Sophia and Isaam are colleagues and peers in the same organization. Sophia is Vice President and General Counsel; Isaam is Vice President of Finance. They have been friends for many years and, in fact, completed their M.B.A.s together.

They are currently participating in completing due diligence relative to a potential acquisition. Sophia is the project team manager for the acquisition audit/investigation. Sophia and Isaam differ in their perceptions of certain key matters discovered and, therefore, disagree on whether or not to proceed with the acquisition.

Sophia maintains that understanding and disposition of the matters requires legal expertise. They are about to discuss their findings and recommendations with the CEO, who is very excited about going forward with this transaction and generally disdains being told of problems when it means he cannot do what he wants to do.

Case Discussion Questions:

1. Which powers are held by Sophia, Isaam, and the CEO? Which, if any, of the powers you identified are merely perceived, or imaginary?

2. How would you describe the relative balance of these powers?

3. Do you have any suggestions for Sophia that might lessen or eliminate the conflict between her and Isaam?

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Answer 1:

The CEO is the ultimate head who would take the decision of whether or not to go ahead with the deal. This implies that his power is real and he becomes unhappy if his colleagues do not support his decision. Isaam has the power to ascertain whether the deal would add to the wealth of shareholders due to the position of Vice President Finance. Sophia also has...
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