You are appointed as the new Operations Manager at a production facility. There is a strong
emphasis on cost reduction and wastage control from the senior management. Rex, the
production supervisor who is your direct report, manages three production foremen, who in turn
supervise the repetitive work of 170 employees. Rex, rules with an iron fist and keeps tightening
the work rules to boost production and reduce wastage. He has increased direct supervision as he
sometimes finds workers taking break during work time.
Two of the senior production foremen come to discuss certain worker issues with you. You
know that they have both risen through the ranks and are closely connected to the workers'
needs. They mention that Rex's approach is causing demotivation and frustration among the
workers. They are struggling with job insecurity, stress and are overall overworked. The foremen
know that the workers' tasks are monotonous and boring. So, if they exceeded their production
quotas they were allowed to have longer breaks as an informal reward.
The new quality control expert, who was recently brought in to the team, reported that
production efficiency as well as quality were both deteriorating.
Based on your understanding of effective strategic leadership, develop a plan on how
you would resolve this situation. Support your suggestions by elaborating on the
leadership theories used in developing the plan.