- Fiedler's contingency model
- The case of Hewlett Packard
- Conversational leadership in promoting organizational effectiveness
According to Fiedler's contingency theory, managers do not have a defined most effective strategy to lead organizations. On the contrast, a leadership strategy arises from different prevailing circumstances. This implies that the leadership strategy is contingent on the factors that influence the circumstances. For instance, in an organization where tasks are done on a repetitive basis, a moderately directive management strategy may lead to positive outcomes. However, in a dynamic situation, a rather elastic participative approach may be appropriate (Bolden & Dennison, 2003, p.8). My discussion will focus on the experience of Bob Veazie, a senior manufacturing manager at Hewlett Packard plant in Oregon.
Bob experienced an uncomfortable epiphany during his first World Café discussion on self-organization systems. At the time, he was a senior manager at Hewlett Packard plant in Oregon. During the meeting, Bob learnt how joint intelligence of a group can turn out to be noticeable as individuals shift from one table to another thus developing new connection, knowledge and crafting action plans. Later, Bob was co-appointed to manage the corporation's safety program that entailed managing a workforce of over 45,000 in manufacturing plants all over the globe. On the nature of safety hazards and how to mitigate them; Bob decided to engage employees at every level of the organization in the environment where they usually assembled in discussions that are aimed at taping their own relations, experiences and knowledge in order to develop better ways to mitigate accidents rates. Bob and his team were able to gather valuable information from different plants they visited. The results were remarkable. For example, in Oregon, accident rates dropped from 6.1% to 1.1% while in Puerto Rico, it fell from 4.1% to 0.2%. In general, the accident rate recorded by the company decreased by 32%, and these levels were sustained in the plants where safety discussions continued to be held (Hurley & Brown, 2010, p.2).