Case Study: Tim Armstrong’s Firing of a Patch Employee.
The case study highlights a gap in the communication and a discrepancy in the communication management. The case study highlighted that CEO of the company wanted to reduce the number of patch websites due to certain issues within the organization. The company was suffering from a financial crisis, and in an endeavour to cut the costs the CEO of the organization, Tim Armstrong had decided to reduce the costs of the Patch, which is a news network, created by Armstrong in 2007 (Pepitone, 2019). The organization is considering to cut down the sites from a 900 to 600, to monetize the situation, therefore, this cut down of the sites ensured that many of the workers, working for the Patch would have to leave, which is approximately around a some hundreds.
In an endeavour to communicate regarded the future plans of the company, the CEO, had decided to conduct a conference using the technological modes, instead of a face to face conference. However, while conducting the conference he had fired Abel Lenz, who was the creative head of his hyper- local news network. Tim had fired him over the conference call, and it was heard by all the members involved in the meeting (CARLSON, 2019). According to Tim, he was emotionally motivated when Lenz was trying to take a picture, and therefore, in the surge of anger and emotional upheaval, he ended up into such a deed. Armstrong had fired him on the spit and every other members presented during the conference call could overhear. This was quite insulting for the creative head, Abel Lenz.
Therefore, such a situation had shown that the organization includes a gap in the communication. First, the organization had included wrong notion regrading, solving the crisis situation that they are facing. The organization decided to stop some of the websites in order to have cut down the cost, but they did not consider the future of its employees who were soon to be jobless. Being the CEO of a major company, Tim should have thought his plan and ideas through. More importantly, as can be found, Lenz had previously been warned for his conducts of taking pictures or recording the confidential conferences. Yet, he was found to have been indulged in a similar behaviour that had motivated the whole decision making process (Lau et al. 2015). Therefore, it can be said that there had been gaps and loopholes in the legal structure of the organization as well, and that the management had a poor attitude towards the maintenance of the rules and regulation into the system, which then managed by employing a bad decision making process.
The CEO of AOL, had formally apologized to the creative head of Patch news network, to redress the damaged situation. However, Lenz was still out of job at that point of time. Therefore, the entire situation reflects that the organization had a wrong attitude towards decision making and problem solving, the organization must have asked for suggestion form the employees and they must have involved an employee engagement plan to deal with such a situation (de Carvalho. 2014). Therefore the CEO of AOL had shown an utter irresponsible attitude, and the organization lacks a proper management system.
Respond to Md Shahab Uddin:
The conduct, made by Tim Armstrong and the behaviour of the team during the conference call, had shown an utter failure of team work. The first student has rightly recognised that the communication process and the communication management within the organization is not working properly. The session was kept in order it morally boost the employees but instead, it made the even more depressed, also, there is a lack in the decision making process, as the CEO should have given more thought to how to conduct the situation.
Respond to Alexsandra:
The other student, have approached the situation from a different perspective, as she had mentioned about the lack of emotional intelligence shown by the CEO. She is right to have pointed out that the CEO of such a big company should be more emotionally equipped to tackle a business situation. Tim must have understood the social responsibility that he possess being the CEO of a big company, and therefore, he should have made a detailed plan of braking out the news to his employees.
CARLSON, N. (2019). THE COST OF WINNING: Tim Armstrong, Patch, And The Struggle To Save AOL. [online] Business Insider. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.in/tech/the-cost-of-winning-tim-armstrong-patch-and-the-struggle-to-save-aol/articleshow/25355140.cms [Accessed 24 Oct. 2019].
de Carvalho, M.M., 2014. An investigation of the role of communication in IT projects. International Journal of Operations & Production Management.
Lau, R., Stevenson, F., Ong, B.N., Dziedzic, K., Treweek, S., Eldridge, S., Everitt, H., Kennedy, A., Qureshi, N., Rogers, A. and Peacock, R., 2015. Achieving change in primary care—causes of the evidence to practice gap: systematic reviews of reviews. Implementation Science, 11(1), p.40.
Pepitone, J. (2019). AOL CEO: Publicly firing employee for taking a photo was a mistake. [online] CNNMoney. Available at: https://money.cnn.com/2013/08/13/technology/aol-patch-fired/index.html [Accessed 24 Oct. 2019].