1. (TCO 3) Prepare a five to seven paragraph response proposing leadership styles you would recommend for the Denver Airport Project. Please choose a combination (two or three) of the eight leadership styles presented in the Thompson textbook (Chapter 11: Leadership: Managing the Paradox). Please note that you are to also use three other sources from the internet or the DeVry online library. All sources must be cited. (Points : 30) Based on the reading it is hard to give a single leadership style or even a combination of leadership styles because there are so many different levels of productions and management for this project. Each level of management will have their own required type of leadership and while some styles may overlap, there will be differences for each level. For a project this large you are more than likely to run in to just about every type of leadership style at some point.
When we start at the top you see that there is a Collaborative Leadership between the City, Greiner Engineering, and Morrison-Knudsen Engineering. Collaborative leaderships work well but even with a collaborative leadership there needs to be an organizer that directs the flow of discussions and determines outcomes in the event of a stalemate. This is not discussed in the passage and it is not determined who has the final say. Typically this would be the city since they are the owners but in many cases it also depends on the how contracts are written. While in the long run the city can make the final decision depending on the way the contract is written the city may have to pay to make those decisions. Without more information on the contract with the city and the engineering firms we cannot confirm if it is a true collaborative leadership.
But there are other aspects that are brought up that bring up more concerns with the management systems used. While it appears to would be a collaborative leadership it does not seem as if everyone is on board with the same ideas. By separating the design and the functionality we run into issues that were not properly discussed ahead of time. In this case a democratic leader would be helpful to facilitate discussions among the different groups. Furthermore when there is an issue over function verse design the democratic leader can help to facilitate a compromise that works for everyone. It does not appear as if there is any leadership helping to give direction. As you read through the passage it appears that instead of a collaborative leadership we have a delegating leadership in which the city tells everyone what they are looking for and then leaves it up to them to take care of it from there. Based on the passage it almost seems at times that the city has a laissez-faire style which on allows for more problems to arise.
These changes and issues only slow the design and in turn would slow construction. This is evident with how the baggage system was handled. First due to the lack of leadership in the planning phase the baggage system was started way too late in the project life cycle. This falls back on the fact there was not enough active leadership in the planning phase. This also falls on the fact the risk management did not seem to pick up on this either. While it falls on the leaders risk management on this project was broken down only slightly and in turn left a wide variety of situations and issues undiscussed. This goes back to active leadership in which there does not appear to be anyone going back an asking question and looking to the future to see what issues may come up. Too many people appeared too tied up with the here and now and nobody had the foresight to look ahead to see what issues were coming.
I did find it interesting that risk analysis was only broken down into cost, human resources, and bad weather. While I would agree that these three areas are important and needed to be address, I am surprised the equipment and materials were not on the list. While the three listed are concerns for most projects, I cannot remember the last time I was on a project where equipment and material deliveries were not areas of concern to be addressed. I was even more surprised to see in the November 1994 passage that they went a while without a risk manager especially given all the issues they had already run into. Again I would say that there is a lack of leadership and the city needed to take a more active role but at the same time that leadership needs to be a cooperation with all the major players so that everyone can get on the same page and help each other to identify issues like the baggage before it became an issue.
On a side note I would say that I do believe that they did well with their choice in regards their choice of leaders for the movement of equipment between airports as described in the Sept. 1993 section. Using a person with military leadership for this type of move is a wise choice in my opinion. Given the complexity and time restraints of this type of move there is not a lot of room for error. The military is good about training leader that are willing to take recommendations when there is time for it and will to make decisions when there is no time. In this case with the complexity it would have taken a team to come up with the plan but when the plan is over and the move starts you need people that can think quickly and adjust to unknown issues as they come up. There is often no time for discussions because in this case ever second wasted only causes more delays.
But as I said in the beginning there are several different types of leadership styles that take place on a project like this. While I have discussed the upper areas a management there are several areas were team building, mentoring, and other leadership requirements are needed more. People often look at the top for how a project is managed but in this case how the contractor and leaders near the bottom manager there people is sometime more important. So while a cooperative group of leaders that were more active would have been ok for the top it would not have worked for many of the lower levels.
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