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Case Study

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1. Kareem and Reema have two different leadership styles. Kareem is a transactional leader and an organizer. He believes that leadership is all about the ability to influence subordinates. By giving clear directions and providing them with all the necessary resources, he ensures that his employees complete their tasks on time. Kareem manages his people by rewarding and punishing them justly according to their performance, assigning specific tasks, and establishing appropriate goals. All Kareem’s directions are clear, justified, and fair. Therefore, Kareem’s employees are satisfied with his style of leadership, especially because they receive rewards for good performance. On the contrary, Reema exercises a transformational leadership style. She is inspirational and charismatic. While recognizing the importance of setting clear goals and rewarding employees appropriately, she believes that these steps are not enough for the company’s survival and success in the today’s world. Reema tries to foresee the company’s future and knows how to create a competitive advantage to sustain long-term growth. She envisions the company’s goals, aligns them with the employees’ purposes, and motivates them to make sacrifices for the company’s good.

2.  According to Fidler’s contingency model, Kareem is task-oriented, and Reema is relationship-oriented. Kareem is an efficient executor of all tasks he undertakes, while Reema is a visionary leader who inspires her followers to treat the company’s goals as their own. She is more suitable for the executive position because she thinks proactively, envisions the company’s future, and knows how to lead people into that future. As Wasim says, this position requires not the fulfillment of tasks but the provision of directives to guide employees. Robbins, Judge, and Hasham (2012) state that transformational leadership “builds on transactional leadership and produces levels of follower effort and performance beyond what transactional leadership alone can do”.  Therefore, if the company undergoes change, Reema is more likely to quickly adapt to a new situation, while Kareem, due to his traditional and straightforward leadership, may fail to recognize and adapt to changes. By means of consistent employee motivation, and not just the reward-and-punishment approach, the company will more likely become successful in the world of rapid changes. Kareem’s effectiveness depends on the environmental stability and strict control of his employees’ performance. Reema’s effectiveness depends more on the management level, flexibility, environment, and a degree of stress and uncertainty that require innovative approaches to challenging tasks.  

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3. If I were Wasim, I would hire Reema. Her department is famous for its creativeness, and even though her team’s creative solutions were sometimes unconventional, they were able to solve the issues affecting the company, while Kareem’s department did not create many innovative solutions and lacked vision. According to Robbins, Judge, and Hasham (2012), “it’s more difficult to utilize a person’s charismatic leadership qualities in lower-level management jobs or to align his or her vision with the larger goals of the organization”. Kareem is good at his current management position. As an executor of the given directives, he ensures that his subordinates fulfill their tasks successfully, but he is not suitable to giving directions to other managers because he lacks Reema’s creative approach and inspirational style of influence. The company might operate in a stable external environment, but the situation may change quickly, hence creating threats to the company’s survival. Therefore, a proactive leader such as Reema, who can predict future problems, will be able to react fast to such challenges.

5. One of the main differences between transactional and transformational leadership styles is the degree of employees’ motivation to perform their daily tasks. Transformational leaders have the ability of not only giving directions but also inspiring employees to perform even better than expected. Transformational leaders know how to motivate workers by using not only external but also internal rewards, such as the appreciation and recognition of persons’ achievements. Therefore, Reema’s magnetic personality inspires employees. As a result, they become more motivated and believe in themselves and their strengths, which leads to a higher level of job satisfaction. Under her leadership, they enjoy working on challenging tasks and finding creative solutions. In addition, her subordinates’ personal goals are aligned with the company’s goals. Consequently, they are ready to put an extra effort in achieving them. Reema challenges them to think “outside the box” and find innovative solutions. As a result, her employees are highly motivated and committed to the company.  In contrast, Kareem punishes his employees for not doing well, and that demotivates them and worsens the work climate. His subordinates complete the required tasks only to receive extrinsic rewards, but they do not try to outperform themselves because the manager fails to recognize their achievements.

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