Suki Andrews supervises a unit of sales representatives at Listo Systems. Recently, there have been problems. Customers have complained that her sales officers are not completing invoice orders quickly enough. Other daily tasks have also been neglected and performance numbers have shown a steep decline.
Suki called the sales representatives into a meeting and listed the problems that were occurring. After limited discussion, she reminded them that their unresponsiveness and omissions could result in major financial hardships for the company through a loss of sales and customers. She reviewed the schedule for daily tasks and invoice procedures. She added that she would be monitoring the invoices and daily tasks and would follow-up on any complaints from customers in the next week by meeting with the sales officer responsible for that invoice.
Answer the following questions:
1. What are some of Suki’s actions that indicate task behavior?
2. Is Suki’s level of task behavior high or low? Why?
3. Which of Suki’s actions indicated relationship behavior?
4. Is Suki’s level of relationship behavior high or low? Why?
5. Which leadership style was Suki using (S1, S2, S3, or S4)?
6. Did Suki’s leadership style match what was needed in the situation? Why or why not?
For our look into the concept of power, we’ll revisit Cami and a few previous exercises. As you may remember, Cami has worked with Listo Systems for eight years and has been charged with implementing a new “black box” security system. This process has involved significant changes in information flow, created people issues, and has called out the need for mass training throughout the organization. The way in which Cami uses her power can either help or hinder her attempts to resolve the people issues and get buy-in from the trainers.
Answer the following questions:
1. Based on information from previous exercises, what types of power does Cami have which she can utilize given her current situation?
2. How can she use these power bases to help influence the trainers and Listo staff rather than hinder her efforts?
Suki Andrews, Sales Supervisor, Listo Systems. Identifying Power
- Task behavior is the process by which a leader spells out the duties and responsibilities of a particular individual or a group of people (Pasarakonda et al. 2020). Some of the actions associated with task behavior include giving directions on what to be done, the period of which such duties should be carried out, the specific places such responsibilities are being handled, and the individuals taking care of such obligations.
Within the context of the theory of task-oriented leadership, a leader is an individual highly inspired by task accomplishment and also concerned with mapping out tasks to employees. Such leaders help create concrete policies and procedures and come up with criteria to be used to evaluate the success and levels of employee’s performance (Montano 2017).
Some of Suki’s actions depict task behavior, and the activities include; Suki reviews schedules for daily tasks and invoice procedures. Furthermore, she is dedicated to carrying out a follow up on monitoring the invoices and daily tasks and follow up any complaints from customers in the next week by meeting with the sales officer responsible for that invoice. Suki saves time to have meaningful discussion with sales representatives to enable them come up with mechanisms to avoid losses in the company.
- Task behaviors provided a one-way communication mechanism, majorly from the leader’s leader to their subjects (Habas, 2020). Suki’s task behavior is considered high as she is dedicated to checking the sales processes and management systems directly to change the customers’ perception. By reviewing the schedules, of daily tasks and invoice procedure show her high task behavior level. Furthermore, Suki would monitor daily tasks and monitor invoices and carry out a follow up on any complaints raised by customers in the next meeting with the sales officer responsible for that invoice. Suki’s engagement in defining the roles of the sales representatives and stating what the sales representatives should do.
- Relationship behavior can be described as the degree to which a leader takes part in a two-way or multi-communication (Tindall, 2013). The actions associated with relationship behavior include; keen listening, carrying out facilitations, and providing supportive behaviors to other people by giving explanations on how a particular thing or subject. Under the theory of relationship-oriented leadership, a leader is described as a primarily motivated person and has high agitation towards their interaction with other people. Such leaders are excellent time schedulers as this will enable them to have a session with their employees and incorporate their opinions during decision making.
Furthermore, such leaders are driven to create a conducive working environment and promote a group dynamic working environment, making a particular work more enjoyable to keep employees dedicated to their work (Ceri-booms et al, 2017). Suki’s actions that depict relationship behavior include; Suki calling sales representatives for a meeting and listing out the arising problems shows the relationship behavior. By reminding sales representatives that any unresponsiveness and omissions might result in a significant financial hardship, the company might experience loss of customers and sales.
- Suki has a high level of relationship behavior, and the following reasons can justify this; Suki discusses with sales representatives the procedures for solving complaints raised by customers. Suki further reminds the sales representatives of the consequences of unresponsiveness and omissions.
Telling; this style helps to depict high relationship behavior (sn1), as leaders provides clear instructions to their subject
Selling; this style depicts high task and relationship behavior (sn2) which encourages leaders to practice two-way communication and boost employees’ morale through motivation.
Participating; the style provides a reflection on a high relation on task behavior (sn3) this style allows leaders to their subjects to share their ideas during a decision-making process.
Delegating; this style depicts Suki’s high task behavior relationship as through delegation of work employees become more competent and more responsible.
- To match Suki’s leadership style and the current situation, we need to check on the performance and the level of readiness of the sales representatives in accepting their mistakes and being able to take in corrections where necessary. Suki’s leadership style matched what was required in that situation. The company has been facing some significant problems such as lack of commitment and motivation by sales representatives, complain raised by customers that sales representatives were failing to complete invoices and neglection of daily tasks, and a steep decline in performance. Suki uses her leadership skills to determine the cause of the problems, such as sales representative unresponsiveness, and appropriate solutions to the issues.
Case study chapter 8
Powers that Cami has include connecting power, legitimate power and reward power.
Cami can use her connection powers to help her connect with her boss and help other employees develop the readiness to adapt to new systems. Cami can also use her rewarding control to give out rewards as this will boost the effectiveness and the willingness of people to training. She could use her legitimate powers to influence other employees to view her as the appropriate person to take charge of implementing the new system.
Habas, C. (2020). Task vs. relationship Leadership Theories. Small business. Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/task-vs-relationship-leadership-theories-35167.html.
Tindall, K. Leadership (2013) Telling, Selling, Participating, Delegating. from http://www.coconutshark.com/1/post/2013/06/leadership-telling-selling-participating-delegating.html
Ceri-Booms, M., Curşeu, P. L., & Oerlemans, L. A. (2017). Task and person-focused leadership behaviors and team performance: A meta-analysis. Human Resource Management Review, 27(1),178-192.Retrieved from https://repository.up.ac.za/bitstream/handle/2263/60775/CeriBooms_Task_2017.pdf?sequence=1.
Pasarakonda, S., Grote, G., Schmutz, J. B., Bogdanovic, J., Guggenheim, M., & Manser, T. (2020). A strategic core role perspective on team coordination: Benefits of centralized leadership for managing task complexity in the operating room. Human factors, 0018720820906041. Retrieved fromhttps://www.research-collection.ethz.ch/bitstream/handle/20.500.11850/402761/1/AcceptedManuscript_HumanFactors_Pasarakondaetal.2020.pdf.
Montano, D., Reeske, A., Franke, F., & Hüffmeier, J. (2017). Leadership, followers’ mental health and job performance in organizations: A comprehensive meta‐analysis from an occupational health perspective. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 38(3), 327-350. Retrieved from http://www.affinityhealthhub.co.uk/d/attachments/4-montano-et-al-2017-1554904759.pdf.