Leadership in Organizations

Essay #1: Case Study: Consolidated Products

  1. Describe and compare the managerial behavior of Ben and Phil. To what extent does each manager display specific relations behaviors (supporting, developing, recognizing) and specific task behaviors (clarifying, planning, monitoring)?

From the case study, it is clear that Phil and Ben have differing management style. For example, we see that Ben uses a laissez-faire form of leadership, which gives the workers the right to make decisions. He allows groups to solve issues differently. This is unlike Phil who uses an individualized approach and has complete authority over the employees. Phil’s form of leadership can be described as autocratic where he dictates what is required without any questioning from employees. One key difference between these leaders is that Ben is relational oriented, applies decentralized authority, have a low level of control, and high autonomy. In contrast, Phil’s behavior is task oriented, follows a centralized form of authority, has a high level of control, and low autonomy with the workers. 

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  1. To what extent does each manager use participative or inspirational leadership?
    Compare Ben and Phil in terms of their influence on employee attitudes, short-term performance, and long-term plant performance, and explain the reasons for the differences.

In terms of participation, Ben’s form of leadership allows high participation as he allowed employees to participate by actively involving them in decision-making and inspired them through motivation and empathy. However, Phil applied a more of authoritarian leadership style as employees had little if any participation and canceled all training programs thus, less inspiration. It can be argued that Ben and Phil are at the extremes, which are in line with Bhatti et al.’s (2012) argument that leaders allowing high participation are in the democratic spectrum while those with little or no participation are in authoritarian leadership spectrum. 

Ben followed a superior-subordinate relationship where he shared powers with his subordinates, which motivated employees in the short-term through increased loyalty. In the long-term, this greatly affected the business by reducing the turnover rate but increased the operational cost. In contrary, Phil was more task-oriented where he emphasized more on goal attainment, which in the short-term increased the turnover rate but in the long-term reduced the operational cost.

  1. If you were selected to be the manager of this plant, what would you do to achieve both high employee satisfaction and performance?

If I were the leader for Consolidated Products, I would bridge the gap by becoming a transformative leader. McCleskey (2014) defines a transformational leader as one who identifies the required change, builds a vision guide for the change by inspiring employees and commits with the employees to execute change. With these roles, I will be able to inspire employees while encouraging them to think critically. In this, I will bridge Ben’s weakness by encouraging productivity through critical thinking and Phil’s by inspiring and motivating the employees.

References

Bhatti, N., Maitlo, G. M., Shaikh, N., Hashmi, M. A., & Shaikh, F. M. (2012). The impact of autocratic and democratic leadership style on job satisfaction. International Business Research5(2), 192.

McCleskey, J. A. (2014). Situational, transformational, and transactional leadership and leadership development. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly5(4), 117.

ESSAY 2: Case Study: Air Force Supply Squadron

  1. What effective leadership behaviors did Colonel Novak exhibit?

Colonel Novak followed a delegation form of leadership where he assisted employees to develop and enhance their skills, increased their loyalty to the air force, and reduced delays.  One strategy he attained this was by developing and establishing the mission and vision for the business. He communicated the mission and vision to the employees and empowered them to work on their delegated duties. He inspired and motivated the employees by listening to them, solving their issues, and delegating responsibilities. Novak illustrates great group skills where he worked alongside employees, built an effective team, and boosted a positive change for the business. Some of the leadership skills displayed by Novak include inspirational motivation, individualized consideration, charisma, transformational skills, and intellectual stimulation.

  1. What does this case illustrate about effective leadership?

This case is an illustration of the significance of effective leadership in inspiring and influencing teams to allow a business to run smoothly and competently. It is essential that leaders, forms and familiarizes with the vision, mission, goals, action plans, and the objectives of the business. The case is an illustration of how effective leadership can transform a minimally productive team to form an effective and productive team. For example, Novak went out of his ways to boost interpersonal relationship with each employee in the business, which increased loyalty. His skills boosted team morale and helped in goal attainment. 

  1. Compare the leadership behavior in this case with the behavior in the preceding case. 

The leadership style of Consolidated Products and Air Force Supply Squadron directly contradicts. The two cases illustrate three types of leaders. Ben Samuels in the Consolidated Products followed a laissez-faire form of leadership where he worked tirelessly to increase trust among employees. However, he lacked solid goals, which led to low levels of production. Phil Jones, on the other hand, was an authoritarian leader who was task-oriented without regard to interpersonal skills. Through this, he was able to drive the success of the business but was characterized by high turnover due to low motivation among employees. In contrast to these two leaders, Novack bridges the extremes where he was able to increase interpersonal skills while driving goal attainment among employees.

Essay #3: Case Study: Ultimate Office Products

  1. Why did Richard fail in his first attempt to implement change?

The reason why Richard failed is due to his powerless status among his peers, as he had not to spent a longer time in his position.  The managers, as well as his peers,  could not trust Richard’s decision and they thought his opinion was invalid for the organization. This led the managers to oppose greatly his change strategies for the business. The core managers felt that his new system and approach were irrelevant for the business. 

  1. Identify subsequent actions by Richard that were more effective for implementing change in the organization.

The first strategy by Richard was forming interpersonal relationships with other managers. Through this, he collected their opinions, which helped him to drive his new system. This led to the formation of cross-functional task forces by initiating collaboration with other task forces to attain more support.  This initiated cooperation, which boosted customer service and improved efficiency.

  1. Evaluate the change leadership provided by the CEO

The CEO provided an authoritarian form of leadership where after Richard’s task was questioned, she cleared that she fully supported the task recommendation. Another element about the CEO is that she attended the meeting to illustrate its significance to the employees. It is evident that the CEO inhibits a delegative form of leadership where she delegated to Richard. She entrusted Richard with the task and was fruitful for the business. 

Essay #4

  1. What are some reasons why efforts to change organizations often fail? 

One of the reasons why businesses fail is miscommunication. According to Benn, Edwards, and Williams (2014), majority of organizational changes fail due to lack or poor communication where leaders fail to solicit input from workers before introducing changes where employees feel complacent and excluded. The second reason why changes in the organization fail is that they expect quick fixes.  Alvesson and Sveningsson (2015) explain that organizational changes require a longer strategic component but many expect quick fixes where they may contain qualities like microwave-oven mind, instant gratification, and impatience. Another reason for failure in organizational change is the failure to consider the organizational culture. Benn, Edwards, and Williams (2014) identify that cultural factors are a significant component in driving change. 

  1. What are some guidelines to help leaders implement change? 

Any leader trying to drive change should seek and get support from management who in turn will support and communicate the changes to employees. The second guideline is involving the workers at some levels so that they feel like part of the change. The leader also needs to communicate change, which according to Alvesson and Sveningsson (2015), communicating change requires to be systematic and structured. After planning for a change, good communication is essential in the implementation change. Lastly, a leader requires follow-up, as well as removing barriers. 

  1. Identify several major change efforts at Microsoft, when Steve Ballmer was CEO, which failed? For each, discuss the change management issues that you believe contributed to them.

Microsoft was pressed in great market opportunities including e-readers, mobile music, social networking, tablets, and online advertising. As a CEO, Steve Ballmer led the business to miss major market opportunities. Another fall of Ballmer is overseen dismal product release where he led the introduction of products like Kin to capture smartphone users. However, after its release, the product was immediately canceled. The company also released the Zune music player, which was later discontinued. In addition to these failures, Ballmer made horrible investments in an attempt to compensate for innovation issues facing the company. Ballmer required using a better marketing program and they required to understand the campaigns to beat their competitors. 

Reference

Alvesson, M., & Sveningsson, S. (2015). Changing organizational culture: Cultural change work in progress. Routledge.Benn, S., Edwards, M., & Williams, T. (2014). Organizational change for corporate sustainability. Routledge.

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