The case in question is the Babcock University New Department Chair Leaders Dilemma. It involves change in leadership from Dr. Afolabi to Dr. Aluko at Babcock University. Prior to the change in leadership, Dr. Afolabi had served as the chair person at the public management department for a decade. According to the situational theory, Dr. Afolabi employed autocratic leadership style of leadership during her tenure because of the situational variables that implied that the leader had to make decisions on the goals. For instance, he made and implemented all the rules that enabled him to propel the department to success.
However, after his death, Dr. Afolabi was succeeded by Dr. Aluko from a neighboring university. Dr. Aluko employed democratic leadership, a style that was regarded as a contradiction to the Dr. Afolabi’s autocratic leadership style. To a larger Dr. Aluko delegated responsibility to subordinates thought that involved members of the faculty in the public management department issues was the best that he could do as a leader. However, his democratic leadership style did not yield great success; it resulted into leadership decreased morale and a feeling of role shift. From this case study, the problem entails the impacts of change in leadership style. As such, the paper will explore Dr. Aluko’s and Dr. Afolabi’s leadership styles.
According to the case, Dr. Afolabi is cited as being an autocratic leader; he retained as much power as possible. According to the contingency theory, Dr. Afolabi might have employed autocratic leadership in order to fulfil the demand at the public management department on the basis of the situation. However, the success that was eventually realized at the public management department during Dr. Afolabi’s tenure was not just based on his autocratic leadership, but also other inherent qualities in his followers as well as the situation at the department. As a matter of fact, Dr. Afolabi’s leadership was in-line with situational theory that asserts that most leaders prefer using leadership styles that allow them to realize the goals and make decisions for the purpose of high production, with little regard to the subordinate and other colleagues. Moreover, for Dr. Afolabi to utilize autocratic successfully, he employed tight controls and did not encourage creativity and involvement of his colleagues. Similarly, it is obvious that Dr. Afolabi did not trust members of the faculty; thus he did not delegate them responsibilities thereby depicting him as aloof leader. The other fault with Dr. Afolabi is the fact that he did not disintegrate his personal life from social life as is depicted by the frequent social visits by both senior and junior faculty members; an issue that might have won him loyalty and trust of the public management department. Based the discussion outlined on Dr. Afolabi’s leadership style, it is definite that it might have made it impossible for him to instill discipline among members of the department and/or showed favor to some individuals at the department. As a result, problem occurred when Dr. Aluko was appointed to the department’s chairpersonship, but did not proceed with the tradition that had been created by Dr. Afolabi.
On the other hand, Dr. Aluko did not conduct research to learn about the institution’s department and its social structure as well as his predecessor’s leadership style. However, he employed democratic leadership style in an attempt to create a relation between him and the faculty members. As such, Dr. Aluko assumed the autocratic leadership that the department was used to. Although he was determined to empower and involve all faculty members in decision-making through a democratic process, Dr. Aluko did not take into account that the department was not ready to embrace such change as evidenced by the faculty’s resistance. Moreover, absence of autocracy and strict control made the faculty members boycott meetings and failed to adhere to official office hours.
In conclusion, it is obvious that leadership style differs from one leader to another; thereby justifying the fact that Dr. Afolabi was not a leader, but a manager; he successfully coordinated and controlled productivity at the department. On the other hand, Dr. Aluko should have first conducted research at the public management department in order to learn its social structure. As a matter of fact, leadership is critical during transition and change. Consequently, leaders should strive to set direction, ensure the vision is adhered to and motivate and inspire followers to eliminate barriers to success. Although Dr. Aluko’s intention for the faculty is noble, it would be important if he attends a leadership conference to enable him learn and acquire democratic leadership skills. At the same time, Dr. Aluko should work together with public management department’s dean to ascertain the benchmarks and goals that need to be attained by the department.