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Case
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Reference no. HKS1746.0
Authors: Dan Fenn Jnr
Published by: Harvard Kennedy School
Published in: 2004
Length: 6 pages
Data source: Field research
Topics: Human resources

Abstract

This human resource management case focuses on the problem posed by a technically brilliant employee who - whether because of a tempestuous personal life or even more basic character flaws - was occasionally given to ''lapses'' in which he was impolitic and inappropriate in speaking with important superiors. ''Tom'', a computer whiz whose skills were of great importance to the US Navy''s Office of Electronic Communication, had a tendency to tell ranking officials - including an admiral - that they were not only wrong in their judgement but less than capable or intelligent. The case frames Tom''s situation as a dilemma for the human resource team, which must find the right assignment and setting such that Tom can do the top-notch work of which he was capable - and which the country needed - without sabotaging himself and his projects.

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Abstract

This human resource management case focuses on the problem posed by a technically brilliant employee who - whether because of a tempestuous personal life or even more basic character flaws - was occasionally given to ''lapses'' in which he was impolitic and inappropriate in speaking with important superiors. ''Tom'', a computer whiz whose skills were of great importance to the US Navy''s Office of Electronic Communication, had a tendency to tell ranking officials - including an admiral - that they were not only wrong in their judgement but less than capable or intelligent. The case frames Tom''s situation as a dilemma for the human resource team, which must find the right assignment and setting such that Tom can do the top-notch work of which he was capable - and which the country needed - without sabotaging himself and his projects.

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