Business Case Study – Leadership Styles
1) How would you characterize George’s leadership style?
George Latour is the Chief Executive Officer of Retronics. His mandate is to grow revenues and
eventually turn the software engineering company into a listed public company within a
particular time frame. His style of leading the organization i.e. providing leadership,
implementing and motivating his employees is a combination of several leadership styles.
George Latour has exhibited democratic, authoritarian as well as transformational styles of
leadership. (Johnson and Hackman, 2003).
George maintains strict and very close control over Shelley stern by keeping and monitoring all
the company’s regulations and procedures personally and also overseeing her work. George
has created a very distinct and professional work related relationship with Shelley Stern.
Authoritative leaders believe in direct supervision as the key to maintaining successful business
or any work related environment. These type of leaders fear unproductive workers hence they
constantly supervise their workers in order to make sure ever thing is working as planned.
George is behaving like a teacher to Shelley Stern. He engages in a single way and downward
communication and basically controls all discussion. George latour’s hands-on management
style which can be considered couching style which sounds coercive to Shelley stern especially
Business Case Study – Leadership Styles 2
when she requests for assistance and George would ask for a list of what she’s working on. But
by assisting her to prioritize her work, Shelley Stern is actually feeling coerced by George as
checking and monitoring her to work every time over and over again makes her feel
threatened (Beatty & Quinn, 2010).
2) Is it the appropriate style? Why or why not?
George has exhibited several types of leadership styles. In the first instance, George has
proved that he authoritarian by maintaining strict and very close contacts with Shelley stern by
keeping and monitoring all the company’s operations and procedures personally and also
supervising her work. George has created a systematic and professional work related
relationship with Shelley Stern. As an authoritative leader, George believes in direct supervision
as the major source of successful in any business or to any work related environment. This kind
of style maybe best suited if all the employees are professional and the CEO does not have to
supervising every inch of an employee’s work. Authoritative leadership is one of the most
effective styles of leadership as the authoritative leaders are normally visionary and often
motivates their employees to work hard and achieve the organizations targets. To achieve the
set targets of the company, George has also embraced the coercive nature of leadership styles
that allows him to intimidate workers to work hard in order to achieve the company’s goals. It’s
the least effective of all the styles of leadership. Coercive style of leadership actually poisons
the general environment with hatred as workers feel disrespected and their responsibility also
disappears hence many new innovations and ideas are most likely to be rubbished and thrown
away. Coercive style of leadership has a negative effective on the company’s reward system.
Most workers who perform better than other employees are normally motivated by money and
better treatment. This style of leadership erodes employees pride and also fails to motivate
workers to work hard. Shelley Stern should advice George, the CEO to discontinue this line of
Business Case Study – Leadership Styles 3
leadership styles and instead reach out to other effective styles like the democratic
Coaching style like what Shelley Stern is performing under the CEO, George Latour. The aims
of the coaching style is normally directed towards making employees to be independent and
ready to perform challenging tasks upon which the management performance improves. The
CEO should encourage the use of coaching as it’s an effective way of training employees.
3) What strategies can Shelley employ to better manage her boss?
Shelley Stern should advice the CEO on the need to balance between the many leadership
styles that George is mostly depending on. For instance, on the authoritative leadership styles,
Sheller should advice the CEO not to force his ideas and policies on other people even if he’s
CEO. She should also have clear job description that outlines all her duties. (Barron &
Sheila should also assist George to conceptualize his role as the CEO and how he proposes to
achieve his goals. The role of the CEO is to steer the company together with its employees
towards achieving its primary revenue goals and profitability. Adopting the coercive style to
manage some of the companies’ functions, it will create lot problems for company. This style of
leadership creates a lot of enemies for the CEO and there’s need for him to discard these kind
of leadership as it finally leads to hatred among the staffs themselves and the management.
This is the least effective of all the styles of leadership. This style actually poisons the
environment with hatred as employees feel disrespected and their responsibility also evaporates
hence many new ideas are most likely to be rubbished and thrown away. Coercive style of
leadership has a negative effective on the company’s reward system. Most workers who
perform better than other employees are normally motivated by money and better treatment.
Business Case Study – Leadership Styles 4
Coercive style of leadership erodes employees pride and also fails to motivate workers to work
hard. (Martindale, 2011)
Coaching style by George seems to infuriate Shelly Stern hence it will most likely have the
same effect to other employees too. While performing these kind of services the CEO, George
Latour may be thinking how effective his management styles are. The aims of the coaching style
is normally directed towards making employees to be independent and ready to perform
challenging tasks upon which the management performance improves. The CEO should
encourage the use of coaching as it’s an effective way of training employees. But it should be
limited to the requests of the concerned party, and it should be voluntary on both parties. No
one should feel oppressed by the application of the coaching style. Stelley Stern can also adopt
some aspects of the contingency theories to rectify some decisions of the CEO. (Lutans, 2011)
The most ideal way to organize and manage a company depends entirely on the environment
that the company or organization is relating to. These as discussed above relates to his position
as the CEO and also the task of achieving the targeted revenue growth and later turn the
company into a public corporation and finally to lead other members of staff like Shelley.
Finally, different kinds of leadership styles cannot be used exclusively as a single type of
organizational management skills. Most organizations combine several types of management
styles in order to maintain a functioning organization.
Johnson, C. E. and Hackman, M. Z. (2003). Leadership, a communication perspective (4 ed.).
Waveland Press. p. 38. ISBN 9781577662846 .
Business Case Study – Leadership Styles 5
Martindale, N (2011). Leadership Styles: How to handle the different personas. Strategic
Communication Management 15 (8): 32–35.
Beatty, K., & Quinn, L. (2010). Strategic Command Taking the Long View for Organizational
Success. Leadership In Action, 30(1), 3-7.
Barron, B. G., & Henderson, M. V. (1995). Strategic leadership: A theoretical and operational
definition. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 22(2), 178.
Lutans, F., (2011) Twelfth Edition, Organisational Behavior, Tata McGraw Hill