One of the greatest challenges for any professional as they travel their career journey is to deal with changes in the workplace. Changes can occur in the workplace at any time. Although some changes in the workplace are carefully planned by an organization as a budgeted path of growth and development, the majority of changes in the workplace can often occur unexpectedly and without warning. In either situation, a wise professional will make the necessary adjustments to their own business approach in order to blend in seamlessly with their organization’s changes.
Too often, the first signal of change that comes from the leadership team of an organization that has taken over is the uncertainty of the company. The team synopsis includes a case study and three companies selected to provide issues of what each company is facing regarding leadership problems. The first synopsis is a case study based on orthopedic surgery and family practice. The three companies chosen were Olin Pool Products, Ford Motor Company and Northwest Airline. The scenario will identify change models for both short-term, small-scale, as well as long-term, large-scale changes.
The paper will further evaluate the implications of different leadership styles on the change management process and evaluate the influence of leadership on management practices. Next, the paper will consider the factors that contribute to a long-term commitment to change within the organization and appraise future leadership challenges. Lastly, our conclusion will select leadership styles for a given situation base on the synopsis. Synopsis – Alejandra Guerrero Transformational Leadership: A Case Study
A joint venture between two health care systems was formed in 1999, combining one system based on orthopedic surgery and the other specializing in family practice. The objective of this combination was to have both health care systems in one single location; therefore, creating one of the largest state-of-the-art rehabilitation health care facilities in the Midwest. According to the author of the case study “A newly formed department got off to a rocky start with varying corporate cultures, a faulty organizational structure, and declining morale.
Here’s how new leadership helped turn the situation around” (Winans, Ronda, July 2005). Cultural and psychological differences, and having two co-directors, resulted in separating the facility rather than effectively uniting both health care systems. Physical differences also arose as the facility was designed to suit both practices; as a result, each group began operating on opposite sides, another division. In addition, each group had differences on how to approach treatments, with both practices unwilling to share concepts that could eliminate clinical issues.
Morale within the two practices decreased as the years progressed and as a result, faculty turnover staff increased. During this time, an employee within the facility conducted an employee satisfaction survey, resulting in what was already known with the employees and expected by management. The employees rated scores that measured management effectiveness low; and there were high results indicating that employees would seek employment with other health care companies.
A need for change was required after three years with an existing culture that had been negatively ingrained to all of the employees within the facility. The change would include a model of having a single manager with oversight from a director in order to help solve previous conflicting issues with two separate practices. Radical changes included an emphasis on employee satisfaction, stronger commitment to employees, and a focus on the outcome of better patient care. Synopsis: How to lead revolution: How Doug Cahill got everyone into the pool
The general manager at Olin Pool Products, Doug Cahill, recognized the need for radical change. Profits were low with pressure on margins and a loss of market share to competitors, along with poor customer satisfaction and orders shipping late. There were many reasons to blame for the losses of Olin Pool Products during the early 1990’s, however one of the root causes came from Cahill insisting on blaming the process of how each person did their job. Cahill soon realized that people were not the problem; it was the company structure and how it was being operated.
As a result, fourteen departments were reduced to eight process teams, and they included the crucial areas of fulfillment, new products, and resources. Cahill converted managers into future coaches that would assist in transforming leaders within each department. At the core of the new organizational chart were the customers. Cahill conducted a test with each new future coach. Each coach was given four dollar bills and was told plan a group dinner. An incentive of free dinning was included for the coach that would get the job done for three dollars a person.
Specific rules of the test were provided and the coaches started to assist the best way to make the dinner in order to meet the objective of three dollars a person. Meeting their goal with a specific budget. Underlying this concept is that the departments were being eliminated along with titles. This in turn forced the coaches to be responsible for their actual work and not just the job. Radical change within Olin Pool Products came as the result of a plant fire, destroying crucial inventory needed for the beginning of the pool season. Cahill used his influence in finding replacement products from a plant in Brazil.
Along with getting the factory back up, and salvaging any product that was not damaged from the fire, Cahill most importantly made a plea to the customers, asking them to understand why their products were not being delivered as promised. Finally, with no blame game to deal with, each coach had the motivation, experience, and knowledge of how to best overcome the tragedy and bring about success. Synopsis – Tresa Rucker Ford Motor Company The automotive industry has taken a turn for the worst based on the rising cost of fuel and consumer preference for economical transportation.
According to Ford’s website, “Ford Motor Company has been around for years and grown to be a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 300,000 employees and 108 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, and Volvo. ” (Ford 2007) According to a CBS News article, Curtis Giles is a union representative but with the impact of his responsibilities, the position could be viewed as a management job.
Giles is helping production workers at Ford Motor Co. ’s Michigan Truck Plant solve work related problems and maintain a high quality product. Ford, along with other automakers, has been struggling with the sales of SUVs. Due to the high cost of fuel, consumers are choosing not to purchase SUVs, which are known for poor fuel efficiency. Ford has borrowed billions to restructure as gas prices continue to increase and consumers are looking to purchase more fuel-efficient models. Curtis Giles started with Ford as a teenager, which was 19 years ago.
According to the article, Giles stated, “it was a good stable job that would help support his family. ” (CBS News 2007) Giles holds membership with the United Auto Workers, but the reputation of the union has steadily lost influence and membership in the U. S. over the years. Many workers have indicated that the support of the union simply does not exist as it used to be. Toyota has specifically avoided unionization partly because the plants are primarily built in rural or poverty areas where the people are just appreciative for the jobs and not familiar or accustomed to the role of unions.
Ford leadership goals have changed to switch the primary focus to producing a quality product and providing workers with better training. Giles further stated that the workers at the plant recently approved a competitive operating agreement allowing work rule changes that make the workplace more competitive. Are there leadership problems at Ford? Can they be resolved to benefit the employees as well as the consumers? Northwest Airlines The airline industry has been hurt by the war, terrorism, and high oil prices. The airline industry has continued to struggle since the Sept. 11 attacks.
Recently, in the news there have been several airlines, which have been restructured because of bankruptcies, mergers, and acquisition. According to the web site flightstats. com, Northwest canceled 127 flights of its 1,424 scheduled flights Monday, or 9 percent. Northwest Airlines just came out of bankruptcy, and Northwest pilots were limited to working only 90 hours a month. The pilots are now overworked due to the long hours and lack of staffing. Northwest Airlines has come to realize that they need to call back more pilots in order to survive with scheduling additional flights.
However, the pilots that are called off furlough must be retrained before he or she can fly the aircraft, resulting in crew scheduling delays and inconsistent flight schedules. Leadership at Northwest must recognize that by cancelling flights the company leaves the consumer wondering if Northwest Airlines is dependable when making their travel and flight arrangements. Due to the bankruptcy, Northwest Airlines has restructured the organization. As a result, leadership often undergoes changes to better position the company as a structured and effective organization.
The leadership is now a combination of both new and previous board members, which will result in a diversity of expertise and leadership ability to Northwest. The reorganization will help the company repositions itself to be a strong, and profitable company going forward. Change Models for Short-Term, Small Scale and Long-Term Large Scale Changes The Fred Fiedler model is said to be the oldest and most widely known of situational leadership. Fiedler believes that leaders are either task or relationship motivators (Kreitner-Kinicki, 2003).
The leadership case study appointed a department coordinator that resulted in combining two practices. Gaining the trust back from each practice was an easy task to accomplish by completing simple human resource issues, such as the ability for employees to request new address changes on their paychecks. Positive actions taken by the new department coordinator established keeping immediate promises and cementing them by fulfilling longer-term commitments to the employees. Olin Pool Products’ organizational restructure involved radical change from the several separate departmental layers into teams with coaches.
By eliminating titles and departments, Cahill forced each team coach to collaborate and work together. Each team member was given the freedom of assisting other departments as long as the work was being done, with an emphasis on results. Long-term commitments were formed and carried through resulting in bonuses to be given by division profit, not just on departmental goals. Ford Motor Company and Northwest Airlines have decided the old style of leadership is invalid due to technology and competition.
Ford has determined that their new style will keep the organization more competitive in the auto industry. However, Ford may just be a little late in the process. According to the reading, traditional pyramid-shaped organizations, conforming to the old-style pattern tends to be too slow, inflexible, whereas the new styles are customer focused, and dedicated to continuous improvement and learning. (Kreitner & Kinicki 2004) Implications of Different Leadership Styles on Change Management Process The two different leadership styles are transactional and charismatic.
According to the reading, “transactional leadership focuses on interpersonal transaction between managers and employees. Charismatic can produce significant organizational change and results because it ‘transforms’ employees to pursue organizational goals in lieu of self-interests”. (Kreitner & Kinicki 2004) Based on the two types of leadership styles Ford Motor Company and Northwest Airlines conform to the transactional leadership style. Ford is more customers focused instead of employee oriented. Without the consumers, Ford will not survive the auto industry.
Northwest Airlines is both employee and consumer focused because the company is realizing that without the employees the company will suffer a substantial loss on revenue. In the health care case study, the organization changed their mindset to start investing in the people rather than investing on the building and/or equipment. Previous leaders had not considered this different approach. The new department coordinator took a risk when changing past transactional leader managing style to becoming a transforming leadership style. The work began by focusing on the facility’s biggest investment, their workforce.
Training, instead of having the new staff figure how to do their jobs on their own, was now a matter of teaching and mentoring, resulting in better overall practices used toward their patients. Cahill’s approach was to change the ambience of how the work was getting done, in fact he compares having ambience within a restaurant as being just as important as cooking the meals. Processes changed in how to overcome slumping sales and gaining customer satisfaction, “For instance, it would be difficult to persist on a project if you were working with defective raw materials or broken equipment.
In contrast, motivated behaviors are likely to be enhanced when managers supply employees with adequate resources to get the job done and provide effective coaching, (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2003, p. 260)”. Influence of Leadership on Management Practices The director of the health care facility assisted in making final decisions on what proposed project would be the best fit for the two practices. The new department coordinator influenced the director to invest in developing continuation educational programs for their staff.
The coordinator had recently completed a Masters degree in business administration and was the person responsible for initiating employee satisfaction surveys when previous leaders were in charge. Understanding the importance of providing formal continuation educational courses provided an increase in company employee morale. Olin Pool Products also had similar influences with the President of Olin Chemicals Patrick Davey. Cahill called Davey, advising him that there would be radical changes within the organizational structure and that the need for change was necessary.
Cahill also advised the team coaches that they would figure out how to resolve the issues at hand, as they continued to make progress. Davey agreed to proceed with Cahill’s proposal; this is a test of influences: “the crux of the issue is social influence. A large measure of interpersonal interaction involves attempts to influence others, including parents, bosses, coworkers, spouses, teachers, friends, and children (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2003, p. 260)”. Ford Motor Company leadership has changed over the years with the focus of keeping the company out of the red. Leadership has been influenced to accept hat the industry has changed and in order for the company to excel in the industry, they must first listen to the consumers. The reading defines servant-leadership, which focuses on increased service to others rather than to one. (Krietner & Kinicki 2004) Factors that Contribute to Long-Term Commitment to Change Results from the changes made within the health care study case were in management style and the organization had made significant changes to support and expand on employee satisfaction, commitment to employees and outcome resulting on better patient care.
Existing and new staff recognized the importance of these strides and resulted in increased commitment with improved performance quality. Cahill removed structural barriers in encouraging team coaches to learn from one another and be open about sharing solutions that would result in increased sales and better customer satisfaction. Northwest Airlines new leadership has undergone change within the organization because of the restructuring. Most organization tends to react once they notice something is wrong instead of acting while everything is going right.
This process is call being proactive instead of reactive. The company has a loss of effective communication within the leadership. Future Leadership Challenges and Leadership Styles for Specific Situation Changes that have been implemented as the healthcare, pool, auto, and airline industry demands are constantly changing. What has been implemented may not be as effective in the near future; since it has been proven that all industries are bound to go through changes, then so do the organization’s needs.
It is crucial that throughout the process of change, organizations must continue learning when to recognize the need for change, what type of change is needed, and proactively move forward. Conclusion The health care study approached new leadership in the form of transformational style; the employees were inspired by the small changes made by department coordinator. This resulted in the acceptance of change in how the two practices were to be formed as one clinical office. Olin Pool Company was also transformational leadership style, having a fire disaster at one of their plant locations.
The disaster motivated the company to form new product lines. Ford Motor Company is changing its leadership style by using line level managers to implement changes in producing quality products and providing workers with better training. This is a transformational type of leadership style that Ford is implementing within its organization. Northwest Airlines leadership has been focused on short term goals to reduce overhead cost by reducing number of pilots. However this short term focus came at the expense of the customers having to reschedule flights.
This has diminished customer confidence and may lead to long term issues. Leadership style is missing as the organization is setting short term goals that do not support long viability of the organization. There are a number of different approaches, or styles to leadership and management that are based on different assumptions and theories. The leadership style that organizations use will be based on a combination of the companies’ beliefs, values and preferences. Also the organizational culture, values and ethics will encourage some styles and discourage others.
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