Recent Question/Assignment

Assignment 1
Description Marks out of Wtg(%) Due date
Case Study 1 (2000-2400 words)
Note: Please see Style Guide in this Assessment File for all referencing) 100 30 5 April, 2017 (11.59pm AEST).
This assignment deals with the material covered in your text and readings.
You should write the case study in such a way that you start your answers from line 1. That is, there is no need for large introductions that we see in essays. You should apply the principles you have learned from lecture material/tutorials/readings that are specific to the case study. Case study 1 answers should be written in narrative form (i.e. sentences not bullet points), and should be between 2000-2400 words long, single spaced. Each case study should be referenced by including these at the end of the case. More marks are gained by the quality of research applied in practice and the overall quality of the answer. Please Note: Overall word count does not include Tables and Figures which you are free to use if required. You should include in your case study:
1. A cover sheet with your Name, ID, Course Name, Lecturer, Semester and Date of Submission;
2. There is no need to use turn-it-in with your case study;
3. Please quote from relevant texts and readings to support your answers. Answers in the narrative section of your case answers unsupported by readings will be regarded as guesswork and generalisations and will not pass the case assessment;
4. If you feel a need to attach some other interesting report or facts not required in the main body of your case answer, please add this as an appendix. Then in your text close to where you discuss this, you should add in brackets (please seen Appendix 1). Please see the Style Guide below for how to use references in your case studies. Task/Questions for the case can be found at the conclusion of the case.
5. Individual Case Study 1
6. Problem Statement:
7. You need to consider how you will identify the range of issues and problems in the following problem statement.
Ridgeway Industries ©
Please Note: This problem statement and industry is fictional. All names are pseudonyms only. Any resemblance to actual names and places is purely coincidental. Ridgeway Industries is a manufacturing and distribution firm located in Singapore and Sydney. The Singapore strategic business unit develops electronic systems for cars, buses, trucks and other automobile distribution. The company makes approximately 50% of its products with the remaining 50% of the business comprising the distribution of parts for some of the world’s largest companies including Toyota, Nissan, Kia, Samsung, Ford and Renault. The Sydney SBU largely distributes electrical system products and parts. Within the Ridgeway Singapore SBU, the central administration section (CAS) houses about 50% of employees with the remaining employees working in the factory assembly areas. The CAS leader is Susan Wong who is regarded as a highly efficient and effective leader for getting things done. Susan has approximately 8o direct reports consisting of marketing, sales, administration and accounting and finance staff. She has assistant managers in each of these areas. As a leader, Susan likes to have control and is very hands-on. She doesn’t suffer fools lightly, likes to train her staff to be more efficient, is task-focused yet sympathetic to building relationships when she needs to, although these are often on her own terms. She likes to see staff engaged and demonstrating quite strong organisational citizenship behaviour. It is noticeable that the in-group tend to the most favoured for new internal job opportunities, for promotion, for being part of sub-groups or task groups that investigate particular problems and/or market opportunities, and that these groups are highly favoured by the management team. It is no surprise that such task-groups tend to lead to the most rewarding tasks/roles. Susan is not known for sitting down and asking ‘why’ questions as she likes to get on with the job, make productive and fairly quick decisions, and solve problems quickly. This penchant for efficiency has prompted her General Manager to recently state that ‘if you want something done, give it to Susan.’
Inside CAS however, some friction and paradox is emerging among staff. The latter seem to relate to the out-group (which seems to be growing to about 20% of staff) with a few in particular quite vocal in their opposition to Susan’s leader style. One in particular, Johnson Fellows, has become ambivalent and disinterested, looks distant and withdrawn and has stopped volunteering for extra trade shows, demonstrations of company products that Ridgeway like to see their staff attend occasionally, and is sometime hostile to other staff. He has ceased coming to morning teas and any extra company activity is often excused for family reasons. On hearing about Johnson and a few other staff, Susan has asked the assistant managers to list out the attitudinal and work-related issues in a performance review with strict task criteria attached to solving the issues. The manner in which Susan responds to any disagreement and conflict tends to be based on a transactional & technical approach. In effect, list and outline the issues, set some action plans, and implement them. Much discussion often occurs across staff about how she responds to such problems and in recent times, this had not solved the emotional states that staff are increasingly demonstrating. Many resent her stance and call to action and a quite cold approach to seeking to understand people and what makes them tick. Since nearly all her leader actions relate to task and action, some staff who have worked for Ridgeway for more than 10 years lament the ‘good-old-days’ where managers and staff were friends and where managers/leaders showed genuine interest in staff welfare.
1. More recently, a new assistant manager (Ben Abernathy) was appointed to head up sales and marketing and as a direct report to Susan. Ben’s style was more related to involving staff to learn and challenge old systems with new ways of thinking. Importantly, he did not always look at the technical and transactional side to things and was instrumental in getting people to collaborate and work in teams. Susan after a while started to resent Ben’s success in dreaming up new ideas to expand sales and marketing. Her response was to mainly place Ben under pressure to produce an advanced action plan to highlight how he was going to formulate the ideas and put them into practice. His leadership style was to take this new challenge (an advanced action plan) back to the group. He sought to try and improvise what some of the ideas might look like going forward. For instance, one of his teams came up with the idea of simulating a commercial tradeshow related to how they would demonstrate the advantages of a new electronics system for passenger trains since Ridgeway was expanding from automobiles to other transport modes. Some weeks later, Susan Wong asked for the action plan, only to be told by Ben that “what we want to demonstrate instead is a theatrical demonstration (and deconstruction) of the new passenger train electrical system”. He then mentioned that “once we have acted out how we think it will work, we would like to then place this into a broader plan and present it to you and the other managers.” Susan’s response to this was that he (Ben) and his team had taken months to work on a plan and that in the absence of the action plan for the new passenger train electrical system, it was time to “visit the General Manager” to explain why the action plan had not been delivered. As a result of this meeting, Ben was curious and bemused while Susan saw the whole event as poor performance and poor leadership on Ben’s part which made her look bad in the eyes of the General Manager.
Additional References
Anand, S. Hu, J. Liden, R.C. & Vidyarthi, P.R. (2011), Leader-member exchange: Recent research findings and prospects for the future. In A. Bryman, D. Collinson, K. Grint, G. Jackson, and B. Huh-Bien, (Eds), The SAGE handbook of leadership, 311-325. Sage. London.
Bass, B.M (1985), Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations. The Free Press: New York.
Bass, B.M. Avolio, B. (1993), Transformational Leadership: a response to critiques. In M.M. Chemers & R. Ayman (eds), Leadership theory and research: Perspectives and directions. Academic Press: New York, 49-80.
George, B (2003), Authentic leadership: rediscovering the secrets of creating lasting value, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.
Uhl-Bien, M. Marion, R. (2009), Complexity leadership in bureaucratic forms of organising: A meso-model. The Leadership Quarterly, 20, 631-650.
Price, Waterhouse, Coopers. (2010), The heart of the matter: Why effective strategy execution matters now more than ever. February.
Task required: Based on less than perfect information supplied about the Ridgeway problem statement, please answer the following questions:
1. Develop at least five (5) realistic assumptions that you can add to the issues and problems expressed. These might typically be related to leadership style, leader-member exchange, transformation/transactional styles. Use at least two to three sentences to describe each assumption (200-300 words).
2. In reference to Chapter 7 of Northouse (2016), Reading 6 by Little et al. (2016), and Module 2, explain what might be occurring with the relationship between Susan Wong and her staff (500-600 words).
3. How does the problem statement for Ridgeway resemble what Little et al. and others describe as interpersonal emotion management (IEM). What are some realistic strategies that Susan might employ using Little et al as a guide? (500-600 words).
4. In reference to Chapter 8 of Northouse (2016), Reading 7 by Anderson and Sun (2015), and Module 2, how else could you describe Susan’s approach? What other solutions exist if she was to adopt a transformational approach and how would she implement it (400 words).
5. In reference to Chapter 9 of Northouse (2016) and Reading 9 by Agote et al. (2016). What aspects of an authentic leader style might be appropriate and why? (400-500 words).
Please Note: Use a minimum of 7 references (including the one’s listed above) to support your answers
Assignment 1 - Case study 1 Marking Criteria Sheet
Extensive ……………………… Minor evidence