Organizational Behavior and people management
An essay about Organizational Behavior and people management
Case Study: Leadership Styles and Approaches
The identified case study for analysis in this case is The Blue Spider Project. The Blue Spider project in the case failed based on the fact that the project team leader lacked the requisite experience needed to effectively manage the project. Leaders should be able to meet the needs of the moment as guided by the contingency theories of leadership. According to Ahmed, Nawaz and Khan (2016), no style of leadership is stand-alone. This notion is founded on the fact that a leadership style implemented will depend on various factors with the existing situation being one of them. According to the situational theory, there is no single effective way to lead because the internal and external environmental dimensions require that the leader adapts to a situation (Ahmed, Nawaz & Khan, 2016). This paper explores The Blue Spider Project case and examines the leadership styles and approaches to reveal the most effective approach which could have been considered to prevent the project’s failure.
The Most Effective Leadership Style
In the case study, it is evident that the Gary relies on transactional leadership to lead the project team towards achieving its goals. Transactional leadership, also referred to as a managerial style of leadership is an approach whereby the manager focuses on the supervision role, group performance and organization (Odumeru & Ogbonna, 2013). The transactional leadership style is effective in emergency projects. In such cases, the project leaders pay attention to the subordinates’ work with an aim of finding deviations and faults. Through the implementation of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it is clear that the transactional form of leadership is mainly effective when implemented at basic levels of need satisfaction. One of the effective ways in which the transactional leaders can focus on achieving results is by placing a strong emphasis on the specific task performance (Odumeru & Ogbonna, 2013). In the case study, Gary relied on the situational form of leadership as the team was under a strict budget and time to accomplish the project. Moreover, it is evident that Gary continued pushing the team to perform so as to meet the set goals and objectives of the project. However, the outcome of this style is that the team suffered from decreased motivation alongside other factors resulting to the failure of the project.
Transformational leadership is the most effective leadership style which could have been implemented in this case. This style could have been effective as the leaders motivate the followers by guiding them to put the interest of the group first. Additionally, the leaders who rely on a transformational form of leadership will promote creativity and innovation with an aim of solving the existing problems rather than stressing on correct actions with an aim of improving on the general team performance (Odumeru & Ogbonna, 2013). Through the implementation of these factors, the project team members will be motivated towards a successful outcome.
Tools and Techniques
The use of rewards is one of the techniques that can be used to influence the performance of the team members. According to Shenoy (2018), rewards in an effective way of motivating the performance of the members of the team to ensure that the required team expectations are met. Therefore, Gary can consider the use of rewards to motivate the group members to perform effectively. The rewards can be in the form of monetary and non-monetary incentives. According to Maslow’s theory of motivation, the member of a team with a sense of belonging is always motivated to put in an extra effort to achieve team goals and individual requirements.
Managing the Communication of a Group
Different tools and technique can be implemented to manage the communication of the groups. According to Abudi (2013), collaboration tools such as emails can be effective in managing communication outside the team. Gary can manage the communication of the team members through the use of emails requiring them to provide status reports even when they are away from the team. Teleconferencing and virtual meetings through online platforms are also effective tools which can be considered to achieve this functionality. An increased engagement can also be achieved through the use of phone calls for communication by the members when away from the team (Abudi, 2013).
Types of Power for Collaboration
Expert power, as described by Shenoy, is suitable for encouraging the members of the team to engage in collaboration (Shenoy, 2018). For instance, Gary can lead by example by showing the members of the team that collaboration is an important aspect of the team’s success. By administering his knowledge, expertise and information to the other members of the team, Gary shows the members about the importance of working collaboratively and enhancing each other’s strengths for an effective outcome. Relational power can also be effective in fostering collaboration among the members of the team. Shenoy (2018) provides an indication that with relational power, one possesses a tremendous network and has a strong ability to establish an effective relationship with others. A positive relationship always suggests effective collaboration with other team members. Employing these forms of power would be effective in enhancing the success of the members of the project team as reflected by the improved element of collaboration.
Developing Self-Managed Teams
Self-managing teams can be established with individuals with varied backgrounds and perspectives. The major focus is to ensure that each member is valuable to the team through a unique set of skills. As a result, collaboration focused on ensuring team success will be encouraged among the members. Moreover, productivity also increases to guarantee team success. However, it is advisable that the leader of the team should be able to provide members with the required trust that they will be able to deliver what is expected of them and generate effective decisions associated with team’s success. Therefore, it is evident that self-managed teams for agile projects can be developed by creating a group of members with varied skillset to create value for the team. This is founded on the notion that every team and member is unique in agile teams (Couture, 2016). However, to ensure that the self-managed teams are effective in meeting their mandate, it is recommended that the members of the team should be discipline and self-driven to meet the team’s requirements.
Challenges and How to address them
Poor communication is one of the challenges experienced in the case study. Evidently, a breakdown in communication was experienced within the project team and in the department which way directly associated with managing the project. For instance, the requisite changes which should be addressed within the project are not effectively addressed. Poor communication was also noted among the project’s management which contributed towards its failure. Poor communication suggests that the team members will not understand each other on the fundamental project requirements and may also engage in conflict as a result of the diverse nature of the project group (Madsen, 2016).
Administrative challenges were also experienced in the case study. Evidently, Anderson was concern about the R &D works and administrative concerns and was focused on establishing a balance. For example, there was a lack of financial planning focused on meeting the necessary changes. Lack of effective leadership was also a common challenge experienced in the case. This is reflected by the fact that both Gary and Gable showed lack of effective leadership skills when handling the project tasks. For instance, both leaders demonstrated lack of effective delegation skills. Different steps can be considered to handle the challenges noted in the team.
Different steps can be considered by a project manager to handle the challenges common in a project team. The first one includes having control of the team. As a project manager, one should show control over the over the projects which are complex and large in nature (Madsen, 2016). The Spider project is considered as a complex project which could have been successful if the project leaders exercised an effective control over them. Exercising control over the project is recommended as it reduces the risk of uncertainty which may be experienced during the course of the project.
Operating with the right experts is the second step to be considered to handle the project challenges. Having members with the right skillset will enhance team efficiency and improve on the effectiveness of the members in achieving the set goals of the team. It is evident that Gary lacked requisite knowledge about project management which may have contributed towards the failure of the project. The right experts in the team will aid in the delivery of exactly what is required (Madsen, 2016). A third step to be considered when handling the challenges in the team includes including more testing during the project process. The testing process is focused on quality assurance and reducing instances of time wastage in establishing a prototype failure at a later project phase when a lot of time has lapsed.
The fourth step includes having a team of reliable members who value team leadership. Working with members who value leadership reduces instances of challenges development in the course of the team as the members will be willing to follow the guide and recommendations of the leader to derive an effective outcome (Madsen, 2016). Stakeholder analysis and management is the fifth step to be considered. This step is effective as it aids in enhancing communication about the project’s progress and any other aspects likely to encourage the success of the project. The communication should be tailored to the fundamental stakeholders as this makes it easier to establish if the project is on the right path and is being accomplish as per the plan. Staying at the top of the risks is also a fundamental step as it exposes the leaders to a position where he/she can regularly manage the risk before a project failure is experienced (Madsen, 2016).
Abudi, G. (2013). Managing communications effectively and efficiently. Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2013—North America, New Orleans, LA. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.
Ahmed, Z., Nawaz, A. & Khan, I. (2016). Leadership Theories and Styles: A Literature Review. Journal of Resources Development and Management. 16. 1-6.
Couture, N. (2016). How to create and lead self-managing teams. CIO. Retrieved July 6, 2020 from https://www.cio.com/article/3031685/how-to-create-and-lead-self-managing-teams.html
Madsen, S. (2016). 8 Steps to Overcome the Challenges of Managing a Larger Project. Strategy Execution. Retrieved July 6, 2020 from https://www.strategyex.co.uk/blog/pmoperspectives/overcome-challenges-managing-larger-project/
Odumeru, J. & Ogbonna, I. (2013). Transformational vs. Transactional Leadership Theories: Evidence in Literature. International Review of Management and Business Research, 2(1), 355-360.
Shenoy, S. (2018). 14 Types of Power You Can Use as a Project Manager! Retrieved July 2, 2020, from https://www.pmexamsmartnotes.com/5-types-of-power-to-a-project-manager/