University of Phoenix
Today's business world is a fast-paced, complex environment that has many ways to achieve success. Many corporations and their leaders have fostered innovative environments for employees to excel in. There are various avenues a corporation or leader can take to improve product quality, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and the bottom line. Corporations use different leadership styles along with promoting a solid corporate culture for employees. Leadership styles
There are many different styles of leadership. Each company and situation dictates the types of leadership that are formed. Some companies prefer a pyramid hierarchical approach while others lean towards a more flattened hierarchical approach. Our team researched and evaluated several companies to identify some practices utilized within various organizational cultures. Google is a company that fosters a tight teamwork based philosophy that relies upon open communication. This style closely relates to the participative style of leadership. Participative leadership involves employees in the decision-making process (McShane & Von Glinow, 2005). Google's management accomplishes this by holding face-to-face meetings, current status emails, and encouraging creative thought. By allowing employees to play an active role in the company's leadership, resulting in maximized creativity. Ford Motor Corporation has struggled for years with leaders who showed more concern with their own success rather than that of the company. The past 10 years have given way to many changes concerning managerial goals. Ford has taken steps to create an atmosphere that promotes the teamwork and collaboration of managers. Ford exhibits more of a team-based atmosphere in which groups (accounting, IT, and management) work closely together and divulge important information to each other. In creating this new atmosphere, Ford has developed the feeling of ownership, which promotes the success of the company as a whole versus the individual person. Southwest Airlines follows a similar path where employees express ideas and assist with decision-making. Herb Keller, former CEO, feels that from a leadership standpoint, management should support the functions of the employees instead of dictating what they do. This belief follows the servant leadership style. The servant leadership style is the belief that leaders serve followers by understanding their needs and facilitating their work performance (McShane & Von Glinow, 2005). Keller is a prime example of a transformational leader. By inspiring the employee to take an active role in the company's success, he is giving employees the sense of ownership in the company. Southwest also employs the tactic of constructive conflict. Constructive conflict involves the scrutinizing of other ideas to select the best overall one to implement. Science Applications International Corporation's (SAIC) corporate culture is centered on the employee. The company's founder, J. Robert Beyster, felt that "those that contribute to the company's success should own a stake in the company and benefit from its success" (SAIC website, 2007). Beyster also believed that, "employee ownership and thinking and acting like owners motivates higher creativity and initiative, along with better performance for customers and higher level of customer satisfaction" (SAIC website, 2007). SAIC's leadership style closely resembles an achievement-oriented style of leadership. Achievement-oriented leadership style refers to the leader setting challenging goals, expecting employees to perform at their highest level, and continuously seeking improvement in employee performance (McShane & Von Glinow, 2005). By taking on this style of leadership, SAIC motivates its employees to excel. Organizational culture
Organizational culture is...