A Case Analysis
The purpose of this case is to provide you with an opportunity to use the behavior concepts presented in Chapter 3. One basis for comparing the two successive plant managers is in terms of task-oriented and relations-oriented leadership.
Describe and compare the managerial behavior of Ben and Phil. Describe each manager’s use of specific task and relations behaviors. How much does each manager use participative or inspirational leadership?
Ben was very concerned about employees, and his concern was reflected in efforts to protect employee jobs and make the work environment more pleasant. He socialized with employees, was supportive, and maintained an extensive network of personal friendships with employees. However, Ben had a relatively weak concern for productivity and product quality. He was satisfied to maintain the same level of production, and he did not set high performance objectives and quality standards. Ben used supporting and some aspects of team building, but did little to develop employee skills and confidence. He did not use much planning, clarifying, and monitoring. Ben delegated the responsibility for supervising plant workers entirely to his first-line supervisors, but provided little guidance about what he expected. The case did not describe any active use of consultation by Ben.
In contrast to Ben, Phil used a significant amount of task-oriented behavior, (e.g., clarifying, monitoring, and operational planning). Phil set high performance standards, pressured people to achieve them, and checked closely on their performance. However, Phil had little concern for employees and did not hesitate to make decisions that cut costs at the expense of employee benefits and jobs. Phil was low on relations-oriented behaviors such as supporting, developing, and team building. He was very directive and autocratic in making decisions and used little consultation or delegation.
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