Using the presented case study on Art Friedman and the Friedman’s store, the paper will identify the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, and the Ohio State identified leadership style utilized by Art Friedman. It will determine the specific motivation level, factor, and need, from content motivation theories that applies to Friedman’s Appliance. It will identify whether or not equity theory and expectancy theory apply within this case and provide justification for the response given, determine the type of reinforcement used by Friedman, indicate whether the writer knows of any other organizations that use similar or unusual techniques, determine whether the techniques will work in all organizations, and determine whether or not the writer would employ this practice.
The case study details the story of Art Friedman, an entrepreneur who employed what should not be, but still seems to be, a revolutionary business idea, one that is not often found within the business world, or even in the workplace today. Understanding and exploring the actions of this business owner serves to shed insight into an alternative means through which an organization can succeed, while still keeping its employees happy. In order to accomplish such a task, leadership styles, theories, and motivations will be explored, increasing the ability to practically apply acquired knowledge to real world situations.
Art Friedman employs the use of the democratic leadership style, the high employee centered leadership style, and the low structure high consideration leadership styles (Boren, 2016). Each of these styles may be seen in the manner in which Friedman allowed workers to control their own schedules, pay rates, disciplinary actions, and the majority of the issues associated with their employment and the operation of the appliance store. In working to ensure that employees felt like, and were treated like, their own bosses, Friedman found the motivational tactic that ensured that not only would sales increase and productivity would increase, but that the employees would be happy and operate within a positive working environment at all times.
Content motivation theories center their motivational factors on those that “energize, direct, sustain, and stop behavior,” addressing the needs that motivate people, allowing them to become the best that they can be (Stotz & Bolder, 2016). In the case study, the specific motivation level, factor, and need, from content motivational theories, that apply to Friedman’s Appliances include the self-actualization hierarchy of needs level, the two-factor theory, and acquired need theory in order to ensure that franchisees have the power to achieve the high levels of success that they so desire. Friedman’s practices work to ensure that the things that motivated him to succeed are the same things that are available to his employees as motivational factors, with the same result.
Equity theory, expectancy theory, and goal setting theory are all applicable within the context of this case study. Equity theory is applied in that, all franchisees are treated fairly; they are their own bosses and earnings are based on their performances. The better the franchise does, the better they do. Expectancy theory is likewise applicable as employees are able to set their own goals, goals that they believe that they will be able to meet, which in turn works to relieve stress while at the same time placing a level of expectancy on the employees. They expect that they will be able to meet the quotas set for themselves, and thus goal setting theory comes into play as they realize that they will be the ones to receive revenues once the goals have been met.
There are many different types of reinforcement that may be used in order to ensure that an employee does what is asked of him or her. In the case of Friedman, he employs positive reinforcement (Heffner, 2016). Friedman allows his employees certain liberties, but expects, in return for those liberties, that his employees will perform in the manner necessary to get the job done and to push the business toward success. In return, employees feel vested in the company and work to manage themselves the way that they would manage their own businesses.
I do not know of any organizations that use any of Friedman’s techniques, however I do know of one that does use an unusual technique. The Open Book, located in Scotland, allows individuals to book the studio over the bookstore for $57 per night at a minimum of one week at a time (Oakley, 2016). During this time, the individual who opts to stay there is responsible for running the bookstore on the ground floor. He or she is responsible for opening and closing the store, for stocking the shelves, setting up displays, and interacting with the clientele (Oakley, 2016). A laptop is provided for personal use, as is one bicycle to traverse the town in the individual’s spare time, time that occurs prior to the store opening and after the store closes for the day. The reviews of those who have stayed and participated in this social experience are wholly positive, with many desiring to engage in the activity again. The experience is booked almost in its entirety from now through January 2018 (The Open Book, 2016).
I believe that Friedman’s technique could work well in any organization. The popular 90s movie 9 to 5 showed just how well that such a system would work. While slightly different, with the boss out of the way, the employees were able to not only manage all that they needed but were able to exceed the wildest expectations of the board, causing a rather humorous result once the boss took full credit. When placed in a work environment, the obligation to ensure that the company functions is a strong one, I see no reason why this would not be applicable regardless of the size of the company.
In a position of authority, I would employ Art’s technique. In fact, after having completed this assignment, I would consider it even more strongly. I have worked at several companies where I longed to set my own schedule and where I wanted a raise, not much, but just up to that which others in the same position I was in who had been there for less time were making. If something like this was in place, such a thing would have been possible. I know others who have felt the same way. I see no reason why this would not be a success.
- Airbnb. (2016). The Open Book – a bookshop holiday! – Houses for Rent in Wigtown. Retrieved 5 February 2016, from https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/7908227
- Boren, D. (2016). Behavioral Models of Leadership University of Iowa Studies Ohio State University Studies Ohio State University Studies University of Michigan Studies. TAMU. Retrieved 5 February 2016, from http://aled.tamu.edu/340/Dr.%20Boren%20lecture%20slides.pdf
- Heffner, C. (2016). Reinforcement and Punishment in Psychology 101. Allpsych.com. Retrieved 5 February 2016, from http://allpsych.com/psychology101/reinforcement/
- Oakley, R. (2016). Travelers who stay at this cozy flat in Scotland take turns running the bookshop downstairs. Lost At E Minor: For creative people. Retrieved 5 February 2016, from http://www.lostateminor.com/2016/01/29/travellers-who-stay-at-this-cozy-flat-in-scotland-take-turns-running-the-bookshop-downstairs/
- Stotz, R., & Bolger, B. (2016). Content and Process Theories of Motivation. Incentive Marketing. Retrieved 5 February 2016, from http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.incentivemarketing.org/resource/resmgr/imported/Sec%201.4.pdf