USS Florida: Case Study Synopsis
Employee engagement was not used enough in this case. The crew was afraid of their captain. As stated in chapter five, “a damaging aspect of fear in the workplace is that it can weaken trust and communication” (Daft, 2009). The employees felt threatened by repercussions if they were to speak up about work-related concerns. This was the exact reason why the USS Florida crew was afraid of Michael Alfonso.
The crew was accustomed to a different style of leadership. “The crew, accustomed to the Navy’s adage of ‘praise in public, penalize in private,’ were shocked” (Daft, 2009). Alfonso was the type of commander who loudly and publicly reprimanded those whose performance he considered lacking. He also had an anger issue. Living in very close quarters, one does not need to act in such a manner. Some of the captain’s outbursts were not even connected to job performance. Yet, this still made things difficult to live with in such an environment. It created friction between captain and crew. It also created a hostile work environment. And, as small of an area the submarine was, I am sure it was miserable.
When starting in a new leadership role, one should take the time to get to know all employees. A leader needs certain mental models to guide their behavior and relationships such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Michael Alfonso did not seem to have any of these coming onto the submarine. Also, do not be intimidated by employees or the new position you are holding. The crew members on the submarine were intimidated by Alfonso’s leadership because he had already disqualified one crew member. This type of behavior led the crew to have aspects of fear. They did not want to be next. Alfonso had such a bad temper that it concerned the crew that their jobs might be in jeopardy. Michael Alfonso led with fear instead of with love. This situation had to be handled.
By the time it could be...
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