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The Vice President, the Product Manager and the Misunderstanding

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    The Vice President, the Product Manager and the Misunderstanding 1. Effect of Smith’s outburst on the other managers at the meeting. There is a conflict in this situation. The Vice President Mr. Nick Smith, reprimanded Tom Brewster directly when he failed to answer questions asked by him. Smith’s outburst definitely had an effect on the other managers at the meeting. A conflict is a disagreement within the context of an organisational setting, between individual members, groups or departments or between employees and the organisation. There is an individual conflict between the Vice President and the assistant Product Manager.

    The managers were not motivated during the meeting and this is likely to reduce their productivity in the short-term. They might also be worried that they will be equally humiliated by Smith if they will not meet the marketing strategies that were being discussed in the meeting. Another effect is hostility from the managers. The way the vice president handled the conflict during the meeting might lead to managers refusing to co-operate with him-Smith. This may result into more conflicts in future. Increased productivity. Conflicts in an organisation have some positive effects.

    Fear was created among the managers. As indicated above, the managers will not wish to be reprimanded the way the assistant product manager was reprimanded. The managers will have to perform if they would not wish to face the wrath of the Vice President in future. This will therefore go a long way to increase productivity at the Major Tool Works Inc. 2. Was it necessary for Smith to Apologize to Brewster? Why? It was necessary for Smith to apologize to Brewster. According to the behavioural theory of leadership, an effective leader has respect for employees’ ideas and regard for their feeling.

    He shows concern for followers’ comfort, well being, status and satisfaction. The Ohio State Studies also concluded that a leader high in consideration could be described as one who helps employees with personal problems, friendly and approachable, and treats all employees as equals. The apology helped to change the perception of Brewster towards Smith. This motivated Brewster since he knew that the Vice president respected him and had regard for his feelings. Smith’s apology to Brewster was an indication of a good leadership style.

    According to the Traits Theory of leadership, conscientiousness is a trait which is required by an effective leader. It is a measure of reliability. A highly conscientiousness person is responsible, organized, dependable and persistent. He will look back and evaluate his own actions. The vice president acknowledged that he was wrong through an apology to the assistant product manager. Smith also apologised to attempt to control the impression Brewster had formed of him. He was striving to be perceived positively by Brewster and the Director of Marketing Mr. Jeff Reynolds.

    Apology is a sign of admitting responsibility for an undesirable event and simultaneously seeking to get a pardon for the action. This was a sign of good leadership. 3. How i would respond to the kind of apology that Brewster received. I would have accepted the apology from Smith because that was a very good way of conflict resolution. This could have been an opportunity for me to introduce to Smith and explain to him how i felt in the meeting when he confronted me. I would have made him understand me so that he knows how to treat me in future. 4. What it would be like Smith working for me.

    From the way Smith conducts himself during and before the meeting, the conclusion is that Smith is an effective leader. By influence, a leader gets things done through others . He inspires trust and focuses on people. He makes an apology when he makes something stupid. Smith has the ability to solve conflicts. Sometimes managers create conflicts and solve them to increase the overall productivity of the group. The group becomes energised after the conflict has been resolved and teamwork is enhanced. I would willingly work for Smith because of his ability to solve work related conflicts.

    Smith is verbally assertive and an effective communicator. This quality helps him influence the group effectively. During the meeting, he asks probing questions and confronts Brewster. After the meeting, he finds the right words to tell Brewster in order to heal the wound he created in him. This quality makes Smith an effective leader and i would therefore work for him. Smith has problems with the workforce diversity. At first he sees Brewster as a young man who has no knowledge about his group of products. Smith working for me means that he will not want young people who have little work experience to work with him.

    This will be a problem which might arise. From the discussion above, if Smith was working for me, i would make him the leader of the group. Working for Smith If Smith was my employer, he would expect nothing short of the set targets. I would therefore strive to achieve those targets to avoid confrontations. Smith is a person who sometimes is unable to control his emotions. He overreacts when he sees a problem which can amicably be solved through communication. This means that it will be difficult to work for Smith. 5. How Smith defines Brewster’s responsibilities as an assistant product manager?

    Smith Brewster the responsibility of criticising actions of the top level managers. This means that Brewster should have his say when it comes to decision making in the marketing department and the company as a whole. How he defines his role as a top manager. Liaison (interpersonal role) Smithn plays an interpersonal role when he calls and presides over the meeting of the marketing department. Informational role During the meeting, Smith asks questions to the product managers who answered them in detail. He therefore helps share the information among the product managers.

    Leadership role Initiating structure is one of the dimensions of leader behaviour according to the the studies conducted at the Ohio State University. It refers to the extent to which a leader is likely to define and structure his role and those of employees in search of goal attainment. It includes behaviour that attempts to organize work relationships and goals. Smith is a leader characterized as high in initiating structure where he assigns group members particular tasks, expects workers to maintain definite standards of performance and emphasises the meeting of deadlines.

    Smith believes that Brewster is qualified and it will take him only three months within which he is expected to have a thorough knowledge about his group of products. Three months is a deadline imposed upon Brewster and the standard of performance is complete knowledge of his group of products. Decesional role. Smith defines his role as the top manager when he makes an apology to Brewster. He comes out clearly to define his role as the decision maker. He however explains that he should be corrected when he makes stupid decisions the way he had done.

    REFERENCE

    Mullins L. J. (2005) Management and organizational Behaviuor, Seventh Edition, Prentice Hall
    Cole G.A (2004) Management Theory and Practice, Sixth Edition, Book Power
    Stonner A.F. (2009) Management, Sixth Edition, Pearson.

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