Leadership in Flux
Analyze the problems at this company as portrayed in the scenario.
The bureaucratic nature of organizations where senior managers utilize a top-down approach when dealing with workers creates communication and leadership problems. In this case study, the production manager fails to demonstrate effective communication by ignoring issues raised by Berta, a member of the production team. Nicolas, the production manager fails to recognize that there is a strong link between communication and effective leadership. There is an issue that Berta is trying to raise regarding the decline in the quality of raw material supplied by vendors. In this scenario, the manager fails to examine factors likely to affect production efficiency. Turaga (2019) posits that managers need to improve communication and leadership to improve efficiency and strengthen internal relationships. The decision to ignore Berta’s concerns because no other team member had a similar problem discredits his manager’s ability to coordinate team effort.
Describe the leadership style demonstrated by the manager.
Nicolas, the production manager demonstrates an autocratic leadership style. Per Avolio et al. (2009), the autocratic leadership style is predominantly concerned with efficiency in operation and achievement of good results. As such, autocratic leaders decide for themselves or prefer to involve very few people during the decision-making process. In this case study, Nicolas is a typical autocratic leader who is so much concerned with achieving production results at the expense of reviewing internal and external factors responsible for achieving set targets. In addition, autocratic leaders like Nicolas are often quick to blame others for problems arising in organizations. He is threatening to sack the production team for their failure to address quality problems at the production stage. Here, Nicolas demonstrates poor leadership.
Describe the steps in the communication process that were not addressed.
There are myriad aspects of communication that were not addressed in the case study. Turaga (2019) asserts that an effective communication process should include encoding, planning, selecting the right medium, and feedback processes. In this case, Nicolas ought to have planned for the meeting prior by providing items for discussion and welcoming team members to include any other aspects for discussion. In a typical production unit, the staff should work as a team, and thus, all views and opinions need to be considered and respected. Unfortunately, failure to respond to Berta’s issue negatively affects the company’s sales due to consistent complaints by customers regarding poor-quality products. Additionally, the feedback stage was poorly handled. The production manager did not allocate adequate time for members to respond to matters discussed. Here, the manager only allows 3 seconds for members to raise queries.
Explain the aspects of the leadership process that were neglected.
The manager fundamentally ignored the process of integrated management of business performance. Nicolas reacts to most urgent issues regarding expected results but ignores symptoms relating to the diminishing quality of products. In addition, the production is divided into units that are not functional thereby promoting ineffective communication and inefficiency. In this case, the manager tends to blame team members, yet he refused when presented with the opportunity to address pertinent with vendors supplying defective raw materials. He is out of touch with the key processes of the production unit. Avolio et al. (2009) reveal that the first process that a leader should execute is strengthening teams and allocating responsibility among them. The process of defining responsibilities is significant in examining those responsible for problems arising in an organization.
Communication and leadership process in relationship to employee effectiveness
An effective manager can personalize communication to support the leadership process of assessing business needs to establish a better working relationship. In view of this, leaders may not find time to talk to each employee within an organization. However, a leader should speak in a way that employees perceive they are being addressed directly. Moreover, getting to address personalized matters like the one addressed by Berta is a step towards building a sustainable relationship tied to organizational culture. Consequently, a manager can improve the effectiveness of employees by inspiring them through communication during the process of developing strategy and vision. Based on Avolio et al. (2009), there is a need for managers to accommodate divergent views and suggestions of employees relevant to the short and long-term objectives. Thus, leaders need to accord power and create space for employees to participate in the decision-making process. For that reason, employees are more effective if they are made to believe that their efforts contribute towards organizational success.
Avolio, B., Walumbwa, F. & Weber, T. (2009). Leadership: Current theories, research, and
future directions. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 421–449.
Turaga, R. (2019). Effective communication in organizations. IUP Journal of Soft Skills;
Hyderabad, 13(1), 63-69.