In this scenario at AGC, it seems that John has an autocratic leadership style. He is independent and does not rely on employees for input in decision-making. His focus is on entirely on results and efficiency. This is not necessarily a negative aspect, as a study of the military, the penultimate autocratic system, it was found that commanders trusted their subordinates, at times more than an average industrial manager. However, this reinforces the concept that belief does not automatically indicate participation, but a different attitude towards control (Vogelsang et al., 2013). This leadership style is useful in maintaining organization or ensuring compliance within a company aimed at achieving specific results quickly. However, it has the drawback of stifling creativity, confining employees, and creating a high-pressure environment (in a negative way) that strongly affects culture and morale.
Meanwhile, Shawn maintains a democratic style of leadership along with some elements of a diplomatic and strategic leader. A democratic leadership style is often referred to as ‘participative’ combines the autocratic approach described above and laissez-faire leadership, which is the complete opposite and focuses on delegation and little supervision. In democratic leadership, employees are given the opportunity to provide feedback, which the leader than uses to make a decision. This style fosters high levels of employee participation and engagement, emphasizing workplace satisfaction. The style is particularly viable in a technology industry where innovation and creativity are necessary. However, possible fallbacks include lack of structure which creates uncertainty and does not guarantee the best solution. Furthermore, it may be difficult to reach a consensus and create negative emotions in the workplace.
My personal leadership style is most closely associated with transformational leadership. This approach focuses on clear communication, motivation of others, and goal setting. Such leaders are committed to organizational objectives rather than individual employees but focus on the large picture. The style of leadership is more of laissez-faire approach to delegating employees without supervision but seeks to organize effective teams that can achieve set objectives. During the briefing, transformational leadership may be highly useful as it takes the positive aspects out of both John’s and Shawn’s leadership styles and combines them into what is potentially necessary for their organization. They are seeking to achieve objectives, but struggle with human capital. Transformational leadership values organization of teams for the fulfillment of their roles in positions and environment that they may be comfortable in. Transformational leaders give employees conventional tasks and deadlines but push them outside the comfort zone to innovate and achieve objectives.
Change in an organization is not a separate activity, it is an intimate exploration of many of its aspects. Leadership and management styles are key to enabling organization to be successful in dynamic environments (Vogelsang et al., 2013). One of the primary human capital strategies that should be recommended to AGC is to achieve clarity in human capital goals since the two leaders are so drastically apart. Some of these goals may be to increase employee efficiency or to continuously develop skills of the workforce. Furthermore, there should be clarity in strategic objectives for the company that will be used to provide a direction for employees. However, since John is highly focused on efficiency and performance, an accountability system can be put in place that will measure work progress and failures of employees in a manner that will demonstrate if strategic management is working and the perks employees are receiving are having a positive impact.
One successful strategy is known as integrative management which focuses on the quality of being unified and honest by managing a globally diverse team. Integrity management focuses on building cooperative labor-management relations. New employees are given mentors and have access to top managers to voice ideas. Diversity, understanding, equality, and elimination of conflict are vital for integrity management strategies of human resource management. One company that is successfully utilizing this approach is Samsung Electronics which is an international hardware manufacturer. They are able to hire and maintain global talent in a diverse group and highly competitive environment. It is expensive and may require some restructuring, but the impact on culture is positive and allows for innovation and efficient performance.
Vogelsang, J., et al. (eds.). (2013). Handbook for strategic HR: Best practices in organization development from the OD network. AMACOM.