Assignment 2: Comparing Leadership Styles
Carefully analyze the following company profile and the profiles of two candidates who have applied for the position of Department Head for the Research and Development (R&D) department of the company.
The R&D department of the company has 25 employees. Recently, there has been a high turnover of employees with less than five years of experience with the company. The R&D department is performing poorly in comparison to the others and is under a lot of pressure to produce three new products in the upcoming year. The previous head of this department was terminated for non-performance. His leadership style was laisse-faire which endeared him to his team. However, he showed very little initiative and did not encourage top performance from his team. Prior to his arrival, the R&D department was number one in the field. The team is very upset over his departure and is resistant to accepting a new leader. The morale is at an all-time low, threatening the overall culture of the organization.
Susan Thomas was most recently the Assistant Department Head for a research company that dealt mainly with medical supplies. She has held the position for eight years. Prior to her stint as the Assistant Department Head, she had a comparable position in a similar company.
She has a medical degree but has never practiced medicine, strictly focusing her career on research. She also has a Master’s in Business Administration and is very business-minded. She has very little experience working with others. However, she has a proven track record of successfully taking products from conception to realization.
She is well known in the industry as someone who can get things done. However, she would fail to win any popularity contests.
Bob White has 25 years of experience in running departments for research companies. He has a Master’s degree in product development and a Master’s in Business Administration. He does not have a medical degree, but has been in the medical field his entire career. He has a solid reputation and everybody who has worked for him has said they would love the chance to work for him again. His secret to success is to surround himself with top professionals in their field, then build on their strengths, and take products to completion.
Although he is successful in delivering the product, he often runs over budget. While his laid-back style of management is beneficial to product development, maintaining budget and sticking to timelines are crucial.
Based on your analysis, write a letter to the search committee recommending one of the two candidates. In your letter, thoroughly compare the qualities of both candidates. Be sure to select one person for the position with an explanation and rationale for your choice. Make sure you provide a thorough analysis of the organization’s needs. When analyzing the needs of the organization, consider such business aspects as industry trends, corporate culture, employee training, internal and external customer focus, organizational goals, etc.
Write an 8 page paper in Word format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.
Use the following file naming convention: LastnameFirstInitial_M3_A2.doc. For example, if your name is John Smith, your document will be named SmithJ_M3_A2.doc.
By Wednesday, July 29, 2015, deliver your assignment to the M3: Assignment 2 Dropbox.
Class Notes below:
|Assignment 2 Grading Criteria |
|Wrote a recommendation letter selecting one candidate.|
|Included a thorough comparison of the qualities of both candidates.|
|Explained and rationalized the choice.|
|Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.|
There are many different leadership styles. Most leaders, however, cannot be typecast into one style. A dynamic work environment may call upon leaders to adopt a combination of various styles based on the situation they find themselves in.
Let us review some general leadership styles:
Leaders adopting this leadership style diagnose the current condition of the organization and identify areas for change. During change implementation, situational leaders attune to both the emotional and technical needs of their teams. You will often find situational leaders tackling organizational problems.
Leaders adopting a stewardship style believe in building partnerships with their teams. They treat everyone in their teams equally and advocate high levels of integrity. Stewards expect every team member to be equally responsible and accountable for the team’s actions.
As the name suggests, visionary leaders operate with a vision or a long-term goal in mind. They are cheerleaders, always inspiring excitement in their teams. Once they have a plan in place, they believe in delegating tasks to their teams. They use a variety of methods to motivate their teams to accomplish the goal.
Change agents are champions of change implementation. They are experts at identifying the need for change in the organization and readily accept the task of preparing their teams for change. They are aware of the repercussions of change and maintain a clear line of communication with their teams.
Through the example below, you will explore how leaders may have to change their leadership styles based on situations.
Richard Johnson has been the CEO of InfoStructures Inc. for three weeks. When he came on board as the company’s new CEO, he knew that he would have to contend with a lot of issues: The company has been losing money for several years. It has been through three CEOs since the founder of the company retired three years ago. During the time that the founder was the CEO, the company had a close-knit, family-like atmosphere. After he retired, subsequent CEOs tried unsuccessfully to replace the family atmosphere with a more corporate environment. The result was a high staff turnover and plummeting sales.
Richard is now faced with the task of rebuilding the entire organization and making profits. He knows where he wants to take the company. His vision is to reinstate the family atmosphere and make the company a place where people want to work again. He believes this environment will breed loyalty and increase retention of talent, which will consequently increase sales.
Richard knows that before he can realize his vision, he needs to make many small changes. To this end, he first decided to address the morale in the workplace. His main level managers were either new or tenured and disgruntled. He first brought them together as a team so they could all focus in the same productive direction. Additionally, from an operational standpoint there were many systems in place that needed to be addressed. One of the previous CEOs had installed new software that was not thoroughly researched. As a result, the software failed to support all the necessary operational functions. Furthermore, people were improperly trained and lacked the knowledge and skills to optimize the use of available operational functions.
The third pressing issue was a shortage of hourly workers, which had raised overtime pay to unacceptable levels. In his initial estimation, Richard believes that this shortage had the most negative impact on sales and employee morale.
This scenario depicts the many different roles a successful leader must play. As CEO, Richard must have a long-term vision for the company; this is what the Board of Directors were looking for when they hired him and will expect him to achieve. However, Richard needs to have more than vision—he needs to have people and processes in place to achieve his vision. If people and processes are not in place, Richard must, as a leader, identify the cause of problems and then develop strategies to overcome obstacles and take the organization forward.