CASE STUDY NO 1 – CONSOLIDATED PRODUCT
QUESTION 1 – Compare the leadership traits and behaviors of Ben Samuels and Phil Jones
By referring to the case, we define the meaning of traits and behaviour. Traits means a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person. Behavior define the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards other. Based on the case, we can compare the leadership traits and behavior between Ben Samuels and Phil Jones.
Ben Samuels was a people-oriented leader who shows respect to the people or subordinates, give time and encouragement, display trust and showed acceptance. We can see that he was very well liked by the employees there. He allowed employees to participate in social company’s activities. He showed respect by knowing most of the worker’s name. Ben will try to help the workers if they had a special problem. He put trust on his supervisor by giving the authority to make a decision and let them to develop the plant.
Ben Samuels was an Employee-centered leader. His leadership behavior displays a focus on the needs of his subordinates. He believed that it was important to treat employees properly so they would have a sense of loyalty to the company. He spent part of each day to visit them and very concern on their needs and feelings.
He also proves that he was totally fall under an Advisory-role which means he always provide advice, guidance and support in his subordinates need. He responsible for developing broad organizational capabilities rather than accomplishing specific business result. It can be seen that the plant department had the lowest turnover among the company’s five plants, but the second worst record for costs and production levels.
We can say that Ben Samuels used a democratic approach. He delegates authority, encourages participation, relies on subordinates for completion of tasks, and depends on subordinates’ respect for influence.
Phil Jones is a task-oriented behavior. He clarifies task objectives and job responsibilities. He also set the performance expectation and evaluate the performance. He checked the progress and quality of their work. From the case, we can see that he had establish high performance standards for their developments and insist that people achieve them. A computer monitoring system was introducing so that the output of each worker could be checked closely against the standards. He told his supervisors to give any worker who had substandard performance one warning and if performance did not improve within 2 weeks, that person will be fired.
Phil Jones shows that he is a Job-centered leader. His leadership behavior which direct the activities towards efficiency, cost-cutting and scheduling. His dimension is on the goal emphasis and work facilitation. In the case, Phil made a cost-cutting move, he reduced the
frequency of equipment maintenance which required machines to be idled when they could be productive. When business slow for one of the product lines, Phil laid off workers rather than finding someone else for them to do. On the Phil’s first year, production costs were reducing 20 percent and production output was up by 10 percent.
We can define that Phil Jones approach was fall under autocratic approach. He centralized authority and derives power from position, controls of reward and coercion. He established high performance standards by introducing a new monitoring system so that the output of each worker could be checked. Because of his autocratic approach, three supervisor’s left and turnover was decreased due to workers who were fired.
Phil Jones has his own strength which his role is on the operational role. He used vertically oriented leadership role. He has direct control over people and resources and the position power to accomplish results. Phil’s successfully deliver the result.
QUESTION 2 – Which leader do you think is more effective? Why? Which leader would you prefer work for?
As mentioned above, Phil Jones acts as operational role while Ben Samuels act as advisory role but Phil Jones has autocratic behavior and Ben Samuels democratic behavior. Phil Jones and Ben Samuels have their own traits and leadership role that give pro and con to company and also to subordinates.
For my opinion operational leader is more effective because they are someone who sees how the individual elements of an organization fit together and work to create the larger outcome. When they think about issues, their focus is on what systems and processes are needed or will be impacted. These leaders serve a key role in ensuring that things get done in an effective and efficient manner. The main focus of this type of leader is on production efficiencies, quality improvements, variable cost reduction and ease of manufacture.
Leaders who have democratic behavior are more effective than autocratic behavior but this trait usually depends on field of work. In an autocratic leadership style, the person in charge has total authority and control over decision making. By virtue of their position and job responsibilities, they not only control the efforts of the team, but monitor them for completion –often under close scrutiny. This style is best used in situations where control is necessary, often where there is little margin for error such manufacturing company. When conditions are dangerous, rigid rules can keep people out of harm’s way. Many times, the subordinate staff is inexperienced or unfamiliar with the type of work and heavy oversight is necessary.
As a worker in consumer production, I will prefer to work with operational leader with autocratic behavior because this type of leader can provide stability to the organization. They have a knack and ability to create infrastructures that work to accomplish the needs of the others in an organization by creating the systems to transform needs into solutions. They devise systems for every problem to make things run smoothly by creating policies, guidelines and instructions to ensure that things happen the right way, the first time. They can prevent businesses or projects from becoming stagnant because of poor organization or lack of leadership. They are very effective when decisions must come quickly, without time to consult others. So the autocratic leader is more effective rather than democratic leader because they can keep teams from missing important deadlines and error-free outcomes.
QUESTION 3 – If you were Phil Jones’s boss, what would you do now?
As a management leader for Phil Jones, firstly I will review Phil Jones’s performance compared to previous Manager. Then I will always discuss, give some advises and monitor the action taken by Phil Jones. After that I will explain and create awareness about importance of policies and procedures in field of work and impacts of not followed the SOP. Finally, the SOP needs to be endorsed so it can be used as guidelines.
The plant has a worst record of cost and productivity because of the incompetence of previous manager. As a manufacturer of consumer product, any error should not be arise so we need to hired a responsible Manager that can align and control the production and productivity of employees so Phil Jones prove that he can handle and solve the problem immediately. After review his performance, I am very agreed with the changes make by Phil Jones and also his leadership role. The actions taken by Phil Jones is right such as cost cutting for unproductive activities, establish high performance standard, implement monitoring system and others planning. His leadership style also helps company to improve the productivity and reduce the cost even though employee turnover is high.
To keep loyalty of employees in order to retain a talent and experienced worker, I will always discuss with Phil Jones about his planning, achievement and result including talent management. As autocratic leadership, it is difficult balancing the use of authority with the morale of the team so I will advise Phil Jones to always respect the subordinates, explain the rules, be consistently and fairly and educate before enforce in order to having everyone understand his expectations to avoid miscommunications and misunderstandings.
I am also will help Phil Jones to conduct the plant by his style as long as productivity improves and cost is reduced. At the same time, I’m also need to make sure all the staff can adapt with these new changes by giving an explanation and create awareness about importance of SOP and implications if not followed by allow opinions from them and encourage staff to express themselves. Permitting employees to offer suggestions even if ideas aren’t adopted, people appreciate the freedom to share their thoughts.
I will propose to endorse the standard of procedure and policies made by Phil Jones to the top management (Board of Directors) so the procedures and policies can be enforced and implemented in the whole plant and all employees should follow the rules without exception.
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