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October 11, 2013
Columbia Business School
First-year Columbia Business School student Kristen Peters hoped her summer internship with Taylor Reed (TR) would lead to a job offer in private wealth management. Yet mid-way through the internship, Peters received poor feedback, with TR executives citing her low energy and disregard for the firm’s rules by checking her phone during classroom time. Vowing to improve her image, Peters completed extra work and extended her networking efforts. By summer’s end, Peters remained unsure whether a job offer would be forthcoming. In this case students examine Peters’ performance and TR’s culture before discussing strategies for building influence. This two-part case series asks students to identify Peter’s goals, detect office politics, and discuss how she handles the company culture. It concludes that jobs often possess both meritocratic and political components.
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Navigating Organizational Politics: The Case of Kristen Peters (B)