Leadership style of KBR and its relationship with leadership theories

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1: Leadership and the leadership style used by the company and it relationship with the leadership theories that you are familiar with. The process of influencing the activities of an organized group in its efforts towards

Goal-setting and goal achievement.


Leadership style is the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people. The leadership in KBR is not autocratic or democratic but genuine style.

Authoritarian (autocratic)

I want both of you to. . .

This style is used when leaders tell their employees what they want done and how they want it accomplished, without getting the advice of their followers. Some of the appropriate conditions to use it are when you have all the information to solve the problem, you are short on time, and your employees are well motivated.

Bossing people around. It has no place in a leader's repertoire.

Participative (democratic)

Let's work together to solve this. . .

This style involves the leader including one or more employees in the decision making process. However, the leader maintains the final decision making authority. Using this style is not a sign of weakness, rather it is a sign of strength that your employees will respect.


you two take care of the problem while I go. . .

In this style, the leader allows the employees to make the decisions. However, the leader is still responsible for the decisions that are made. This is used when employees are able to analyze the situation and determine what needs to be done and how to do it.

It can be observed that KBR Follows the Laissez-Faire Leadership styles that's the reason KBR and ADSL structured to deliver the most efficient, high quality service, they have a degree of freedom and an opportunity to grow and progress personally. Employees are happy to deliver their specific tasks and different levels of responsibility.

Laissez-Faire Leadership Style

The laissez-faire leadership also called "hands-off¨ style is one, in which the manager provides little or no direction and gives employees as much freedom as possible. The authority is given to the employees and they must determine their goals, make decisions, and resolve problems on their own.

This style is preferred when

--Employees are highly skilled, experienced, and educated.

--Employees consider their task as their personal work and associate their pride with the task

--When the employees are specialist in their work

--When the employees can be trusted

This style should not be used when:

--It makes employees feel insecure at the unavailability of a manager.

--The manager don't give a feedback to the employees about the performance.

--Managers don't appreciate the employees for their work

--The manager doesn't understand his or her responsibilities and is hope that employees can cover for him or her.

KBR is very careful right-away from the point of recruitment. They use the Competency Framework to map the candidate skills vs. the skills required, this matters as the managers need to have leadership qualities stronger than the other candidates.

This is supported by the Traits Theory, which states that 'people inherit certain qualities and traits that make them better suited to leadership'. This helps them identify the right people for the right jobs

Stogdill, R.M. (1974). Handbook of leadership: A survey of the literature, New York: Free Press

This style also reflects the acceptance of the Contingency Theory of Leadership, which says there is no single style of leadership.

Fiedler's contingency theory:

The leadership behavior depends on the leadership situation in the KBRs roles. The variables which determine the leadership roles and power for each individual in KBR are

Leader-Member relations, the Task structure, Position power.


This theory focuses that the leaders need to make rewards contingent on the accomplishment of objectives and to help group members in getting reward by clarifying the paths to goals and removing the obstacles in the performance. There are four primary styles of leadership:

Directive Leadership: The leader explains the performance goal and provides specific rules and regulations to guide subordinates toward achieving it.

Supportive Leadership: The leader displays personal concern for subordinates. This includes being friendly to subordinates and sensitive to their needs.

Achievement-oriented Leadership: The leader emphasizes the achievement of difficult tasks and the importance of excellent performance and simultaneously displays confidence that subordinates will perform well.

Participative Leadership: The leader consults with subordinates about work, task goals, and paths to resolve goals. This leadership style involves sharing information as well as consulting with subordinates before making decisions. In KBR the job requirement is as such that needs all kinds of leaderships. Also the employee at all levels are free to make their decisions with some consultations. Decision acceptance increases commitment and effectiveness of action and participation increases decision acceptance.

VROOM AND YETTON THEORY: Decision acceptance increases commitment and effectiveness of action. Participation increases decision acceptance. The Two autocratic (A1 and A2), two consultative (C1 and C2) and the Group based (G2) can be easily noticed as the individual take their decisions on their own as they are intrinsically motivated and the senior managers often do consultative decision making.

2: Examine the source of the organisation's culture and its implication on the workforce and the organization performances.


Source Of Organizations Culture, workforce and organization performance:

The structure of an organization shows its culture. This case study shows that in ADSL they are practicing task culture. it means that to achieve goals and objectives they can do anything. Managers  can work with subordinates to achieve tasks.

Culture refers to the underlying values, beliefs and codes of practice that makes a community what it is. The customs of society, the self - image of its members, the things that make it different from other societies, are its culture. Culture is powerfully subjective and reflects the meanings and understandings that we typically attribute to situations, the solutions that we apply to common problems. The idea of a common culture suggests possible problems about whether organizations have cultures. Organizations are only one constituent element of society. People enter them from the surrounding community and bring their culture with them. It is still possible for organizations to have cultures of their own as they possess the paradoxical quality of being both 'part' of and 'apart' from society. They are embedded in the wider societal context but they are also communities of their own with distinct rules and values. They identified four key dimensions of culture:

Values - the beliefs that lie at the heart of the corporate culture.

Heroes - the people who embody values.

Rites and rituals - routines of interaction that have strong symbolic qualities.

The culture network - the informal communication system or hidden hierarchy of power in the organization.

Organizational culture:

Culture is symbolic and is described by telling stories about how we feel about the organization. A symbol stands for something more than itself and can be many things, but the point is that a symbol is invested with meaning by us and expresses forms of understanding derived from our past collective experiences. The sociological view is that organizations exist in the minds of the members. Stories about culture show how it acts as a sense - making device. Culture is unifying and refers to the processes that bind the organization together. Culture is then consensual and not conflictual. The idea of corporate culture reinforces the unifying strengths of central goals and creates a sense of common responsibility.

Culture is holistic and refers to the essence - the reality of the organization; what it is like to work there, how people deal with each other and what behaviors are expected. One way of exploring cultures is to classify them into types.

1. Role Cultures - are highly formalized, bound with regulations and paperwork and authority and hierarchy dominate relations.

2. Task Cultures - are the opposite, the preserve a strong sense of the basic mission of the organization and teamwork is the basis on which jobs are designed.

3. Power Cultures - have a single power source, which may be an individual or a corporate group. Control of rewards is a major source of power.


3: Explore how the culture of the organization has impact on both the Leadership and the organization structure of the organization.


We must first understand what is meant by an organization culture. It is the customs and rights of the company.KBR organizational culture demands an uncompromising commitment to health & safety and open and honest relationships between employees which is based on mutual respect. The company's values focus on transparency, accountability, financial responsibility and discipline. Conducting business with the utmost integrity and ethics is the foundation of KBR's day-to-day business.

The organization culture could be thus Power culture, Role culture, Task culture and person culture. The organizational culture has a direct impact on the Leadership performance. The leadership need to understand the culture of the organization and the leadership style varies according to the culture of the organization and employees behaviour.

Individual initiative: The degrees of responsibility, freedom, and independence that individuals have.

Risk Tolerance: The degree to which employees are encouraged to be aggressive innovative, and risk seeking.

Direction: The degree to which the organization creates clear objectives and performance expectations.

Integration: The degree to which units within the organization are encouraged to operate in a coordinated manner.

Management Support: The degree to which managers provide clear communication, assistance and support to their subordinates.

Control: The number of rules and regulations, and the amount of direct supervision that is used to oversee and control employee behavior.

Identity: The degree to which members' identity with the organization as a 'whole rather than with their particular work group or field of professional expertise.

Conflict Tolerance: The degree to which employees are encouraged to air conflicts and criticisms openly.

Thus leadership style is affected by the organization culture and the organization culture in-turn depends on the type of the leadership style. The leader need to adapt itself to the culture of the organization and if fails to do so the quality is affected. The organizational culture in case of KBR is friendly and supportive, where everyone has freedom and opportunity to success hence an autocratic leader doesn't fit here.

Organizational structure directly implies to the organizational culture. The structure provides much necessary framework which helps to properly follow the culture. A Tall hierarchy of an organization shows that the organization is more formal and has less scope of interaction between the employees. In KBR the structure is rather Flat hence it is easily for the manager to have better control over the subordinates and provides a good communication. The employees expect better response and guidance from the leader hence the overall output of such a mechanism is good.

4: Examine the issue of motivation theories, the motivation policies used in the case and its impact on individual and organization performances.

Ans: Motivation is the energizing of goal oriented behavior which enables an individual to attain the goal overcoming all difficulties. It may be intrinsic or extrinsic, motivation may be imbibed by the fulfillment of basic need to minimize physical pain and maximize pleasure, or may include any desire like promotion, appraisal etc. This is further approved by the motivational theories,

Taylor Theory of Scientific Management: He said that the workers are motivated by pay. They do not enjoy work hence need to be closely supervised. The work needs to be divided into small tasks, and each task is to be done by trained staff. The workers are seen as extra expense and thus not suitable anymore.

Elton Mayo: He suggested that workers are not concerned only with money, they are better motivated if they are treated like human beings and not machines, they will be motivated by good communication between managers and workers, work in teams etc

Maslow theory: He suggested that humans have five levels of needs the strongest is most important and they are the strongest at the bottom to the top

Hertzberg hygiene factors: This theory says that the employees are either motivated called motivators or demotivated called hygiene factors. Motivators are concerned with the actual job. For instance how interesting the work is and how much opportunity it gives for extra responsibility, recognition and promotion. Hygiene factors are factors which 'surround the job' rather than the job itself. For example a worker will only turn up to work if a business has provided a reasonable level of pay and safe working conditions but these factors will not make him work harder at his job once he is there

In the case of KBR the managers are directly in touch with the workers relatively due to a flat organizational structure. Taylorism has no use in this organization as the employees are not thought as extra expense but related to valuable resources. We can see that Elton, Hertzberg and Maslow theories are applicable here. The staff has a better communication between each other and the management, the goals are clearly explained, all the Maslow's five levels of needs are fulfilled here if we examine and The workers are motivated according to Hertzberg's theory too, as they are cared for health and security in the workplace and paid good. Hence Hygiene factors are kept at bay.

The impact of this motivation theory on the individual and organization is a follows

Better productivity (amount of piece produced by per person). This can lead to lower unit of production and so enable a firm to sell its product at a lower price

Lower level of absenteeism and the workers are comfortable with their working style

Lower level of staff turnover (number of workers leaving the business). This lead to lower recruitment and training costs

Improved industrial relations with trade unions.

Hardworking workers give the firm a good reputation as an employer so making it easier to recruit the best workers

Motivated employees are likely to improve product quality or the customer's service associated with the product.




Q5) Examine the nature of the team, its structure and how it has impact on organization performances?

Types of Teams

There are six major types of teams



Problem solving




Informal teams

Informal teams are mainly formed for some social purposes. They can help to facilitate employee pursuits of common concerns, such as improving work conditions. Most commonly however, these teams set out interest and common concerns, which may be or may be not the same as the organizations. Team leaders rise from the membership and are not appointed by anyone in the organization

Traditional teams

Traditional teams are the teams or the organizational groups, which are commonly taken as the departments or functional areas. In this organization, leaders or the managers are appointed by the organizations and have power in the team according to the law. The team is expected to produce the product, deliver the service or do the function according to the organization has told to do.

Problem -Solving teams

Problem-solving teams are the teams that are created when a problem arises and that cannot be solved with the specific or standard organsational structure. These teams are normally cross-functional, which means that membership comes from different areas of the organization and to find a solution for the problem they are being charged.

Leadership teams

They are generally made up of management that is brought together to a distance the boundaries between different functions in the organizations. In order to deliver the product into the market, the head of finance, production, and market must have a meeting and should decide and come up with a similar strategy for the product. At the top-level management, teams are used in creating goals and a strategic direction for the firm.

Self-directed teams

Self-directed are given more power on how the job has to be carried out and the decision is being talent by the self-directed teams. These teams are being provided with a goal by the organization and they have trained in how to achieve the goal.

Virtual teams

Technology is showing us how the teams meet and function. Working together techniques and conferencing system have improved the ability for employees to meet, conduct business, and make decision without ever been in the same location. While the basic concept of other teams may still be pertinent, the dynamics and management of virtual teams can be very different. Due to lack of facial or auditory clues issues can be raised, participants must be taken at their word, even when video-conferencing are used.

The main points to be examined the rapid changing nature of groups and teams are as follows

Humans have an natural eager to be in variety of groups, and organization life that helps to fulfill this needs

There are clear difference and similarities between informal and informal groups.

There are important marking between psychological groups, groups and teams.

Group's takes place, develop, grow and are kept in an appropriate condition in a number of different but complementary ways.

There is a good balance between dysfunctional and effective teams

Technology is playing a main important role in the functioning and life of teams.

Due to this rapid changing nature of groups and teams, there is impact on the organization performances, and because of these changes in the organizations and the each kind of work, they do. There are many disturbances in the organization across traditional geographical and across industries. In addition, due to the disturbances, what were once competitors are now collaborators, what were once outsiders are now stakeholders, what were once stark boundaries are now complicated fences. Now the organizations have now founded the value of collaborative work, both outside and inside. Therefore, they have more high stress on knowledge management and harvesting the learning from the experience of people in the organization



Q6) how effective do you think the company approach to people management will be in ensuring improved results and enhancing the change management process?


KBR was started in 1901 when W Kellogg opened a small pipe fabrication business in New York, and then the business grew to an excellent engineering firm, M.W. Kellogg. After setting up the business the company was contracted by the US government to build the Corpus Christi naval station during World War II shortly after the war the company built the world's first offshore oil platform. Further expansion followed and brown and root grew to become a major construction and general contractor.

Change management is a painful process for almost any organization. When the change affects the core values and established systems of an organization it is necessary to take into consideration the sentimental as well as technical aspects involved. Newman, (2000) described two kinds of organizational change. First order organizational change is incremental and is an adjustment of systems or structures but does not involve a change in core values of the company. Second order organizational change is transformational, radical and fundamentally alters the organization. It is difficult and risky such as a change in leadership or an increase in organizational performance. For example planning for future goals influences current behavior.

To influence organizational structures, people, systems and culture all simultaneously can take years or even decades. Change does not need to be so all-inclusive. Instead, Large-scale change using formal structures, work processes, belief systems, and social relationships as targets of organizational change is a more manageable approach (Quy Nguyen, 2001).

Quy Nguyen, (2001) discusses four intervention strategies, commanding, engineering, teaching and socializing for organizational change. In the commanding intervention, the change process belongs to a small group of people in the organization. Change agents demand strict compliance to a major change using threats to raise performance. The engineering intervention assumes that people are motivated by self-interest and will see the benefits of proposed changes without the need for coercion. Teaching intervention is a learning approach in which employees participate in their own reeducation with the help of the change agents. The socializing intervention enhances social relationships within the organization to accomplish organizational tasks.

Change agents must use a combination or the four intervention strategies for successful organizational change. None of the four approaches alone can lead to large-scale change. The timing and sequencing of the interventions contribute to successful organizational change. For example rapid timing for commanding and gradual for socializing. Doyle and colleagues would disagree with this form of change management. Rapid change requires coercive methods where as successful change is brought about by spreading out the change milestones.

Although Kurt Lewin's 3-step model of organizational change consisting of unfreezing, moving and refreezing has been criticized as looking at an organization in a static state, Burnes, 2004 stated that the Lewin recognized change at both the individual and the group level and saw his model as a dynamic psychological process. Unfreezing was necessary to destabilized the equilibrium of old behavior and discard the old behavior before any new behaviors could be learned. Moving was the actual learning process where employees move from the old behaviors to adopting and performing the new behaviors. Refreezing stabilizes the new behaviors or the establishment of new organizational values. Lewin recognized that change is a relative concept and that there are various levels of change that can be undertaken in an organization (Burnes, 2004).


7. Explore the way individual and the organization behaves, linking this with relevant theory that you are familiar with. How would these impact on any the organisation's change process.


A change is a diversion in the normal course of action which pushes out of the comfort zone. Change can be good or sometimes bad, but a change is inevitable part of any entity, be it an individual or an organization.

An individual or an Organization as a whole is affected by a number of factors including:

The environment in which the organization operates. Internally, this is often conveyed by its physical layout which can, for example, reflect warm friendliness or cold efficiency.

The beliefs, values and norms of the employees within the organization, particularly those communicated by top management.

The formal and informal leaders who personify the organization's culture.

The procedures that have to be followed and the behavior expected of people within the organization.

The network of communications which disseminates the corporate image and culture.

Other factors could include the organization's size, history, ownership and technology.

Need for change

Initiate Change

Implement Change

Evaluate problems & opportunities, define needed changes in technology, products, structure & culture

Facilitate search, creativity, idea champions, venture teams, skunkworks & idea incubators

Use force-field analysis, tactics for overcoming resistance

Environmental Forces

Monitor global competition, customers, competitors and other factors

Internal Forces

Consider plans, goals, company problems & needs

Model of Change- Sequence of Events(Source: Management. Richard L Daft- 6th Ed.)

Corporate culture is something that is very hard to change and employees need time to get used to the new way of organizing. Many people are not willing to change unless they perceive a problem or a crisis. For companies with a very strong and specific culture it will be even harder to change.

Change within the Organisation

Forces Resisting Change

Forces for Change

Global Pressures


The Market

External Environment

Aspirations of the Workforce




Lack of Trust



Fear of Failure

Fear of the Unknown

Power Blocks

Forces Causing and Resisting Change within an Organization

(Source: An Integrated Approach to Business Studies- 3rd Ed- Bruce R Jewell)

The change process will be successful if all identify how, when, what, and where to change. In KBR the employees are conscious about the necessity to change as the relationship is based on mutual trust. This can be directly implicated to VROOM AND YETTON THEORY: Decision acceptance increases commitment and effectiveness of action. Participation increases decision acceptance. And the EQUITY THEORY: it states that individuals perceive themselves as either being under-rewarded or over-rewarded will experience distress, and that this distress leads to efforts to restore equity within the relationship. KBR values are based on mutual trust and maintains acceptability as the employees percieve as being adequately rewarded for their participation and the employees are promoted for self development which is beneficial for the organisation aswell.

Q No: (8) explain how the company has managed it change process and how it has benefited from this management process.

In an organizational environment where the change is inevitable, the managers must develop and adapt their organization, to successfully survive in the world. The change in an organization can be tough, challenging and needs careful consideration. One of the most important parts in the change process is the company's human resources. When an organization undergoes a change, like recruiting the staff, the roll of human resources is particularly most important, because they need to make the transition from one state of being to another state as smooth as possible.

In the KBR and ADSL there is huge range of job and career opportunities. In the KBR each job role is described fully in job description. The organization uses a competency framework, which helps to identify the skills, behavior, management and administrative skills.

The company is very careful and strict in the recruitment process. Every new person has to meet the performance standard in 12 week probationary period. The company has benefited through these strict and controlled change in recruitment process in the company. They achieved the skilled person at the first time.

Lines, Rune, 2005, the Structure and Function of Attitudes toward Organizational Change. Human Resource Development Review. Thousand Oaks. 4 (1): 8-32.

9:Finally put forward some recommendations for future improvement.


The success of any company lies its ability to adapt to change towards betterment of its processes.