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Case Title:

The Recruit: Real Perceptions, Surreal Mentors

This case study deals with the story of James Clayton (Clayton), an MIT topper. Clayton is confident of grabbing lucrative job offers at the campus job fair with his technological brainchild, ‘Spartacus’. However, using information on Clayton’s father as bait, Burke, a senior instructor at the CIA, alters former’s choice of career. After his selection, Clayton becomes hopeful of solving the mystery of his father’s death. However, Burke recommends Clayton’s expulsion as he fails in one of the assignments. Post-expulsion, Burke convinces Clayton that the expulsion was an eyewash to appoint Clayton as a NOC. However, the string of deceptions make it difficult for Clayton to differentiate myth from reality. This case study debates over the relationship between individual perception and decision-making and the role of mentors in deciding the fate of the mentee?

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To analyse the three leading characters –Burke, Clayton and Layla– from the standpoint of their personality, motives and proficiency levels
  • To analyse the circumstances which led Clayton to give in to Burke's trappings and to debate on – the reasons why Burke had to fish around only for Clayton, the qualities that Burke saw in Clayton that made him the 'Man of the Moment'
  • To transpose the movie learnings into debating on how the intensity of emotions – weak vs. strong – can preclude perceptions and the subsequent actions, how perceptions lead to actions and actions lead to results
  • To highlight the importance of and the need to be weary of surreal mentors, as depicted by Burke, and to debate on the smoke signals for identifying a surreal mentor.

Course:  Organisational Behaviour

Concept:  Perceptions and Individual Decision Making, Individual Personality

Key Focus:  Understanding the factors that shape an individual’s perception and how these perceptions guide a person’s decision-making process.

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