Monitor Technology: Shannon Allen

7 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008

See all articles by Sherwood C. Frey

Sherwood C. Frey

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business


A series of events has led to a confrontation between Chris Kerns, manager of Engineering, and Shannon Allen, one of Kerns's direct reports. Allen is considering resigning, but the moment is not opportune. This case must be used with its companion case, "Monitor Technology--Chris Kerns," UVA-QA-0569.



Monitor Technology: Shannon Allen

I've just about had enough! Right from the beginning, MT has not respected my skills or my work or my personal time. Even though I was hired to be part of the engineering team with the expectation of doing design work, my first assignment was in production, fixing failed units. I showed them that I could do it, even though it seemed to be a waste of my time and training. Finally, after six months, I had a full-time assignment in engineering, doing the things I was hired to do, and doing them well. As soon as things started rolling and everyone seemed happy with my work, they send me for a month to some desolate corner of the country on an emergency assignment for another division. I was the only person from engineering—obviously, they think I'm expendable. Frustration with MT has driven me to find several outside projects that I can work on during the evenings and weekends. I really enjoy them because they let me use my design and programming skills. They also bring in extra income to make up for the fact that I have not received a pay increase in 18 months. Wouldn't you know it, just as one of my more interesting outside projects got rolling, MT put me on an annoying interface box project that has required overtime and weekend work. On top of that, I'm back part-time in the production area fixing failed units and, as a result, falling further behind on the interface box. It is so tempting to just walk out and show them that I deserve respect, but the guaranteed pay is good and the access to design software certainly helps my private projects.

—Shannon Allen

Monitor Technology

Monitor Technology (MT) worked closely with the electric power industry to design, develop, and manufacture specialized test equipment for diagnosing service complaints from both residential and commercial customers. The principal elements of the MT product line were current and voltage recorders that attached inconspicuously to the customer's meter just behind the glass-encased usage dials or that connected with clamps directly to specific electric lines. The monitors recorded and stored over a year of readings of voltage, current, power, phase angle, and energy usage. In addition, software was provided that presented a variety of graphs and reports, including histograms, time-series charts, abnormal-neutral reports, flicker reports, average daily profiles, and current out-of-limits reports. MT was currently conducting research for the development of a communication system over existing distribution power lines for use by the utility companies and their customers.

. . .

Keywords: conflict management, negotiation, personnel management

Suggested Citation

Frey, Sherwood C., Monitor Technology: Shannon Allen. Available at SSRN: or

Sherwood C. Frey (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States


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