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Rob Parson at Morgan Stanley: Case Analysis

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Rob Parson at Morgan Stanley: Case Analysis


The case is about a young banker named Rob Parson, who was hired for a very challenging job of market coverage professional by the Paul Nasr, a senior managing director in Capital Market Services at Morgan Stanley for his outstanding performance and energetic attitude. Nasr promised him to promote to the position of managing director. Rob Parson did very well and with his efforts, he pushed Morgan Stanley from 10th position to 3rd within a very short span of time. With his efforts, he expanded the market share from 2% to 12.5%, which was an evidence of his outstanding and influential performance. Unfortunately, Rob Parson failed in building good relations with his peers and colleagues, which was of great importance for the firm. At Morgan Stanley, team work was of much more importance than individual work and the employees were not allowed to breach the rules of the firm for achieving a particular goal. In the situation, Rob Parson broke too many eggs to achieve his goals and objectives which greatly affected his relationships with his peers and colleagues.

Rob Parson’s performance evaluation is on its course and it became difficult for Paul Nasr to promote Rob Parson because of many negative views. At Morgan Stanley, a 360-Degree performance evaluation process was implemented where the professionals were evaluated by the superiors, colleagues and subordinates. Though, Rob Parson did very well in bringing clients to the firm but he had poor relations with his colleagues and subordinates and everyone had commented negatively during his performance evaluation. Rob Parson activities and qualities are not in agreement with the organization’s mission and culture. In the self-assessment exercise, he did concede that he is not exactly suited to the organizations’ culture, and he would require some time to completely adjust. Thinking seriously about all these points, it comes down to what is critical for the organization, its society, the mission and the qualities set for itself or the fleeting money related profit.


Paul Nasr has to take decision to recommend Rob Parson for the promotion to the position of managing director. If yes, then what would be the implications of this decision on the overall organization’s policies? If no, then what would be the reaction of Rob Parson, it could be possible that Morgan Stanley loses such a competent and top performer. The main problem for Paul Nasr was to take a fair decision while dealing in a sophisticated manner with Rob Parson so that he could get his point. The root cause of the issue was the difference between Rob Parson’s thoughts and the corporate culture of the company. He doesn’t show respect towards his coworkers, does not have any cooperation aptitudes, and do not consider the importance of employee development, as he believes that he is the sharpest of every one of them. Parsons fundamental vision was through his magnificent execution in the Capital Market Services to create great results and to manufacture well and long haul association with his and the organization’s customers and he is doing the job effectively. It could be possible that Rob Parson would be a victim of self-sabotage, where people unconsciously undercut themselves due to the challenging nature of their job or due to some other reasons. An aggressive feedback regarding a person’s unconscious behavior could affect his/her confidence and self-dignity.


Psychological Contract during recruitment: Paul needed someone to take on a challenging job and Parson wanted the opportunity to be creative as well as the chance to achieve a promotion to managing director. Parson is a Type “C” manager because he’s interested in his own opinion rather than those of others. The majority of the time he was right. When he was, it made his co-workers feel undermined which created animosity.

Role conflict: Paul Nasr, hired Rob Parson, an aggressive individual who’s not necessarily a team player, to fill a position that required his unique personality characteristics.

Expectancy theory: Parson was only interested in producing results which he expected would result in his promotion to managing director.

Herzberg’s Two-Factor theory of motivation is also present. Parson’s dissatisfaction (extrinsic) factor was company procedures and his satisfaction (intrinsic) factor was responsibility, possibility of growth, and advancement.

Everyone shouldn’t be evaluated on the same criteria and the evaluation shouldn’t be the only factor in determining promotion: a Principal shouldn’t be evaluated using the same criteria of a managing director or an associate. Also, a principal in the capital market services division shouldn’t be compared to a principal in another since the job requirements are different.

One downfall of using only the 360 degree evaluation is that animosity can sometime cloud a fair and impartial judgement by co-workers.


  1. Recommend Rob Parson for Promotion.
  2. This recommendation entails to neglect the importance of the culture and values of the Morgan Stanley to retain such a competent and hustler performer. However, opting for this option would raise several questions about the fairness of the performance evaluation system as well as would change the perception of other employees about Morgan Stanley. Opting for this option would not affect the revenues and market share of the company and help the company to get benefits from the influential efforts of Rob Parson. On the negative side, this option would communicate a message that employees could attract business at the cost of the company’s culture which would be detrimental to the attempts of top management regarding collaboration, teamwork, respect etc.

  3. Do not recommend Rob Parson for Promotion.
  4. The option entails to consider only the company’s culture instead of the efforts made by Rob Parson. This would save the unique culture of the company and would also improve the trust and loyalty of employees towards the company. On the other hand, it would hurt Rob Parson for his efforts and possibly he may leave the company. Rob Parson had some great skills to attract customers and his exit from the company would drop its revenues and market share because all the clients were eager to work with him.

  5. Extend the period for Rob Parson to work as “Principal”.
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