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Read the model Problem Identification below. It analyses problems of inappropriate leadership in the Word Processing Centre (WPC) at the law firm of Lawton, Langridge, Lypton and Lawless, Solicitors.

Then do the exercise below.

Problem Identification

1.1 Leadership Mismatch

[1] The Path-Goal Theory suggests that it is a leader's job to assist his/her followers in attaining goals as well as providing direction and support (Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn, 1994). [2] There are four types of leader behaviour that can be used to affect a subordinates's motivation, but leadership behaviour which is effective in one situation may not always be effective in another (Schermerhorn et al., 1994). [3] According to the case study, Mrs Blakely, the staff supervisor, checks each piece of work with the WPC staff before they do the job. [4] Since the workers are qualified for their work and well-trained, this leads to annoyance and frustration. [5] According to Kathleen Pearce, Mrs. Blakely makes the WPC staff feel they are still in school because of her constant supervision. [6] As pointed out by Bartol, Martin, Tein and Matthews (1995:471), "using directive leadership to clarify task demands that are already clear will be ineffectual; it might frustrate employees and reduce the work's intrinsic valence." [7] Workers do not need a manager telling them how to do something they already know how to do because "redundant behaviour by the leader will not help and may even hinder performance" (Schermerhorn et al., 1994:504). [8] Thus a major problem in the WPC is that Mrs Blakely is too concerned with the work of her staff which results in their frustration because they are not allowed to be independent and show initiative.

Complete the following table.

For each of the four stages listed below, identify:

  • the sentences that make up that stage, and
  • whether or not theory has been incorporated in that stage.
Stage Sentences Theory?
  1. Introduction

  1. Case Evidence

  1. Commentary

  1. Conclusion

Check your answers

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