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Harrisburg University Leadership and Mental Models Essay

Harrisburg University Leadership and Mental Models Essay

Question Description

Task 1 (350 words)

The New Boss

Synopsis

Sam Nolan was chief information officer at Century Medical, a large medical products company. He had joined the company four years ago, and Century had made great progress integrating technology into its systems and processes. Nolan had developed trust with people throughout the company and showed them how technology could not only save money, but also support team-based work, encourage information sharing, and give people more control over their own jobs. A new boss, Tom Carr, arrived at Century and considered Nolan’s project, a Web-based job posting program, a waste of time and money. Carr had no understanding of why and how technology was being used. The vibrant and innovative human resources department Nolan’s team had imagined now seemed like nothing more than a pipe dream.

Questions:

  1. Describe the two different mental models represented in this story.
  2. What are some of the assumptions that shape the mindset of Sam Nolan? Of Tom Carr?
  3. Do you think it is possible for Carr to shift to a new mental model? If you were Sam Nolan, what would you do?

“What Should I Say?”

Synopsis

The sudden heart attack of his predecessor, Bill Andrews, propelled Russell Hart into a temporary top management assignment for Kresk International in the company’s new Middle East Division in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After six months, Russell went to Dallas to report at the semiannual board meeting. The board would determine if he or Bill Andrews would have the permanent assignment at the end of the year. Russell enjoyed the company’s top assignment and hoped to impress management at the meeting so that he would be named director of the Middle East Division. In Dallas, Russell has an impromptu chat with his assistant Christopher Dunn where he describes in depth the atrocious behavior of a colleague, Youssef Said. Russell has observed how Said’s behavior has made a few employees resign. He also mentions how Said loves to humiliate employees and how his total disregard for the opinion of others appalls Russell. Russell adds that Said has an inner circle or “family” whom he favors. He always seems to work deals and bend rules. Russell feels Youssef Said’s methods may not be in the best interest of the company. He wants the board to notice this and asks Christopher for advice because the board, at this point of time, seems to be impressed by Youssef Said.

Questions:

  1. What do you think Russell Hart should include in his report about Youssef Said? Why? What would you do in his position?
  2. What amount or kind of courage will be required for Hart to disclose everything honestly? How would you advise Hart to acquire that courage?
  3. At which stage of Kohlberg’s moral development scale would you place Youssef Said, Russell Hart, and Bill Andrews? Why?

Task 2 (350 words)

  1. Have you ever experienced love and/or fear from leaders at work? How did you respond? Is it possible that leaders might carry love too far and create negative rather than positive results? Discuss.
  2. How do you feel about developing the emotional qualities of yourself and other people in the organization as a way to be an effective leader? Discuss.
  3. Leaders at several organizations, including Hostess Brands (Twinkies), Sbarro, and Blockbuster, have gotten significant raises or bonuses shortly before the firms filed for bankruptcy. The companies have argued that it was a necessary step to keep managers during a difficult time. Do you think this is a legitimate argument from an ethical standpoint? Discuss.
  4. One finding is that when leaders are under stress so that fear and risk increase, they tend to revert to an authoritarian, command-and-control style. As a leader, how might you find the courage to resist this tendency?

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