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The Effects on Unqualified Leaders in an Organiztion, Research Paper Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1059

Research Paper

Thesis Statement

Unqualified leaders may be harmful to the organization which they manage. They unknowingly assert negative influence on the employees under their control, reducing employee morale and company productivity. Reduced morale and productivity may ultimately drive down company profits.

Characteristics of Unqualified Leaders

According to the Peter Principle, “An employee tends to rise to the level of his or her incompetence” (author unknown). Employees who do a satisfactory or excellent job in the position for which they were first hired usually find themselves on the fast-track to better positions. Often these higher positions give the employee added responsibility including leading and directing subordinate personnel. Sometimes new employees do an excellent job. Often they find themselves unprepared for their new positions and fail miserably as supervisors. Their failure to lead may result in lowering morale, higher employee turnover, lower productivity, and may hurt the company’s reputation in their targeted consumer community.

Although many forms of power exist, the two most popular sources are reward power and coercive power (Herzberg, 1964). Reward power is exerted by leaders through offering financial incentives and recognition to those employees who actively work to get the job done. Coercive power comes from the leader’s ability to punish those people who do not exhibit the behavior expected by the leader. Coercion includes employee reprimands, criticisms, and negative performance appraisals.

Some supervisors tend to be micro-managers. They refuse to delegate anything and provide extremely close supervision over their subordinates regardless of the task at hand. Micro-managers of office issues have gone so far that they sometimes supervise the janitorial crew working after hours. Poor leaders often don’t involve others in their decision making. All decisions are made at the leader’s level only while he or she expects his or her subordinates to carry out their orders without question; although this leadership style sometimes will work effectively in the military, it seldom works in an office or production setting. Unqualified managers are inconsistent; they say one thing but often do something else. They are arrogant: They believe they are always right and they make sure their subordinates know it. They tend to be mean and abusive. Their self-centered attitude prohibits them from caring about the feelings of members of their team.

Transformational Leadership

Total Quality Management started in the middle of the 20th century (Deming). It was the beginning of transformational leadership. Following the end of World War Two, Japanese production was in shambles. Deming, an American engineer, created 14 points which he taught to Japanese industrial leaders. These 14 points became popularly known as Japanese leadership even though they were originated here in America.

  1. Create constancy of purpose for improving products and services Deming, 1986). Long term planning is no longer achievable. Plan instead for the short term keeping an open mind to tweaking concepts (Kosner, 2006).
  2. Adopt the new philosophy (Deming). Stop being hypocritical. Realize the 20th century challenges of operating a business and become real leaders instead of just bosses (Kosner).
  3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality (Deming). If leaders will start considering overall quality their employees will also follow their example, thus reducing the need for multiple step quality control (Kosner).
  4. End the practice of awarding business on price alone; instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier (Deming, 1986). Reduce the number of vendors, instead relying only on one or two vendors who will give the best price (Kosner, 2006).
  5. Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production and service (Deming). Continuous improvement is a core philosophy and should never be turned on or off. It should always remain on for all the leaders employed in any single business (Kosner).
  6. Institute training on the job (Deming). Continuous improvement should apply to every member of a given team; this also applies to the team’s leader (Kosner).
  7. Adopt and institute leadership (Deming). Work groups do not necessarily need managers; they need team leaders. Professional development, coaching, and mentoring should be encouraged, acknowledged, and rewarded (Kosner).
  8. Drive out fear (Deming). Fear stifles improvement and innovation. Leaders who “rule” their teams based on fear cannot be characterized as good leaders (Kosner).
  9. Break down barriers between staff areas (Deming). Employees should be cross-trained. They should understand the entire proves of their organization and be ready to substitute in any department in need of their immediate help (Kosner).
  10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the workforce (Deming). A good leader needs to be skilled in communication, scope, requirements, project planning and re-planning (Kosner).
  11. Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management (Deming). Targets can’t be static. They need to be reassessed periodically according to organizational needs (Kosner).
  12. Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship, and eliminate the annual rating or merit system (Deming, 1986). Team members must be individually recognized for their efforts. Everyone should consider him/herself to be a stakeholder in the success of the organization in which they are employed (Kosner, 2006).
  13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone (Deming). Professional development is a responsibility of managers and everybody on the team including the team’s directors should be held responsible for professional development (Kosner).
  14. Put everybody in the company to work accomplishing the transformation (Deming). If everyone on the team has done everything correctly then everyone will consider him/herself a stakeholder in the company’s success. This includes both team leaders as well as team members (Kosner).

Conclusion

Employees are constantly bullied, harassed, and even terminated by managers who are unqualified for their leadership positions. Many large companies get their department managers by promoting people based on longevity and nepotism. When qualifications for management are not valued companies eventually have problems attracting new candidates to fill positions from employees who were either terminated or left on their own accord. These companies will lose money, eventually lose their customer base, and have high turnover rates. Studies originated by Deming (1986) and subsequently tried in different management setting by researchers such as Kosner (2006) have suggested that when transformational leadership is encouraged by corporate management and when all work team members are made to feel that they are stakeholders in the total production delivery system, morale and production will remain high.

Bibliography

Deming, W. Edward. Out of Crisis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986.

Herzberg, F. “The Motivation-Hygiene Concept and Problems of Manpower.” Personnel Administrator (27):3-7. January-February, 1964.

Kosner, Jay B. leadership Perspectives that Facilitate School Improvement: An Ethnographic Case Study of a Public Elementary School Principal’s Leadership Role. Chicago, IL: Roosevelt University, 2006.

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