Leadership and organizational effectiveness: case study of perfect manufacturing 

Case one

Question 1:

Mujtaba and Alsua (2009) indicated in behavioral leadership theories, leaderships are classified because of the different focus on leaders’ specific behaviors. Thus, many behavioral theorists hold out the behaviors of a leader work as the best predictor of his or her leadership influence power and as one of the determinants of this leader’s success.

In Perfect Manufacturing, Joe and Martin have specific leadership behaviors too. In behavioral leadership theories, two major types of leadership behaviors are often emphasized one is the relation behaviors demonstrated by leaders to focus on and ensure employees’ inner needs by building human relation to motivate people (Northouse 2007). The other is task behaviors demonstrated by leaders to focus on the task achievement by behaviors such as initiating, organizing, clarifying and gathering information (Northouse 2007). Thus, Joe and Martin’s behaviors as managers will be shown next.

Joe’s behavior

In the first place, Joe is a relationship focused manager, who demonstrated the relation behaviors much including supporting, developing and recognizing rather the task behaviors. Primarily, Joe supported people in his plant carefully. He gave people more entertainment at works including establishing fitness center and encouraging social activities to show concerns with people’ s physical and psychology health. He took care of the daily life of people by developing free chatting with them to know them better. He supported people whenever they encountered problems. For example, some people may encounter the tough period which may even make them loss the ability to go on their current jobs. Joe gave them other chance to work in other position in the plant.

Secondly, Joe was also a relation manager focusing on employee developing. When he found people were in trouble such as some people may become disabled and lose the ability to maintain present jobs, he developed them to other kinds of skills to make them fit for other positions. He developed good relationship and working atmosphere in his plant to develop the self discipline for employees and supervisors to make them work by self management and regulation.

Thirdly, Joe recognized his standpoint by coaching and encouraging. Joe advocated treating people right and they would return you good jobs. He coach and encourage people to enjoy their staying at his plant and establish good working relationship with them. Finally, he recognized the lowest of vacancies and high level sense of belonging.

In the second place, Joe demonstrated some task behavior too but only scarcely. He clarified his working principle to people that treating people right they would return good jobs for you. In this standpoint, we may regard this behavior as task behavior too.

Martin’s behavior

Martin looks more like a task focus manager than relation focus manager that most of his behaviors are clarifying, planning and monitoring in his plant.

To start with, Martin clarified his working principles to people clearly once he became the manager of this plant that if people don’t want to work just fire them and find new ones, which was so task focused. He clarified his strict requirement for supervisors too that getting rid of these poor performed people if they didn’t make improvement within two weeks.

After that, Martin was good at task planning too. He planed to save cost, thus he closed fitness center, company picnics and parties and he even reduced the frequency of machine maintenance too.

Once more, Martin was a task focused manager by demonstrating intensive monitoring behaviors towards people’s performance. On the one side, Martin monitored people’s performance himself. He observed workers’ wasting time and mistake making. He set up weekly meeting to manage the performance of supervisors and the department. On the other side, he introduced computer monitoring system to monitor employees’ performance too.

Additionally, Martin demonstrated some relation behaviors too. He was good at developing too. He developed employees including workers and supervisors to be productive performers by managing them with strict requirements.

Participative or inspirational leadership

What Joe behaved in this plant looked more like a participative leader, who focuses on the team works, relationship building and supporting to employees, but not merely achieve task goals (Sherwood & DePaolo 2005). To this extent, Joe looked more like a participative leader, he gave employees support to meet their needs, he developed employees to be more qualified to some other jobs for their interests, and he recognized the good relationship between him and his employees by many relation behaviors instead of requiring more task achievements. Thus these aspects indicated he was a participative leader.

Martin behaved to a large extent to the description of the inspirational leader described by Sherwood and DePaul( 2005). Martin had great passion about the mission of the Perfect Manufacturing on task achievement. Martin was working at setting task goals and giving standard aspirations to people by strict working principles. Martin was skillful at norm building to manage people to achieve expected performance including the weekly meeting, performance management his plant. Thus, in this standpoint Martin looked more like a inspirational leader.

Question 2:

Joe’s influence and reasons

In the first place, Joe had positive and negative influences on employees’ attitudes on working. Under Joe’s influence employees were punctual towards their work and with low rate of absence, which implied employees were educated by Joe as responsible employees in his plant towards their work. It was because Joe continued to give people sufficient support and concern on their work and everyday life, which won their support for Joe and made them like the working environment in this plant. Nevertheless, the productivity of Joe’s plant wasn’t so excellent or even poor, which may be influenced by Joe too, who paid little attention on their task achievement. Thus, under this influence, employees were all punctual and prudish on their works but weren’t motivated to show higher productivity.

In the second place, Joe’s influence on this plant’s short term performance may be negative. Under Joe’s management, this plant performed the second worst on productivity and cost control, which may not meet the requirement of Perfect Manufacturing on task achievement. Thus we consider it as poor. This negative influence on short-term performance was for Joe’s little attention to the improvement of productivity and product quality but paid more attention to employees’ interests.

In the last place, Joe may have good influence on this plants’ long term performance. The ultimate aim of one organization may be the sustainable development, high employees working loyalty and continuous profitability (Ochoa & Mujtaba 2009). In this part, Joe’s plant may performance in a reasonable rate. At first, it had sustainable performance such as low vacancy rate which may stand this plant to pursue sustainable development. Secondly, people had good level of loyalty towards their jobs under Joe where there may be low turnover rate and people’s complaints or dissatisfaction. Thirdly, although the cost or productivity may not so excellent, the overall performance wasn’t terrible. In the three criteria, two out of three were good, which may show the long term performance of Joe’s plant was in a reasonable situation. It was all because Joe’s good relationship maintaining with employees to build their loyalty and responsibility towards their jobs.

Martin’s influence and reasons

In the first place, employees’ working attitudes under Martin were shown in two different angles. On one side, employees had to work so hard and wholeheartedly to avoid the risk of being sacked. On this side they were productive and task oriented towards their job. On the other side, Joe owned high fame among employees too. But his fame may all lie in negative side that he was a strict and ambitious manager in the mind of people. Thus the preference of people towards Martin may be lower than Joe. These may be on the account of Martin’s over task focused behaviors to reinforce people to work harder and harder regardless their feelings and interests.

In the second place, under Martin this plant had good short-term performance with the reduction of 20% costs and improvement of 10% production outputs. This good performance was stirred up by Martin’s task focused leadership too. He set up principles, the monitoring system and reducing maintenance frequency to machines to achieve such performance in short term.

In the last place, under Martin, this plant may have poor short-term performance. There would be resistance of people towards Marin’s leadership which focused task too much but ignore people’s interest. Thus, job vacancies and turnover rate of employee would be high in the near future. And the arbitrary reducing machines’ maintenance frequency to save cost may increase the risks of greater problems of the qualities problems in the future, which may cost more. For this reason, the long term performance of Martin’s plant may not be so good.

Question 3:

Proposals to improve employee satisfaction and performance

Luthans (2001) laid stress on the interaction of employee satisfaction and their performance in the organization. Thus, several advices will be proposed to improve employee satisfaction and their performance in this plant in the next.

First of all, to improve both people’s satisfaction and performance of their jobs, clear, brief and consistent communication should be inspired and protected as Brunetto (2002) suggested. We should ensure people in this plant are clearly informed on Perfect Manufacturing’s expectations on them, the position this factory is in the market, what they will get by their better achievements for their factory and how they will be directed towards the success. This effective communication will make employees realize the important of their efforts towards their own and Perfect Manufacturing’s benefits and the great attention their factory laid on them, which may inspire them to perform more productively with high job satisfaction.

Secondly, being the leader of this plant, getting to know people better and build cohesive team are proposed by Waldman (2011). spending more time instilling both trust and accountability between the leader and employees in this plant, setting up concise and clear expectations on people’ performance by cultivating a team working culture may ensure the success .

Thirdly, continue to train and educate people in this plant to inject this mind into their mind that our company shows great concern on their interest, feelings and their performance to let people know they are so important to our company to improve their sense of belonging and their job satisfaction to inspire them work harder according to suggestions from Gruman and Saks (2011).

Fourthly, Albrecht (2010) advocated empowering employees in the organization may improve their participant level of their jobs and performance too, which may be suitable for the situation of this plant to improve people’s productivity. We may first set up some suitable levels of new obligations or responsibilities in this plant. And then, we may push the proper decision making process to inspire people to participate these processes further to ensure employees understand the trusts of this company on them, which may make people work with higher productivity and involvement by improved job satisfaction and performance.

Fifthly, ensuring the performance monitoring and reward contribution are imperative too (Albrecht 2010). Suitable performance management and reward contribution means may motivate people in this plant work more positive and with great efforts to be rewarded rather than be punished severely, which is the power of reward.

Sixthly, providing people with regular and honest feedbacks on their performance is proposed, which could enable people know their supervisors and company watch carefully on their performance to remove their slackness in their works in this plant (Abraham et al. 2009).

At last, efforts are recommended to be made on innovations too (Abraham et al. 2009). In this plant, continuous innovation on works may give employees suitable challenges and pressures towards their jobs to make the jobs for people in this plant with more joy and fun to remove monotonous feelings and maintain their working passions towards their jobs.

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