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Leadership Development Case Study

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 3073 words Published: 14th Sep 2017

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Student Name: Yu Bao


Assumption1: Susan is an Authority-Compliance leader.

This kind of leader just like Susan places heavy emphasis on task and job requirements, and less emphasis on people, except to the extent that people are tools for getting job done (Northouse 2017, p75). During Susan’s work, she likes to her staff have high efficiency and demonstrating strong organizational citizenship behavior.

Assumption2: Susan and in-group members have high-quality leader-member exchanges.

Mature partnership refers that high degree of reciprocity between leaders and followers (Northouse 2017, p143). In-group members are skilled in getting job done that cause General Manager trust Susan can get everything done. At the same time, members can gain more opportunities.

Assumption3: Susan and out-group members are during stranger phase.

During this phase leaders and followers relate to each other within prescribed organizational roles (Northouse 2017, p142). when out-group members have some mistakes or problems in work, Susan just asked the assistant managers to make a strict task criteria attached to solving the issues rather than talk to members who have some negative emotions.

Assumption4: Susan is a Transactional leadership.

This kind of leader is in the best interest of followers for them to do what the leader wants instead of focus on followers need and their personal development. Susan likes to train her staff to be more efficient and task-focused, and also doesn’t suffer fools lightly. It’s means she doesn’t have patience to help some staff to develop their capacity.

Assumption5: If Susan want to her staff getting better she needs to change her leadership to Transformational Leadership.

Transformational leadership produces greater effects than transactional leadership. Whereas transactional leadership results in expects outcomes, transformational leadership results in performance that goes well beyond what is expected (Northouse 2017, p142).


In this case, there are two kind of relationship between Susan and her staff.

Susan is known as a heavy emphasis on task and efficiency. Under her leadership, she likes to see staff who shows highly organizational citizenship behaviors(OCBs). Because of that, a part of her staff who adapts to her style or willingness to get the job done form an in-group. In the Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory of Leadership, followers who are interested in negotiating with the leader what they are willing to do for the group can become a part of the in-group. In the meantime, leaders prefer to provide more information, opportunity, right to followers (Northouse 2017, p139). This is due to LMX makes the concept of the dyadic relationship the centerpiece of the leadership process (Northouse 2017, p146). It is focus on both leaders’ and followers’ perspective. In this way, followers also pay more attention, show more trust, provide more support to their leaders. As mentioned earlier, this kind of bi-directional theory will train a virtuous cycle. In other words, it will foster high-quality leader-member exchanges. Graen and Uhl-Bien (1991) suggested that leadership making develops progressively over time in three phases: (1) the stranger phase, (2) the acquaintance phase, and (3) the mature partnership phase. In Susan’s case, she and her in-group members are in the phases 3, they are highly efficient, getting things done, and also have more opportunity to new internal job as well as which is the most favored by management team. Overall, Susan and her in-group members have same goals and more egalitarian , the most important, they have a reciprocal influences to each other.

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On the other hand, Susan’s leader style is focus on task and job requirements. She does not like to sitting down and asking’why’. Because of this, a number of members who are oppose to Susan’s leading method become an out-group. followers in the out-group are less compatible with the leader and usually just come to work, do their job, and go home (Northouse 2017, p139). In this case, Johnson Fellows who is a member of out-group start to absent demonstrations of company products, morning teas and so on. After Susan hear about this, she just uses a transactional & technical approach and never solved emotional states. Therefore, this situation become worse and worse. Susan and out-group members are in the stranger phase. The interactions in the leader-follower dyad generally is rule bound, relying heavily on contractual relationships. They have lower-quality exchanges. The motives of the follower during the stranger phase are directed toward self-interest rather than toward the good of the group (Graen & Uhl-Bien 1995 ).

Because of Susan’s leadership style, the out-group members are increasingly demonstrating. The LMX theory also has some criticisms, one of the most important drawback is the theory runs counter to the basic human value of fairness. it gives the appearance of discrimination against the out-group. (Northouse 2017 ,p147) It is perhaps the mean reason why Johnson does not attend to some meeting hostile to other staff. The felling about unfair will cause conflict and deteriorate relationship between leader and members. This situation would tend to low staff morale even to increasing the rote of staff turnover.


In Ridgeway case, there are several problems. In the first place, staff is divided into two organize under Susan’s leading. In addition, because of Susan used modulating the emotional strategy during her work and does not acknowledge her staff’s feeling as valid also not going to work to alleviate them. It causes that out-group members are dissatisfied to her. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, some staff who have worked for Ridgeway for more than 10 years miss and hope to the high-quality LMX.

To the first problem, Followers in the in-group receive more information, influence, confidence, and concern from their leaders than do out-group followers (Northouse2017, p139), so that, out-group members have no chance to communicate with their manager, and also the manager would not waste time on contribute a high-quality LMX with members. After that, the relationship between Susan and out-group will be worse. The solution to this problem Susan should to spend more time on talk with the staff who have negative emotions and try to address the source of the problem. And also need her to treat every employee fairly. In this way, she maybe will enhance the quality of LMX. And try her best to narrow the gap between two group.

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To the second and third problem, Susan can use the strategies of interpersonal emotion management(IEM)In her case, she like to solve problems via strict task criteria instead of address why they have negative emotions. It makes a lot people resent her stance or complain her. Williams (2007) outlined four interpersonal emotion management strategies used to manage others’ emotions: situation modification, cognitive change, attentional deployment, and modulating the emotional response. (Gooty&Williams 2016) Hence, there are two kinds of solutions. In short-term, Susan can use attentional deployment in this case. Attentional deployment involves distracting attention away from the elements of a situation. Susan can use humor distracting the follower in order to induce more positive emotions.it will reduce negative emotions over a period of time. By using this strategy, leader does not alleviate source of negative emotion in the environment. Meanwhile even though followers feel good at that time, after a few days or several times, they will feel leaders ignored their emotion and also not be concerned. Gooty&Williams(2016) suggest Attentional deployment is a kind of emotion-focused IEM. And it will negatively relate to LMX. In this way, Susan just could use it during a period of time. In contrast, she can use situation modification or cognitive change in long-term. In her case, she has to change her mind, she can address why the staff do not want to attend the meeting and try to fix the problem by communicate with who has negative emotions. On the other hand, she also can courage the depress staff, show them the situation in a positive light, and everything will be better day by day. In both way, they are problem-focused strategy. Leader who use these strategies should attain 3 main points: met role expectations of the leader, create an attribution of benevolence, emotion rich communication in the relationship. After that, followers’ obligation is created, followers will fell their leader care about them and is watching out of them, and validated and promote open communicate of follower’s thought. Thus, LMX is enhanced, the core of IEMS is formed, the stage for the relationship better is set. (Gooty&Williams 2016)


Susan’s leader style is quite conform with Transactional Leadership. In this kind of leadership have two factors: Contingent reward and Management-by-exception. Contingent reward is an exchange process between leaders and followers in which effort by followers is exchanged for specified rewards. (Northouse 2017, p171) In Susan’s case, staff by improving the efficiency for more opportunities or appreciated from general manager. Management-by-exception It is leadership that involves corrective criticism, negative feedback, and negative reinforcement. (Northouse 2017, p171) Susan also using passive corrective criticism during her work. She gives employee a poor performance evaluation without ever talking with them about their prior work performance. Then she uses more negative reinforcement patterns to forcing staff depressive emotions and improving the efficiency. Meanwhile her method is quite similar with some part of Pseudotransformational leadership, which refers to leaders who are self-consumed, exploitive, and power oriented, with warped moral values. (Northouse 2017, p163) In brief, Susan always focus on her own goal instead of listens carefully to the needs of staff. She does not like her staff have different idea with her and would not give her subordinates more time to find a unique way to solve problems. For example: Ben and his group.

If Susan want to change her leadership to transformational leadership, she has to following the four components of transformational leadership: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. (Northouse2017, p167) At first, individualized consideration, Susan needs to help her staff to achieve their true potential by considering their unique needs and desires. She should to find out why out-group members have negative emotions. she also can create a learning environment to solve the problems both in work and in emotions. Thus , it will help growth development. After that, be a charisma leader, using Idealized influence and inspirational motivation. Image of an attractive, realistic, and believable future to her staff, articulating a direction and then consistently implementing the direction even though the vision may have involved a high degree of uncertainty. (Northouse 2017, p173) In addition, instead of criticism show more benevolence and patience to staff and also need to expression high expectation to them. In this way Susan will be admired, trusted and respected by their followers. In the end, intellectual stimulation which means leaders challenge their followers to question long-held assumptions and approach old situations in novel ways, stimulating them to be more innovative and creative. (Anderson& Sun 2015)Ben already showed a kind of tendency that he want to solved the problem in a more creative way, but Susan was really hurried to the result. Maybe she should give him more time to done this on his own way. Follow these steps transformational approach can be implemented. But when Susan Implement this method she also need to be cautious to negative impacts of transformational leadership. Such as followers may have the tendency to free-ride on the transformation leaders social networks to conserve resources so they will perhaps be less likely to develop their own social networks(Anderson& Sun 2015)or followers will think leaders not be harsh if they slack on performance.(Ng&Chua 2016)


Unlike many of leadership theories, authentic leadership is still in the formative phase of development. Formulations about authentic leadership can be differentiated into two areas: (1) the practical approach; and (2) the theoretical approach.

On the practical approach side: Bill George identifies five dimensions of authentic leadership: purpose, values, relationships, self-discipline, and heart. In Susan’s case, which aspects will appropriate to her are values, relationships and heart. Values or values and behave means leaders who have a clear idea of who they are, where they are going, and what the right thing is to do. (Northouse 2017, p199) In this aspect, Susan need to realize that she is a leader, she just need to uses her value guide her leadership instead of hands-on everything. Relationship refer to leaders have the capacity to open themselves up and establish a connection with others. Through mutual disclosure, leaders and followers develop a sense of trust and closeness. (Northouse 2017, p199). The mean reason that Susan’s staff opposition to her is she never talk to them and address the source of problems. It makes their relationship became distant and lack of trust. Therefore, she should to communicate with her subordinates to create a trusting relationship. Heart and compassion is an important aspect of AL. It refers to being sensitive to the plight of others, opening one’s self to others, and being willing to help them. (Northouse 2017, p200) Susan like her staff have high efficiency and doesn’t suffer fools lightly. But, as an AL she need to empathizing with others and try to help them pull through.

On the theoretical approach side, Walumbwa identified four components: self-awareness, internalized moral perspective, balanced processing, and relational transparency. In Susan’s case, balanced processing, and relational transparency will be appropriate. Balanced processing It refers to an individual’s ability to analyze information objectively and explore other people’s opinions before making a decision. (Northouse 2017, p203) When Ben has different idea with Susan, as an AL, who will open about her own perspectives, but are also objective in considering others’ perspectives. In another word, she need give more time to Ben to complete his idea before her tell the GM. Relational transparency is about communicating openly and being real in relationships with others. As previously mentioned about relationship, Susan need to talk with her staff more not only Job-related but also about daily life.

It is noteworthy that there are other factors such as positive psychological capacities, moral reasoning, and critical life events that influence authentic leadership. (Northouse 2017, p203) A lot of findings show that AL is directly and positively related to followers trust in the leader and the experience of positive emotions. (Agote&Aramburu 2016) Susan could show more positive emotions just like confidence, hope and so on. It will have a positive impact to implement AL.

List of references

Agote, L. Aramburu, N. Lines, R. (2016), Authentic leadership perception, trust in the leader, and followers’ emotions in organizational change processes. The Journal of Applied Behavioural Science, Vol. 52, (1), 35-63.

Anderson, M. H. Sun, P. Y. T. (2015), The downside of transformation leadership when encouraging followers to network. The Leadership Quarterly, 26, 790-801.

Graen, G. B., & Uhl-Bien, M. (1991). The transformation of professionals into self-managing and partially self-designing contributions: Toward a theory of leadership making. Journal of Management Systems, 3(3), 33-48.

Graen, G. B., & Uhl-Bien, M. (1995). Relationship-based approach to leadership: Development of leader-member exchange (LMX) theory of leadership over 25 years: Applying a multi-level, multi-domain perspective. Leadership Quarterly, 6(2), 219-247.

Little, L.M. Gooty, J. Williams, M. (2016), The role of leader emotion management in leader-member exchange and follower outcomes. The Leadership Quarterly, 27, 85-97.

Northouse, P. G. (2016), Leadership: Theory & Practice. Sage Edge. London

Ng, K.Y., & Chua, R.Y.J. (2006). Do I contribute more when I trust more? Differential

effects of cognition- and affect-based trust. Management and Organization Review, 2, 4366.


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