Jane Ryan is founder, owner, and CEO of iCompute, a computer-services firm. Ryan founded the company in 1995 and it has grown steadily, providing computer and networking services to a variety of clients. Initial growth was fueled by large contracts with large institutions, but more recently, growth has come from middle- and smaller-sized contracts. Furthermore, the industry space has become crowded with competitors and computer services is more of a commodity than it had been even five years before.
Ryan is contemplating how to respond to a conflict between two of her key employees, Samuel Marsh and Becky Jones. Jones wants Ryan to penalize Marsh for poor performance. Jones is a good performer, and there is reason to believe that her area of business has the best growth potential, but she has spoken harshly to Ryan, and Ryan has long-standing loyalty to Marsh.