Ben Samuels and Phil Jones have similar leadership traits and behaviors. These can be seen in the care and focus each owner had in regards to the business. However, their views in this perspective were quite different. While Ben focused solely on the happiness of his employees, he lacked in properly caring for the business aspect of his company. He did not put as much focus on working harder and making more money with his employees than he did to simply let them do whatever they wanted, just to keep them happy. Phil focused on the opposite and wanted the business to produce more products to make more profit, while simply not taking the time to care for his employees. As stated in the Daft text (2014), “ Under Ben, the plant had the lowest turnover among the company’s five plants, but the second worst record for costs and production levels” (p. 58). The opposite is stated about Phil in the Daft text (2014), “ By the end of Phil’s first year as plant manager, production costs were reduced by 20 percent and production output was up by 10 percent. However, three of his seven supervisors left to take other jobs, and turnover was also high among the machine operators” (p. 59).
If I were Phil, I would probably continue to act in only some of the same manners toward the employees. Phil is a man that is strictly about business, which is where all of his focus lies and he simply just wants the business to succeed. He does not necessarily act mean or degrading toward his employees, and cannot really be labeled as unfair. He simply gets rid of employees who cannot keep up with the work, and replaces them with workers who can. If any changes were to be made on Phil’s part, he might try to make his current employees a bit happier by offering them more incentives like Ben had previously done. As long as he does not let his employees walk all over him as Ben had, he should have no problems keeping his staff around and working as hard as he expects them to work. By taking the time to get to know each and every employee, Phil would learn what his employees’ career goals are, and could then work with them individually to help train and mentor them to become even better workers within the position they truly want to be in. This will not only increase the employees’ respect for Phil, but will also boost morale within the workplace. As stated in an article shared by Forbes, “ The traditional idea of management was based on leading by fear and the notion of command and control. Employees used to work hard to allow their managers to succeed and now it’s the managers turn to make sure their employees succeedemployees are the most valuable asset that any organization has” (2013).
Phil could absolutely benefit from the contingency approaches to leadership, in order to help him run his business much more smoothly. Regarding the situational theory, Phil could focus on the individual characteristics of his employees as the most important part of the business, in order to develop effective leadership behavior amongst them. If some workers have a low readiness level to perform their tasks, they could benefit from additional training from someone who has the right leadership skills to help them gain confidence and increased working skills. Phil would be able to combine the aspect of relationships (concern for people) as well as tasks (concern for production), to create an evenly balanced workplace where everyone can be happy. The contingency theory would also greatly benefit Phil, mainly because it means that “ everyone gets along, the task is clear, and the leader has power; all that is needed is for someone to take charge and provide direction” (p. 74). Phil already holds the position of the leader with the power, but needs some work on making the task more clear for his workers, and must absolutely incorporate the idea of everyone getting along and being happy. The path-goal theory would also greatly benefit Phil’s leadership abilities, especially regarding leader behavior. He could benefit the most from supportive leadership, which would mean that he needs to show concern for his subordinates’ well-being, as well as their personal needs. The employees would respect Phil much more if he followed this theory and put more effort into the care of his employees. According to an article by Neil Kokemuller, “ contingency theory in leadership contends that countless factors can impact a leader’s success in a given job situation. The size and scope of the organization may help or hinder a leader’s ability to communicate effectively with all employees. A leader may also struggle if employees became ingrained in following a predecessor who had a very different approach” (2013).
Daft, R. L. (2014). The Leadership Experience, 6th Edition. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
Kokemuller, N. (2013). Contingency Approach to Leadership. Retrieved from: http://yourbusiness. azcentral. com/contingency-approach-leadership-12365. html
Morgan, J. (2013). 5 Must-Have Qualities of the Modern Manager. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved from: http://www. forbes. com/sites/jacobmorgan/2013/07/23/5-must-have-qualities-of-the-modern-manager/