Brako is a small manufacturing company that produces parts for the  automobile industry. The company has several patents on parts that fit  in the brake assembly of nearly all domestic and foreign cars. Each  year, the company produces 3 million parts that it ships to assembly  plants throughout the world. To produce the parts, Brako runs three  shifts with about 40 workers on each shift.

The supervisors for the three shifts (Art, Bob, and Carol) are  experienced employees, and each has been with the company for more than  20 years. The supervisors appear satisfied with their work and have  reported no major difficulty in supervising employees at Brako.

Art supervises the first shift. Employees describe him as being a  very hands-on type of leader. He gets very involved in the day-to-day  operations of the facility. Workers joke that Art knows to the milligram  the amount of raw materials the company has on hand at any given time.  Art often can be found walking through the plant and reminding people of  the correct procedures to follow in doing their work. Even for those  working on the production line, Art always has some directions and  reminders.

Workers on the first shift have few negative comments to make about  Art’s leadership. However, they are negative about many other aspects of their work. Most of the work on this shift is very straightforward and repetitive; as a result, it is monotonous. The rules for working on the production line or in the packaging area are all clearly spelled out and require no independent decision making on the part of workers. Workers simply need to show up and go through the motions. On lunch breaks,  workers are often are heard complaining about how bored they are doing the same old thing over and over. Workers do not criticize Art, but they do not think he really understands their situation.

Bob supervises the second shift. He really enjoys working at Brako and wants all the workers on the afternoon shift to enjoy their work as well. Bob is a people-oriented supervisor whom workers describe as very genuine and caring. Hardly a day goes by that Bob does no post a message about someone’s birthday or someone personal accomplishments. Bob works hard at creating camaraderie, including sponsoring a company softball team, taking people out to lunch, and having people over to his house for social events.

Despite Bob’s personableness, absenteeism and turnover are highest on the second shift. The second shift is responsible for setting up the machines and equipment when changes are made from making one part to  making another. In addition, the second shift is responsible for the  complex computer programs that monitor the machines. Workers on the  second shift take a lot of heat from others at Brako for not doing a  good job.

Workers on the second shift feel pressure because it is not always  easy to figure out how to do their tasks. Each setup is different and  entails different procedures. Although the computer is extremely helpful  when it is calibrated appropriately to the task, it can be extremely  problematic when the software it uses is off the mark. Workers have  complained to Bob and upper management many times about the difficulty  of their jobs.

Carol supervises the third shift. Her style is different from that of  the other at Brako. Carol routinely has meetings, which she labels  trouble-shooting sessions, for the purpose of identifying problems  workers are experiencing. Any time there is a glitch on the production  line, Carol wants to know about it so she can help workers find a  solution. If workers cannot do a particular job, she shows them how. For  those who are uncertain of their competencies, Carol gives reassurance.  Carol tries to spend time with each worker and help the workers focus  on their personal goals. In addition, she stresses company goals and the  rewards that are available if workers are able to make the grade.

People on the third shift like to work for Carol. They find she is  good at helping them do their job. They say she has a wonderful knack  for making everything fall into place. When there are problems, she  addresses them. When workers feel down, she builds them up. Carol was  described by one worker as an interesting mixture of part parent, part  coach, and part manufacturing expert. Upper management at Brako is  pleased with Carol’s leadership, but they have experienced problems  repeatedly when workers from Carol’s shift have been rotated to other  shifts at Brako.

Based on the principles of the Situational Leadership Model, assess  each shift supervisors approach to leading their shift employees.  Outline the process you must take in the situational leadership model as  part of your assessment.

Use the powerpoints examples

The situation Leadership model.  Explains the optimum interaction  style for leaders to engage in when  dealing with different followers.

Step 1- Understanding different followers

Step 2- Understanding the varying leader behaviors

Step 3- Process to determine which behavior suits the followers

Follower readiness: A followers’ ability and willingness to accomplish a particular task.

R1: Unable and unwilling (or insecure)- Low readiness

R2: Unable but willing (or confident)- Moderate readiness

R3: Able but unwilling (or insecure)- Moderate readiness

R4: Able and willing (or confident)- High readiness

Four types of behaviors based on two dimensions:

-Task behaviors: The extent to which the leader spells out the responsibilities of an individual group.

(e.g. telling people what to do, how to do it, when to  do it, and who is to do it) Directive behaviors. What to do. 

-Relationship behaviors: How much time the leader engages in two-way communication.

(e.g. listening, encouraging, facilitating, clarifying,  explaining why the task is important, and giving  support)

S1: Directing Style High  task (directive), low relationship  (supportive). Leader focused on  communication of goal achievement, and  spends a smaller amount of time  on being supportive. Leader gives  instructions and supervises carefully.

S2: Coaching Style High  task (directive), high relationship  (supportive). Leader focuses on  achieving goals but also the  socioemotional needs. Requires  encouragement and soliciting follower  input.

S3:  Support Style  Low task (directive), high relationship  (supportive).  Leader does not focus exclusively on goals but uses  supportive behaviors  that bring out followers skills around the goal to  be accomplished.

S4: Delegating Style Low  task (directive), low relationship  (supportive). Leader offers less  goal input and social support, letting  followers take responsibility for  getting the job done the way they  see fit.

 

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