“Ben Samuels vs. Phil Jones” Case Study

Managerial Behavior of Ben and Phil

The case explores the different behaviors of Ben Samuels and Phil Jones who were managers of Consolidated Products. Comparatively, Ben Samuel is a relations-oriented leader while Phil Jones is a task-oriented leader. Ben’s motive is building relationships with employees. He worked for Consolidated Products for 10 years and was liked by his subordinates. Ben put employees first, had the lowest turnover but the production rate reduced and cost increased. On the other hand, Phil replaced Ben and boosted the productivity of the company by making things done. His first objective was to reduce cost by trimming human relations programs for supervisors, company parties and picnics, and the fitness center. Phil fired employees due to low performance and increased turnover rate. 

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Relations Behavior (Supporting, Developing, Recognizing)

The objective of a relations-oriented leader is to promote cooperation among employees and initiate work completion (Tabarnero et al., 2009). Harmony and culture were the drives for Ben’s success but with time, he became too understanding and lenient resulting in low production. Ben was more concerned and supportive of his subordinates. He developed employees’ skills through human relations programs for supervisors which were ended by Phil Jones. In terms of recognition, Ben had personal relations with employees as he knew all of them by name. 

Contrastingly, Phil Jones is not a relations-oriented leader as he is not concerned about the employees. Secondly, Phil is an enemy of development as he terminated human relations programs for supervisors, company parties and picnics, and the fitness center. He is harsh and immediately sacked and reprimanded subordinates for mistakes.

Specific Task Behaviour (Clarifying, Planning, Monitoring)

Ben Samuel is not a task-oriented leader as he failed to supervise and direct employees. He trusted the employees and left the decision making to subordinates without any form of monitoring. In contrast, Phil is a good example of a task-oriented leader who provides clear direction on what each subordinate requires to do. The subordinates consulted him before making decisions. He made the plan to be followed by employees and maintained a close look at the employee’s performance. 

Participative or Inspirational Leadership

The participative form of management occurs as a result of shared decision making between managers and employees. Ben was more of a participative leader as he included his subordinates in decision making.  He thus models the inspirational form of leadership due to his positive impact on team members, dynamics, and outcomes. However, due to a lack of directiveness, the employees’ commitment reduced over-time. In contrast, Phil is more of an authoritarian leader rather than a participative leader as his decisions were final and expected employees to follow without questioning. His major focus was his task objective which demotivated employees, increased turnover rate, but increased production.

Influence on Employee Attitudes, Short-Term Performance, and Long-Term Plant Performance

Ben was loved by the employees and they were loyal to him which reduced the turnover rate.  Applying the non-task-oriented leadership cost the company by increasing the cost of production and reducing the productivity level. His motivation to employees yielded in the short-term but cost the company in the long run as the employees were less committed. Comparatively, the employees were not loyal during Phil’s leadership as they lacked job security and had a high turnover rate. Nonetheless, Phil applied task-oriented management which reduced the cost of production and increased productivity rate. 

Ways to Boost High Employee Satisfaction and Performance

If I was selected as a leader for Consolidated Products, I would balance between task-oriented leadership and relations-oriented leadership. One of the strategies would be to increase employee satisfaction by following relations-oriented management. I will achieve this by building a rapport with the subordinates to motivate them towards teamwork and task completion. The motive of including task-oriented leadership skill is to stress on deadlines and clarify assignments with the employees following a bottom-line approach. According to Wilknson (2017), leading from the bottom links the organization’s purpose to the leader’s behavior which makes it clear to the employees what is the organization’s purpose. I will thus instill clarity of the organization’s purpose and create a culture and environment that allow the subordinates to make sound decisions that are in line with the Consolidated Product’s mission.

Ben was a good leader but I believe he had limited concern on productivity and lacked clear guidelines on delegations. To fill this gap I will include task-oriented strengths that drove the productivity of the company. This will be facilitated by including an autocratic approach to the bottom line approach. Iqbal, Anwar, and Haider (2015) explain that the autocratic approach to leadership helps a leader to rely on their position, push employees, clear directives, track results, and set goals. However, to attain this there is a need to first empower the employees to ensure they are self-motivated and not dragged or coerced to perform. To eliminate the issue of the deadline, I will be more time centered, and assist employees to make clear, attainable, and short-term goals. There will be periodical evaluations and feedback presented to the employees. Recognition and incentives of best performing employees will be part of the project where together with self-motivation will increase satisfaction and performance.


Iqbal, N., Anwar, S., & Haider, N. (2015). Effect of leadership style on employee performance. Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review5(5), 1-6.

Tabernero, C., Chambel, M. J., Curral, L., & Arana, J. M. (2009). The role of task-oriented versus relationship-oriented leadership on normative contract and group performance. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal37(10), 1391-1404.

Wilkinson, D. E. (2017). Leadership Behaviors Across Contexts.Yukl, G. A. (2013). Leadership in organizations. Boston: Pearson.

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