Case Study: Catastrophe Concepts employee Caleb McGuire


Case study: Catastrophe Concepts' marketing team

Catastrophe Concepts has had a financially disastrous year. Sales have plummeted by more than 30 per cent. Cutthroat competition and the global economic crisis have savaged its business. Every department is under enormous pressure to cut costs and reduce headcount. Employees have extremely heavy workloads and are being pushed to their limits. Catastrophe Concepts' marketing department, in particular, is under pressure to improve its performance. A key member of the marketing team is the customer service manager, Caleb McGuire. Caleb is regarded as competent and hard working. However, over the past few months, Caleb has been taking more and more days off from work because of illness. Initially, other members of the department were sympathetic, but Caleb's absences have become a source of discontent as his colleagues have had to do his work as well as their own.

Lilly Zheng, the Marketing Manager, is becoming increasingly frustrated with Caleb. Under considerable pressure from the CEO, she is stretched to the limit. Lilly's subordinates have started asking, 'Why is Caleb always sick? Why does Caleb have to go to the doctor all the time? Why do I have to do Caleb's work?' Caleb has become evasive when approached, simply stating that he is suffering from a particularly severe form of shingles. Resentment has continued to increase and rumors have begun that Caleb has AIDS. Lucette Dubois, Catastrophe Concepts' senior customer service representative and one of the department's top performers, has heatedly told Lilly that she and several others are going to quit if something is not done about Caleb.


As a senior HR officer in Catastrophe Concepts' HR department, you have been asked by George Chapel to prepare a management briefing regarding the situation. Your report should:

• advise Mr Chapel of the best way for HR to handle the situation,
• offer advice to the marketing manager on how she should approach the problem in regard to her staff, and
• make recommendations regarding what should be done about Mr McGuire.

Your report should address the legal, ethical and HR issues implied by the case. It should be a confidential report for the HR manager and be presented as a suitably professional document.

It is expected that your discussion will refer to appropriate models and theories covered in this course. The assessment criteria should give you a clear indication of what you need to include in this assignment. The report should include an effective introduction and conclusion; an executive summary of no more than one page to preface the report: and a table of contents to give guidance to the reader


The question belongs to Human Resources Management and it is a case study about Catastrophe Concepts employee Caleb McGuire. Caleb McGuire has been taking too many leaves in the recent times and the HR manager is forced to take decision about his absenteeism. Various questions about this case study have been answered in the solution in detail.

Total Word Count 2345

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