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Toby Butterfield worked for Montclair Company where he was an assistant plant manager at the Illinois plant. Butterfield was promoted and transferred to the Houston plant as plant manager. He was very ambitious and power oriented. Shortly into his stay he ordered budget cuts, increased production budget and dismissed workers who did not meet his standards. The Plant produced excellent results and within five months the plant was within its budget. Within two years, he was promoted to the New York home office, but when he left production dropped substantively below budget at the Houston plant.
1. Discuss the model of organizational behavior Butterfield used and the kind of organizational climate he created.
Butterfield employs the Autocratic style of leadership. As indicated in the case, Butterfield was ambitious and some-what power-oriented; similarly, autocratic leaders depend on power. With this type of leadership, managers make as many decisions as possible and have the most authority and control over decision making. This is exactly what Butterfield did; his approach was to take control, make decisions and to use his authority to carry out his decisions.
Butterfield believed that he knew what was best for the company and felt and acted in the sense that the obligation of the employees were to follow all orders give by him. He never consulted with the staff to get their input on what could have been done differently or could have assisted in increasing productivity. Butterfield went in and ordered them to cut budgets and increase productivity. Being a no-nonsense leader, Butterfield fired workers within two months; this showed that he was not concerned with the personal situations of the workers, but that his only concern was to increase productivity. He did whatever he needed to do to achieve this goal!
This type of leadership appeared to tremendously decrease employee morale, the work environment became extremely tense and the workers did not like being ordered around. Because these employees disliked the tense and demanding environment or climate that Butterfield created workers began to resign. Generation Y workers are capable of self-direction and particularly dislike the autocratic leaders or managers; this is potentially a reason why some of the workers left. On the other hand, generation X workers may need this type of supervision and control. At this point my conclusion is that the workers that stayed probably needed the job and only because of the force and control Butterfield exerted, they were producing good results.
2. Discuss why productivity dropped when Butterfield left the Houston plant.
The productivity dropped when Butterfield left the Houston plant. In my opinion this decrease in productivity was because the workers had already become dependent upon Butterfield demands. The employees no longer had a manager that controlled what was done and told them what and how to do it. They no longer had this direction and became lost. Every manager does not manager the same way and when Butterfield left the workers no longer had a powerful leader that used his authority to make all decisions. This may have left the workers in a lax state and due to their lack of motivation they did not push to meet production quotas.
I also believe that the staff may have someone become relieved of the tense environment and felt as they worked extremely hard for the two years Butterfield was there and was overdue for a break. Considering that Butterfield was no longer there and they no long had such a strict environment, it allowed for them to slack off and work at a minimum pace.
The workers clearly are not self-disciplined, self motivated employees. The workers that stayed appear as if they need an autocratic leader like Butterfield to drive them to perform at an acceptable level.
3. If you were Butterfield?s New York manager, what would you tell him about his approach? How might he respond?
If I were Butterfield?s New York manager I would let him know that his performance was remarkable, however, the approach used is not always the best approach. Also, I would make it clear that I know his intentions were good. Even though the employees seem to obey the orders given or decisions implemented, it does not mean they liked them. In Butterfield?s case, I am sure many of the employees became frustrated and felt aggressions toward him, even though they did not say anything. This frustration
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Management, Industrial and organizational psychology, Social psychology, Management styles, Leadership, Productivity, autocratic style of leadership, houston plant, autocratic leaders, organizational climate, increasing productivity, style of leadership, production budget, illinois plant, increase productivity, personal situations, budget cuts, employee morale, organizational behavior, work environment, five months, budgets, obligation, decisions, assistant plant manager
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