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    Using the Team Approach: Borders Group Inc

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    Leadership practices in a more modern society emphasizes the importance of group dynamics rather than individual achievement. Organizations that function with teams have a common goal and work together as well as individually to achieve their goals. Unfortunately when an organization does not meet productivity goals the team must re-examine its best practices and team approach. This Solution will describe how to apply the team approach to an organization that has faced significant problems, like Borders Group, Inc.

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    The company has faced significant financial and managerial problems over the last few years. As a result of changes in the economy, changes in the retail book market, and rising debt, the company had to bring in new leadership . To reduce further long-term damage to the company, on January 24, 2009 the Board of Directors Chairman Larry Pollock announced new changes in management ("Borders group: Borders group announces management changes including new CEO; Holiday sales results also reported," 2009). New management made it a priority to become more aggressive when addressing the company's financial problems.

    When new management has the task of restructuring a struggling company, the effective method would be to observe each department or team dynamic for opportunities of improvement. According to a researcher named Peter Northouse, the exemplary form of team leadership originates from the idea that a leader will monitor a team's functionality then take the appropriate action to ensure an operational team. (Northouse, 2009). Operative team performance starts when the leader has a the capacity to understand a situation, and therefore able to confront problematic circumstances within the team (Northouse, 2009). This team approach can also be useful when looking for feedback from team members into what strategies are most effective for the organization. In the case of Borders, as new management came into the organization the obvious reason was to provide changes within the organization. But the question is was the change effective in stimulating the company's financial situation? No, because eventually Borders went into bankruptcy. If the Borders management team sought to implement the team leadership model not only would it assist with confronting team problems, but also assist with understanding the environmental and organizational contingencies that define the team's solution to problems. One of the problems with Borders was that new CEO Ron Marshall wasn't with the company one year before leaving as CEO. One year is not adequate time to implement and improve team changes for a struggling organization.

    Leadership Decision Making:

    As a method in improving team functions, leaders take appropriate action by making decisions based on how the team is functioning. As a result of Border's rising financial debts and inability to adapt to new changes in the economy, the company began laying off upper and lower level management. This decision came from CEO Ron Marshall with the belief that eliminating jobs would help to aggressively tackle the financial debts. Ron Marshall explains in an interview about his decision to cut jobs in a statement below:

    "As we address the immediate priority of getting our company's financial house in order, one of our goals is to more aggressively reduce annual expenses. It is difficult to make the decision to eliminate jobs, especially those of talented and dedicated leaders who have significantly contributed to our organization, yet streamlining our leadership and eliminating management layers will help us be more agile and at the same time advance us toward our expense reduction goals" (Borders group consolidates corporate management, 2009, para. 5).

    According to the text, McGrath's critical leadership functions reveals the two scopes of ...

    Solution Summary

    The Solution does a deep dive into the issues with group dynamics and leadership within Borders Inc, focusing on the use of the team approach to solve problems within the company.