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Strengths and weaknesses of situational leadership model

According to situational leadership models in general, leaders should adopt different leadership approaches depending on the situations that they encounter. Leadership competencies which work in one given situation may not be effective under different circumstances (Graef, 1983). In other words, other factors must be taken into account when deciding which leadership style to use in a given situation. Therefore, successful leaders can be characterised as those who are able to adjust their leadership styles according to situations which warrant their intervention.

The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Model is built on the concept using “follower maturity” as the key issue which affects adjustment in leadership styles. [1] Follower maturity, which defines the readiness of followers to perform in a given situation, is based on two major factors – the ability and confidence in performing the tasks. Four leadership styles which emerge from this two-by-two matrix model (see Table 1) are Participating, Selling, Telling and Delegating. All these four leadership styles have varying levels in terms of follower ability and confidence.

Table 1: Hersey-Blanchard Situational Table Leadership Model

High

PARTICIPATING STYLE

Followers are capable but

Relationship

Behaviourunwilling and not confident

SELLING STYLE

Followers are unable but

willing and confident

DELEGATING STYLE

Followers are capable,

willing and confident

TELLING STYLE

Followers are unable,

unwilling and not confident

Low

Task Behaviour Low High

Managers who are keen to use the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Model must first fully understand or be able to assess/gauge the level of maturity of its subordinates with reference to their readiness or commitment to perform their job tasks. [2] 

Based on the case analysis presented and the leadership model depicted in the table above, it can be concluded that John Terrill had adopted the Delegating Leadership Style in dealing with the situation at DGI International’s Technical Services division.

Delegating Leadership Style

Looking at the two-by-two matrix, the Delegating Leadership Style is described as Low Task, Low Relationship, whereby intervention from managers is kept to a minimum with the assumption that the subordinates are able, willing and confident of accomplishing the tasks at hand. Managers who adopt this style of leadership will allow their followers or subordinates to take responsibility for their assigned tasks with minimal supervision from them.

In the case of DGI International’s Technical Services division, John Terrill practiced the delegating style based on the profile of the team in his division. Since it was stated that all 20 of his subordinates are engineers who are highly paid and best educated, it can be deduced that this group of employees are high performers in their area of expertise within the organization. Management will not be willing to pay them highly if they do not possess high level of job maturity, which refers to their job capabilities and confidence in accomplishing their tasks as engineers. Based on their aptitude and the fact that the engineers requested top management to stop making them spend too much time on writing reports, Terrill was able to gauge that the employees possess high capabilities of performing their tasks and are also willing and confident to do their job provided that they were given the opportunity and time needed to accomplish their tasks. The engineers did not need much prompting and directions from him to take on new initiatives which help contribute to their productivity.

Terrill’s delegating style can be further identified when he promised to stay off the engineer’s backs and also make sure that top management did the same. This indicates that Terrill will not interfere much with the daily tasks of the engineers because he believes the engineers know what are expected of them, what they are supposed to do and do not need much direction from Terrill to accomplish their tasks.

Strengths of Delegating Style

This style of leadership empowers followers to be responsible for their own actions and decisions. For example, the engineers are given high autonomy in completing their tasks with minimal supervision by Terrill.

For mature followers who have high level of job readiness, this leadership style will give them a great sense of accomplishment which acts as motivator to give their best and increase productivity (Hersey and Blanchard, 1988). In this case, the engineers are able to concentrate on accomplishing their tasks and productivity of the division will improve.

Empowerment allows for a certain degree of independence which promotes accountability and creativity in individuals.

A leader who is able to delegate his authority in terms of job accomplishment will have time to focus on other strategic matters.

Followers of this leadership style will feel more trusted and will build a closer working relationship with the leaders and foster better team work. Inadvertently, it will be easier for Terrill to turn around the department because his engineers will have more respect for him and will not hesitate to help him achieve their goals.

Weaknesses of Delegating Style

Measurement of job readiness is subjective and based on several factors, mainly job ability and job confidence (Hambleton et al., 1977(. However, if a leader wrongly gauged the job readiness of his followers and leave it to them to accomplish certain tasks, he may not achieve the desired results at the end of the day.

This style of leadership is open to abuse. Followers may be able, willing and confident to perform the tasks but they may also take advantage of the low intervention from their managers so that the tasks may not be completed on time or productivity is not up to par as expected.

A leader is able to delegate the tasks to his followers but accountability of the job still lies with the leader.

To sum up, job delegation should be a gradual process until the leader is satisfied and confident that the tasks can be accomplished with minor supervision. However, in the real world, there is no single leadership style that can be applied in all situations. Effective leaders should be able to adjust their leadership styles according to the situation at hand. Leaders who are able to adopt different styles based on what is required of them will be most successful.

Question 2

What do you think was John Terrill’s source of power? Do you think it is effective?

The concept of power can be defined in varying ways but generally power is regarded as the ability to influence, affect and mobilize the attitudes and behaviour of others. The term power, authority, domination and control are often used interchangeably as there is a thin line separating their meanings (Pheby, 2004). However, power is not exclusive to only managers and leaders as opposed to authority which comes with certain legitimate positions. Power is able to shape one’s actions and behaviour; thus, it can be maintained that decision making can be influenced with the existence of power sources in a system.

In an organizational context, power is directly related to hierarchy or structure and legitimacy which come with positions. The ability of those in higher ranking positions to influence their subordinates is driven by power. It is an element which is able to shape managers and followers, and is the key underlying factor for leadership effectiveness. In fact, one of its most important functions is to build interdependency between leaders and followers. Ogden et al. (2006) entails that power need not have goal compatibility but only dependence.

Researchers French and Raven (1959) had studied the sources of power and successfully listed them in five distinct forms. The five bases of power in organizations which are able to affect success in leadership are described as follows:

Category

Source of power

Description

POSITIONAL

POWER

Legitimate power

This source of power usually comes with specific roles and positions in organisations. This power is also embedded in formal job descriptions that are mutually agreed to by employees in an organisation. Generally, people holding higher position are able to exert more organisational power compared to those in lower ranking jobs.

Reward power

Normally associated with the formal authority to allocate organisational rewards to employees. This type of power can weaken if the reward is no longer perceived as valuable by the receiver.

Coercive power

The person holding this power is able to impose punishment. In organisations, punishments can be in the form of reprimand, disciplinary action, suspension, demotion, dismissal, etc. Coercive power is usually associated with authority and can be used as a coercion tool at the workplace.

PERSONAL POWER

Expert power

The ability to influence based on a person’s knowledge, skills and expertise which originates from within an individual. This type of power is normally acquired by experts in certain fields. May not necessarily linked to position or authority in an organisation.

Referent power

An individual with referent power is looked upon as a role model by others. The individual usually possesses a charm, appeal, charisma or admirable qualities which others want to identify with.

These five sources of power can be broadly categorised into positional power and personal power. Positional power refers to external power which is vested in an individual’s formal role, position or authority. Legitimate power, reward power and coercion power fall in this category. On the other hand, expert power and referent power can be grouped as personal power because they involve internal or personal traits which belong to individuals.

In DGI International’s case study, John Terrill applied a combination of both position and personal powers to solve the problem faced by his subordinates in the Technical Services division.

1. Positional power

Being appointed as the head of Technical Services Division clearly indicated that John Terrill held legitimate power over the department. As the new boss to a team of highly paid and skilled engineers, it can be assumed that John Terrill himself possessed quality traits which made top management at DGI International very confident that he can turn the non-performing department around.

Terrill first demonstrated his legitimate power during his meeting with the engineers. First, he cleverly gained the engineers’ confidence by showing great concern for their welfare. Then he exerted his legitimate power by demanding to know the reasons for their lack of productivity and factors which hamper their expected performance. His ability to influence the engineers to voice out their grievances which affected their performance showed that he was successful in getting to the root of the department’s productivity problem.

In this case, Terrill did not use any reward or coercive power because he did not impose any reward or punishment in getting to the root of the problem and then making sure that his engineers would carry out their tasks after that. He used empathy and diplomacy as a leader by exerting his influence to make them follow his instructions.

Terrill also exercised his authority when he issued immediate order for reports to be sent to his office instead of the headquarters as warranted by top management. He was well aware that his orders were against top management’s instructions, but he was not afraid to use the legitimate power vested in his position to stand by his decision to keep the management off the engineers’ backs as promised.

2. Personal power

The top management’s concern about the low productivity further showed the importance placed on his team. Terrill understood that his team of engineers is crucial to the organisation’s growth since they are the best educated and highly paid employees in the company. From this profile alone, Terrill knew that his division held a lot of expertise required in the manufacturing of refinery equipment. Knowledge and skills of the engineers are highly valued by the organisation, which was why they were never reprimanded for their lack of productivity before. In other words, the engineers have expert power which made them indispensable to the company.

Terrill’s source of expert power was also derived from the engineers’ knowledge and skills. He could anticipate that top management would agree to his recommendation that management should not bog down the engineers with daily reports because their engineering expertise is a critical resource in meeting the company’s production objectives, whereas internal reports are only administrative requirements.

In this example, Terrill obviously used the division’s expert power to negotiate with top management to stay out of their way so that they can carry out their engineering work as expected, and hopefully increase productivity as expected of them.

Terrill seemed to have gained support from his engineers because they cheered him when he was about to meet top management to fight for their cause. If he successfully gets top management to agree with his plight, he will undoubtedly build his referent power and be admired for his charm and charisma in carrying out his task as their leader.

It can be summarized that Terrill effectively used his legitimate power to influence his engineers to confide in him about problems that they faced which hampered productivity of the division. Terrill also successfully exercised the division’s expert power to ensure top management did not impose trivial matters (such as writing internal daily reports) which consume much of the engineers time so that they could concentrate on accomplishing their engineering tasks.

Question 3

Henry Mintzberg’s research indicates that diverse manager activities can be organized into ten roles. Identify two of these roles that John Terrill performed in carrying out his duty.

According to Henry Mintzberg (2004), based on his research on the various activities of managers in a business setting, the roles of managers can be classified into ten types as depicted in the following table:

CATEGORY

ROLE

ACTIVITY

Interpersonal

Figurehead

Perform duties which are symbolic and ceremonial. Regarded as symbol of authority.

Leader

Directing, motivating, training, advising, influencing, encouraging, promoting development of others.

Liaison

In charge of internal and external information links. Engage in exchange of information.

Informational

Monitor

Process and assess information. Maintain information and contacts.

Disseminator

Transmit information to other via phone calls, memos, notes, etc.

Spokesman

Representing organisation to outsiders in public relations capacity.

Decisional

Entrepreneur

Project initiation, business identification and leads for opportunities.

Disturbance Handler

Handles internal crises and conflicts involving employees, and also external changes.

Resource Allocator

Responsible for allocation and sets priority for organisational resources via budgets, etc.

Negotiator

Negotiates with suppliers, unions, etc.

Through his research, Mintzberg (1973) also managed to conclude that all the above ten roles fall into three broad categories which are interlinked. To illustrate the point, all three interpersonal roles - Figurehead, Leader and Liaison – provide information. Informational roles – Monitor, Disseminator and Spokesperson – process the information and act as a link to all the managerial roles. Meanwhile, the decisional roles make decision on how to deliver the information to other parties.

All these ten roles can be applied to any managerial situation depending on the requirement of the circumstances. Based on Mintzberg’s theory, in the DGI International’s case, John Terrill played the roles of Liaison and Negotiator.

Liaison

John Terrill applied his interpersonal skills excellently when he first approached the engineers to seek information on their current problems which affected their productivity. During his meeting, he played his role as a liaison or intermediary between the engineers and top management. He did not reprimand the engineers for the poor performance of the Technical Services division without first finding out the cause of their low contribution to productivity; instead, he offered to resolve the conflict by trying to get to the root of the problem and find a lasting solution that will help them to increase their output in the organisation. His openness may have encouraged the engineers to confide in him even though he was new to the organisation.

Terrill also successfully executed this role by openly showing his concern for the staff’s welfare. Perhaps this helped open up the communication channel between him and the engineers because they feel that Terrill was acting in their interests. After that, the engineers willingly voice out their grouses and complaints when Terrill asked them point blank as to why the division was not performing as expected. His networking skills were clearly demonstrated when he empathised with the engineers and responded positively that engineers in the Technical Services division should not be tied down with paperwork if top management expected them to be more productive. Instead, they should be allowed to focus more on accomplishing their engineering tasks.

In his liaison role, Terrill tried to maintain positive relationship with the engineers and not take sides with the top management by using any form of coercion on his team. His objective was to turn around the division and increase the engineer’s productivity. Therefore, he carefully played his role by offering them a possible solution. Using the power vested in his position as the manager of the team coupled with the mandate given by top management to solve the productivity issue, Terrill issued an order which was against the wish of company management. To illustrate, while the company management requires that the engineers turned in daily reports to headquarters, Terrill ordered them to turn in the reports to his office instead. However, Terrill had anticipated a showdown with top management and had already thought up a plan to back up his actions. He had proven that while the engineers were asked to turn in daily reports, actually nobody in top management would need the report daily because for three weeks, nobody in headquarters enquired about the missing daily reports.

Negotiator

In solving the low productivity issue of the Technical Services division, Terrill also played the role of a negotiator. This role was demonstrated during his first management meeting with the engineers. He explained to them the management’s concern for the low productivity of the division despite being the highest paid and best educated group within the organisations. He also asked them to voice out their grouses and the possible reasons for their non-performance. When he found out that the engineers were demotivated by the amount of daily reporting that they had to do instead of focussing on their engineering tasks, Terrill asked the engineers to carry out their engineering duties like they were supposed to and increase the division’s productivity while he took care of the daily report generation problem with top management. He convinced them that he would stay out of their way and get the top management off their backs so that the engineers can accomplish their tasks as expected. With Terrill at the helm of the division, the engineers are able to concentrate on their primary tasks and not worry about other petty issues. The engineers were also confident that Terrill will be able to prove a point to top management by keeping the daily reports in his office, and they seemed to have supported his actions.

During the showdown with top management in the president’s office, Terrill displayed his negotiation skills by informing top management that the main reason for Technical Services division’s low output was that the engineers were more occupied with writing daily reports than actually doing their engineering tasks. He successfully proved his point by showing top management that the high stack of report produced over the last three weeks were not read by anyone because no one asked to look at them. He evidently showed them that the amount of time spent on writing the report had gone to waste, and that the precious time should be spent by the engineers to accomplish other important engineering duties. He then suggested that management do away with the daily report and one brief report from his office on a monthly basis is sufficient.

In conclusion, managers are involved in a myriad of activities when performing the managerial functions. These activities can be clustered into broad categories and identified into roles. By understanding these managerial roles, managers will be able to discharge their duties more efficiently and effectively.

Question 4

Do you think gender makes a difference when it comes to leadership style? Use example(s) and literatures to support your stand.

Gender is a socially constructed concept of men and women which varies according to cultures, societies, social classes and even periods in history (FAO, 1997). It is sometimes misunderstood as being biologically determined and solely related to the sexual characteristics of men and women. However, according to Bravo-Baumann (2000) gender relations involves how society determines the rights and responsibilities of women and men.

Traditionally, the roles of women are mostly confined to household-related chores and nurturing of family. Many cultures across the globe regarded women as the weaker sex with limited roles to play in the social system. In some countries, women are even denied access to education, rights to freedom, and in extreme cases are relegated to subordinate status (Bass et al, 1971). However, with the rise of movements towards equality in gender in the modern world, more societies have begun to change their mindsets and accept the fact that women also have roles to play in the development of the society and economy (Inglehart and Noris, 2003).

The last several decades have witnessed the emergence of women holding managerial roles in organizations. Although men still hold the fort, more women are seen entering the workforce with an increasingly number of them being promoted to high managerial positions (Druskat, 1994). However, many women nowadays earn their organisations’ mandate and are appointed as CEOs and MDs of companies. Currently, some countries are headed by female premiers and presidents, for example Australia and New Zealand. These show that women are fast being recognized in their roles as capable leaders.

As a result of the increase in female leadership roles, there have been a string of researches aimed at studying the leadership styles and behaviour differences between men and women leaders (Statham, 1987; Carless, 1998; Davidson & Ferrario, 1992; Van Engen et al., 2001). Some researchers failed to find disparities in leadership styles between men and women (Pounder and Coleman, 2002; Van Eagen, Van der Leedeen & Willemsen, 2001). Even though there are varying outcomes from these researches, a majority of the research results agreed that differences in leadership styles definitely exist among male and female leaders.

Conceptually, due to the differences in nature and characteristics of men and women, there are bound to be distinct features which affect their leadership styles. It is generally accepted that the leadership styles of men and women vary because of differences in behaviour of men and women which are shaped by society and culture (Eagley, Wood and Diekman, 2000). Women in leadership roles were seen to be more collaborative, less hierarchical and more cooperative, caring and promoting self-worth of others (Helgesen, 1990; Book, 2000; Rosener, 1995). In contrast, due to the masculine nature of men as perceived by societies, male leaderships tend to be more assertive, aggressive, controlling and confident (Eagley et al., 2000).

The above findings are further supported by a study by Eagly, Karau and Johnson (1992) on leadership styles among school principals supported this notion. From the study, it was concluded that:

Female principals are more task-oriented compared to male principals.

In the role as school principal which requires more interpersonal ability, women display greater task-orientation. However, in male dominated roles, men will appear to be more task oriented (Eagley and Jonhson, 1990).

Female principals are also more democratic or participative while male principals adopted a more autocratic or directive approach.

Due to social values, experience and thoughts associated with feminine characteristics (Goldberger, Clinchy, Belenky and Tarule, 1987), women leaders generally use the “soft” approach when dealing with others. Hence, women naturally develop leadership styles that are more democratic and participative. Male leaders, on the other hand, adopted stronger approaches which are consistent with natural dominating and controlling characteristics of men.

Differences in leadership styles have an impact on the effectiveness and direction of an organization. Leaders must be able to adopt different approaches when confronted with varying circumstances because not all situations will warrant the same types of actions. Hence, leaders are most successful and effective when they can evaluate a situation accurately and act according to the requirements of the situation instead of generally applying the same form of leadership across all circumstances (Fiedler, 1951). Leadership styles can also be affected by external factors such as the nature of work, business environment, organizational culture and industry structure.

To illustrate the point that gender differences in leadership styles do exist (Kanter, 1991), we will take a closer look at Transformational (largely associated with women leaders) and Transactional (dominant in male leaders). The following table highlights the differences in the two types of leadership: [3] 

Transformational Leadership

Transactional Leadership

* Leaders motivate their followers by arousing their emotions and acting beyond the framework of exchange relations.

* Leaders are proactive and help form new aspirations and expectations of followers.

* Leaders are differentiated by their ability to inspire and provide individual consideration, stimulation and influence to followers.

* Leaders help in creating learning opportunities and stimulate their followers to find solutions to their problems.

* Leaders develop emotional bonds with their followers using their management and rhetorical skills and great visions.

* Leaders encourage followers to strive for their goals beyond self-interest.

* Leaders are conscious of the relationship between reward and effort.

* Leadership is responsive with high orientation to solve present issues.

* Leaders control the actions of their followers by depending on reward, inducement, punishment and sanction.

* Leaders use rewards to encourage their followers to achieve desired results.

* Leaders reinforce behaviour of followers for successful execution of plan.

Source : http://leadershipchamps.wordpress.com

Introduced by James MacGregor Burns (1978), the transformational leadership concept defines an approach which encourages positive and valuable changes in performance and morale of followers based upon the behaviours and characteristics of leaders. Transformational leaders brought about changes in organizations by inspiring, motivating and sometimes acting as role models for employees to identify with (Bass, 1985). By being role models, such leaders will encourage employees to develop skills which could help them enhance their productivity. Transformational leadership style is often displayed by women leaders since women have innate “nurturing” ability (Kornives, 1991; Ross, 1990). This style can be effective in less-hierarchical organizations such as schools or retail outlets. In male dominated settings such as the military, transformational leadership may not be preferred.

On the other hand, transactional leadership style is more visible in traditional organizational settings where male leaders are dominant (Rosener, 1990). Transactional approach values desired results in exchange for rewards, motivations or punishments; thus, transactional leaders will stress on higher productivity and offer rewards (or punishment) as motivation ( Burns, 1978).

In conclusion, there are differences in leadership styles by gender. Women leaders generally tend to adopt a “softer” approach such as democratic and participative. These styles involve relationship with followers through understanding of their emotions and building the self-worth through motivation, aspiration and encouragement. Women leaders try to stimulate the working environment and develop confidence through empowerment (Burke, 1986). In contrast, men display more traditional leadership characteristics such as assertive, controlling, aggressive and dominating. However, the above differences do not limit men and women to any one leadership style. Regardless of gender, successful and effective leaders will find their preferred leadership style, that can be a blend of gender-specific roles, which is most suitable to the situation that they are in.

Question 5

If you were the president of DGI International, would you recommend modifications in John Terrill’s leadership style that you would like him to adopt? Do you think it will be possible for John Terrill to make necessary changes? Why?

In the DGI International case study, John Terrill adopted the Delegating Leadership Style (Hersey and Blanchard, 1982) based on the assumption that the team of engineers in the division that he was heading has high level of job readiness or maturity owing to the fact that they are the highest paid and best educated employees within the organization. Also, the statement made by Terrill that he will “stay off the engineers back and get top management to stay off their backs too” indicates that he will not interfere much with the engineers daily tasks. This indication further supports the notion that the team of engineers is able, willing and confident to accomplish their tasks without much direction or supervision from Terrill.

Terrill was hired by DGI International to turn around a non-performing division. When he decided to adopt the delegating style, he must have based his decision on solid grounds – highest paid and best educated group of engineers must have possessed expertise and job maturity which encompasses those of normal engineers. He found out that the reason for their non-performance was not related to their job competencies, but due to priority imposed by top management on daily report generation. The engineers claimed that they have less time to concentrate on their engineering tasks because most of their working hours are spent on writing daily reports.

In a situation when dealing with employees with high level of job readiness and maturity, the delegating style is found to be most suitable. Such empowerment and delegation will create motivation to followers because they feel trusted and recognised for their capabilities, which will increase productivity. Should Terrill decide to adopt other leadership styles which requires more intervention and supervision, the engineers might get turned off and feel demotivated, resulting in low productivity of the team.

It is also significant to evaluate other leadership models which can be applied to DGI International’s case to determine whether Terrill can be more effective in handling the situation in the Technical Services division in other leadership capacities.

The Ohio State Studies (1940) was developed to analyse the effectiveness of leadership based on two dimensions – people-oriented behaviour and task-oriented behaviour. People-oriented behaviour comprises explaining, praising and listening, among others, while task-oriented behaviour includes stressing on performance, setting deadlines and developing policies. Leaders are evaluated and placed on the two-dimensional matrix based on their ratings (high and low) for the two behaviours. The studies concluded that the most effective leaders will be the ones with high ratings in both dimensions. Effective leaders demonstrate high consideration for employee welfare while at the same time emphasized on the importance of accomplishing tasks.

Likewise, the Michigan Studies (1950) researched the dynamics of effective leadership. The studies were based on two elements – employee-orientation and production orientation. While the findings are basically similar to the Ohio State Studies (1940), the Michigan Studies further asserts that Participative Leadership is crucial in the development of team-oriented behaviour when managing at group level. [4] 

In another model, Blake and Mouton’s (1964) Managerial Grid is a popular tool in leadership and management. The grid is also developed using two dimensions – task function (production-centered) and relationship function (people). The five styles of leadership identified by this grid are Impoverished Managers, Country Club Managers, Task Managers, Middle of the Road Managers and Team Managers. Out of the five types, Team Managers who rate highly in both dimensions are considered most effective.

To summarise, the findings of all three studies above emphasized that leaders who are most effective and successful must know how to strike a balance between task-orientation and people-orientation. Both dimensions are of equally important for an organization to move in the right direction.

In relation to John Terrill, while Delegating Style is the most appropriate style based on the Hersey-Blanchard theory when taking into consideration the situation with the team of engineers, Terrill can further improve his leadership style by incorporating a mix of the above findings.

To illustrate, the delegating style provides total empowerment for the engineers in accomplishing their tasks. Terrill trusted them to be responsible for their tasks as expected by the company’s management with minimum supervision from him. The only change that I would recommend would be for Terrill to demonstrate some degree of task-oriented behaviour. For example, Terrill could have stressed to the team about the importance of increasing productivity of the division. Instead of just leaving them to mind their own tasks, Terrill could have set deadlines and guidelines for them to achieve certain level of production so that the management can see improvements in productivity within a stipulated period. Terrill could limit his involvement to setting goals and providing guidelines and it is best that he stays out of their way to achieve their set objectives. If the team is able to achieve the desired results within the timeframe given, Terrill can at least use that as evidence that their main problem with low productivity was indeed the daily report generation.

The Michigan Studies (1950) also pointed out the importance of leader participation in managing at group level. In relation to that, it is recommended that Terrill also demonstrate team-oriented behaviour through participative leadership by playing the roles of a facilitator in setting direction for the team to follow. Instead of totally leaving them to accomplish their tasks on their own, Terrill could dedicate some time with them to share ideas and resolve other problems that might surface and hamper their productivity. Doing so will help Terrill to foster closer relationship with his subordinates and gain their trust and confidence. It is also important that two-way communication to develop employee engagement to the organization.

As supported by Blake and Mouton’s (1964) managerial grid, the ideal leadership style is Team Manager. A leaders categorized under this group encourage employees’ dedication to the organization by being involved, inspiring, open-minded and flexible. [5] Dedicated employees will display high level of teamwork and participation, which eventually lead to high productivity and work performance.

In conclusion, Terrill have appropriately chosen to apply the delegating leadership style when confronted with the problem with engineers in the Technical Services division. However, he can further improve his handling of the situation by incorporating other suitable dimensions into his leadership style, such as : 1) being more task-oriented in setting deadlines and goals for the team; 2) being more people-oriented by building relationship with the engineers and gain their trust and confidence; and 3) being more participative in building a cohesive team.

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