Leadership approaches play an important role when it comes to the success of any project. Any organization that seeks to compete competitively in the contemporary business world must adopt the most appropriate leadership style. UsMed Co. adopted various leadership styles to ensure that it remains competitive in today’s market. The company utilizes a contingency leadership style in which a leadership approach is determined by the situation. In the TransCare Project, a delegative leadership style was adopted which succeeded in the proper implementation of the project. From the analysis of the leadership styles adopted in the present case study, it is clear that such as power, politics, and influence can lead to contradictions when it comes to a leader’s intended behavior. These issues can have an impact on the initially adopted leadership approach. This is seen in the case study when power and politics create confusion in roles and responsibilities. This paper proposes that sticking to the chosen leadership approach can help avoid contradictions associated with slowed projects. The leadership approaches had challenges but succeeded in achieving the set objectives.
Table of Contents
Identified Leadership Approaches, Styles and Strategies in the Case…………………………………………..6
Context of the Identified Leadership Approaches, Styles and Strategies…………………………….. 8
Successes and Failure of the Identified Leadership Approaches, Styles and Strategies…………. 8
Overview of the issues discussed
Leadership approaches play an important role when it comes to the success of any project. Any organization that seeks to compete competitively in the contemporary business world must adopt the most appropriate leadership style. The role of leadership approach in project success is clearly seen in the TransCare Team case study. UsMed Co. realized that its existing leadership approach would not help in the successful implementation of the new project. In response, a new leader with the right expertise was made responsible for the new project. This approach resembles the contingency style, where leadership is determined by the situation at hand. The new leader then adopted a delegative approach that helped succeed in the effective implementation of the project. However, certain issues such as power, politics, and influence can lead to contradictions when it comes to a leader’s intended behavior. In the present case study, power and influence lead to contradictions of the intended behavior of the company’s leader. This paper proposes that sticking to the chosen leadership approach can help avoid contradictions associated with slowed projects.
Purpose and outline
The purpose of leadership approaches is ensuring that organizational projects are effectively and efficiently implemented. The purpose of this paper is analyzing the leadership styles adopted in the TransCare Team case study. The report starts by identifying the adopted leadership styles. Then, a discussion of the context of these styles, and the success and failures of the styles is presented. This is followed by the relevance of power, influence, politics, and culture in influencing leadership behaviors, and contradictions in the leader’s intentions. Finally, the paper proposes recommendations to improve the success of a project in the present case study.
Leadership Approaches and Styles
According to Fiaz, Su, and Saqib (2017), the success of an organization depends on the approaches and strategies that its leaders and managers use to influence change to manage people and drive processes. Companies that have effective strategies stand high chances of outperforming their rivals, winning the hearts of their customers and attaining sustainable growth and development. As already been mentioned, leadership is an important component in active positive team management. The leadership styles and approaches that one uses impact greatly on the eventual performance. Positive approaches improve team morale, idea sharing, communication, and innovation. Several leadership styles exist.
First, it is necessary to explore each of these leadership approaches before evaluating how they are reflected in the presented case. Transformational leadership style is one of the most important approaches used by successful leaders across the world; not just in the business sector. It is characterized by a great sense of inspiration by the leader on the followers. Transformational leadership is focused on driving an organization towards success by changing the existing thoughts, beliefs, and culture (Fiaz, Su & Saqib, 2017).
Democratic leadership is another leadership approach that has been used successfully by many successful organizations. It focuses on collaborative energy, the delegation of responsibilities, and group-level decision making. Also called participative leadership, this style tries to engage all members of the team in the decision-making process (Bonsu & Twum-Danso, 2018). It requires a leader who can cultivate participation, empower members and work alongside them directly. It requires leaders who are actively engaged, committed, supportive and accountable.
Moreover, the autocratic leadership style is also a crucial approach applicable in certain situations, although it may be defective in many scenarios. It is characterized by a hierarchical decision-making system where members answer absolutely to a key figure. It leaves almost no room for the voice of the members. The approach emphasizes control as opposed to creativity (Fiaz, Su & Saqib, 2017). Employees have zero engagement with the top leadership and their work is streamlined and supervised.
Several other leadership styles are used widely by leaders at different stages in diverse scenarios. Laissez-faire leadership, for instance, is focused on offering the team members absolute control when it comes to making decisions and completing tasks. Here, the team leader takes a hands-off approach to task completion and decision-making (Cote, 2017). However, they must be communicative, trusting and open-minded (Chaudhry & Javed, 2012). The team members must also have adequate skills and knowledge ion the tasks they are supposed to handle. Other crucial leadership styles worth mentioning include servant-leadership where the leader dirties their hands as they try to lead by example. There is also bureaucratic leadership which is characterized by a highly formalized set of processes and transactional leadership where everything is clearly and rigidly designed.
Identified Leadership Approaches, Styles and Strategies in the Case
Contingency Leadership approach
The TransCare situation reflects various leadership approaches. This is seen when Merz, the company’s marketing manager, is taking a different approach from the one taken by other leaders. The company is struggling with a new change whose proponents believed would lead the company towards success. Even despite launching the TransCare project, the company still realized that it faced threats of stiff competition from established rivals who announced they would move into the same new market with UsMed.Co. Changes had to be made strategically to give TransCare a competitive edge, including leadership approaches. The existing leadership system could not address adequately and positively the problem the company was facing.
Merz, adopted another approach, transformational leadership, to bring in changes that were needed to help the organization succeed. She adopted a new approach that would inspire change (Bonsu& Twum-Danso, 2018), Based on this discussion, the leadership style adopted by the organization is determined by the situation at hand. This type of approach is known as a contingency leadership style. In this style, the leadership style is matched with the situation at hand. According to contingency theory, there is no one best style to lead a company towards success (Ayman, 2004). The right leadership is the one that matches the situation. According to the theory, the situation at hand should be considered when choosing the type of leader who handles a project.
Delegative leadership approach
Another salient leadership approach evident in the cross-function team of TransCare is the delegative leadership approach. At first, there is a well-set and formalized set of procedures with each person understanding what role they are expected to play. Under the membership of Karen Bio, Jack Fogel, Aaron Gerson, Valerie Merz, Dipesh Mukerjee, and Bret O’Brien, the team has a specific mission that they are intended to achieve (Hunt, 2020). Then, the leaders delegate project responsibilities to the project manager. This is seen in team members being answerable to the immediate superiors. In a delegative leadership approach, leaders allow project managers to make decisions in their relevant departments (Cote, 2017). The managers are also expected to solve on their own, any problems arising in their department. In this case study, the leader just wants to know about the progress of the project, he has little interest in the actual implementation of the project. That responsibility is left to the project manager and the team.
Context of the Identified Leadership Approaches, Styles and Strategies
Based on the available literature on leadership approaches and styles, it is clear that USMed Co. prefers a contingency leadership approach. The company makes some leadership changes after realizing that the existing approach was not improving its performance. A new approach was needed to make the company more competitive. This explains who a new leader was assigned to the project. When different leaders are appointed in different phases of organizational growth, an organization is taking a contingency leadership approach. The new leader adopted a delegative leadership style. Different managers were assigned specific departments and given the responsibility of leading those departments. The managers were free to make appropriate decisions while the leader took an oversight role to ensure that the project was effectively implemented.
Successes and Failure of the Identified Leadership Approaches, Styles and Strategies.
Through the contingency leadership approach, the organization was able to bring in a new leader who fits the current situation leading to the adoption of most appropriate practices. This approach ensured that the project was run by experts resulting in a good performance. Then, the new leader adopted a new approach, a delegative style, which enables the company to implement the changes effectively. Department managers enabled the project leader to complete the project within the set deadlines. So, the leadership approach ensured that the project was done effectively and efficiently. However, the adopted leadership style created some confusion. The leader could sometimes take up the roles delegated to project managers. This created an overlapping of power during the project implementation process.
The Relevance of Power, Politics, and Influence in Shaping Leadership Behaviors
Power and politics play a lot in influencing the direction of leadership in an organization. In the presented case, power and influence played a role in shaping leadership behaviors. The first influence of power and politics was witnessed at the initial stages when Valerie Merz and Jack among other managers in the organization could not agree considering that they had the same level of power (Hunt, 2020). As unit managers, it was not easy to bring heads together and work as a team considering that each group was fighting to meet its objectives while ignoring others. This made effective leadership almost impossible to implement. It is for this reason why Art Bearmount thought of bringing these different groups together and place them in a single manageable team.
Power struggles further shaped the relationship among different team members who were in Bearmount’s group, especially Valerie Merz and her colleagues. The fragile working relationship between O’Brien and Merz was a tale-tell sign of power struggle and internal politics (Hunt, 2020). The level of tension intensified because of poor management due to power and internal politics (Hunt, 2020). During these conflicts, leadership becomes destabilized. A leader who does not identify such influences early enough may end up resorting to a whole new leadership style that they had not intended to use as they try to calm down the situation. For instance, Beaumont as the leader uses the power she has to regain control of the company.
Additionally, in the TrasCare Project, the leader used his power and influence to control the project activities. The first intention was to allow department managers to run all their activities. But, his power started influencing his behaviors which led to confusion on roles and responsibilities. Clearly, power, politics, and influence can change a leadership style that a leader had adopted.
Many contradictions can be identified from the conflicts and tensions arising in the presented case. First, every member of this team wants to win, which can be interpreted as a positive thing for the TransCare project and the overall organization (Hunt, 2020). However, the organization may not gain eventually if these groups are not working together. Valerie is genuinely concerned about having the team working collaboratively so that every unit can support each other as they pursue the same objective. Her intentions for the company are good. However, the rest of her team members and leaders are somewhat mean in their pursuit. O’Brien is a leader who, despite seeking to have her unit performs well in meeting its objectives, ends up contradicting the same goals she seeks to fulfill (Hunt, 2020). It is not possible to insist on having a positive vision for TransCare when she does not support and work with the same group with whom they share a strategic objective and mission.
Similarly, the organizational leader takes up some roles that were previously delegated to project managers. So, as much as the initial style was delegative, these contradictions suggest otherwise. He still wanted to influence decision making during the implementation of the project. This is not what delegative leadership style is about. The style requires a hands-off approach. Managers should be allowed to make decisions with minimal influence from leaders.
The situation experienced at the company can be resolved if various suggestions are taken into account. First, leaders should stick to the chosen leadership style. In this case, the leaders should stick to the delegative leadership approach. This will avoid role confusion which delays projects. Department managers should be left to execute their roles and responsibilities associated with a smooth flow of activities. The delegative approach gives the managers the responsibility of making decisions and this should be followed strictly. It is also important that leaders avoid contradictions in their actions that may arise with the influence of power or politics. This will ensure that the project is successfully implemented.
The role of leadership in the dynamic organizational space has changed in the recent past. The leadership approach adopted determines if any project will be successful or not. Successful organizations will have to adopt the most appropriate style for their projects to yield desired results. In the case study of TransCare, the most appropriate leadership style was chosen. A contingency leadership approach ensures that organizations succeed in every situation they are facing. Also, a delegative approach helps in accomplishing project goals. Although there were some contradictions on the initially intended behavior by the leader, eventually, the project was implemented within the set deadline. These leadership styles, may not be the best for other organizations. So, organizations must take time before deciding which approach to adopt.
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