Leadership Research: Gene OneIn this paper Learning Team C of the University of Phoenix MBA520 class identifies four areas of concern within the Gene One case study relative to transformational leadership issues presented in the MBA520 course material. These four areas are: influence of leadership style on individual performance, strategies for developing/managing the group process, conflict management methods to enhance group and team performance and examination of the roles and interaction of group and team performance in relation to Gene One and the companies researched by our team.
The Gene One case study and scenario portrays a fast growing organization that must fund its growth potential by offering an initial public stock offering or IPO. The transition from small company to a public company requires adjustments in group and team management. Benchmarking studies that seek examples of solutions that other companies have successfully taken offers an approach for incorporating best practices into new management strategy and policy.
The Influence of Leadership Styles
Leadership is a complex concept that is defined as the ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute to the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members. Leaders use influence to motivate followers and arrange the work environment so that they do the job more effectively ( McShane and Glinow , 2005). Leaders exist throughout the organization, not just in the executive suite. Leaders apply various forms of influence; from subtle persuasion to more assertiveness, to ensure application of power and to ensure that followers have the motivation and role clarity to achieve specified goals. Leaders also arrange the work environment so that employees can achieve corporate objectives more easily ( McShane and Glinow , 2005).
AMGen has adopted good combination of transformational and Charismatic leadership.Their mission is to serve patients and values are to compete intensely and win, work in teams, create value for patients, staff and stockholders, trust and respect each other, ensure quality, collaborate, communicate and be accountable and be ethical (AMGen, 2006).These values and believes just shows us how leadership has created well behaved working environment while keeping clear communication between employees and leadership plays essential part to keep everybody on the same page about what to expect from each other. Genentech is no different either, leadership has adopted higher behavioral standards, which they call the Genentech Good Operating Principles (GGOPs), applied to their officers and employees, as well as to their directors in their activities on behalf of Genentech .by focusing on working environment and by leaving no gaps between leadership and employees they have created a unique environment worker friendly and professional working environment where their employs basic needs are satisfied so they can concentrate on company development. Since then they are committed to the highest standards of behavior at Genentech (Genentech, 2006).
Gene One?s corporate mission and values like Collaborate, Communicate and Be Accountable and commitment to the highest standards of behavior is lost, To resolve this in future Gene One?s leadership can start involving everybody needed in their board meetings so everybody is on the same page and release entire outcome in daily news line for company so their employees are not surprised by the outcome because all the employees knew their companies capability and believed in it and hence createhence of trust and worker friendly environment. Gene One?s corporate mission and values and commitment to the highest standards of behavior is lost, which we can see in the leadership meeting by not even valuing each other?s opinions ,or even experienced discussion are made without experts opinion. To mitigate this problem leadership can adopt higher behavioral standards something like the Genentech Good Operating Principles (GGOPs), applied to their officers and employees, as well as to their directors in their activities on behalf of Gene One .which will increase moral worker friendly environment and foster professionalism in between. Gene One?s leaders can learn how to communicate batter and model their vision in ways that would bring about meaningful change in the company just like Genentech and AMGen.
Strategies for Managing the Group Process
As Gene One grows, it must develop strategies for managing the group process. In order to do so, it must take into consideration contingencies of organizational design: organizational size, technology, external environment, and organizational strategy.
As the number of employees increase, ?job specialization increases due to greater division of labor,? while high levels of standardization take place to coordinate work, and a decentralized formal administrative hierarchy emerges (McShane & Glinow, 2005). Standardization deals with establishing a common goals and timelines. A formal hierarchy establishes a chain of command to aid with a clear understanding of who is responsible what for what. Gene One already seems to have a formal hierarchy established with Don Ruitz as the CEO 4 section heads; finance, marketing, technology and human resources. PCM AG, a car manufacturing company, demonstrated effectiveness of such a hierarchy (Appendix 2).
However, unlike the PCM AG, Gene One is a research company, and therefore the tasks performed by its employees are not redundant, but on the contrary employees are expected to be creative and hence variable. This second variable, technology, also affects the organizational design. A company, executing high variety tasks, is usually comprised of research teams. These teams are best suited to operate under a decentralized decision-making authority that allows for informal communication between team members (McShane & Glinow, 2005). Nevertheless, do to the growing nature of Gene One, a formal hierarchical structure must still exist, and therefore Gene One needs to consider combining the two structural approaches. Pratt & Whitney manages this successfully by allowing team based, informal communication structures within their divisionalized structures (Appendix 2A).
The next factor for Gene One is its external environment. The research nature of Gene One fosters a dynamic environment, which is good for team-based structures. Gene One also wants to increase customer base, therefore a diverse environment would be ideal along with the divisionalized structure practiced by Pratt & Whitney (Appendix 2A). A simple, integrated environment, as proven by PCM AG, can become a company?s downfall (Appendix 2).
Gene One needs to take all of the above into consideration?the company?s growth, variant technology, and environmental influence?before finalizing a company?s organizational structure. A decentralized, divisionalized/team-based structure would be a good option for Gene One?s organizational structure.
Roles and Interaction of Team Members
For a young company, Gene One has structured itself in a hierarchical organization putting CEO Don Ruiz at the top with the board of directors. A hierarchical organization formalizes the power, work communications, and assignments of work to individuals; hence, work is assigned by immediate supervisors through formal channels (McShane & Von Glinnow, 2004). The formal hierarchy is also inefficient and inaccurate in directing information between employees. McShane and Von Glinnow cite that the contemporary workforce is more educated and individualistic; therefore, it resists rigid structures that are commonly present in hierarchical work arrangements. This structure is evident when studying the Gene One interactions during the leadership team meetings where assignments of activities are meted out by CEO Don Ruiz on March 8 to his individual managers according to the subject matter. Furthermore, employees within the departments do not appear during meetings, but later are recognizable as sub-tier employees when they react to the work message delivered that assigns work products within 36 months such as Angela Thomas, VP of Technology Research Labs when she submits her resignation on April 25.
GE and FANUC, a very large joint venture company relative to Gene One, sensed early in its formation that its ability to gain dominance within the manufacturing automation product sector that it competes rested on its ability to retain, motivate and communicate to its workforce (Flynn, 1997). GE Fanuc established a Highly Involved Workforce (HWIF) initiative with its HR organization leading the development and training for both managers and lower level employees. Employees were assured of success and promised that no jobs would be cut in the process. Training of managers as coaches and employees as active decision making team members resulted in lower level employees communicating progress and brainstorming to upper management on a weekly basis. Training included meeting facilitation skills, goal-setting, problem solving and conflict management (Flynn, 1997). Evidence of success includes zero employee turnovers, highly motivated and rewarded cross-functional teams, and a workforce that can work concurrent multiple projects as a team.
Gene One must consider restructuring its organization to allow better utilization and communication within functional areas. Moving from a hierarchical format toward organic structure will allow for fluid sharing of tasks and information amongst team members. An opportunity exists for the creation of several teams each with the goal of producing new technology and new products; whereas, the existing system at Gene One keeps work in silos and product flows in sequential, discrete packages.
As we looked over some of the issues that Gene One is currently facing we have learned that Gene One must consider restructuring its organization to allow better utilization and communication within functional areas.
GE Fanuc Presented by
GE Fanuc is a joint venture operation between General Electric Company and FANUC Ltd of Japan formed in the mid 1980?s and headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia. GE Fanuc is a leading global supplier of technology and services to improve automation applications within industries such as machine tools, automotive manufacturing and robotics (GE, 2007).
In the mid-1980?s GE Fanuc under HR guidance provided by Donald Borwhat recognized that the organization that existed needed to be redesigned. The original organization was a hierarchical, task-oriented factory with many jobs that included the term ?administrate? which really meant hands-off management (Flynn, 1997). Together, Donald Borwhat and CEO Bob Collins, set out to restructure the organization to become a Highly Involved Workforce (HIWF). The HIWF concept moved HR representatives from the corporate offices to every functional group where they performed the role of transition facilitators. Functional group employees were paired with the HR representative as a liaison to coordinate necessary changes because as Borwhat cites, ?Change can?t come from HR. It has to come from the people?nothing ever comes out of an office directly to the floor mandating how things need to be done. We want individuals, the teams, the production associates, to tell us what they need? (Flynn, 1997).
Upper management supported the transition to teaming and guaranteed that it would not back away from the transition even if it took 10 years to complete. Management also approved training activities exceeding 100 hours per year, promised that no one would lose a job, and that the workforce would share in profits made by changes. Four areas of training included meeting facilitation skills, goal-setting, problem solving, and conflict management and negation (Flynn, 1997). Managers were named ?coaches? and all employees were issued day planners.
The results after 10 years of implementation are that everyone belongs to a team, cross-functional teams meet at least one hour every week to measure their progress and to brainstorm new strategies with the leaders of the company, manager coaches have shifted from policing the workforce to piling on encouragement, everyone enjoys profit sharing that is typically 3 weeks pay, and peer nominated awards of $5000 or more go to coaches or employees at ceremonies for exemplary work. Workers who are not supportive of the process are helped to find work elsewhere instead of remaining in the team environment. At the time of the research, workers were transforming from task oriented teams to assignments to resolve company-wide issues such as diversity.
National Weather Service presented by
The United States National Weather Service which is a division of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration identified that some of its regional offices were better able to predict tornadoes than others (Pollitt, 2005). Under contract by the NWS, a survey company, Sirota, was hired to review the variables between the offices including the number of staff present, available technology, storm force and the prevalence of storms in the region. Sirota discovered that cultural differences accounted for 26% percent of the differences between the offices.
NOAA developed a one week course of instruction to train its diversity consultants and human-resource advisors. The course goals were to build competency in organizational culture, cross-cultural communications, understanding and managing change, conflict resolution, organizational problem solving, systems diagnosis, strategic planning, process mapping and meeting facilitation (Pollitt, 2005). Central to the program is Myers-Briggs type identification of personalities and training in appropriate methods to employ for best handling of combinations of personality traits that may arise in a workforce such as that found in NOAA and NWS with scientists, biologists, engineers, meteorologists, administrators and supporting staff.
NOAA and NWS leaders recognize the value for this training and attribute it to their core values of attracting and retaining technical workers who are responsible for the lives and safety of their customers. A spokesman at NOAA cites, ?Our workforce must be as diverse as our global customer base, and our systems must support that diversity?As a champion of diversity, I hold myself, and the NOAA leadership, accountable for modeling the appropriate behaviors that necessary for the effective management of diversity and the creation of a positive climate of learning, innovation, flexibility, inclusion, opportunity and growth. I have the same expectations of all employees? (Pollitt, 2005). Where diversity of the workforce is promoted NOAA and Sirota expect the fostering of innovation, the creation of a safer working environment, higher levels of employee commitment, a positive impact on customer satisfaction, and improved financial performance.