The Case of the Endangered Entrepreneurs

A detailed case study of “First Line”, a software company that has achieved considerable success, but is currently struggling with various issues.

The case study, “The Case of the Endangered Entrepreneurs”, describes the company, First Line, a software company. This analysis answers five specific questions on the case study. The first deals with management, planning, and organizational structure and problems occurring in that area. The second deals with the option of expanding overseas by recommending both a country to expand to and a means of expansion. The next question completes a job analysis so that a compensation system can be designed. The completed compensation provides a list of positions, classifications, and salary ranges. The fourth question looks at federal administrative agencies by describing five agencies and their impact on First Line. The final question allows a human resource department to be designed, both by describing the positions required and by developing a recruitment strategy to fill each position.
“The management of First Line shows a strong tendency to rely on others and without being sure that others can deliver. The CEO’s statement that we’re completely in Microchannels hands on MasterGraph summarizes the problem. As the case shows, First Line is depending on Microchannel to sell the product it has developed. This is like a partnership between the two companies, except that First Line seems to be putting everything into the partnership, while Microchannels is taking advantage. For example, Fran notes that Bill Clayton bullied them about retail pull-through and that First Line took out ads and trained Microchannel’s staff. This shows that First Line is going out of their way to meet the needs of Microchannels. In return, Microchannel seems to be taking advantage of First Line. This includes not making payments on the $400,000 owed, asking for credit to be extended further, and asking for major discounts on the software. This seems to be a case where opportunism is occurring, which refers to the common situation where one part of a partnership has too much power and takes advantage of the other. Moss-Kanter (1994, p. 97) notes that a successful partnership only occurs when both parties are achieving benefits from each other. When both companies have something to gain, there is a motivation for working with each other, not against each other. In the case of First Line and Microchannels, it seems that Microchannels has too much power and is using First Line’s dependence on them for their own benefits.”