Leaders in SAAS are facing challenges managing their teams and implementing the participative leadership approach. Lack of communication and clear structure and guidance from team leaders has created organizational problems and inter-personal conflicts.
Developing a hands-on training program for leaders and team members would help eliminating structural problems of the organization. Alternatively, returning to a more autocratic approach could address the current problems with lack of authority of team leaders and wasting resources.
Statement of the Problem
Replacing managers by team leaders has led to loss of control and authority over the employees. Team Leaders don’t have the necessary leadership skills and conflict resolution techniques to manage their teams. OA staff are suffering from lack of structure and guidance in their daily routines and there’s no practical procedure on how to achieve and contribute to overall organizational goals and objectives.
Causes of the Problem
Moving from autocratic leadership, where the managers make the decisions for the team, to a participative approach by empowering the employees, has led to creating conflict and confusion in the teams. The role of the team leader has not been clearly defined for the employees; hence, the OA staff don’t consider them as their superiors anymore and don’t feel obligated to follow the Team Leaders’ instructions strictly. Issues such as inter-personal conflicts remain unresolved within the teams due to absence of an effective leader and mediator.
Although, the strategic plan in Exhibit 2 clearly defines the vision and objectives of the company, it does not define a clear implementation plan and performance measurement system.
Exhibit 7 defines clear objectives for team Hodgson, but it’s only limited to that specific team. Since Metro teams don’t meet on a regular basis, the objectives are not communicated to the other teams, in order to see if they align with the overall organizational goals and objectives. Hence, there is lack of transparency and cross-functionality between the teams.
Resources are not allocated equally across the teams (eg. the country OA team is over- staffed, the budget is not allocated to each particular team) and there is no monitoring system over expenditures and resources of the organization.
Implementing a new leadership style and adapting to a new management system can be challenging at first and can create conflicts within the teams. Alternative solutions should be found to finalize the change in the organization and to keep it going when the change is implemented.
Decision Criteria and Alternative Solutions
Decision criteria considered to evaluate alternatives are time of implementation, expected efficiency (to avoid waste of time in the implementation), number of unresolved conflicts, allocation of resources, organizational culture and industry/sector, experience of similar organizations (other emergency public services like the fire department), and the proportion of routine vs. non-routine tasks.
Successful implementation of change in the organization requires that the process is more inclusive, so a participative leadership style is recommended. The decrease of decision levels would increase responsiveness to the day-to-day challenges. Since change is not a routine procedure, ideas of different levels of the organization should be taken into account. In self-managed teams, members are the decision-makers. This leads to high productivity and motivation. While self-managed teams do indeed undertake many of the responsibilities within the organization, they still require a certain degree of control as they could lose direction and require more structure in their teams.
Autocratic Leadership, on the other hand, states that team leaders make decisions without consulting their team members, even if their input would be useful. This can be appropriate when decisions need to be made quickly, such as