Leadership in Organization Case study Questions and Answers

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Discussion questions


Ch 5:  Leading Change and Innovation

1) What is the distinction between role-centered and attitude-centered approaches to change. Which do you think is more effective? Learning Objective (Understand the psychological processes involved in making major changes.)


Answer:  Student responses may vary.


One useful distinction is between efforts to change attitudes versus efforts to change roles, structures, and procedures.

2) List and describe the stages in the change process as formulated by Lewin. Learning Objective:  Understand the psychological processes involved in making major changes

Answer:   Student responses may vary. ( check p. 325- Change Processes)

One of the earliest process theories was Lewin’s force-field model

He proposed that the change process can be divided into three phases:

 unfreezing, changing, and refreezing.

3) How can prior experience with change affect people? ( Check P. 328) Learning Objective:  Understand the psychological processes involved in making major changes.


Answer:  Student responses may vary.


The research has examined how contextual factors and individual factors jointly determine the amount of resistance or commitment to change (Beer, 2011).


 Case Studies:


Ch 5- Leading Change and Innovation


Echo Electronics (use it for Both Ch 4 &Ch 5)

The purpose of this case is to provide a better understanding of the potential benefits of participative leadership.  Students are asked to describe a decision for which an autocratic decision was unsuccessful (especially the change is major)

  1. What actions could Paul have taken to prevent the problem?
  2. What steps should Paul take now to deal with the problem?


Case Study from Ch 5 (but can use both chapters 4 and 5

Ultimate Office Products (Ch 5- p. 393))


Ultimate Office Products was an old, established manufacturing company

in the turbulent office products industry.

The purpose of this case is to help students understand effective leadership of change in an organization. The case describes a manager whose initial efforts to introduce change fail, but whose subsequent efforts are successful.  Students are asked to explain these outcomes by identifying effective or ineffective behaviors and facilitating or constraining conditions.

  1. Why did Richard fail in his first attempt to implement change?
  2. Identify subsequent actions by Richard that were effective for implementing change in the organization.
  3. Evaluate the change in leadership provided by the CEO.

The case does not include much information about the CEO, but this person does not


 Ch 6- Power and Influence Tactics- Case Study


The New Dean

The purpose of this case is to show how power can be used by a leader to influence subordinates and bosses, and how subordinate counter power can be used to remove a leader who is incompetent and unethical.

  1. What influence tactics were used by the Acting Dean to get promoted?
  2. How much of each type of power did the new Dean possess over Business School faculty?
  3. What power bases and influence tactics were used to get the new Dean dismissed?


Ch 6- Power and Influence Tactics- Case Study


 Sporting Goods Store

The purpose of this case is to develop a better understanding of the different types of influence tactics and how to use them.

The case also provides an opportunity to develop skill in analyzing power relations and planning influence strategies.

The power analysis should be made before trying to identify effective influence tactics. Then students should consider likelihood of success for each type of tactic, and the best sequence for using the preferred tactics.

  1. How much of each type of power does Bill have at this time?
  2. What influence tactics could be used in this situation to influence Sally? Explain what you would say to Sally in the process of using these tactics.
  3. What should Bill do to improve store performance?


Ch 7 : Case study Leader Traits and Skills


 National Products:

The purpose of this case is to develop a better understanding of the implications of different motive patterns for managerial effectiveness. Students are required to identify the dominant motive of three department managers and evaluate their likely effectiveness if selected for a general manager position. The case can be used in different ways, but I generally use it in the following way. Discuss any discrepancies. Then analyse how many people identified dominant motives for all three managers correctly by themselves.

  1. What are the dominant motives for each candidate?
  2. What are the implications of these traits for the success of each candidate if selected for the general manager position?
  3. Should Susan recommend one of these candidates for the position or look for other candidates?


Ch 8: Case study Leader Traits and Skills


 Prestige Marketing:

The purpose of this case is to provide students an opportunity to identify traits and skills possessed by leaders and to better understand how these attributes are related to the effectiveness of the leader.

  1. What are the key leadership traits, skills, and competencies of each team leader?
  2. Identify any attributes that have contributed to each team leader’s career success.
  3. What attributes of each of team leaders are seen by others as problematic? How might these attributes detract from the effectiveness of their teams in delivering a quality proposal?


Ch 9- Values-Based and Ethical Leadership


 Unethical Leadership at Enron

  1. How can theories ethical leadership and leader influence on organizational culture be used to explain the unethical practices at Enron?

This case shows the potential influence of top executives on the ethical culture and practices of an organization, and it demonstrates the potential negative influence of unethical leaders.

  1. What can be done to reduce this type of unethical leadership in the future?

The chapter does not directly address the wide range of answers that are possible for this question, and it is an opportunity to go beyond the narrow focus of the text to consider the growing literature on social responsibility and ethics in corporate management.


CH 10 : Case Study Values-Based and Ethical Leadership


Restview Hospital

The purpose of this case is to develop more understanding of how power can be used in unethical ways by leaders to influence organizational decisions. The case also illustrates how poor decisions may be made by top management even when objective evidence is available to make a more rational decision.

  1. Explain the board’s decision to purchase the software from Standard.
  2. What could Mary have done to gain more influence over the decision?


Ch 11 : Case Study from Dyadic Relations and Followers


 Cromwell Electronics

The case describes a manager who has developed an effective working relationship with some subordinate but not others. Students have an opportunity to use LMX theory and attribution theory to analyze the reasons why the manager has not been able to develop an effective relationship with some subordinates.

  1. What theories from the chapter are relevant for analyzing the case?
  2. Evaluate Ed’s behavior as a manager, and identify effective and ineffective actions.
  3. What should Dan say or do now?


Ch 12:  Case Study- Strategic Leadership in Organizations


 Turnaround at Nissan

The purpose of this case is to provide an opportunity to use concepts and theories from several different chapters to understand how effective leadership resulted in a successful turnaround of a failing company. The case involves strategic leadership, leading change, ethical leadership, cross-cultural leadership, leader behavior, skills, and traits, participative and empowering leadership, and developing leadership.

  1. What was done to improve efficiency, adaptation, and human relations, and to minimize adverse side effects of the changes?
  2. What effective practices were used to identify and implement necessary changes in the strategy and the organization?


Ch 13:  CASE Study: Cross Cultural leadership and Diversity-


A Day in the Life of a Global Leader

1. How can Nathalie think about cultural differences that might be affecting her team without resorting to cultural stereotyping?

As noted in the chapter (p. 361), most leaders are not experts on all of the different cultures they encounter. Rather, they develop personal qualities and capabilities that help them to observe behavior, unravel nuances, build trust, and adapt their approaches to be successful in a particular context.

2. Does the lack of face-to-face communication contribute to Nathalie’s problem? If so, how?

3. If we believe that cultural value differences are affecting the team’s efforts, what should be Nathalie’s next steps?

To improve the team’s communications, a valuable next step would be to help the members understand one another and their cultural backgrounds. there are a series of guidelines (found in Table 13-3) for managing diversity and promoting inclusion that Nathalie could follow.

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