquity which Luthans describes as “individuals affiliate with one another because of partial or geographical proximity” Fester got involved by reviewing previous report, leading him to raise concerns and questions (2011). Furthermore, according to Newcomb’s balance theory of group formation, Fester and Knowlton did not have similar attitudes to common objects and goals of the group causing a failure to connect.

Moreover, with Fester pointing out good ideas that would have actually helped the group, the group didn’t want to make that effort to try to take that new approach and was resistant to change. Luthans describes this as the punctuated equilibrium model, “groups form in a first phase in which a target or mission is set and then are not altered very easily due to a process called inertia, or systematic resistance to change” (2011). Lastly Knowlton demonstrated poor leadership skill by leaving the group rather than trying to stick it out.


Short term resolutions: Would be to find the group a new leader. Long term resolutions: Would be for Knowlton to realize his flaws as a leader. He has
self-efficacy up until the point that someone obtains more knowledge. Knowlton needs to realize that there will always be someone who know more. Furthermore the group needs to learn to adapt to change and no how to step out of their comfort zones- change up their process, reach for more.


For Knowlton, if doesn’t change his ways he will never be a successful leader and instead a failure (quitter) – A true leader does not back down or quit without a fight. Furthermore, if the group don’t’ realize that things are bound to change, then they too will never find an occupation that they are happy with- businesses are growing and change is part of it.

Luthans, F., (2011).Advanced Organization Behavior MBA 633. McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions.

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