Sample Case Analysis Paper on Rick’s New Job

Case Analysis: Rick’s New Job

Explains Why Rick Was Let Go and How Reinforcement Theory Applies to This Situation

The decision to let Rick go was based on his inability to make a significant impact on the performance of sales department. The founder of PPP, Val Peterson explained to Rick that the company was conducting a layoff due to its declining performance and he was one of the people that would be affected. Val blamed the company’s unrealistic expectations of achieving improved results in sales within a short time and acknowledged that Rick had not been given adequate time to either succeed or fail. It is clear from Val explanation that Rick was expected to deliver quick results in sales and when this proved impossible, he had to be laid off since he was not assisting the company to overcome the sales problems. The situation can be explored with the help of reinforcement theory. Reinforcement theory is one of the behavioral theories of learning and motivation that focuses on how the consequences of past behavior affect future behavior (Kramer, Rodriguez, & Kertz, 2015). The most critical principle of this theory is reinforcement, which can be either positive or negative. According to Kramer, Rodriguez, and Kertz (2015), the effect of positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement is to increase the probability of learning and repeating a particular behavior. For example, Rick could be rewarded with a bonus for meeting a sales target or retained in the sales department. Another principle of reinforcement theory is punishment that helps in decreasing the probability of exhibiting certain behaviors. Punishment involves use of undesirable behavioral consequence to reduce the occurrence of undesired behavior (Kramer, Rodriguez, & Kertz, 2015). In this case, firing Rick was a punishment for his failure to achieve performance goals within a short duration.

Explains Rosie and Walter’s Reaction to Rick’s Computer In Terms of Resistance to Change

Rick was planning to bring change to PPP Company in the form of a centralized computer system. The system would be used to run a centralized sales database. However, Rosie and Walter opposed this idea and warned Rick against getting ahead of them since he was just a new member. The reaction of the two managers to the idea of introducing a new system can be considered as resistance to change. Several factors could have caused this resistance to change among the PPP managers. The two individuals held important positions in the company and could have developed the fear of losing their status within the organization. Rosie did her work manually, and Walter lacks latest skills in computerized systems, and this could have made them resist the introduction of a computerized system. They did not have the necessary skills for operating it, and this could lead to their roles in the company being reduced or eliminated. The two could also have feared that the change will make them lose some power in the company or the fear of failing if they are unable to adapt to the new systems. Additionally, resistance could have occurred due to failure by the top most person in the company to communicate his commitment to the change (Lines, Sullivan, Smithwick, & Mischung, 2015).

Explains Rick’s Inability to “fit in” Using Social Learning Theory and Identifies Where Breakdowns Occurred

According to Juffer,  Bakermans-Kranenburg, & van IJzendoorn (2017), Social Learning Theory provides that individuals learn from one another through observing, imitating and modeling. Analyzing Rick’s case shows that he effectively applied the Social Learning Theory during the first days at the company. Rick demonstrated to other members of the organization how prepared he was to learn from them and ensured that he did not appear better than them. Social Learning Theory was useful since employees felt that Rick was ready to follow what they were doing by observing them and was not trying to impose new ways of doing things. The breakdown occurred when Rick continued to meet with Val two times a day and other key managers to discuss how he would work with them to handle sales problem. In this case, he demonstrated to the other managers that his contribution to the organization also mattered and he needed to remain at the top of things, thus, the frequent meetings. At this point, it became clear to other managers that Rick was not necessarily paying attention to what he could learn from them and prevented him from joining any of their circles.

Explains How to Go About Designing the Program and Provides Appropriate Theoretical Rationale to Support the Position

The identification of problems in the sales department resulted in Rick’s suggestion of introducing a computerized system. However, top managers at the company strongly rejected this idea. The company can still go ahead and design a program that can help to handle the sales issues. The design will have to go through the change process, which is comprised of three stages that include initiation, implementation, and continuation. The process will help in minimizing resistance to change and dealing with any resistance that may arise. The key elements of the initiation phase will include people recognizing the need for change and ensuring that the need for change is well communicated to every person in the company. In the implementation phase, the program will have to be broken down into measurable tasks and targets that are achievable. All people will also have to be involved in this stage by training them and communicating with them frequently. In the continuation phase, the company will have to continue communicating about the positive impacts of the program (Lines et al., 2015).





Juffer, F., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., & van IJzendoorn, M. H. (2017). Pairing attachment theory and social learning theory in video-feedback intervention to promote positive parenting. Current Opinion in Psychology, 15(Parenting), 189-194. doi:10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.03.012

Kramer, S., Rodriguez, B. F., & Kertz, S. J. (2015). Predicting socially anxious group membership using reinforcement sensitivity theory. Personality and Individual Differences, 474. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2015.06.053

Lines, B. C., Sullivan, K. T., Smithwick, J. B., & Mischung, J. (2015). Overcoming resistance to change in engineering and construction: Change management factors for owner organizations. International Journal of Project Management, 331170-1179. doi:10.1016/j.ijproman.2015.01.008