McGregor’s Ltd. Department Store Case Study


McGregor’s Ltd. Department Store ( In the book : Management Communication principles and practice third edition by Michael E. Hattersley and Linda Mcjannet, ISBN: 978-0-07-352505-1)

1. You are James McGregor of McGregor’s Ltd. Department Store.

Write a memo to your executives and buyers, informing them of the new discount policy and explaining it in such a way as to gain their understanding and support. Assume that this is the first formal announcement of the policy to this group, but that you have sounded out some key people beforehand.

Include a cover memo summarizing your overall approach to this communication situation and, in particular, explaining your persuasive strategies. Of McGregor’s several purposes, which did you adopt as primary? How did your view of the situation and the audience influence your choice of arguments and structure? For example, which of McGregor’s arguments will work best with this audience? Why? Which structure did you choose; a one-sided or a two-sided discussion? Why? If two-sided (comparing the old and new plans), did you chose a divided or an alternating pattern? Why? Overall, did you use an inductive structure (evidence of a need or problem followed by the solution, the new plan) or a “deductive” or direct structure (description of the new plan followed by your reasons)? Why?

2. Answer the study questions below

  1. Once McGregor has chosen his arguments, what structure will work best in this situation? One-sided or two-sided? Tell or sell? Given, since, therefore? Recommendation, rationale, implementation? Storytelling?
  2. In arriving at his decision to modify the discount program, McGregor considered many arguments in its favor. Identify his arguments with a suitable key word. Which seem most cogent and persuasive to you?
  3. What attitudes are the executives and buyers likely to have toward the new discount program? Which of McGregor’s arguments are likely to seem most persuasive to them? Can you devise new arguments that might be more acceptable to them?
  4. In designing his communication to his senior managers, should McGregor concentrate on one or two issues, or should he discuss all the issues that had a bearing on his decision?
  5. Do you find merit in Allen Lee’s suggestion that there might be more meaningful ways to cut costs and overhead than McGregor’s new discount program? What might they be? What arguments support your view?
  6. Suppose you disagree with McGregor about instituting the new program as it is described in the case. What changes would you make? Or would you leave the current plant in the place? What arguments and what structure would you choose to persuade McGregor to modify or abandon his new program?