Latoya Washington is a little fish in a big pond. She has opinions, but not necessarily the power to get what she wants. Though Washington is a tenured professor and has more longevity than the department head, she does not hold the authority that John Carl, her boss does. While she is valued at her position, her voice does not hold weight to make decisions, regardless of the input she or anyone else gives (Lussier & Achua, 2012). Power and Influence of John Carl
John Carl, the department head holds legitimate power, based on his position. Since he is new to the department he probably does not hold referent power which would be gained through personal relationships. Carl might possibly be increasing his legitimate power by using his authority appropriately and following up by making sure that policies and procedures are implemented and followed. The reader has no reason to believe that he does not want to hear what the subordinates think as only Washington spoke up. One cannot assume that he is using his power inappropriately. He noted that he would check further into it and create the policy at a later time. He did not negotiate with his team to get them to see or agree with his point of view, as he said what he thought should take place and asked for feedback (Lussier & Achua, 2012). Washington’s Power and Influence
Latoya Washington most likely uses personal power that comes from the relationships that she has with the team. She also would be able to hold informational power as she is privy to what the other departments on campus are doing. She attempts at rational persuasion as she argues that it makes no sense as the tests only have a right or wrong answer, they are not subjective. She also argues that other departments give the graduate assistants more authority than does the Marketing Department. She needs to count the cost of what the backlash of sending the memo might be. While she might be right in her opinions, she can very much become ostracized and isolated if other team members feel she is causing waves. In the article, “The Art of Managing Difficult People”, the author talks about how to deal with those that cause issues and problems, and notes that colleagues will separate from them in hopes of keeping a good position with the other workers and management. People need to have a job more than they need relationships and they will do what it takes to keep the peace (Tate, 2006). If It Were Me
I certainly would have spoken my opinion, because you cannot complain about a policy, or anything for that matter, if you did not speak up about your thoughts. I would be more than frustrated that no one gave their input, but I have the type of personality that would have called them out during the meeting and asked them. That does not mean that they would have given their true opinions, but I would have inquired. I am not sure that I would fight the position once the policy was in place, as I don’t really think it is that huge of a deal. I might campaign for a scantron machine instead, as it would save everyone’s time. Being tenured I would definitely fight harder for the things that mattered to me. It is an accomplishment to be tenured and when one holds that position he/she has gained the right to have a voice.
After the meeting and before the policy was drafted I would schedule a meeting with Mr. Johns hoping to present my case as to why I felt there was no need for a change in how things were being done. I would not approach him as he was inadequate and didn’t know what he was doing, but try to reason with him and give him insight as to how the other departments did things and how it has never been a problem in the many years I had been at the school. I would try to persuade him into understanding my side. If I did not make any headway, I would probably try to negotiate for the scantron system as I stated earlier. Once the policy went into place, if it did, I would accept it and honor him and his position as my boss. The Dean’s Position
The dean, who hired Carl, would lose credibility by undermining him and his policies. He would also present as he does not think John Carl is capable of his job, and he would set a precedent that any policy, procedure or mandate that someone disagreed with, they could buck Mr. John’s authority by going to the dean. It’s crucial that employees know where they rank and what power they hold. It is a slippery slope to chaos when someone’s authority and decisions are questioned (Tate 2006). A school wide policy, while probably hard to implement, would possibly be the best solution for this type of thing. I don’t know how well it would be accepted at a large university but this is a “small teaching college” (Lussier & Achua, 2012).
By the brief case study, one cannot assume there is not a “dyadic process” going on where the leader and the subordinates are trying to influence one another. Once again, we know that Mr. Carl gave Washington the floor to state her mind, and would have probably allowed any other person to speak up as well. Organizational leadership is possibly what John’s is trying to accomplish. He did not make a hasty decision but was going to look further into implementing the new rule. We must assume that the dean is happy with his progress as the leader of the department and wants to increase his influence and organizational performance (Lussier & Achua, 2012). Undergraduate Students
Undergraduate students are peers and equals to classmates and should not have any business or knowledge of how others are doing in a class. Some instructors use undergraduate students as teaching assistants and they are even given credit hours for the positions. This is different than them being enrolled in the class as a student. In that case, it is ethically fine for undergraduate students to grade objective exams. As far as subjective exams go, or any types of papers, they should not be allowed to grade or evaluate them for credit. Ohio State Leadership Style of John Carl
One cannot assess the total leadership style of Mr. Carl by reading the case study. It would seem that he leaned more towards the Initiating Structure Behavior than the Consideration Behavior. He told his team his thoughts and purpose of changing the policy, but did give a chance for feedback. He appears to use a job-centered approach to leadership (Lussier & Achua, 2012), but this could possibly be due to his short time he’s been in the department and not having the relationships that the others do with more longevity. Conclusion
One can be “right” but not have any peace about getting what he/she wants. A healthy working environment is crucial to a productive culture of the organization. Hostility is created when one feels usurped or underappreciated (Laschinger, Wong, Cummings & Grou, 2014), and while Washington might have had strong opinions on the use of graduate students, she did not have the backing from colleagues to keep things as they were.
Lussier, R. N., & Achua, C. (2012). Leadership: Theory, application, & skill development (5th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western College Publishing. Tate, C.W. (2006). The art of managing difficult people. Nursing Standard, 20(19), 72. Laschinger, H.S., Wong, C.A., Cummings, G.G., & Grau, A.L. (2014). Resonant leadership and workplace empowerment: The value of positive organizational cultures in reducing workplace incivility. Nursing Economic$, 32(1), 5-44.