Alan Mullaly

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The Role of Leadership

Leadership and Organizational Behavior – BUS 520

November 13, 2011.

Professor Dr. Paul Frankenhauser Jr.

ABSTRACT

This assignment focuses on the role of leadership and how it can impact organizational performance. Examining the integrated case of Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company, I will highlight some aspects of his leadership style and provide examples of how it is demonstrated throughout the case. While touching on Mulally’s leadership style, an assessment on communication openness is performed and a determination is given as to whether Mulally is effectively incorporating each element of communication openness. Last I will share my recommendation on whether or not Mulally should continue to use the leadership style he has brought to Ford.

The Role of Leadership and How It Can Impact Organizational Performance

The role of leadership is to effectively guide an individual or organization to share in the vision one has for them while influencing them to attain the goals of the vision and the individual or organization. Effective leadership provides employees with the challenges and developmental tools needed to obtain the goals set forth for the organization and within the individual. Incorporated within leadership are the reflection of behaviors demonstrated through the actions of the leader, such as effective communication, ethics, diversity and being team oriented. With the behaviors presented, leadership can impact an organization in a big way.

Employees are influenced by the organizational behaviors through leadership whether positive or negative, employees are potentially motivated to mimic such behaviors of the leader. (Kane and Montgomery, 1998) states, “Leaders who do not display trust behaviors may unintentionally disempower employees and negatively impact organizational performance.” An organization is only as effective as its leader. If the behaviors are unethical, those behaviors make room for onlookers to also behave unethically leading to a organizations demise.

In addition to leadership being influential, it is also about making the decisions one needs for the organization as a whole to become or remain successful. Sound decision-making of leaders are at times measured by the effects that it has on the organization or individual being led. This too is a vital role in leadership. Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company and His Leadership Style

In reviewing the case of Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford Motor Company, his leadership style mimics that of the Situational Leadership Model. The Situational Leadership Model states that the style of leadership should be matched to the level of readiness of the followers (Hellriegel and Slocum, 2001). Ford was suffering financially through the times of the recession and Mulally was hired to turn things around for the company. The company dynamics lacked strategic planning and effective communication. Mulally had no prior experience or knowledge about the car industry before coming to Ford. He did his research and asked the questions he needed answers for to gather the information to make decisions that he thought would be vital to Ford’s success. Mulally stated, “As we come through this recession of 2008-2009, we’re going to be a turbo machine when the economy turns around.” With the information he gathered he developed a strategy about the auto industry that he now uses to influence all of his decisions. Mulally’s leadership style upon being hired was the telling style. The employees were at the low level of readiness to bring Ford out of the financial crisis it was in. They also lacked the ability to make effective decisions. He shares the story of how the senior leaders at Ford informed him how they made the decision to take the Taurus offline because they felt it was not selling very well. Mulally...
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