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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Transition of Leadership Styles in Bay Harbor

MCJ6405: Organizational Leadership

Week 2
Assignment 4
Transition of Leadership Styles in Bay Harbor

Problem Statement

The leadership style of a criminal justice leader, such as a police chief, may have some bearing on the effectiveness of that organization.
Can the leader-member exchange (LMX) theory be used to describe the relationship that Murray and Johnson shared with their subordinates? Why or why not?

Although the term “favorites” was used in the description of Murray's relationship with some officers, the benefits that those officers received was not greater then the other officers in the department. If one looks at the difference between the treatment between the “favorites” and the non-“favorites” on a transactional basis, then LMX theory can't be used. LMX theory is predicated on a “mutual reciprocation of rewards within the relationship” (Barbuto Jr & Gifford, 2012, p.19). Since the rewards that both set of officers received was the same, there is no basis to consider this as a LMX situation. On the other hand, if one discounts the notion of “favorite” officers, one could see the application LMX theory as Johnson “traded” professional latitude for personal loyalty and team commitment in regards to the entire department
In a similar analysis, LMX theory cannot be used to describe Johnson's relationship with the department. All officers are subject to Johnson's directive style of leadership, and there is no description of rewards flowing in either direction, much less of a mutual exchange. If one were to describe Johnson's style in terms of LMX theory, it would have to be described as “low-exchange”, at best.

Does Johnson's style differ from participative leadership? If yes, why? If no, what level of participative leadership does he appear to use?

Johnson uses a directive style of leadership with no appearance of participative leadership. Instead of giving officers “influence over decisions that will affect them” (Yukl, 2012, p. 52), a major component of participative leadership, Johnson is described as making all decisions except those that officers have to make in emergencies.

What are the potential benefits and pitfalls of hiring someone with Chief Johnson's style for the position at Bay Harbor? Why?

The prime benefit of Johnson's leadership style, which may also be described as directive or authoritarian, is that there is one point of responsibility. If there is an issue with the way a program or policy is handled, the city can turn directly to Johnson for corrective action. The second benefit is that decisions can be made quickly; Johnson does not need to get feedback from clients or officers, he does not need to wait on a committee to research an issue, he does not need approval from a second level of command.
There are two major problems with this style; the first is that it has the potential for alienating employees, as some of the members of the committee noted. The potential is that some employees may lose trust in Johnson's leadership if they find it to be abusive; “If abusive supervision takes place frequently or lasts for a long time, it invariably causes employees’ antipathy and then brings about subordinates’ distrust.” (Xiaqi, Kun, Chongsen, & Sufang, 2012, p. 260) The second is that in areas in which Johnson is lacking expertise, he is likely to make mistakes in his decision-making.

How do Murray and Johnson use the normative decision model according to their styles of leadership? What are the differences in their approaches in adopting this model?
Murray used the consult(individual) model and encouraged informal communications. Johnson uses the decide model. It appears from the description that neither chief varied from their chosen model depending on the situation, in other words, that they continued to use that model of decision-making in all situations.

What could be reasons for Chief Johnson's lack of delegation? What approach should he use to delegate and empower officers at Bay Harbor?
It is likely that Johnson chooses a directive leadership policy based on his personality and experience. It is also possible that Johnson chooses to use this model to deflect responsibility for officer actions which are undertaken outside the sphere of Johnson's sphere of decision-making.

Is participative leadership more effective depending on the size of the department? Why? How does Murray's delegation and empowerment of his subordinates benefit a police department?

It is not the size of the organization that affects the effectiveness of the participative leadership model as much as it is the competence of the people doing the job. Participative leadership requires participants that can make effective decisions, even if that decision is to call in a supervisor to make the call. The prime example of a benefit that the Bay Harbor PD received from the effective use of this model was the high level of employee satisfaction. In addition, the department enjoyed the respect and trust of the citizenry.

What principles of dyadic relationships should Johnson use for correcting performance deficiencies at Bay Harbor? Why?

If Johnson wishes to be an effective leader, he should use the following guidelines that Yukl describes: gather information about the performance problem; try to avoid attribution biases; describe the deficiency briefly in specific terms; explain the adverse impact of ineffective behavior; stay calm and professional; mutually identify the reasons for inadequate performance; ask the person to suggest remedies; express confidence that the person can improve; express a sincere desire to help the person; reach agreement on specific action steps; summarize the discussion and verify agreement. Yukl explains that “Effective managers take a supportive, problem-solving approach when dealing with inappropriate behavior or deficient performance by a subordinate.” (2012, p.28)


Barbuto Jr, J. E., & Gifford, G. T. (2012). Motivation and leader-member exchange: Evidence counter to similarity attraction theory. International Journal of Leadership Studies. 7(2). Retrieved November 10, 2014 from http://www.regent.edu/acad/global/publications/ijls/new/vol7iss1/IJLS_Vol7Iss1_Winter2011.pdf#page=28

Yukl, G. A. (2012). Leadership in Organizations, 8th Edition. [VitalSource Bookshelf version]. Retrieved November 16, 2014 from http://digitalbookshelf.southuniversity.edu/books/9781256650225/id/ch03lev2sec2

Xiaqi, D., Kun, T., Chongsen, Y., & Sufang, G. (2012). Abusive supervision and LMX. Chinese Management Studies, 6(2), 257–270. doi:http://dx.doi.org.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.1108/17506141211236695

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