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CBS Under Cover Boss

I need help with the following case; it will help if you are a fan of CBS Under Cover Boss:

Imagine that you are the president of a large corporation. To improve your leadership skills, you want to make sure that you understand the work environment from your employees' perspective. To do so, you decide to go undercover in your own organization and report your findings to the board.

To prepare for this assignment, complete the following activities:
- Read the attachment
- Go to and watch one full episode of "Undercover Boss."

Do the following:

1. Examine how working "in the trenches" of the organization can help improve leadership skills.

2. Analyze whether going undercover makes a difference to the impact of this program.

3. Determine what type of leadership qualities and styles a leader would need to possess in order to agree to and be successful in this type of program.

4. Evaluate the impact of this type of program on organizational performance.


Solution Preview

1. Working in trenches of the organization can help improve leadership skills. Working in the trenches helps gain first-hand experience. In the trenches of the organization the manager comes to understand the problems, the difficulties, and the opportunities available in the organization. The leader understands the strengths of the organization and develops ideas how to use the strengths. Some of the most important leadership skills are organization skills and delegation skills. By working in the trenches, the manager observes and participates in front line. Further, he understands how front line workers take up important responsibilities. This develops the leadership skill of delegation. When in the trenches of the organization the individual observes and participates in communication that works. He learns the important leadership skill of communicating effectively. In the trenches, an individual comes across front line workers who are brave, honest, and listen to the client/customer. Each of these is an important skill for a leader. A great leader is one who has learned to follow, in the trenches the individual learns to follow orders. In the trenches the individual comes to know people. This is an important leadership skill (Zaccaro, S. J., Rittman, A. L., & Marks, M. A. 2001).

For example, when Carolyn Kibler worked in the dialysis department she came to know her workers, learned how they took responsibility, and observed their methods of communication. When the individual is in the trenches in the organization he develops a passion for the work and for the organization.
One of the most important skills of leadership is to understand the group needs and characteristics. When the person is in the organizational trenches, she understands the group needs and characteristics first hand. Consider the case of Carolyn when she worked with technicians for three days. She developed an understanding of the group needs of her ...

Solution Summary

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