Critical Management Issues – Case of Hank’s Leadership

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Successful organizations owe it to a keen and sanguine leadership and leadership style, which endeavors to provide lower level leaders and the organization in general with the core competencies of leadership/management. These include the ability to inspire and motivate employees thus inculcating attitudinal change to enhance employee performance toward the mission and vision statements of the business while endeavoring to meet the business goals and objectives (Einstein & Scott, 2001).

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Typically, the case study leadership requires that interpersonal, organizational, and decisional components characterize Hank’s leadership. However, the leadership in question characterizes Hank’s leadership to the butchers as one that expects employees to be aware of their duties and responsibilities while expecting them to execute them under strict guidance (House & Mitchell, 1974).

Thus, Hank thrives on the directive leadership style. Typically, Leadership is a tool that pulls employees by influence rather than by rules and regulations. Thus, the interpersonal element critically lacks in Hank’s leadership. In addition to that, Hank’s leadership style endeavors to assert leadership presence on the group, an issue illustrated in the statement that describes Hank as a walking terror but a good supervisor. The interpersonal element requires that Hank involve a sense of humane on the employees while ensuring that the entire workforce is motivated toward the business goals.

However, Hanks’ leadership is aggressively assertive. The assertive nature of the leadership clear from the demands requiring employees to adhere to standard rules and regulations, work schedules, and established performance standards (House & Mitchell, 1974). Studies by Dubinsky, Yammarino, Jolson, Marvin, and Spangler (1995) recognize Hanks’s leadership as one that provides employees with the tasks to attain while ensuring that suggestions made by employees are accommodative of the views of others.

Therefore, Hank should endeavor in their leadership to empower transactional employees in decision making by providing guidance, thus inculcate the sense of confidence, and trust in the leadership (Avoliom & Bass, 1988; Bruce, 2009). Thus, the sense and view that Hank is a walking terror but a good foreman be made obsolete.

In the case study, it is recommended strongly that a transformational leadership style be adopted to provide the leadership required to transform the current state of leadership to a new level, because Hank’s leadership as negatively rated and in need of a transformation. However, it is important to study both leadership approaches for the rationale of adopting transformational leadership (Dubinsky, Yammarino, Jolson & Spangler, 1995).

Transformational Vs. Transactional leadership

In view of the weaknesses characterizing Hank’s leadership, transformational leadership entails changing Hank’s leadership style by adopting a style, which inculcates personal values and beliefs, thus causing change in entire business system. Typically, the leadership, under Hank with the new transformational change could create positive change of attitude in the employees, create a self-driven desire to make a following after Hank, and bring about a positive rating for Hanks’ leadership.

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Thus, “transformational leadership has been positively correlated to leader effectiveness ratings, leader and follower satisfaction, follower effects, support for innovation, and overall organizational performance” (Humphreys & Einstein, 2003). Typically, the transformational leadership entails one becoming a role model, inspirational, inculcating a sense in the employees to take personal responsibilities for their work, and ensuring that the current leadership understands the weaknesses and strengths of the employees and implement corrective measures to maximize employee performance (Bass, 1985). Kark and Van Dijk (2007) who affirms that performance is one of the indicators that characterize transformational leadership have reinforced the argument by Bass (1985) further.

. The transactional leadership style adopted by Hank suffers from a number of pitfalls. In the realms of Hank’s leadership, the exchanges of work and benefits employees earn are based on the input and outputs from the employees’ efforts. It is a separation between what one offers in exchange for a good or a service, thus lacking any motivation (Humphreys & Einstein, 2003; Chip, 1999).

Evidently, transactional leadership is an effort and reward scenario, which relies on the leader to resolve all arising management and employee issues without delegating responsibilities on the other workforce. Thus, workers need to wait for the leader to make any decision to act upon in the event of an issue demanding action.

Drawing from the case study and based on the principles of transactional leadership style, Hank could only provide reward to the employees based on their performance in attaining the goals set by management. Thus, motivation draws on how well and what has been achieved in the set goals. In addition to that, transactional leadership draws on the ability of the leader to provide the compelling force to execute their task and responsibilities without an internal drive.

However, transformational leadership could be the most appropriate leadership approach since leaders have the skills and ability to arouse emotions in the subordinates that acts as an internal force motivating them to perform far beyond the laid down framework and standards. In addition to that, Hank could borrow from the concept of transformational leadership by inculcating new prospects in the subordinates with the skills of a proactive leader.

Thus, Hank could create number of opportunities for the subordinates and a framework for learning opportunities while dynamically imparting the kills, knowledge, and abilities to solve problems on their own. In addition to that, the concept of transformational leadership could allow Hank to inspire employees to work beyond meeting self-interest needs and surpass leadership expectations.

On the other hand, Mr. Abraham could initiate change in the business organization based on the concept of transformational leadership. That could be evident when Mr. Abraham inspires employees to view management positively and assent to be followers of the management while subscribing to organizational loyalty. An idea well illustrated in the statement that “Transformational leaders can induce changes in followers’ behavior—influencing them to exert effort on tasks that are important to the organization.” (Wright, 2000).

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Thus, employees could work towards attaining the vision and mission outlined by the leadership in the business organization. In addition to that, it is vital for Abraham to embrace the concept of charismatic leaders while ensuring the foundation of the leadership gains from teamwork (Conger, 1999).

Thus, once the leadership moves on to Abraham as a transformational leader, it is important for the new leadership to inculcate the sense of transformational leadership attributes into the culture and behavior of the organization in question. According to Allen (1985), inspirational motivation could also play a critical role in inspiring organizational employees to work and attain great feats without the compelling transactional approach to management. Therefore, Abraham could significantly benefit from the leadership approach by inculcating the essential elements of a transformational leader (Ogbonna & Wilkinson, 2003).


Allenbaugh (1983) views coaching as a tool organizational leaders use to identify the performance outcomes employees inherently value in their work by first establishing good communication between the leadership and the workers. Typically, research shows that coaching is a tool Hank could embrace as a leadership approach to enable organizational the leadership achieve organizational objectives and attain outlined goals through others. Coaching enables organizational employees capture their potential and maximize performance since leadership challenges are sometimes complex as is evident from the case study.

In the case study example, a number of benefits to be realized by the current leadership include the synergies due to focused relationship between employees as a team and the leadership. Effecting coaching ensure employees experience intimate relationships between themselves and the leadership, develop a sense of trust, develop candid communication between the team and the leadership, and facilitate growth in all respects of organizational growth (Berrey, Avergun & Russ-Eft, 1993).

Typically, coaching is tactical and if integrated into the management style embraced by Hank, could have enable him inspire employees pursue and attain their goals while developing a strong connection and liking with the leadership. In addition to that, Hank could evaluate, through observations how the butchers as a team interact to design and develop a strategic approach of enhancing communication between the butchers and understand their job better.

Hank could learn from observations, as “observation of the employee’s interactions with coworkers and job performance factors” (Allenbaugh, 1983, p. 24) is significant in understanding employees and acquiring more insight and in the fact-finding process, which involves assessment and feedback in the coaching process.

To derive the coaching benefits to the current business organization, Hank could need to enhance the relationship between the leadership and the management by changing openly with the butchers on their thought and feelings about their current job. The feeling and thought could be the baseline for developing a plan that outlines the course of action, which is characterized by behaviors and behavioral changes that might result from the coaching process by the leadership. Thus, ambition, a turnaround of the way employees work, rebuilding of the career track of the butchers, and hope are inspired in the butchers.

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In addition to that, the leadership under Hank could gain by addressing derailed behaviors, enhance organizational cultures, enhance, and facilitate strong binds between the leadership, the employees and the butcher’s team, and peers (Ryan, 2009). Thus, Abraham could provide support and direction for the butchers improves their performance by setting performance improvement targets.

In addition to that, Abraham, with well-developed leadership skills could endeavor to identify reasons that might lead to the failure to improve performance and other related issues. However, the strategy to improve performance is correlated strongly to another micro-management element that characterizes the current case study (Bowen & Lawler, 1992).

Micro-Management style

One of the characteristics of a good leadership is the ability for the leadership to provide employees with the freedom in decision-making. In addition to that, a good leader draws from the principles of persuasiveness, and fairness to organizational workers. In the context of the case study, Abraham kept a stern eye on the employees by perpetually making continued follow-ups with a presence that the employees disliked. However, Abraham was not aware that this kind of management style could demoralize and demotivate the butchers in the pursuit of their daily tasks.

Typically, the elements that characterize a good leader including imagination to provide Abraham with the flexibility to conjure up a picture of the consequences of the leadership approach. In addition, Abraham lacked the directing knowledge on other characteristics of a good leader, which include confidence, persistence, strong values, the creativity to micro-manage many of the tasks executed by the butchers, dedication, and adaptability to new changes within the organization. Thus, employees fail to identify any truly assigned tasks and fail to involve themselves in executing tasks that are not delegated to them (Presutti, 2006).

In effect, the underlying consequences of the failure to capture what should be done by the employees which is not based on directions from the leadership are frustrations, lack of confidence in the management, fear, and reduced productivity. Thus, one of the adverse effects of micro-management is to induce the feeling and attitude in the employee that they should not trust their decision and judgment in the event they are confronted with an issue requiring immediate decisions (Fracaro, 2007. P.6).

Based on the case study, Abraham embraced the micro-management concept to control work and the way butchers thought. However, Abraham had another standard of allowing luggers work in their stake while at the same time attempting to compel them do things from his perspective, an approach that made him encounter several leadership problems with the luggers, a typical characteristic of the micro-management approach (Wright, 2000, p. 1).

Thus, the employees are denied the freedom of imagination, use of their intelligence, likeability for the leadership, lack self-drive and motivation to set goals, become intolerable with time, lack any sense of humor and miniature chaos prevail at the work place. Capillo (2003) views micromanagers as the kind of leadership that endeavors to compel others think the way they do. According to Messmer (2002), Abraham was supposed to empower employees in decision-making and demonstrate a sense of trust in them.


The case study shows high performance employees viewing themselves as inequitably handled instead of leading to job dissatisfaction. Adams (1963) theorized that subordinates negatively view leaders if they view them and being too directive. That, according to House and Mitchell (1974) imparts a negative sense in the employees who feel a sense of imbalance between their inputs and outputs in an organization.

Thus, there is the need for Mr. Abraham to compensate the workers adequately for their inputs based on a fair scale of work-pay approach. Other issues to address include the best approach to make employees feel appreciation for their work, and the enjoyment and motivation one is likely to get from one’s work.

Low morale

Mr. Abrams’s leadership style is solely the reason from the deteriorating morale. That includes the micromanagement style, and other issues related to transactional leadership above mentioned. Therefore, it is important for the Mr. Abrams to

Resistance to change

Change is critical in any organization as business environments are also dynamic (Geller, 2002; Chonko, 2006). Mr. Abram should provide an environment that is flexible and accommodates change. Thus, issues such as negative feelings, empowerment, rigidity, fear, bad experience, and reduced job securities contribute to resistance to change (Washington & Hacker, 2005).

Abrahams and the entire leadership should lay strategies to implementing change by learning on what is entailed in the concept on change. Among the issues for Abraham and Hank to address ate the methods of handling workers, identify areas that resistance to change is experienced and design agreeable methods of implement change while inspiring confidence in the employees on the benefits they are likely to experience when change comes in (Geller, 2002; Garrison, 2005; Caruth, Middlebrook & Rachel,1985; Chonko, 2006).

Motivation and pay system

Employees desire to fulfill their duties effectively and efficiently when financial attainments as goals are prescribed as key motivational factor (Robbins, 2005). Thus, that is the case for the luggers and the butchers. In the context of the case, study, a financial motivational system should be designed to capture the abilities of the employees to work harder for more gains, importing the productivity of the employees with a direct bearing on the productivity and performance of the firm.


By empowering employees as a tool to motivate them, butchers view themselves as being involved in the whole process. According to (Prater, 2004), empowerment includes equipping the employees with the knowledge and skills to execute their tasks efficiently and effectively without the demanding from them to execute tasks with skills they do not possess.

According to Kirkman and Rosen (1999), the latter approach makes employees own the entire business and the processes, and induce that in the organizational culture. According to Bowen & Radhakrishna (1991), that approach increases productivity, improves the survival changes of a business, introduces the right information and knowledge in the workers, and leads to additional development. Thus, the need for Hank and Abraham to make informed decisions with the implications of the decisions critically considered especially on its impact on organizational culture.

Organizational culture

Organizational cultures are the values and beliefs esteemed in an organization. According to Humphreys and Langford (2008), and organizational culture reflects the entire personality of the organization in question. Thus, in the context of the case study, the culture could allow for open lines of communication, motivate employees toward fair treatment, entitle employees with decision on their own destiny, and lead to transformational leadership both for the leadership and the entire organization in general. Abraham could draw from Allen (1985) on the need to study continuously the effects of change of the subconscious.

Conflict management

Conflict within the business organization occurs between the butchers, the luggers, and the leadership. The leadership should evaluate the relationship between them (Angelica, 2002). On the other hand, Abraham should interview the employees about their feelings and attitude toward their peers, and capture the principles theorized in conflict management to exploit them to resolve arising conflicts.


Based on the case study, a number of issues need to be addressed include the leadership adopting transformational leadership, employee empowerment in decision-making. In addition to that, the leadership should attempt to inculcate personal values and beliefs, employee satisfaction, support employee innovation, embrace charismatic leadership characteristics, attempt to be role models, and take corrective measure at leadership and employee levels.

In addition to that, Hank and Mr. Abrahams should endeavor to develop leadership skills and attempt to integrate transformational leadership components that might end up benefiting the leadership, the employees, and the organization at large. That includes personal mastery of leadership issues, personal integrity, and high level of confidence, a mental picture of continually improving the organization, inspiration of team learning in the employees, personal conviction of the moral beliefs of the leader, and charismatic attributes in the leadership.


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