The Caduceus Health Care Corporation is a large, international medical-supply company that manufactures and markets a wide variety of medical products for hospitals, clinics, and health-care facilities. It employs approximately 120 district managers in the United States who supervise a direct sales force of over 700 men and women. This case comprises interviews conducted in the summer of 1980 with three of these district managers, selected for their districts' outstanding sales records. Senior executives at Caduceus were interested in examining the philosophies and practices of these managers to uncover common denominators that might help them improve the performance of other first-line sales managers. This case introduces students to the concept of managerial style--that collection of perceived behaviors that distinguishes one manager's attributes and skills from another's--and to the importance of style as an element in achieving high performance from subordinates. In this case, the managers are examined as to their behavior and philosophies of managing sales representatives. Because the managers are both similar and dissimilar in their activities and attitudes and because they are all successful within the same company, students are challenged to explain these similarities and account for the differences.
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