This case is about Zenova, Germany, which produces healthy and beauty products, is planning to choose a new manager of the team from two candidates (Elliot Smith and Silvia Adams) for taking place of Ryan Douglas. Douglas used to lead a team to work out a investigate about job satisfaction in subsidiary companies. Sixteen members were gathered to compete all these works during 18 months. They were from Europe, South America, the United States, Asia and the Middle East with different backgrounds. Nevertheless, much of the project can not be finished on time and most of it is inaccurate when four months pass. Further, both the morale of team members and the efficiency of work were low. In this case study report, Douglas’s problems will be identified and analyzed. Then two possible solutions will be presented. Finally, a recommendation will be made about the best solution for Zenova.
Problem identification and analysis
An analysis of this case shows that symptoms of low staff’s morale and productivity can be attributed to Douglas’s management skills, leadership styles and lack of cultural knowledges. An outstanding manager should be flexible in use of the three leadership styles (Directing style, Discussing style and Delegating style) to achieve goals. In addition, developing the skills of cultural empathy, communication competence and personal style also enhance to manage a multicultural workforce.
Firstly, Douglas lacks management skills. Communication is the significant skill for managers to exchange information. On the basis of the staff feedback, some of the members complained that Douglas does not like to spend time with subordinates and hates people disagree with him. According to Chapman et al (2005 p.108) the best circumspective particular project and excellent strategies will most fail possibly without effective communication. In addition, teamwork skill is also important for managers to focus on all the members working in the same direction. A good manager should have competence to motive and encourage their members of team to produce their best results. For example, some subordinates mentioned Douglas give the work without any interesting and challenging. According to (Horsley et al,2005 p.28) manager are not only anticipated to enforce staff work hard ,but also has ability to “get the best out of their staff”. Thus, the capacities of communication and teamwork are the most necessary management skills for leader.
Another issue is that Douglas was not able to use different leadership styles flexibly in appropriate occasions. The right direction and supports can be offered by using suitable style. In accordance with the staff feedback from Zenova, he did not really respond their suggestions or requests, in other words, he just wanted things done is his way. According to Thornton el at (2004 p.78) the directing style could be effective in employee without experience and skills. However, Douglas did not realize that employees of the team are different individuals and just used the same approach to treat to everyone,which led a staff who had 10 years experience and wanted more freedom felt confuse.Moreover, the discussing style is feasible when staff have their plan and self-confidence to express (Thornton er al,2004 p.80). It means Douglas should take time to discuss and give everyone a chance to contribute. Hence, this could explain why Douglas did not use the right leadership will be replaced.
The team’s difficulties seem also could relate to that Douglas was lacking cultural knowledge. For example, Douglas putted his feet on table in the meeting, rejected a supplied coffee and even brought lunch to have when the other people were fasting during Ramadan, which let subordinates felt he was ungracious and inconsiderate. According to Chang and Tharenou (2004 p.124), when managing a multicultural team the ability of cultural empathy, which claims manages needed to be able to see things from the