People, Organisations and Leadership case study Ecologic Essay Example

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1.0 Strengths and weaknesses of Sally’s leadership style and suggest how she could change it to improve the situation at Ecologic

A leader can be defined as a person who influences other people towards achieving a specified goal. According to Daft 2011, “Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and many true leaders are working behind the scenes”. Leadership in an organization is very critical. It is a generally accepted maxim that everything rises and falls with leadership meaning the success or fall of an organization can be attributed to actions and approaches adopted by the leadership in an organization (Bass & Riggio, 2008). For an organization to meet its objectives, then its leadership has to be keen enough to understand how it can achieve effectiveness in the organization. The actions the management will take will directly influence organizational effectiveness which is simply advancement by the organization to meet its objectives (Hino, 2006). It is the actions and the management practices that influence organizational effectiveness. There are five types of leadership styles that a manager can used different situations which include; teamwork, autocratic, laissez-faire, participatory, and coaching leadership styles. In the case study, Sally is using laissez-faire leadership style to manage Ecologic. Laissez-faire or free-rein leadership style is suitable when employees are capable of accomplishing the task at hand on their own. Under this style, subordinates make decisions and set up policies without the manager’s input. Therefore it is suitable when staff is knowledgeable about the task and motivated to complete it.

In their first staff meeting, Sally stated that the employees were trusted to get on with the job and did not have to consult her unless they believe her input was necessary. When recruiting the company’s staff, Sally employed competent and knowledgeable staff to operate various divisions and took a back seat in the proceeding leaving them in charge of their own specific sections. Sally’s leadership style was characterized by very little guidance from her and complete freedom for staff to make decision. For instance, the company’s accountant (Rudra) decided send out letters to the range of companies listed in the stock exchange asking both donations for Ecologic and for paid consulting work without sally’s knowledge.

Sally’s leadership style has allowed his staff to let their own ideas and creativity flourish. This has lead to exciting new ideas and different approaches to achieve the company’s goals instead of relying on sally’s brain with everyone following. For instance, to raise fund to fund Ecologic activities Sally allowed his employees to come up with ideas to achieve this where Ella came up with a fundraising strategy through Facebook and twitter, Dane suggested that he immediately start contracting possible corporate clients for consulting work, and Rudra decided send out letters to the range of companies listed in the stock exchange asking both donations for Ecologic and for paid consulting work. This new ideas has made it possible for Ecologic to raise funds to run it activities effectively. In addition, Sally’s leadership style has left a lot of responsibility in the hand of the employees, this has lead to improved morale, the subordinates feel valued and sense of responsibility has driven them forward. This is evident by the contribution made by all the three employees who are working hard to ensure Ecologic its main objects are achieved.

However, Sally’s leadership style may lead to an overall lack of control over the operation of the organization as well as her employees. Employees at Ecologic has taken things into their own hand and this can be explained by a situation where Rudra decided send out letters to the range of companies listed in the stock exchange asking both donations for Ecologic and for paid consulting work without sally’s knowledge and did not go well with Sally. The lack of not coming to the leader for guidance may lead to employees being less productive which may hinder that achievement of Ecologic goals. Sally has approach activities with an “as long as the work get done” attitude which has encourages her workers to do their best but this has lead to organization’s projects getting off-track leading to deadline being missed and this can be attributed to lack of control and guidance that she has over her employees.

2.0 Discuss the types of motivation likely to be driving each of the staff in their work at Ecologic

Human resource management in the 21st century is moving more towards behavioral management as opposed to the traditional mode of management which was centered on the perception that employees are simply factors of production (Longenecker, 2013). The modern concept of managing human resource recognizes that employees are humans whose productivity largely depends on how motivated they are to work and deliver maximum efficiency at the workplace (Briscoe, Schuler, & Claus, 2008). There are two types of motivation, that is monetary and non monetary


This includes financial rewards given to employees as a way of motivating them. Money and monetary benefits is the easiest form of employee motivation strategy to implement as it requires little time and knowledge to understand how to do it. Other forms of motivation may take time to understand and actually ascertain whether they have any positive impact on employee motivation, whereas money has been proven to have profound impact on the level of motivation amongst many employees. This option may also come out as cheap in the long run as it only involves an action such as salary hike and avoids other costs with other motivation strategies such as restructuring of management structures or review of working hours which might ultimately cost the company indirectly but significantly (Longenecker, 2013).

Non monetary


Recognition of a well done task is a great way that Sally can inspire his staff. To her, it will cost nothing but to her staff that fell under-appreciated, this can mean everything. This method is cost effective since Sally will only be required to keep track of her employees’ achievements and publicly recognize them.


Consider Ecologic is a nonprofit making organization, this is an effective strategy that Sally can use to inspire her staff since it don’t cost much money. Coaching can be utilized as a motivating tool where the manager is required to sit down one-on-one with employees facing opportunities and challenges at the organization and talk it through. To achieve this, sally can give non-judgmental constructive criticism to assist her staff improve and praise where it’s deserved

Leadership opportunities

Sally can motivate her top performing employees by offering them compensation in the form of leadership opportunities. To inspire the best performing staff to continue their excellent work, the manager of Ecologic should promote them to positions of higher authority. This will also help Sally retain her best subordinates by offering them with new challenges and for those who get bored in their current position might soon look elsewhere for more dynamic work opportunities

Breaks from the Norms

The manager of Ecology should come up with ways that ensure that the company’s staff takes a break from their daily activities. Sally should design some activities to give her workers a chance to recharge their batteries and escape from the norm, including company events, casual days, and fun days. From the case study we can see that Ella’s was absent from work in one week when sally refused to pay a camp which she had organized with her church youth. This was a sign that Ella needed a break from her day to day activities and this would have motivated her more and would not miss work for one week

2.1 Using performance Bonuses to motivate employees

By giving bonuses to employees who have performed well, this will improve the level of motivation. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the fourth level indicates that humans need to feel appreciated and respected. This boosts their self esteem and they hold themselves in high regard once they have fulfilled these needs. After an employee has been awarded with performance bonuses this will increase their remuneration which will cater for their immediate needs such as food, housing, mobility and others, the focus then shift to achieving benefits that boosts his/her ego amongst peers (Latham, 2007).

Many things in society are valued within the context of monetary value today. What someone receives from the employer seems only important when its value can be quantified in financial terms. Some employees feel shortchanged when non-cash benefits replaces monetary and financial benefits when companies want to motivate their employees. This is true mostly for employees that receive just above average pay in different industries. Such employees may be still in need of better remuneration to improve their lifestyle and take care of their immediate expenses (Briscoe, Schuler, & Claus, 2008). Performance bonuses are therefore very important factor to motivate them apart from job satisfaction and other issues such as work-life balance. For these employees the only high impact strategy will be to increase their pay and is almost certain that their morale will be boosted.

However, offering bonuses to motivate employees means extra expenses for the company. It gets even expensive when there are a large number of employees and they all have to be motivated using this method of motivation. High ranking employees will most definitely have a very high financial benefits advanced to them if Sally decides to use money to motivate them. Moreover, Performance bonuses may not actually achieve the desired results by the Sally. It should be understood that employees as human beings have a certain need, for achievement that goes beyond monetary benefits. There is a caliber of employees who want to be given room to be creative and assertive enough to approach problems their own style and offer solutions. They feel that they are important human beings since they have achieved what they believe is their true purpose in life; to work passionately in doing what they love not for money but for personal satisfaction. Such employees cannot therefore be rewarded by bonuses but rather by an opportunity to do what they love the way they love doing it. it then brings to the attention of human resource practitioners the need to study human behavior and understand what motivates different types of people and use the knowledge in designing jobs for their employees in the organization and thus not rely on monetary motivation to improve the productivity of employees which may be costly in the long run and achieve less than expected results (Briscoe, Schuler, & Claus, 2008).

3.0 Organization Structure

Organization structure refers to hierarchical arrangement of lines of communication, authority, duties and rights of an organization. It determines how responsibilities, power, and roles are assigned, coordinated, controlled as well as how information flows between different levels of the organization. An organization structure depends on the company’s objectives and strategies. There are two forms of organization structures, namely; centralized and decentralized structures. In a centralized structure, the decision making power is concentrated the top layer of management. However, in a decentralized structure the decision making power is distributed at all levels of the organization.

Ecologic does not have a clear organization structure; organization is only divided into four divisions. This has resulted to lack of coordination as well as poor communication between the employees which can be attributed to the poor performance of Ecology. Even though the employees are working hard to achieve the organization goal this effect are not well coordination which makes them inefficient.

We will propose that Ecology adopt a decentralized organization structure. This structure conforms to the already existing policies of the organization such as decision making power is decentralized but not in a form way. In this proposed structure, Sally will shift authority to the division heads for some types of decisions making. This means that the heads of these divisions will have authority to make decisions that impact his/her area of responsibility. Moreover, this structure will allow some decisions to be pushed down to individual workers at Ecologic. This structure will determines how responsibilities, power, and roles are assigned, coordinated, controlled as well as how information flows between different levels of the Ecologic. This means that by adopting this structure, there will be no communication problem as is the case right now. Sally will be in control of the organization and will aware of every activity that her employees are undertaking. In general, by adopting a decentralized organization structure, Ecologic will enjoy the following benefits;

Decision— employees have the power to make decision at the divisional level, Sally will have more time to develop strategic directions which will enable the organization to source funds for its activities

Speed— since there are a few levels of bureaucracy in a decentralized structure, the company will be able to make decision more quickly

Motivation— this structure gives more authority to employees which will make them feel very important in the company hence reducing employee turnover in Ecology

Training— Sally can use this structure as a training ground for future managers in the company. By giving her employees authority, she will be able to observe their decision making ability when she can use to determine advancement to higher position

4.0 Stages of team development

Team development refers to enhancement of the effectiveness of work group through improving role and goal clarification as well as interpersonal processes. It creates a winning atmosphere by developing trust among team members, enhancing cooperation through realization of objectives, as well as promoting interdependence. Moreover, it allows team members to learn how to make decisions and take actions that will result to better productivity, efficiency, product quality, as well as quality of work life. Teams go through five stages of development as outlined by Bruce W. Tuckman: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. Each stage presents its own unique challenges as well as its own recognizable feelings and behavior. Moreover, the five stages assist in recognizing a team’s behavioral patterns; they are useful as a basis for team conversation. The following are the five stages that the workforce at Ecology has done through to develop a team at the work place

During this stage of team development, the employees of ecology were very excited to be part of the staff. This was evidence in their first meeting. All the employees had high expectation for the team as well as felt some anxiety, wondering how they will fit in to the organization team and if their performance will measure up to Sally’s vision. The behaviors observed during this stage included questions from the staff showed both their uncertainty they might be feeling about their place on the team as well as the excitement about the new team. The main task for the employees in Ecologic during this state was to create a team with clear structure, direction, roles, and goals so that they would begin to build trust. Sally undertook orientation for each employee when joining the organization to assist to ground the member in terms of team’s mission and goals.


During this stage of team development, the employees of Ecology began to move towards their goals. The team members discovered that the team cannot live up to all of their early expectation and excitement. The team members focus changed from activities at hand to feelings of frustration with the team’s progress as members expressed concerns about being unable to meet the team’s goals. During the storming members were less polite to each other, this can be explained by a situation where Sally shouted at Rudra sending out letters to the range of companies without her knowledge. In this stage, group members were called upon to refocus on the team’s goals and also larger goals were broken down into smaller.

During this stage of team development, the team members began to resolve their personal differences. Workers in ecologic began work on discrepancies they felt between their individual expectations and the reality of the team’s experience. During this stage, the workforces of Ecologic felt an increased acceptance of each other and realized that the variety of opinions and experience made their team stronger and productive. The workforce at Ecologic started to resolve problems as well as achieve group harmony. The workforce had now established communication channels which enabled them to frequently communicate with each other. Moreover, during this stage the workforce at Ecologic shifted their energy to the company’s goals which resulted to increased productivity from individuals and as a team


The Workforce at Ecology is currently at this stage. During this stage, workers at Ecologic know are aware of their own weakness and strength. The employees’ feels attached to the organization and fell more satisfied with the team’s effectiveness. The team is able to resolve as well prevent problems. During this stage, the workforce has made significant progress towards achievement of the organizational goals. The work force is now fully committed to the organization mission and is more competent as compared the early stages. The workforce have continued deepening their knowledge and skills which includes working to continuously to improve team development

This is the last stage of team development. The workforce at Ecology has not yet reached this stage as their work has not ended or Sally has not changed the organization’s needs. During this stage, the team members will become less focused on the team’s task and they will be less productive. During the ending stage, the team should focus on the following tasks

  • Creating a closing celebration that acknowledges the contributions of individuals and the accomplishments of the team and that formally ends this particular team’s existence

  • Evaluation of the team’s process and product, with a particular focus on identifying «lessons learned» and passing these on to the sponsor for future teams to use

  • Completion of any deliverables and closure on any remaining team work

4.1 Team effectiveness

Even though Ecologic is facing problems, the employees are working as an effective team. This is because;

  • The team has a common focus, including clear and understandable goals as well as plans of action

  • Each employee has a clearly defined for each team employee

  • Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined for team member

  • Each employee is able to give, receive, and elicit necessary feedback

  • The workforce is able to manage their meeting in a productive way

  • Employees value each other’s differences in a healthy and productive ways

  • The team fully utilizes its resource efficiently


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Longenecker, C. (2013). Creating human-resource management value in the twenty-first century: Seven steps to strategic HR. Human Resource Management International Digest
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