Leadership And Stress Problems In Organisations Management

Essay add: 27-11-2017, 20:09   /   Views: 204


In an organisation, people have to understand the individual & group behaviour and patterns of structures in order to help improve organisational performance and effectiveness. The leaders have to motivate and engage the people to commit for the interest of the company that will have less need to be controlled and measured.

Case Study

In our previous project, we have to develop an application for Cummins. The project members in the team are selected after one week of project start date. Most of the members in the team are fresher's or do not have prior experience in that technology. The deadlines or too close and team has no prior experience on the technology, so each has to stretch their day and work on the weekend. Two days before the UAT phase, we found many issues while integrating all the modules. The project manager is not happy with the things and started to keep more pressure on team members. One of the team members had worked continuously for fourteen days without taking a single day rest. Even after that he is asked to work for one more weekend, which made him really unhappy and is not ready to work on the weekend. Manager has forced him to work and he did it for the next day, but he has taken the leave for two immediate working days saying that he is suffering from fever. Another member in the team has joined the production, just before the project has started. So any task given to her is done with the assistance of some or the other person. Even after 2 months in the project, she always complains that she is fresher and cannot complete the task in given time. One more member in the team was completely from a different background and it is very hard for her to settle down in this environment. She always fights with the manager for making her sit late in the office. One more guy in the project was newly married and can't even think of working on weekends. So whenever the manager asks him to come on weekends, he always switches off his mobile and gives one or the other excuse. The team leader is overburden with the work and faced many health problems. A part from the above, the client and onsite project managers are unhappy and raised many issues.

Leadership and Management

The leadership is achieved by personality rather than function. The leader is the one who has the ability to make sure that the subordinates perform up to their standards and accomplish the task by inspiration. The subordinates need the direction to achieve goal that is provided by the good leader. There are two types of leadership. One is formal leadership, in which the member is appointed in the hierarchy by the management; and the other is informal leader ship, in which he achieves leadership through influence and can set group norms.

On the other hand, managers achieve leadership by function. The main aim of the manager is to make sure that the sub-ordinates achieve the goals collectively or independently. The managers decide the structure, allocate staff, develop process & procedures and monitor against plans & take necessary corrective actions. Managers are more suitable to operate in some set of situations than leaders. Leaders should also possess some qualities of the manager to achieve their goals.

In earlier days, companies use to hire many employees to increase their productivity and innovation. But in fact, the productivity cannot be increased by hiring more people; they should be empowered, and the behaviours should be simulated in the direction of positive outcomes. Both psychological and behavioural empowerment among employees is required to increase the productivity. The mangers or leaders can influence the empowered behaviour, if positive mindset is developed among employees regarding their work role and contribution to the organisation.

The power of the manager has an ability to control and influence others to get the work done. Managers have different types of power that they can exercise on employees.

The leader can use one power at a time or all the power at a time to influence the followers.

Continuum theory of Leadership

According to Robert Tannenbaum and Warren Schmidt, the manager can sell, tell, consult or join the group in making a decision. The manager is characterised according to the degree of control that is maintained across the continuum. The leadership style of a person depends on his style of behaviour, his subordinate's personality & their expectations and the forces in the situation.

From the above figure, we can clearly observe that we have two types of relationships, boss centred and employee centred leadership. In boss centred or job centred leadership, the manger delegate what task to be done by the employee. This type of relationship is completely focused on job, i.e. to complete the task successfully in time. On the other hand the employee centred leadership is focused on needs of the employee. The problem is given to the employee and asked to implement it based on their comfort levels. The leaders can follow the most relevant behaviour as per the situation. Based on the forces in the supervisor, forces in the subordinates and forces in the situation, they can choose any type of behaviour. The successful managers are both knowledgeable and flexible and know which behaviour to be used at a particular time.

Fiedler's contingency model

The Fiedler's contingency theory of the model was completely based on studies of groups whose leaders were easily identified and concentrated on the relationship between leadership and organisational performance. Least preferred co-worker score is the measure of leader's basic approach that is developed by Fiedler. In this method, each employee is asked to choose the person that they would like to least work with, and then rate them on the scales between positive and negative factors. The person who achieves high LPC will have highest positive factors (Relationships-oriented) and the low LPC (Task oriented) will have high negative factors.

The score does not depend alone on leadership qualities, but also depend on the other three factors:

The task is structured or unstructured

The position power of the leader

Leader-follower relationship

Table1 -Least preferred co-worker score for different conditions

From the above table we can clearly observe that the LPC score varies based on the above three factors.

Bass Transformational Leadership Theory

The leaders who inspire and motivate others to perform beyond their standards are called transformational leaders. According to Bass (2008) there are four elements of transformational leadership:

Individualised consideration: The leader will go to each of his subordinates, acts like a mentor and listens to the followers needs. He will increase the awareness of task value and place the challenge before the follower. The follower should be applauded before the other team members to increase the enthusiasm between the employees. He will be self motivated and have an interest against his task.

Inspirational motivation: The leader should articulate his vision before his employees, so that they get inspired to implement the task. The followers should have strong understanding of the vision. The leader should have good communication skills to drive the group and make them invest their full effort to achieve the target.

Intellectual simulation: The Follower will have creativity in implementing their tasks. The leader has to nurture and encourage those followers to develop and think independently.

Idealized Influence: The leader setup a role model for high ethical behaviour, gains respect and trust.

Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Leadership

According to Hersey and Blanchard's leadership model, the leader has to adapt his style to follower's behaviour. This model establishes four leadership styles (S1 to S4) which match with the four follower's readiness (D1 to D4).

Adapted from Hersey and Blanchard's theory

S1: Telling <-> R1: The follower cannot do the job and unwilling to try, then director tell subordinates what to do, when to do and how to do. The follower is completely dependent on the leader. A little relations ship behaviour is maintained here.

S2: Selling <-> R2: The follower has the ability to the job, but overconfident about what he has to do which might not be right. Then the leader has to motivate him by selling in a different way, instead of saying him that he is wrong. High amount of task behaviour and relationship behaviour is maintained.

S3: Participating <-> R3: The follower has the ability to complete the task but unwilling to do the job because of his lack of commitment to the task. In this case, the leader has nothing to do about making the follower understand about the task, he has to find a way to motivate the follower by either listening, appreciating or make him feel good when shown necessary commitment.

S4: Delegating <-> R4: In this case, the follower has the ability to do the job and have enough commitment. The leader can have complete trust in the follower and handle the job to him without any reluctance.

After understanding the case study we can see that the team members either escape from the work or complains on the issue.. So here some lack the motivation and the other lack the proper guidance. As per the Continuum Theory, the leader has used the combination of both boss and employee centred relationship, but when the thing went wrong he tried to use boss centred relationships and made the environment looks worse. At this moment there is no scope to rate someone and change the manager or team accordingly due to lack of time. So Fiedler's contingency model might be helpful in the initial stage of the project while choosing the team but not in the worst situation. Combination of both Bass transformational leadership and Situational leadership theory might help the situation. Each member falls in to telling, selling, participating or delegating region. The manager has to talk to his team individually and has to explain about the importance of the task and role. As per the situation the employee should be guided or motivated to complete the task.


A good health is not merely the absence of disease; it is a positive state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Stress is a source of tension and frustration that has effect on our body or mind, and can arise from any situation in the organisation. This stress normally occurs when people are demanded to work on which their knowledge or abilities does not match. Those workers who face more stress are likely to be unhealthy and less productive. The stress can arise not only in the organisation but also at home. Employers cannot protect people from stress occurred outside work but can eliminate in the work environment with proper management plan.

The best practise with regarding to stress management is to eliminate the stress before it arrives or if it is already there, then we need to find a solution to reduce the happening of major health damage. In many countries, there is a law to protect people from work stress and they should be aware of it. In many scenarios, pressure is unavoidable due to the demand of the work and is acceptable as it keeps the worker alert and motivated. The stress is created when the pressure becomes excessive or unmanageable. The employees can handle minimal amount of stress but becomes worse when there is no support from the supervisors or co-workers.

Causes of Stress

Poor work organisation

Excessive and unmanageable demands

Excessive demands that do not match the knowledge or ability

Lack of support from superiors or co-workers

Excessive rules and regulations

Interpersonal relationships at work, poor communication and office politics.

Organisational changes such as loosing the key members of the staff

Effects of Stress

Increased absenteeism and decreased commitment to work

Reduced performance and productivity

Increase in unsafe working practises and accident rates

Increase in complaints from clients

Increasing liability to legal claims and actions by stressed workers

Damaging the organisations reputation both internally and externally

Checklist to avoid stress problems

Proper job design

Interact with the employees and find the problems faced while handling the job

Appropriate selection, training and staff development

Proper job description to the employee

Good structure of organisation and resources

Management style

Regular monitoring of sickness absence, staff turnover and performance levels

Helping the individual to cope

Stress Risk management

In any organisation the risk can be reduced in many areas. We can eliminate the stress in primary phase (i.e. organisational or management development), secondary phase (i.e. worker education and training) and tertiary phase (i.e. providing sensitive and responsive management system with enhanced occupational health provision). The best way to eliminate the stress is to detect it in the early stage and monitor the staff regularly.

In the above case, we can observe that one of the employees is working continuously for fourteen days and still he was asked to work for one more weekend. In this case, the cause for the stress is the lack of proper planning from the manager and wrong choice of selection to implement the task. There is also no proper supervisor support in handling the task. Due to this, there is an increase in complaints from clients that made onsite and offshore manager's relationship worse. The other employees in the same team are also facing stress. The manager should have initially allocated more time to the complex tasks and should have selected the people with more experience. To be on the safer side, he should have arranged some backup resources for a tough time. As the stress has already risen, the mitigation action should be taken using risk management process. One best option is to add additional resources with good knowledge on the project.


Any organisation or manager can be successful if they provide leadership as per the situation which will provide motivation to employees and minimize work stress. The situations are always not same; the manager who is successful at one place may not be successful at other. He has to act accordingly to get the things right. All the theories in leadership say that the manager or leader should make sure that the task is done with employee satisfaction. The employees will be satisfied only if they are guided and motivated as per the situation. They theories also say that the leader should be a role model, make them understand the vision and get them self-motivated to complete the task. The stress is a follower of bad management. If the manager has planned well and choose the right team, the stress should have been prevented. It is always said that the prevention is better than cure.

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