The leadership styles at KBR and ADSL


KBR is headquartered in Houston, Texas, also known as the energy capital of the world. The Company employs over 57,000 people worldwide. KBR delivers a wide range of services through its Upstream, Downstream, Technology, Services, Government and Infrastructure, and Ventures business segments, and differentiates itself as a technology-driven engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company. it is currently the world's largest defense services provider.KBR is also an industry leader in transforming hydrocarbon resources into value across all sectors of the energy and chemicals industries.

To safely deliver any project, any time, in any environment for the benefit of our customers, shareholders, employees and the communities we serve.

On the other hand it has formed a joint venture with carillion company which is known as aspire defence services ltd. This group supports the government's ministry of defence in a diverse range of products. It has three divisions named ADL, ADCW, AND ADSL. And they both together working on a contract that is about of £12 billion for 35 years for delivering the project ALLENBY/CONNAUGHT.

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This first issue may be well addressed under the following heads sothat the issue gets at ease and prompt grasping of the subject matter.


We can define leader as a person who has the ability and capability to influence the actions and activities of the others or say his followers sothat the well defined and set objectives may be attained effectively and efficiently. In a nutshell he may be defined as a person who has the ability to lead others in a desired direction and manner.

Now after analysing the case study we can conclude that the leaders at KBR AND ADSL have abilities and capabilities enough to influence and co-ordinate the activites of their employees in such a ways that the end objectives are attained in due course of time while using organisational resources efficiently and effectively. It was also noted while went through the case study that the leaders at both give freedom enough to their employees sothat they could solve the problem on their own and thus get the feel for growth and achievement while building up their career in the company. However, the leaders at both the companies have some special requirements and expectations from their TO-BE employees and followers as follows:

They should have technical competence and knowledge

They should have the quality of adaptability

They should have planning and organisational skills

They should have spirit for relationship building and teamwork

They should have strong oral and written communication skills

They should have respect for one another and should show integrity and honesty

They should have the ability to motivate others

They should be open to ideas and innovations

They should have the ability to provide and avail with operational and strategic leadership and appropriate styles


We can define leadership as the process and an activity of the leader whereby he persuades the others in such a way that the pre-set goals and defined objectives are attained while leading others in and as group or on individual basis.

Having analysed the case it can be summed up that leadership at both the companies reflects their success in the global market place while serving their clients with due high level of quality and services. They meet the needs of their clients in time while planning, organising, executing, directing, and controlling their project activities.

The successful leadership at KBR can be well assessed in the following six business units.



Kbr services

Kbr technology

Kbr ventures

Government and infrastructure

While on the other hand the leadership success at ADSL can be well assessed in its three business units as core one.





We can define leadership style as the ways of the leader by which he is influencing his followers or in other words we can say that it is the way of leading to others.

The leadership style at the both KBR and ADSL straightway reflects the pure operational and strategic leadership. Since both the companies are well structured to deliver the high quality services to their client needs,hence are very much strategic and operational while planning and executing the project activities.

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However we can relate their leadership style with the followings as to have a complete understanding of the style being used therein.

In general there are major core approaches to leadership style which we would link with KBR and ADSL'S as follows:

TRAIT APPROACH : This approach suggests that leadership deal with physical, moral and mental qualities of a leader. Hence at both the companies we can see that they demand some traits (more stress on mental one) from their existing and to-be employees so as to develop a successful leadership style and operational integrity and to have a wider market share in the project based activities globally.

BEHAVIOURAL APPROACH: This approach studies leadership from the three points of view as follows:

1)MOTIVATION: Under this the leadership behaviour can be either positive or negative.

2)AUTHORITY: Under this the leadership behaviour can be AUTOCRATIC,DEMOCRATIC OR LAISSEZ-FAIRE

3)SUPERVISION: Under this the leadership behaviour can be either employee or production oriented.

Now if we turn attention to the case studies then we would see that in both the companies leadership style takes some part from motivation aspect, and under authority base takes only autocratic and democratic styles and a very little bit from laissez-faire style but under supervision element it uses both employee and production in some equal ratio sothat structured decisions could be taken in time for delivering the higher quality services to their clients.

CONTINGENCY APPROACH: This approach reflects the leadership style being based only on the situation so the sometimes in both the companies situational demands bent on this style as well.

DOUGLAS MCGREGOR'S THEORY X AND Y : This approach says that theory x is based purely on rational economic concept of man while theory y suggests a social self-actualising concept of man. In both the companies theory Y found a space enough for the successful execution of the project activities while use of the theory X was found nowhere in the both.

However we can conclude that both the organisations use the combination of democracy with high production and thus have captured a wider market share.


The organisational culture refers to a system of shared meaning held by members. Here in this case after analyses it can be said that the KBR'S culture emanated from the founder's (M.W.KELLOGGS) philosophy that's-to safely deliver any project, any time, in any environment for the benefit of our customers, shareholders, employees and the communities we serve"

The actions of the current top management set the general climate for what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. How employees are to be socialised will depend on both the degree of success achieved in matching how employees' values to those of the organisations' in the selection process and on top management's preference for socialisation methods.


The employees form an overall subjective perception of the organisation based on factors such as autonomy, structure, rewards, warmth and support provided by the managers and willingness of management to tolerate conflict. This overall perception becomes in effect, the organisation's culture or personality. These favourable or unfavourable perceptions then affect employee performance and satisfaction with the impact being greater for stranger cultures.

Having analysed this case it can be said that the culture of the both as seen in this joint project activity reflects the high structure of the culture because the employees having flexible supervision and being rewarded for their high achievement hence more satisfied and happy as they have a high achievement need and like variety of roles in their jobs and prefer autonomy as well as they also got freedom enough for making their own decisions while taking responsibility for the completion of any activity as a part of the roles they are being assigned to.


Very first i would like to explain that culture and leadership are the part of the same coin in any organisation. As we can see that the source of any organisation's culture has its origin from the founder's philosophy for the attainment of the set organisational objectives. Hence the leadership style of these both companies having combination of democracy and high production leadership style so as to achieve the end objectives efficiently and effectively. The culture of the both companies demand some requisite skills and knowledge while recruiting the new candidates so as to make sure who will be a leader and who will be not. Thus it can be seen that the leadership style is always defined and chosen being based on the core and in-depth understanding of the organisational culture and accordingly the suitable leadership style is chosen for the success of the organisation.

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The organisational structure of KBR is matrix based so workers of the groups have been brought from across the different functional departments so as to work on a project as a team and finish the project with the pre-defined objectives, hence the found and established cultural approach here is decentralised because every worker has been given due freedom and autonomy for the success of the project while taking any decision and playing variety of roles on the specific project.

on the other hand ADSL has the culture of " to have the intended outcomes of the project " hence has flat organisational structure where making important decisions and taking responsibility rest in the few hands at the top level and thus the culture allows to have autocratic leadership style with the combination of high production utility.



Motivation may be defined as the process of channelizing a person's inner drives to accomplish the goals of the organisation. The different types of motivation theories are as follows :

Maslow's need hierarchy theory which is based on the hypothesis that within every human being there exists a hierarchy of five needs which are, physiological or basic, safety, social, esteem and self actualisation and responsible for determining his motivational level and extent.

Herzberg's two factor theory which is based on the assumption that the absence of certain job factors tend to make workers dissatisfied. However the presence of the same factors in them does not produce high levels of motivation. They only help avoid dissatisfaction and the problem it creates. He has called these factors maintenance or hygiene factors.

Mc Clelland's need for achievement theory which is based on the assumption that every one has three needs (for) achievement,affiliation and power and which help to determine the ways to motivate him

Victor vroom's expectancy theory which says, under conditions of free choice , an individual is motivated towards that activity which he is most capable of rendering and which he believes has the highest probability of leading him to his most preferred goal.

Adam's equity theory which suggests that an individual's motivation, performance and satisfaction will depend on his or her subjective evaluation of the relationship between his or her effort/reward ratio and the effort/reward ratio of others in similar situations.

Shinner's behaviour modification theory according to which people behave the way they do because, in past circumstances they have learnt that certain behaviours are associated with pleasant outcomes and some with unpleasant one hence they always prefer to repeat the behaviour that has pleasant outcome.


The motivation policies used in both the companies relate with the variety of job roles and the freedom being given to workers to take decisions on their own and to have a satisfactory and higher level of achievement while focussing on the specific and assigned task/s.

Thus having a reach to self actualisation and satisfactory achievement level and feel for equal participation.

In nutshell we can say that in both the companies motivation policies have been combined with the motivational theories described above.


Increased job satisfaction and productivity

Increased quality of work life

Enhanced and apparent vision for success

Increased higher qualities of services

Increased clients satisfaction

Strategic use of competency framework

Improved management capabilities

Well developed and organised team/s

Entry of the new-comers made feasible and easy by using of perfect and balanced matching of job description with person's specifications

Improved and enhanced technical and managerial skills

Increased market share globally

Well advanced and availed with opportunities for employees and workers to grow and progress personally

Reduced absenteeism, turnover and dissatisfaction

Individual autonomy and freedom

Well defined and organised management policies and operational and strategic use of the organisational resources and allocation.



Team may be defined as a collection of two or more people who work with one another regularly to achieve one or more common goals. Team members consider themselves mutually dependent on one another to achieve common goals and they interact with one another regularly to pursue those goals over a sustained period of time. Managers are involved with teams of many types.

Teams are good for both organisations and their members. Teams help accomplish important tasks and they help maintain a high quality workforce. Progressive managers are finding ways to utilise teams in ways that benefit team members and organisations. The new workplace, uses teams in many creative and productive ways. Teams help in offsetting the negative impacts of increasing organisation size. Teams can easily exert control over their members.


Well in this case study we can see that the structure of the team is matrix one while in general there are six types of teams as follows:

Informal teams which has social nature and the leaders are different from those who have been appointed in by the organisation

Traditional teams are formed from the functional areas or departments and the managers and supervisors are appointed by the organisation

Leadership teams which include advisory councils and steering committees

Self directed teams which are small in size and having authority to decide how to get the work done

Virtual teams which are geographically spread out and meetings and functions rely on the available technology

Problem solving teams which are temporary teams and frequently cross-functional and have focus on a particular project



Better judgements

More successful sharing of information and problem solving

More creative and innovative

Offer the potential for synergy

Increased production, productivity and quality of work life

Decreased employees and workers absenteeism, turnover and dissatisfaction

Increased organisational flexibility and situational adaptability for bringing and maintaining organisational changes


As we know that the most precious asset for an organisation is its people (workforce) and they are to be managed chiefly sothat the rest operations would be managed easily and promptly because the people in an organisation have to bring effective changes themselves in a positive way.

Long time ago i had heard from one of my teachers that the exact meaning of management may be well defined and understood if is divided or say acroynised in meaningful divisions hence management means-MANAGE+MEN+TACTFULLY thus we can say that only men at work to be managed and organised the way that organisational objectives are attained effectively and efficiently.

Change is a pervasive, constant and dynamic dimension in any organisation and due to old developed work culture and style new changes are rather welcomed by the employees due to well-settled internal apprehension which acts as an obstacle while implementing new changes in the organisation and may a time employees resist these new changes and take it as a threat rather than growth and development strategy.

Therefore the company's approach to people management would be effective in ensuring improved results and enhancing the change management process if..

Needs, aspirations, attitudes and productivity level of employees are well assessed and looked after

The employees are given due attention in participative decision making process

They are involved in the change process and not imposing changes on them

Their specifications are managed and matched according to the job descriptions

They are availed with facilitation and support

There are negotiation and agreement during change process

There is a proper leadership style for bringing change

They are given proper education, training, learning opportunities and knowledge

There is use of group forces

Working with total system

There is transparent and proper rewarding system


Organisations are social systems. Understanding , forecasting and controlling the behaviour of the employees at work is necessary, so as to ensure effective and efficient performance hence comes in organisational behaviour being engaged in all these activities. Basically the way an organisation behaves is determined by the philosophy of the founder of that organisation which is well imbibed in the culture and reflects the vision and mission of the organisation as the whole.

An organisation is simply an association of men , money, machines, materials and methods and the most important of which is the people working in it. We cannot virtually think of accomplishing any task without the help of people. The way organisations behave is simply a result of being set and imbibed culture, values, vision, mission and ethics.

On the other hand individual behaviour is determined by a person's personality which is a state of the subconscious mind and therefore does not lend itself to security. People behave in certain ways because of certain motives within the individual. These motives are goal directed. Psychologists usually refer to these goals as incentives which may be intrinsic and extrinsic. Organisations must also make logical deductions of how people will react in given circumstances sothat acceptable behaviour may be identified.

The way organisation behaves is determined by the personality of the organisation that is created by the founder and his behaviour towards this establishment is the result of his action and behaviour, hence personality is the chief determinant for the both personalities - for organisation and individual. This is why the theory of personality plays a vital role hereunder.

Personality not only includes a person's physical and psychological attributes but also his roles in different situations.

Determinants of personality are biological, cultural, familial, social, and situational.

In a nutshell we can say that individual behaviour is determined by his personality ,which contains learning and attitude aspects as well.

There are different types of personalities which are as follows ;

Introvert or extrovert

Sensing or intuitive

Thinking or feeling

Judging or perceiving



As the types have been cited above can be simply captured in two dimensions only that is introvert or extrovert as rest types are included in the both by default.

If the change agent has extrovert personality then he would be able to bring changes comfortably , effectively and efficiently. He would be able to assess the strong and weakening areas of the employees and work accordingly so that the process for bringing change is succeed without having any difficulty and objections being raised by the employees. He would be able to enhance the productivity and morale of the employees and develop positive attitude among the employees regarding the new changes and would allow participative consultation and create amicable relationship while on the other hand if the change agent is with the introvert personality then he would be bringing changes without creating and developing congenial acceptance environment and would face higher level of objections and would not be able to enforce the brought changes successfully. Due to his nature and type of personality he would try to bring and impose the changes on the employees which would affect the productivity of the both organisation and the employees and thus the whole change process would be fail.

Therefore for bringing the necessary changes in the organisation extrovert personality and leadership style would be succeed while introvert will be fail and cause waste of organisational resources and time.


Successful change management process took place therein because of the following reasons:

Both the companies have a wide range of specialists expertise who do the jobs accordingly

Have a well structured and strategic planning and tools

Have a group of efficient and effective team members and senior managerial teams

Have developed a balanced and systematised change process by introducing innovative job description and candidates' specifications for making the right selection of the right employee at the right time and at the right place

Full opportunities given to employees for their career plan, growth and development by availing them with the variety of roles in their job/s

Introduction and well defined general management capabilities set

Proper use of the competency framework

Timely felt and satisfied needs of the employees for training, learning, and development

Proportionate division of authority and responsibilities at different levels

Well established performance appraisal techniques have been used

Having developed and feasible communication processes and tools

Having effective leadership and styles for implementing the changes


Due to their organisational structure they have got specialist from across the different departments and thus got their jobs done well in time effectively and efficiently

They have secured the wider market share globally

They meet the clients needs in time with due satisfaction

They have higher employees satisfaction ratio as well

Have got a better corporate image

They have developed successful managerial teams and leadership styles


The leadership style needs to be flexible and balanced enough which at present seems to be more production oriented than the employees oriented

Need to develop promotional and marketing strategies

Need a full fledged and developed counselling department for the employees which at present has been seen nowhere in the case study

Span of control is to be a bit narrow otherwise time management may be disrupt as at present one director at ADSL has to look after most parts of the business alone