Fiduciary Consulting: Bickering in Bean Town

6 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2009

See all articles by Lynn Isabella

Lynn Isabella

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Joseph Rioff

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

What does a multinational approach to team-building look like? This case explores why, on the surface, one team was succeeding brilliantly while another team was languishing. Mounting problems at one of Fiduciary Consulting's fledgling business units in Boston required the immediate attention of the company's Montreal-based CEO, Jim Smith. Fiduciary had hired a new CEO for the U.S. subsidiary in 2003, and now, only nine months later, there seemed to be a lot of turmoil in that office. He began to wonder whether the subtle grumblings of his colleagues in Boston should have warranted a response from him earlier. All he could do at this stage was to think about what his expectations for success should be in the United States. What was going on in that office? How should he try to sort out the issues that seemed to be percolating? With all the success and collegiality that surrounded him in Montreal, Smith wondered what had gone so wrong in the Boston office--and what he could do to rectify the situation.

Excerpt

UVA-OB-0958

Rev. Nov. 28, 2008

Fiduciary Consulting: Bickering in Bean Town

Seated at his corner cubicle, Jim Smith, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Fiduciary Consulting, in Toronto, Canada, stared out his Bay Street office window toward beautiful Queens Quay to the east. He turned his chair, and looked across the room at his 17 consultants and analysts, who were working industriously on burgeoning client assignments. With all the success and collegiality that surrounded him in Toronto, Smith wondered what had gone so wrong in the Boston, Massachusetts, office—and what he could do to rectify the situation.

Over the past two months, it had become clear that problems had been mounting within the Boston team and that despite the everyday demands of managing a 60-person company, Boston required Smith's immediate attention. The Boston office was a fledgling business unit for Fiduciary, but if it could gain any traction among the U.S. institutional investment community, it offered a tremendous upside. Fiduciary had hired a new CEO in 2003, and now, only nine months later, there seemed to be a lot of turmoil in that office. With successful entry into the South African market a recent memory, surely Smith and his partners knew what it took to make Boston a success. He reached for the phone, called the receptionist, and told her that he would be in the boardroom for the rest of the afternoon and that he did not wish to be bothered. Smith had to sort through the different ideas he had about the Boston office.

Fiduciary Consulting: History and Organization

. . .

Keywords: conflict management, multinationals, teams, diversity, teamwork, interpersonal

Suggested Citation

Isabella, Lynn and Rioff, Joseph, Fiduciary Consulting: Bickering in Bean Town. Darden Case No. UVA-OB-0958. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1421622

Lynn Isabella (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924-4818 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/isabella.htm

Joseph Rioff

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

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

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