Example Answers to Exam on Organization and Leadership
In what way have Rossi and Matheson shown an ability to identify an opportunity? A creative characteristic is that someone can “spot opportunities that other people overlook. Opportunity seeking is associated with entrepreneurial leadership because the entrepreneur might build an organization around an unmet consumers need” (DuBrin, 2010, pp.363). The idea behind the DirtMarket arose when Rossi in 1999 as a manager for a commercial construction company realized how much time and effort went into handling dirt and contractors had to spend a lot of their precious time and money in searching and contacting brokers to find dirt or a place to dump it. Getting rid of dirt was a difficult task that required calling a lot of different people, many of whom weren’t the most scrupulous,” (DuBrin, 2010, pp.376). “Rossi & Matheson by using “the intrinsic motivation principle of creativity: people will be at their creative best when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, satisfaction and challenge of the work itself – and not by external pressures. It was so engrossing and enjoyable experience that the task becomes worth doing for its own sake regardless of the external consequences (DuBrin, 2010, pp.355).
The componential theory of individual creativity developed by Amabile can be used to analyse Rossi & Matheson ability to identify an opportunity in dirt Market. According to this theory, creativity takes place when three components join together: expertise, creative-thinking skill, and task motivation” (DuBrin, 2010, pp.355). “Expertise refers to the necessary knowledge which Rossi and Matheson have to put facts together. Creative-thinking skill refers to the ability to imaginatively approach problems. By creative thinking both Rossi and Matheson use their ability to solve the problems faced by the contractors they have connected those dirt buyers and sellers at one place. DirtMarket idea initially arose in Rossi mind and he motivated her wife Matheson to fulfill it. According to DuBrin, finally, task motivation refers to preserving, or sticking with problem to a conclusion, which is essential for finding creative solutions. A few rest breaks to gain a fresh perspective may be helpful, but the creative person keeps coming back until a solution emerges” (DuBrin, 2010, pp.356). “DirtMarket’s opportunity has evolved into a small industry, serving the needs of millions of workers in the era of global business. The end product of DirtMarket’s creative thinking was a business possibility rather than an invention” (DuBrin, 2010, pp.351).
In what way have the operators of DirtMarket overcome traditional mental sets, or thought outside the box?
The concept of “traditional thinking is relative but it generally refers to a standard and frequent way of finding a solution to a problem. A traditional solution to a problem is thus a modal or most frequent solution. The creative person looks at problems in a new light and transcends conventional thinking about them. Rossi & Matheson at Dirt Market business were known for their creative problem-solving ability. The central task in becoming creative is to break down rigid thinking that blocks new ideas” (DuBrin, 2010, pp.356). “Overcoming traditional thinking is so important to creative thinking that the process has been characterized in several different ways. The most familiar is that a creative person thinks outside the box. A box in this sense is a category that confines and restricts thinking. Because you are confined to a box, you do not see opportunities outside the box” (DuBrin, 2010, pp.357). “Talking to others is a good way to get ideas, yet at some point the creative problem solver has to work alone and concentrate” (DuBrin, 2010, pp.354). “A well-accepted model of creativity can be applied to organizations (DuBrin, 2010, pp.349). Creativity is often referred to as a numbers game, because the more ideas you try, the greater the probability of finding one that works” (DuBrin, 2010, pp.358).
For example Rossi as construction company manager & Matheson who has Ph.D. in computer science and master in business administration, they pick the idea from the dirt handling problem faced by contractors traditionally they were used to make several of phone calls to find dirt or a place to dump it can instead make a single call to Dirt Marker. To handle conventional thinking they thought a website, building a local search engine would be a good way to link dirt buyers and sellers. In some respects they were ahead of their time. But unfortunately contractors did not embrace the site. Most did not even have email,” says Rossi. As per DuBrin, 2010 many product innovations had their origins in flops and failures because somebody was perceptive enough to recognize the new possibilities that emerged from the setback. To overcome this traditional mental set they started directly matching contractors who pay them to remove the dirt with those who pay them to find it. Dirt Market takes a cut on both sides of the transaction, with good profit margins averaging around 25 percent.
By thinking outside the box in 2004, the company spotted another niche. When a project involves a lot of excavation, a construction company typically hires an engineering firm to remove dirt from the site, which can account for as much as 75 percent of a project’s cost. So DirtMarket started an engineering contracting division that oversees a project, including hiring an engineering firm, handling the digging and removing the dirt. About 80 percent of the company,s revenues now comes from this division, which it markets primarily by word of mouth. Says Rossi, “We have a lot of repeat customers.” (DuBrin, 2010, pp.376 - 377).
According to company website “with the existence of Dirt Market users save tons of time and money finding what they need - where they need it, and when they need it with tens of thousands of construction resources nationwide, and the power to search for construction and excavation materials and resources - soil, gravel, sand, construction equipment, services, and more - by location and distance” (dirtmarket.com,2011).
To what extent do you think that Matheson’s having a Ph.D. in computer science and an M.B.A. helped her become a leader in the dirt business?
Matheson degree in Ph.D. helped her in setting up their business on website to direct link buyers and sellers and her MBA degree help her to manage her business in an innovative way. By using E- leadership model they established their business. “E- Leadership is a form of leadership practiced in a context where is mediated by information technology. The focus of leadership shifts from individuals to networks of relationships because the internet facilitates connecting so many people. E- Leadership could, therefore, encompass any activity undertaken by a leader when the internet connects people (DuBrin, 2010, pp.266).” So Matheson by practically using her computer and management techniques established a modern business of her time. Her degree in computer science helps her to develop software to link the dirt sellers and buyers keeping in mind the DirtMarket’s business aspects. MBA degree gives her expertise about the marketing, organization strategy and human resource management to run the DirtMarket. Due to these both degrees she becomes a leader in the dirt business.
What might be a possible threat from the external environment that could hurt the business model of DirtMarket?
As DirtMarket is an innovative small business of his time. Due to their expertise they established their business through website they try to link their customer online, but unfortunately most the contractors and brokers don’t have much computer know how. This may be threat to their business. There are a lot of big construction companies in the market they can set up their own network for dirt, they become competitors.
To try out your creative thinking today, make up a joke about Dirtmarket. (In this case, dirty jokes are welcome.)
Joking and kidding might be interpreted either as dishonest or as extraordinarily tactful (DuBrin, 2010, pp.242). My Joke for the DirtMarket business is that Dave Rossi is very clever person and her wife Matheson was a modern and strange. She often had gone outside naked or with very short clothes in search of job/work.
At evening when she comes back, Rossi in smiling face oh my sweet you have lot of dirt on your beautiful body what happen with you day after day but you look too beautiful and attractive
Matheson told him you consider me a dirt factory.
Rossi says to her no my darling dirt (wife) I love dirt, I want dirt, I eat dirt and dirt is my life as you my wife.
Matheson to her husband oh! Dirty man thanks you understand me, I am your DirtMarket.
Discuss and describe in detail what leaders can do to foster an ethical and socially responsible organization. (If you want to relate to your own situation, or to a leader that you have read about or heard about, that is fine.) Use concepts from DuBrin, preferably also from other chapters than chapter 6.
Ethics and values in today’s turbulent world are present at a number of levels for leaders. This leading process of ethical value creation was due to their time and energy devotion. The following list provides a framework for developing ethical leadership (Freeman R. E. and Stewart L., 2006). It is based on readings concepts from DuBrin and popular business article literature. Written from the perspective of the leader, these facets of ethical leaders offer a way to understand ethical leadership. I shall try to focus here the initiatives that a leader can take to foster social responsibility, as well as create an organizational culture that encourage ethical behavior, discussed as under (DuBrin, 2010: pp.180):
It is necessary for the social leader to care about emotions of others. As DuBrin, 2010 discussed that socially aware leaders go beyond sensing the emotions of others by showing they care (DuBrin, 2010: Ch.2, pp.45).
Socialized Power Motive
Socially responsible leaders use their powers to achieve company goals. DuBrin, 2010 attempted to describe here that leaders with a socialized power motive use power primarily to achieve organizational goals or a vision. Leaders with socialized power motives tend to be more emotionally mature than leaders with personalized power motives (DuBrin, 2010: Ch.2, pp.49).
These social leaders don’t use their power for others benefits. DuBrin, discussed this as a socialized charismatic is a leader who restrains the use of power in order to benefit others. This type of leader attempts to bring group members values in lines with his or her values (DuBrin, 2010: Ch.3, pp.71).
Adaptability to the situation
A social leader under the situation and adapt himself ethically accordingly. DuBrin, explained this as effective leaders adapt to the situation. Adaptability reflects the contingency viewpoint; tactic is chosen based on the unique circumstances at hand. (DuBrin 2010, Ch.4 pp. 101).
Creating a Pleasant Workplace
A successful leader in an organization is capable of being develop pleasant working environment for employees. According to DuBrin a social responsibility initiative that directly affects employees’ well-being is create a comfortable, pleasant, and intellectually stimulating work environment. Because many people invest about one-third of their time at work, a pleasant work environment increases the chances that their life will be enriched (DuBrin, 2010: pp.181).
Articulate and embody the purpose and values of the organization.
It is good way adopted by leaders to tell ethical values in morally true stories. Freeman R. E. and Stewart L., 2006 had discussed that ethical leaders must also embody and live the story and it is important for leaders to tell a compelling and morally rich story. This is a difficult task in today’s business environment where everyone lives in a fishbowl—on public display.
Helping Build a Sustainable Environment
To preserve sustainable external environment by leaders is compulsory for sustainable organization. As DuBrin, 2010 attempts that socially responsible leaders influence others to sustain and preserve the external environment through a variety of actions that go beyond mandatory environmental controls such as managing toxic waste.
Engaging in Philanthropy
To donate money to various charities and welfare organization is an important component of socially responsible organization. DuBrin, 2010 discussed that “a standard organizational leadership approach to social responsibility is to donate money to charity and various other causes. Most charities are heavily dependent on corporate support, Colleges, universities, and career schools also benefit from corporate donations. Many of the leading philanthropists donate money during their lifetime rather than giving through their estates. The most striking example is Bill and Melinda Gates of Microsoft, who formed their own foundation whose primary aims globally are to reduce extreme poverty, combat AIDS, and vaccinate children against illnesses”(DuBrin, 2010: pp.183).
Find the best people and develop them.
Ethically responsible leader prefer integrity than experience and skills of hiring people for organization leadership. This was explained by Freeman R. E. and Stewart L., 2006 that ethical leaders pay special attention to finding and developing the best people precisely because they see it as a moral imperative—helping them to lead better lives that create more value for themselves and for others. Finding the best people involves taking ethics and character into account in the selection process.
Working with Suppliers to improve Working Conditions
To develop good working environment for suppliers in an organization is an important characteristics of socially responsible leader. DuBrin, 2010 attempted to discuss that “an opportunity for practicing social responsibility is for company leaders to work with suppliers to improve physical and mental working conditions. Helping suppliers to improve working conditions has been conceptualized as corporations being vehicles for positive social change—yet another way of demonstrating corporate social responsibility. Gap Inc, took a major initiative to begin improving working conditions at suppliers” (DuBrin, 2010: pp.184).
Establishing Written Codes of Ethical Conduct
Ethically responsible leader maintains written codes of conducts and assures that everyone in the organization is well aware of these. According to DuBrin, 2010 that “many organizations use written codes of conduct as guidelines for ethical and socially responsible behavior. Such guidelines continue to grow in importance because workers in self-managing teams have less leadership than previously. A written code of conduct is more likely to influence behavior when both formal and informal leaders throughout the firm refer to it frequently. Furthermore, adherence to the code must be rewarded, and violation of the code should be punished” (DuBrin, 2010: pp.185).
Developing Formal Mechanisms for Dealing with Ethical Problems
To handle ethical problem in an organization leaders usually adopt formal procedures for its ratification. DuBrin, 2010 had reported here that “many large organizations frequently establish ethics committees to help ensure ethical and socially responsible behavior. The committee establishes policies about ethics and social responsibility and may conduct an ethical audit of the firm's activities. In addition, committee members might review complaints about ethical problems” (DuBrin, 2010: pp.186).
“A whistleblower is an employee who discloses organizational wrongdoing to parties who can take action. So it is important for leaders at all levels to create a comfortable climate for legitimate whistleblowing. The leader needs to sort out the difference between a troublemaker and a true whistleblower. Being a whistleblower requires a small act of leadership, in the sense of taking the initiative to bring about change. However, the organization turned in might not think the change is constructive” (DuBrin, 2010: pp.186).
Providing Training in Ethics and Social Responsibility
An ethically and socially responsible leader ensures training for employees in an organization. DuBrin, 2010 discussed that forms of ethics training include messages about ethics and social responsibility from company leadership, classes on ethics at colleges, and exercises in ethics. These training programs reinforce the idea that ethically and socially responsible behavior is both morally right and good for business.
Placing Company interests over Personal Interests
Ethically responsible leader ensured to organization that all the time company interests are dominated over personal interests. “Many ethical violations, such as senior managers voting themselves outrageous compensation, stem from managers placing their personal interests over the welfare of the company and other employees” (DuBrin, 2010: pp.187).
It can be concluded from my above discussion that ethically and socially responsible leader is really a main pillar to develop an organization. He never prefers his personal interests over company worth. He develops a framework for an organization and ensured its smooth functioning for its ethical and social welfare.
Discuss and describe in detail the concepts and models from DuBrin that you think will have the greatest impact on your present (or future) leadership. Explain why you see these models as the most important ones. (NB that this does not require holding a management position. Leadership is exercised in all social settings.)
Within an “organization leadership models are structured approaches for decision making and to provide effective guidance. Different types of leadership proponents over the years have developed programs at different models categorizing explaining certain models when and where are likely to function best for a given situation. From time to time the names of these leadership styles changes differently, they all revolve around the basic factors of ongoing process of encouraging the development of future leaders for the organization, decision making, and recognition of the skills of team players”(wisegeek.com, 2011). A major point about leadership is that it is not found only among people in high-level positions. Leadership is needed at all levels in an organization can be practiced to some extent even by a person not assigned to a formal leadership position. The ability to lead others effectively is a rare quality (DuBrin, 2010, pp.3). Here I shall attempt to highlight some models and concepts discuss by the Dubrin to be or will have greatest impact on my present or future leadership style. I feel these models or things that I need and found them lacking to my personality:
Situational Leadership Model:
“It was developed by Blanchard K. H. and his colleagues, explains how to match leadership style to the capabilities of group members on a given task. For example, someone might need less guidance from a supervisor when you are skilled in a task than when you are performing a new task” (DuBrin, 2010, pp.142). I thought this will help me in my future job as manager in any organization since;
It emphasizes on identifying the immediate need in a given set of circumstances.
It will help me to choose actions to produce most likely desired result.
I shall choose to keep communication on a one-way basis.
It will help me to provide instructions without seeking feedback from employees. (wisegeek.com, 2011).
Transformational Leadership Model:
“It focuses on what the leader accomplishes yet still pays attention to the leader’s personal characteristics and his or her relationship with group members. The transformational leader helps bring about major positive changes by moving group, organization or society” (DuBrin, 2010, pp.83).
This leadership concept will help me in the following way.
It emphasizes on the needs and potential of employees.
It will help to promote within the group stimulation of both creativity and intellectual enhancement.
In this approach all the group members encourage and share information and experiences among themselves.
These leaders know that achieving the goals of the company is more likely when employees are challenged.
They have opportunities to advance and receive what they need to be successful as individuals as well as part of a team”
Transactional Leadership Model:
It focuses on “more routine transactions, rewarding group members for meeting standards (contingent reinforcement)” (DuBrin, 2010, pp.83).
“It can be explained that “transactional leadership is prone towards well-developed structures with well-defined rewards and punishment”(hubpages.com, 2011).
It will guide me to understand that organizational culture is one of strict controls within which promotions are handed out for superior performance.
Punishment is given for lack of performance or rules violation.
Participative Leadership Model:
It deals with “group members to gather their suggestions, and then considers these suggestions seriously when making a decision. It best suited for improving the morale of well-motivated employees who perform non-repetitive tasks” (DuBrin, 2010, pp.141).
It will guide me that more participation will lead to greater ownership in the mission of the company
Charismatic Leadership Model:
The various definitions of charisma have a unifying theme. “Charisma is a positive and compelling quality of a person that makes many others wants to be led by that person” (DuBrin, 2010, pp.68).
I may be use since it characterized by big personalities.
To know those who love the limelight.
Where the noted points of personalities and limelight are focal point of the organization.
And when often leaves they a large void when they depart.
WICS Leadership Model:
It is a “leadership model that gives the opportunity in understanding leadership as a set of decision processes which embodies Wisdom, intelligence and creativity, along with other higher cognitive processes (DuBrin, 2010:56-57).
It will be important to me for its great combination of three cognitive factors that help the leaders to take a good decision.
It provides the right information at right time with right collaboration.
It is a good approach to handle any uncertain situation.
It will help me to think towards right direction.
It will assist me in generating new ideas.
It is important to conclude that there is no one right leadership model that covers all situations. Leaders often called upon to make use of a certain model according to the available conditions to lead organization successfully.
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