Bark Gift Shop Ltd.
This case describes a setting in which the CFO of Bark Gift Shop Ltd., a gift items retailer, discovers an undesired pattern in the performance data suggesting that her shop managers that perform well during the first part of the year, purposely reduce their effort in the later part of the year. This pattern drives the CFO to reflect on the process by which she sets annual targets for shop managers and how those targets relate to various aspects of their compensation contract. Challenging targets, however, appear to be motivating for a sizeable amount of shop managers. In fact, many shop managers that repeatedly fail to meet the target appear not to be giving up and keep trying to achieve their challenging targets. Therefore, the CFO needs to strike the right balance between providing motivating targets and curbing the undesired behaviors that she just discovered. The case lends itself to a rich discussion of common performance management issues, such as target setting, performance metrics selection, and performance-based compensation design. In particular, the case exposes the students to the issue of target ratcheting. As the case includes a data base it provides ample opportunities for students to practice their analytical skills (producing and discussing descriptive statistics, regressions and interactions).