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Effectiveness of Leadership: The Case Study

In the scenario, Steve is the owner of a small mobile company that has been in the Malaysian market for 10 years. The company produces local-branded phones and consists of 100 employees spread over three divisions, research and development, sales, and production. While the company appears to be working successfully, there are underlying issues that must be addressed. Many researchers and professionals recommend transformational leadership as the key to motivating the employees and ensuring productivity (Cote 2017). However, since every division has its own leader, there are unique shortcomings that need to be corrected for the goals of the company to be achieved.

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Research and Development

Firstly, there is the R&D division, led by a recent graduate Jim, who is a brilliant engineer but lacks social skills required to keep his team of 8 people up-to-date on his progress. The goal of the R&D is to launch a new product in 6 months. Jim is very knowledgeable in designing electronics but has no experience with mobile devices, which means that he needs his team in order to achieve the objective. Therefore, since it is crucial for the leader to get results (Goleman 2017), it would be advisable for Jim to change his form of leadership and be more inclusive of his team. By not including his staff in the process and decisions made, he is under-utilizing the skills of his employees and hence potentially delaying the creation of the mobile, as per his objective. Effective team-work is a crucial part of leadership, especially in such a small group (Harris & Sherblom 2018). Therefore, it is vital for Jim to not only work on the technical side of his role but create an environment that allows collaboration.


Secondly, there is the sales division, led by the recently hired but highly experienced Morgan. The current goal of this department is to increase the company’s annual sales by 25%. Some of his staff have expressed concern that his style of leadership does not allow initiative from the team, being too authoritative (Northouse 2021). Therefore, Morgan should work on trusting his employees with various tasks and not only delegating but encouraging the team to innovate, especially since he does not have a lot of knowledge of the industry. Since Morgan manages a very diverse team, he must use diversity management to improve communication between the members (Northouse 2021). According to Domingues, Vieira and Agnihotri, overdependence on supervisory cues can be detrimental to learning and performance (2017). Therefore, the department will work more efficiently if the team feels motivated and encouraged to make their own decision instead of simply following orders.


Lastly, the largest team is the production division, which is led by Charlie, who has been working for the company since its establishment. Her current objective is to streamline production and decrease costs by 10%. However, Charlie, as a new manager, lacks confidence in her own ability, and believes that her employees do not respect her. Furthermore, as a woman leader, she has to deal with additional challenges that have to be addressed (Vecchio 2018; Gipson, Pfaff & Mendelsohn 2017). Since Charlie has worked at the company for many years, she is likely to know many of the strengths and weaknesses of the people that are now her employees. Therefore, she can devise a strategy that allows personalized approach to those working for her, showing both her compassion for them and her authority. Respect towards the leader is crucial for efficient leadership, hence Charlie must establish her new role and position to her former co-workers (Rudolph, Katz, Ruppel & Zacher 2021). By creating a separation between herself and her employees while allowing them to perform to their best ability and feel motivated, she is likely to achieve the objective set.

Reference List

Cote, R., 2017. A comparison of leadership theories in an organizational environment. International Journal of Business Administration, 8(5), pp.28-35.

Domingues, J., Vieira, V.A. and Agnihotri, R., 2017. The interactive effects of goal orientation and leadership style on sales performance. Marketing Letters, 28(4), pp.637-649.

Gipson, A.N., Pfaff, D.L., Mendelsohn, D.B., Catenacci, L.T. and Burke, W.W., 2017. Women and leadership: Selection, development, leadership style, and performance. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 53(1), pp.32-65.

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Goleman, D., 2017. Leadership that gets results (Harvard business review classics). Harvard Business Press.

Harris, T.E. and Sherblom, J.C., 2018. Small group and team communication. Waveland Press.

Northouse, P. G., 2021. Leadership. 9th edn. Sage.

Rudolph, C.W., Katz, I.M., Ruppel, R. and Zacher, H., 2021. A systematic and critical review of research on respect in leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 32(1), p.101492.

Vecchio, R. P., 2018. Leadership: understanding the dynamics of power and influence in organizations. 2nd edn. University of Notre Dame.

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