Leadership in Organizations
There is one piece of assessed work in this module to be submitted by 12 December 2014 (23:59).
the two parts are the same but you are expected to write 2000 on each part (4000 words in total).
If you are unsure which applies to you make sure you ask your module leader.
The first part of your assignment may be written in the first person (using ‘I’) since it is a personal reflection. You are advised to focus on one or two specific experiences of leadership – either where you were in a leadership role, or where you could observe ‘leadership’ in action even if you were not a ‘leader’. These experiences might be drawn from your work experience or from other experience (voluntary work, student experience in working in a group, parenting, sport or other leisure activities). The experience should be one where you were an active participant. You should describe the situation and leadership process using relevant theory and concepts drawn from the academic literature on leadership. In suggesting areas for your own development you should focus on skills or attributes that you think you need to work on, based on the preceding analysis of the experience and again these might be based on concepts and theory encountered in your reading for the module.
The assignment must be submitted via the Turnitin link on the Moodle site for the module. The pass mark is 40%. Referencing should be in the style which is standard across – Harvard referencing.
This assignment will be assessed against the following criteria:
(i) Critical reflection on experience (40%)
(ii) Suggestions for personal development (10%)
(iii) Application of academic concepts and models to the analysis of cases and your own development (30%)
(iv) Presentation including language and grammar (10%)
(v) Referencing (10%)
Each of these criteria will be assessed on a 9 point ‘rubric’ scale in Turnitin as follows:
Critical reflection on experience
1-3 Merely describes experience with no critical reflection
4-5 Clear description of experience(s) with little reflection and dogmatic assertion
6-7 Very good succinct with reflections using a model of ‘experiential learning’ (e.g. Kolb, Boud) to structure reflections. A good balance between description and critical reflection showing awareness of strengths and weaknesses.
8-9 Excellent, highly persuasive critical reflection showing good awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses.
Suggestions for personal development
1-3 Very vague or unclear.
4-5 Some actionable suggestions, but vague on method of achieving them
6-7 Good actionable suggestions with some clear justification and realistic methods of implementation.
8-9 Excellent range of suggestions, clear action plan. Good link with reflection on experience.
Application of academic concepts and models to the analysis of cases and your own development
1-3 Very little or no knowledge of relevant theory or theory applied inappropriately.
4-5 Some relevant theory applied to reflection and cases but weakly integrated or uneven in quality between different elements of the assignment.
6-7 A good range of relevant theory applied to the reflection and cases to make convincing arguments.
8-9. Goes beyond expectations in breadth of reading and applies it well to the reflection and cases to make persuasive arguments.
Presentation including language and grammar
1-3 Unclear with poor written English.
4-5 Generally clear but with some grammatical errors or problems with presentation.
6-7 Lucid with accurate spelling and grammar and good presentation.
8-9 Very readable with accurate spelling and grammar and good presentation.
1-3 Inaccurate and/or lacks use of Harvard style.
4-5 Some attempt to apply Harvard referencing. Limited in range (less than 4).
6-7 Generally in accordance with Cite them Right standard. Fair range of references (5-10)
8-9 Cite Them Right compliant and good range (11+)
-70 Assignment reflects excellent understanding of subject, includes detailed analysis and justification based on a broad level of research and preparation. Presentation reflects high level of academic rigour and attention to structure, grammar and technical terminology.
60 Reflects good understanding of the subject. Analysis developed to high standard, using relevant academic concepts and theory. Good level of preparation evident. Assignments will be accurate and fluent in use of terminology.
59-50 Reflects reasonable understanding of subject, based on reasonable level of research and analysis. Work will be well structured and include accurate use of terminology.
49-40 Task addressed to basic level. Largely descriptive. Analysis will only include obvious elements and reflect basic understanding of the subject. Terminology and grammar may be of questionable standard.
1 Contains little of scholarly merit and does not meet prescribed learning outcomes.
0 No work submitted
Integrative case study – changing times at EEF
EEF is a membership organization which has been in existence for over 100 years. It was created as a counterpoint to the Trade Union movement in order to give employers in the UK manufacturing industry a comparable voice at the negotiating table when dealing with issues such as pay and working conditions. Although its origins were in providing practical advice to manufacturing businesses in the areas of industrial and employee relations, over the years EEF has developed a wider portfolio of services. It now offers its member companies consultancy, training, and resources in relation to such areas as health, safety and environmental support, insurance services, and employee advantage schemes including a bike to work scheme, childcare vouchers, private health schemes and occupational health. EEF continues to be a membership organization: thus its income is generated from membership fees in return for which EEF provides its members with support, guidance and advice to enable them to run their businesses effectively and efficiently. Its services can also be provided on a commercial basis to non-member organisations.
Up until two years ago EEF was made up of several regionalized, autonomously-run federations which represented the interests of its local member companies. Each regional federation had a council made up of member companies whose power in providing direction to the company was significant. Ultimately, the senior management team of EEF reported to an executive Board, which was comprised of directors of member organisations from across the country. At the start of 2009, the company changed its legal status from a federation to a company limited by guarantee in order to protect its not-for-profit status and ethos, at the same time as enabling it to transform itself into a more integrated, national organisation. Simultaneously, the company appointed a new CEO, who brought in his own senior team to take the company forward under the banner of ‘One EEF’. As part of the strategic plan designed to deliver on the ‘One EEF’ promise and address the negative impact on the organisation of a severe economic downturn (EEF experienced a £7m operating loss for 2009 – the first in its history), the organisation was subject to a massive restructuring.
The first part of this restructuring related to the sales function and comprised the consolidation of a 25-strong regionally-distributed sales force into eight new positions and the introduction of central, national reporting lines to replace the previous regional ones. After a redundancy process in which every member of the sales team had to re-apply for their own job, a new national team leader was appointed from within their number. In taking on this new role, Tom Jones faced a number of challenges:
• Firstly, the remaining eight sales personnel had to be formed into an effective team. For Tom, this included addressing the feelings of a long-standing and experienced colleague who was unsuccessful in his application for the team leader role, while establishing himself as a credible leader for the team and rebuilding both morale and commitment after the difficult consultancy and redundancy period.
• Secondly, underpinning the structural changes was the vision of transitioning from a regionally-based organisation to a national one, with functional heads channelling the flow of information through their senior management positions to the Board. This required both practical changes to working practices and a cultural shift both across the organisation and within the team. The changes to the sales function were to be instrumental in streamlining the whole business which, in turn, was to be the driving force behind bringing the organisation out of its financial difficulties. In practice, this resulted in tougher sales targets and tighter management control.
• Thirdly, the membership-based nature of the organisation also occasioned some tensions between the service delivery arm of EEF and the sales function: a strong tradition of providing bespoke services to member organisations was perceived by some as being at odds with the requirement to sell similar services to non-members. As a result, the sales function was subject to a fair amount of flak from elsewhere in the organisation for their efforts to achieve this goal. More broadly, this change in strategy was seen as devaluing the status of those providing expert, professional services in favour of more explicitly commercial activities.
Tom was passionate both about the services provided by EEF to member organisations, and about the need to unify his team around the new structure and goals. His naturally open and honest management style led him to adopt a collaborative approach to building the new team, both by sharing information with them and by valuing their ideas and experience. In this context, he identified a number of key priorities in implementing the proposed strategy. He divided these into the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of the required changes, as follows:
o Establishing the new geographical sales areas with their respective sales representatives, in terms of the specific postcodes to be covered, and setting out the financial targets associated with each.
o Putting in place the necessary reporting and forecasting processes to enable senior management to monitor progress on the development of the business pipeline which operations departments would need to service.
o Upgrading the existing CRM system to allow for the consistent measurement of individual key performance indicators, and establishing the practice of using the system effectively within the sales team.
o Leading a shift in the culture towards more problem-solving, ‘corporate-minded’ behaviours. Previously, the sales team had had something of a ‘silo mentality’, so encouraging people to think in terms of the whole organisation and to work collaboratively with other functions would be a major challenge. Tom recognised that the sales team would have to take the lead in this effort, and persuade other functions to work with them.
o Building trust and cooperation within the team, such that each sales area representative has support from colleagues within the team when needed, rather than seeing themselves as competing with each other.
Underpinning all of these challenges, Tom felt it was important to support his team, both professionally and personally. This included ensuring they had the right ‘tools for the job’, such as corporate credit cards for business expenses, and clear sales ‘patches’ for which they were responsible. It also included working with them to understand their motivations and drivers, and using psychometrics to understand how best to draw them together into a high-performance team. It was also important to put to rest the concerns which still persisted within the team after a long period of uncertainty. Tom’s main approach here was in being honest about his own concerns, while also sharing his passion for the new vision, which he genuinely believed was in the best interests of the organisation.
Two years on from the restructuring and Tom believes a lot of progress has been made. He still sees issues around sustaining performance in a difficult market, and balancing the membership and non-membership aspects of the business, but the team itself is performing well and the desired culture changes are starting to embed. A perfectionist by nature, and someone who cares about the people who work for him, Tom nonetheless continues to reflect on how the changes could have been more smoothly implemented.
Case study question
• Using leadership theory and concepts critically evaluate the operation of leadership in this case.
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