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Martha Rinaldi, a twenty seven year old aspiring business woman who has recently completed her MBA. Originally from Iowa, she completed her undergraduate degree in Computer Science in 2006 from the University of Iowa. From there, Rinaldi began her MBA at a top notch business school in Chicago, with her focus on marketing. After completing her first year in the MBA program, Rinaldi took a summer internship as assistant to the Director of Promotions at a Chicago based restaurant chain called Deep Dive Pizza.

During her short time at Deep Dive, Rinaldi contributed ideas about brand awareness and new product development. But her most noticeable contribution came from her final return on investments presentation. This persuasive presentation caught the attention of Deep Dive’s CEO, ultimately creating a job offer for her with the Deep Dive promotions team once she completed her MBA the following summer.

When Rinaldi finished her MBA in 2008, she was faced with two offers. First, she had the opportunity to return to Deep Dive as a lead for a special projects team in the marketing department.

Her second job offer was an assistant product manager at Potomac Waters in their Health Drinks Division. To help make her decision, Rinaldi began to research each company and self-assess her needs as they relate to her career ambitions. After careful consideration, Rinaldi decided Potomac Waters, a nationally established company with a proven record of marketing brilliance, would give her the best opportunity to meet her career ambitions and personal needs.

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Need for Achievement and Individual Goals

In this case Rinaldi has several underlying needs. Needs, physical or psychological, can describe behaviors associated with motivation. Rinaldi’s needs reflect her effort at Potomac. She wants to contribute to the success of the health drinks division and its brands, while learning a great deal from Potomac. She hopes her time at Potomac will provide her with the experience to drive forward her corporate career. The first of Rinaldi’s needs is the need for achievement or growth. McClelland’s theory notes” individuals with the strong desire for achievement analyze situations, try to understand the chances of success, and set moderate achievement goals for themselves” (McClelland 160). Rinaldi demonstrates her need for achievement in several ways. First, she chooses to pursue higher education in an MBA to help her develop her career path.

Secondly, Rinaldi took considerable time choosing between job offers after graduation. Her decision was Potomac Waters because she wanted to gain the knowledge and experience a nationally established firm like Potomac could provide. Although, a job at Potomac would be rigorous and challenging, she wanted to develop as a professional in the midst of a successful marketing department. Rinaldi demonstrates her need to achieve a third way, when she acknowledges Potomac promotes their assistant managers faster than the industry average. Here, she is already setting a goal and developing a vision to achieve a promotion to product manager with in the company.

Need for Affiliation

Rinaldi’s second need that can be identified is the need for affiliation: “to establish warm lasting relationships with others, to be liked, and to seek the approval of others” (McClelland 160). She demonstrates this need early as she researches Potomac Waters before she commits to their job offer. Rinaldi made a visit to Potomac in June of 2008, where she met with employees who were happy to get to know her. She had lunch with product managers who provided good feedback and told her they valued her energy and enthusiasm. Her perceived warm welcome to the company was a big driver in taking the position at Potomac. Another notable example of Rinaldi’s need for affiliation is during her time of employment at Potomac. Rinaldi works directly with associate product manager Jamie Vaughan, but reports to product manager Natalie Follet. Rinaldi has a strong desire to be liked and valued by Follet and Vaughan.

Need for Autonomy

Rinaldi felt her contributions to the return on investment assignment were noteworthy and deserving of the opportunity to participate in more assignments like it in the future. Rinaldi’s final identifiable need is the need for autonomy; the need to challenge her skills, to be assertive and independent. In the article “Employee Motivation,” the authors outline the drivers of motivation: acquire, bond, comprehend, and defend (Nohria, Groysberg, Lee, 2008). Rinaldi’s need for autonomy parallels this article’s need to comprehend.

She desires her job role to be meaningful and distinct within Potomac. In addition this role needs to foster a sense of influence and contribute to the company as well. The article emphasizes that in order to get people to do their best work, all four drivers of motivation need to be met. Rinaldi was hoping Follet would note her work performance, and assign her more challenging projects to contribute to the launch of Invi. Instead, Rinaldi went back to making copies, running errands and doing menial tasks for Vaughan such as story boards and power points. None of which used her skills as an MBA graduate.


Rinaldi’s effort and performance are connected. Influencing this connection are the individual opportunities and blockages: skills, abilities, training, experience, personality, attitudes and personal goals. These influences drive motivation and can cause a person to perceive low or high effort-performance expectancies.

Skills and Experience

Since taking the job at Potomac, Rinaldi used very little of her MBA education or skill set as she performed basic tasks and was discouraged to take the initiative on more important projects by Vaughan. She was computer savvy from her undergraduate degree in Computer Science. She demonstrated these skills during her internship with Deep Dive Pizza by creating a return on investment presentation for the potential allocation of funds towards a new computerized information system. Rinaldi also has experience in marketing from her internship at Deep Dive. Deep Dive prided themselves on brand marketing through flashy advertising of new products.

Rinaldi contributed many great ideas on how to educate new franchise owners about the brand’s core elements. She also gained experience communicating the unique style of product development to new suppliers of Deep Dive. Rinaldi also has good reasoning skills. She was sure to weigh out the positive and negatives of each of her job offers following the completion of her MBA. She was self-aware of her needs for affiliation, achievement and autonomy. This prompted her to take the position that she perceived to give her the most marketing training and education, to better prepare her for a marketing promotion in the future.


In addition to Rinaldi’s business education and work experience, her personality is a nice compliment (Figure 1.1). Personality is a set of traits or characteristics of a particular person. They can be categorized into five dimensions, also known as the Big Five Personality factors. Analysis of Rinaldi shows she is highly open to new experience. She is intelligent, broadminded, and imaginative. She shows these characteristics when she contributes distinguished ideas at marketing meetings, and her final presentation as intern at Deep Dive. Another example of her openness is when she decided to focus on marketing during her MBA study, even though her passion was computer science. She felt the pair was a great combination for success in business.

Rinaldi also scores high in conscientiousness. Her ability to be dependable, thorough, hardworking and organized is noted throughout the case study. She worked many long hours on the return on investment project for Follet, reworked storyboards and PowerPoint’s for Vaughan on a time crunch, and is very organized in her thoughts processes. Although it is difficult to define if Rinaldi is highly extraverted, she is not reserved, quiet or shy. She seems to be outgoing when she visits with other managers and peers during her beginning stages at Potomac. She also meets other department managers for lunch on occasion to discuss work projects and performance. A fourth dimension of personality is emotional stability. Rinaldi is neither high nor low in emotional stability because she is calm and secure in who she is.

However, Follet causes Rinaldi some emotional turmoil and anxiety at work. For example, when Rinaldi lent a hand to a coworker from another department who needed her help one morning (recognizing another’s need is an example of Rinaldi’s social awareness), she received an email from the Vice President of Marketing thanking her for her efforts, but reminding her that he values her time is best spent working on projects similar to the return on investment assignment she completed a few weeks prior. Follet was copied on this email as well. When Follet approached Rinaldi about the incident, she told Rinaldi it was ok to sometimes help out around the office, no matter the circumstance.

This meeting left Rinaldi confused as to whose directive she should follow. In this case study, Rinaldi seems to react to what happens, an external locus of control, rather than controlling what happens (Figure 1.2). She reacts to the way Follet and Vaughan treat her. They don’t give her the responsibility at Potomac to be a driver of change, but rather react to what happens instead. Rinaldi’s personality type is locus of control. She feels that the consequences of her actions are controlled externally by factors beyond her control, rather than an internal view. Some factors that influence a person’s destiny might be luck or fate. In Rinaldi’s case, she feels as if Follet controls her destiny at Potomac. Follet doesn’t give her meaningful projects to contribute to, which is then followed up by Follet in Rinaldi’s review saying that she “lacks initiative.”

Emotions and Attitudes

Rinaldi has negative emotions and attitude toward Vaughan. Attitude, as defined by Champoux, is “a learned predisposition to respond in a consistently favorable or unfavorable manner with respect to a given object” (Champoux, 106). Her cognitive part of that attitude is her belief Vaughan has been at Potomac for several years, is very analytical, but has limited marketing experience. Her affective attitude is based on the evaluations and feelings she experiences with Vaughan. These evaluations and experiences are as follows: Since day one in the case, Vaughan was distant and cold. This demonstrates his low value in agreeableness on the Big Five Personality chart. Rinaldi and Vaughan have a poor work relationship. In addition, he is hard to communicate with, causes work conflict with Rinaldi.

She was only to answer to Follet, but yet, Vaughan proceeded to give Rinaldi orders and assignments. Her behavioral intentions are to try to work well with Vaughan on projects, but her friendliness and patience with him is low. Her attitude of Follet is based on emotions and evaluations she experienced with Follet. Rinaldi’s cognitive part of attitude is her belief Follet has high creative marketing ability. Her affective part of attitude is her observations and experiences with Follet. For example, when Follet confronted Rinaldi on the issue of taking orders from Vaughan, Follet told Rinaldi, “If Jaime asks you to do something, assume it’s for good reason (Hill 7).” This statement, like many others, is contradictory of Follet’s rule that Rinaldi only reports to her. Examples like this cause Rinaldi emotional turmoil, anxiety, and confusion. She feels that Follet is always pushing her off, and perceives her as a know-it-all MBA who is demanding and impatient. Therefore, Rinaldi’s behavioral intention is to follow Follet’s orders because she is never sure of Follet’s reactions or emotions to any situation at Potomac.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a three tier process by which an individual expresses emotions of others and oneself, manages emotion in others and oneself, and uses these emotions to direct behavior. There are four defining dimensions of emotional intelligence, self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. An emotionally intelligent person knows how to influence other people’s emotions. In this case, Rinaldi demonstrates self-awareness and management, as well as, social awareness (Figure 1.2). Rinaldi displays her self-awareness when she discusses her many skills and experiences early in the case. She describes her ability to perform and learn from her position at Potomac. She recognizes her narrow marketing knowledge and inexperience limits her ability to possibly perform at the Deep Dive job opportunity.

An example of where Rinaldi exhibits her self-management dimension in the case is when she is working on the return on investment assignment for Follet and Vaughan. She works late a few evenings, showing her flexibility and dedication. When she completes the assignment, her efforts are not recognized by Follet or Vaughan. However, she controls her emotions, by not showing either of them her disappointment. And finally, Rinaldi demonstrates her social awareness when she realizes one of her colleagues is in distress trying finish some last minute projects at the office. Despite this occurs out of her department, Rinaldi pitches in to help. She is aware of her colleague’s anxiety and emotional distress, and is empathetic towards her situation.


Rinaldi has developed many perceptions of herself, Potomac, Follet and Vaughan. Perception is a cognitive process by which a person becomes of aware of something through the senses. A view of Rinaldi’s self-perception is her high self-esteem early in the case. She is confident of her self-worth, skills and abilities because she was getting good feedback from other managers at Potomac. Rinaldi’s self-concept, a set of beliefs she has about herself, is she believes others view her as an enthusiastic and energetic new hire who can contribute many great marketing ideas to Potomac. When Rinaldi was choosing between her job offers after completion of her MBA, she perceived Potomac Waters to be an elite national business firm that had an exceptional marketing department. After talking with the Potomac recruiter, her attitude towards Potomac was positive, because only they could offer the utmost marketing training and grooming of any company. Unfortunately this perception of Potomac will change later on in the case. Rinaldi perceives Follet in many different ways. She recognizes the creative ability Follet fosters from her previous design experiences with other companies. She appreciates the complimenting relationship of Follet’s creativity, and Vaughan’s analytical way with numbers.

They make a good team. However, Rinaldi notices that Follet is not providing her with the training she had hoped for. Rather, Follet was not organized for Rinaldi’s start at Potomac; Follet pushes Rinaldi off on Vaughan for busy work, and doesn’t provide consistent feedback. Rinaldi acknowledges Follet as her superior, and wants to be loyal to her. However, it is difficult with the varying responses she provides to every situation. Finally, Rinaldi has a negative perception of Vaughan. This perception is unchanging throughout the case. He pushes his menial tasks off on her, discourages her from taking initiative on more valued projects, and takes credit for all the work. His cold attitude towards Rinaldi and other coworkers makes it hard to communicate effectively. Except when Vaughan engaged in a shouting match with Rinaldi about come calculations she had made. That argument won the attention of everyone in the office.

Rinaldi is aware of the strange relationship of Follet and Vaughan. They seem to be very in tune to what is going on between themselves and the department. A few notable examples are as follows. Follet sent an email to Rinaldi saying Vaughan perceived Rinaldi as restless a few days into her new position at Potomac. Follet, Rinaldi’s supervisor, didn’t observe this behavior, but rather takes into account Vaughan’s perceptions and attitudes. Or perhaps following the shouting incident between Vaughan and Rinaldi over a few calculations, Follet pulled Rinaldi aside and told her Vaughan is just misunderstood sometimes. This was more than a misunderstanding of behavior, rather an excuse for Vaughan’s treatment of Rinaldi.


The link between effort and performance is not free of obstacles. In this analysis of Martha Rinaldi’s case, consideration must be given to organizational blockages or opportunities. These obstacles would include attitudes creating conflict, personalities other than Rinaldi, toxic emotions, behaviors of Follet and Vaughan, organizational design, resources and opportunities.

Organizational Design and Socialization

Organizational design and socialization is a process by which a company is structured and presented to the employees and the public. Potomac’s organizational design at first appeared to Rinaldi to be a great opportunity for training. She had met Doug Berman, group product manager in the Health Drinks Division, during her visit to Potomac and he shared with her his vision. Rinaldi also had positive feedback from other managers in regards to her good ideas, enthusiasm and drive. However, once she started she quickly realized it was not the experience she anticipated. She was not informed of her specific appointment or supervisor until her first day. When she arrived at the Health Drink Division, her supervisor sent an email notifying Rinaldi of her unpreparedness of her arrival. Follet was not organized for Rinaldi’s start, nor did she have a plan.

One in the same, Vaughan offered no time to train or mentor Rinaldi since the launch of the Invi brand was priority. Rinaldi had a good first impression of the Bautista and thought she had a handle of his expectations from the young MBA new hires. But Rinaldi was never able to contribute or challenge her skills in many projects or presentations. The entry and encounter stage of socialization into Potomac Waters was proving to be a challenging one. Not only did Follet not teach her recent hire new tasks or responsibilities, her various reactions to situations were not indicative to office norms. Therefore, Rinaldi is stuck in stage two of socialization, unable to metamorphasize into a defined role. Without the ability to carve out her role at Potomac, she is constantly in conflict with Follet and Vaughan, as she tries to establish herself.

Personalities of Vaughan and Follet

A second blockage besides the socialization process, are the personalities of Follet and Vaughan (Figure 1.3). Follet is doesn’t seem to be highly extroverted. This can be taken in context. Notice the poor effort she puts into the conversations with Rinaldi. She is very distracted and appears too busy to be bothered by Rinaldi. This implies Follet is has very low social awareness. She isn’t aware of Rinaldi’s emotions or behaviors towards Vaughan. Figure 1.3 BIG 5 Personality Characterization Chart


Follet does score high in emotional stability because she is secure and calm in her role as product manager. She appears confident in her creative skills when marketing the Invi brand, and relies on Vaughan for his analytical skills. She also seems to be high in conscientiousness. Follet’s history indicates she was a high achiever, but the case evidence suggests she hasn’t been able to transition into a leader or manager. This is demonstrated by her fierce drive to get the Invi brand marketed and meeting deadlines. She is not concerned with grooming her new hire as the brand develops, but rather is focused on getting to the final destination despite the costs. This again is an example of low social awareness and relationship management. Vaughan’s personality does not appear to be extraverted. He is cold, short with Rinaldi and other coworkers, and easily irritated. This is congruent with his low sense of agreeableness. He is not cooperative with others, especially a young ambitious MBA hire like Rinaldi.

He doesn’t help her adjust to life at Potomac, nor does he care. He ranks high in emotional stability because of his confidence in himself, his skills and relationship with product manager, Natalie Follet. This confidence does not make him self-aware of his weaknesses or limitations. In the case, he gives orders and assignments to Rinaldi that aren’t directed by Follet. He doesn’t seem to feel any empathy for Rinaldi when he dumps multiple assignments on her at once. Vaughan’s relationship management is poor. He has no interest in including Rinaldi into the Invi team, discovering her skills and abilities, and developing those assets as the work together on projects. When Rinaldi did project calculations for Vaughan, he disagreed with her findings and made a huge shouting scene in the office. He doesn’t seem to have the ability to control his own emotions or flexibility in working with Rinaldi, indicating low self-management.

Toxic Emotions

Toxic emotions in the work environment can be caused by abusive managers, unreasonable company policies, disruptive colleagues or customers, and poorly managed change within an organization. Vaughan’s toxic behaviors toward Rinaldi, such as the shouting conflict over the PowerPoint- storybook assignment, or Vaughan’s way of treating Rinaldi as a subordinate rather than a peer, are creating a negative work environment. Follet and Vaughan collaborate on the Invi brand and make excuses for each other’s behavior. When Rinaldi visits with Follet on her concerns and asks for help, Follet passes her off to Vaughan. When Vaughan and Rinaldi engage in conflict, Follet tries to smooth things over. However, no apparent improvement in behavior exists. Conflict reoccurs, and Rinaldi is forced to confront Vaughan about his behavior. This cycle is one of the reasons Rinaldi is considering if she should stay at Potomac or go back to Deep Dive.

Organizational Opportunities

These organizational blockages do have ramifications on Rinaldi’s expectancies, as do the following opportunities. Rinaldi perceives Potomac’s new brand Invi to be a wonderful opportunity to participate in all aspects of marketing, ultimately preparing her to better perform in a position like the one at Deep Dive. Marketing was essential to the beverage industry. Even in a time of recession nationally, Potomac was able to continually take market share away from competitors and grow their business. Potomac’s Health and Sports Drinks division was leading that growth, since consumers have trended towards healthier forms of beverage. Working with the new brand Invi would be demanding and rewarding. Rinaldi also saw opportunity in the organizations ability to promote from within.

During her research of the company prior to taking her job there, she noted Potomac typically promotes its assistant product managers to product mangers faster than the industry average-three years or less. This is an advantage for ambitious Rinaldi to have a chance to manage her own brand and grow professionally. However, it can also be a disadvantage since Potomac typically changed manager’s assignments every 12-24 months. This is to help the product managers experience all stages of product development and life cycle. Changing assignments will keep the work interesting, but could possibly prevent the development of close work relationships with coworkers.

Company Goals

In addition to opportunities, Potomac also has set company goals. Its utmost importance is growing its national brand recognition by taking over market share from traditional beverage companies. Potomac was taking these shares over by offering healthier drink options, rather than carbonated soft drinks. In addition, Potomac wanted to grow and expand market share in their three divisions-sports drinks, health drinks and carbonated soft drinks. Invi, one of Potomac’s newest fruit health drinks, was approaching product launch. Goal setting theory suggests these company goals are only achievable if the employees within a company clearly identify their roles. Pivotal role behaviors are behaviors a person must consent to, in order to remain part of the group or organization. These behaviors are linked to an organization’s core values.

An example of a pivotal role Rinaldi must accept is identifying and respecting Follet as her supervisor. Rinaldi must take orders and follow Follet’s advice on marketing strategies and initiatives. Another pivotal role behavior is Rinaldi must accept Invi, and the Health Drinks Division at Potomac is leading the way in market growth and expansion. Rinaldi must understand the importance of this division to the survival and performance of the company and expect her contributions will impact the success of Potomac if she wants to be a member of the organization.

A relevant role behavior is a good behavior that is not necessary or required of an individual to remain part of an organization. An example of a relevant role behavior was when Rinaldi was working late on her assignments to meet deadlines put in place by Follet or Vaughan. She didn’t have to work late, but did because she wanted to impress Follet and work on fulfilling her need for affiliation. By filling that need for affiliation with Follet, Rinaldi hoped Follet would eventually push more challenging assignments on to her and give her feedback as part of training.

Inner Work Life

The interplay between an individual’s perception, emotions and motivators has an influence on their work performance. In the article “Inner Work Life,” Amabile and Kramer describe how a manager’s behavior can influence a subordinate’s work life. The article suggests most managers are not aware of the inner work lives of their employees, and do not value the relationship inner work life has on performance. We see this play out in the case study. Follet is not aware of Rinaldi’s way of making sense of workday events; the value she places on learning new tasks or assisting in the launch of Invi; her frustrations towards Vaughan and her role within the department; her need for achievement, autonomy and affiliation; and motivators for wanting to work at Potomac. Follet did not take an all-inclusive look at what Rinaldi was thinking and feeling as she worked in the department. Because Rinaldi’s inner work life was seldom expressed, Follet failed to recognize the drivers of Rinaldi’s performance.


Once the obstacles and opportunities have been identified that link effort to performance, analysis of “what happened” can be discussed. Rinaldi’s personality, skills, emotions, attitudes, perceptions and goals influence her expected performance. As did the attitudes, emotions, personalities of Vaughan and Follet, Potomac’s goals and socialization process influenced Rinaldi’s effort-performance expectancy. After careful analysis, these factors lowered her performance level. She started out with ambitious goals for herself and the Invi brand, and now she is limited to what she can accomplish because of these blockages. Her time at Potomac has been menial tasks and projects for Vaughan. Only once did she have the opportunity to contribute to a project of value. But she didn’t receive any positive reinforcement from her supervising manager Natalie Follet nor did she receive any similar follow-up projects.


Rinaldi receives many versions of reinforcement at differing times and intervals within the case. Some reinforcement is positive, some negative. Reinforcement helps to modify her behavior and influence the outcomes of her performance. Rinaldi receives positive reinforcement from other managers in the office at Potomac. The article “Inner Worklife,” discusses individuals who experience more positive emotions in their work life, are shown to have increased productivity and performance. The article also suggests good managers do two things. First, good managers enable their employees to move forward in their work. Solving a problem, achieving a goal or accomplishing a task seems to bring a positive feeling to an individual. Thus, making them feel as if they are making progress. The article states it is most important for managers to set clear goals to empower employees to move forward in their work (Amabile, 2007). The second thing good managers do, is treat their employees like human beings. Early in the case, other Potomac managers praise her for her ambition, energy, and good ideas when she first starts with the company.

As the case unfolds, she is also greeted with positive reinforcement from Bautista on a job well done with the return on investment assignment. In this example and others in the case, Follet continuously does not show Rinaldi any type of reinforcement to help shape her performance in the future. By reacting this way, Follet shows there is no appreciation for good work under her management, decreasing the odds of high performance in the future. Continually Follet is very irregular in addressing issues, situations and behaviors. Rinaldi does not know what to expect from Follet in a given situation. This creates a muddled perception of her performance from Follet’s perspective. Vaughan continuously uses the punishment as reinforcement for Rinaldi’s behavior throughout the case.

“Punishment applies a negative event to increase the frequency or strength of a desirable behavior” (Champoux 182). In one example, Vaughan and Rinaldi get into an argument on prioritizing storyboards and PowerPoint presentations. Vaughan immediately sends an email to Follet reporting Rinaldi’s behavior, punishment. In minutes, Follet is in Rinaldi’s office attempting to solve the issue. Follet chooses to use negative reinforcement when she scolds Rinaldi for the PowerPoint slide incident with Vaughan. Discouraged by the confrontation by Follet, Rinaldi does as she is told and finishes the projects for Vaughan. Punishment can have some undesirable side effects on behavior.

Continual use of punishment doesn’t result in learning a new behavior. It can often lead to undesirable behavior or cause a person to react emotionally. The person receiving this kind of reinforcement, Rinaldi in this case, develops negative feelings toward Vaughan. These feeling of distrust and anger can emasculate Rinaldi’s view of Follet’s ability to successfully shape behavior. Punishment is a much less effective use in behavior modification as compared to positive reinforcement.


Despite the punishment she receives from Vaughan, and the unpredictability of Follet, Rinaldi wants to give Potomac her best effort. The effort and enthusiasm she gives to Potomac does not meet her organizational or individual needs and goals. Her effort and performance is undervalued because it is underutilized. She perceives this as a negative inequity, causing her to feel she is “worse off.” Individuals who feel they have experienced an inequity develop tension. To relieve that tension, they choose to respond by taking action in various way such as changing inputs or outcomes, withdrawal, acting on another, changing the comparison person.

A specific example from the case is when Rinaldi develops frustration with Vaughan after he gives her orders to complete storyboards. In addition he places an important PowerPoint presentation to review onto her work load as well. Rinaldi perceives this situation as inequitable because she performs Vaughan’s work and her own, but receives no accreditation for her effort. Rather she receives negative reinforcement from Follet for the situation. This frustration causes Rinaldi to change her outcome by confronting Vaughan about the situation later in the day. Rinaldi was appreciative of Vaughan’s apology, but the incident lingered unsettling to her.


Rinaldi’s performance and perceived inequity influences her outcome. Rinaldi did not receive the outcomes she anticipated when she started Potomac Waters. Especially after her review with Follet, Rinaldi felt as though her training has not and will not be a priority for Follet going forward. Rinaldi’s outcome can be divided into two categories: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic outcomes are those rewards individuals give to themselves. An example of an intrinsic outcome Rinaldi experienced is the satisfaction of completing the return on investment assignment for Follet. The challenging assignment’s completion was very self-satisfying for Rinaldi. She was hoping to receive more assignments like that in the future that would continue to sharpen her skills and abilities.

Extrinsic outcomes are those rewards given to an individual by a manager as a result of the employee’s performance. Rinaldi had control over the performance she was willing to give; however, the she does not have control of the outcome received. Managers have the ability to give or withhold these rewards for an employee’s performance. Examples of extrinsic outcomes are pay increases, bonuses, promotions, or supervisors praise. In the case, Rinaldi doesn’t experience any praise from Follet, her supervisor. In addition, Rinaldi does not receive any pay raises or promotions. Follet has withheld these outcomes from her, based on her lack of imitative on higher valued projects, assertiveness and lack of verbal contribution at meetings.


Rinaldi’s goals of receiving training to better prepare her for a career in marketing were not fulfilled. Her needs of achievement, autonomy, and affiliation were not met in her short time at Potomac. Rinaldi was hoping Follet would note her work performance, and assign her more challenging projects to contribute to the launch of Invi, thus building on her need for autonomy. Instead, Rinaldi went back to making copies, running errands and doing menial tasks for Vaughan such as story boards and power points. Her need for achievement was also blundered when she didn’t receive any positive feedback from Follet for a job well done on the return on investment project. A similar example was Rinaldi’s lack of achievement comes from not having a positive review with Follet. Rather, Rinaldi was reprimanded for her lack of assertiveness, initiative, and quiet demeanor during meetings. This was not the feedback she was hoping for when she took the job at Potomac.

The following are examples of Rinaldi’s unsuccessful attempts to fill her need for affiliation. First, Follet and Rinaldi’s first meeting was cold and brief, unprepared for the new hire’s arrival. Follet mentioned her view of Rinaldi’s generational challenges, commenting on Generation Y’s ability to be impatient and demanding. Rinaldi assured Follet that she is a team player and quick learner. But, before Follet could respond, she was distracted by an incoming phone call. Follet made it clear how busy she was to Rinaldi, suggested that Rinaldi must learn as much as possible from Vaughan, even though Vaughan was just as busy. A separate but related incident where Rinaldi questioned her lack of affiliation to Follet was in Follet’s office. One morning Rinaldi stopped by Follet’s office to ask a question. Follet made very little effort to glance away from her computer, showing slight interest in Rinaldi, and then directed Rinaldi to take her question to Vaughan. Disappointed with her boss’s lack of interest, despite the enthusiasm she received from other managers at Potomac, she returned to her office.

Rinaldi makes it quite clear her desire for affiliation to Follet, and her internal struggles with the reasoning behind Follet’s behavior. A final example of Rinaldi’s need for affiliation stems from a project Follet and Vaughan ask her to review in late October. She spent many hours working and reworking return on investment projections for the marketing launch of Invi. When she submitted her work to the Vice President of Marketing, Julius Bautista, Bautisa emailed Rinaldi praising her contribution. She was pleased (This also filled her need for achievement). However, the two people at Potomac she wanted the approval of the most, Follet and Vaughan, said little about it and did not follow up with any similar assignments. This did not fill her need for affiliation. It didn’t get any better two weeks later when Follet presented the same return on investment data to the entire Health Drinks Division. She never once asked Rinaldi for help, nor did she involve Rinaldi in her presentation.


Rinaldi’s perception of the valance of all the outcomes in her situation was negative. This negative valance will determine her choice of behavior. She is nervous, frustrated, and confused about her future at Potomac. Her difficult relationship with Vaughan and lack of training opportunities from Follet has led Rinaldi to question her role at Potomac and perhaps missed opportunity at Deep Dive.


After careful analysis of the case and its many components, a recommendation can begin to be developed. My recommendation is designed to support the improvement of what I concluded are limitations, while maintaining the positives in the situation. It is understandable to see why Rinaldi is thinking the way she is. Her negative valance to the outcomes of situations has caused her to reconsider her inputs, motivations and role at Potomac. A recommendation may be to set up a meeting between Rinaldi and Follet to discuss Rinaldi’s personal needs and goals. The direction of the conversation could address the present non-functional situation, and then focus on developing a procedure to take training and role expectations to the next level.

Once Rinaldi and Follet define Rinaldi’s role within Potomac and training expectations, perhaps a meeting could be set up with all three colleagues. Together, Follet would have the opportunity to identify common goal of the department, the launch of Invi. After discussing the goal of the group, the team could discuss role expectations of Rinaldi and Vaughan as they relate to reaching the common goal. This will help to define the expectancies and direction of the team as they refocus their approach to Invi’s launch. Hopefully this refocus will encourage team collaboration, ultimately meeting the affiliation, autonomy and achievement needs of Rinaldi; helping Follet to reach her goal of a successful Invi launch, and meeting Vaughan’s needs for achievement and recognition for his contributions to the project.


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  2. Inner Work Life: Understanding the Subtext of Business Performance. Harvard Business Review, 72-83. Champoux, Joseph E. (2011).
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  5. Martha Rinaldi: Should She Stay or Should She Go? Harvard Business School, case 4310.

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Martha Rinaldi Case Analysis. (2016, Sep 15). Retrieved from

Martha Rinaldi Case Analysis
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