This case is about three indivuals with different leadship styles. Brandon Newbridge is a synthesizer, which means, he is a eclectic, thinker, pragmatist, and “whatever works” kind of leader. Dr. William Goh’s is like a partner, which means he is mentor who passes his wisdom down to other. He is conscientious , collaborative, ego-free, and is able to work side by side with his peers. Lester Zapf is an achiever, which means “ebullient leader” who is excellent motivator, communicator, and can influces others to follow his ideas, values and beliefs regardless of their agreement or disageement with him.
Synopsis of Case Study:
Dr. Goh (Project Head) appointed Newbridge as a project head of Photon Corrlator project about 2 year ago. Newbridge is in laboratory trying to figure out a solution for a problem that keeps on rising during his tests. Lester Zapf (a mathematician) walks in and starts to look over plans and preliminary results of Newbridges project after introducing himself. He makes some remarks about autocorrelation functions, which Newbridge does not understand and that annoyed him.
Newbridge goes to Dr. Goh to find out little more information about Zapf, and Goh asks him what he thinks of Zapf. He tells Newbridge that he is plans to take him on and ask if it will be okay with him if he can joins Newbridge’s team. After saying yes to Goh, Newbridge starts to worry about his own position without asking any further details about Zapf. Newbridge let Zapf takes control of his projects and let him undermine his other team members. Instead of solving a conflict between him and Zapf, and Zapf and other team members he leave his project incomplete to gets job somewhere else.
He writes letter to Dr. Goh about his leave by using false excuses instead of real reason for his leave. This is disappointment for Dr. Goh because now he had to temporary give leadership of Photon project to Link until he finds replacement. Zapf was more interested in Air Force project. Diagnosis of Case Study: Newbridge failed to discuss his opinions, feeling, and conflicts with his team members and Dr. Goh. This communication barrier caused his inability to exercise authority and control over his team. This reduced his self-confidence in his capabilities. Since he never discuss Zapf role in his team with Dr. Goh, he became insecure about his own role. He disregarded the fact that he was the project leader and stared to avoid meetings. He intentionally let Zapf took over his position by allowing him to lead the team. Instead of dealing with situation, he uses the exit approach because Zapf challenged his personal values.
Zapf is enthusiastic about using his ability’s to help solve past issues that made photon experiment test unsuccessful. He got so involved in solving those issues that he didn’t realize what he was doing to rest of his team members. He created insecurities within the team. His individual style and values challenged the cultural norm. Zapf is straightforward about is progress of team’s work and opening sharing his ideas among team members. This is the reason he called Newbridge at 2 am to share what he found was the cause of the problem and how it should be solved. He is more about solving problems and completing tasks then keeping team more productive. He believed more in individual accomplishment then team efforts.
Dr. Goh was very fond of Newbridge, that he values his feedback about Zapf. He believed that Newbridge was very satisfied with his position, therefore, he thought it was very strange for Newbridge to send him resignation letter. When question about teams view on Zapf attending that special meeting is raised Dr. Goh’s quick responses to how team should have no problem due to Zapf different position was unethical. Proposed Solutions to Case Study
Newbridge should have told Dr. Goh both positive and negative qualities of Zapf. He should tell how important teamwork is for his project. He should point out discomfort that team feels around Zapf. How Zapf’s inability to work as a team member is affecting his project and him. He should acknowledge Zapf’s efforts in solving the problem, but also point out how he and other members of team influenced the project so far. This will help him feel like he is in charge of the project instead of Zapf. Also, this will help Dr. Goh decide if Zapf is capable of running his own team or not.
In addition, Newbridge should confront Zapf privately about his view on importance of teamwork. He should make it clear that this kind of projects is more efficient when whole team is involved. How it would inconvenient if team member quits on them without completing the project. How expensive it would we to hire and train new team members. This could cause delay in project. He should also ask if he is planning to stay with the project until completions.
He should use reciprocal interdependence to improve interpersonal communication to help coordinate his team. This can motivate his other team members to help him produce better results. Team competencies is another think Newbridge should adapt for his team in order to for his team to be more productive. The Five C’s that consist of team Competence are Cooperating, Coordinating, communicating, comforting, and conflict resolving. Every team member should follow these 5 characteristics to be effective team member.
Zapf’s should learn how to productive team member before taking over a leadership role. His inability to communication properly with team members can cause he own project to fall apart. Emotional intelligence plays important role in the organization’s effectiveness. It will improve Zapf’s ability to interact in social environment. This will improve interpersonal relations with team members.
Although, reciprocal interdependence and team competency motivates team and help build strong communication skills, it can negatively affect team member that produce more than rest of the team members. For example, Zapf is more productive because he evaluated the situation and brought in effective ideas to solve the problem. Even after team evolution, no other team members discovered the cause of problem. If Newbridge and his team does not recognize Zapf’s individual effort, he will lose his ability to motivate himself and others. For his effort, Zapf should receive performance-based reward. Only way a team can became productive is through motivation.
Newbridge should value Zapf’s ability to work independently but should also mentor him on how important team works is to this project. If Newbridge can clearly communicate with Zapf about conflict between him and his other team member, maybe this will give Zapf opportunity to improve his team management skills. This will not only help him in this project but also in future projects. However, these solutions can backfire if Zapf takes it offensively.
It is important to provide each team members guideline before they become part of the team. Each member should follow these guidelines to make team more competent. The number one rule should be to communicate more efficiently. Communication is the key to have more productive team. The more dynamic each team member is better the overall result of project. The negative consequence is that this could also give other members of team to steal ideas from each other’s. Therefore, it would be wise to present idea at meetings with presence of Project head.
It is important to evaluate each member as an individually and as a team. If each member’s abilities are acknowledged individually, he/ she might form affective commitment with the project. It could make it harder for them to leave the project incomplete. Entrance of a new member in the preexisting team with no prior knowledge or different beliefs and values can reduce the determination of a team. This in result will make longer process to complete the project.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 2 October 2016
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