Unit I CS

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Unit I Case Study

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In Chapter 2 of the textbook, locate and read Leadership Case Problem B. In a two-page essay, address the prompts below.

· Analyze Brittany’s performance as a leader, and explain how well she demonstrated ability with the four foundations of leadership. Why is the cognition foundation critically important to the organization?

· Critique Brittany’s leadership traits. Explain whether they aid in empowerment or not. Determine recommendations for Brittany to increase her empowerment of employees.

· Determine Brittany’s level of emotional intelligence, and summarize how emotional intelligence contributes to leadership effectiveness.

Please provide a meaningful introduction stating the purpose of the paper and key points to be addressed. Also, ensure you include a synthesizing conclusion. At a minimum, please include the textbook as a source. The required title page and reference page do not count toward the page requirement. Adhere to APA Style when constructing this assignment, including in-text citations and references for all sources that are used. Please note that no abstract is needed.


The following resource(s) may help you with this assignment.


Blunt Brittany
Brittany is the director of merchandising for Auto Pal, a large chain of automotive supply stores in the United States and Canada. The company has continued to grow in terms of stores and income, as so many more people keep their vehicles longer, and also perform more maintenance, such as oil changes, by themselves. Merchandising is a core function of Auto Pal because the chain distributes thousands of products in its stores, from floor mats to transmissions.

With profit margins thin, and heavy competition, the pace of conducting business at Auto Pal is hectic. Brittany moves quickly when dealing with her direct reports, sometimes to their surprise.
Sid, a merchandise specialist for vehicle cleaning and polishing supplies, recently requested a two-week paternity leave because he and his wife were expecting a baby any moment now. Brittany replied that such a request was kind of wimpy, and a little bit out of the ordinary. “Don’t you have a mother-in-law who can help with the new baby? Or, are you so poor that you can’t hire a nanny for two weeks?”
Katie, a merchandising specialist for batteries, regulators, and radiators, sent Brittany a detailed report about new procurement software that might save thousands of dollars for Auto Pal in the long run. Brittany sent back an e-mail stating in part, “Does this great new software come from a company that employs a relative of yours? We are already using state-of-the art software.”

Jeff, the office manager, and one of Auto Pal’s most senior employees, sent Brittany an e-mail asking if he could take his ten days of vacation in five two-day pieces next year instead of ten consecutive working days. The next day, Brittany wrote back, “I like your idea Jeff. In this way your work flow would be less disrupted. And besides, an old-timer like you needs a few more long weekends than the rest of us do.” One day, Auto Pal CEO Derek asked Brittany how well she was proceeding with her strategic plan for next year. Brittany replied, “Not much progress yet. I’m running around putting out fires and dealing with the realities of making sure my team gets the right merchandise into the stores. Maybe you could have one of those overpaid marketing specialists dream up a strategic plan that I could sign off on.”


1. In which leadership trait or characteristic does Brittany seem to need the most development?
2. How would you rate Brittany’s warmth and enthusiasm as a leader?
3. What action would you recommend that Derek take to improve Brittany’s leadership effectiveness?


  • Course Learning Outcomes for Unit I
  • Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

    1. Summarize the major psychological foundations of leadership.
    1.1 Apply the four foundations of leadership to a scenario.
    1.2 Determine leadership traits that aid in empowerment.
    1.3 Summarize how emotional intelligence contributes to leadership effectiveness.

    Learning Outcomes

  • Learning Activity
  • 1.1, 1.


  • Unit Lesson
  • Chapter


    Unit I Case Study


    Unit Lesson
    Chapter 2
    Chapter 7
    Unit I Case Study

  • Required Unit Resources
  • Chapter 2: Traits, Motives, and Characteristics of Leaders

    Chapter 7: Power, Politics, and Leadership

    Unit Lesson

    The Four Psychological Foundations of Leadership

    Welcome to Unit I! As we begin our journey to explore the psychological foundations of leadership, it is
    critically essential for us first to define the four foundations of leadership. They are social, cognitive,
    organizational, and industrial. While there are many types of leaders with diverse styles that follow and align
    with different models, these four foundational elements remain as critical measures for not only assessing
    capability, but also identifying traits and characteristics essential for leadership success.

    First, we will examine the social foundation of leadership, and we will explore how and why the ability to
    interact positively and form enduring relationships is mandatory for success. Second, we will investigate the
    cognitive foundation of leadership that encompasses the ability to receive, process, and store information and
    use it to execute decision-making. Third, the organizational foundation will be discussed, where we will gain a
    better understanding of how the setting and business structure can and will influence leadership efficacy.
    Finally, the industrial foundation provides a basis for examining how key competencies are critical for
    leadership success, according to needs related to the well-being and performance of employees.

    The Psychological Foundations
    of Leadership



    The Social Foundation

    The social foundation of leadership is a critical element, where the abilities to interact, foster, and build long-
    term beneficial relationships are critical. As a key component, soft skills via the ability to speak with clarity and
    listen effectively contribute to the effectiveness of the leader. As Kouzes and Posner (2017) posit, leaders
    must encourage the heart, which further requires the ability to develop and enhance skills of socialization,
    where trust emerges and remains. Within this effort, relationships are formed and developed that build loyalty
    not only to the leader but also to the organization. Further, the social foundation promotes the cultivation of
    harmony, as trust acts as a layer of security. Visible and observable leaders reside at the helm of the
    organization but maintain approachability to consistently secure and promote a culture of well-being. Zaccaro
    et al. (2000) posited that social judgment of the leader involves perspective taking, social perceptiveness,
    behavioral flexibility, and social performance, which are skills that enable the leader to harvest and perpetuate
    working relationships. This will now lead us to the cognitive foundation where the skills that we examine
    clearly connect to and integrate with the social foundation.

    The Cognitive Foundation

    The cognitive foundation of leadership encompasses mental capacity, where the leader must possess
    requisite skills inclusive of problem-solving and issue identification as well as keen negotiation skills. Of
    critical note, emotional intelligence falls into the cognitive foundation and builds on the social dimension,
    requiring a leader to have the ability to not only relate to people but also to possess empathy to better
    understand circumstances that affect followers. Sparks (2019) cites that self-actualization is a driving force of
    the leader in quest of both personal and organizational success, certainly enabled by cognitive skills to
    receive information, process, relate, and execute appropriate responses.

    Emotional intelligence consequently enables the leader to sense the perspective of the follower, act with
    concern, and demonstrate sincere personal interest in quest of building the guiding coalition aimed toward
    achieving unilateral success. Moreover, emotional intelligence enables a leader to show empathy and further
    advance trust. Northouse (2016) defines cognitive ability as intelligence that develops over time through
    experience and education, enabling a leader to assemble a repository of knowledge to consistently meet
    problems with viable solutions. In addition, this can foster creativity and conceptual thinking, which emerge
    from the capability of the leader. Now, we proceed to the organizational foundation that encompasses both
    cognitive and social aspects.



    The Organizational Foundation

    The organizational foundation of leadership builds upon the connection between social and cognitive,
    illuminating how the leader must attain mastery of the setting, consistently surveying opportunities for
    improvement. Further within this foundation rests the need for a leader to develop and craft a vision. Kouzes
    and Posner (2017) cite the need for leaders to create a shared vision that involves both social and cognitive
    skills to operate with trust that supports effective influence toward the attainment of common goals. Leaders
    need to be able to understand the employee in the context of the organization with a focus upon building
    strengths and identifying weaknesses for development. As a cyclical, iterative approach with the
    organizational foundation, the leader regularly seeks opportunities for process improvement, realizing the
    strength of the least capable employee is the constant focus point. Next, we will relate the organizational
    foundation supported by cognitive and social dimensions to the larger picture of the industrial foundation.

    The Industrial Foundation

    The industrial foundation inextricably relates to social, cognitive, and organizational as the channel for
    developing strategy to achieve not only the vision but the mission of the organization. Among the many key
    competencies within this foundation, the leader must have the big picture understanding of the place and
    function of the organization in the past, present, and future. It further requires a keen ability to seek out
    opportunities not only for improvement in the short-term but also in quest of business sustainability. At the
    basis, the leader must understand employee behavior and fully understand what conduct is essential and
    aligned to organizational expectations for performance. This will differentiate between the success and failure
    of the leader.

    Next, by establishing a keen understanding of employee behavior, the leader will foster trust in the
    relationship, and speaking with clarity will lead to successful empowerment. This will facilitate needed
    inspiration to spurn follower initiative, and followers will feel empowered to boldly progress with integrity
    and empathy.


    As we continue our journey in exploring these foundations in the larger context of the wealth of knowledge to
    be gained in this course, please consider how you personally assess your leadership ability across these
    foundational domains. Chapter 2 explores traits, motives, and characteristics of leaders; please keep the four
    foundations in mind as you read the chapter and contemplate how self-confidence, humility, trustworthiness,
    authenticity, extraversion, and assertiveness apply to each. Chapter 7 examines power, politics, and
    leadership. Given the foundations of organizational and industrial are most closely aligned to these topics,
    please do not look past the root and basis of social and cognitive aspects, which are guiding beacons in
    navigating turbulence that can and will occur. A leader is charged with the responsibility and authority to
    skillfully guide the organization in the right direction to fulfill the vision and achieve the mission; it is important
    to realize how each of the examined foundations serve as the cornerstone for leadership efficacy in quest of
    successful outcomes.


    Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2017). The leadership challenge (6th ed.). Wiley.

    Northouse, P. G. (2015). Leadership: Theory and practice. SAGE.

    Sparks, W. L. (2019, June 1). Actualized leadership: Meeting your shadow and maximizing your potential.
    Society for Human Resource Management.

    Zaccaro, S. J., Mumford, M. D., Connelly, M. S., Marks, M. A., & Gilbert, J. A. (2000). Assessment of leader
    problem-solving capabilities. The Leadership Quarterly, 11(1), 37–64. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1048-

      Course Learning Outcomes for Unit I
      Learning Activity
      Required Unit Resources
      Unit Lesson
      The Four Psychological Foundations of Leadership
      The Social Foundation
      The Cognitive Foundation
      The Organizational Foundation
      The Industrial Foundation

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