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Marlow Construction (A): Dan Marlow, Founder and President
Martin, Sean Case OB-1282 / Published June 6, 2019 / 1 pages.
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Product Overview

This case represents an amalgam of commonly reported experiences people have when interacting with others from different social class backgrounds and positions of power. The A case takes the perspective of Dan Marlow, who grew up with access to financial and cultural resources and has built his own construction company. He has just fired Robby Gomez, an otherwise great worker, for chronic lateness, and he wonders why he is having trouble motivating and keeping employees. The B case takes the viewpoint of Gomez, who works hard but has trouble getting to work on time because of practical difficulties like car trouble and obligations to family and others in his community. By comparing the perspectives and experiences of these two protagonists, students learn to see how our own experiences and cultural knowledge can inform our decisions and the employee programs that we design. Because we are not aware of cultural norms that we have not personally experienced, we need to include a diversity of viewpoints in the decision-making and design processes in order to design effective systems and have effective interactions across differences.


Learning Objectives

Understand how differences in prior experiences undergird differences in how situations are interpreted. Examine how cultural limitations affect the quality of the systems we design for employees. Highlight the importance of perspective taking and of including multiple stakeholders in the design of organizational systems.

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  • Overview

    This case represents an amalgam of commonly reported experiences people have when interacting with others from different social class backgrounds and positions of power. The A case takes the perspective of Dan Marlow, who grew up with access to financial and cultural resources and has built his own construction company. He has just fired Robby Gomez, an otherwise great worker, for chronic lateness, and he wonders why he is having trouble motivating and keeping employees. The B case takes the viewpoint of Gomez, who works hard but has trouble getting to work on time because of practical difficulties like car trouble and obligations to family and others in his community. By comparing the perspectives and experiences of these two protagonists, students learn to see how our own experiences and cultural knowledge can inform our decisions and the employee programs that we design. Because we are not aware of cultural norms that we have not personally experienced, we need to include a diversity of viewpoints in the decision-making and design processes in order to design effective systems and have effective interactions across differences.

  • Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    Understand how differences in prior experiences undergird differences in how situations are interpreted. Examine how cultural limitations affect the quality of the systems we design for employees. Highlight the importance of perspective taking and of including multiple stakeholders in the design of organizational systems.