Question for case 1: Perfect Manufacturing
Question 1: Describe and compared the managerial behavior of Joe and Martin. To what extent does each manager display specific relations behaviors (supporting, developing, recognizing) and specific task behaviors (clarifying, planning, monitoring)? To what extent does each manager use participative or inspirational leadership?
The Ohio State University identified two major behaviors for managers one is the consideration and the other is the initiating structure (Schriesheim & Bird 1979, vol.5).
Consideration behavior is another name for the special relation behaviors performed by managers in organization, which falls in the category of people oriented managerial behaviors with the comparatively large extent that managers or leaders are so mindful of the subordinates, show respect to their ideas and feelings and set up the mutual trust. Hence, relationship oriented managers or leaders are often friendly, promote effective communication, build teamwork and also are oriented to the welfare of their subordinates (Shartle 1979, vol.5, pp. 126-134).
And the initiating structure behaviors stand for the degree of task behaviors, which is the extent that managers or leaders is task oriented and give directions to the work of their subordinates to achieve certain goals. Such kind of managers or leaders are often typically to give instructions, spend time on planning, focus on deadlines and provide work activities with explicit schedules (Shartle 1979, vol.5, pp. 126-134).
Based on the definition of the two types of managerial behaviors, we may identify that Joe’s managerial behaviors is more relationship oriented and Martin’s managerial behavior is more task oriented which we will justify as below.
Relation behavior of Joe
First, Joe as the manager of the plant in Perfect Manufacturing provided so many supports for his subordinates, which were the supporting behaviors of the category in relation behaviors. For instance, he established the fitness center a sponsored the special activities to support employees to have a good health and mood in working. He also spent time understanding the families and hobbies of his subordinates to support them develop harmonious relationship in this plant.
Second, Joe was keening on developing his subordinates as well, which also belongs to the category of relation behavior. For instance, he developed the equity principle in his plant to treat every people equally. He also tries to develop subordinates with other kinds of skills of job required knowledge when they had troubles and had to shift to other kind of jobs or else they may be fired.
Thirdly, Joe also recognized the ability of his subordinates in many aspects to carry out special relationship behaviors as the big boss of this plan. For example, Joe believed that good relationship will make people do better jobs. Hence, he applied the principle to these supervisors and gives them large extent of flexibility to do their work with the high level of recognizing their ability and working attitudes.
Relation behavior of Martin
Although Martin may be identified as a task oriented manager, several relation behaviors are performed by him as well.
In the supporting side, he introduced computer k0nitoring systems to support the supervision job of these supervisors.
In the developing aside, he set up high level of performance standards to develop his subordinates and other people to become productive performer.
Specific task behaviors
Task behavior of Martin
First, Martin as the new manager of the plant in Perfect Manufacturing gave clear clarification on his requirement on job accomplishment to his subordinates, which may be defined as clarifying behaviors. For instance, he clarified his motto to these subordinates that if people don’t prefer to do the work, they will be got rid of and replaced, which showed his strong task oriented characteristic. He also clarified the management principle to the supervisors that the importance and necessity of warnings to the poor performers.
Second, Martin also spent time in planning. He designed and established the high performance standard for people in his plant to regulate their behaviors and performance.
Thirdly, he spent a lot of time and energy in monitoring his subordinates. For instance, he introduced the computer monitoring system to examine the outputs of workers to force them to meet certain standards. He monitored the performance of subordinates by himself as well to give immediate feedbacks to their performance.
Task behavior of Joe
As a relationship oriented manager, the task behaviors performed by Joe was seemed so seldom in Perfect Manufacturer.
Evaluation on participative or inspirational leadership
First, the extent of what Joe had done may more like a participative leader, who is keen on relationship building and showing high concern for his people instead of emphasis the production performance of his plant in Perfect Manufacturing (Ogbonna, & Harris 2000, vol.1, pp. 766-788,).
Second, the extent of what Martin had done more like an inspirational leader, who set up challenging objectives and high standards for performance which was what Martin had done, give clear ideas and meanings for proposed action and give directions to people about how to get them such as the performance management strategy implemented by Martin. Hence, we may advocate what Martin had done were close to the extent of an inspirational leader would do (Bass 2007, vol.7, no.5).
Question 2: Compare Joe and Martin in terms of their influence on employee attitudes, short-term performance, and long term plant performance, and explain the reasons for the differences.
Influence on employee attitudes
The influence of Joe’ on employees’ attitudes may be categorized into two aspects. Firstly, employees well liked and respected Joe as their manager that the relationship between Joe and employees was so harmonious. Secondly, towards their job, employees showed high degree of job loyalty which may be reflected from the lowest vacancies and turnover rate in Joe’s plant. And in the meantime, the working enthusiasm and passion of employees may not so high, which may be reflected from the second worst record for costs and productivity in Joe’s plant.
Maybe, Martin was too task oriented as the manager, hence we may also summarize the influence of Martin on employees’ attitudes in two aspects. First, towards working, people in Martin’s plant may work very hard and contributed to great efforts, which can be reflected from the low cost level and high outputs level. Second, the sense of belonging and job loyalty of employees in Martin’s plant may be regarded as low, which may be reflected from the high turnover rate and unharmonious relationship between martin and his subordinates.
The reason for the influence of Joe on the relatively positive working attitudes of employees and preference of people on him was due to the leadership behaviors. Joe gave employees great concern on their welfare that was why he was liked well by people. In the meantime, Joe showed little concern on productivity which may influence the working passion and desire to perform better of his subordinates as well (Smircich &Morgan 2003 vol.18).
The reason for the influence of Martin on the attitudes of his employees may result from his leadership behavior as well. First, Martin emphasized the task achievement so much, which forced employees to work hard to meet such harsh standard to avoid being fired. Secondly, such kind of great working pressure also made employees lack the job security and sense of belonging which ended in their turnover (Smircich &Morgan 2003 vol.18).
Short term performance
In the short term aspect, the performance of Joe’s plant may be regarded as poor such as the No. 2 worst record of cost and production levels.
In the short term aspect, the performance of Martin’s plant may be regarded as good such as the 20% reduction of the production costs and 10% rise of the production outputs.
In Joe’s plant the short term poor performance may also due to his leadership behaviors that he focused on too much of the welfare of employees to spend too much on them such as the fitness center, social activities and so on, which increased the cos. And in the meantime, Joe never minded the productivity of his plant which also ended in the low production level of his plant (Smircich &Morgan 2003 vol.18).
In Martin’s plant, the short term good performance may also due to his leadership behaviors that he saved cost from every means such as quitting the regular maintenances for machines and forced employees to work harder and harder by setting up harsh working standards (Smircich &Morgan 2003 vol.18).
Long term performance
Joe was the manager of this plant for ten years. During such a long period, the performance of this plant may be regarded as steady. For instance there was the lowest level of vacancies, low rate of turnover, harmonious working atmosphere, and high sense of belonging from employees. Hence, the long term performance of Joe’s plant may be regarded as in a fair well level.
In the long term round, Martin’s plant may face a big challenge which may perform poorer and poorer such as the low level of employment and higher cost in repairing or buying new machines, which can be reflected from the high turnover rate and the ceasing of machine maintenances.
The comparably good performance of Joe’s plant in the long term was because Joe’s efforts in relationship maintaining that made employees in this plant worked in a good mood and high level of belong sense (Gardner & Martinko 2002)
And the comparably poor performance of Martin’s plant in the long term may due to his ignorance of the relationship building to make people feel insecurity in working. And in the meantime, the ceasing of regular maintenances of machine may result in greater cost to repair or buy new machines without the regular maintenances in the future (Gardner & Martinko 2002).
Question 3: If you were selected to be the manager of this plant, what would you do to achieve both high employee satisfaction and performance?
With full consideration of the situation of this plant in Perfect manufacturing, we will use the charismatic and visionary leadership to manage the situation to achieve both high employee satisfaction and performance.
Choi (2006) advocated that charismatic leader has the capability to inspire and motivate the subordinates to do more than they could do normally, in spite of obstacles or personal sacrifice. And under the charismatic and visionary leadership, followers are often willing to put their own interest aside for the sake of the interests of their team, department or the entire organization.
At first, to reach the high employee satisfaction, we may maintain these good aspects as Joe had done to build a good relationship with employees in this plant. As the charismatic leader, it is effective and crucial to display the ability to understand the needs of employee in this plant both their needs on their job and life as Joe used to do. And the charismatic leader will also show empathy with the employees on their misfortune or troubles and offer them suitable assistance to gain their support and favor.
Secondly, besides winning the favor from employees and establish the good relationship with them, the achievement on tasks should also be emphasized, which is what the charismatic leader often does. In this plant, to improve employees’ performance, this second step besides the relationship building is to clarify a lofty vision about the imagined future vision to gain the identification of employees. in brief to set a clear and achievable goal for this plant and make the people in this plant has a full understanding on what they should do.
Thirdly, it is the most important part for the charismatic leader to perform that is to offer guidance and assistance to people in this plant to know how to fulfill the goals.
Of course, besides the three major steps to achieve both the high employee satisfaction and performance, some detailed aspects may also be emphasized as the charismatic leader in this plant to improve the current situation as below in table 1.0.
Table 1.0 what the charismatic leader should do in this plant of Perfect Manufacturing
Source: adopted from Bass, B. 2007, The inspirational processes of leadership, Journal of Management Development, vol.7, no.5,