Leadership and organizational effectiveness: case study of Maxwell Group

Case two

Question 1:

Strengths and weaknesses

i. McClelland’ theory of needs

The needs of people are required to be met at different time and shaped mainly by people’s experience in their life. And their needs are classified into three such as the achievement needs, the affiliation needs and the needs of power proposed by McClelland’ theory of needs (Royle & Hall 2012). And the motivation and effectiveness of an individual towards his or her job are impacted by the three kinds of needs.

In the next, this theory of needs will support us to examine leadership development in Maxwell.

ii. Strengths


In the first place, leadership development in Maxwell Group is specific to the real needs of employees in this group. The three subsidiaries operate their leadership development themselves, which makes the three companies more flexible and freely to manage the needs of leadership development in their companies especially to remove some unnecessary processes and make the development results more valuable.

In the second place, the engineering company supported its employees with the development of the technical training and management training may meet the needs of people in this company to a good extent. From James statement, allocating the chance for employees to attend the leadership training according to their needs and sponsoring half of the training expenses were so attractive and meaningful which may support Maxwell to cultivate more leaders.

In the third place, leadership development in Alexis Preston’s company majored in making consumer products owns its strengths too. According to Alexis’ statement, manager at each level in this company were given some chances to develop themselves, which was professional. It may support managers at each level in this company to gain actual development and improvement with a relatively effective way. For this reason, we consider it is the strengths (Nowell & Boyd).

In the last place, in the company of Jon Cowell, leadership development made people with improved enterprising. From Jon’s statement, people showed high level of zest in attending the leadership development. In this point, we belief the leadership development in Jon’s company rouse people’s passion in developing which may support their performance to be improve in the future and benefit their company too. It is its strength (Nowell & Boyd).

Theoretical basis

The reasons for us to consider these strengths in Maxwell leadership development are because they meet the needs of people on motivation and effectiveness towards their jobs in Maxwell (Royle & Hall 2012). In the first place, Maxwell’s leadership development meets people’s needs for higher achievement, which provide people in Maxwell with higher possibility to success by developing their leadership skills to meet the requirement of higher job positions in Maxwell (Royle & Hall 2012).

In the second place, Maxwell’s leadership development meets people’s need for power too. The aim of leadership development in Maxwell is to cultivate the future leaders in Maxwell, which gives people higher possibility to fulfill their needs to direct others and respect by others in the future. Thus, it may motivate people to attend the development for leadership actively and achieve good results in developing their leading skills (Royle & Hall 2012).

Thus, from the two part, the leadership development is Maxwell own its strengths to motivate people and improve their effectiveness towards their jobs too.

ii. Weaknesses


In the first place, the leadership developments may be not so unified which are operated respectively in different companies. Although it may own high level of specialty in meeting people’s needs, it may result in higher cost and waste too.

In the second place, in James’s company, some impropriate management in leadership development including improper management on employees’ training expenditure reimbursement and the improper prediction on employees’ future career requirement made Maxwell have to pay a lot including talent leave and money loss on leadership development area (Nowell & Boyd). In the third place, in Alexis’ company, unequal chance for people to be developed also caused many people’s complaints which may ne not healthy for the friendly working environment building and team development in the future (Nowell & Boyd).

At last, leadership development in Jon’s company caused political fighting which wasn’t good for Maxwell to build stable and friendly working atmosphere (Nowell & Boyd).

Theoretical basis

In the theory of needs, McClelland stated briefly if companies fail to meet employees’ needs in achievement, affiliation and power, it may bring many side effects (Royle & Hall 2012). Thus, there weaknesses reflected in Maxwell’s leadership development may be caused by such reason.

In James’s company, it may neglect the higher achievement needs of employees after their successful developing their ability, which may many people leave this company to search for high position or payment (Royle & Hall 2012). In companies for Alexis and Jon, they neglect to meet employees’ needs on affiliation to create harmonious relationship among employees and the high acceptance for each people by their colleagues caused the complaints and political infightings (Royle & Hall 2012).

Question 2:

Changes to improve quality of leadership development

By full analysis of the strengths and weaknesses in Maxwell on leadership development, following changes are recommended to improve its quality.

i. Goal setting and objectives clarification

To improve leadership development’s quality in Maxwell, the objectives of leadership development in Maxwell should be set up and clarified in the first place, to make every body in Maxwell develop the thorough understanding and knowledge on why we have this leadership development program and what it will bring for us in the future (Fiedler 1996). According to the needs of CEO in Maxwell on leadership development to cultivate more leaders and the basic situation of the ongoing leadership development activities, the objectives and benefits of this leadership development program should be added with more concepts as follows.

In the first place, the leadership program in Maxwell is aimed to cultivate more future leaders in Maxwell to support Maxwell to expand fast. In the second place, this program asks for the employees’ engagement, and these good performers will be given promising career developing chances and competitive monetary return in future with retention in Maxwell.

By the concise and clear goal setting and benefits statement on leadership development issue in Maxwell, people may gain better understanding on the benefits of this program for them and their retention in Maxwell may help them gain good return instead of leaving Maxwell in the future (Fiedler 1996).

ii. Unify and standardize leadership development program in Maxwell

Respectively operating leadership development in the three subsidiaries in Maxwell may contribute to waste and high cost. And the suggestion from the CFO to design a more unified approach in leadership development shows the worries of improper spending on the current program too.

For this reason, in future, leadership development should be aligned with the mission, strategy and objectives of Maxwell first to make leadership development bring the current and future benefits for Maxwell both (Fiedler 1996).

And then, to unify leadership development approach, profiles for leadership development will be added by outlining the competency requirements on Maxwell on this issue and then edit them into the curriculums of leadership development programs too. Most important, these rules or curriculums of leadership development should be shared and approved by people in Maxwell first, which may be more acceptable and high qualified to meet employees’ needs and requirements (Gary & Richard 2004).

In short, by unifying leadership development approach in Maxwell, cost will be saved and consequences of the program may also be improved.

iii. Focusing on feedbacks and empowerment

Only with feedbacks, the future leadership programs may be operated more successfully in Maxwell.

In the first place, participants in leadership development program will be surveyed in future focusing on gathering information of its strengths and weaknesses and its benefit on people’ potential growth field (Gary & Richard 2004). With these feedbacks, improvement may be more easily to carry out to improve the quality of the leadership development.

In the second place, to empower some people who don’t enter the leadership development program at that time some responsibilities and put them in the center of the process to support the operation of that time’s leadership development to make these people feel they are concerned and thought highly by Maxwell instead of being neglected (Gary & Richard 2004). This approach may reduce the resistance or complaints of people on this programs and improve the sense of belonging of people who loss the chances to participate the leadership development programs too (Gary & Richard 2004).

Question 3

To ensure the high quality outcomes brought by leadership development programs in Maxwell, full preparation for this program in Maxwell should be developed to show the CEO its real value. Thus there is much additional information required in the report to the CEO too such as the program objectives, curriculums, participants, faculty, required investment, learning models and admissions (Caligiuri & Lazarova 2001).

In the first place, to report the CEO on the integrated views of the expected results from the leadership development for Maxwell in the future by employing advanced strategies and tactics to make the CEO accept our design of leadership development by its good returns and high value (Caligiuri & Lazarova 2001).

In the second place, report to the CEO on the faculty who will be appointed to take charge of the leadership development in Maxwell. In this report, the job design and content for these specialists should be stated to gain more support from the CEO on the modified leadership development in Maxwell in the future (Caligiuri & Lazarova 2001).

In the third place, the leadership development is to serve employees with higher potential and prospect for leadership in Maxwell in the future (Caligiuri & Lazarova 2001). Thus, these investments on this program are important to be shown for the CEO with careful comparing the cost and return on the program. The good return from this leadership development program may win more support from the CEO. And some suggestions given by the CEO will make this leadership development programs with higher quality.

In the fourth place, learning models of the leadership development program in Maxwell should be shown to the CEO too (Caligiuri & Lazarova 2001). For instance, developing curriculums and their functions for participants, program structure such as its length, materials demand and classroom components should be included too (Caligiuri & Lazarova 2001). The deliberate structure for the program will let the CEO develop a boarder view on this program and gives us the most relevant evaluation on this leadership development program for Maxwell in the future.

At last, the sponsoring statement of this leadership development should be included in the report too (Caligiuri & Lazarova 2001). If Maxwell pays for the bill of the leadership development fully, the budget may be bigger than the previous time. And when the return isn’t be predicted so exactly, such kind of big investment on the leadership development program may not be so worthwhile. Thus, we may pay for just a certain amount of the fees for employees first. And when people achieved good performance in this program and also determine to stay at Maxwell for many years or even longer, then the rest tuition fees may be worked as the reward for them. Or other kinds of effective payment measures with clear explanations will be included in the report to the CEO to accept the evaluation from him.


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