Assignment 2 Case Study: Ink International.
Ink International.: A large multi-national publishing house
Louise Sarian: Executive Director, International Operations
Kirin Morash: Executive Manager, Marketing – who has just resigned
James Enfield: Marketing Manager (Australasian Division) – potential replacement for
You: Management consultant – asked to provide advice by Louise Sarian
At 7:30 am, Louise Sarian hit the snooze alarm for the third time, but she knew she
could not go back to sleep. Rubbing her eyes and shaking off a headache, Louise
checked her phone and read an urgent message from her boss at Ink International, a
large multi-national publishing house. The message told her that Kirin Morash, Ink’s
Executive Manager of Marketing, had resigned this morning and needed to be
replaced immediately. Frustrated, Louise lumbered into the shower, hoping it would
energise her to face another day. After last night’s management meeting, which had
ended after midnight, she was reeling from the increasing likelihood that her
employer was spiralling toward a financial meltdown.
Louise scratched her head and wondered, ‘How could one of the world’s largest
publishers plummet from being a gold standard in the industry to one struggling for
survival?’ At the end of 2020, Ink International had $4 billion in annual revenue, and
sold its books, journals, and magazines throughout 150 nations in the World,
employing more than 20,000 people in offices and facilities located in 25 countries.
After five years of falling sales stemming from rapid shifts towards digital-based and
self-publication, Ink was facing another year of declining revenues and falling profit.
At her office, Louise and her co-workers felt growing pressure to respond to this
crisis quickly and ethically. But morale was sagging, and decision making was stalled.
New projects were on hold, revenues weren’t coming in fast enough, and job cuts
were imminent. Finger-pointing and resignations of key managers had become
commonplace. Strong management was needed to guide employees to stay the
course. Louise knew her priority was to replace Kirin with the best candidate
possible. When leaving the meeting the previous night, Louise’s boss had told her,
‘It’s critical that we keep key managers in place as we weather this storm. If we lose
any, be sure you replace them with ones who can handle the stress and can make
tough, maybe even unpopular decisions.’
Working up a sweat as Louise rushed into her office, she began sorting through the
day’s priorities. Her first task would be to consider internal candidates to replace
Kirin Morash. She pondered the characteristics required of a chief marketing
MGT2002 Assignment 2 Instructions 3
manager and scribbled them on a notepad: experienced in marketing and branding
issues; strong decision-making skills; high ethical standards; able to make job cuts;
comfortable slashing budgets; and respected for calm leadership. Louise
immediately thought of James Enfield, a marketing manager in Ink’s Australasian
division who had been vocal about his desire to move up the corporate ladder and
had recently shown steady leadership as the organisation started to crumble.
James had worked his way up through the organisation, becoming a respected expert
in his field. He had developed a strong team of loyal employees and made training
and job development a priority. He was likable, sensitive to his employees, and a
consensus builder. While some managers within Ink International had made
questionable business decisions, James had held himself to a high ethical standard
and created a culture of integrity within his marketing branch. James was focused on
the future – a go-getter who knew how to get results.
With the future of the company at stake, however, Louise wondered if James could
handle the tough challenges ahead. Although Louise valued James’s team-building
skills, she also knew that James could be soft when it came to holding employees
accountable. A large part of James’s motivation was to have people like him. At the
last company meeting, when he reported a shortfall in responses to a consumer
campaign lead by his division and came under fire, he had become defensive and
didn’t want to point fingers at employees who were to blame. In fact, Louise recalled
another instance when James recoiled at the thought of having a stern conversation
with an employee who had developed a pattern of poor attendance (reportedly the
employee was caring for her sick husband). James had confessed a hesitation to
confront under-performers and employees struggling to balance home and work life.
Louise stirred her morning coffee and pondered, ‘Is James Enfield capable of
balancing kindness and toughness during organisational crises? I know he is creative
and innovative with his marketing campaigns, and he is great at spearheading major
campaigns, but can I count on him to be decisive and focused on top- and bottomline results? Is he too much of a people pleaser? Will it impact his ability to manage
Louise picked up the phone and dialled YOU because she remembered that you are
studied management theory at University. You answered the phone, and after
explaining her situation, Louise asked you: ‘Is it possible for a manager who
demonstrates kindness and concern for employees to also achieve productive
outcomes for Ink International, particularly in light of the organisation’s current
issues and environment?’ Rather than conjure up a verbal response for Louise on the
spot, you advised her that you would provide her with some considered, written
advice and a recommendation about whether to pursue James Enfield candidacy or
This case is an adapted version of the case, ‘Studer International’ in Daft, RL, 2011,
The Leadership Experience, 5th edn, South-Western Cengage, pp. 30-31.
MGT2002 Assignment 2 Instructions 4
Your task for this assignment
Write a 2,500-word memorandum (memo), (that would typically be sent by email), providing
advice and a recommendation to Louise Sarian, Executive Director, International Operations.
1. You are required to use the competing values framework (CVF) as a theoretical basis for
your advice and draw upon a range of sources, including your text, appropriately selected
content from each of the Study Desk Modules 2, 3, 4 and 5, and references from academic
journals and other sources, to identify the relevant competencies. You are not expected to
address all the competencies in the model, just one or two key ones from each quadrant that
you think have most relevance, and that will help you support your argument to Louise.
Module 1 may also provide contextual information about the influences of the organisational
2. Make sure you tailor your advice as much as possible to consider the strengths and
weaknesses of the organisation, its environment, and most specifically James Enfield
3. Identify James’s strengths and weaknesses and relate these to the CVF. Discuss how
managers might overcome their weaknesses for the benefit of Ink International.
4. It may be necessary for you to elaborate on the case study information to cover gaps in the
less than perfect information provided for you to fully address these tasks. You should record
and explain any assumptions that you have made to supplement the case study information
in an appendix to the memo.
1. Prepare a memo using the template provided. General structure should include the memo
itself in the form of a letter (ie. Dear Louise…) and ending with headings Recommendations;
List of References; and Appendices (if you have any). You are writing your advice in the
form of a professional memo that you would typically send by email. Demonstrate written
communication skills appropriate to the discipline by treating this assignment as you
would if you were writing to an executive manager of a national corporation.
2. A copy of the marking criteria sheet appears at the end of this document, please review it
before starting work on your assignment.
3. NUMBER OF REFERENCES: Referencing is essential, even though it is a memo being
presented to an Executive. We have not prescribed a minimum number of additional
references. This is at your discretion, however, bear in mind the references you use will be
an indication of your wider reading and assimilation of ideas. A good guide for robust
academic writing is one reference per 150-200 words.
• Please note that information obtained from the case study does not need to be formally
‘cited/referenced’ as the case study is the base source of information for your memo.
• Use Harvard AGPS referencing, guideline available on the Studydesk.
4. Assignments heavily over the combined, total word count can be marked up to a point of the
evaluator’s assessment of ten percent over the set word limits. An excessive word count
provides the student with an unfair advantage, and it places an unreasonable demand on the
evaluator’s time allocation per student.
MGT2002 Assignment 2 Instructions 5
5. Presentation requirements:
A. Use the template available on the studydesk to prepare and submit this assignment.
B. The template is set to present your answers using double line spacing, Times New Roman,
12 point font.
B. You need to insert your student details into the header. To insert page numbers, use the
‘Insert’ tab and select ‘Page Number’, and pick ‘Page number 2’. To include your student
details in a header, go to the ‘Insert’ tab, select ‘Header’, choose the first option, and enter
your details. To return to the body of the document, move the cursor to a spot in the text
page and double click.
C. Headings, diagrams and/or brief tables are permissible in your responses. Tables and
diagrams (if used) must be labelled and referenced and must be explained in the body of
your answer. If you have solely developed it, cite it as ‘Developed for this assignment’. If
you adapted someone else’s work, cite (Adapted from: author, year page number).
D. Compile a List of References on the last page of the email, before any appendix you might
attach, according to Harvard AGPS requirements