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Human Relations in the Organization: Chapter 7 Leading People Within Organizations Study Guide/Notes

Updated on June 23, 2015

7.1 Leading People Within Organizations

  • Which of the following words is BEST defined as “moving others toward a shared objective”?

Leadership means moving others toward a shared objective. Leadership can exist at all levels of the organization, and under different categories such as formal and informal leaders.

  • Which type of leader has a high position and is able to leverage that position into motivation and forward progress on organizational goals and vision achievement?

Formal leaders are able to leverage their position of authority into productivity and action. Informal leaders do not have the benefit of formalized authority but are able to influence others through different means.

7.2 Taking on the Pepsi Challenge: The Case of Indra Nooyi

  • How has Indra Nooyi been able to achieve great success as the CEO of PepsiCo?

The case study suggests that the key instrument of Nooyi’s success has been her long-term vision for healthy products, high performance standards, and respect for others.

7.3 Who Is a Leader? Trait Approaches to Leadership

  • Which of the following statements MOST accurately reflects one of the aspects of the trait approach to leadership?

Research shows a strong correlation between being tall and being perceived as a leader. It’s possible that self-esteem is the key trait creating this correlation. Intelligence is a moderate predictor of leadership ability, while extraversion is the strongest predictor of leadership ability in the Big Five list. Integrity impacts leadership effectiveness, and the emotional intelligence of an individual matters with the entry process into high-level management positions.

  • John is a manager who has an internal locus of ambition and is able to relate well to others. His subordinates report that he listens well, acts with respect, and makes jokes with them. What form of intelligence does John MOST likely have?

John has a high emotional intelligence, represented by his self-awareness, intrinsic motivation, empathy, and social awareness. The main aspect of emotional intelligence is the ability to control emotions and understand others.

  • Aaliyah is focused, task-oriented, goal-setting, punctual, and very helpful to her peers when they are in need. Which of the Big Five characteristics does Aaliyah most clearly exhibit?

Because she is organized, systematic, punctual, achievement-oriented, and dependable, Aaliyah is a conscientious person.

  • Jean is often sent by her employer to trade shows, conferences, and sales meetings. She is willing to go up to anyone and just start talking. She knows how to read people and is very good at networking. What leadership trait does Jean MOST clearly exhibit?

Jean is clearly extraverted. She is likely agreeable as well, which is important for forming business relationships, but her extraversion stands out more strongly than her agreeableness.

  • Your manager has decided to take for herself the bonus provided by corporate for being the branch with the highest sales numbers for the year. However, the bonus is supposed to be distributed equally between all members of the branch. What leadership quality does your manager lack?

Your manager lacks integrity by not behaving in an ethical fashion. This type of behavior does not demonstrate good leadership.

7.4 What Do Leaders Do? Behavioral Approaches to Leadership

  • Which of the following behavior types is represented by delineating the tasks of subordinates, providing guidance and help, and attempting to increase team productivity?

Task-oriented behaviors are directives and goal-achieving motivators concerned with increasing productivity.

  • Which of the following actions is an example of a people-oriented leadership behavior?

People-oriented leader behaviors involve respect for employees and concern for their feelings. These types of leaders care about the well-being of their employees and reflect that concern in their actions.

7.5 Leader Decision Making

  • Nellie is a manager for a law office in a large city. She typically defers decisions to her subordinates, especially on questions that they are more knowledgeable about. She offers guidance and assistance where appropriate but otherwise trusts her employees to make fair and honest decisions. What decision-making style does Nellie use?

Laissez-faire decision making occurs when the manager allows employees the full power to make their own decisions, providing minimal guidance and involvement only where necessary.

  • Luis is a manager for a technology firm that specializes in website hosting, and he has divided his department into several mini-teams for greater creativity. He meets with each team before a big decision needs to be made and allows each member to provide input and give their opinion on what should be done. What decision-making style does Luis use?

Democratic decision making occurs when employees participate in the decision-making process. Since Luis is allowing his members to provide input and give opinions, he must be using this style.

  • Which of the following managerial perspectives suggests that employees are all slackers, work only for a paycheck, and try to get away with as little work as possible?

Theory X, as presented by Douglas MacGregor, suggests that some managers, thinking that employees are inherently lazy, structure the work environment to be rigid and typically take full responsibility for everything that occurs in the workplace.

7.7 Fiedler’s Contingency Theory

  • If you have a high Least Preferred Coworker (LPC) score, what does that suggest about you?

A high LPC score means that you like everyone you work with. Fiedler’s LPC scale suggests that if you can still say that the person you do not like working with is a nice individual, you have a high LPC score. You are able to separate your perception of an individual from the working relationship.

  • Bonnie has established a working environment where, if she respectfully asks subordinates to perform a task through specific instructions, they usually perform well. However, her superior is a micromanager and is extremely controlling, so she does not have a lot of power in her own department. What kind of situation is this, according to Fiedler’s situational favorableness scale?

Since her leader-subordinate relations are good and her task structure is high, Bonnie has established a favorable situation despite her low level of position power. This means that she has a low LPC leader score and is able to do well despite her manager’s meddling.

7.8 Situational Leadership

  • According to Situational Leadership Theory (SLT), which of the following is the most important characteristic in determining which leadership style to use?

Employee readiness is the key factor in determining which leadership style a leader should pick, according to Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey’s Situational Leadership Theory.

  • You are a manager at a large automobile manufacturing plant, and you have noticed that one of your subordinates, who just started a month ago, is not very good at her job and makes several mistakes each week. However, she is very motivated, works long hours, and is always willing to pitch in and help. What type of leadership style should you use in this situation, according to Situational Leadership Theory?

According to SLT, you should use directing behavior when an employee is low in competence and high in commitment.

7.9 Path-Goal Theory of Leadership

  • Janice is the general manager of a local coffee shop and she is very straightforward with new baristas, providing clear tasks, using storytelling to introduce them to the culture, and providing clarity when they ask questions. She is almost always at the shop, ensuring that things are done right and that everything is flowing smoothly. What leadership style is Janice using?

Janice is using a directive leadership style. Typically, directive leaders provide specific instructions, set regular schedules, and ensure that every employee is aware of his or her job and daily tasks.

  • Oscar has a bulletin board in front of his office that lists specific challenges each employee has picked for inspiration. He is supportive and encouraging, willing to help his employees in pursuit of their goals. What type of leadership style is Oscar using?

By helping his employees remember and reach their goals, Oscar is using the achievement-oriented leadership style. This style is most effective when employees are talented and properly motivated.

  • The path-goal theory of leadership, as presented by Robert House, is based on which motivational theory?

The path-goal theory of leadership focuses on the expectancy theory of motivation. The leader’s job is to help foster and establish employees who are satisfied and have high performance.

  • Which of the following is an accurate statement regarding the path-goal theory?

The unique aspect of House’s theory is that it is important for a leader to vary his or her leadership style based on the situation at hand.

7.10 Vroom and Yetton’s Normative Decision Model

  • What purpose does the leadership decision tree serve?

The decision tree asks a series of questions that help the leader determine how much information he or she needs from the team in order to make an informed decision. The leader can make a decision, consult individual team members, facilitate a discussion, or delegate the decision to another.

  • Which decision-making style in Vroom and Yetton’s model is characterized by a leader who shares a problem with group members (one at a time or in a meeting), but ultimately makes the final decision alone?

A leader using the consultative style will share the problem with the group and then ultimately make a decision about it alone.

  • A leader who follows the questions through the decision tree and ultimately decides to empower his team members to make the decision themselves is using what decision-making style?

Delegation occurs when the leader gives the team full decision-making power and stands behind their choice.

7.11 What’s New? Contemporary Approaches to Leadership

  • Amy is a manager and a very fair boss. When her employees do a good job, she rewards them for their hard work with bonuses, raises, and extra time off. She trains them well and then lets them go do their job, only stepping in if something goes wrong that only she can fix. What kind of contemporary leader is Amy?

Amy manages with a transactional style, which includes giving contingent rewards, active management by exception, and passive management by exception.

  • Magellan is a manager at Amy’s company. While he’s not in the top team, he leads his department with rousing speeches that are full of big ideas and long-term goals. He is often pursuing side projects that cause him to think outside the box and is particularly careful to let his employees know that he cares about them. What kind of management style is Magellan demonstrating?

Magellan is a transformational leader who uses charisma, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation, and individualized consideration to lead his subordinates.

  • You have just been given the position of vice president of internal affairs, and your main job is to head the HR department and ensure that morale is high. Which of the following pieces of advice should you follow in order to inspire your subordinates to perform well and succeed?

One important way to inspire subordinates to succeed is to instill confidence in them by indicating that you have full faith in them. Other key factors include being passionate about your ideas, challenging the status quo, and emphasizing a long-term vision that is tied to history.


7.12 Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory

  • You have established a high-quality Leadership Member Exchange (LMX) relationship with your immediate superior. Which of the following accurately describes that relationship?

If you have a high-quality LMX relationship with your boss, then you will both like, respect, and help one another.

  • Which of the following is an aspect of LMX theory that contributes to the construction of a high-quality LMX?

Leader delegation is a factor that contributes to the construction of a high-quality LMX. Other factors include leader fairness, liking, personality similarity, employee flattery of the leader, employee feedback seeking, leader delegation, and effort in relationship building.

  • Which of the following is an accurate statement regarding LMX theory?

Because high LMX employees are often treated preferentially, low LMX employees might feel that their situation is unfair and unsupportive.

  • You are in a situation where you do not believe that your boss likes you, so you have a low-quality LMX relationship with him. Which of the following is a positive step you can take to change the relationship to a high LMX one?

Making sure you are on time, performing well, and asking for big projects will help foster a high-quality exchange. It is important to interact with your boss, find out what similarities you share, sincerely compliment him, be reliable, and start as soon as possible after you are hired.

7.13 Servant Leadership

  • Which of the following BEST describes the main mission of a servant leader?

Servant leadership is mostly concerned with meeting the needs of others, especially employees and their goals.

  • You are a new manager at an office supply company. You really like the concept of servant leadership, but don’t know how to become a servant leader. Which of the following is a good way to start down the path toward servant leadership?

The first step towards servant leadership is to ask what you can do for your employee instead of what your employee can do for you. It also helps to be humble, open with information, helpful in reaching employee goals, and connected to the external community through volunteering.

7.14 Authentic Leadership

  • Which of the following BEST defines authentic leadership?

Authentic leadership commits to honesty and integrity instead of fitting into a particular mold or style. It embraces the leader’s background and personality and uses those to his or her strength.

7.15 The Role of Ethics and National Culture

  • How can leaders inspire employees to be more ethical?

By acting as a role model for ethical behavior, leaders can inspire their employees to be more ethical. Other methods include rewarding ethical behaviors, publicly punishing unethical behaviors, and setting high expectations for the level of ethics.

  • Which of the following culturally relative statements regarding leadership is TRUE?

It is true that in Egypt, a leader must be distant, caring, and autocratic. Egyptians would prefer their leaders to behave in the manner of benevolent autocrats.

  • What findings did the GLOBE research group indicate about leadership and culture?

The GLOBE study found that there are some traits that appear to be universal across cultures. Such traits include leader effectiveness, honesty, decisiveness, trustworthiness, and fairness. Undesirable characteristics include irritability, egocentrism, and reclusiveness.

7.16 Leadership Development: The Case of Starbucks

  • What aspect of leadership has Starbucks cultivated in order to maintain consistency across multiple CEOs?

Starbucks has cultivated leadership development and is committed to maintaining the company’s unique organizational culture, which is established through leadership development and succession training.

  • According to the case study, why does Starbucks call its employees “partners”?

Employees are called partners in order to create a unique organizational culture that values commitment. Choosing to call employees partners suggests that each new hire could one day be the CEO of the entire company and helps maintain the company’s unique organizational culture.


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    • Benny01 profile image

      Ijeoma Peter 22 months ago from Lagos, Nigeria

      Wonderful article, that's correct; giving emloyees a sense of belonging and as well taking them along is a great way to motivate them which in turn will result to high productivity and commitment on their part.

      Thanks for sharing such an insightful hub.

    • misty103 profile image
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      misty103 22 months ago

      Hi Benny01 I am glad you liked my hub, I have a few others on similar topics that you can view from my profile if you are interested.

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