LEAD575 - Week 4 Solution

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LEAD575 - Week 4 Solution Powered By Docstoc
					1. Chapter Questions:
   Answer the Following Questions From Chapter 11:
   Distinguish constructive conflict from socioemotional conflict and explain how to
   apply the former without having the latter become a problem.

   Constructive conflict focuses on the issues and shows respect for others opinions or
   views; the conflict does not become personal in nature. Whereas socioemotional conflict
   is personal in nature and parties in conflict will focus on one another, which evokes
   powerful reactions from both parties.

   “Unfortunately, conflict often becomes emotional and personal. Rather than focusing on
   the issue, each party perceives the other party as the problem” (McShane , McShane, Von
   Glinow, 2004, p. 389). Perception is simple, if someone feels attacked, defensive
   mechanisms take over and the what should have been a simple conflict can quickly spiral
   into in to a personal conflict. Avoiding such conflicts requires skill on both the leader
   and employee’s part.

   Some ideas for applying contrastive conflict without it becoming personal:
   1. Understand the source of the conflict – without understanding the actual source of
      the conflict, leaders cannot begin the process of finding common ground, which will
      make it difficult to find resolution.
   2. Reduce ambiguity – Uncertainty cannot loom within an organization;, everyone
      must be clear on the expectations. Once expectations are set then people will abide
      by the rules. Ambiguity is the major contributor to mediocrity.
   3. Reduce Differentiation – By reducing the differences that exist within and
      organization, leadership is reducing the chance for personal conflict. Leaders must
      have the ability to highlight the commonality of everyone’s background in order to
      motivate people to work through conflict in a constructive manner. Such things as
      generation gaps can leader to personal conflicts.
   4. Build cohesiveness – A cohesive team is a productive team. Cohesiveness builds
      trust and people are more apt to be more forgiving with emotions than the members
      of a dysfunctional team. Emotional intelligence plays a role in this also, as people will
      anticipate others reaction and have the ability to control their own emotions
   5. Establish supportive team norms – Norms are the definition of accepted behavior
      by the group. By encouraging certain behaviors and discouraging others, teams can
      stave off personal conflict.
   6. Communication – Get people talking. The more people talk to one another the more
      they will understand one another, thus reducing the stereotypes and anxiety, which
      can lead to reduced personal conflict.
       Taking a strong look at the team dynamics can give a leader the ability to help transform
       a team from personal to constructive conflict. It does require work from everyone and
       desire to leave personal feeling at the door and understand that they are focusing on
       organizational goals.

       McShane, S.L., McShane, S., Von Glinow M.A. (2004) Organizational Behavior. New
         York: McGraw-Hill

The chief executive officer of Creative Toys Inc. read about cooperation in Japanese
companies and vowed to bring this same philosophy to the company. The goal is to avoid
all conflict, so that employees would work cooperatively and be happier at Creative Toys.
Discuss the merits and limitations of the proposed conflict avoidance policy.

There are many arguments for and against dealing with conflicts within an organization. One
significant difference is Japanese culture is based on collectiveness, where as America is not.
Conflict is normal within American companies and is seen as healthy. In Japan, conflict is seen
as a deterrent to team cohesion and agreeableness on the part of the worker.

The merits of a conflict avoidance policy may be:

       1.  Promotes group harmony/unity – Avoiding conflict will allow people to work in a
          less stressful environment, thus promoting more harmony and avoiding disruptions.
       2. Promotes interdependence - Although everyone works in a collectiveness
          environment, they still have their own identity.
       3. Long term rewards – With group unity, people focus on the long-term rewards
          opposed to the short-term; this also focuses on the organizational goals.

The limitations of such a policy are:

       1. The conflict remains. There is never resolution to a conflict
       2. Unfair – No input, decisions not made as a team and must be accepted
       3. Frustration – Because conflicts are not confronted, they still exist which causes
          frustration, which will lead to further conflict.
       4. Loss of self –interest – People do not want to be seen as individuals; promoting
          one’s self is not favored. Workers must be willing to set aside their own interest and
          accept the team collectiveness mentality.
Ohbuchi, K., Atsumi, E. (2010). Avoidance Brings Japanese Employees What They Care About
  in Conflict Management: Its Functionality and ‘‘Good Member’’ Image. Negotiation and
  Conflict Management Research, 3(2), 117-129. Retrieved March 7, 2010 from


Answer the Following Questions From Chapter 12:

Your employees are skilled and experienced customer service representatives who perform
non-routine tasks, such as solving unique customer problems or special needs with the
company’s equipment. Use path-goal theory to identify the most appropriate leadership
style(s) you should use in this situation. Be sure to fully explain your answer and discuss
why other styles are inappropriate.

Judging from the first sentence, the skill level of these employees is high and they have the
ability to work on their own and have better than average problem solving abilities. In addition,
management trusts the employees to handle unique customer needs, some which may fall outside
the realm of the norm.

Direction is not needed, the employees seem to be self-directed and have a clear understanding
of their responsibilities and the expectations. The directive approach may seem like
micromanaging to this group of employees, thus making it an ineffective method of leading.

Although supportive styles can be used, I believe that in the case of the experienced employees,
who are confident in their abilities, will not benefit from this type of leadership as well as others.
Those who are not as confident or are new to the organization will require a supportive leader in
order to build confidence both in self and in the team.

In this case there are two styles which would lend themselves nicely to this team.

     1. Participative – “behaviors encourage and facilitate subordinate involvement in decisions
        beyond their normal work activities” (Mcahane & Von Glinow, 2010, p. 366). It stated
        in the descriptive paragraph that these employees perform non-routine tasks and are adept
        at resolving unique issues raised by customers. This style would be effective because the
        leader would encourage his or her employees to make suggestions to improve processes
        based on what they learn, taking the suggestions in to consideration. Rather than
        directing or hovering over shoulders, the team is allowed to make decisions on how to
        deal with issues, which translates into information that can be shared with everyone. By
        encouraging participation, the leader is allowing the employee to have a say in the
        decision making process; this will serve as motivation and will attribute to employee
        satisfaction and trust. These employees control their work environment, demonstrating a
        internal locus of control.
     2. Achievement-oriented – “encourages behaviors that encourage employees to reach their
        peak performance” (Mcahane & Von Glinow, 2010, p. 366). By setting high standards,
        the leader is challenging the team members to strive to be their absolute best. This style
        requires high skill and experience on the part of the team and internal locus of control, as
       well as high team cohesiveness. This style is constantly challenging the employees using
       a goal-setting methodology as well as builds the employees confidence to perform at their
       highest levels. Because the leader’s confidence in his employee’s is high, they accept
       responsibility of their goals and work diligently to achieve the goals set forth by the
       leader. This is a continuous process, with the leader setting new goals in order to keep
       the employees motivated and challenged.

Mcahane, S., Von Glinow, M.A. (2010). Organizational Behavior: Emerging knowledge
      and practice for the real world. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Transformational leadership is currently the most popular perspective of leadership.
However, it is far from perfect. Discuss the limitations of transformational leadership.

       The issue of acting in a transformational way versus successfully bringing about change
       can cause some confusion. According to our, this circular reference makes it very
       difficult to determine the true effectiveness of this style of leadership. There is not true
       way to measure the success of this style beyond the desired change. Leaders are not by
       their actions; they are judged by their level of success.

       Universal theory versus contingency-based theory makes this type of leadership useful in
       some situations but certainly not in all. “A universal approach to leadership assumes that
       at some level there is an ideal pattern of leadership behavior that fits nearly all situations”
       (Van Wart, 2005, p.26). This could mean that transformational leadership assumes the
       role of one size fits all, when in reality that may not be the case, thus leading to flawed
       leadership theory and disorganization. On the other hand implementing a more
       contingency-based style may lend itself better to some organizations when implementing
       change. This model aligns the relationship between task and behaviors. “A contingency
       approach to leadership assumes that the situations the leaders find themselves are crucial
       to determining the appropriate behavior and style” (Van Wart, 2005, p. 26). The
       situation will dictate the style and behaviors exhibited; this Is not a one size fits all
       concept and will allow for adaptation; whereas the transformational style does not focus
       on the concept of alignment of tasks and behaviors.

Van Wart, M. (2005). Dynamics of leadership in public service: theory and practice . New York:
    M.E. Sharpe, Inc.

2. Case Assignment
Answer the case questions for Case 12.2, page 381.

       1. John J. Mack had returned to Morgan-Stanley at a time when the company’s culture
          was in chaos, which translated to mismanagement and utter disorganization.
          Decision paralysis and second-guessing was leading the once strong company to the
   bottom of the Wall Street heap. Mack’s return signified a new chapter in not only his
   career but also Morgan Stanley’s reputation.

   The dominant competencies for John Mack are:

   a. Personality -- Although Mack was not a larger than life, extensive extrovert by
      any stretch of the imagination, he was not afraid to get out in front, talk to people,
      and utilize his assertiveness when necessary. These outgoing traits along with his
      self-disciplined nature helped Mack keep a level head, which helped him achieve
      the goals he set for himself.
   b. Knowledge of Business – Mack thoroughly understood the business
      environment, having worked for Morgan Stanley and other financial firms since
      graduating from Duke University in 1972. This knowledge allowed him to make
      informed decisions, having the ability to rely on his experiences in many different
      situations. In addition, decisions are being made quicker, because of his
      experience and understanding of the business.
   c. Drive – Mack’s drive comes from his Morgan-Stanley’s success prior to his
      departure in 2001. “We want to be a leader and show the street what we stand
      for” ("Mack attack" 2006). Mack’s message was simple, he is a proven winner
      and once helped this company become a supreme force amongst the Wall Street
      elite, and he will return Morgan Stanley to the top. “I like the action, I like the
      people, I like the work” ("Mack attack" 2006). This is what drives Mack to
      come to work and to be successful.
   d. Leadership Motivation – He utilized socialized power, focusing his leadership
      on organizational goals opposed to personal gains. He walked the halls and
      listened to his people as a means for gaining an understanding of their frustrations
      and needs. He opened the doors of the executives and made them accessible so
      that bankers would have the ability to seize opportunities quickly and present the
      information to the top brass. This motivation, helped move the bankers to treat
      their business as entrepreneurial ventures and think like owners.
   e. Integrity – Mack lead by example. He did everything he asked his employees to
      do, and he stuck by his decisions. He gained the trust of his employees through
      the demonstration of his beliefs and leading a moral fashion.

2. John J. Mack exhibited some of the common traits associated with transformational
   leadership. Upon his decision to return to Morgan-Stanley, he took the first step and o
   crafted a strategic vision for the future. “Transformational leaders establish a vision
   of the company’s future that engages employees to achieve objectives they didn’t
   think possible” (Mcahane & Von Glinow, 2010, p. 373). By sharing his dream for
   the return of Morgan-Stanley, Mack was helping the employees realize this dream.
   Because his dream consisted of return Morgan-Stanley to prominence, he
   communicated his vision is a clear and concise manner so that no one had any
   misunderstanding of which direction he was going to lead the company. His message
   was clear, “We want to be the leader and show the Street what we stand for, [Morgan-
   Stanley] is the gold standard” ("Mack attack" 2006). His expectations were high, but
   his ability to communicate and make people want to follow him allowed people to
          begin the process of transforming. By effectively communicating the vision, Mack
          framed the vision in such a way that he gained buy-in from the employees. These two
          characteristics would lead him to the other characteristics of modeling and building
          commitment towards his vision.

Mcahane, S., Von Glinow, M.A. (2010). Organizational Behavior: Emerging knowledge
      and practice for the real world. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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