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Case for Critical Analysis

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Case for Critical Analysis: Chapter 14

1. Ms. Gustafson's leadership style was consistent with that of a relationship-oriented leader. Although the case study shows no reason to believe that she was not task oriented (in the whole), her descriptions are more related to creating a positive and well liked work environment. Ms. Gustafson probably commanded/leaded a group of workers (mainly females) that liked one another and had a relative amount of cohesion. There was never a powerful hierarchy that implemented rules, and people's feelings seem to have been taken into account. Subordinates favored her style because her rules were less rigid, and allowed them to be in a non-stressful work environment. She was also older, and a fellow worker, so she could relate to the other employees of the health insurance company. Ms. Gustafson lacked the ability for innovation and growth. This style is poor at directing others to increase maximum efficiency. Because she was not necessarily a strong power figure, she may not have been the most effective task-oriented leader. This style would also be weaker at organizing change throughout the company. Lastly, the sources of her influence were her employees she managed, and had personal relationships with working. She also felt a desire to keep customers "happy" and "comfortable." Again, more consideration was placed on people's feelings and relationships.

2. Mr. Rasmussen was brought in as a younger, innovative leader. His style was more consistent with a task-oriented leader, and he placed the company's growth and productivity over the needs of the employees. His style, along with his age and recent college accomplishments, probably gave him a confidence boost to be a more power hungry leader. This is not intended to be a bad thing, but he was not concerned with employee's schedules or lives outside of the job. His strengths and weaknesses seemed to be opposite of the previous leader. He would be more influenced by his bosses and the company's success. Creating new ideas to cut back costs and increase customer calls would be his main concerns.

3. I would start by recognizing the great improvements that the company has seen since his hiring. I would make sure that he knew that his work was valued, and that he was successfully increasing performance for the company. After all, the case study does indicate that he was brought in to improve the company's expenditures and create innovation. Upon completing this, I would alert him to the recent complaints and morale of the employees. I would encourage him at this point to make a point to the employees that their hard work has not gone unrecognized, and maybe now schedules could be a bit less stringent (in given circumstances). Mr. Rasmussen seems to be educated and capable of providing great leadership. I think that he could invoke change in the employee's



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