Solving the prison food crisis
After learning that there is a food problem in the security whereby inmates are constantly complaining that the food is poorly prepared or unacceptable due to their dietary restrictions, it the duty of the warden and the assistant warden to find a solution. Ignoring the problem will the problem will result to further crisis since the inmates may riot and destabilize the prison security system. The three leadership styles; authoritarian, democratic and laissez Faire leadership styles can be used to solve the problem.
Authoritarian Leadership style
Solving the problem using authoritarian leadership style will mean that the leader who in this case is the prison warden and his assistant make all the decisions regarding the prison menu and food preparation. The inmates will have no choice but by abide to their decisions and cooperate by having the dishes provided to them. This method of problem solving will call for strict rules and regulations which must be followed at all times. Inmates will be closely monitored by prison officer to ensure that they follow the decisions made by the prison authority. Any form of rejection or opposition is followed by punishment and reward to those that abide. The authoritarian leadership style may be workable to large institutions like prisons where high levels of order are required.
The Laissez-Faire Style is the opposite of the authoritarian leadership style. In the prison inmates will be left to make their own decisions and solutions regarding the food problem. Leaders such as warden and assistant warden will have no business involving themselves with the inmate food menu and their preparation. The method will of leadership will assist the warden to have an easy time of management of the prison. The prison authority does not have to monitor all problems but rather empower the inmates and other prison stakeholders to solve the problems that arise.
The democratic style of management advocates for the adoption of diplomacy as the main means of solving. The problem is solved in a structure but cooperative manner aimed at safeguarding group relationships while at the same time remaining sensitive to the organization’s goals. In order to foster an environment in which everyone feels that they are part of the decision making process, all stakeholders are encouraged to propose solutions aimed at solving the problem at hand, as well as express ideas. The end result is usually arrival at a shared decision which in essence is usually a compromise.
In the situation of potential riots by the inmates over food, the first step towards solving the problem would be to request a meeting of all the stakeholders. The meeting can then be used to form negotiation teams. Each group of stakeholders would be asked to select a representative to the team that will be charged with looking into the problem, with each group tasking their representative with presenting their grievances and proposed solutions. The team would therefore be made up of two representatives of the general prison inmates, one representative of the prisoners on special diet, two representatives of the kitchen staff, as well as two representatives of the management, namely: the warden and an assistant warden. Once the team is formed, the group would meet twice and all grievances and proposals aired, with votes being taken on the proposals, with the accepted ones then being communicated back to the inmates through the warden’s office. This approach would ensure a structured approach that encourages cooperation, as well as participation. It would also ensure the existence of a team that can help handle any similar future disputes diplomatically. In my opinion, this would be the best approach amongst the three, to solve the problem, as it would ensure all parties involved feel that their input has counted.
Blake, R. and Mouton, S. (1961). Group dynamics – Key to decision making, Houston: Gulf Publishing Co.
Brennen, A. Leadership Styles: Educational Administration and Supervision Retreieved from: http://www.soencouragement.org/leadership-styles.htm
Jay L. (1974). Review of Leadership and Decision Making: Sloan Management Review.
Martindale, N (2011). Leadership Styles: How to handle the different personas. Strategic Communication Management
Patrick. M and Bruce H. (2008). Management. Hauppauge, New York: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc
Woods, A. (2010). Democratic leadership: drawing distinctions with distributed leadership. International Journal of Leadership in Education