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KBR Leadership Essay

Leadership and the leadership style used by the company and its relationship with the leadership theories:

Leadership style in given organization is quite simple, open and goal focusing.

Targets are given to functional and cross functional teams managed by team leaders, in team works every one has right to participate in decision making process, every team member can explain his opinion openly. Leader of the teams are expertise of their fields they better know how to overcome different problems. Leaders in this organization are responsible to maintain discipline, ethic and integrity in team and team work. Most of responsibilities are on the shoulders of leaders. Power distance is quite low in this organization as every one works for common goal, it is not difficult to communicate to leaders or seniors of the teams as vertical communication is open and honest, team members have good level of contact with their leaders and leaders are easily approachable. Leaders in this organization are used to of motivating their team members by trusting in them and expecting right job from them. Most of things are clear to team members as leaders don’t hide things from them and try to keep transparency in operations. Leaders expand the description of jobs by giving team members a variety in tasks and usually jobs are open ended. This style of leadership let the personnel progress and gives freedom for decisions making.

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Relationship with leader ship theories:

Leadership in this organization includes a part of Fiedlers’s leadership contingency theory (1960s) least preferred co-worker scale and situational control, in which leadership style is measured between task motivated leadership and relationship motivated leadership, leadership style of given organization is in between as it is target oriented and relationship motivating as well. In relation to situational control leaders in this organization are well aware of outcomes of their team members’ actions and decisions.

Leadership in KBR is also near to House’s path-goal leadership theory which focuses on four leadership behaviours directive leadership, achievement -oriented leadership, supportive leadership and participative leadership. as path-goal theory says that key function in leadership is to adjust yourself according to situation in KBR leadership is more flexible, have a lot of experience and are more responsible so KBR is quite near to this theory and supportive leadership that focuses on developing good relations with subordinates and friendly work climate, in KBR leaders motivate the team members and seniors are approachable and other things discussed above made leadership in KBR quite supportive.

KBR’s leadership also follows the achievement -oriented leadership which emphasize on setting targets for subordinates and showing confidence in personnel’s abilities. In KBR leaders after assigning tasks to their team members expect right job from them it makes KBR’s leadership achievement oriented. In participative leadership behaviour of leader is to involve subordinates in decision making and in KBR it provides bases to leadership.

Transformational approach of leadership is also quite near to KBR’s leadership as followers in KBR are motivated to go beyond job description and work for common good.

Source of organization’s culture and its implication on the workforce and organization performances:

Morris W Kellogg is the saga of the company, means that he started the story of KBR and his story provides a lesson to whole organization members and gives foundations to culture of organization.

Management philosophy of organization is based on commitment to health and safety and discipline. Individuals in organization have open and honest relationships there is good communication between all levels of management, in relationships mutual respect is always there. Most of things are transparent before everyone in organization, at all levels individuals are responsible but top management has more responsibilities Organization struggling to sustain integrity and specialization. work is divided among different specialized teams individuals at all levels have freedom of decision making and providing opportunities to grow to staff are is part of organization’s culture. Organization always attracts talented graduates and specialized people as specialization is a part of organization’ culture.

Organization’s culture emphasis on going beyond customer‘s expectations. Organization delivers quality services to its customers. Organization’s staff lives near the project location to better understand the situation. Organization works to innovate new things to expand its divisions and operations.

Organization’s culture causes a good relationship among whole work force. It makes the workforce to struggle for specialization and integrity. It causes exploring new things. whole work force has to obey the discipline and ethics. Communication among force needs to retain the mutual respect factor.

Organization’s culture is best fit for its operations, it helps to give maximum performance and achieve organizational goals. Culture of organization helps in continuous improvement, integrity and specialization. It provides motivation to individuals. Organizations culture moves the organization towards functional structure to get maximum integrity.

Explore how the culture of the organization has impact on both the leadership and the organization structure of organization?

Organization’s culture plays an important role in providing bases to leadership. The leaders in organization takes the culture along and transfer it to subordinates major things in leadership which are from culture are integrity ,specialization, development of good relationship, work for crossing the customer’s expectations. Given above characteristics impact leadership style it makes leadership more cooperative. Leadership in KBR also opens door for innovation which is one of basics of firm’s culture. Transparency factor of culture makes the leaders to discuss things with subordinates openly, innovation factor of culture makes the leaders to let the subordinates go beyond their job description. For specialization leaders must be expertise of their fields. Element of honesty prevent leaders form politics. Element of the relationship building makes the leaders work with teams.

Many things of culture also have affect on structure of company as honest relation and mutual respect and communication all these things give dimensions of low power difference, small hierarchy and flat structure to organization. Factor of specialization has divided the firm in many business units to bring maximum quality and specialization

Need of specialization causes the organization to develop a set up to attract talented graduates, expertise towards the company. To create this attraction organization gives opportunities to personal progress and freedom of decision making and goo reward system specialization also divides the organization further business units. Due to specialization organization is gradually moving towards matrix structure which is more expensive and complicated but is necessary to meet the organizational and cultural needs

Shareholder and employee benefits make the organization to give employees opportunities to grow and make profits for share holders. Relationship element of organization divides the management in few layers to built strong relationships

The issue of motivation theories the motivational policies used in the case and its impact on individual and organization performances:

KBR has developed a motivating culture for its personnel, there is a small distance between the upper management and the lower management, vertical and horizontal communication is not complicated ideas can be shared, team leaders always there to motivate and help their team members, most of things are transparent before employees as they are trusted by their seniors all these things motivate them and make them feel that they are part of organization besides this jobs has been designed to motivate the personnel, they have freedom to make decision and they can identify and solve the problems by their own judgment, challenging goals are give to staff member according to their specialization which motivate them to make difference there is a strong relationship between senior management and the subordinates, all above elements motivate the staff and make them feel that they are like a family and have power and freedom to some extend they know that their actions can influence the organization, in future they have many opportunities to prosper on the bases of their work and there is no typical strict boss on them.

Motivated staff ultimately leads the organization towards efficiency and success. As jobs do not have strict boundaries so there are more chances of exploring new things that enables the firm to have new ideas. Organization’s motivating strategy develop loyalty in employees and it also attract talented graduates towards the organization as they see opportunity to grow and talented staff plays an important role in organization’s achievements.

Motivation strategy of this company follows rules described in Alderfer’s ERG theory which focuses on existence needs, relatedness needs and growth needs and it also follows the acquired needs theory which emphasize on achievement , affiliation and power needs. And KBR has opportunities to grow, strong relationship with employees and challenging jobs to make achievements all these things bring firm near to these theories.

KBR’s strategy is also near to two-factor theory of Fredrick Herzberg. this theory shows certain factors which play an important part in motivating and providing job satisfaction to employees these factors are given below in diagram, according to this diagram KBR has most of job satisfying factors in its strategy.

(Organizational behaviour Schermerhhorn, Hunt, Osborn, seventh edition, 2000, page: 114)

The nature of team, its structure and how it has impact on organization performances:

KBR’S management structure is flat and has few layers of management organization has adapted functional structure for its project in which teams work under specialist’s leadership and all members struggle for common goal as all are accountable for it. In teams all members have good relationship with each other mutual respect is always there every team member has god level of contact with seniors all members have efficient communication skills role of every team member is clearly described and he also has a freedom to some extent. All key tasks are given description team members need to be flexible teams are ready to accept any challenging task all teams working for same project have interaction with each other and work together to satisfy customer by delivering services beyond expectation. this structure of is according to day- to -day business needs of organization.

Now company is gradually moving towards matrix structure in which cross functional teams consist on expertise from different functional departments utilize maximum of their skills to achieve organizational goals.

KBR’s structure helps it to achieve perfection in services as specialists’ teams work on projects assure quality and helps to sustain quality this functional structure also help the organization to meet its day to day requirements. Team work gives guarantees clear performance objective and enhances creativity in organization that plays an important role in going beyond expectations

Cross functional teams bring an increase in work speed, provide broader information and struggle to sustain integration. All these things cause a perfection in lesser time that take the firm towards customer satisfaction.

How effective do you think company approach to people management will be in ensuring improved results and enhancing the change management process?

KBR has developed its structure to deliver services efficiently to its customers in all conditions, this structure also enables to work for the benefit of its shareholder, employees and communities the organization serve. In KBR the chain of command is small there are not many layers in hierarchy of management span of control is larger in this organization. A few layers cause a decrease in distance between upper management and lower management, individuals are not answerable to many bosses. Staff at upper management level has more responsibilities individual at upper level are expertise of their fields company also hire fresh graduates in its lower management and training is given to them so a new person can be a part if this organization at any level but new staff member has to show performance in 12 months probationary period .All individuals in KBR are given a degree of freedom to make decision. Every single post has an opportunity to progress and prosper personally. Jobs are designed to continue the learning process and exploring new things.

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Because of few management layers it is easy for upper management to control the subordinates as they can directly contact them and they can be informed with the staff problems and it also cause a motivation in staff as they can easily approach their seniors. This structure also help in unity of command besides this a few layers of management cause a decrease in cost and time. In horizontal structure organization is a functional and matrix organization and this structure leads towards clear targets and specialization.

All individual selected for the organization have quality of adaptability so any change can be easily adapted. Because of few layers in management it is easy to bring a change. As company is changing towards matrix structure which is quite near to functional structure so it is easily acceptable. Problems caused by change can easily be known to upper management and can be solved and all conflicts can be removed.

Explore the way individual and organization behaves liking this with relevant theory that you are familiar with how would this impact on any the organization’s change process:

Individuals in KBR are flexible, technically competent they use their own judgment in understanding the things and the have good interpersonal skills. Employees in KBR expect growth and reward for their work. All these traits bring KBR,s staff near to following theories.

Self monitoring: According that individuals have ability to adjust their behaviour according to situation.

Maglino and associates: this theory focuses on four points. Achievement, helping and concern for others, honesty and fairness

(Schermerhhorn, Hunt, Osborn, seventh edition, page: 72)

Varoom’s expectancy theory: According to this theory motivated staff believes that

  1. effort will yield acceptable performance
  2. performance will be rewarded
  3. the value of reward is highly positive

Company’s first priority is to satisfy the customer and after for that company focuses on financial responsibility, accountability and discipline there is no compromise on health and safety. Organization also focuses on ethics and integrity. Company struggles for continuous improvement and grow globally company has been opening new business units and innovating new things. Organization trust in its staff and right job is expected from them. Company’s behaviour has relevance with following theories.

High performance management theory covers all characteristics of KBR. Core points are given below

  1. Total quality management: total commitment to high quality results continuous improvement and meeting customer needs.
  2. Empowerment: allow individuals to make decisions that affect them or their work.
  3. Intellectual capital: total knowledge, expertise and energy available from organization members.
  4. Employee involvement
  5. Integration

Organization’s and individual’s behaviour has a positive impact on the change process as the given above characteristics shows that individuals and organization is ready to accept change and this change is also a part of continuous improvement so flexibility adaptability continuous improvement struggle for high quality integrity all these things enables organization and individuals to accept and implement the change.

Explain how the company has managed it change process and how it has benefited from this management process:

Company implemented planed change strategy, in planed change organization followed the rational persuasion process in company used facts, special knowledge and rational arrangement to create change. Company’s management system helped the company to implement the change as company’s management ensures flexibility adaptability and because the management process is simple that is why it is easy to implement a change, few layers of management help to minimize the change cost and time it also decrease the probability of resistance to change. Firm is already working for specialization and integration and change will assist the firm in it. As management system gives reasons to change, the quality information, security, retention of power, good resources and good timing all these things makes the organization to accept the change

Recommendations for future improvement:

Let individuals clearer what exactly need to do to get desired reward Shift few more responsibilities on the shoulders of subordinates and more specify their jobs. Create a sense of urgency For teams facts and information should be given on regular bases Discuss company’s high performance standards with staff Provide a variety in rewarding Let the individuals know how well they are working Make a real understanding of what firm stands for Make a good understand sense of informal rules and expectations so individual understand what is exactly expected of them Create a warmer interpersonal environment between upper management and lower management Staff at lower level must given performance feed back on regular bases Involve more subordinates in managerial decision making Link the team results to organizational outcomes Evaluate team and each individual member’s performance Make the culture more strong with rites, symbols and rituals Let the staff develop their own view how to develop towards organizational goals Increase decentralization, participation and create more decrease in rigidity Subordinates should be informed about the coming fears


KBR is a big company rapidly growing globally. The company is enhancing its operations efficiently and quickly, business is divided in sub business units company is continually increasing its business units, company is conducting business by keeping its culture along. Structure of the organization is flat there are quite few layers in management which make management process easier, horizontal structure of organization is functional now firm is moving toward matrix structure. leadership of organization is motivating and communication between all levels of organization is quit easy. Most of responsibilities are on the shoulders of senior management .Senior management must has an understanding with the following areas of responsibility Provide strategic and operational leadership Develop and motivate others Be approachable and open to ideas Display honesty and integrity Individuals at all levels have freedom to make decisions and at all levels opportunities to grow are given, a new member can enter in firm at any level. Every new person must have following traits Technical competence Strong oral and written communication Relationship building and team work Planning and organizational skills Adaptability Policies of organization attract talented graduates and specialists


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