You are a manager of a division in the accounting department of a large eastern U.S. bank. Nine exempt-level analysts and six nonexempt clerical staff reports to you Recently, one of your analysts, Jane Wilson, has sought the bank’s approval for tuition reimbursement for the cost of an evening MBA program specializing in organizational behavior. The bank normally encourages employees to seek ad- vanned degrees on a part time basis.
Indeed, through your encouragement, nearly all of the members of your staff are pursuing additional schoolwork. You consult the bank’s policy manual and discover that two approvals are necessary for reimbursement yours and that of the manager of training and development, Kathy Gordon. Further, the manual states that approval for reimbursement will only be granted if the coursework is “reasonably job related.” Based on your review of the matter, you decide to approve Jane’s request for reimbursement
However, Kathy Gordon rejects it outright by claiming that course- work in organizational behavior is not related to an accounting analyst position. She states that the bank will only reimburse the analyst for a degree in either accounting or finance.
In your opinion, however, the interpersonal skills and insights to be gained from a degree in organizational behavior are job-related and can also benefit the employee in future assignments. The analyst job requires interaction with a variety of individuals at different levels in the organization, and it is important that interpersonal and communication skills be strong After further discussion, it becomes clear that you and Kathy Gordon have opposite views on the matter. Since both of you are at the same organization level and have equal status, it appears that you are at an impasse.
Although the goal of reimbursement is important, you are faced with other pressing demands on your time. In addition, the conflict has diverted the attention of your work group away from its primary responsibilities. Because the school term is about to begin, it is essential that you and Kathy Gordon reach a timely agreement to enable Jane to pursue her coursework.