Assessment of the Case Study ‘Many Managers, Different Styles’ by McGregor

In the case study ‘Many Managers, Different Styles’, three characteristics of managers are presented. According to theory X and theory Y, initially proposed by Douglas McGregor, managers follow various leadership styles while working in the branch of Lakeshore Bank. Theory X, also called authoritarian, motivates employees with the help of coercion, strict control, fear, and sanctions. As a result, most workers are not satisfied with employment, are not ambitious, avoid responsibility, and prefer to be controlled instead of making decisions and propose fresh ideas.

The first manager, Marion Woods, follows the criteria of theory X as she intimidates a new employee, Vanessa, controls her, and comments on her shortcomings in front of other people. Marion Woods focuses mainly on employees’ results without encouraging them with support and a piece of advice. Her attitude to the employees seems to be demanding and arrogant, which negatively affects her leadership. Vanessa is afraid of Marion Woods and tries to avoid contact with her. This style of leadership can only bring close-term results and never create a strong relationship between colleagues.

Theory Y, also called participative, is brightly shown in the third manager, Heather Atwood. The main aspects of the theory are trustworthy relationships, collaboration, involvement in decision-making, and, as a result, a high level of motivation and satisfaction from work. Motivation is a goal-oriented characteristic of the leader that helps employees achieve their objectives (Sousa and Rocha, 2018). Heather Atwood supports Vanessa, gives her helpful advice, and shows trust and respect to her staff. Consequently, Vanessa percepts Heather Atwood as a leader, feels comfortable and appreciated in her surroundings.

The second manager, Bruce Dexter, behaves closer to theory Y in some points. More likely, he shows apathy and disinterest in both his work and the staff he is responsible for. The theory Y aspect used by Bruce Dexter is giving freedom to the employees in decision-making. However, the new worker cannot show high efficiency if no help and support are provided. Vanessa does not seem to percept Bruce Dexter as a leader because no relationship was built between them during working days.

In this type of customer service setting, the most effective leadership style would be participative, as the bank needs to build a trustworthy relationship with customers and private bankers. If clients feel their needs are satisfied, the income of the bank will grow. The best example of working in banking is manager Heather Atwood as she aims not for the daily results but cares about the atmosphere at work and creates a good team that can bring a decent income in a long-term perspective.

To enhance leadership skills, each manager should remember that work with people requires patience, trust, and openness. Marion Woods can try to give more freedom to the staff and encourage them every time for the small achievement. That can build employees’ confidence and motivation to master the working skills. Before mentioning a shortcoming, she should talk about the positive sides of the work to soften the critics. Bruce Dexter should make an effort above himself and engage in communication between colleagues. To become a decent leader, he needs to build a relationship with Vanessa, show his competency and ability to help. Heather Atwood, to maintain her leadership skills, should always look forward and upgrade herself as a manager. The challenges that supervisors face are rapidly changing; however, the methods used to develop them are staying the same (Iordanoglou, 2018). Achieving successful results still requires future self-development and growth to remain high-qualified. From Vanessa’s perspective on a three-month review, she needs to talk about everything she has already learned within this time and what barriers were on her way. When describing managers, she should thank Heather Atwood for her help and support and mildly describe difficulties with other managers.

In terms of banking, every manager should build reliable and firm relationships with employees. The leadership qualities of Marion Woods do not approach the bank service as it is primarily aiming to provide suitable facilities and satisfy the needs of customers. The employees’ progress from the perspective of Marion Woods is the number of accounts opened. However, the advice I would give to the new worker is to first concentrate on quantity, not quality. Marion Woods also intimidates Vanessa, which blocks her creativity and the process of learning. Anxiousness and defensiveness are negatively related to creativity in probation and formal employment (Yao and Li, 2020). Bruce Dexter does not show any leader qualities, so it is hard to assess his advice to Vanessa. With a low contact model relationship between the colleagues, it is hard to achieve a high outcome in banking. However, if Bruce Dexter was working in a more creative sphere, such as art, the amount of freedom he provides to the employee will be needed. The advice Heather Atwood gives to Vanessa can be assessed as applicable and improving her working skills. Every employee would appreciate the support from the manager and comfortable working surroundings.

Nevertheless, not everywhere dictatorial style of control puts a negative impact on employees’ behavior. As I have noticed in the military, the authoritarian model of leadership is the only possible there. The army trains people fighting for the country while having a chance to die. Without strict discipline and rules, it would be impossible to maintain order that helps behave appropriately on the battlefield. According to Robert L. Taylor (2018), the team captain must have respect, unhesitating obedience, and enthusiastic loyalty from his men in the military. In this case, the participative leadership model would ruin the stability and command execution. Every country needs a well-organized army that will stay in the first line of defense in case of attack.

Reference List

Iordanoglou, D. (2018) ‘Future trends in leadership development practices and the crucial leadership skills’, Journal of Leadership, Accountability, and Ethics,15(2), pp. 118-129.

Robert L. Taylor. (2018) Military leadership: In pursuit of excellence. Routledge.

Sousa, M. J. and Rocha, Á. (2018) ‘Leadership styles and skills developed through game-based learning’, Journal of Business Research, 94, pp. 360-366.

Yao, X. and Li, R. (2020) ‘Big five personality traits as predictors of employee creativity in probation and formal employment periods’, Personality and Individual Differences, 109914.

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