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 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1750-4716.2010.00052.x/pdf ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 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.