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

Posted: 31 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 and roll-out of a new compensation system to promote the collaboration 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. This "B" case focuses on the choices the firm needs to make about roll-out, including how to measure aspects of consultants' performance, what performance management systems and processes need to support the compensation system, and who should have decision rights about consultants' variable compensation.

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 (B) (January 17, 2012). Harvard Business School Organizational Behavior Unit Case No. 411-099, 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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