Read the Case Study below:
Though Ellen Arnold had been with the firm for less than six weeks, she had already caused considerable problems for Jim Staples, Doris Nusbaum, and the architects. Staples was the office manager whose branch of a large architectural firm had 25 architects and 8 personal assistants. While he was in charge of the entire office, Nusbaum was in charge of the personal assistants who were not assigned to work for particular architects, but were assigned by Nusbaum to tasks on an as-needed basis.
Ellen Arnold had been brought to the office by her father, one of the firm's founders who worked at a different office. The father announced that he had hired his daughter to work for Nusbaum during this and future summer vacations from college. Unfortunately, Ellen had no skills whatsoever that related to the duties required. In addition, the office was fully staffed and did not need any additional help.
Nusbaum was irate when she learned that she was to find work for and supervise Ellen. She was particularly upset that Ellen was hired without the firm following the standard selection process and that Arnold just, "dumped her on her doorstep." She told Staples, "Ellen has no knowledge of architecture whatsoever. I have no work for her. I don't want to have anything to do with her!"
On her first day of work, Ellen was shown her desk but was assigned no specific tasks. Within a few days, she introduced herself to all of the architects and started spending more and more time in their offices. Wanting to make a favorable impression on Ellen's father, the architects willingly talked with her at length. One of the young architects was particularly taken by her, and vice versa. She spent more time in his office than any other. Meanwhile, the other personal assistants were starting to complain about all of the attention that Ellen was receiving and that she was not doing her share of the administrative tasks. In addition, the architects were falling behind in their work. A vicious rumor was circulating that Ellen had a brother who might also be thrust upon the office. During all of this, Nusbaum refused to have anything to do with Ellen and reminded Staples that she was his problem.
Next, answer the questions below (using examples to support your answers):
What are the major problems in this case?
If you were Jim Staples, what steps would you take to solve the problems depicted in this case?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a "no nepotism" policy?
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