Write a summary over the “Leadership Changes at Alcoa” case study.

The requirements below must be met for your paper to be accepted and graded:

· Write between 700 – 1,000 words using Microsoft Word in APA style, see example below.

· Use font size 12 and 1” margins.

· Include cover page and reference page.

· At least 80% of your paper must be original content/writing.

· No more than 20% of your content/information may come from references.

· Use at least three references from outside the course material, one reference must be from EBSCOhost. Text book, lectures, and other materials in the course may be used, but are not counted toward the three reference requirement.

· Cite all reference material (data, dates, graphs, quotes, paraphrased words, values, etc.) in the paper and list on a reference page in APA style.

References must come from sources such as, scholarly journals found in EBSCOhost, CNN, online newspapers such as, The Wall Street Journal, government websites, etc. Sources such as, Wikis, Yahoo Answers, eHow, blogs, etc. are not acceptable for academic writing.

Write a summary over the “Leadership Changes at Alcoa” case study.

The requirements below must be met for your paper to be accepted and graded:

· Write between 700 – 1,000 words using Microsoft Word in APA style, see example below.

· Use font size 12 and 1” margins.

· Include cover page and reference page.

· At least 80% of your paper must be original content/writing.

· No more than 20% of your content/information may come from references.

· Use at least three references from outside the course material, one reference must be from EBSCOhost. Text book, lectures, and other materials in the course may be used, but are not counted toward the three reference requirement.

· Cite all reference material (data, dates, graphs, quotes, paraphrased words, values, etc.) in the paper and list on a reference page in APA style.

References must come from sources such as, scholarly journals found in EBSCOhost, CNN, online newspapers such as, The Wall Street Journal, government websites, etc. Sources such as, Wikis, Yahoo Answers, eHow, blogs, etc. are not acceptable for academic writing.

Write a summary over the “Leadership Changes at Alcoa” case study.

The requirements below must be met for your paper to be accepted and graded:

· Write between 700 – 1,000 words using Microsoft Word in APA style, see example below.

· Use font size 12 and 1” margins.

· Include cover page and reference page.

· At least 80% of your paper must be original content/writing.

· No more than 20% of your content/information may come from references.

· Use at least three references from outside the course material, one reference must be from EBSCOhost. Text book, lectures, and other materials in the course may be used, but are not counted toward the three reference requirement.

· Cite all reference material (data, dates, graphs, quotes, paraphrased words, values, etc.) in the paper and list on a reference page in APA style.

References must come from sources such as, scholarly journals found in EBSCOhost, CNN, online newspapers such as, The Wall Street Journal, government websites, etc. Sources such as, Wikis, Yahoo Answers, eHow, blogs, etc. are not acceptable for academic writing.

QUALITY IN PRACTICE: Leadership Changes at Alcoa


QUALITY PROFILES: The Studer Group and Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City

Leadership Competencies and Practices

Strategic Leadership

Leadership Systems

Leadership Theory and Practice

Contemporary and Emerging Leadership Theories

New Perspectives on the Practice of Leadership

Leadership, Governance, and Societal Responsibilities

Organizational Governance

Societal Responsibilities

Summary of Key Points and Terminology

QUALITY IN PRACTICE: Leadership at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital

QUALITY IN PRACTICE: Leadership Changes at Alcoa

Review Questions

Discussion Questions

Projects, Etc.


Johnson Pharmaceuticals

Where’s the Leadership?

Collin Technologies—Leadership

Although Hyundai Motor Co. dominated the Korean car market in its early days, it had a poor reputation for quality overseas, with doors that didn’t fit properly, frames that rattled, and engines that delivered puny acceleration. And the company was losing money. When Chung Mong Koo became CEO in 1999, he visited Hyundai’s plant at Ulsan. To the shock of his employees, who had rarely set eyes on a CEO, Chung strode onto the factory floor and demanded a peek under the hood of a Sonata sedan. He didn’t like what he saw: loose wires, tangled hoses, bolts painted four different colors—the kind of sloppiness you’d never see in a Japanese car. On the spot, he instructed the plant chief to paint all bolts and screws black and ordered workers not to release a car unless all was orderly under the hood. “You’ve got to get back to basics. The only way we can survive is to raise our quality to Toyota’s level,” he fumed. In addition to investing heavily in research and development, he created a quality control czar, who studied quality manuals of U.S. and Japanese automakers and developed one for the company, making it clear who is responsible for each manufacturing step, what outcome is required, and who checks and confirms performance levels. The next year, U.S. sales rose by 42 percent, and Hyundai is now recognized as one of the leading auto companies in the world.1

As this example suggests, achieving quality and performance excellence in an organization requires strong and committed leadership. Nevertheless, a codirector of the Juran Center for Leadership in Quality at the University of Minnesota observed:

· • Despite substantial efforts, only a few U.S. organizations have reached world-class excellence.

· • Even fewer companies have sustained such excellence during changes in leadership.

· • Most corporate quality failures rest with leadership.2

Clearly, leadership is not an easy task.

Leadership was prominent in Deming’s 14 Points, as well as the philosophies of Juran and Crosby. Several of Deming’s 14 Points address leadership issues; for instance:

· Point 1. Create and publish to all employees a statement of the aims and purposes of the company or other organization. The management must demonstrate constantly their commitment to this statement.

· Point 7. Teach and institute leadership.

· Point 12. Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship.

· Point 14. Take action to accomplish the transformation.

Leadership is also the first category in the Baldrige framework, signifying its importance in driving quality and performance excellence throughout an organization.

   As one professional observed, managers manage for the present; leaders lead for the future. Effective leadership demands continual learning and adaption to the changing global business landscape. An important element of organizational sustainability is ensuring future leadership; thus the development of future leaders and a formal succession plan are vital. A 2011 survey of CEOs sponsored by The Conference Board identified talent as one of the most pressing leadership challenges.3 The top two global strategies for addressing this challenge were to improve leadership development programs to grow talent internally and to enhance the effectiveness of the senior management team.

In this chapter, we focus on the role of leadership for guiding organizations through the process of creating a culture for performance excellence.

qualityprofiles: The Studer Group and Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City

Founded in 1999, the Studer Group is a private, for-profit health care consulting firm providing coaching, teaching, and evidenced-based tools and tactics to health care organizations and rural hospitals throughout the United States. Studer Group’s senior leadership has embedded Evidence-Based Leadership (EBL) within the organization to provide the framework for its internal operations. Employing EBL processes supported by Studer’s Leader Evaluation Manager™ software (which tracks goals and their achievement) and other leadership approaches, senior leaders have aligned goals, behaviors, and processes to achieve transparent communication, high performance, and workforce engagement.

Senior leaders have created a culture at Studer Group that is values-driven, transparent, and fosters passion for making a difference. This is accomplished through personal modeling of values, coupled with specific “must have” tactics for selecting, engaging, empowering, and retaining workforce members. Studer Group integrates its customer support system with its employee performance management processes to create a culture focused on a positive customer experience. The firm models the Evidence-Based Leadership

service excellence it teaches and identifies its key support mechanism as “people interacting with people.”

To support its key local community and the health care industry, Studer Group disseminates much of its evidence-based knowledge without charge to local organizations and the entire care community. Additionally, Studer Group offers in-kind donations of free coaching and training to local nonprofit organizations, as well as sponsorships and monetary grants for attendance at its conferences. The company’s monetary and in-kind charitable donations amount to 5.1 to 6.9 percent of its net income. With a focus on financial sustainability, Studer Group’s revenues have grown more than 30 percent annually since 2001, exceeding the Association of Management Consulting Firms (AMCF) average of 10 percent annual growth.

Saint Luke’s Hospital (SLH) is the largest hospital in the Kansas City, Mo., metropolitan area. It is a not-for-profit comprehensive teaching and referral health care organization that provides 24-hour coverage in every health care discipline. SLH is driven by its vision, “The Best Place to Get Care, The Best Place to Give Care,” and its core values of Quality/Excellence, Customer Focus, Resource Management, and Teamwork. Saint Luke’s “Leadership for Performance Excellence + Model” captures all of the elements that drive its focus on performance improvement and excellence, including the strategic planning and performance management process, process improvement model, and a commitment to excellence assessment model based on the seven Baldrige performance excellence categories. Saint Luke’s vision, mission, core values, and strategy sit at the top of the model and influence all of the organization’s plans and processes. A robust strategic planning approach consists of three phases and seven steps that integrate direction setting, strategy development and deployment, financial planning, and plan management. At a series of retreats, the leadership team develops strategy and uses a 90-day action planning process to deploy the strategy to all departments. The balanced scorecard process produces a measurement system that aligns all departments with the strategy and ensures the proper focus in key performance areas throughout the organization.

To ensure that everyone is in tune with the hospital’s focus, all employees take part in the Performance Management Process. The process helps employees develop action plans and goals that are aligned with the organization’s strategy and core values and identify personal commitments which contribute to SLH’s values. An independent study by the National Research Corporation shows that patients believe SLH delivers the best quality health care and has the best doctors and the best nurses of the 21 facilities in the market area.

Sources: Baldrige Award Profiles of Winners, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.


Leadership is the ability to positively influence people and systems under one’s authority so as to have a meaningful impact and achieve important results.

The Human Development and Leadership Division of the American Society for Quality has summarized six competencies for leadership based on more than 50 authors’ thoughts on leadership.4 These are:

· • Navigator: Creates shared meaning and provides direction towards a vision, mission, goal or end-result. This competency may entail risk taking and requires constant evaluation of the operating environment to ensure progress in the appropriate direction is achieved.

· • Communicator: Effectively listens and articulates messages to provide shared meaning. This competency involves the creation of an environment that reduces barriers and fosters open, honest and honorable communication.

· • Mentor: Provides others with a role to guide their actions. This competency requires the development of personal relationships that help others develop trust, integrity, and ethical decision-making.


· • Learner: Continuously develops personal knowledge, skills, and abilities through formal study, experience, reflection, and recreation.

· • Builder: Shapes processes and structures to allow for the achievement of goals and outcomes. This competency also entails assuming responsibility for ensuring necessary resources are available and the evaluation of processes to ensure effective resource use.

· • Motivator: Influences others to take action in a desirable manner. This competency also includes the evaluation of people’s actions to ensure they are performing consistently with the mission, goal, or end-result.

A collection of personal leadership characteristics underlie these six competencies:

· 1. Accountability: Taking responsibility for the organization, community, or self that the leader serves. This provides the means for measuring performance and dealing with performance that is not good.

· 2. Courage: The mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty with a firmness of mind and will, allowing leaders to navigate into the unknown.

· 3. Humility: What gives excellent leaders their ability to mentor, communicate, and learn, and understand that they are servants of those that follow.

· 4. Integrity: The ability to discern what is right from wrong and commit to the right path.

· 5. Creativity: The ability to see possibilities, horizons, and futures that don’t yet exist, enabling the leader to help create a shared vision.

· 6. Perseverance: Sticking to a task or purpose, no matter how hard or troublesome. This is vital to overcoming obstacles and motivating subordinates.

· 7. Well-Being: The ability to stay healthy in both work and play, demonstrating the importance of being ready to implement leadership competencies when needed.

These characteristics provide the foundation for exercising the competencies. Many notable leaders, from presidents to CEOs, have exhibited these characteristics.


Baptist Hospital, Inc.

Baptist Hospital, Inc. (BHI) is part of the Baptist Health Care System in Florida. Senior leaders set a vision of becoming the best health system in America, and decided to rebuild the organization by engaging its staff and listening to its patients. One of their first actions was to create a flat, fluid, and open leadership system based on communication. Under this new system, staff are not just encouraged, they are expected to contact anyone in the organization, including the president, at any time to discuss work issues and improvement opportunities. To reinforce this message, the president established an “open-door” office that has a large glass window facing the busiest part of the hospital. Senior leaders also serve as role models and are personally engaged in creating a “no secrets” environment through activities such as the Daily Line-up, in which all leaders and employees gather at each shift to review information in the Baptist Daily, and quarterly around-the-clock employee forums. They are also accountable for organizational performance through a “No Excuses” policy.5

These leadership competencies are reflected in the Leadership category of the Baldrige criteria, which are summarized in Table 13.1. These practices are accomplished in many ways. For instance, CEOs often lead quality training sessions, serve on quality improvement teams, work on projects that do not usually require top-level input, and personally visit customers. Senior managers at the former Texas Instruments Defense Systems & Electronics Group, for example, led 150 of 1,900 cross-functional teams. In small businesses, such as

Marlow Industries, CEO and president Raymond Marlow chairs the TQM Council and has daily responsibility for quality-related matters. To help accomplish its goals, General Electric redefined its promotion standards around quality. In the new standards, managers are not considered for promotions, and face dismissal, unless they visibly demonstrate support for the company’s Six Sigma quality strategy.6

TABLE 13.1 Key Practices for Performance Excellence Leadership

· • Set organizational vision and values and deploy them through the organization’s leadership system, to the workforce, to key suppliers and partners, and to customers and other stakeholders as appropriate.

· • Demonstrate a commitment to organizational values through personal actions.

· • Promote an organizational environment that fosters, requires, and leads to legal and ethical behavior.

· • Foster a sustainable organization by creating (1) an environment for organizational performance improvement, the accomplishment of the organization’s mission and strategic objectives, innovation, competitive or role-model performance leadership, and organizational agility; (2) an environment for organizational and workforce learning; (3) a culture that fosters customer engagement; and developing and enhancing leadership skills and developing future organizational leaders.

· • Communicate with and engage the entire workforce by encouraging frank, two-way communication throughout the organization, communicating key decisions, and taking an active role in reward and recognition programs to reinforce high performance and a customer and business focus.

· • Create a focus on action to accomplish the organization’s objectives, improve performance, and attain the organization’s vision.

· • Create and balance value for customers and other stakeholders in their organizational performance expectations.

· • Maintain an effective governance system that provides for accountability for management’s actions, transparency, and protection of stakeholder and stockholder interests.

· • Evaluate performance of senior leadership and use performance reviews to improve personal leadership effectiveness.

· • Actively support and strengthen key communities such as charitable organizations, education, and others.

Successful leaders continually promote their vision throughout the organization using many forms of communication: personal interaction, talks, newsletters, seminars, e-mail, and video. For example, senior leaders communicate Medrad’s values, direction, and expectations to all employees through the President’s monthly highlights, a memorandum that summarizes trends and performance on each of the five goals listed above and provides special recognition for teams and individuals. Other key communication methods include Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR), Quarterly Management Interaction (QMI) sessions, Quality Forums, advisory board and function leadership, cross-functional team participation, staff meetings, the performance management system, participation in training for new and existing employees, and the annual “all-employee” meetings.

At Park Place Lexus, a Baldrige recipient, senior leaders receive feedback through employee surveys, committee findings, self-assessments, external consultant input, and Organizational Excellence department input, and use it to create training and development plans such as better business skills or team building.

Strategic Leadership

Providing a motivating environment in which work can take place in a productive and meaningful way and assuring that performance excellence is continuously pursued are the essential tasks of organizational leaders. Thus, strategy and leadership are closely

linked. For a strategy to be successful, senior leaders must have extensive involvement in the planning process, create an environment for competitive success and performance leadership, and guide the design of the work and leadership systems that will ensure that the strategy is carried out.

Management theorists and practitioners have long recognized the differences between the work of senior leaders and those who perform supervisory roles at the operating levels. Senior leaders must think globally, while acting locally (in both a geographic and conceptual sense). This has been driven by the explosion in knowledge and complexity in the global business environment. In a study conducted by International Consortium for Executive Development Research,7 1,450 executives from 12 global companies were asked the question: “What are the key competencies that will emerge as critical for leadership effectiveness in the next three years?” Among 45 competencies that were suggested, the top one was: “articulate a tangible vision, values, and strategy.” This was followed closely by “be a catalyst/manager of strategic change” and “get results—manage strategy to action.”

These perspectives have led to the concept of strategic leadership, which can be defined as “a person’s ability to anticipate, envision, maintain flexibility, think strategically, and work with others to initiate changes that will create a viable future for the organization, and its competitive advantage to the organization in this way.”8 Activities that strategic leaders perform generally include creating and communicating a vision of the future, sustaining an effective organization culture, making strategic decisions, developing key competencies and responsibilities, managing multiple constituencies, selecting and developing the next generation of leaders, and infusing ethical value systems into an organization’s culture. Effective strategic leaders also have the capability to create and maintain what is termed absorptive capacity (the ability for an organization to learn) and adaptive capacity (the ability of an organization to change) in order to deal with increasingly hyper-turbulent environments.9 Such leaders must also exhibit managerial wisdom, with the ability to perceive variation in their environment and understand the social actors and their relationship in the system.

Strategic leadership can also be viewed from three levels. For instance, senior leaders are involved in vision and strategy formulation, mid-level leaders develop executable action plans and projects that best use an organization’s resources, and supervisory leaders ensure that these action plans are deployed throughout the organization so that essential tasks and projects may be accomplished in support of the strategic vision.10

The concept of strategic leadership has moved leadership perspectives away from the solitary “great leader” paradigm toward a team- and system-based “great group” concept.11 Thus, the characteristics of effective strategic leadership include

· • Serving as both leaders and team members;

· • Demonstrating the importance of integrity through actions rather than simply articulating it;

· • Thinking in terms of processes rather than outcomes;

· • Leveraging the collective knowledge of everyone in the organization;

· • Designing work that reflects relationships rather than the organizational hierarchy;

· • Anticipating environmental change rather than reacting to it;

· • Viewing employees as organizational citizens rather than resources; and

· • Operating with a global mindset rather than a domestic mindset.

Many of these notions of strategic leadership are reflected in the Baldrige criteria, which recognize the value of strategic leadership in driving performance excellence.

Leadership Systems

The ability to successfully perform the activities listed in Table 13.1 requires an effective leadership system. The leadership system refers to how leadership is exercised, formally and informally, throughout an organization. These elements include how key decisions are made, communicated, and carried out at all levels. The leadership system includes structures and mechanisms for making decisions, selection and development of leaders and managers, and reinforcement of values, directions, and performance expectations. It builds loyalties and teamwork based upon shared values, encourages initiative and risk taking, and subordinates organization to purpose and function. An effective leadership system also includes mechanisms for leaders’ self-examination and improvement.

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NURS6051 Transforming Nursing and Healthcare through Technology

To illustrate these themes, we highlight the leadership system at Stoner Incorporated, a very small chemical specialty manufacturing and sales company with fewer than 50 employees. Stoner has a six-member senior leadership team empowered by the owner to manage and lead the company. The leadership team created and refined the Stoner Excellence System to define and communicate to all team members how the business is run. This is depicted by the diagram in Figure 13.1. The system is based on Leadership, Strategy, and Process, which are combined with an Assess/Improve/Implement continuous improvement approach. Stakeholder value is at the center of the system to characterize the main focus on the customer. Stoner’s leadership approach is built on (1) leadership at all levels, (2) worker leaders, and (3) strong fundamental leadership skills based on Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

The use of steering teams of senior managers is prevalent in many leadership systems. Such teams assume many responsibilities such as incorporating total quality principles into the company’s strategic planning process and coordinating the overall effort. At AT&T, the steering team is characterized by several essential elements.12

· • Leadership: Promoting and articulating the quality vision, communicating responsibilities and expectations for management action, aligning the business management process with the quality approach, maintaining high visibility for commitment and involvement, and ensuring that business-wide support is available in the form of education, consulting, methods, and tools.

· • Planning: Planning strategic quality goals, understanding basic customer needs and business capabilities, developing long-term goals and near-term priorities, formulating human resource goals and policies, understanding employees’ perceptions about quality and work, ensuring that all employees have the opportunity and skills to participate, and aligning reward and recognition systems to support the quality approach.

· • Implementation: Forming key business process teams, chartering teams to manage and improve these processes, reviewing improvement plans, providing resources for improvement, enlisting all managers in the process, reviewing quality plans of major organizational units, and working with suppliers and business partners in joint quality planning.

· • Review: Tracking progress through customer satisfaction and internal measures of quality, monitoring progress in attaining improvement objectives, celebrating successes, improving the quality system through auditing and identifying improvement opportunities, planning improvements, and validating the impact of improvements.

FIGURE 13.1 Stoner Business Excellence System


To understand how leadership is developed and practiced, it is important to understand its theoretical foundations. The purpose of leadership theories is to explain differences in leadership styles and contexts. Dozens of leadership theories have been derived from literally thousands of leadership studies. However, some researchers have noted that “the current leadership body of knowledge is a fragmented and ‘messy landscape’ comprising inputs from a variety of contributors including academics, practitioners, and consultants, with numerous self-proclaimed experts and commentators thrown in for good measure. Academics propose competing leadership theories and research, and continue to research only their favorite theory, without integrating the findings of these different theories. On the other end of the spectrum, there are thousands of books on leadership and even more articles and blog posts.”13

Unlike some areas of quality management that are only a few decades old, leadership theories can often be traced back 50–75 years or more. Many leadership theories of the twentieth century are extensions or modifications of the work of Max Weber, a German lawyer, politician, historian, political economist, and sociologist.14 Weber classified the way leaders exercise authority into three patterns:

· • Rational-legal leadership, which is established by policies, rules, and laws. An example is government officials who legislate, execute, and enforce regulations.

· • Traditional leadership, which extends from customs, habits, and social structures, and often involves the passing of position and power from one generation to the next, such as in monarchies or family-owned businesses.

· • Charismatic leadership, which is based on an individual’s ability to inspire others and usually is tied to that person’s personal characteristics.

TABLE 13.2 Classification of Leadership Theories15

Leadership Theory Pioneer/Developer Type of Theory
“Great man” model Ralph Stogdill Trait
Ohio State Studies E. A. Fleishman, E. F. Harris et al. Leader behavior
Michigan Studies Rensis Likert
Theory X-Theory Y model Douglas MacGregor
Managerial Grid model Robert Blake; Jane S. Mouton
Leadership effectiveness model Fred E. Fiedler Contingency (situational)
Supervisory contingency V. H. Vroom & P. W.Yetton
decision model V. H. Vroom and A. G. Jago
Situational Hersey and Blanchard
Managerial roles Henry Mintzberg Role approach
Leader-Member Exchange George Graen et al. Emerging theories
Charismatic theory R. J. House; J. A. Conger
Transformational theory James M. Burns; N. M. Tichy and D. O. Ulrich; B. M. Bass
Substitutes for leadership Jon P. Howell et al.
Emotional intelligence Daniel Goleman et al.

A comprehensive review of leadership theories is well beyond the scope of this text. However, the theories are quite important within the context of quality and performance excellence; therefore, we provide a brief summary of the most popular leadership approaches and discuss their implications for performance excellence. Table 13.2 summarizes some of the key theories that have influenced today’s leadership styles. Despite this extensive body of research, the precise nature of leadership and its relationship to key variables such as subordinate satisfaction, commitment, and performance is still uncertain. As Fred Luthans observed, “It does remain pretty much of a ‘black box’ or unexplainable concept.”16

Because many of the traditional and contingency leadership theories are developed more fully in principles of management and organizational behavior courses, their characteristics will not be explored in detail here. Instead, we will focus on characteristics of the “emerging” leadership theories that are generating active discussion in academic settings and are being applied in practice today.

Contemporary and Emerging Leadership Theories

Emerging leadership theories build on or enlarge traditional theory by attempting to answer questions raised, but not answered, by earlier approaches. Many of the theories we classify as “emerging” were proposed in the 1970s and 1980s and have been around for many years, but are still considered “emerging” because of the difficulty that researchers encounter in testing social science theories. It often takes decades to establish empirical evidence as to a theory’s value; for example, theories of team participation that originated in the 1930s were not researched adequately until the 1950s, and for the most part, have only recently found substantial application in practice.17

Situational Leadership Situational leadership, one of the better-known contingency theories of leadership offers important insights into the interaction between subordinate ability and leadership style and is taught in many executive management seminars. The theory was initially introduced in 1969 and revised in 1977 by Hersey and Blanchard. The major proposition of situational leadership theory is that the effectiveness of task and relationship-oriented leadership behaviors depends upon the maturity of a leader’s subordinates. It suggests that the key contingency factor affecting leaders’ choice of leadership style is the task-related maturity of the subordinates. Subordinate maturity is defined in terms of the ability of subordinates to accept responsibility for their own task-related behavior. The theory classifies leader behaviors into the two broad classes of task-oriented and relationship-oriented behaviors.18

According to situational leadership, leadership styles might vary from one person to another, depending on the “readiness” of subordinates, which is characterized by their skills and abilities to perform the work, and their confidence, commitment, and motivation to do it. The model defines four levels of follower maturity (readiness):

· 1. Unable and unwilling

· 2. Unable but willing

· 3. Able but unwilling

· 4. Able and willing

Blanchard and Hersey defined four leadership styles that best address these four levels of maturity (readiness):

· 1. Directing. In this style of leadership, managers define tasks and roles, and closely supervise work. Communication is generally one way—top down. This style of 
leader-initiated “task-oriented” behavior applies best to followers who lack the skills and knowledge to perform a job and lack confidence or commitment to their work (unable and unwilling). Little time or effort is spent on developing relationships with followers.

· 2. Coaching. In this style, leaders set the overall approach and direction but work with subordinates and allow them to manage the details. Leaders might need to provide some direction, based on experience (a task-oriented behavior), or support (relationship-oriented behavior) to individual followers having the drive and motivation to do a good job, but who might lack some experience or skills (unable but willing).

· 3. Supporting. Here, leaders allocate tasks and set direction, but the subordinates have full control over the performance of the work. These individuals do not need much supervision or direction (task-oriented behavior), but may require leadership to assist them in building motivation and confidence (relationship-oriented behavior), particularly if the task is new (able but unwilling).

· 4. Delegating. In this style, subordinates can do their work with little supervision or support (minimal task-oriented behavior). Once the work is delegated, leaders take a hands-off approach (minimal relationship-oriented behavior), except when asked to provide assistance by the subordinates. The followers can work on a project by themselves with little supervision or support (able and willing).

A leader might also apply different styles to the same person at different times. This can be difficult, as many leaders seem to be more comfortable in one style. However, the choice should not be driven by personal preference, but rather the needs of the subordinates. In fully empowered TQ organizations and those with strong self-directed teams, you would probably find the delegating style to be most prevalent. However, when introducing new skills, such as Six Sigma, into an organization, it may be necessary to provide more direct control, coaching, or support while individuals are learning and practicing new skills or are transitioning into new job responsibilities. As managers work with different individuals in different stages of careers and maturity, it is their responsibility to adapt their leadership style to the individual and the situation.19

Although situational leadership theory is often used in practice, it has been criticized on both theoretical and methodological grounds, including ambiguity, a lack of consistency and incompleteness, as well as mixed empirical validation.20 One author summarizes the controversy and contributions of situational leadership as follows:

· A few studies found support for the proposition that more directive supervision is needed for subordinates who have low ability and confidence. However, there was little evidence that using the contingent pattern of task and relations behavior prescribed by the theory will make leaders more effective … Despite its deficiencies, the theory has made some positive contributions to our understanding of dyadic leadership. One contribution was the emphasis on flexible adaptive behavior, which has become a central tenet of some recent theory and research.21

According to the various contemporary leadership theories developed over the last 20 or 30 years, leadership effectiveness can be improved with the correct mix of the leader’s style of management, the characteristics of those who are led, and the situation. Two of the most popular are transactional and transformational theory.

Transactional Leadership Theory assumes that certain leaders may develop the ability to inspire their subordinates to exert extraordinary efforts to achieve organizational goals, through behaviors that may include contingent rewards, and active and passive

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