Comparing Leadership Styles

Carefully analyze the following company profile and the profiles of two candidates who have applied for the position of Department Head for the Research and Development (R&D) department of the company.

Company Profile: 

The R&D department of the company has 25 employees. Recently, there has been a high turnover of employees with less than five years of experience with the company. The R&D department is performing poorly in comparison to the others and is under a lot of pressure to produce three new products in the upcoming year. The previous head of this department was terminated for non-performance. His leadership style was laisse-faire which endeared him to his team. However, he showed very little initiative and did not encourage top performance from his team. Prior to his arrival, the R&D department was number one in the field. The team is very upset over his departure and is resistant to accepting a new leader. The morale is at an all-time low, threatening the overall culture of the organization.

Profile 1

Susan Thomas was most recently the Assistant Department Head for a research company that dealt mainly with medical supplies. She has held the position for eight years. Prior to her stint as the Assistant Department Head, she had a comparable position in a similar company.

She has a medical degree but has never practiced medicine, strictly focusing her career on research. She also has a Master’s in Business Administration and is very business-minded. She has very little experience working with others. However, she has a proven track record of successfully taking products from conception to realization.

She is well known in the industry as someone who can get things done. However, she would fail to win any popularity contests.

Profile 2

Bob White has 25 years of experience in running departments for research companies. He has a Master’s degree in product development and a Master’s in Business Administration. He does not have a medical degree, but has been in the medical field his entire career. He has a solid reputation and everybody who has worked for him has said they would love the chance to work for him again. His secret to success is to surround himself with top professionals in their field, then build on their strengths, and take products to completion.

Although he is successful in delivering the product, he often runs over budget. While his laid-back style of management is beneficial to product development, maintaining budget and sticking to timelines are crucial.

Based on your analysis, write a letter to the search committee recommending one of the two candidates. In your letter, thoroughly compare the qualities of both candidates. Be sure to select one person for the position with an explanation and rationale for your choice. Make sure you provide a thorough analysis of the organization’s needs. When analyzing the needs of the organization, consider such business aspects as industry trends, corporate culture, employee training, internal and external customer focus, organizational goals, etc.

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