You are a manager of a regional accounting firm. Your firm prides itself in providing more “hometown,” or personalized, customer service, as compared to the major accounting firms. You have a staff of eight junior accountants reporting to you, each of whom engages with clients in the field. You recently received a complaint about one of these individuals from a long-term client. It was clear that the client was dissatisfied with this particular accountant, and she gave some specific examples of missed deadlines and other aspects of faulty performance. Obviously, you are concerned, since you want to retain the client’s business.
The individual accountant in question has been with the firm for a number of years. He specializes in how information systems can be linked to accounting and, in the past, has been very good at his job. He is used to making his own decisions rather than being told what to do. But recently, there has been a big change in his demeanor. While he used to be committed to the firm, now it is not as clear as to the degree that he cares about his work and responsibilities. Indeed, evidently the problem is not just this one client. Not that long ago, another client told you that the individual seemed to be acting strangely and even hinted at possible drinking or substance abuse issues.
Undoubtedly, the individual in question has valuable skills and experience, and it would be very difficult to find a suitable replacement. Your instincts tell you that this person could be helped, and his performance return to what it used to be, but you don’t know what the problem is, nor how to counsel him. Should you just tell him what to do or what needs to be changed? Should you consult with him and then lay down an action plan for how he should proceed? Should you facilitate a discussion with him, whereby you mutually devise an action plan with which you both can live? Should you present your perceptions of the problem to him and then just let him solve the problem on his own?
Include your decisions and analysis for the following points:
What is your initial or gut feeling regarding which leadership style (Fig-1) should be used?
Analyze the case using the Vroom/Jago models
After analyzing the case, identify which prescribed leadership or decision style should be used. Discuss the style in two fashions:
by the Time Driven Model (Fig-2)
by the Development Driven Model (Fig-3)