Introduction

A motivated workforce is essential in enhancing productivity within an organization (Yukl, 1994). Prior to the takeover by Michael, the management of Bedford Mowers made it their duty to put in place work incentives that kept the workforce a motivated lot.

Macro problems

Lack of motivation

When Michael took over this norm changed and the employees developed this feeling that their work was not being appreciated. Values such as hard work and success needed to be celebrated, although to Michael this was to come later after the new changes had started bearing fruits.

A Rigid Workforce

To Michael, there was need for to find a common purpose, that of diversifying the production of the company for the greater benefit to both the employer and employee. However this didn’t find a place in most of the employees and other stakeholders. Leadership is all about influencing others to achieve the organizational goals (Yukl, 1994).

Lack of Involvement of staff in the planning stages of the change process.    

It is imperative to note that Michael tried to incorporate the employees in his vision of change but at a later stage. It would have been wise had he done it in the initial planning stage. In essence, even though he tried to educate then on the new changes through his initial communication, the participation of both top-level and middle level management in the plans was wanting.

Micro problems

Sabotage

One of the major reasons for the failure of Michael’s plans was sabotage from the management. Instead of encouraging the staff to embrace the new changes, they ordered them to stick to the old technology.

Lack of follow up

The new owner style of management where he did not make a follow up to check if the change process was being implemented led to failure of the plan. Had Michael toured the factory earlier enough, he would have been able to detect where the problems and provide guidance.

Former management

The old style of management lived to haunt the new leadership. The staffs were too loyal to the old guards that they could hear none of the new leadership ideas. The former regime had treated the workforce as part of their family and didn’t encourage new employees outside the town and the family unit of the staff.

Causes

The above problems can be attributed to both the new and old management. The old management had instilled a traditional culture of being rigid to change. Hence, when the new management introduced drastic measures to change the way things were being run in the company, there was a lot of resistance from the staff leading to the failure of the planned change. On the other hand, the new leadership disregarded this tradition when introducing the new measures.

Systems affected

Production of lawnmowers

Purchasing of materials

Human resource department in terms of inclusion of new employees
Alternatives:
1-Production of a wide range of lawn mowers to sell in the external markets
2-Diversification of the source of supplies
3-Consulting the old management
Recommendations:
1 - To engage the staff in the planning of the change process.
2 - To try and blend the old style of leadership with the new one.

One of the greatest challenges facing leadership is resistance to change. According to Kouzes and Posner, people tend to harbor inherent feeling towards change (1995). They may resists change especially when it comes from another person or from outside the department. This is particularly what happened in Michael’s case in the new company. In situational leadership, the leader should be able to inspire the shared change, encourage others to embrace the change with intent of challenging the old process of management. Situational leadership calls for a flexible mode of management (Schermerhorn, 2001). The leadership style should be highly variable and not as rigid as it was at snowboard before Michael took over.

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