Marshall & Gordon: Designing an Effective Compensation System (A)

Posted: 30 Jan 2012

See all articles by Heidi K. Gardner

Heidi K. Gardner

Harvard Law School

Kerry Herman

Harvard Business School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 17, 2012


CEO Kelly Browne wrestles with the design of a new compensation system to promote the collaboration and cross-selling necessary for supporting her firm's new strategy. Marshall Gordon International, a global public relations (PR) firm, has recently expanded its service offering to include Executive Positioning, which requires significantly more teamwork, higher-level client interaction and more strategically-minded consultants than their traditional PR work. The CEO is pressured to find a compensation system that helps retain and motivate the firm's valued PR consultants, attract new talent, and get all professionals aligned behind the new strategy.

Learning Objective: To explore how a firm's compensation and performance management systems can help (or hinder) in shifting from individualistic toward collaborative culture and work design. This case will deepen students' appreciation for the complexity of designing a compensation system that needs to motivate star performers while encouraging the collaboration necessary to align employees' behaviors with a new firm strategy.

Suggested Citation

Gardner, Heidi K. and Herman, Kerry, Marshall & Gordon: Designing an Effective Compensation System (A) (January 17, 2012). Harvard Business School Organizational Behavior Unit Case No. 411-038, Available at SSRN:

Heidi K. Gardner (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Kerry Herman

Harvard Business School ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

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