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Bob Knowlton Essay

674 words - 3 pages

The case “Bob Knowlton”, by Alex Bavelas explains what happens between Bob Knowlton head of the Photon Lab and new member, Simon Fester, when he is introduced into the lab. Bob Knowlton was the newly appointed head of the Photon Lab and he was still getting accustomed to leading the team when Bob Knowlton’s boss Dr. Jerrold added a bright up in comer to their team Simon Fester. Bob Knowlton feels inferior to Simon Fester and since Dr. Jerrold had some kind of relationship with Simon Fester he felt he could not tell him how he felt. As a result of this Bob Knowlton finds a better position with more salary and takes the job immediately shocking both Dr. Jerold and Simon Fester.

During the entire case one thing stood out as the underlying reason for Bob Knowlton leaving the Photon Lab and that was lack of communication which ultimately led to Bob Knowlton perceiving that his position as team lead was in ...view middle of the document...

This explains the tension between most of the team members of the Photon Lab and Bob Knowlton as they try to interact with Simon Fester. The Photon Lab in the norming stage had just gotten accustomed to how the other members of the team functions as well as everyone’s strengths as weaknesses.
The theory for why Bob Knowlton left could be explained by the Attribution Theory. Attribution is a cognitive process that entails linking an event to its causes. Bob Knowlton perceived that since Dr. Jerold had placed this very motivated, bright and intelligent person on his team without any discussion with him that there was a problem. Bob Knowlton then decided that the cause must be that he is not doing a sufficient job as the head of the Photon Lab and that Simon Fester is going to take his place.


The short term fix is an easy one. Dr. Jerrod needs to contact Bob Knowlton and listen to why he left and assure him that his job never was in jeopardy and ask him to reconsider his resignation. The long term fix would be that Dr. Jerrod needs to clearly define what all the team members of the Photo Labs responsibilities are and that way if he tries to add another team mate in the future it would be easier for him to explain the head of the Photon Lab and the team what that persons responsibilities are and where they fit in.

The fall out could be quite extensive. Since it most of the research that was being done was Bob Knowlton’s idea it could set the team back for some time if not cancel the project altogether. Also, this will affect other projects as well because Dr. Jarrod had plans to Simon Fester on another project which he maybe better suited for but now has to make a hasty decision in order to keep things on schedule.

HOWARD, JUDITH A., and DANIELLE KANE. "Attribution Theory." Encyclopedia of Sociology. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2001. 192-200. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 27 June 2012.

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