The company’s leadership and management at the time of the case focus mostly on functional areas of HR, such as training, development, and performance appraisals. All new employees of the company receive training from their superiors, and, over time, they have an opportunity to move to leadership positions if their results are excellent. Performance appraisals focus on the main indicators of individual performance, including turnover and activity. Hence, the evaluations assist in understanding how each employee contributes to the company and offer advice on improving the situation in the future. In general, these practices suggest an individualised orientation of HR practices, supported by charismatic and directive leadership.
Directive leadership is evident from the company’s performance management practices, which focus heavily on the quantitative outcomes of work and guide managers in setting future performance goals. Charismatic leadership, on the contrary, is apparent in the interactions between managers and consultants, which concern training, professional development, and autonomy. Based on the information from the case study, these practices of the company’s managers reflect charismatic leadership, which is characterised as “inspiring and developing confidence among followers, setting challenging goals, and encouraging high expectations.” In general, the characteristics of leadership and management at Michael Page fit the company’s culture. Like other consulting firms, Michael Page relies heavily on expertise, proactivity, experience, autonomy and employees’ willingness to challenge themselves and grow.
While directive leadership supports operations and performance management, charismatic leadership fits in with these values, supporting employees in their career development and learning ambitions. Despite the good fit between culture and leadership, both aspects could be included since it appears that the company lacks collaboration. In consulting, collaboration among employees is essential because it promotes knowledge exchange and mutual learning, thus supporting employee development and performance. Hence, the company would benefit from developing supportive and participative leadership domains and providing more opportunities for collaboration among employees. For example, introducing team-based training for new employees or adding team performance metrics to regular appraisals could help to engage employees in collaboration and facilitate informal workplace learning, adding to their expertise and experience.