Case Study On Leadership Scenario

Published: 2021-06-22 00:32:58
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Category: Goals, Workplace, Job, Management, Leadership, Human Resource Management

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Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Theory
Both supermarket managers’ mode of leadership can be explained using Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational theory that states that successful leadership is achieved by opting for the right leadership style and the sub-ordinates readiness (Robbins & Judge, 2007). Readiness is the willingness and ability to carry out a certain task. The degree of willingness and ability is determined by the experience that one has in doing the tasks required. Alex and Stephanie are mature workers in their fields of work since they have over three months experience, and they understand their duties. Jonathan uses the recommended form of leadership whereby he offers minimal direction to Stephanie who is willing and able to work, since she has vast knowledge and experience of the culinary department and other departments because of the job rotation employed by Jonathan as a means of breaking job monotony. On the other hand, Alex’s knowledge in the produce section is limited since he has been working on the display of produce since he started working at the supermarket. Alex knows the tasks he is supposed to carry out, but Dan treats him like a worker who is unable and unwilling to work, by giving excessive instructions. Instructions and specific directions are given to new employees until they grasp the tasks allocated to them. Alex is a worker who is able but unwilling to work therefore he needs a participative and supportive approach of leadership. The problem is that Alex’s current working atmosphere is not conducive for him to change his attitude positively towards work. Ayman & Korabuk (2010) argue that a difference in culture between a leader and the subordinate can contributes to a reduced leader-member relationship due to cultural conflict. This might be an explanation to the poor relationship between Alex and Dan, while Dan seems to be in good terms with Denise. Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational theory recommends that a new worker needs specific direction in doing tasks until he/she is accustomed to the tasks, the manager should sequentially withdraw supportive and participative assistance as the worker matures in the job.
Path-Goal Theory
A leader has the mandate to provide workers with resources, information, and all required support for the workers to reach expected targets. In this theory, the leader clarifies the activities and goals that the worker should achieve as well as offer the support that will assist the worker in his/her tasks (Robbins & Judge, 2007). Jonathan offers exemplary leadership by frequently appraising his workers giving them goals, this is evident in Alex and Stephanie’s lunch break discussion whereby Stephanie said that they had a meeting with her manager Jonathan, they set goals, and agreed that Stephanie would get a bonus of $75 if she met her goal. On the other hand, Dan uses a different and unethical approach whereby he interrupts Alex’s lunch break and reprimands him in front of Stephanie, he uses a negative form of motivation by shouting and demoralizing Alex. Both managers use different methods of directing and supporting their subordinates, but the effects of the method used differ. Stephanie has a challenging target of selling 10 bottles of truffle oil but she is optimistic since she has the knowledge to sell the product and Jonathan offers a favorable working atmosphere as well as motivation but offering $75 if she meets her target. Dan believes in repeating tasks to gain perfection, therefore he allocates his workers fixed tasks to work on indefinitely. Hence, Dan does not offer his sub-ordinates much support since their tasks are fixed. The fixed allocation of tasks causes boredom of work due to monotony, and deters creativity, innovation and the identification of a workers strengths and weaknesses. This is clear when comparison is made with Jonathan’s culinary department that has thrived due to the encouragement of creativity, innovation, taking advantage of Stephanie’s strengths of marketing culinary products, and a comfortable working atmosphere is an additional motivating factor. Dan is a directive leader, he knows what needs to be done and gives specific instructions on what needs to be done, for an experienced worker like Alex, the instructions are redundant since he has been doing the same task over a long period of time. Jonathan leadership approach is achievement-oriented leader because he sets challenging goals and expects his sub-ordinates to perform to their best in meeting the goals. Jonathan attaches rewards to the goals they set with a worker as motivation towards the realization of that goal.
Equity Theory
Workers compare the energy they spend on a task to the reward they expect to receive. They are most willing to carry out tasks that have rewards that are equivalent or less that to the energy, they will spend on that task (Koontz, 2007). Equity is present if the energy spent by the worker is equivalent to the energy the worker spends. An employees who feel inequitably treated tend to; opt to leave their jobs or prefer a transfer, expend reduced effort in their tasks, yearn for better treatment and appreciation of their work, look for ways to make their work seem better by comparison. Alex feels inequitably treated by his manager Dan, since he has been complaining about work and he expresses his job dissatisfaction to Stephanie in the lunch break whereby he does not want to see apples, because working on them all morning, this is a sign of monotony affecting his mood and attitude. He also complains that Denise has the permission to work in different areas while he is fixed to one area, and she is paid $2 more that he is per hour although she started working at supermarket after Alex. Alex feels demoralized by his manager because of ill treatment, and the lack of the appreciation of his work and the lack of motivation. On the other hand, Stephanie is happy with her job, Jonathan carries out frequent appraisals on his sub-ordinates and creates targets and goals with them, and he offers rewards if the worker meets the targets. Stephanie explained to Alex that she had a challenging task of selling 10 expensive bottles of truffle oil on the following week, but she was willing and confident in meeting the target because of the bonus attached to the target and her confidence and knowledge task. Stephanie perceives the bonus reward as equitable to the sale of 10 bottles of truffle oil, since she is positive and motivated by the offer.
Expectancy Theory
This theory states that a worker will put more effort in their work if; the organization’s rewards will assist the worker to fulfill their personal goals, if an appraisal will lead to an organizational reward, and it the workers effort will lead to a positive performance appraisal (DuBrin, 2009). Both Stephanie and Alex are motivated by the fact that they need work full time at the supermarket so that they can meet their basic needs and pay for college tuition, although the pay they receive for their services is low. Apart from negative criticism, Alex receives no positive motivation from his manager Dan. On the other hand, Jonathan carries out appraisals on his sub-ordinates that positively affect the workers since they get to assess the worker performance together and to set new goals. When setting new goals Jonathan attaches a reward to that goal as motivation for the worker to reach the goal. The bonus of $75 that was attached to the Stephanie’s goal of selling 10 bottles of truffle oil will assist Stephanie in meeting her personal goals, and it will positively affect her job profile as a worker in the supermarket. The effort that Stephanie expends in her work is visible through the increased sales she makes at the culinary department, and her manager Jonathan appreciates these efforts since they compliment his management style, and the supermarket enjoys increased income. Dan has no mechanism of appreciating or assessing Alex’s effort, hence no matter how hard Alex works; Dan cannot appreciate Alex’s contribution to the produce department. The lack positive motivation on Alex compounded with demoralization, causes Alex to lace Dan’s sandwich with dirt as a way to hit back at Dan. Alex’s action is unethical, and it does not help in solving his work related problems. Alex’s action is an example of the retaliations that mangers receive from disgruntled employees, another forms of retaliation that mangers experience from disgruntled employees include a go slow, and poor service customers.
Ayman, R. & Korabuk, K.(2010). Leadership: Why Gender and Culture matter. American Psychologist.
DuBrin, A. J. (2009). Essentials of management. Mason, OH: Thomson Business & Economics.
Koontz, H., & Weihrich, H. (2007). Essentials of management: An international perspective. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill.
Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2007). Organizational behavior. Pearson/Prentice Hall Publishing.

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