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Buchanan and Huczynski elucidate ‘reward power’ as the ability of a leader to make his followers or subordinates believe in his capability of rewarding them when a job has been successfully accomplished. When the leader rewards them, the followers or subordinates acknowledge his power to reward, as a fact and not a myth (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2004).
It is this strategy of rewarding efficient people, which Mr. Beak has adopted, in order to achieve the set targets and ascertain good results for the company, which has subsequently resulted in bringing more success to the company. The rewards which Mr. Beak provides to the workforce vary. They may be in the form of monthly bonuses, gift vouchers or could be holiday trips for the successful employee. The rewards could also be in the form of an award for the ‘employee of the year’ or a BBQ party when a particular huge weekly order goal has been accomplished by the company’s employees in a collective effort. Mr. Beak also rewards his employees by moving them up the hierarchy ladder if the employee displays potential and hard work.
The involvement of colleagues in the decision making process is also a crucial strategy adopted by Beak and Johnson to achieve rapid growth. In spite of being the owner of the company, Mr. Beak avoids taking any crucial decisions, individually. The skills he employs in taking vital decisions include the display of trust and empowerment in his employees, by delegating responsibilities to them and enabling them to negotiate in the process of decision making. Thus, by doing so, the burden and stress of taking crucial decisions, sometimes involving millions of dollars, is reduced. Mr. Beak firmly trusts and believes that the decisions taken by the leadership team of the company will bring success to the company. It is this trust and belief in his team and style of functioning, which makes his employees absolutely committed and dedicated in achieving the goals and objectives desired by Mr. Beak from them, for the ultimate success of the company.
Mr Beak is the kind of personality, who works on building a firm relationship with his stakeholders, on the basis of trust. His prime focus is to ensure that a responsibility undertaken by the company is accomplished successfully and on time, so that the company can survive in the competitive market and as such he believes in getting the work done by his employees. However, rather than focussing entirely on getting the job done, Mr. Beak works with his employees and creates new opportunities to recognise and develop leaders in the process. Mr. Beak constantly motivates his workforce to work hard and achieve better results, thus exploiting their full potential to enable them to become heroes of the company.
If Mr. Beak is rated according to the MLQ, he will score medium on his transactional style of functioning and very high on his transformational style of functioning. Mr. Beak functions in a liberated atmosphere and is accessible to one and all in the organisation. He firmly believes that one does not have to be great to achieve success; one simply needs to take risks and challenge oneself. He encourages his workforce to be innovative and one of his strongest virtues is his ability and ease to extend his guidance and support to those who want to move up the hierarchy ladder in the organisation.
Striking the right balance between task & people
In order to ascertain the success of the company and drive and steer his workforce to achieve the goals and objectives, Mr. Beak has to maintain an accurate balance between the tasks the company undertakes and his workforce, who are of prime importance in achieving them. In order to ensure the smooth running of the business, it is important to satisfy the customers without ignoring the employees. Mr. Beak firmly believes that the success of any company depends on the commitment and hard work of the workforce; if they are happy and content, they will be able to deliver optimal results to satisfy and please the customers. If the work force of an organisation is not content, they will never be able to satisfy the customers and the organisation will never be able to achieve success.
Discussion and Recommended Development Strategy
Thus we see that Mr. Beak is a highly motivational and open personality. He believes in trusting his workforce and duly rewarding them when a task has been successfully accomplished. He is highly accessible to all the workforce of his organisation and is forever ready to guide them, whenever they need him. He believes in the collective power of people for any organisation to succeed. His prime objective is ‘Being Great’ which he knows can only be proved if his employees extend their support and hard work to him. One of his major skills is his ability to talk to people to initiate changes for the betterment of the company. He firmly believes in the power of innovation and risk taking to achieve greater success in any business.
However, in the current scenario of business, organisations are constantly striving to transform the existing “traditional, hierarchical organisation” to the modern “organic learning and individualised corporation (Kimberly and Bouchikhi 1995: 9). According to Ghoshal and Barlett (1977), most organisations are undergoing a process of “transforming a caterpillar to a butterfly”. In order to achieve this, it is essential to properly comprehend the major principles on which modern organisations function and succeed by carefully studying the ‘potential resources’ of large scale organisations which can effectively be transformed in to modern organisations (Ghoshal and Bartlett 1997: 264-268).
Mr. Beak, according to the MLQ scores high on the transformational style and averagely on his transactional style of functioning. According to a study, transformational leadership has a positive impact on the overall culture of the organisation whereas, has a severely negative impact on problems related to staff burnout (Corrigan PW, Lickey SE, Campion J, et al, 1999). Since the tasks of the employees involves tremendous pressure on the work force, due to the unprecedented workload on the employees, the business being a fresh food business, it is crucial to have better methods of preventing staff burn-out. It has been further pointed in research that transformational leadership does little to ensure satisfaction among customers (Corrigan, Lickey, Campion, and Fadwa, 2000). Thus the approach should be more balanced.
A transactional leader is one who functions within the organisation’s culture to clearly point the roles of the employees in such a way that the results are up to expectations, following which there is a reward for the achievement (Bass, 1985) or contrastingly, punishment for poor work (Bass, 1990). Intervention is an important strategy used by a transactional leader which may be ‘active management by exception’ or ‘passive management by exception’ (Northouse, 2001). In the case of Mr. Beak, the latter seems more applicable, as there seems possible intervention when a product or service has not been up to the specified standards. It would greatly benefit the company if Mr. Beak were to follow transactional leadership along with transformational leadership, which would ensure his active participation in closely monitoring the employees to detect and correct mistakes at the appropriate time (Northouse, 2001). An ideal setting of a company would have a leader which practices and effectively employs both, transformational and transactional approach in leadership styles as modern research and study states that in order to achieve success in an organization, leaders should engage in aspects of both the leadership styles (Bass, 1990).
Thus, leadership which has a transformational approach in an organization, is actually a supplementation of the transactional type of leadership which entails a more traditional approach to lead in an organization, thereby making it necessary to exhibit both the styles of leadership by the leaders, if the optimal success of an organization is to be achieved (Bass, 1990).
The interviewee is Mr. David Beak, the owner of Beak and Johnston PTY LTD., located in Greenacre. He functions as the Managing Director of the company.
He was selected to be interviewed as a leader whose organisation was involved in the production of foods and services in the fresh food industry, relating to meat products.
In conducting the interview, the personal interview method was used, where the interviewer asked personal questions to the interviewee, in relation to the management of the organisation. Seven questions were asked and the answers to them were written down, on the basis of which the report was designed.
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Bass, B. M. (1990). From transactional to transformational leadership: Learning to share the vision. Organizational Dynamics, 18, 19-31.
Buchanan, D. & Huczynski, A. 2004, Organizational Behaviour: An Introductory Text, 5th edn, Financial Times/Prentice Hall.
Corrigan, Lickey, Campion, Rashid, 1999. Mental Health Team Leadership and Consumers’ Satisfaction and Quality of Life.
Ghoshal, S. & Bartlett, C. A., 1997. The individualized corporation. New York: Harper Business Publishers
Kimberly John R., and Hamid Bouchikhi 1995. “The dynamics of organizational development and change.” Organization Science, 6: 9-19.
Northouse, Peter G. (2001). Leadership Theory and Practice, second edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.