Strident Property Services Case Study


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The group dynamic is a significant aspect of the operations of business entities. In an organization, a group constitute of the team of employees and management personnel. The group dynamics influences the ways in which the members of a group behave, depending on the changing forces. Strident Property Services has experienced group dynamics, which have led to the decline in the overall performance in terms of customer base, revenue, and profit earned. The case analysis involves the determination of the problems in the company and the role that JoHari model play in boosting the understanding of the problem. In addition, the cause of the problem is determined to identify the forces creating the problem. Essentially, from the problems and causes identified, then the solutions are suggested.

The Problem at Strident Property Services

Before Alex Jacobs took over the business from his father, Strident Property Services had succeeded and attracted a large pool of customers (Mento, Buckheit, & Mento, 2012). The company was a leader in the region and had four departments, including property management, accounting, administrative and clerical, and the information technology. The departments were established with the aim of serving the expanding customer base. The new leadership under Alex Jacobs differed from the father’s approach. The employees changed their attitude towards work and the company. Eventually, Alex Jacobs faced problems, including the challenges in dealing with the management team, insufficient customer service, and division among the employees.

The Johari Window model can be applied to facilitate understanding of the problems faced at Strident Property Services. The model is a useful tool used for illustrating and improving self-awareness and understanding among the people in a group. The model applies a foursquare grid comprising an open area, the blind area, hidden area, and the unknown area (Davies, 2014). The open area indicates the behavior, attitude, views, and skills known by an individual and by others in a group (Davies, 2014). For a group to remain stable, the open area should be large. The problem, in this case, is that Alex Jacobs is a new leader in the organization and he has not acquired the relevant experience; he may not understand the implications of his behavior, views, and attitude at the workplace. In addition, the members of the management team and the employees have not had time to interact with him to understand his behavior. Therefore, the open area in the quadrant is relatively small making it hard for the group members to understand each other, a situation that would enhance mutual benefits.

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The blind area comprises the part of an individual, which known by others, but not the individual (Davies, 2014). Concerning this area, other individuals in the organization may tend to see Alex Jacobs weaknesses more than he could or understand. For example, Alex Jacobs may think that his leadership style is the best, but the individuals who worked under his father can easily identify the weaknesses by comparing their approaches. In addition, the hidden area comprises personal aspect not known to other parties. The hidden area regarding Alex is likely to be relatively large because he is a newcomer to the organization. The unknown area constitute of the behavior, attitude, views, and feelings not known by either the individual or others. The large area in this quadrant is an indication that the parties involved are likely to misunderstand each other when working together as a team.

From the analysis, it is clear that the misunderstanding between Alex Jacobs and other stakeholders generate the problems at Strident Property Services. In fact, Alex does not understand the needs of the employees and the factors to motivate them in performing their roles effectively. On the other hand, other players in the management team and the employees do not understand his leadership style. Therefore, the individuals in such a working environment are not likely to form a team that strives in achieving a common goal.

The Cause of the Problem

The fact that Alex is a new leader is not the main issue or the cause of the problem. The problem arises due to Alex reluctance to understand the members of his team and the being ignorant of the factors that would motivate the employees (Deutsch, Coleman, & Marcus, 2011). Alex sets goals on his own and imposes them on the management members who are supposed to implement them. The problem with this approach is that the individuals implementing the plans do not understand and own them; hence, they are less likely to meet the expectations.

Secondly, Alex does not seek to understand the reasons for the decline in professionalism and poor service delivery. He does not move around to listen and understand the challenges faced by the members of the management and others, as his father used to do. Instead of looking for the real issues and providing solutions, he threatens the management team members with demotion and firing.

Lastly, he forces the employees to follow strict arrival and departure time schedules. The approach is different from the flexible work schedule that the employees enjoyed under the leadership of Alex’s father. Therefore, it is evident that the problems arise due to the wrong approach used by the new leader compared to his predecessor.

Recommended Solutions

The issues identified ought to be addressed to assist in reducing the barriers. Alex Jacobs as the leader of the company should take necessary steps as recommend in turning around the organizations. The key solutions to the problem include the use of participative management, enhancing open door communication, and performance appraisal. It is clear that individuals in the management team are not given the opportunity to participate in decision-making (Deutsch, Coleman & Marcus, 2011). The approach leaves Alex as the only source of ideas for strategic development in the company. It is recommended that the leader should allow the stakeholders in making decisions by involving them in the planning process and implementation of the strategies agreed. Through the participative management, the organization is likely to benefit from the diverse ideas from the employees. Alex ought to understand that the individuals he found in the organization had accumulated valuable experience, which he should take advantage of and use to achieve better results.

In addition, Alex should use an open door communication policy, where individuals are allowed to raise their issues and ideas without the fear of victimization (Segal & Smith, 2012). The best approach for him is to assist in management by walking around to meet individuals, try to understand their needs, and express his opinion on how things could be done better (West & Turner, 2011). By taking a close engagement with other workers, Alex would allow for self-disclosure upon which the employees would understand him, an aspect that would assist him to enjoy their attention.

Lastly, Alex should insist on performance appraisal in which the collectively set goals and identified strategies are used to measure the performance of the employees (Segal & Smith, 2012). The appraisal should end with the provision of feedback, rewarding good performance, and encouraging improvement in the future. Performance appraisal would be more objective and more acceptable than the threats used by Alex on the non-performing individuals.

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