IIBMS DMS CASE STUDY ANSWER SHEETS – What were the results of the stress Would you consider these to be typical to stress situations and lifestyle choices John made, or was John Breckenridge unlucky

IIBMS DMS CASE STUDY ANSWER SHEETS – What were the results of the stress Would you consider these to be typical to stress situations and lifestyle choices John made, or was John Breckenridge unlucky

 

 

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Organizational Behavior

 

CASE: II    How Did I Get Here?
 
Something was not right. John Breckenridge opened his eyes, saw the nurse’s face, and closed them once more. Cobwebs slowly cleared from his brain as he woke up from his brain as he woke up from the operation. He felt a hard tube in his nostril, and tried to lift his hand to pull it out, but it was strapped down to the bed. John tried to speak but could make only a croaking sound. Nurse Thompson spoke soothingly, “Just try to relax, Mr. Breckenridge. You had a heart attack and emergency surgery, but you’re going to be OK.”
       Heart attack? How did I get here? As the anesthesia wore off and the pain set in, John began to recall the events of the past year; and with the memories came another sort of pain – that of remembering a life where success was measured in hours worked and things accomplished, but which of late had not measured up.
John recalled his years in college, where getting good grades had been important, but not so much as his newly developing love for Karen, the girl with auburn hair who got her nursing degree the same year as he graduated with a degree in software engineering. They married the summer after graduation and moved from their sleepy university town in Indiana to Aspen, Colorado. There John got a job with a new software company while Karen worked evenings as a nurse. Although they didn’t see much of each other during the week, weekends were a special time, and the surrounding mountains and nature provided a superb quality of life.

What were the results of the stress

Life was good to the Breckenridges. Two years after they were married, Karen gave birth to Josh and two years later to Linda. Karen reduced her nursing to the minimum hours required to maintain her license, and concentrated on rearing the kids. John, on the other hand, was busy providing for the lifestyle they increasingly became used to, which included a house, car, SUV, ski trips, and all of the things a successful engineering career could bring. The company grew in leaps and bounds, and John was one of the main reasons it grew fast. Work was fun. The company was growing, his responsibilities increased, and he and his team were real buddies. With Karen’s help at home, he juggled work, travel, and evening classes that led to a master’s degree. The master’s degree brought another promotion—this time to vice president of technology at the young (for this company) age of 39.
The promotion had one drawback: It would require working out of the New York office. Karen sadly said goodbye to her friends, convinced the kids that the move would be good to them, and left the ranch house for another one, much more expensive and newer, but smaller and just across the river in New Jersey from the skyscraper where her husband worked. Newark was not much like Aspen, and the kids had a hard time making friends, especially Josh, who was now 16. He grew sullen and withdrawn and began hanging around with a crowd that Karen thought looked very tough. Linda, always the quiet one, stuck mostly to her room.
John’s new job brought with it money and recognition, as well as added responsibilities. He now had to not only lead software development but also actively participate in steering the company in the right direction for the future, tailoring its offerings to market trends. Mergers and acquisitions were the big things in the software business, and John found a special thrill in picking small companies with promising software, buying them out, and adding them to the corporate portfolio. Karen had everything a woman could want and went regularly to a health club. The family lacked for no material need.

What were the results of the stress

At age 41 John felt he had the world by its tail. Sure, he was a bit overweight, but who wouldn’t be with the amount of work and entertaining that he did? He drank some, a habit he had developed early in his career. Karen worried about that, but he reassured her by reminding her that he had been really drunk only twice and would never drink and drive. Josh’s friends were a worry, but nothing had yet come of it.
Not all was well, however. John had been successful in Colorado because he thought fast on his feet, expressed his opinions, and got people to buy into his decisions. In the New York corporate office things were different. All of the top brass except the president and John had Ivy League, moneyed backgrounds. They spoke of strategy but would take only risks that would further their personal careers. He valued passion, integrity, and action, with little regard for personal advancement. They resented him, rightly surmising that the only reason he had been promoted was because he was more like he president than they were, and he was being groomed as heir apparent.

What were the results of the stress

IIBMS DMS CASE STUDY ANSWER SHEETS – What were the results of the stress Would you consider these to be typical to stress situations and lifestyle choices John made, or was John Breckenridge unlucky

IIBMS DMS CASE STUDY ANSWER SHEETS – What were the results of the stress Would you consider these to be typical to stress situations and lifestyle choices John made, or was John Breckenridge unlucky

What were the results of the stress

On November 2, 2004, John Breckenridge’s world began to unravel. The company he worked for, the one he had given so much of his life to build was acquired in a hostile takeover. The president who had been his friend and mentor was let go, and the backstabbing began in earnest. John found himself the odd man out in the office as the others jostled to build status in the new firm. Although his stellar record allowed him to survive the first round of job cuts, that survival only made him more of a pariah to those around him. Going to work was a chore now, and John had no friends like those he had left in Aspen.
Karen was little help. John had spent nearly two decades married more to his job than his wife, and he found she was more of a stranger than a comforter as he struggled in his new role. When he spoke about changing jobs, she blew up. “Why did I have to give up nursing for your career?” she said. “Why do we have to move again, just because you can’t get along at work? Can’t you see what the move did to our kids?”
Seeing the hurt and anger in Karen’s eyes, John stopped sharing and turned to his bottle for comfort. In time that caused even more tension in the home, and it slowed him down at work when he really needed to excel. John would often drink himself into oblivion when on business trips rather than thinking about where his life and career were going. On his last trip he hadn’t slept much and had worked far too hard. Midmorning he had been felled by a massive heart attack.
All of this history passed through John Breckenridge’s mind as he woke after the operation. It was time for a change.

What were the results of the stress

Question:
  1. Identify the stressors in John Breckenridge’s life. Which ones could he have prevented?
  2. What were the results of the stress? Would you consider these to be typical to stress situations and lifestyle choices John made, or was John Breckenridge unlucky?
  3. Assume you are a career coach retained by John Breckenridge to guide him through his next decisions. How would you recommend that John modify his lifestyle and behavior to reduce stress? Should he change jobs? Do you believe he is capable of reducing his stress alone? If not, where should he seek help?

What were the results of the stress

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