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NCF's Leadership

Located at opposite ends of the country, Northwest Center for Families (NCF) and Southeast Social Services (SSS) are local government agencies specializing in family, child, and school social work in rural areas. After attending a conference on performing social work in small communities, the directors of both organizations have returned with plans to address the issue of dual relationships, in which social workers relate to their clients on multiple levels?including social and professional. Each director takes a different approach to solving the problem.

NCF's director sends out a memo to employees stressing that dual relationships are a conflict of interest prohibited by the organization. She states that a dual relationship could be grounds for employee termination and encourages employees to report any non-sanctioned interaction between social workers and their clients. The NCF director's plan also includes the construction of a new employee lounge, with the understanding that employees will eat their lunches in the office, rather than eating in town.

The director of SSS holds a meeting with his staff to discuss the organization's role and purpose in the community. He shares what he has learned at the conference: the potential to improve people's lives outweighs any other social or professional interaction that could derail the organization's purpose. The SSS director explains that he will make it his personal mission to solve the problem of dual relationships and asks employees for their input and participation in overcoming this obstacle. The leader explains all the employees must work together to reform the organization in order to better serve the community.

Answer the following questions:

What type of leadership is practiced at NCF, transactional or transformational? How do you know?

What type of leadership is practiced at SSS, transactional or transformational? How do you know?

Which style of leadership would you recommend for a health care or human service organization? Explain your answer.

Solution Preview

NCF's Leadership:

NCF's director practices transactional leadership. Transcational Leadership is defined as "the use conventional reward and punishment to gain compliance from their followers." Because of the underlying threats in his communication, it clearly shows that the director is a "do as I say" type leader. Because the new policy in dual relationships, the director is taking a conservative approach and trying to minimize the opportunity for exceptions. He is obviously uses a directive, demanding, ...

Solution Summary

NCF's Leadership:

NCF's director practices transactional leadership. Transcational Leadership is defined as "the use conventional reward and punishment to gain compliance from their followers." Because of the underlying threats in his communication, it clearly shows that the director is a "do as I say" type leader. Because the new policy in dual relationships, the director is taking a conservative approach and trying to minimize the opportunity for exceptions. He is obviously uses a directive, demanding, and defensive management style which is indicative of a transactional leader.

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