Solution EVALUATION AND CONTROL Evaluation of the sales staff should be done in order to improve their performance. Targets should be set at the beginning of every month and the actual performance in relation to the targets should be compared to get the real difference between the targeted performance and the real performance. A similar, target setting and evaluation of the sales performance will not only evaluate the performance of the employees but will also control them effectively. Remember, the yearly increments and promotions will to an extent depend on the performance of the sales personnel. This will help the company meet its sales objectives. Evaluation of the research & development staff is necessary to make Handspring products technically superior to that of competitors.

For instance if the objective of the personnel is to develop products that are compatible with the operating system of Microsoft, then they have to be given objectives relating to the technical development of the product, the time deadline they have and the cost constraints. The R&D staff would be given a priori evaluation. That means that before the work starts on the project, the values attached to the various stages of the work would be decided. For example, if the work were to be completed on time, it would be given a rating of 5 and if the work were 80% complete the rating would be 4 and so on.

This a priori contract would not only impose a control on the work but would help Handspring achieve its strategic objectives. For example, if the strategic objective of Handspring were to reduce the cost of Treo, then this project would be given to a project team with a fixed time period and a set of objectives. Setting up of objectives and entering into an a priori contract with them so that their performance can objectively be evaluated can do evaluation of the top managers also. For, example one of the vice- presidents can be entrusted with the task of setting up alliances with other top companies so that Treo is purchases as a tie up product. The vice-president will be given a target of forging say 6 alliances having a sale value of $XXX. Apart from this other criteria for his evaluation can be set up and each given a weight.

At the end of the evaluation period the actual performance of the vice-president will be compared to the targeted performance and a composite score calculated for him. This will determine his increment and promotion. This will help the company meet its strategic objectives. Since the formidable competitors of Handspring like HP may not be willing to compete on price, it is important to reduce cost.

Control in general and cost control in particular is best achieved by financial control, costing methods and measures to reduce cost. Please note the lacunae in the question. First, Jeff Hawkins is playing less attention to the company and so it is presumed that his control over the company has gone down. This is not his intention.

Second, Jeff Hawkins who owns 25% of the company and Dubin sky who owns 15% of the company have agreed to sell the company to Palm for $169 million. They wouldn't be interested in controlling the company! Third, the question is equivocal about what aspects of the company it wants you to evaluate and control. Still, this is an excellent question in evaluation and control. Please use the above guidelines and write an excellent answer. Wish you best of luck!.