Look up The Gallup Management Journal online and search the archives for a September 10, 2009, article titled “Employee Engagement and Labor Relations.” Be prepared to discuss the following questions:
- How does the author define employee engagement? How is it similar to or different from follower commitment in the SLII model?
- What percentage of Americans belong to unions? Is this number increasing or declining? What is the relationship between union membership and employee engagement according to this survey?
- The article lists twelve elements of great managing. Which of these behaviors belong to the delegating style? Coaching style? Supporting style? Directing style? Which style is most likely to lead to employee engagement?
- How would Blanchard et al. defend the SLII model in light of the findings of the Gallup survey?
Look up the National Communication Association website and e-zine called “Communication Currents.” Check the archives for the article “The Enduring Impact of Coach Messages” (Vol. 2, Issue 4). Be prepared to discuss the following questions in class:
- What was the sample population that was studied by this researcher?
- What are the two types of regret?
- Identify the six types of regret messages.
- The author states that athlete effort can be manipulated by regret messages. Do you have any personal experience with this?
- Do you think the athlete’s gender makes a difference in the effectiveness of a coach’s regret message?
- Which type of regret message is best suited for a D1 level athlete? D2 level athlete? D3 level athlete? D4 level athlete?
The Compliment Guys
Check out two Purdue University students demonstrating supportive communication on YouTube (“The Compliment Guys”). Also read the background story at www.americanprofile.com/articles (“The Compliment Guys,” September 6–12, 2009). Be prepared to discuss the following questions in class:
- How comfortable are you in giving compliments? Receiving compliments?
- Is your comfort level affected by your age? Gender? Culture? How well you know the other person?
- How can compliments by one’s superior at work be helpful? Unhelpful?
- Come up with an appropriate compliment for a hypothetical employee at each of the four developmental levels. How should the compliments differ from one another?
Find clips from films or TV shows on YouTube that show leaders using one of the four leadership styles of the model discussed in Chapter 5. Which leader was most skilled in using a particular style? What was the developmental level of the follower in that situation? Did demographic characteristics (such as the leader’s age or gender) affect the leader’s ability to demonstrate the appropriate behavior with the subordinate?
Look up leadership-central.com. This very basic site gives overviews of the major leadership theories including the Hersey and Blanchard model (look under Contingency Theory). Once students click on the Hersey and Blanchard model, there is an opportunity at the end to post comments about the model. Students can post their evaluations of the model and contribute to a broader discussion of the utility of the model. You can also ask them to return to the site later in the term and comment on other theories from the textbook or look up related resources.