Business: Leadership and Workers

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8

Management and leadership
Revision case study 1 (page 152) Leadership styles at McNuggets 1

Which style of leadership/management seems to be used at McNuggets? Justify your answer. [4]
Despite there being discussion and consultation, workers are not allowed to take decisions; this suggests that the style is paternalistic. This view is further supported as there is reference to reasonable rates of pay, free uniforms and meals and the payment of bonuses.

There is regular discussion of branch performance and workers are encouraged to air their views. This suggests a democratic approach. However, it is apparent that the discussion does not lead to change. The style of leadership is predominantly autocratic. Workers are given very precise instructions and methods of working may not be changed from those laid down by head office.

Management seem to have a ‘Theory X’ view of workers.

2

Using your knowledge of leadership styles, how would you account for the apparent low levels of motivation at McNuggets restaurants? [8]
There are a number of reasons why motivation appears to be at a low level: • Worker views, although requested, are ignored.
• Workers have no influence over their working day. They must follow set procedures without any deviation. There is no delegation of decision making. • There is no opportunity for workers to show initiative.

• Workers specialise in just two tasks. This may contribute to jobs becoming too repetitive and, therefore, boring.
Organisations that use paternalistic or autocratic styles of leadership frequently find that workers have low motivation. Workers become disillusioned at the lack of participation in decision making.

3

Discuss how the leadership style could be adapted in an attempt to improve motivation of staff within these restaurants. [8]
A more democratic approach may be effective in raising motivation. If head office delegates more decision making to the individual restaurants, then there will be scope for workers becoming more involved in the business. This may increase their commitment to the organisation and reduce labour turnover.

Chapter 8 Activity answers

© Cambridge University Press 2010

1

A democratic style might include some of the following innovations: • There should be delegation of some decision making to lower levels of the organisation. There should be less-rigid control from head office. • Regular meetings with workers should be held to discuss branch targets. However, employees should be more involved in agreeing the targets to be achieved and given responsibility for achieving them.

• Discussions should be widened beyond targets to include, for example, the causes of high labour turnover and absenteeism.
• Staff forums could be established for employees to raise grievances through elected representatives.
• It is not sufficient to encourage workers to make suggestions; it is also necessary for management to act on some of those suggestions.
• Workers should have an input into the food served in McNuggets. • Training of managers at McNuggets may be necessary, as adapting leadership styles is a major shift in behaviour and managers may resist change.

Evaluation may consider:
There would need to be a cultural shift at head office for a change in leadership style to occur and be effective. Head office has to be prepared to lose some of its control over operations. If senior managers are not committed to adapting leadership styles, it will fail.

4

To what extent is the style of leadership used at McNuggets appropriate for a business such as this? [10]
Appropriate

Inappropriate

• It provides consistency through

• It fails to make use of the full skills of the



the chain in terms of customer
service and quality standards.
This is one of the key strengths
of the business. Adopting a
democratic management style
may undermine this marketing
advantage.
It may be in the nature of the job,
which is low...
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