Topic: BusinessDecision Making

Last updated: April 12, 2019

For the leadership theories, there are many version of theory regarding leadership, its function and its execution.

Referring to the Situational Leadership Theory, proposed by Hersey and Blanchard, it suggests that there are four main types of leadership style, which are telling, selling, participating and delegating. It implies that good leaders adapt their leadership style to situation and that each style has its place; that is, that there is no ‘one size fits all’ method when it comes to leadership.Telling involves a large amount of involvement on behalf of the leader, essentially, they ‘tell’ their staff what to do and how to do it. This style is necessary when employees are lacking the requisite skill sets and motivation to do the job.

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An example of where this would be most effective is a shift supervisor at McDonalds, where, having to deal with a high staff turnover and often-immature workers, the leader would be required to strictly monitor tasks to ensure that quality is maintained.Selling still involves heavy direction, but provides more communication and “back and forth” with the staff. Another name for selling is coaching, and, as the name suggests, allows the leader to provide both guidance, advice and direct task supervision to his subordinates. The leader attempts to ‘sell’ their proposed task to his employees in order to motivate them.Participating, also referred to as ‘supporting’, sees leaders focusing more on relationship building than providing staff with direction. It emphasises the sharing of ideas, as well as group decision making.

This style is most effective when there is a highly-skilled group of staff that require little direction or guidance to do their job, but lack the motivation to carry out tasks effectively. This style allows the leader to focus on improving efficiency and motivation, as well as providing indirect direction and support, rather than spending time heavily involved in the specific tasks undertaken by the staff. Finally, when a workplace has both highly skilled and highly motivated staff, leaders are able to use the delegation style, assigning tasks with full confidence that they will be carried out. In this manner, leaders are able to minimise direct task supervision and maximise relationship building, focusing on removing any impediments to their subordinates work. Each of this leadership styles was determined by two factors, it is the skill of the employees and their motivation. For example, the telling style works best when employees lack the necessary skills and don’t have high motivation.

Participating is suitable for a workplace where the staff have a high degree of technical skill, but might lack the motivation or resources necessary to complete their tasks.As for the DGL international and John Terrill case, Terrill as a manager had showed a great concern of the engineer’s personel welfare while demonstrating a focus on relationship building. He calls for a meeting and give opportunity for the engineer to set a group in order to voice their complaints. Terrill did not delegating tasks to his staff neither directing them but rather giving space for the engineers to do their own work.

Terrill listen to what the engineers have to say and identified the issues then act as a middle person between the engineers and the top management so that the issues can be solved. From all this traits, it is clear that Terrill has used the participation leadership style. The definition of power is often being relates with the ability to influences, affect and mobilize the attitudes and behaviours of others. From the case, we conclude that John Terrill’s main source of power is legitimate power. Besides that, he also has a referent power over his subordinates. What shows his legitimate power is due to he being positioned as a manager of the technical services division and he calls a meeting of the engineers. All the reports was being turned in his desk rather than to head office after he issues the order to engineers to do so. His referent power comes from his strong interpersonal skills that allow him to empathise and want to help his subordinates.

This fosters a positive environment where Terrill is respected and admired, as demonstrated by the engineers cheering as he left for the meeting with the CEO. In examining the engineer’s reaction for their leader, we can see that he possesses referent power over them.


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