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Leadership Style and Motivation at The Copy Center: A Case Study

Daniel Asante and The Copy Center

Daniel Asante is the manager of a small business called The Copy Center, which is located near a large university. The Copy Center employs about 18 people, most of whom work part-time while going to school full-time. The store caters to the university community by specializing in course packs, but it also provides desktop publishing and standard copying services. It has three large, state-of-the-art copy machines and several computer workstations.
There are two other national chain copy stores in the immediate vicinity of The Copy Center, yet this store does more business than both of the other stores combined. A major factor contributing to the success of this store is Daniel’s leadership style.
One of the things that stand out about Daniel is the way he works with his part-time staff. Most of them are students, who have to schedule their work hours around their class schedules, and Daniel has a reputation of being really helpful with working out schedule conflicts. No conflict is too small for Daniel, who is always willing to juggle schedules to meet the needs of everyone. Students talk about how much they feel included and like the spirit at The Copy Center. It is as if Daniel makes the store like a second family for them.
Work at The Copy Center divides itself into two main areas: duplicating services and desktop publishing. In  both areas, Daniel’s leadership is effective.
Duplicating is a straightforward operation that entails taking a customer’s originals and making copies of them. Because this job is tedious, Daniel goes out of his way to help the staff make it tolerable. He promotes a friendly work atmosphere by doing such things as letting the staff wear casual attire, letting them choose their own tapes for background music, and letting them be a bit wild on the job. Daniel spends a lot of time each day conversing informally with each employee; he also welcomes staff talking with each other. Daniel has a knack for making each worker feel significant even when the work is insignificant. He promotes camaraderie among his staff, and he is not afraid to become involved in their activities.
The desktop publishing area is more complex than duplicating. It involves creating business forms, advertising pieces, and résumés for customers. Working in desktop publishing requires skills in writing, editing, design,   and layout. It is challenging work because it is not always easy to satisfy customers’ needs. Most of the employees in this area are full-time workers.
Through the years, Daniel has found that employees who work best in desktop publishing are a unique type of person, very different from those who work in duplicating. They are usually quite independent,  self-assured,  and self-motivated. In supervising them, Daniel gives them a lot of space, is available when they need help, but otherwise leaves them alone.
Daniel likes the role of being the resource person for these employees. For example, if an employee is having difficulty on a customer’s project, he willingly joins the employee in troubleshooting the problem. Similarly, if

Leadership style and motivation in the duplicating service area

one of the staff is having problems with a software program, Daniel is quick to offer his technical expertise. Because the employees in desktop publishing are self-directed, Daniel spends far less time with them than with those who work in duplicating.
Overall, Daniel feels successful with his leadership at The Copy Center. Profits for the store continue to grow each year, and its reputation for high-quality service is widespread.

Questions:

i.According to the Path-Goal theory, why is Daniel an effective leader?    (5 Marks)

ii.How does Daniel’s leadership style affect the motivation of employees at the duplicating service area?
(5 Marks)
iii.How does Daniel’s leadership style motivate employees in the desktop publishing section?
(5 Marks)
iv.How do characteristics of the task and the subordinates influence Daniel’s leadership in the duplicating service area?    (5 Marks)
v.How do characteristics of the task and the subordinates influence Daniel’s leadership in the desktop publishing section?    (5 Marks)

vi.One of the principles of path–goal theory is to make the end goal valuable to workers. Discuss five  things Daniel could do to improve subordinate motivation in this area?


vii.According to the Situation Approach what leadership style(s) should Daniel adopt?

Section b: Answer Any One  (1) Question    (20 Marks Each)


Question 2

a)With practical examples distinguish between the in-group and outgroup followers as described in the LMX theory.    (4 Marks)
b)Situating the discussion in an organizational context explain the leadership making process as opined by Graen and Uhl-Bien (1991) in the LMX theory    (12 Marks)
c)What is the focal difference between the LMX theory and other leadership theories?    (4 Marks)

Question 3
Mumford et al. (2000), Skills Model of Leadership suggests many people have the potential for leadership. Discuss the components/elements of the skill model focusing on the competence elements and justify or refute the claim that many people have the potential for leadership.    (20 Marks)

It is the responsibility of the student to:
1.Comply with the general information and instructions given on the question paper.
2.Ensure that your answers follow the required format.

Students are advised as follows:
1.Because the final submission is based on access to the internet, ensure you start your work early and finish early enough to follow the online submission procedures.
2.You should expect that in the last hour or minutes to the deadline there will be huge traffic on all networks (internet service providers) and the platform. Therefore, you are advised not to wait until the last minute before you submit your script.
3.It is your responsibility to manage your time to submit your answer script within the stipulated period. No submission shall be accepted after the deadline.
4.The University will not be responsible for any issue caused by power or internet failures during the preparation of answer scripts and online submission.
5.It is your responsibility to independently write the exams. If it is detected that students engage in academic dishonesty the appropriate university policy will be activated.
6.Note that all submissions will be subjected to similarity (copying) checks.

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