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Blake and McCanse (1991 cited in Northouse 2010) mentioned there are five type leadership behaviors respectively from five types of leaderships including country club management, middle of the road management, impoverished management, authority compliance and team management shown in figure 1.0. And the country club management takes place when primary focus is given to people instead of working outputs. The middle of the road management occurs when a moderate degree of concern for both people and production. Impoverished management reflects the absences of a management philosophy and managers in companies devote little effort on the interpersonal relationship building or work accomplishment. Authority compliance management means the efficiency in operations takes up a dominant orientation in the company. And the team management refers to organization members work together under the direction of the leader to accomplish tasks, which is considered as the most effective style and recommended for leaders to use.
Figure 1 The leadership Grid Figure
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And in the meantime, the team management leadership shows an equal concern on both people and task which often involves leadership behaviors in improving both relationships with employees and task accomplishments (Bass & Bass 2008). With reference to this theory and the case information, we may regard these leadership behaviors of Norton in this Airline Company as both focuses on relationship building and task accomplishments which may be considered as the most effective ones of the situation of the new Airline Company. And we will have an analysis on the two kinds of leadership behaviors demonstrated by Norton in the Airline Company referring to the case information
1.1 People oriented leadership behaviors
To build up an enthusiastic, excited and optimistic working team in the Airline Company, Norton had devoted himself to form a new type of organization compared with others to present and foster a better way for employees in his company to work together with continuous efforts in enhancing their creativity and productivity as well. To actually realize this dreams, Norton had behaviors as the following described to fully optimize the capability of employees and build good relationships with them.
Primarily, Norton took advantage of his excellent communication ability to clarify the company vision, philosophy and related issues to employees to make them have a full and thorough understanding of their company with seizing every opportunity. This kind of education and communication with employees enabled employees in the Airline Company to remove misunderstanding and strengthen their confidence on the promising future of their company (Harvey & Broyles 2010), which made many employees regard Norton as an inspiration leader and a good number of followers to support Norton.
Next, to build up a harmonious working atmosphere and relationship with staffs in the Airline Company, Norton replaced the typical bureaucratic structure with a simplified three managerial levels and a small number of support staff, which may be a good measures to reduce the barriers in communication and performance evaluation inside a company due to the hindrances from hierarchy structure (Cameron 2011). With the contribution of this leadership behavior concentrating on people, the image of equity, informality and participating leader was set up for Norton, which made him easier to keep the good relationship with his employees and communicate with them fully because many people in his Airline Company had a good impression and evaluation on his behaviors as the good leader (Bass & Bass 2008).
Once more, toward newly employed people, Norton showed great care for them as well. To seek some passionate and potential young employees, Norton employed the screens to carefully observe and evaluate their performance to give chances and stages for these young people to show their ability and working passion. Such kind of behaviors may not only make employees working more active and positive to gain the promising future career but also convince employees of the great attention paid by their boss on them, which was worth praising (Bass & Bass 2008).
Besides the above, Norton took the managerial works serious as well. He replaced the status perk for his Airline Company with a more suitable way. As Norton know the point that a good relationship between the upper management and staff and the good working morale as well passion had better be built up and kept by the efforts from all the staff (Harvey & Broyles 2010), he encouraged these managerial level employees to be more open minded and self control. He promoted managers in his Airline Company to finish these trivial things by themselves rather than relying too much on their subordinates such as answering phone calls and typing letters, which was so helpful for employees in Norton’s company to enjoy the admiration and care laid on them by their leader. At the same time, Norton also devoted himself to improving the communication for employees with their managers. For example, teams were built up to facilitate the communication inside the origination and some delegators were chosen by employees to show their concerns and advices for their company, which was to facilitate the decision making and the accurate rate of these ongoing strategy by the efforts from the overall company (Cameron 2011).
Furthermore, Norton was a good leader to carry out many behaviors with great consideration on the interest of his employees. From the case, we know the salary of employees in Norton’s Airline Company may be less than other competitors offered to their people. But Norton tried to increase the customer number and cost save to increase the additional incoming of employees including incoming from the fringe benefits, profit sharing and so on, which increased employees’ total income from another part. And at the same time, one of the favorable policies for employees in Norton’s Airline Company was to be allowed to buy the company shares with a reduces prices, which may not only increasing employees incomings from the dividends of the shares but also improve their sense of belonging towards their organization since they hold the company shares that they were the shareholders of this company, too (Cheffins 2008).
All in all, all of these leadership behaviors from Norton on the employee oriented aspect were proved with effect that in no more than three years, this Airline Company had expanded with more then 3,000 employees in serving 20 cities. Such kind of large number of employees attracted and retained by Norton’s company proved the excellences of his behaviors.
1.2 Task oriented leadership behaviors
Northouse (2010) mentioned the task oriented leadership behaviors often means company leaders direct and guide employees to work towards goal attainment. Besides the people oriented leadership behaviors, Norton had many practised to achieve company goals. From the case, the ultimate goal of Norton’s Airline may be to attract more and more customers even from some competitors and reach a good business performance by via attractive selling points to customers including low cost air tickets, flexible timetable and convenient customer services.
Primarily speaking, Norton employed the reducing of operating fees to reduce the ticket price for customers. As the case told us, Norton educate, direct and lead his employees to work more self-managed with few number of support staff, which was a kind of means for this Airline Company to save cost from recruiting more support staff.
And once again, to address employees the importance of customers for their business, air tickets were done in some travel agent and even on the airplane with a special designed machines which also facilitate this Airline to save operating fees. At the same time, Norton also reduce the ordinary salary of employees in his company to facilitate the low price ticket strategy to customers, which was to attract customers by the support of reducing employees’ salary as one of the expense in companies’ operating fees.
At the same time, the purchasing strategy executed by Norton was also triumphant. He led the company to buy these kinds of aircrafts which was considered as a surplus by some companies at a low price. For the Airline Companies, one of the largest expenses for them may be the expense on buying aircrafts (MacPherson 2009), so for Norton to buy some discount aircrafts became a good choice to save money via improving selling.
At last, Norton’s excellent behaviors on task accomplishment were expressed in the reconfiguring project of aircrafts, which was to convert the first class into coach seats to increase the capacity of aircrafts. This kind of behavior executed by Norton was to increase the customer number for an aircraft to earn more to facilitate the low price ticket for customers as well.
In a word, all of these behaviors expressed by Norton in the task accomplishment field may be all designed deliberately and executed properly, which resulted in a good company performance for this Airline Company in its beginning years.