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Case Study Analysis: Canadian Police Detachment

Part A consists of three questions.

  1. Emotional contagion receives relatively little attention in organizational behaviour literature (it is studied mostly by psychologists), yet it is an important part of social interaction in the workplace. Define and discuss emotional contagion, and identify two ways this phenomenon can benefit organizations.

  2. Almost every day, supervisors must help employees resolve conflicts with other employees. Which third-party conflict-resolution strategy do supervisors use most often, and why do they tend to prefer this style? Also identify one third-party intervention that managers should apply in everyday disputes, and explain why that strategy should be used most often.

  3. The president of Advanced Systems Corp. wants the company to have a strong organizational culture around a specific set of values. As a vice-president, you are concerned that the president may be trying to strengthen the culture too much, thereby creating a corporate cult. Describe three potential problems with having an organizational culture that is too strong. Provide an example of how each problem might negatively affect the organization and its employees. 

Read the case study below, and answer the three discussion questions that follow. Avoid repetition.

Donna Lindsay, staff sergeant and commander of a Canadian regional police force detachment, just learned that she was not getting a replacement for a constable who had recently retired. Lindsay’s superintendent said, “Hiring freezes are in effect until the next budget year, so you’ll have to figure out a way for the other constables to pick up the work.” Donna spent the rest of the day deciding how to divide the work among the other officers in her detachment.

The next morning at the daily briefing session, Donna announced the hiring freeze and that the constable position would not be replaced. She explained how she had divided the job into seven categories so that one constable would be responsible for each. Donna then informed the officers of the additional work that would be added to their duties. During the rest of the session, Donna couldn’t help notice that many weren’t reacting favourably to the announced assignments.

The next day, one constable, Earl, was waiting for her at her office door. “Why did you assign me to deal with the media?” he asked. “I hate being in front of a camera. Can’t you tell someone else to do this?”

Before long, another staff member, Joe, was at Donna’s door. “Can’t you reassign the travelling presentations to someone else? I have a wife and young children. This detachment covers a large area with small communities, and asking me to travel all over is really unfair to my family.”

By the end of the day, the seven constables had produced seven complaints. Donna re-examined the tasks and duties, attempted to juggle and switch assignments, and considered everyone’s concerns, but it nearly drove her crazy. She concluded there was nothing she could do to make everyone happy. She called another staff meeting and said, “I’ve tried to accommodate you, but it can’t be done. Take the assignments I’ve given you, and do your best.”

The officers didn’t take to this decision very well and started taking matters into their own hands. Earl said to Joe, “I know you hate the travelling presentations, so I’ll do them if you’ll take my assignment.” Roz told Linda, “I’ll give you my research work if you’ll do the evidence cataloguing.” When other staff heard about the trading, they joined right in too. With more people making more offers, this wheeling and dealing kept getting louder and louder. Donna came out of her office to see what the all noise was about.

When Donna learned staff members were trading assignments without her consent, she was upset. A few days later, while discussing other matters on the telephone with her immediate supervisor in the regional office, Donna mentioned the events. “Some officers seem happy with their trades, but the ones who didn’t get the trade they wanted are unhappy and directing the blame at me. What did I do wrong? How should I have handled this? What
am I going to do now?”

  1. According to path-goal leadership theory, what leadership style did Donna use? Was it appropriate for the situation? Why or why not?

  2. Using information provided in the case, identify and discuss the environmental and employee contingencies that Donna should have considered to help her select the most appropriate leadership style.

  3. Given the dissatisfaction among the officers and the contingencies, what leadership style would have been the most appropriate? Provide support for your answer.
Case Study Analysis: Canadian Police Detachment
  1. Emotional contagion receives relatively little attention in organizational behaviour literature  it is studied mostly by psychologists), yet it is an important part of social interaction in the workplace. Define and discuss emotional contagion, and identify two ways this phenomenon can benefit organizations.

Emotional Contagion maybe defined as a phenomenon in which the attitude, behavior and emotion expressed by one person generates a similar kind of emotional reaction from the other associated person. This phenomenon basically is the effect of the overall surrounding and the behavior of the other people. In an organization this generally occurs explicitly but the emotional trigger also is triggered implicitly to an extent.

In an organization, the individual does not exist by themselves but they are the representatives of a group they belong to. When an individual enters an organization and assigned to a certain group, the person starts to develop emotions and behavior with the group and starts imparting similar characteristics like other members of the group. Though it cannot be said evidentially but all individuals have some characteristics that are same. Emotional Contagion occurs both directly as well as indirectly. In the case of indirect transfer, they may occur when a message is transferred via phone call or email. The two persons may share common emotions after the two persons have successfully communicated the message. On the other hand, implicit emotional contagion occurs faster as face to face communication is more effective than virtual communication.

Emotional contagion is of two types, positive contagion and negative contagion. In a workplace, when the task associated is a group project, where team effort is more important than individual effort and the positivity of one important person in the team resulting in increase in the efficiency levels of the whole team ultimately reflecting positivity on individual results. Conversely, negative emotional contagion occurs when a harsh decision is imposed by the upper management on the lower level employees negative contagion takes place. For example compulsory night shift is imposed on the employees. One of the employees have genuine medical issue and will not be able to do the shift. When the news happened to circulate in the office, other employees also started protesting against the management decision and resulted in mismanagement.

 

  1. Almost every day, supervisors must help employees resolve conflicts with other employees. Which third-party conflict-resolution strategy do supervisors use most often, and why do they tend to prefer this style? Also identify one third-party intervention that managers should apply in everyday disputes, and explain why that strategy should be used most often.

Third Party conflict resolution technique is one of the most used strategies in an organization to solve conflicts among same level employees. In this case the problem or conflict has occurred between team members and the supervisor has the responsibility to solve the issue and to reduce the time lost in work due to the particular conflict. The best fitted third party conflict resolution technique is Mediation. Mediation is a process in which a third entity gets involved between the two individuals currently facing conflict and tries to solve the problem from a neutral point of view. The mediator is the person who tries to resolve the problem in such a way that both the parties become content after receiving the respective solutions. In other words the mediator creates a win-win situation for both the parties. The person is independent and mostly belongs outside the organization. In a practical situation both the involved parties are made to sit in front of each other in the presence of the mediator who stands to impartially mediate the session from a neutral perspective. The session starts with the explanation of both the parties. The mediator listens to both the parties and tries to identify their perspectives about the associated issue. Then the mediator creates an environment where the focus is kept on the basic roots of the problem. This helps to discussion to be focused on the problem rather than the other factors which mainly creates the problem. If the focus is kept on the problem then better understanding can be achieved by both the involved parties. The main objective of the mediator is to keep both the parties on the basis of the problem and help them to come up with a solution by themselves. The mediator cannot impose an external solution from outside but can help the parties to derive to a certain solution but it is the decision of the involved parties whether they accept the external solution or not.

Emotional Contagion in Organizations

 

  1. The president of Advanced Systems Corp. wants the company to have a strong organizational culture around a specific set of values. As a vice-president, you are concerned that the president may be trying to strengthen the culture too much, thereby creating a corporate cult. Describe three potential problems with having an organizational culture that is too strong. Provide an example of how each problem might negatively affect the organization and its employees.

The president of Advanced System Corporation is focuses highly on ethics and values that must be present on an organization. However, in the 21st century if the values in an organization are too strong then it may affect the daily functioning of the employees within the system. As the Vice President of the organization it is essential to create a balance between the efficiency of the employees while maintaining a proper corporate environment bounded by set of values and principles. The probable problems that may be the result of strong organizational culture are as follows:

  1. Clash of Values: One of the most obvious problems that arises after imposing a strong organizational culture is the clash of values of the organization and the employee. This mainly occurs when acquisition and merger of an organization occurs. If the employee belongs to the company that has been recently acquired by a superior organization, it becomes evident that there will be a massive transformation of organizational culture that existed from a long time in the undertaken organization. The superior company imposes new ethics, principles and values and employees often cannot adjust to the sudden changes that creates a conflict between the employee and the employer. The main area that get affected is the difference in perception (McShane, Steen & Tasa 1992).
  2. Decreasing Efficiency: Secondly, if a drastic imposition of culture is executed in the organization, due to massive change, the employees take time to adjust to the changes that highly affects the organization. On the other hand, attrition rate may also be affected due to the organization’s cultural change.
  3. Increasing Attrition Rates: Lastly, the new organizational change may highly affect the attrition rates of the organization. Moreover, the changes may create an additional pressure on the employees which may also affect the efficiency which creates an uncomfortable situation and decrease in nominal remuneration of the employee.
  1. According to path-goal leadership theory, what leadership style did Donna use? Was it appropriate for the situation? Why or why not?

According to the given case study, the leadership style used by Donna Lindsay, staff sergeant and commander of a Canadian regional police force detachment is the Directive Style of Leadership. Directive Leadership is highly associated with providing a clear direction to the subordinates of an organization. The leader is specific and does not regard the consent of the others. The judgement totally depends on the leader and the result of the decision is highly polarising in nature. This style is generally attained by the leader when the nature of the task is dynamic and complex. However, the associated employees must be unskilled and must lacks experience. In this case, the leadership style is totally unsuitable for the subordinates. When a particular police officer retired from the office instead of hiring a new suitable officer in the place, she decided to freeze employment and distribute the work among other employees. This was done without the consent of the staff. The problem aroused when the task assigned created problems for the other employees. The task division was done personally by Donna Lindsay without considering the problems of the other employees. The decision was very inappropriate because firstly, the task is not at all complex in nature and the staff involved are highly skilled and are experienced in their particular field.

  1. Using information provided in the case, identify and discuss the environmental and employee contingencies that Donna should have considered to help her select the most appropriate leadership style.

The environmental contingency that can be identified in the given case study is the lack of staff supply in the police station. The human resource department is not effective enough to arrange employees before the scheduled date. It was the responsibility of the human resource department to arrange the replacement of the police who was retiring. As a result the workload had to be divided between other employees and where the root of the problem stands. On the other hand, a number of employee contingencies were also identified in the case study. Firstly, Earl had the problem with the additional task that was assigned to him. He said that he does not like to be in front of the camera. And replied Donna by saying that to assign the task to someone else. The second problem was with Joe. He was assigned with travelling presentations which required travelling long distances. But the problem is he has a family i.e. wife and young children to take care and staying away from home would create an imbalance between his work life and personal life. Later that day seven constables came up to Donna and complained and expressed their dissatisfaction towards their additional job roles. Lastly, the problem which arose they traded and exchanged the job roles among themselves without informing their senior. The best leadership style that fits to the situation is the Supportive Leadership.

 

  1. Given the dissatisfaction among the officers and the contingencies, what leadership style would have been the most appropriate? Provide support for your answer.

The most appropriate leadership style that should have been taken into consideration is Supportive style of leadership. Supportive leadership is a style of leadership in which the leader in charge does not directly assign task to the subordinates and in return wait for the results, they provide support to the employees wherever they are required until the task is successfully completed. Here, the leader works with the followers until the associated person becomes expert in the task and can independently complete the assignment. The crucial steps that should be followed are:

  1. Creating Balance: A supportive leader always tries to maintain a balance between the people working under him or her and the people whom he or she has to answer.  An effective supportive leader does not try to achieve goals on their own but tries to play the role of a coach of the whole team. The person in one hand sets various milestones for the people working under him or her and on the other hand, provides rules and regulations which the people have to abide. The supportive leader also listens to the recommendations proposed by the subordinates and tries to maintain uniformity within the team. Lastly, the leader is highly communicative and open to criticism both by the subordinates as well as the superiors.
  2. Training: One of the main characteristics of a supportive leader is they highly focus on the training session provided to the subordinates. The person believes that if the training is proper then the assigned task shall become much easier. The leader listens to all kinds of problem faced by the subordinates and tries to provide a relevant and realistic solution to the problems. The individual provides continuous support to the employees and help them to cope up with personal issues keeping the efficiency rate constant. These type of leaders try to make subordinates independent and ready for the future.
  3. Teamwork Believer: Thirdly, a supportive leader always believes in teamwork. The leader initiates by accumulating people who are skilled and have the capability to perform proper tasks. Then the leader creates a clarity between the expectations of the organization from the members. The individuals does not believe in assumptions and conveys messages properly before assigning tasks to the subordinates. The person then creates a roster and a proper way of communication where feedback is kept at the highest priority.
  4. Commitment: Fourthly, a supportive leader is highly committed to the team. The devotion level of the individual is very high both towards the task as well as the team. If the leader is fully committed to the work then the whole team will be aligned to the objective.
  5. Relationship: The relationship of a supportive leader with the subordinates is always very good, the individual is not selective and is impartial to all employees. Relationship plays a crucial role to attain maximum output from the associated individuals. To build a highly committed team relationship is the key to success.
  6. Empathy: Lastly, to become a supportive leader empathy must be present in the leader. This is because when a team member faces some issue then the leader must get to the roots of the problem to solve the particular issue.

References

McShane, S. L., Steen, S. L., & Tasa, K. (1992). Canadian organizational behaviour. Irwin.

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My Assignment Help. Emotional Contagion And Third Party Conflict Resolution In Organizations: An Essay. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2020 [cited 23 June 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/orgb364-organizational-behaviour-2.

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