Kumpulan Design Company is a manufacturing company that designs fire safety equipment such as emergency signs, smoke detectors and extinguishers. It is a small family run business with 40 employees, managed by Frederick Chan. Nine months ago Frederick employed his brother, Tim Chan to manage a design team of six people for a new fire hydrant, as he felt he could make a good contribution to the team. Tim has five years design experience at a big prominent firm in the city, designing electronics.
Prior to the appointment of Tim, the design team worked autonomously and was happy with their egalitarian group culture with a flat organisational structure. As the brother of the managing director, Tim felt that he had to tightly control and micromanage his team members to gain respect and to ensure they are working to full capacity.
The designers were brainstorming ideas for the new design, but he blocked the other designer's ideas and did not foster active discussion.
Tim acted in the manner of a zero tolerant manager, criticising other people's ideas.
When approached in regards to his group behaviour, he did not take negative feedback well. After face-to-face feedback failed, one of the team members wrote an anonymous email to Tim asking him to change his stance. After receiving this email, Tim personalised this feedback as an insult, and as such, became even more aggressive.
The original email communication tried to persuade Tim to improve his behaviour. There were several factors which lead to the failure of this communication.
First of all, it was hostile in the sense that it took an overly negative and critical approach to Tim's mistakes. It did not take into consideration Tim's feelings or perspective on how he should be running the team. In...