Three Scenarios for Joyce

Instructions: Examine the scenarios below and determine what Joyce’s poor performance should be attributed to – person, environment, or circumstance. Draw on your understandings of Kelley’s Attribution Theory. What action should Joyce’s sales manager take to address the problem? Is this action the same or different from the action taken in the "Case of Joyce" addressed earlier? Why?

Scenario 1: Joyce, a recent College of Business graduate, has been working for several months as a salesperson for a small manufacturer of computers. She is one of two salespeople currently working a large metropolitan area. Her sales manager, Eric Kurtz, is concerned about her poor performance, however. She performed poorly in an earlier one-month assignment to this sales area. Eric is aware the other salesperson assigned to this sales area is performing poorly. Also, he has noted that Joyce has not performed poorly when assigned to small city locations. He is aware that Joyce wants very much to have high sales in order to participate in the company's generous incentive bonus plan. She has expressed her satisfaction with the way the plan operates and was clearly in agreement that there is a booming demand for computers in the market area. He is puzzled, therefore, by her poor performance.

 

Scenario 2: Joyce, a recent College of Business graduate, has been working for several months as a salesperson for a small manufacturer of computers. She is one of two salespeople currently working a large metropolitan area. Her sales manager, Eric Kurtz, is concerned about her poor performance, however. She performed poorly in an earlier one-month assignment to this sales area. Eric is aware that the other salesperson assigned to this sales area is not performing poorly. Also, he has noted that Joyce has performed poorly when assigned to small city locations. He is aware that Joyce wants very much to have high sales in order to participate in the company's generous incentive bonus plan. She has expressed her satisfaction with the way the plan operates and was clearly in agreement that there is a booming demand for computers in the market area. He is puzzled, therefore, by her poor performance.

 

Scenario 3: Joyce, a recent College of Business graduate, has been working for several months as a salesperson for a small manufacturer of computers. She is one of two salespeople currently working a large metropolitan area. Her sales manager, Eric Kurtz, is concerned about her poor performance, however. She performed well in an earlier one-month assignment to this sales area. Eric is aware that the other salesperson assigned to this area is not performing poorly. Also, he has noted that Joyce has not performed poorly when assigned to small city locations. He is aware that Joyce wants very much to have high sales in order to participate in the company's generous incentive bonus plan. She has expressed her satisfaction with the way the plan operates and was clearly in agreement that there is a booming demand for computers in the market area. He is puzzled, therefore, by her poor performance.