Bob Knowlton Self Concept
Analysis As part of the analysis we examine Bob’s Self-Concept and the following characteristics with regards to complexity, consistency and clarity. Bob’s locus of control is also considered and the impact this had on his relationships at work with his colleagues. Fester’s individualism is also considered. Bob’s Self Concept Bob’s Low Self-Concept Complexity Bob has a low complexity as he perceives his most important identity to be work related – he defined his self-concept by his work.
The positive side of Bob’s low complexity enabled him to become a relatively successful, skilled engineering, as he invested more in his skill development and focused his attention on his work. However, the low complexity caused Bob great stress when his main self-concept, defined by his work), was threatened by the arrival of Fester, a much more brilliant, driven engineer.
Bob perceived Fester’s arrival as a threat by challenging all aspects of Bob’s self-concept, not only his technical expertise, but also Bob’s leadership of the team when Fester became the informal leader by default as Bob conceded defeat and essentially abandoned his role as group leader. Bob’s Low Self-Concept Consistency Bob’s has a low self-concept consistency. Bob’s leadership style was focused on teamwork and collaboration and he prided himself on motivating his team by including them in group problem solving and decision making.
However, this self-concept was inconsistent with how Bob really perceived himself and the disconnect present between his position as team leader and his ability to lead. Bob acknowledged to himself that the team’s collaborative style brought him a sense of security in that he did not actually have to lead the team. Bob focuses on the team to the exclusion of his leadership role essentially using his team to mask his insecurities with respect to his ability to lead.
Another example of Bob’s low inconsistent self-concept is his accepting Dr. Jerold’s praising of Fester, when he clearly did not agree. Bob’s Low Self-Concept Clarity Bob has low self-concept clarity; he does not have a clear, confidently defined, stable self-concept. This is apparent early in the case as evidenced by his belief that his “stumbling upon” a significant breakthrough led to what he considered his “miraculous” promotion to team leader of the Photon Unit rather than it being based on his skills and abilities.
Bob lacks the confidence to deal with Fester, who he perceives as more brilliant and driven. As the case progresses and Fester brings group conflict and openly challenges Bob’s leadership, we see Bob become inconsistent with his behavior. Fester challenges Bob’s collaborative approach with the team and Bob’s lack of confidence meant that he in essence surrendering his leadership by agreeing to re-examine how the team works together and make it about individual updates. Bob’s Locus of Control and Self-Evaluation
Given Bob’s behaviors and reaction to Fester, Bob has a low locus of control and is externally motivated. Bob didn’t feel in control of his environment and was unwilling or unable to take steps to control the environment. We have seen that Bob already believes he received the promotion because of external “miraculous” forces. Although initially, he does feel he has control as team leader, his underlying external focus of control becomes more apparent when Fester is introduced to the group.
Fester’s group interactions and individuality presents a new situation for Bob. Bob internalizes the conflict with Fester and openly wonders if he is there to replace him, causing Bob a great deal of stress as he feels he does not have control over the situation. The situation quickly deteriorates as Bob visibility and relevance to the team are diminished and Fester’s increases. Bob’s Self-Concept Conclusion Bob’s low or negative Self-Concept (low complexity, consistency and clarity) greatly influenced Bob’s behaviour and ultimately his decision to resign.
Bob’s low self-concept created a great deal of stress and he experienced immense amount of internal-intra personal conflict and tension. Bob’s low Self-Concept meant that Bob could not adapt to what he perceived as threats outside his control. His perceived inadequacies meant that he was not able to face the issues and overwhelming internal conflict he was experiencing. He consistently avoided confronting any of the issues and thus the only action he could take to release himself of this conflict was to resign. Fester’s Individuality and Group Norms
Fester is introduced to the group unexpectedly and although initially helps the team solve a problem previously thought to be unsolvable; he goes against established group norms and almost immediately creates conflict. Fester is clearly “more brilliant” than any of the team members and his individual approach is in direct contrast to the team –based, collaborative approach establish by Bob. He challenges the group norms directly, suggesting the team meetings are a waste of time and is openly dismissive of others.
Fester is very confident in his abilities but lacked the social skills to integrate successfully into the group. Although Fester individuality isolated him from the rest of the group, he dominated the leadership of the group to the point of essentially forcing Bob to change the structure of team meetings, from teamwork based to individual updates. This reinforced Fester’s individual approach. Fester’s individuality influenced the group, and particularly his negative influence on Bob grew and went unchallenged, and the conflict it brought ultimately had a negative impact on the Photon team and Simmons.
Recommendations 1. Jerrold should meet with Bob and find out the true reasons for Bob’s resignation. Jerrold should ask Bob to return to Simmons by telling him of the plan to increase Bob’s team and offer Bob a substantial raise to return to Simmons. 2. Jerrold should consider undergoing leadership and communication skills training to help him develop the prerequisite skills to manage his teams effectively. 3. Jerrold should become more involved with the teams under his leadership, through developing a clear and compelling direction for the team and ensure his articulates that directly to this team. 4.
Jerrold should strive to increase communication and participate in regular team meetings and incorporate individual meetings to ensure his is aware of and understands any issues or concerns. 5. In the future, the team leader (Bob’s replacement) is included in the recruitment and selection of new team members. 6. Dr. Jerold should meet with the Photon team members individually to gain an understanding of how the situation affected the team and get their feedback on what their needs. Team building and intergroup communication skills should then be introduced to ensure team members have the tools to work effectively together.