Mountain West Health Plans Inc In every organization, success depends on, among other factors, the leadership exhibited by its management. Leadership may be defined as the behavioral act of creating conducive environment whereby people exploit their full potential with a view of realizing organization’s vision and mission. There are four key leadership styles, commonly referred to as Dimensional Behavioral Model, and illustrated as Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 representing dominant-hostile, submissive-hostile, submissive-warm, and dominant-warm respectively. In the case of mountain west health plans Inc.
the leadership styles displayed by Quinn, Rasmussen and Evelyn are very elaborate and reflect directly to the performance of the organization. Evelyn Gustafson’s leadership style reflects Q3 whereby there is low concern for productivity but a very high concern for people. Being experienced and knowledgeable on the tasks, her main objective was to make sure that the whole of her department’s staff was comfortable, happy and gave satisfactory information to subscribers. The latter was achieved through training and the end result was customer satisfaction and a very peaceful working environment.
The style is useful in coordinating and harmonizing people in the firm. However, Evelyn’s overfriendliness to subordinates had a negative effect to the firm’s efficiency. She gave them too much freedom and breaks, the end result being few calls being made and complaints of customers hold-up. This style of management tends to be unstructured, decisions are made based on popularity, conflicts resolved on smoothing-over and there is likelihood that someone with, say Q1 behavior, may take advantage of the Q3 submissiveness.
Evelyn derived her influence from happiness and comfort of subordinates around her with no complaints whatsoever. Her main desire was to satisfy her social needs. Erik Rasmussen on the other hand had a Q1 style of leadership whereby he preferred productivity over the feelings of people. His main objective was to ensure the number of calls went up, costs went down and efficiency improved, all of which he achieved. Erik was hostile and aggressive, he was a hands-on manager with a mind to win, and his communication was one way – ‘do it my way or leave’.
This style focuses predominantly on results and it is well structured. Testimony to this is that Erik managed to raise turnover from 10% to 30%. However, the domineering effect of this style instills fear and insecurity, which leads to low morale and poor quality of output. In the case of Mountain West, although the number of calls increased, the quality of those calls reduced and led to increased complaints from unsatisfied customers due to inaccurate information by pressed staff. This style suppresses development of skills and denies subordinates opportunity to make independent decisions.
Erik’s source of influence is the belief that people must be pushed to work and his desire to satisfy his recognition and respect needs. Quinn, as the leader in the firm, should recommendation that Erik reduce the hostility towards workers while at the same time maintaining the dominant effect by adopting the Q4 behavior. Once the workers feel respected, they will get motivated to work and will not be affected by the pressure exerted by Erik. This change will be possible through performance appraisal which will highlight the gains in output and the dwindling quality of work.
Quinn will have to reiterate that the consequence of subscribers’ complaints will be loss of their confidence and probably loss of business. Therefore Eric should warm up to people but still be forceful. From the above discussion, the management style adopted by a manager is very crucial on the performance of the firm. The manager should have clarified expectations, be given freedom to perform and held accountable for the results. This will ensure that the best leadership style is followed.