MGT1FOM – Foundations Of Management
Nowadays, leadership has become a vital part, becoming a key factor for the success of the organizational performance among different types of stakeholders (Hao & Yazdanifard 2015). With the development of globalization, market demands, competitive landscape, the leadership qualities are requiring excellence with an effective strategy so the organization can stay ahead and meet stakeholders’ requirements. Therefore, there are a large number of problems when it comes to leadership in organizations, especially in terms of leadership styles and followership in the team. This report will have a critical analysis of DGL International, a manufacturer of refinery equipment with the problems focusing on the leadership of John Terrill and the management board as well as the engineering team. After that, the report will have several relevant recommendations in terms of leadership and followership for the long-term strategy of the company.
There are a large number of issue identifications when it comes to the situation of DGL International, especially in the case of the engineering team including unsuitable leadership style and followership as well as ineffective team composition.
1, Lack of important skills
First of all, in terms of skills, both John Terrill and the management board have not had suitable leadership styles in order to solve the problems of not being productive in technical services. First of all, from John Terrill’s point of view, although he has understood the problem of the technical services by asking and supporting them, he has not asked for the opinion of the top management as well as the way they manage and lead the service division. Since he has not done this, he could not understand their situation, preferences for asking technical services to hand in asinine reports for them every week. Therefore, when he came into their office and gave them the problems, it would be difficult for them to accept the truth at once since they would have reasons that they did not have a chance to share with him simply because he did not ask for it. On the other hand, when he asked the technical services about their problems, he decided that this task needs to be deleted instead of seeking for other positive and changing solutions such as pieces of training, hiring experienced people to support the team as well as ask for advice from the management top who had been working in the company longer than him. In this situation, John Terill has lacked the skills of communication, which is one of the key factors to the success of the organization, not only for the team members but also for other key stakeholders that are involved in the working process. Good communication skills of the leader will help everyone to understand deeply the situation, regulations, tasks as well as create a strong connection among others. This would also help followers to have motivation and passion for the job they are working on ( Luthra & Dahiya 2015).
In addition, Terill has thought that the problems lie in the situation of writing reports of the engineering leading to a decrease in the level of productivity, which focuses on task-orientation too much. Moreover, it is not true that being forced to be a pencil pusher is the only problem that prevents the technical services division from working productively during the working process. In this case, John Terill has lacked the skills of observation skills when being the leader. These skills will help him to see the big picture from different people’s viewpoints before coming to the conclusions of what are the core problems in this situation (Oza et al. 2018). He also needs to focus on the people-orientation which means he should be the key person connecting between the management and employee in order to find the ideal solutions, bringing mutual benefits for both sides.
Moreover, from the management perspective, they have not created the chance for the employee to talk about their problems of not being productive instead of just hiring other people. This shows the weak relationship between the employees and managers as well as a lack of organizational and structure planning skills. On the other hand, they are not action-oriented when it comes to reading the reports from the technical services since they have not read them, which makes the employee feel disrespected and less motivated when it comes to their efforts and hard-working hours for the reports and other related tasks of the division. Action-orientation is also one of the essential factors contributing to the success of the leader, promoting the vision as well as working progress of the whole organization (Uusiautti 2013).
2, Lack of suitable leadership
Both John Terill and the top management have opposite and different leadership styles, which is the reason why they cannot find the common voice to solve the problem in the organization. First of all, Terill uses the democratic/ participative leadership style. This shared leadership style means people in the group have more roles in the decision-making process. With this style of leadership, everyone has the chance to share their ideas and voices during the working process. Using this democratic leadership style has helped John Terill to encourage people to share their ideas and opinions and make them engaged in their working, showing their high level of responsibility and interdependence. However, in this case, it is not suitable since this style of leadership has brought a large number of problems for the company. First of all, the technical services are not the only division who have knowledge and know clearly why they have to make reports. Moreover, it can be because this is the skill they lack for a long time that the top management requires without Terill’s knowledge since he is new in the company. .This style of leadership causes the increasing time for final decisions since everyone is having different ideas and opinions to share, while the core problem cannot be solved based on different opinions of the top management and other divisions (Miller 2017). This also can cause the team members to question the qualities of leadership of Terrill. They will assume that he does not know anything and will follow all of their sayings and complaints without critical thinking processes and finding the problems himself.
From the top management, they are using the autocratic leadership. This style of leadership is also known as authoritarian leadership, is a leadership style characterized by individual control over all decisions and little input from group members. Autocratic leaders typically make choices based on their ideas and opinions. They would find it hard to get advice from the others since they prefer authoritarian control over a group. This helps the team members to have direction for everyone to follow, offering structure and relieving pressure for them. However, in the case of the top management with the technical services, this is not a suitable leadership style for them to apply. First, it discourages the employees to work harder and smarters since they know they do not have any powers in the decision-making process for their workload. This also lacks of trust between the leaders and followers, reducing the level of productivity and job satisfaction among employees (Dyczkowska & Dyczkowski 2018)
The follower in this case is the technical services, which is a passive follower, meaning they are passive, yet independent and critical thinkers. More specifically, they have not found the solution and come up with any ideas for themselves as well as their current working problems. They are also the ones who show neither initiative nor a sense of responsibility in order to increase their productivity for the working process. They just do things following the top management‘s demands and leave the thinking process of how to improve their situations to the leaders. Instead of finding solutions and ideas, they keep complaining and leaving all the mistakes to the top management when they talk to John Terill. This style is the result of the micromanaging style of the top management when they do not have rewards for ideas and questions raising. Moreover, they do not encourage the employees to raise their concerns and develop independent working processes as well as empowerment so that they could have solutions for the problems (Novikov 2016). With this style of followership, the working process of the organization will be reduced in terms of quality and quantity, especially when the management is not around and gives direction to the employees. Moreover, this will show a weak relationship and show no organizational culture in the company, which will be a disadvantage in the long term when the company is having more and more people from different backgrounds as well as the entrance of new and strong competitors in the market. This will also make it hard for the company in terms of recruitment of talents as well as keeping experienced people in the organization in the long term strategy.
The team members of the technical services follow additive tasks, which means each member of the team performs the same activity without distributing the work for people who have the ability to do it instead of making everyone perform the same tasks. This will be hard for people who do not have writing report skills in order to hand it to the top management. Moreover, although there are 20 engineers in the technical services division, the company does not clearly distribute the specific role of each person, making it hard to track the results as well as tasks in order to reach the efficiency of the work performances. This is also the mistake of Terrill when he did not understand deeply the role of each person as well as their abilities so that he could have better solutions for them first. Moreover, the technical service division does not have the advantage of team diversity when all the employees do not have different skills. Instead, they only have specific knowledge and skills in technical services and lack other soft important skills such as writing, communication, teamwork and distributing tasks as well as problem solving skills. This is also one of the reasons why they cannot solve the problem of productivity even when they can clearly see the causes. On the other hand, the company should consider the number of engineers working in the technical services. There are around 20 people why no one can have time and abilities for writing as well as have productive working performances. The size of the team can be the problems and barriers for improvements in the division (Spalding 2015).
There are several recommendations that both Terill, the top management need to take into consideration. First of all, in terms of leadership style, Terill should apply transformational leadership in order to solve the problems of being not productive. This style of leadership encourages the employee to innovate and create changes that will help to grow their working result (Ayoko & Chua 2014). This would be done through conversations with the employees in order to understand their wishes, requirements as well as their difficulties when working in the company. First of all, the team should have a clear goal and objectives which can be a good motivational factor for them (Tang et al. 2009). Moreover, the leader should apply rewards and punishments in order to create motivation to work for the better results. From the top management, democratic leadership can be suitable for them. They should listen to all the ideas, concerns as well as inspiring the employee and Terill to have more ideas instead of just giving them specific tasks. With this style of leadership, when the top management is not around, both the technical services and Terill know what they would do next and how to solve the problems independently. Moreover, Terill should consider his skills of communications, listening skills as well as problem-solving. This should be advised with experts in the industry through training sessions as well as guidance from the top management.
From the team composition, it is important to have training sessions for them in terms of soft skills and other necessary skills that they lack throughout research and observation. This will help to improve the working performances as well as employee satisfaction in the company. The training sessions will be organized every month for all the engineers specializing in writing, communication, problem-solving, teamwork, negotiation as well as working with other departments in the company for better collaboration and efficient working processes (Walters & Rodriguez 2017). From the company management perspective, both Terill and top management should have specific roles and tasks as well as key performance indicators for each engineer so that they would know the goals and objectives of their work in order to reach the working productivity level. On the other hand, they also need to consider having other people with specialized skills such as writing, communication, problem solving through recruitment and other departments to support the division.
In conclusion, there are a number of causes leading to the problems of the company, especially the technical services which include: the lack of suitable skills and leadership, ineffective team composition leading to unproductive team management as well as weak company cultures and bonds. Therefore, it is recommended that Terill and top management should consider other leadership styles such as transformational and democratic leadership style. On the other hand, training, setting goals and tasks for employees should be implemented along with considering the team diversity in terms of abilities.