BUSS1054 9 Semester 201501
BUSS1054 9 Semester 201501

Read the following case study and answer all the questions.
Present detailed answers to the questions at the end of this case study in approximately 2000- words in total (i.e. for the 4 answers):
THE NEW TEAM LEADER
Mike Black had been working as a technician for a regional Internet service provider (ISP) for three years when he received a promotion to technical support team leader. Mike was quite excited to be leading the team. He had worked very hard to develop the technical skills for answering calls and the interpersonal skills for communicating technical solutions to customers. Also, he had demonstrated his desire for the promotion by volunteering for overtime and working all over holiday periods. Finally, he had been promoted. However, now he faced problems he had not anticipated. How would he be able to convince his friends to take him seriously in his new role as their boss? How was he going to maintain the discipline needed in this workplace with existing and new employees?.
The ISP's customers were generally satisfied with the level of dedication and care shown by the former team leader, who handled not only technical support for individual consumers but business and government accounts as well. However, a recent acquisition had increased the technical support team's workload, and due to the reduced standard of technical support a number of the larger account customers were not renewing their contracts. This was an important issue, because reliable technical support was regarded as the core competency that had originally set the company apart from other regional ISPs.
Mike was one of the first technicians employed by the company, and the first technician promoted from within the ranks to be team leader. When he first started, he was lucky to train with the manager of the business, a very experienced and competent technical specialist. He modelled his own skills on those of his manager and worked diligently to handle most jobs with Course Information: BUSS1054 8 Semester 201501

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the fewest mistakes and even fewer complaints. Where the other technicians handled only forty to fifty technical support jobs, Mike routinely handled ninety or more jobs, including some of those with the most demanding technical problems. He not only cleared his own jobs but frequently assisted other technicians in clearing their backlog. When extremely difficult calls came in, such as calls from customers who had been disconnected for not paying their bills within the agreed terms, it was often Mike who was asked to handle them. He rapidly developed excellent relationships with all of his customers. During his first year he was named technician of the month on more than one occasion. In his second year he worked with the existing team leader to learn how to roster the workers and received advanced training in the company's network operations and technical procedures beyond customer support jobs.
Although the work was extremely fast-paced and required concentration, there was always time for joking and having fun with the other technicians. Strong friendships grew between the technicians, who frequently socialised after hours and on their days off. There was a strong feeling of family in the office. The high levels of training and pay led to extremely low turnover rates. There were always waiting lists of applicants for the positions. If a technician wished to leave, he or she had no problem finding work at government departments or for other ISPs. Morale was generally high due to the respect the technicians felt they received from 'their' customers for the high-quality work they performed, the higher levels of pay and benefits they received in comparison with technicians at other organisations, and the high degree of friendship among the technicians.
Everyone at the ISP was happy for Mike and sincerely wished him well. They all knew now that they could be promoted if they worked hard enough. Mike was anxious to assume his new responsibilities and even to try some new procedures he had been devising. Within six months Mike wasn't nearly as happy with his promotion as he had thought he would be. Some of his friends, who were now his subordinates as well, didn't seem to pay attention to his suggestions concerning their job performance. They ignored his instructions and frequently treated them as a joke. This attitude was even worse among new technical staff, who would often switch shifts, leave early or arrive late and ignore both his authority and his carefully planned rosters.
Mike soon realised that his new position was missing one thing – the authority to go with his new responsibilities. He had no authority to sanction any of his subordinates: he couldn't dock their pay, make them work overtime or cut back on their hours. He couldn't shorten their lunch breaks or eliminate their coffee breaks. Any such sanctions could come only from the overall company manager. If he tried to insist that a new procedure be used or that rostered hours be worked and the technician balked, he had no recourse. If he complained to the manager, he would be viewed as unable to do his job. He couldn't complain to his friends, because they were part of the problem. He tried acting in an authoritarian manner and harshly insisting on the new methods. He was met with hostility, and his friends stopped talking to him. One day he had had enough and he berated a group of his friends about how they gave him no respect, they were uncooperative, and they weren't doing their jobs, and he was fed up with it. After all, he didn't Course Information: BUSS1054 9 Semester 201501
ask them to do anything he wasn't willing or able to do himself. Morale was plummeting (his as well as the other technicians) and productivity was falling. Mike felt like a failure at the job he had worked so hard to get, and even beyond that he felt he was losing his friends.
Mike knew that something was going to have to change. He needed to try something new, to somehow regain the respect of his subordinates and find a new way to inspire improved performance and efficiency and restore morale. And he had to accomplish all this while maintaining his friendships with the other technicians.
Questions
1. Which traits, skills and behaviours associated with successful leaders does Mike possess? ?Cite specific examples in support of your answer.
2. Why did Mike have problems making changes and maintaining discipline when he was first promoted to a position that required leadership?
3. Analyse Mike’s leadership situation in terms of his sources of power. Are there types of power he couldn't or shouldn't use? What types of power could he draw on, and how could he use those types to greatest effect?
4. How could Mike improve his leadership effectiveness in his new position? Apply relevant leadership theory/theories to answer the question. https://yourassignmenthelpers.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1698515&action=edit

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