DISCUSSION: Corporate Leadership Team

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DISCUSSION: Corporate Leadership Team

DISCUSSION: Corporate Leadership Team

CASE STUDY DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1.       What diversity issues are present in the case?

2.        2. How would you define diversity? What makes an organization diverse?

3.        3. How should Ralph open up the diversity conversation to the Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) as a whole?

4.        4. What conflict management tools should Ralph use to address the perceived cultural bias issues with the Corporate Leadership Team (CLT)?

5.        5. What effect did promoting Roosevelt to Senior Vice President (SVP) have on the organization? Why?

6.        6. Why did Ralph promote Roosevelt to Senior Vice President (SVP)? What did that signal to the organization and CLT?

7.        7. Which team is more important to have as high performers, the Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) or the Corporate Diversity Department (COD)? Why?

8.        8. What impact will increasing diversity have on team performance? Why?

9.        9. What leadership traits will be important for Mikayla to develop for the Chief Diversity Officer (COO) position?

10.   10. Is the current workforce diverse? In all professions?

11.    11. How much does the composition of the Board of Directors contribute to Ralph’s decision-making?

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A top management team (TMT) is a specific form of team which typically consists of some of the top managers in a firm. However, there is no clear definition to what the top management team of an organization is. It is put together by the to work on a specific task. In working on this task, the team generally has a much higher responsibility and considerable autonomy than other types of teams.

Possible tasks include

  • ensuring the organization is effective and successful by taking on responsibility for the implementation of an appropriate strategy that the organization can adapt to,
  • effectively managing the demands of stakeholders,
  • giving clear definitions of what constitutes effectiveness and success,
  • ensuring the implementation of the and the targeting of resources towards success
  • reviewing if their actions are relevant to the organization’s overall goals.

The way TMTs are put together and work together as a team can greatly differ from other teams. This is mainly based on the fact that top managers have succeeded as individuals which often leads to a focus on functional team objectives rather than to working interdependently on a shared goal. TMTs consist of top managers from different functional areas of the firm, so they usually have different areas of expertise. and heterogeneity in teams can have a positive effect on . Nevertheless, there are also negative effects which have to be overcome as a team like not valuing different opinions and perspectives. A CEO that models valuing behavior and ensures the team has both a clear purpose and clear objectives can do just that. This also reduces social categorization effects because it leads to team members focusing more on their shared goals than on their .

The exchange of information during the working process is as important for TMTs as it is for all other kinds of teams. In order to work effectively, the team needs to understand how to communicate, share information, set goals, give feedback, manage conflict, engage in joint planning and task coordination and solve problems collaboratively. The CEO plays a key role in enabling the team to do so. He or she must take on the responsibility to coach the team and to reflect on their work. In their research in 2005, Simsek and colleagues found that especially a CEO’s collectivistic orientation has a positive influence on team work behavior. Collectivistic orientation means that the CEO subordinates his or her personal to the group interests and goals, emphasizes sharing and cooperation within the team and enhances task-relevant processes of team work like gathering, processing and interpreting strategic information. This in turn enhances a process called behavioral integration which was developed by Hambrick (1994). It describes the degree to which a group, here the top management team, engages in mutual and collective interaction.

Hambrick divided this concept into three parts:

(1) the level of collaborative behavior within the team,

(2) the quantity and quality of exchanged information and

(3) the emphasis on joint decision making. TMTs can face multiple difficulties which mainly derive from their individualistic views and strong opinions. It is therefore of great importance that the team works through these conflicts, creating a climate of , keeping their vision and mission in mind and build an appropriate work environment for themselves and the organization.

 

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