Leadership in Action Essay
Schein (1992) describes organizational culture or a group culture, as shared suppositions and ideas about their place & the world they dwell in, the sort of time and space, nature of humans, and relationships with humans. Culture Elements Determine Methods OF Control All organizations, during different phases of evolution face difficulties regarding internal integration plus difficulties related to external alteration. Achievement of organizational strategies & goals is impossible without effective cooperative efforts and sensible steadiness of membership in and outside of organization.
Domestic problems of an organization incorporate the standards for employee association in the organization, foundation that determines power and position, procedures & standards determining distribution of penalty and rewards. A philosophy augmenting towards explanation of volatile and uncontainable events, policies or norms about handling of belligerence and familiarity, a collective arrangement regarding the importance of symbols and words.
These issues consequently provide basis for development of beliefs regarding role expectations ultimately guiding behaviors, help people differentiate between proper & improper, and also help them maintain affable terms with each other. Helping us understand the environment and determining the ways for responding to it, is undoubtedly the major function of culture ultimately resulting in the reduction of nervousness, ambiguity, and bewilderment.
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As a way out is earned through experience, these are then shared views that are forwarded on to new employees. Eventually, these beliefs may become so customary that the new recruits are no longer intentionally aware of them. METHODS OF CONTROL & CULTURE AT SMITH & FALMOUNT(S&F) Smith & Falmouth (S&F) is a middle sized company that deals in mail orders & tele-shopping with business in the USA and Canada (University of Phoenix. 2002). Irene Seagraves, CEO of S&F Online, the new e-tailing unit which started operating 6 months ago, is the key entity for development of the organization for next 3 years.
With time being the quintessence, Irene Seagraves, created three teams; a) Web Development group, b) Logistics group & c) Marketing team and also, a Project Manager to direct the logistics and marketing processes. James William Argyle, Project Manager looked after the S&F Online operations for the initial time period of 3 months. The web development group is formed of 6 members, who maintain online payment gateway, the online sales avenues and also the web link under the supervision of the Project Manager (PM).
The Logistics Manager, Brian Kervor, supervising a 3 member’s logistics team, manages orders, customer support, delivery operations and reports status of the order to the Marketing Manager, Adam Searle. The Project Manager and the Logistics Manager, work close together along with both the web development team and also the logistics team resulting in organizational through production of good outcomes. The Marketing Manager, Adam Searle, besides other responsibilities also provides information to the parent company and also takes care of the marketing budgets, product lines and promotional activities.
ORGANIZTIONAL CHANGE Hierarchical Change at S&F Due to the treacherous market conditions, Irene Seagraves wants to consolidate operations and for that purpose has hired the student, Sam Smith, as Chief Operating Officer (COO), for S&F Online. The new COO, Mr. Smith has a timeline of 9 months to accomplish the target set by the CEO. The target that is to be achieved is: Streamline the online operations, increase the reach of the Online Sales Channel, and make S&F Online a profitable Strategic Business Unit (, 2002). Reception to Change
During the introductory phase, the COO notices an apathetic reception, resentment was eminently present. The element of antagonism was present due to the interruption by an outsider in the current organizational hierarchy who is solely appointed to lead the groups and all the sub groups, and is not a part of the current organizational culture or social system. After monitoring the teams for some weeks, the COO observed there were also different groups as well as cliques within the formal structure of the organization.
For the purpose of influencing and winning over the informal groups, and breaking through the informal structure of the organization, first, in the list of prioritization comes the identification of the decision maker in each group (Northhouse, 2009). Once the decision maker is known, then comes the plan which has to be formulated by the COO for winning over this person and finding his way for being a part of the company’s existing culture. Below is a quote by Robbins & Judge defining culture and rules of the game;
Culture by definition is elusive, intangible, implicit, and taken for granted. But every organization develops a core set of assumptions, understandings, and implicit rules that govern day-to-day behaviors in the workplace…. Until newcomers learn the rules, they are not accepted as full fledged members of the organization. Transgressions of the rules on the part of high-level executives or front line employees result in universal disapproval and powerful penalties. Conformity to the rules becomes the primary basis for reward and upward mobility (Robbins and Judge.
2007). CHANGE MANAGEMENT Strategies Adopted By COO at S&F While scrutinizing the individual profiles of all the key members of the organization including managers and the individuals in each team, the COO determined members holding maximum powers of the groups and also which member individually will be most effective in helping him reach the target. The COO observed that James William Argyle, Project Manager, who is 38 years old with an MS in Computer Science and is also an MBA, heads web development team comprising of 6 members.
While screening out James profile vigilantly monitored his strengths which includes; value for teamwork, leading by example, holds very strong interpersonal communication skills, is very competitive, has strong interpersonal relations and holds an excellent personal rapport with colleagues. James’ hold some weaknesses as well, consist of losing power over the nurtured teams intervened by the organizational change.
After going through Brian Kervor’s profile, who’s the Logistics Manager, age 34, BS Math and an MBA, the COO observed his strengths which includes: involvement with both the logistics and the web development teams and comfortable interactions with many employees. Brian weaknesses comprised of overrating his affinity with numbers, leading to awkward situations (2002). Then came to his way the last manager’s profile he is the Marketing Manager, Adam Searle, 42 years old with BS Engineering and also an MBA.
Adam’s strengths when monitored showed he is a people person, excellent communicates very skillfully with the PM and the LM, represents the parent company for the Online Division and values and respects people. Adam like others has weaknesses as well which includes; working long hours, intimidating as well as not interacting with the logistics and the web development teams. In order to take S&F Online to the next level of progress, the COO has to display extraordinary leadership actions. Be an effective leader and influence the group to work on requests as well as execute decisions.
After the detailed scrutiny of the profiles of all the managers and key players, the COO now is very well aware of their weaknesses and strengths, the formal and informal relationships between other managers and also the team members, the COO only influenced the Marketing Manager at this time. The COO also found out that the teams are aligned only to the PM and LM and restrict interaction with the boss. After almost 1 month, beginning the second of three stages of socialization, the COO enters the encounter stage, observes what the organization really is and face up to the possibility that prospects and reality may deviate (Robbins and Judge.
2006). CEO observed a decrement in production and an increment by the end of the quarter of almost 100% was demanded by her. With this new demand, the accurate concept of power is to be ascertained and also the identification that which manager will be capable of winning over the teams and achieving the new target. A leader (COO) who has direct authority over a marked person (manager) has the entitlement to make requests coherent with this authority, and that person is obliged by his/her duty to obey (Yukl. 2006).
James Argyle, the Project Manager, was the most suited candidate and chosen to aid in settling issues and help to win over the teams despite believing the change in leadership affected productivity and that the groups desired tasks and decentralization of making a decision (2002). James was pleased with the approach and dedicated to maintain and put into operation plans backed by the COO because the objectives seem to be essentially desirable and acceptable in relation to the PM standards, belief, and self-worth (2006).
With James finally accommodating the COO and the two functioning together, the game plan used resulted in an augment of 120%, 20% over the anticipated target. The first problem was successfully handled with an outstanding mix of transformational and situational leadership styles put into action (Griffin, 2010). The game plan included; presenting vision which gave the teams sense of direction; the open door policies and open house sessions restored interest; and the COO requesting a variable income based on the teams’ achievement won the members confidence.
With the last quarter performance, S&F Online number of orders serviced was 20% over the target, Irene is delighted. The latest challenge is to double current cliental by the last dates of the quarter 100%. Sequentially, to reach this new objective, the COO would have to quickly update product sourcing and delivery operations as well as advance on hand systems and recruit expert for both teams. The existing team members were endangered with this decision and were very intimidating toward new employees.
Also another state of affairs occurs, Irene update the COO that new system is giving out slower than premeditated and the parent company can not afford more postponement however the work must be finished on time with customer base raised 100%. The COO arranged personal meeting with James to entrust the new challenges, the new employees and targets. The COO used proactive influence tactics whereas James will perform a new job, give support on the project or back a future change (Yukl. 2006).
The latest plan will redesign job skills and provide training to fill spaces, call a group meeting to ascertain objectives set by Irene and also the team, and establish production actions comparable to industry values. Another mission finished fruitfully, under the leadership of the COO and James, resulting in increasing the customer base 100% for the quarter. James esteemed the direct approach that was used for attainment of the goals. The transformational leadership style worked due to the maturity of the teams and the strong leadership of James (2002).
Since the customer base increased 100% last quarter, Irene and the parent company is keyed up and are interested in taking over the unit. But then Irene meets up with Smith and Falmouth Board of Directors and negotiated a deal that in 3 months the unit can function beneficially as an sovereign unit (robins, 2008). With this new challenge, to remain an independent business unit and keep away from take over by the parent company, an aggressive marketing campaign and also a value added service must be achieved in order to get by.
James and the COO have set up an exceptional working affiliation and James is considered afresh to lead in this process. The COO, by this time enters 3rd stage of socialization, metamorphosis stage. In this stage, the comparatively enduring changes take place. The new recruit excels the skills necessary for the job, productively carries out the new functions, and makes the alteration to the work group’s principles and customs (Robbins and Judge. 2007). With the very last challenge, James and Irene are delighted with the outstanding results and S&F Online will retain an independent business unit.
By using a transformational leadership style, all employees, including the web development group, logistics group, and the functional supervisors are influenced by the COO and will put into practice all decisions unreservedly. Through this success, Irene was preferred to the parent company board, Sam was recommended as Irene successors as CEO, together with James as COO. Conclusion Power is the capability to affect the behavior and thoughts of people in the preferred direction.
Authority is the permission to affect others in particular ways and principal basis for power in formal organizations (Yukl. 2006). Sam was placed in a difficult position at the beginning of employee at S&F Online as COO, an organization with an established culture. By assessing the employees and applying effective leadership styles, tactics and concepts, the barriers were broken and not only were Irene goals accomplished, but the COO personal goals were meet as well by empowering employees, meeting and exceeding expectations, and adapting to the new culture.
And with the new promotion as CEO, the process is starting over again. Reference University of Phoenix. (2002). Leadership in Action [Computer Software]. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from University of Phoenix, Simulation, LDR531. Northhouse, Peter G. (2009). Leadership: theory & practice. Edition 5th. Sage Publications, Inc. Robbins, Stephen P. 2008. Management. 10th Edition. Prentice Hall. Griffin, Ricky W. 2010. Management. 10th Edition. South-Western College Pub.