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Case #1

Caribbean Foods Limited, Trinidad.

HRM 360.1

Submitted to:
AKM Mominul Haque Talukdar (MHT)
Lecturer, School oI Business.

Submitted by: Group#3

Date of Submission:
June, 2010.

Situation Analysis:


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The case is about a crisis Iaced by personnel oI Caribbean Foods Limited. A new employee
named Mark Davis joined CFL as a group product manager. At Iirst, he was very enthusiastic
and exited about his new job. Later, Irom his Iirst meeting with general manager, he started
Ieeling upset and deprived due to his current rank, rigid behavior oI superior, conIlict in product
promotional strategy and creativity stiIIness which made him humiliated. But the situation was
not supposed to be like this.
Mark Davis graduated Irom Richard Ivey School oI Business with an honors degree in Business
Administration in the year 1999. He is started his career as a product manager oI Dovan West
Indies Limited which is the subsidiary oI one oI the largest the largest consumer product
companies in the world. He was responsible Ior 15 personal care product about which he enjoyed
a high level oI independence and decision making Ireedom. The Marketing director oI DWI,
Greg Alleyne, was a great leader who gave space to his inexperience junior marketer to Ilourish
at their best. Mark was allowed to think as creative and crazy as he can.
During the booming period oI his job in DWI he got a call Irom a human resource consultant
who wants him to seat Ior an interview in a well established consumer Iood giant Caribbean
Foods Limited (CFL). He was oIIered his dream post; marketing manager with a handsome
salary. Another reason oI Mark joining CFL was responsibility towards his newly married wiIe.
As he was newly married, he needs a lot oI money to start his new liIe.
Caribbean Foods limited is leading Iood item manuIacturer which was a well established, wholly
owned subsidiary oI Intasco, USA. It was established as Intasco`s subsidiary in 1928 to import
and market its products like nuts, cereals, snacks, bakery products under the brand name oI
Bakers, Delico and Krispic. CFL had relatively low overhead levels oI compared to the rest oI
the industry. The whole company runs it s production with highly automated machinery. CFL
also exports a good number oI sales in Ioreign country which rated them as a net Ioreign
exchange earner by the central bank oI Trinidad and Tobago. CFL conducts a good relation with
its supplier which helps them to continue Ilawless production.
John Donovan, CFL`s general manager, who was the Iormer marketing manager oI this
company, poses a very rigid and backdated approach to run business. As general manager oI a
company he was suppose to take care oI problems Iacing by his employees and should come up

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with a Ilexible business strategy. There should have some aspects oI Ilexibility where employee
can take some decision in order to make business strategy. This encourages employee to think as
a part oI the organization. Whereas John were little concerned about giving space to his
employees. He takes decision in his own way and never listened to his subordinate regarding any
On the other hand Mark who is young, creative marketer wants to reIlect creative thoughts in the
market. In collaboration with marketing agency he already made many marketing campaign oI
old and new product Ior DWI. Similarly in CFL he wanted to explore his creativity in broader
aspect. He wanted to innovate some very new promotional strategy Ior existing product line.
Mark proposed a new packaging idea Ior toothpaste. This creativity was not very welcomed by
his general manager. So day by day the conIlict becomes greater between Mark and John. This
happens due to diIIerence in way oI doing business.
Situation was already much tensed, then again, to accelerate the situation in more badly, Mark
unintentionally licked some very conIidential issue oI CFL to his Iormer colleague oI DFI.
UnIortunately the news was gone straight to John. He stormed it back to Mark, as they were
some closely guarded secrets. Mark was Ieeling guilty and was waiting Ior the worst situation.
But interestingly the general manager did not Iire him Irom the job, where he has got suIIicient
reason to do so.

Critical Analysis:

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When Mark Davis was came to know that his position in Caribbean Foods Limited is
group product manager` and not marketing manager, he was quite surprised and shocked
because he was told to be recruited as a marketing manager.
Mark Davis got bored because general manager seemed to keep him out oI the
conversation whenever he dropped into the marketing manager`s oIIice Ior a talk.
Mark Davis was thinking that his general manager John Donovan is deliberately trying to
let him know that Mark was inexperienced during brieI exchanges.
John Donovan, the general manager oI CFL seemed to have a lot oI respect Ior the
leaving marketing manager JeIIrey Chang. This apparent Iriendly relationship was
making Mark uncomIortable because this relationship was distancing Mark Irom his
general manager.
The general manager John Donovan instructed Mark to send only the things which
regional head oIIice need to know. He also told Mark to copy him all the inIormation that
was going to the head oIIice. Mark was Ieeling deprived.
Mark was unhappy because oI cold vibes` he was getting Irom his boss and he was
expecting an open door policy Irom his Irom his general manager.
At the time oI the promotion oI Krispic`, a corn snack brand oI CFL, direct disagreement
was seemed between John Donovan, the general manager and Mark Davis. John was
complaining about way oI running the promotion which seemed unlawIul to Mark. The
general manager also instructed him to pass through everything in Iuture which was a
threat to Mark`s independence.
John Donovan, the general manager oI CFL stormed out at the meeting with advertising
agency. Mark supported areas Ior improvement pointed out by John, but his tone oI voice
was very harsh which leIt the employees oI the advertising agency almost speechless.
Mark was not supporting the way oI taking oI the general manager, rather he was
expecting an evaluation session where suggestions were made and discussed.
The general manager oI CFL wants to run the company with a constant system. Previous
manager worked with the system and he did not want any change. Mark Davis Ielt as his
creativity was being stiIled and wondered he could not please his new boss.


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In the price restructuring meeting, the current list oI retail prices Ior competitive products
as well as CFL`s products was produced by Mark Davis. He only took the prices at
various supermarkets and independents as there were no instruction Irom the general
manager about picking average prices Ior all super market chains. But at the meeting the
general manager asked about the supermarket price average and Mark replied he has no
idea. John ended his conversation with Mark admonishing him. Mark Ielt embarrassed
among the other managers.

AIter Iive weeks in his new job, Mark was disappointed and disillusioned. He was
beginning to lose conIidence in his own abilities and decided to remain quiet.

John Donovan told Mark Davis that he had absolutely no conIidence on Mark as he
leaked some oI CFL`s closely guarded secrets about their operation to a Iriend who is
working in a competitive company. Mark was Ieeling guilty because he was actually

Although there was a certain cause Ior Iiring Mark Irom the CFL, John Donovan did not
do that. General Manager`s this decision made Mark more conIused about what he can
do. He was conIused about changing his style, or tries to Iit with the culture. He thought
about resignation, but then he began to think about his Iamily.

Question 1: Why did John hire Mark? Why did Mark take this job?

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Answer: John hire Mark because CFL had a marketing managers position available as their
earlier marketing manager was emigrating to United States, thereIore they wanted an
independent selI starter and experienced marketing manager Ior the post. He hired Mark mainly
Mark Davis education background was good as he completed his Honors Degree In
Business Administration Irom The Richard Ivey School OI Business.
His earlier job record was appealing as he was the product manager Ior Dovon West
Indies Limited and he was responsible Ior the marketing oI over 15 personal care
products throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
At the interview John tested Marks knowledge oI advertising and product development
and Iound out that he understood the process very well Irom his experience at DWI and
he was impressed by Marks interview.
All his records show that he has eIIectively and eIIiciently handled and managed the
marketing and planning oI wide number oI products.
Mark took this job because he thought it will be very challenging Ior him to become the
marketing manager in a rapidly growing company. He took this job considering Iew beneIits.
They are:
He was getting the challenging opportunity oI becoming the marketing manager only at
the age oI 25years.
The salary was 20 percent higher than he was earning at DWI.
As CFL was one sixth in size compared to DWI in terms oI sales and staII, Mark thought
that there would be more managerial Ilexibility.
He expected that he would be able to make his decisions and will be able to portray his
planning and thoughts in best manner.

Question 2: Why isn`t 'it working?
Answer: It isn`t working because things are not going the way Mark had expected. On his Iirst
week at the oIIice he didn`t get proper welcome Irom John the way he expected. On the other

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hand he was appointed as the group product manager not the marketing manager. John assured
him that he would be perIorming all the marketing managers` Iunctions and aIter gaining two
years oI experience his position as the marketing manager would be conIirmed. John suggested
him to learn Irom JeIIrey as much as possible because he won`t be able to give Mark that much
oI his time. John quite clearly laid out the plan oI Marks role in CFL over the next one year that
he was required to implement strategies rather than develop them until he has gained the required
experience. John tried to keep Mark out oI the discussion with JeIIrey during his visit to the
marketing manager`s oIIice. These brieI exchanges made Mark Ieel that John is deliberately
trying to make him Ieel that he is inexperienced. John was also distancing him Irom Mark. AIter
JeIIrey leIt Marks second week passed getting Iamiliar with the people and the process. On the
third week he was preparing the report which he is supposed to send to the Intascos`s Regional
Head OIIice in Puerto Rico. He told John that JeIIrey advised him to do so. While his
conversation John very clearly and hardly mentioned that the report shouldn`t contain too much
oI inIormation and he should give a copy oI the inIormation to him. He also stopped visiting
marketing manager`s oIIice which made Mark Ieel that he should start doing the things
independently as things are not working the way he expected.

Question 3: Where did mark miss or squander his opportunity to manage his boss?

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Answer: In two situations Mark missed his opportunity to manage his boss. They are:
Mark was handover to do an urgent assignment by JeIIrey. His assignment was to
implement a promotion Ior a six pack Krispic Corn Snack. This was a big opportunity Ior
him to prove his skills to John, as John thinks he is inexperienced. Funtime Snacks a
large local competitor who recently reduced the pack size on their cheese snacks and
priced their product to be more competitive than CFL`s Krispic corn snacks. JeIIreys
decision to deIend his market share was by promoting six packs oI Krispic Corn Snack in
diIIerent Ilavors packaged in one pre-printed plastic bag sold at a discount. The
promotion could either be run as a co-op or as a national promotion. Since the
distribution decision was not made, Mark decided to structure the promotion as a co-op
by discussing it with the sales manager. Without discussing the promotion plan with
John, Mark sold the promotion to eight key retailers. Two days later when John Iound out
about it, he got very angry with Mark and scolded him badly. This was a situation where
Mark could have been able to win over his boss iI he did it with a bit more precaution.
The second situation was when John asked Mark to develop a current list oI retail prices
Ior competitive products as well as CFL`s products aIter the Government had announced
a major Iinancial restructuring program to satisIy the International Monetary Fund, as the
government`s decision would aIIect the imports oI raw materials. ThereIore an
emergency meeting was called to adjust CFL`s prices. At the meeting Mark presented
himselI with incomplete data summarization as John expected him to summarize the data
Ior current competitive retail prices at supermarket chain. But, Mark only presented the
data on retailers who carry 20 percent markup not on supermarket chains who carry 30
percent markup. ThereIore John again became extremely unsatisIied with his
perIormance and behaved extremely rudely with him.

Question 4: In Mark`s 1
and 2
letter to John what he was saying? What is John reading?

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Mark was working in DWI very comIortably on the way to a brilliant career. When he got an
oIIer Irom CFL, he got excited due to the reputation oI CFL in Iood industry. Another point oI
Mark being very much interested oI CFL was his newly married wiIe. As he was going to start a
new liIe he needs more money. CFL was oIIering Mark a handsome amount oI money with his
desired post oI marketing manager. When the human resource consultant arranged an interview
between Mark and CFL Mark was very much excited. AIter the meeting he was eagerly
interested to be recruited. So out oI excitement he sent two back to back letter to CFL general
manager stating his experience oI DWI and plans about CFL iI he got recruited.
In his Iirst letter Mark emphasizes on his previous experience in DWI. He stated clearly what he
did with Dovan`s tooth paste line. Not only that, he enclosed two copies oI Dovan`s toothpaste
cartons. His experience about other product line was also written in his letter. In Dovan Mark got
the Ireedom to work in the way he wants. He even changed the packaging strategy oI toothpaste
and the impact oI changed package was directly boosted up sales, which was also mentioned in
his Iirst letter.
John did not answer Mark`s Iirst letter, though Mark placed another letter to John. In his second
letter to John, Mark was very much interested stating about CFL`s current opportunities in
gaining potential market share. First Mark emphasizes on the snack market oI CFL. In his letter
he wrote his plan about launching new potato chips under CFL`s Krispic brand. He wanted to
replace lower quality corn chips with Potato chips by hitting the perIect price.
John was not at all welcomed Marks writing letter to him, as well as interIering in CFL`s Iuture
plan, where he was not even recruited in CFL. John is a rigid manager who only Iollows rules
and does not allow his subordinates to interIere in decision making. When Mark was writing
these letters, John was surprised to see the unauthorized interIerence level oI Mark. He was not
reading his experience in CFL, but was thinking that Mark is licking Dovan`s secret in order to
get the job, which disappointed him again.


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Question 5: Why is the headhunter upset that Mark is writing letters to John?

Answer: The Human Resource consultant who set the meeting between Mark Davis and
John Donovan was very upset as Mark wrote two letters to the general manager oI CFL. He
was upset because:

John wrote the letters without consulting anything with the headhunter.
He wrote two letters which seemed excess to the HR consultant. He thought that
the Iirst letter was Iine, but two letters within two weeks was a threat to the
possibility oI hiring.
The time span between the two letters was very short.
In the Iirst letter john was actually telling general manager oI CFL about his
present job and strategies taken by him as a manager. As John was not hired yet in
the new company, the general manager may thought he can leak their inIormation
as he was doing it then.
In the second letter John was suggesting the general manager about some
promotional options and opportunities oI new products in the market. The general
manager might think that John is not the proper authority to suggest him anything
as John was not told to do so.
Showing too much interest about desired job is a symbol oI unproIessionalism
and it might aIIect the recruiting process.


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Caribbean Foods limited (CFL), a Iood giant oI Trinidad Tobago was Iacing some problem with
their product group manager. But their recruitment policy was not at all proIessional. They
recruit a person oIIering him the position oI marketing manager, whereas they were in need oI a
product group manager. Their HR strategy should be speciIic and reliable in order to run a giant
organization like CFL. The general manager oI CFL was very much Iriendly towards the leaving
marketing manager. In the same time, he should make the currently recruited employee
comIortable enough to work Ior his organization. Mark was Ieeling deprived because he needs to
copy every single paper he sent to head oIIice. An employee should have a certain amount oI
Ireedom in order to carry his job. There should have corporate practice even iI the outsourced
advertising Iirm is doing something wrong. There are certain ways oI solving problems like
discussion or suggestion. Speaking in a harsh tone may not be the proper way to solve problems.
He should remind courtesies. The general manager also has to encourage change in his
organization. The world is changing in every second, but iI he wants to stick with old system and
not to bring changes, his company will lag behind. II a superior is not satisIied with his
employee, he should speak Iormally. But the general manager oI CFL embarrassed Mark in the
meeting in Iront every one which leads him to lack oI conIidence and deprived. The CFL general
manager should be more conscious about the Ieelings oI his employee. Rather than scolding
them in every issue, he should maintain a Iriendly relationship to make best out oI them.