Case Study: Leadership and Power (Case Study Sample)
This case study featured in your textbook will allow you to apply the concepts you have learned regarding contemporary leadership approaches and power dynamics to the situation that Annie is currently experiencing in her position.
Please make sure to read all your assigned readings to help you with this assignment.
Students should use the template provided in the daily announcements for their written assignment.
Your paper must include three to four pages of written content.
Use APA format and cite sources, as necessary.
In addition to the mimimun 4 pages pages of written content, please include:
Appropriate Headings and Sub-Headings
Reference Page (minimum of 2 scholarly references)
Use a minimum of 2 scholarly references—scholarly references can include peer-reviewed articles, textbook, journals, and included supplemental resources.
Required Text(s) and Materials
Textbook Title: Managing Human Behavior in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
Edition #: 5
Author: R.B. Denhardt, J.V. Denhardt, M.P. Argistigueta, & K. Rawlings
Chapter 7: Leadership in Public Organizations
Chapter 8: Power and Organizational Politics
Leadership and Power Case Study
Leadership and Power Case Study
Source of Power
Legitimate power can be observed in this case study. One can identify legitimate power, having keenly observed Peter's treatment or relationship with Annie and her subordinates. In most cases, legitimate power is derived from people's beliefs and values about a particular individual. The person in question has the right to exert influence or control themCITATION Lev09 \m Den18 \l 2057 (Levina & Orlikowski, 2009; Denhardt, Denhardt, Argistigueta, & Rawlings, 2018). However, in the public and non-profit sectors, legitimate power is derived from one's position or job title within the organization. For instance, Peter was Annie's mentor when she joined the organization. Currently, he is the agency's assistant director, where he runs the agency's day-to-day activities. By being the second-highest employee within the agency, he has considerable legitimate power. Through this early relationship, she can rarely challenge him or his actions. Legitimate power can also be illustrated when Annie's employees stop going to her with issues and Peter for possible solutions. Other incidences include dismissing her recommendations or suggestions and ignoring her request to increase employees' salaries. Lastly, it can be seen in Peter's action to reassign one of her subordinates without informing her.
Factors contributing to Annie’s Problems
Other than the several problems that Annie is facing within the agency, there seems to be a task structure. Task structure is the extent to which tasks within an organization are either structured or unstructured when undertaken by the team leader and the teamCITATION Den18 \l 2057 (Denhardt, Denhardt, Argistigueta, & Rawlings, 2018). In situations where tasks are not highly structured, the team leader does not have control compared to a situation where tasks are highly structured. Based on the case study, Peter seems to be overstepping his mandate because tasks within the agency are not highly structured to give Annie more control, and it would give little room for her juniors in the department to question her effectiveness or stop engaging with her on issues that concern her area of responsibility.
Secondly, Annie faces a problem of position power. Position power is the degress to which the team leader's position enables them to exact their influence or control and ensure that team members comply with their decisions CITATION Som02 \l 2057 (Somech & Drach-Zahavy, 2002). This problem is evident because her employees have begun questioning her effectiveness and stopped engaging or bypassing her. Her lack of position power can also be demonstrated when Peter dismissed her case for salary increment without listening to anything that she had to say. It can also be seen when Peter does not take her recommendations or suggestions seriously.
Thirdly, Annie is facing a personal relationship problem within the agency. Leaders must have a personal relationship with their juniors or team members to be influential in any setup. Furthermore, a personal relationship will also involve one's personality and how the leader treats her subordinates. Although the case study does not highlight incidences where Annie mistreated her subordinates, it seems that a strong personal relationship is lacking. One can point to the incidences where her subordinates bypass her and go directly to Peter or other persons to address their issues. If she had a strong personal relationship with her subordinates, they could have approached her since they trusted her or had a strong bond.
For Annie to accomplish her new responsibilities effectively, she has to address the factors within her control within the shortest time possible. The problems associated with task structure and position power are out of her control and must be addressed by top management. However, she can address her personal relationship with her team members. The lack of personal relationships has resulted in the loss of confidence in her leadership. To address this problem by changing her personality by standing up to Peter, who constantly undermines her. She can also gain their respect through showcasing her knowledge or wisdom and ultimately making good decisions.
There are various contemporary approaches to leadership that Annie has to consider while in her current leadership position. The approach has to be conscious that she is working in a public and non-profit sector with different leadership dynamics than the private sector. I would encourage Annie to take a positive leadership approach. Although this type of leadership approach is highly effective and encouraged in profit-making setups, it would also be effective in this situation. Positive leadership borrows heavily from the positive psychology approach in which individuals and firms, doing what is right, being objectionable, and inspiring is often emphasized CITATION Cun20 \l 2057 (Cunha, Rego, Simpson, & Clegg, 2020). Despite a concentration on the strengths and opportunities in the organization, there is a genuine interest in addressing the weaknesses and problems that plague the agency.
By using this approach, Annie will be using her position and power to create a working environment in which her subordinates thrive. In the process, not only will there be an improvement in the agency's and employee performance, they will be confident in her leadership. Fostering a positive work environment within the agency is paramount with this approach. It would require her to show compassion towards her subordinates. She can express concern or organize systemat
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