Case Study of the Week: Nepo-Baby or Legit Candidate?

Apr 22, 2024

Business Ethics

You are a consultant hired by the president of Grand Grocery, a privately held supermarket chain with over 300 locations in one state. The president has hired you to help with succession planning after a sudden decision to retire. Grand Grocery has been a family-owned business since it started in 1905. Since that time Grand Grocery has always been led by a member of the Grand family.

Growth has been the focus of the company’s strategic plan for the past several years. The company, led by the president, has done a great job in successfully growing the company from 200 locations to over 300 locations in the last five years which was not easy during the pandemic.

Unfortunately, the president has received a serious health diagnosis and has decided to retire. The president has hired your team to help determine who to name as successor. The president was set to name the heir as next president, but with the recent publicity of “nepo babies” and negativity surrounding nepotism, the president decided to hire your team to help.

You were hired to help the president determine who to name as the next president of Grand Grocery. Your team researched the company and spent hours interviewing the Grand Grocery corporate headquarters’ staff and learned the following:

The president’s heir is Jamie Grand. Jamie is a 29-year-old who has a bachelor’s degree in public relations and currently serves as the company’s vice president of community relations. The Grand Grocery chief operating officer is Taylor Jackson. Taylor is a 50-year-old with a master of business administration degree and has worked at the company since 2000. The president is unsure who to name as successor, Jamie or Taylor, but knows that it is Grand family tradition for Jamie to be named.

Jamie Grand – Jamie is well-liked and has worked at the company for five years. Jamie has proven to be an asset in the community relations department and was a leader in public relations during the 100+ store openings in the last five years. Jamie began working at a local Grand Grocery location at entry-level when 16-years old. The corporate office staff likes Jamie, but also feels that if not a member of the Grand family, Jamie would not be in the current executive position. There are many on staff that are fed up with Jamie Grand being important simply because of the family name.

Taylor Jackson – Taylor is well-respected and has worked at the company for over two decades. Taylor has an extremely sharp business mind and was behind the 100+ new store openings. The corporate office staff feels that Taylor is a great asset to the company, but since Taylor is not a member of the Grand family, will not move further up the corporate ladder at Grand Grocery.

You must decide how to move forward with the president’s succession planning.


Randi Bibiano
Competitive Events Specialist

Randi Bibiano is DECA's competitive events specialist. In this role, she conceptualizes and authors role-play scenarios for the collegiate and high school division’s competitive events programs. She also manages DECA's online competitive events and serves as a liaison to volunteer efforts at DECA's educational conferences.

Discussion Questions

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Classroom Connection

Career CLuster:

Business Management and Administration

Instructional Area(s):

Emotional Intelligence

Performance Indicators:

Explain the role of ethics in human resources management
Participate in succession planning
Overcome problems and difficulties associated with office politics/turf wars
Develop an achievement orientation