Date: 20th October 2012 Management Question 1 This question requires narrating a situation in which a leader’s style of leadership is criticized according to the model provided by Fiedler’s Contingency Theory of Leadership…
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Those factors include Leader/Member Relation, Task-oriented structure, and Position Power. A leader tackles a specific situation based upon these factors. A leader can demonstrate such a behavior in which the relations, loyalty, trust, likeness and other similar items are expected from the subordinates. Such a leader is assumed to carry such leadership style, which has high rating on Leader/Member Relation. For task-oriented culture, subordinates know what their leader expects from them and how a job can be done in the most appropriate manner. That leader carries a high rating on task-oriented structure factor. Thirdly, effectiveness of leadership is also influenced by the power that the leader has and exerts upon the subordinates. To be more specific, Fiedler states that the leader would demonstrate only in a particular leadership style no matter what the situation is. His/her leadership style would be either task oriented or relationship oriented. In the subsequent parts, a specific situation is analyzed in which the leader demonstrates all the three factors, which influence his style of leadership. A. In a public accounting and audit firm, where the financial statements of an entity are audited, different sorts of leadership styles can be observed from the top management of the audit firm i.e. audit partners. Audit partner is the one who is responsible to sign the financial statements of many different clients at a time stating whether the financial statements are prepared in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations. Being a leader, the audit partner adopts either, a task oriented or relationship oriented style. There occurred a situation where a client, which had so many issues in its financial statements, required special attention of the audit partner who was primarily relationship-oriented leader. In such a situation, the audit partner had to deal diligently because the situational favorability of leadership style could affect the quality of assurance, which that client required. As a relationship-oriented leader, the audit partner informally talked to all the relevant subordinate managers who were serving that client at different times and on different occasions, regarding those issues that could have been encountered by the team so that every member of the team remain aware of those issues and their likely resolutions. Audit partner used these statements in order to make the subordinates aware of the sensitivity of issues that may arise during the audit engagement. “This client can create deadly issues because of the lack of evidence provided, I personally believe that you have tackled these sorts of issues in past as well. I hope you will remain in successful the way you treated the previous client having similar issues.” To another subordinate, the leader talked in this way, “I truly admire the way you have managed such hard clients. Now another chance you have got and you have to prove your skills once again, another bonus is waiting for you”. Rather than asking directly about the end-results, the audit partner utilized soft skills to tackle this sensitive client. Had there been a task-oriented audit partner, he would have called an official meeting to guide all the subordinate managers in a specific manner, would have asked them the end-results and ultimately told them the negative consequences in case of showing any inefficiency or careless effort. In the end, every subordinate took a special care of those issues, sorted them out
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