Leadership is a practical skill and a research area concerning the ability of a person to guide other people, groups, or the whole organization. There are different types of leadership that exist in work places with each style coming with its own benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, according to the culture and goals of a particular organization, a good leadership style should be selected with regards to the goals and culture (Harte, 2014). However, some organizations have several leadership styles within itself in accordance with the tasks that need to be accomplished and the needs of each and every department. There are five leadership styles namely: laissez-faire, autocratic, participative, transactional, and transformational leadership.
During the recent echinacea crisis, the decisions and actions made based on the conversation demonstrate an autocratic leadership style. In autocratic leadership, the leader is the one who makes all the decisions without others contributing (Harte, 2014). This is a good style for employees who need high supervision but it discourages and demoralizes creative employees. The autocratic style is evident in the two leaders who were in the center of the echinacea crisis: Michael Brow the current VP of Headquarter Operations, and Henrietta Higgins, the Assistant Director of Purchasing and. For Higgins, her decision to cut relations with the old supplier and start corporation with the new supplier demonstrates autocratic leadership because she did not consult with other departments or experts before making such a decision. Her decision was solely best on cutting cost of supply of echinacea by 20% and not considering other factors like the quality and safety of the echinacea. This decision landed her in problem during the crisis and since autocratic leadership is punishment based, she was fired. On the other hand, when Michael realized that Higgins had cut relationship with the original supplier and contracted a new supplier echinacea without consulting with the relevant authorities, he decided to fire Higgins without consulting with the relevant authorities even though they later supported his decision.
In Laissez-faire type of leadership, there is little or no supervision meaning that highly qualified employees who need less supervision are needed (Northouse, 2019). It is evident that the company has experts who are entrusted with their roles and given powers to make decisions concerning the company on their own. For the case where there are employees who need more supervision, this style is not appropriate and it can lower the rate of production in an organization. Laissez-faire seems to fail in the Echinacea crisis because a critical decision was left on the hands of one person and resulted in the purchase of Echinacea that caused health hazards to customers.
Following the Echinacea crisis, the most appropriate leadership style that would handle the crisis would have been the democratic leadership style. In participative or democratic leadership, employees’ contribution is highly welcomed even though the final decision lies with the leader. In this style, changes can be easily made in an organization because the employees are involved in decision making processes. Leaders and their teams should set predetermined goals where failure to meet them warrants punishment to the employs while meeting the goals attracts rewards (Northouse, 2019). Also, leaders should communicate to employees, motivate them and delegate some duties to the employees. This is also known as decentralization where tasks are done by others. Unlike autocratic leadership which maintains status quo, democratic leadership innovates and aims at active transformation, cultivates negotiation and cooperation, encourages people to be relational and expressive, focuses on intrinsic and extrinsic reward systems, encourages creativity, personal significance, free expression, autonomy, and assumes risk as a trial and error with opportunities for leaning and evolution.
During the Echinacea crisis, there are different leadership competencies that are shown; first, there is area expertise which Michael demonstrates in his quest to get to the root cause of the crisis. He coordinated the relevant staff and resources and investigates the matter and got to its root cause. Also, there is influence skill which is demonstrated by Michael’s decision to fire Higgins and got the support of the management. Also, decision making is evident in all actions that Michael took in taming further impact of the Echinacea crisis by working together with the supplies, distributors, retailers , and customers to recall the product.
During a crisis, here is needed to take actions that will be a remedy the crisis and not worsen the situation. Prudence, conflict management, and decision making are critical leadership competencies during crisis. The crisis is important because they can help contain the situation and make decision that is vital to organizational operations and image (Northouse, 2019).
During the Echinacea crisis, emotional intelligence is evident when Michael the CEO took the matter serious following the death of one customer and seven others falling ill. The CEO and his team coordinated the recall of the product in conjunction with employees, distributors, and customers. The quick action to recall the products shows emotional intelligence.
During crisis, emotional intelligence can help managers escape tricky situation and also potentially turn them into opportunities. During tough moments, human instincts precede emotions and are reactionary. It is an incredible quality when a manager can manage emotions and be able to think through a crisis calmly and come up with the best strategy (Northouse, 2019). When decisions are controlled, rushed, and influenced by panic can be devastating during a crisis.
Authentic approach to leadership emphasizes building leaders’ legitimacy through honest relationships with their subordinates which value their input and are based on ethical foundation (Boerner & Dütschke, 2018). Here, there lacked authentic leadership because Higgins failed to work with her subordinates and the management in the procurement of the genetically modifies Echinacea from the new supplier.
Leaders and managers play a vital role in the influence of behaviour of workers in the work place. Evidence shows that strict managers make workers to hate going to work. A manager therefore needs to support and stand by the workers and guide them as well to help them upgrade their job knowledge and acquire new skills. This makes the workers feel important. Therefore leaders need to a strong source of inspiration and a role model to the subordinates (Boerner & Dütschke, 2018). Workplace culture is an essential since workers need to feel comfortable in work place. The relationship is supposed to be equal to everyone and the employees should be added to be respectful to their leaders (Zumitvan &Michie 2015). Reporting systems should be simple and not complex to enable easy communication. Members of the team should know what their fellows are up to. Job security is also essential and the managers need to stand by employees during tempting equations
Organizational culture on the other hand represents the core values the managers and their subordinates have in common (Elbeshbishi, 2019). Structure and culture in the performance of a business represents the ability of an organization to meet its objectives and utilize its resources effectively (Boerner & Dütschke, 2018). In this case, the culture of the organizations where managers can make decisions without consultation caused the crisis. Higgins thought she was saving cost for the company yet the Echinacea that she ordered from the new contractor did not meet the required standards.
In the modern times, culture and structure of organisations need to be effectively evaluated and critically managed. The integral part of organization culture is its structure since it majorly deals with culture establishment and turns out to motivate employees to work effectives with an aim of attaining organizational goals and objectives. Structure stipulates the roles entitled to each one in the organization and their relationship to serve customers (Zumitvan &Michie 2015). Clear roles and responsibilities makes the communication between the organization to be effective and efficient of task coordination within an organization’s jobs and tasks that help in the positive development of culture where everyone is involved and participates in the mission and vision of the organization
Leadership involves working through others and the success of a leader depends on the input from employees and teams. Therefore, organizations and leaders should adopt the right leadership style that suits their goals and operations to enhance their production (Elbeshbishi, 2019). Leadership styles have important effects on businesses whether large or small (Elbeshbishi, 2019). These styles have impact from the top level management to the least employee in the organization these styles develop corporate culture and determine the organisations performance. Autocratic style is the first leadership style (Harte, 2014). This style openly creates a distinction between leaders and workers autocratic leaders come up with decisional with least or no involvement of employees. The managers are comfortable and confident with the decisions-making responsibilities for an organization and operating strategic plans. This leadership style is creative compared to other styles. It is desired when fast decisions need to be made without involving employees and hence makes employees fell detached from this styles.
Management theory and organizational structure are applied in many business aspects. Many individual strive to follow the theory to enable them succeed in their jobs and become more successful in life something which makes them to bend their personal principles so that they can succeed (Elbeshbishi, 2019). For example, in a financial sector, a manager needs to achieve goals by following a set structure. Likewise, someone in the human resource department works tireless the whole day to ensure that the structure which the organisations operate in is changed (Carroll 2012).
Management theory underpins the values of some workers. Workers may disagree with a given rule introduced in the organization. However, for them to carry out their mandate, they need to deviate from their principles and execute their roles (Harte, 2014). It is usually hard to execute organizational and management theories since the psychological contact should be maintained by employers and employees. The way the company treats the employees should be maintained and vise verse.
Boerner, Sabine, & Dütschke, Elisabeth. (2018). The impact of charismatic leadership on followers’ initiative-oriented behavior: A study in German hospitals. (Fachbereich Politik- und Verwaltungswissenschaft. Fachbereich Politik- und Verwaltungswissenschaft.) Universität Konstanz.
Elbeshbishi, A. N. (January 01, 2019). Power, Character, and Leadership.
Eneanya, A. N. (January 01, 2019). Leadership, Public Values, and Trust in Emergency Management. Winter, D. G. (February 27, 2019). Leadership Personality Characteristics and Foreign Policy.
Harte, J., & Harte, J. (2014). Management crisis and business revolution.
Northouse, P. G. (2019). Leadership: Theory and practice.
Zumitzavan, V., & Michie, J. (2015). Personal knowledge management, leadership styles, and organisational performance: a case study of the healthcare industry in Thailand. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlebk&db=nlabk&AN=959492.
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