Effective Managerial Leadership combined with Successful Management as the Catalyst to Creating High-Performance Teams

Author: Van Staden, Tanya
Supervisor: Professor Erik Schmikl
Date: September 2010

The research is based on growing a dysfunctional team into to a high performance team with the implementation of managerial leadership. The team used in the study is the IMAC (Installs, Moves, Acquisitions and Changes) Team at Internet Solutions. The company provides converged communication services to the corporate market. Prior to the creation of the team, the functions of the team were split over various business units. There was no control or continuity in new sales being converted into services that were provided to satisfied clients. As Internet Solutions (IS) grew, it became impossible to manage the initiation and tracking of the jobs as it was doing. Various workshops were held to come up with a solution for how to address the problem. The end result of many months of workshops and discussions was the creation of the IMAC Team.

One of the problems that existed was that the employees were not given the opportunity to decide if they wanted to be part of the new team. It was a case of either moving to the new position or finding another position either internal or external to Internet Solutions. Due to change in the original management there was no team structure, processes, or proper management in place. The team was plagued by internal strife due to nepotism, racism, poor leadership as well as lack of communication and trust.

The research problem presented in the study was to investigate and determine the adverse effect on team and customer satisfaction due to ineffective leadership and lack of management being in place in an organization.

The key research objectives of this study are the following:

  • To establish the role of leadership versus management in operational teams, does one need a leader or a manager or both?
  • To establish if the implementation of effective leadership in conjunction with successful management can act as the catalyst to improve team dynamics and creating high performance teams.
  • To show that with improved structure and processes the individuals in a team can be motivated to work together towards a common goal.
  • To investigate if there is a link between Emotional Intelligence of team members and the general satisfaction of the team.
  • To demonstrate that increased team satisfaction has a positive influence on customer satisfaction.
  • To prove that investment in leadership and management is conducive to positive growth in teams as well as companies.
  • To postulate that employee satisfaction has a beneficial effect on the bottom line of the company.

The research was conducted in the social world and is theoretical / empirical in nature and used both quantitative and qualitative research paradigms. Data was gathered by distributing questionnaires within Internet Solutions to the IMAC Team as well as the customers of the IMAC Team, the Account Managers, Technical Staff and Accounting Staff.

The questionnaires, utilized as a measuring tool were to establish whether the introduction of the under mentioned aspects impacts team satisfaction and company culture.

    • Managerial leadership.
    • Structure.
    • Processes.
    • Staff development.

Secondary to this, was to determine whether the company benefited from satisfied employees and customers due to the investment in leadership and management. Further more, does this change the view of employees regarding their position and contribution to the company?

This research proposes to show that effective leadership in conjunction with proper management acts as the catalyst for improvement of dysfunctional teams to becoming high performance teams. This in turn will affect the overall mood of the individuals of the team, motivating them to deliver better quality work and thus creating satisfied customers. The company will not only benefit from satisfied customers who will utilize more of the services overall, thus adding to the bottom line, but it will also improve staff retention and intellectual capital.