It should be noted that empowerment and delegation are the essential components of management. They differ from each other and provide various opportunities for leadership if applied appropriately. The purpose of this paper is to review the main principles of delegation and empowerment that were violated in the case of Ken Hoffman and Ruth Cummings.
Notably, despite the fact Ken has passed the liability over the department to his colleague, he did not perform the required activities to empower her adequately. For instance, he did not translate or discuss with her the vision of the company as well as corporate goals, which is a severe empowerment violation. Apart from that, he did not explain to the woman how she is expected to contribute to store development. Moreover, he showed that he did not confide in the colleague since he tried to meddle with all the crucial activities she was performing (Whetten and Cameron 389). According to the case, Ken wanted Ruth to inform him about all the activities before their actual implementation (Whetten and Cameron 389). In her turn, Ruth did not meet her liability to the management when taking part in the show. She had to discuss this event with Ken before appearing in it.
Engagement violations committed in the current case include negligence to determine the conditions and the setting in which Ruth was supposed to operate. The woman was unaware of her duties, the type of situations in which she should receive directions from the authority, and when she had to report to the leadership (Whetten and Cameron 384). Another violated principle is the fact that Ken did not permit Ruth to take part in responsibility delegation (Griffin and Van Fleet 20). In terms of Ruth, she has also violated a certain fundamental tenet. The employee did not avoid upward delegation, which resulted in excessive workload. When she was dealing with a customer, she did not have to refer him to the main store since it was a redundant decision.
Questions to Ask
To avoid the emergence of such complex situations in the future, Ruth should ask Ken about the regulations that exist in the company. In addition, she could ask about the resources at her disposal and the liability she possesses in her new position. Apart from that, the woman could ask when she has to report to the leadership and in which situations she should receive approval before taking any further actions (Whetten and Cameron 384). Ken should also explicate to Ruth the expectations the company has when appointing her to the new job. Also, he has to instruct his colleague regarding the existing policies and procedures that are related to her duties.
Advice and Concluding Points
The advice that I would give to Ken would include an understanding that when delegating new responsibilities it is essential to provide full instructions to the newly appointed employee and make sure that the questions and concerns of another person are addressed. In addition, I would advise providing full support and minor supervision to the worker during the first weeks of functioning to resolve the fundamental issues that occur when a person is trying to understand the duties (Whetten and Cameron 385). Regarding Ruth, I would advise her to compile a list of questions about her responsibilities, opportunities, and resources so that she could comprehend her work field better. Thus, by refining such issues before a new person takes over as a manager, the leadership would be able to ensure a smoother integration of a person into the new type of work and avoid serious errors.
Griffin, Ricky, and David Van Fleet. Management Skills: Assessment and Development. Cengage Learning, 2013.
Whetten, David, and Kim Cameron. Developing Management Skills. 9th ed., Pearson Education, 2015.