Although many scientists prefer to concentrate on pure research and leave the commercial development of their discoveries to others, Hall agreed to become a development manager and spearhead the effort to turn his first invention into a marketable product. After successfully getting this technology to market, Hall returned to his research science positi

Doug Hall started as a research scientist at Corning, located in a small upstate New York town. Corning was originally known for the cookware division it divested in 1997, when the company began looking to its research laboratories for the spark that would drive its future growth. Hall has been directly involved in Corning’s recent success. During his career, he has been responsible for breakthrough technologies that dramatically improved the optical fiber network products Corning sells for use in telecommunications and Internet systems.

Although many scientists prefer to concentrate on pure research and leave the commercial development of their discoveries to others, Hall agreed to become a development manager and spearhead the effort to turn his first invention into a marketable product. After successfully getting this technology to market, Hall returned to his research science position—and followed the same course of action when he came up with a second invention. Today, Hall is Corning’s division vice president and technology director for an optical technologies product line, and his inventions and products yield $1 billion in sales for Corning. Here are two quotes from a recent interview:

      Talking about the personal and professional aspects of his life: “At Corning, living in a small town, you can’t put on airs. It’s the output that counts.”
      Talking about his move from research scientist to development manager: “I got dragged to visit customers—and that’s what I wanted to do. We have a culture in which making stuff is important.”

Questions
1.      Which sources of personal power can you identify for Hall? How do you know these are present?
2.      Which sources of position power can you identify for Hall? How do you know these are present?
3.      If Hall had chosen to remain a research scientist, how do you think this decision would have affected his power inside and outside the organization?

(Case based on Holstein, William J. (2001, May 1) Dump the Cookware. Business 2.0, 68–73.)

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