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Leading Organizations

Leading Organizations

Leading Organizations

  

Better answers will respond appropriately to the question using concepts from the chapter which the link is below and 2022 up to date outside sources and details from the case. Each question should be supposed with the chapter source and one outside source. 

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Case 3.1 A Strained Research Team

Dr. Adam Wood is the principal investigator on a three-year, $1 million federally funded research grant to study health education programs for older populations, called the Elder Care Project. Unlike previous projects, in which Dr. Wood worked alone or with one or two other investigators, on this project Dr. Wood has 11 colleagues. His project team is made up of two co-investigators (with PhDs), four intervention staff (with MAs), and five general staff members (with BAs). One year into the project, it has become apparent to Dr. Wood and the team that the project is underbudgeted and has too few resources. Team members are spending 20%–30% more time on the project than has been budgeted to pay them. Regardless of the resource strain, all team members are committed to the project; they believe in its goals and the importance of its outcomes. Dr. Wood is known throughout the country as the foremost scholar in this area of health education research. He is often asked to serve on national review and advisory boards. His publication record is second to none. In addition, his colleagues in the university know Dr. Wood as a very competent researcher. People come to Dr. Wood for advice on research design and methodology questions. They also come to him for questions about theoretical formulations. He has a reputation as someone who can see the big picture on research projects. Despite his research competence, there are problems on Dr. Wood’s research team. Dr. Wood worries there is a great deal of work to be done but that the members of the team are not devoting sufficient time to the Elder Care Project. He is frustrated because many of the day-to-day research tasks of the project are falling into his lap. He enters a research meeting, throws his notebook down on the table, and says, “I wish I’d never taken this project on. It’s taking way too much of my time. The rest of you aren’t pulling your fair share.” Team members feel exasperated at Dr. Wood’s comments. Although they respect his competence, they find his leadership style frustrating. His negative comments at staff meetings are having a demoralizing effect on the research team. Despite their hard work and devotion to the project, Dr. Wood seldom compliments or praises their efforts. Team members believe that they have spent more time than anticipated on the project and have received less pay or credit than expected. The project is sucking away a lot of staff energy, yet Dr. Wood does not seem to understand the pressures confronting his staff. The research staff is starting to feel burned out, but members realize they need to keep trying because they are under time constraints from the federal government to do the work promised. The team needs to develop a pamphlet for the participants in the Elder Care Project, but the pamphlet costs are significantly more than budgeted in the grant. Dr. Wood has been very adept at finding out where they might find small pockets of money to help cover those costs. Although team members are pleased that he is able to obtain the money, they are sure he will use this as just another example of how he was the one doing most of the work on the project.

Questions

1. Based on the skills approach, how would you assess Dr. Wood’s leadership and his relationship to the members of the Elder Care Project team? Will the project be successful?

2. Does Dr. Wood have the skills necessary to be an effective leader of this research team?

3. The skills model describes three important competencies for leaders: problem-solving skills, social judgment skills, and knowledge. If you were to coach Dr. Wood using this model, what competencies would you address with him? What changes would you suggest that he make in his leadership?

Case 3.2 Andy’s Recipe

Andy Garafallo owns an Italian restaurant that sits in the middle of a cornfield near a large midwestern city. On the restaurant’s far wall is an elaborate mural of the canals of Venice. A gondola hangs on the opposite wall, up by the ceiling. Along another wall is a row of real potted lemon trees. “My ancestors are from Sicily,” says Andy. “In fact, I can remember seeing my grandfather take a bite out of a lemon, just like the ones hanging on those trees.” Andy is very confident about his approach to this restaurant, and he should be, because the restaurant is celebrating its 25th anniversary. “I’m darned sure of what I want to do. I’m not trying different fads to get people to come here. People come here because they know they will get great food. They also want to support someone with whom they can connect. This is my approach. Nothing more, nothing less.” Although other restaurants have folded, Andy seems to have found a recipe for success. Since opening his restaurant, Andy has had a number of managers. Currently, he has three: Kelly, Danielle, and Patrick. Kelly is a kitchen (food prep) manager who is known as very honest and dependable. She loves her work, and is efficient, good with ordering, and good with preparation. Andy really likes Kelly but is frustrated with her because she has such difficulty getting along with the salespeople, delivery people, and waitstaff. Danielle, who works out front in the restaurant, has been with Andy the longest, six years. Danielle likes working at Garafallo’s—she lives and breathes the place. She fully buys into Andy’s approach of putting customers first. In fact, Andy says she has a knack for knowing what customers need even before they ask. Although she is very hospitable, Andy says she is lousy with numbers. She just doesn’t seem to catch on to that side of the business. Patrick, who has been with Andy for four years, usually works out front but can work in the kitchen as well. Although Patrick has a strong work ethic and is great with numbers, he is weak on the people side. For some reason, Patrick treats customers as if they are faceless, coming across as very unemotional. In addition, Patrick tends to approach problems with an either–or perspective. This has gotten him into trouble on more than one occasion. Andy wishes that Patrick would learn to lighten up. “He’s a good manager, but he needs to recognize that some things just aren’t that important,” says Andy. Andy’s approach to his managers is that of a teacher and coach. He is always trying to help them improve. He sees part of his responsibility as teaching them every aspect of the restaurant business. Andy’s stated goal is that he wants his managers to be “A” players when they leave his business to take on jobs elsewhere. Helping people to become the best they can be is Andy’s goal for his restaurant employees. Although Andy works 12 hours a day, he spends little time analyzing the numbers. He does not think about ways to improve his profit margin by cutting corners, raising an item price here, or cutting quality there. Andy says, “It’s like this: The other night I got a call from someone who said they wanted to come in with a group and wondered if they could bring along a cake. I said ‘yes’ with one stipulation. . . . I get a piece! Well, the people came and spent a lot of money. Then they told me that they had actually wanted to go to another restaurant, but the other place would not allow them to bring in their own cake.” Andy believes very strongly in his approach. “You get business by being what you should be.” Compared with other restaurants, his restaurant is doing quite well. Although many places are happy to net 5%–7% profit, Andy’s Italian restaurant nets 30% profit, year in and year out.

Questions

2. From a skills perspective, how would you describe the three managers, Kelly, Danielle, and Patrick? What does each of them need to do to improve their skills?

3. How would you describe Andy’s competencies? Does Andy’s leadership suggest that one does not need all three skills to be effective?


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