Task 1 (LO 1)
The traits theory and the contingency theory could be effectively used to understand the leadership style presented in Jamie Oliver’s case. According to Hawkins, the traits theories emphasises the view that leadership is an innate attribute among individuals and they do not need to learn the art of leadership from others. On the other hand, the contingency theory focuses on the steps a leader is able to take in different situations. In line with these theories, it could be noted that the transformational style of leadership is the key issue that has been presented in the case. The case reveals that Jamie Oliver is mostly a transformational leader, who is able to motivate his employees and trainees to the achievement of the goals of the organisation. Green informs that the attribute of instinctive leadership is also highly present in his transformational leadership approach. He takes the art of leadership naturally, and utilises it to lead to the realisation of the goals of his organisation. Apart from these attributes, Jamie Oliver’s human, technical, conceptual, and communication skills were extremely helpful in assisting him in his leadership approach within the organisation. This is especially because he was able to understand the need of having a personal touch with trainees and ensure they are working in the desired direction.
Accordingly, Jamie Oliver’s transformational leadership approach brings out a clear distinction between leadership and the art of management. His close working relationship with employees and trainees indicates the view that leadership is different from management because it involves social influence on human resources while management is usually focused on the mobilisation of existing organisational resources and coordinating people toward the set goals. More so, Green reiterates that Jamie Oliver exhibits the view that leadership goes beyond the office held by an individual while management is usually focused on the office held by the individual. A leader tends to have more freedom in terms of working with and leading people while a manager seems to be restricted by the duties and responsibilities bestowed on him by the office. As a leader, Jamie Oliver tends to rely more on the traits theory to ensure that trainees are naturally brought closer to the organisation and are able to fit into the family. Everyone that works here loves the leadership approach applied compared to the management approach.
The contingency theory helps in the understanding of Jamie Oliver’s application of his leadership styles in different organisational situations. His ability to apply varying leadership styles in different situations had an effect on trainees in the sense that it enabled them to learn in the most effective way possible. Notably, Jamie Oliver is brought out as a natural leader who is able to boost the skills of his trainees by applying numerous leadership styles in different situations. For instance, Hawkins asserts that the democratic style of leadership is applied in the course of making decisions within the organisation, as every trainee is given the opportunity to contribute to the decisions of the organisation. None of the trainees was left behind in any given decision-making situation. Thus, this helped them to develop into fully qualified employees who understand the significance of decision-making within the organisation. Additionally, Jamie Oliver tends to apply the laisses faire style of leadership in the learning situations. He gave his trainees the opportunity to experience the workplace environment, and work toward the realisation of the best outcomes. For instance, there is the application of diverse training methods including power point slides, hand outs, videos, and customisable worksheets. Hawkins affirms that the efficiency of these varying leadership skills in different situations were instrumental in changing the attitude of trainees, hence ensuring the gain the skills required in any standard workplace.
Maslow’s needs theory could also be applied to this situation in order to understand Jamie Oliver’s role in ensuring that trainees are motivated and able to remain committed to the organisation. Jamie Oliver’s organisation has a perfect understanding of the needs of its trainees, and this helps move toward their achievement. For instance, it is understood that most of these trainees need affection and love. He takes them as part of his family and works with them closely, hence motivating toward the achievement of the set training goals. Most of them turn into more qualified employees because of the affection given to them. The learning opportunities given to them also serve as a learning ground and enables them gain the skills and abilities required for the job market. Green insists that Maslow’s needs theory is highly considered in Jamie Oliver’s organisation when dealing with the affairs of all trainees through equal training opportunities and treatment within the organisation. Overall, the transformational leadership style and the application of Maslow’s needs theory in this organisation helps trainees remain positive and active in their learning process. In fact, they remain eager and more focused on the achievement of the set targets.
Task 2 (LO 2)
Bruce Tuckman’s theory of team stages and McGregor’s theory X and Y will be utilised in explaining the nature of team work in Oliver’s organisation and his approach to the overall team experience. Salas, Goodwin and Burke inform that Tuckman’s theory of team formation brings out clear stages that leaders should understand in the course of forming their teams. The key stages that every leader must understand include forming, storming, norming, and performance. These stages also present a clear opportunity for handling any conflicts. On the other hand, McGregor’s theory X and Y gives leaders the criteria of motivating team members and handling conflicts in the best way possible.
Team working benefitted Oliver’s organisation to the highest level possible. The benefits emanated from the view that all of Tuckman’s team formation stages were applied in the process of coming up with these teams. West asserted that the first benefit of team working in the organisation was improved performance of the given duties. Most trainees and employees were able to work together toward the realisation of the goals of the organisation. This led to improved performances in terms of the foods prepared at the restaurant. Members were able to share their skills and knowledge, hence boosting their performance in the different departments they worked. The restaurant gained more popularity because of the quality of services delivered by each team. The second benefit of the teams was effective decision-making. All team members had the opportunity to contribute to the decisions of the organisation. The ability of the management to get various views on the direction of the organisation ensured that it stayed on the right path because of the reliance on effective decisions. Salas, Goodwin and Burke opine that the third benefit of these teams in the restaurant was improved communication. Employees and trainees got the opportunity to know each other better, as they worked in their respective teams. There was improved communication among them, as they ensured that messages are delivered faster and more effectively from one part of the organisation to the next, hence leading to the achievement of the goals. The last benefit of teams in this organisation was increased innovation in the delivery of services. The ideas shared in the team presented a perfect environment for innovations and the subsequent delivery of quality services.
It is clear that Jamie Oliver witnessed some conflicts and difficult situations from the teams formed in the organisation. One of the key conflicts that Jamie Oliver faced as a leader of these teams in his organisation was some instances of misunderstanding among his team members. Nevertheless, he had an in depth understanding of McGregor’s X and Y theory, hence came up with clear solutions to the problems that teams in the organisations faced. He did not apply punishments to team members who went against the desired ways of delivering services because this is not the best approach for any leader working in the team. Green is of the view that Oliver handled the situation by calling upon all trainees in meeting and giving them the opportunity to explain themselves. Every party in the team was given an adequate chance to air views on the problems facing the team, hence ensuring that the problem is treated urgently and resolved. Also, Green agrees that the best thing about Jamie Oliver is that he did not wait for the problem to escalate, as he took quicker measures to ensure it was fully addressed in the best way possible. More so, Oliver handled the difficult situations by putting in place superb communication channels that helped in reporting any forms of disagreements among staff members. Reporting channels are vital for any leader because they give an instant understanding of any problem facing the organisation. He did not follow the spirit of punishments when dealing with conflicts in the organisation, hence ensuring that everyone is served rightly. Instead, he motivated all team members by treating them fairly when handling problems at the organisation.
The effectiveness of teams in the achievement of organisational goals can never be ignored. Teams are effective in leading to the achievement of organisational goals, as long as they adhere to the steps suggested by Tuckman. As seen from Oliver’s organisation, teams are effective in the achievement of the goals of the organisation because they ensure that efforts are coordinated toward a common goal. West holds that most teams are always made up of individuals with common aims and aspirations leading to the achievement of the goals of the organisation. Their ability to coordinate their efforts and work toward common goals ensure that all opportunities are maximised for the achievement of the set goals. Additionally, teams could be effective in leading to the achievement of the goals of the organisation because of the quality decision-making processes they boast of. Teams could be the best tool in leading to the realisation of the goals of the organisation because of the reliance on forward-looking decisions, as was the case in Oliver’s organisation. Salas, Goodwin and Burke affirm that their effectiveness in goal achievement in the organisation is always limited by the conflicts they experience. Team conflicts interfere with the entire plan of trying to move toward the goals of the organisation because every member will work in line with his/her beliefs and interests instead of serving the whole organisation. Therefore, there should be maximum utilisation of Tuckman’s team formation stages to bring up a successful team in any given organisation.
Task 3 (LO 3)
The learning curve theory provides an effective guideline for understanding the factors involvement in the assessment of the work performance of trainee’s at Oliver’s restaurant. Khattri, Reeve and Kane opine that the learning curve theory focuses on the ability of employees to learn, as they are involved in the operations of a given organisation. In this Oliver’s restaurant, trainees were directly involved in the performance process. Therefore, one of the key factors involved in the assessment of the work performance of trainees at the restaurant was the standards observed by trainees. Every trainee was expected to maintain a given level of standards in the course of proving services in the organisation. Trainees were believed to be performing and learning in the best way possible in cases where they were able to apply high standards to their work performance independently. According to Green, the second factor that was involved in the assessment of the ability of trainees in the work performance was skills and knowledge applied by each of them in the course of performing the different organisational duties. It is important to understand that trainees work with different levels of skills and knowledge toward the success of the organisation. Therefore, they were measured based on their successful application of knowledge and skills to the performance of the restaurant. In tandem with the learning curve theory, they were perceived quick learners in cases where these skills and knowledge were applied successfully to the operation of the restaurant. The third factor that was considered is feedback. The organisation believed in the strength of feedback, and its contributions to successful delivery of goals. Khattri, Reeve and Kane are of the view that the feedback from supervisors and the restaurant’s customers provided an effective assessment on their performance. Positive feedback is a clear indicator that trainees are on the right track in terms of attaining the highest level of professionalism, and serving everyone in the required manner. The last factor that was involved in the assessment of the work performance of trainees at Oliver’s restaurant was the ability to learn and apply the learned skills in the performance of the expected duties in the organisation. A progressive learning curve was instrumental in helping the management understand that all trainees were moving in the best direct as far as work performance was concerned in Oliver’s restaurant.
The planning and the delivery of the assessment of the development needs of individuals at Oliver’s restaurant were also conducted in the best manner possible. Performance monitoring was effectively done using supervisors at the organisation, hence leading to the attainment of the desired performance level. Supervisors always boost the performance through efficient monitoring of the ability of trainees to work in line with the desired objectives of the organisation. More so, the theory based its assessment on Maslow’s theory of needs to motivate trainees in their development process. West insists that it ensured that their needs at different levels were met in the best way possible, hence boosting their desire and ambition to achieve the set goals within the organisation. For instance, it developed by assuring them of security through a supportive workplace environment. All trainees seemed to enjoy their lives at the organisation because of Jamie Oliver’s direct involvement in their development process. He wanted to ensure that each of them was at the best level of performance through frequent motivation that emanated from the direct address of their needs and desires.
The assessment process and the involvement in the development of the needs of trainees at the restaurant were highly successful. The assessment process was successful because it gave the restaurant the chance to understand the stage of learning that trainees had reached in the course of their stay at the organisation. Salas, Goodwin and Burke are of the opinion that the assessment presented a clear view of the gaps existing in the work performance of trainees, hence ensuring that they are directly addressed by management. More so, the process of supporting the needs and the development of trainees was successful because it opened up more learning opportunities for trainees. There was increased focus on their needs, hence ensuring they developed into holistic employees in the future.