Fluss Washer and Dryer Division Company is a Swiss appliance company which operates under the directorship of Johannes Linden.
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Linden is fully content with the way the company has performed in the recent past, and expresses his joy openly to the members of Global Executive Committee during their meeting.
At the same time, Linden and the board officials face a formidable challenge in the course of the meeting that gives rise to disharmony among its members. FWD had already made a business planning cycle 3 months prior to fear of a larger rise in the prices of steel.
However, after some negotiations, the prices of steel have now become significantly lower which results to the company saving 10-20%. This lower price of steel has caused dilemma to the company whether or not to change the target of the business for every country in order to reflect the new prices (Hill and Rennella 1).
FWD faces a significant challenge which consists of knowing whether to base the managers’ bonuses on the old or new prices of steel. FWD is in the process of restarting an expansion of the manufacturing capacity of the company that was suspended in the year 2010.
During the meeting proceedings, Linden informs the team about River Tech who is their primary competitor. The Korean appliance giant, River Tech has made a strategic plan to go “green” that is to be environmentally friendly in its line of production.
This is not the case for FWD because the company mainly focuses on developing high quality washers and dryers which are ventless (Hill and Rennella 1).
What should Linden do during the actual meeting?
Linden’s goal is to transform the followers’ attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors as well as to inspire the followers to perform above the expectations. It is evident that there is lack of harmony between Linden and GEC member.
Therefore, the meeting is a forum to brainstorm on the issue that has led to disharmony in the company. Before the meeting set off, GEC members have to ensure that they are adequately represented in the meeting. For the process to be successful, there are certain rules that have to come into play.
The process needs an adequate allocation of time in order for every GEC member to voice their ideas and grievances. The information relayed to the members by Linden should be accurate and straight to the point.
On this light, Linden shares the CEO’s remarks with the committee members about the invaluable contribution that FWD has made to the overall corporate performance.
By any chance, bias suppression should not be exercised during the process. This means that Linden should not minimize his conflict of interest (Hill and Rennella 2).
Should he table the discussion (i.e., put it on the hold)? Should he say what is on his mind? What are the pros and cons of each approach?
Linden is aware about ambivalence characters that the team members possess. Apparently, his management must consider consequences that would arise from these characters. On the other hand, he considers the repercussions of the failure to table the discussion.
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However, we acknowledge that Linden is a confident person who can present ideas and convince the team. Also, a free and fair team work will establish harmony among the group. Therefore, it is more solid for him to table the discussion and allow evaluation of the issues at hand than to assume all roles of the team.
He will present his ideas, convince and win the committee’s approval. This approach will facilitate harmony between GEC and Linden. It will enact clear stigmas that the team has against the actions he takes without allowing approval from a committee.
Application of Linden tactical approach will give his opinions justified chances of implementation. On the other hand, failure of Linden winning will disintegrate the success of FWD. Also, it is possible for the discussion to raise unsustainable contentions.
Failure to implement the discussion will lead to rise of complains and negative attitudes towards Linden. This could arrest operations and cause low productivity from the company. Apparently, another con is the financial influences added as a result of the meeting.
What does he want? What is the purpose of the discussion?
Linden travels 50% of his time to different countries in order to evaluate the progress of the country managers and RDs. The bonus program, which is a reward system, is beneficial on motivating the country managers in working to their full potential and respective markets.
Naturally, individuals will perform behavior that is rewarded. The purpose of this discussion is to try and convince GEC members to embrace his new idea of targeting new business ground. This will help the company to save 10-20% of their proceeds.
Linden, also, wants to assure the team members of the bonus basis that comes with the business idea. GEC members are now left with the decision to determine whether or not to adjust budget and bonus targets. Johannes wants to change the business target before linking it to targeted bonus (Hill and Rennella 4).
Why is the discussion going the way it is?
There is a heated debate between Linden and the GEC members due to conflict of interest. Linden is bringing a proposal where he wants to change the target of the business for every country in order to reflect the new prices of steel. However, he receives negative reaction and opposition from the members.
This is because the members have fear that the new business targets are going to have an impact on their bonuses. Linden lacks confidence and trust in his team members’ ability to work hard. This is because of the idea that he shares with them of targeting other business grounds.
There is an argument that arises because the team members feel as if Linden is not being fair to them. Linden and the committee members are not able to make a psychological contract. This is a contract between leaders and followers which is dependent on expectations and actions of both parties.
The two parties are not able to reach a consensus over the issue of changing their business targets to other grounds. This fact contributes immensely to the heated argument which comes up between the GEC and Linden (Hill and Rennella 5).
Why is he frustrated?
Linden is, also, frustrated because the GEC members lack initiatives to help shaping FWD’s strategy. Linden finds himself unable to mix between concerns for others and assertiveness. This has led to lack of harmonization in the company officials.
Linden compromises motivation of the members due to the compromising state that he finds himself. Linden is frustrated because he has fears that GEC members might lose trust in him. He should not underestimate this conflict that exists in the company and its importance on FWD.
Linden takes part in a discussion where he tries to convince the GEC members of his new business ideas but all in vain. Despite the efforts that he puts in to try and convince the members to embrace the new idea, Linden gunners no support from the GEC members.
It is evident that there is lack of experience to situations in which difficult trade-offs had to be made. The negative implications of the members go down to frustrate Linden (Hill and Rennella 6).
How effective is the GEC?
Why was it created?
The GEC is an extremely vital component of FWD Company. The aim of GEC is to make strategic and substantial investment decisions, working on the global strategy and targeting global synergy.
In the first meeting, the goals were related to authority and decision-making rights between RDs, country managers and the corporate staff.
What works well about the team?
Linden believes in the capabilities of FWD members and is energized on how well they had performed in 2010. The GEC was able to identify the roles and responsibilities of the team members in the first meeting.
Linden offers a chance to all members to speak up. The team became more comfortable working through problems together and contributing to more ideas during the quarterly gathering.
The members, also, believe on the capabilities and success of Linden. This mutual trust reflects a good infrastructure for any future meeting (Hill and Rennella 7).
Why does the team work together as well as it does?
In every company, there is a need for achievement. According to McClelland’s Needs Theory, the members need to challenge and control tasks in order to make achievements. Team members’ cohesiveness has played a crucial role in making GEC members work together.
The team members have similar motives and point of views. This is because the members have worked together for a long time and they are stable. Outside pressures have, also, influenced the significant progress that FWD Company has made.
Pressures from other rival companies have made the team members to work well in order to continue making profits. FWD team members have truly shown excellent team work because of high cohesiveness and like-mindedness. This is referred to as group thinking.
The members are able to sit down and make decisions on issues that affect the company. A mix of personality traits is another factor that makes the team members work together. Members of different personalities react differently on issues that arise in the company.
They look at the issues from a different angle and aim at providing tactical solutions. The teams’ high efficacy has led to higher goals, higher expectations and better performance of the group (Hill and Rennella 8).
What are the team’s norms for dealing with conflict?
Conflict resolution is an indispensable attribute that FWD must consider to meet its goals and objectives. Decision making is usually characterized with complexities and pressure. The conflict in FWD Company arises due to failure of decision making process.
This is evident because the GEC member’s point of view about the company is not in tandem with Linden’s ideas of targeting new business grounds. This factor has caused a serious conflict in the company. However, conflicts can enhance decision quality by encouraging thorough valuation of more and different alternatives.
Equality forms a critical component of team functioning. Every member of GEC should be acquainted with equal rights and shares in the company. Another factor that has to be considered is the concept of need (Hill and Rennella 9).
The company should give the greatest share to the neediest in the company. This ensures fairness among the members in order to avoid conflict. Another team norm which is responsible for solving conflicts, include team member communication. This requires members to speak respectfully to each other in the company.
Merit is another team norm which aims at dealing with conflict in FWD Company. The greatest share is supposed to be given to members who contribute the most to the company. Team member interaction in meetings is another norm for dealing with conflicts.
Team members should be attentive and active during the meeting proceedings. Members should embrace time management and avoid wasting time unnecessarily.
Members have to make decisions through consensus. Protocol and confidentiality should be adhered to when a conversation starts in a meeting it ends in a meeting (Hill and Rennella 9).
How would you describe Linden’s influence style?
Every company working structure needs affiliation from the members. According to McClelland’s Needs Theory, Linden has to strive hard to make a working connection with the rest of the members. Linden is young, ambitious and outgoing.
Linden travels 50% of his time to different countries in order to evaluate the progress of the country managers and RDs. This boosts the country managers’ and RDs’ morale to continue with their good job.
He is exceptionally likable, and remarkably determined to get what he wants. However, he does not believe in micromanagement (Hill and Rennella 9).
Linden’s charisma, creativity and flexibility go a long way to influence positive growth of FWD Company. Johannes is open to ideas and suggestions.
He is a task oriented person and can be classified under theory Y. This theory assumes that people enjoy work, have a capacity to motivate themselves and people are able to find joy in their work (Hill and Rennella 9).
What sources of power does he have (French & Raven)?
On the basis of McClelland’s Needs Theory, Linden need of power is to dominate the rest of the members. A leader can exercise different kinds of power which have consequences on the team members. Linden employs the use of reward, legitimate, coercive and referent power to lead his members.
The ability of Linden to give rewards to his followers motivates them to be on the lead. Linden’s legitimate power due to his rank and status give him the power to rule over his followers. Linden coercive power gives him the power to punish those who do not comply with his instructions.
In addition to his legitimate, reward and coercive power, Linden shows some referent power as his team members like the way he leads the company to achieving its goals (Hill and Rennella 10).
In light of all these, Linden should employ expert and reward power to please the GEC members if he wants to regain his own power and control. Linden should use his knowledge and skills in information gathering.
This is a widening-tool that will assist him lead the company effectively through understanding the situation and providing solutions to the problem. Linden will be more attractive to his fellow team members because of his credibility and this will help him regain GEC members’ trust.
If this happens, the subordinates will implement Linden’s ideas because they all look up to him. Therefore, Linden can expand his reputation and confidence to other pressing issues. In this way, Linden can maintain expert power (Hill and Rennella 10).
How could Linden improve the team’s effectiveness in the future?
In order to improve the team’s effectiveness, Linden has to employ some motivational skills. External motivation is aimed at ensuring the members work extremely well in order to acquire external resources such as money, prestige and recognition.
Internal motivation comes from within, and the team members have to do their work because it interests them. The meeting is a platform to establish a form for making strategic and considerable investment decisions.
Team goals for the meeting which is to discuss the importance of establishing new business target and then linking it to bonus target is set (Hill and Rennella 11).
In order to make his team effective in the future, Linden should avoid stereotyping through encouraging other’s autonomy. He should acknowledge that his group is superior and capable of making substantial achievements.
For the company to make progress there has to be harmony among its team players. Team forming works as a solution to solving this problem. The stages of team forming include forming, storming, norming and performing. Linden is successfully able to proceed with forming and storming (Hill and Rennella 11).
However, he stops at the norming stage where the group must learn from each other’s in order to perform. Linden should further work on praising and encouraging the cohesiveness in order to spear the company into performing stage.
Linden should, also, encourage openness as illustrated by Sharma when she countered that the surplus to be placed in an investment fund as recommended by the CMO. This would add another layer of bureaucracy.
Culture of accepting change should be promoted through maintaining trustworthy leadership, respectable and admitting mistakes (Hill and Rennella 12).
Will Linden need to change his style in managing the team in the future?
Linden should employ transformational leadership with a focus on team-oriented style. Transformational leadership inspires the followers to perform beyond what is expected of them. It is achieved through vision, message and communication.
The outcome of transformational leadership is increased trust, stronger followers’ identification with the leader and increase in organizational citizenship behaviors. Linden can use his charisma to try convincing the GEC group to establish a new business target.
This will certainly lead to higher bonuses, which is a win-win situation. This can be achieved through a shared vision, a clear message, and good communication and should lead to higher trust, stronger commitment and lower grievance rate.
Linden should, also, be encourage participation in the team, encourage feedback and should admit mistakes (Hill and Rennella 12).
If so, will he be willing and/or able to actually change?
Linden is not resistant to changes because of his open mindedness and is ready to change his leadership orientation.
Linden might use the delegation approach to one of the regional directors to create and propose a feasibility study on new business targets, and then bonuses can be distributed basing on specific and measurable objectives.
As a good leader, Linden should be trustworthy, communicative and approachable If Linden changes to portray these attributes, the GEC members will be willing to share in his ideas and thoughts (Hill and Rennella 13).
Hill, Linda and Mark Rennella. “Johannes Linden: Managing the Global Executive Committee.” Western Ave, Allston: Havard Business School, 2012. 1-13. Print.