BUS610: Organizational Behavior
Instructor: Rachana Misraraj
November 26, 2012
Business Ethics: Leadership Style
“The ability to lead has been observed and reported on for many centuries. Many ancient writings tell tales of leaders who served in battle, commanded nations, or taught religious ideas. In a general sense, the primary qualities associated with leadership are vision, enthusiasm, trust, courage, passion, coaching, developing others, intensity, love, and even serving as a parent figure. In an organizational context, leadership involves influencing the behaviors of individuals and groups to work toward predetermined goals (Baak, 2012).” With leadership comes my different forms of leadership, know as leadership styles. Leadership style is the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people. There are three main types of leadership styles that are well known in business, from an organizational point of view that include authoritarian leadership (autocratic), participative leadership (democratic), and delegative (laissez-fair) leadership. “Many agree that participative or democratic leadership yields the best results, as it provides a median between the extreme authority of the authoritarian leader and the lack of direction in laissez-faire leadership. Nonetheless, each leadership style can prove effective when applied in the appropriate context. The role of an effective leader is to adopt the style that fits best with his team dynamics (Cutajar, 2012).” But many leaders tend to use and abuse these leadership styles to their best advantage, with any regard for others, former CEO of Home Depot Robert Nardelli is a great example. Robert Nardelli was heavily criticized for his leadership style and methods he used during his tenure as CEO of Home Depot. The purpose of the paper below is describe his style of leadership and take a position on whether I feel his actions rose to the level of being unethical. The paper will describe Nardelli’s leadership style in terms of leadership theory, that include trait theory, behavioral theory, situational and contingency theory, and whether his actions were ethical or unethical. Leadership styles and theories, vary from one to another, therefore learning how to use a little piece of each and every of them (ethically), can be a greatly improve you overall leadership skills and capabilities.
“After losing the competition to become CEO of General Electric (GE), in 2000 Robert Nardelli, while having not retail experience, was recruited by Home Depot, the world's largest home-improvement retailer, as CEO and later chairman. He overhauled the company's decentralized management structure and replaced its freewheeling, entrepreneurial culture and its exuberant—some would say rowdy—atmosphere with "Six Sigma" managerial procedures. Utilizing GE's classic business strategies, Nardelli in stalled processes and systems, streamlined operations, moved into new markets, and grew Home Depot through acquisitions (www.referenceforbusiness.com).”
Robert Nardelli’s leadership style was more authoritarian (autocratic), than that of participative or laissez-fair leadership because, when Nardelli’s arrived at Home Depot, he immediately incorporated his blunt and straightforward business style approach that he used with his former company GE, and tried to centralized Home Depot without any consideration of employees and executives and Home Depot‘s culture; a sort of do this my way or else approach. This approach was very unethical because, DEL solutions state that “almost immediately, he embarked on an aggressive plan to centralize control of the nation’s second-largest retailer…self checkout aisles and inventory management systems that generated reams of data. Nardelli is retreating to his comfort zone; he is molding a new GE. He is tearing at he heart of...