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Case Study Assessment - Essay Example

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The case study analyzed in this paper illustrates several issues associated with leadership and management. Existence of an influential informal leader within the team puts the new supervisor in a difficult situation. On the one hand, his positional power provides him with every tool to effectively manage the team; on the other hand, lack of certain intangibles related to leader's influence are likely to hinder his efforts to successfully cope with the problematic situation…
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Case Study Assessment
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Download file to see previous pages 14). However, while this definition of leadership highlights the essence of leadership, it is only one of the numerous of definitions that have been proposed in the literature: the second edition of The Handbook of Leadership by Bass lists more than 130 definitions of this phenomenon and 13 major approaches (Bass, 1990, p. 12). Availability of such versatile data significantly facilitates analysis of problems related to leadership because in many cases the existing approaches and definitions are not mutually exclusive but rather complementary. The present report is an attempt to analyze a situation that provides valuable insights into the most essential aspects of leadership and is directly linked to effectiveness of managerial work.
The story of Ted Willis who has been hired as the new supervisor suggests he is likely to face the classic type of leadership problem: the new leader vs. the old leader. One should not get misled by the fact that Ted is the new supervisor and the old supervisor has been fired. ...
The so-called 'workers of influence' theory of leadership is particularly important to understand the distinction between managers and leaders.
The key idea of this theory is that leadership may be exhibited by anyone in the organization in any type of position (Yukl 1989). According to this theory leaders may operate at different levels within the organization and within the same hierarchical level as their followers. Such perception of leadership conflicts the traditional theories which treat it as a set of attributes and behaviors exhibited by persons with legitimate power.
Etzioni (1961) undertook the pioneering research effort to prove existence of leaders operating on the same hierarchical level with their followers. This type of leadership is labeled as 'informal' which means the leader does not possess official power over his followers, as opposed to formal leaders-managers that exert influence on subordinates by virtue of their higher hierarchical position. While the important role of informal leaders during organizational changes has been discussed in the literature, little is known about sources of their power and how traditional literature on leadership can be applied to them (Antonakis, Cianciolo, & Sternberg, 2004).
Existence of such leaders demonstrates that sources of power for leaders and managers are not necessarily similar. In our case, this theory reasonably suggests that Ted's position does not automatically make him the leader - the most influential person within the group. Furthermore, the group already has an established long-time informal leader: that troublemaker who has managed to keep from getting fired because he is the only employee who knows the inventory ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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