BUSI 345 Capella University Culture and Leadersip Discussion

Culture and Leadership Challenges

Review the Riverbend City: Cultural Competency simulation (linked in Resources). Then, read the information about the Confucian Asian Leadership Profile on page 448 in the course text. In your initial post, discuss the application of the findings in the article by Aritz and Walker (linked in Resources) to the leadership challenges experienced by Arthur Wang, the Asian supervisor in the media piece. Explain how leadership qualities and behaviors identified in the article and the text readings in the studies for this unit might result in challenges or conflicts between Arthur Wang and his direct reports or his colleagues at the VA Hospital.

Riverbend City: Cultural Competency

Arthur Wang

Behavioral Health Supervisor

“Look, I think all this talk about trouble and turmoil is really, really overblown. Everything’s fine! No department runs without a bump here and there. That’s just business. You have to look at the bottom line — any metric you look at, the Behavioral Health Department has been on a tear since I took charge. At the weekly department heads meeting, I’m always the envy of the other heads–nobody else hits their metrics the way we do.

I’m a big football guy. Are you? I can never get anybody to watch it with me–I try and get my dad hooked, but his English isn’t good enough to follow. Wish they did the broadcasts in Mandarin! Anyway…I think football’s a good way to understand this department. I’m the quarterback. I read the situation, get direction from the coach—that’s Director Martinson—execute. Maybe I call an audible if needed. My people, they’re the offensive line. They move in the same direction, everybody does what they’re assigned to do in relation to everyone else, and they protect their quarterback and we move down the field.

The thing I don’t understand is when they feel like they need to step out of line. A good offensive line doesn’t have linemen who feel like they need to compete with each other. You can’t have a left tackle trying to show up the center! And there are times when I wish they’d just do what they’re told without questioning their quarterback–you can’t have a good offense with all the linemen standing up and saying “hey, I think-” whenever the quarterback calls an audible.

But it’s all good. They’re learning.”

Ken Sherman

Riverbend City VA Hospital Employee

“Arthur? Well, he’s all right, I guess. He gets the job done. I’ve had worse bosses.

I don’t know, though, I can’t say I get really excited to come in and work for him every morning. He goes around babbling about how much butt we’re kicking in his department head meeting and it doesn’t really take a genius to see that he’s happy to be showing up the other guys and that’s about it. Hey, the director patted you on the back again, good for you. Meanwhile, your staff turnover’s through the roof and patients are just getting shuttled around the wing like a herd of cattle.

I gotta lay my cards on the table here. I’m still a little pissed that Arthur got the job. I applied for it, too, when it was open. I was—and am—pretty well-qualified to be running this department. But, well, you know how affirmative action hires go.

Hey, at least he likes football. Talks about it enough.”

Veronica Marquez

Riverbend City VA Hospital Employee

“I don’t want to speak badly of Arthur, but I don’t always understand his choices or behavior. I do wish he’d be more inclusive of his staff. I know that, under Sarah, his predecessor, there was a strong feeling that we were a team of equals and everyone could (and should!) weigh in on important decisions for the department. After all, we’re all important stakeholders, and we’ve all got a lot of experience! But that just doesn’t seem to be Arthur’s style. He’s certainly a nice man, and a capable one, but he makes it very clear that he feels like he’s in charge and we’re his subordinates.

I wish it weren’t this way. I liked the way the department ran under Sarah; the Behavioral Health Wing felt like a big family then. She’d even invite us all over to her house once a quarter or so. It’s hard to imagine Arthur doing that; I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have a conversation with him that wasn’t rigidly focused on work matters.

But I try not to let too much of this bother me. I’ve been here a long time, and really my loyalty is to the patients. The hospital politics, I just try to let them go. I actually considered applying for Arthur’s job when it was open; I decided not to because I wanted to keep my attention on the patients and on the work, not on pleasing the director and fussing with budgets.”

April Ripka

Riverbend City VA Hospital Employee

“Oh, Arthur Schmarthur. If it makes him feel good to swagger around like he’s the king of the department, I guess that’s fine. It’s not like I haven’t carried some dead weight around on my back before.

As far as I can tell, Arthur’s here to play some weird game with the director where they just say numbers back and forth to each other and write memos about some new list of 6-step policies to deal with the latest thing that happened and blah blah blah. Meanwhile, the rest of us get the actual work done. I can’t tell you how many times my eyes have just about rolled right out of my head because Arthur had some very serious talk with me about a bunch of very serious rules he just made up that get forgotten a week later. I just let it roll right off of me.

I think he’s kind of doing me a favor, soaking up all the politics and bureaucracy. Once I figured out I could just let him go playact while I got on with my day, I was just fine. As far as real leadership goes, if I have a question or need some advice, I go talk to Veronica, just like I always have. She’s been the real head of this department as long as I’ve been here, no matter what it says on paper. Veronica and me, we have the Behavioral Health wing pretty well in hand. Ladies of color: we get the job done.”

Bill Cook

Riverbend City VA Hospital Employee

“Arthur’s a nice guy to talk about the Packers with, but that’s about the only time I like to talk to him. Most of the time, he’s just kind of an inflexible hardass.

I know what I’m doing here. I been doing it a while. I don’t need Arthur to be standing outside my office tapping his foot when I’m talking to a patient, just waiting to rush in and bust my chops because I’m not doing enough to raise our quality measures. Never had Sarah riding my ass about quality measures back in her day.

Kind of bums me out, you know? You do a job a certain way for 15 years, there’s a point where you ought to get some respect for knowing the ropes. OK, so I’ll knock off a little early every now and then. Who cares? I only do it if everything’s taken care of–and if that happens, it’s because I know how to get stuff done pretty fast. No patient ever suffered because I left a little early to get a jump on traffic. Anyway, Veronica’s always around, she’s superwoman, she can fix anything that comes up.

I guess that’s my biggest problem with Arthur–he doesn’t know how to leave well enough alone. He needs to learn to butt out unless there’s a specific problem that needs his special attention.”

Page 448 of the textConfucian Asia Leadership Profile

The leadership profile of the Confucian Asia countries describes a leader who is self-protective, team oriented, and humane oriented (Figure 16.5). Though independent and to some extent inspiring, this type of leader typically does not invite others to be involved in goal setting or decision making. In sum, the Confucian Asia profile describes a leader who works and cares about others but who uses status and position to make independent decisions without the input of others.

Figure 16.5 Culture Clusters and Desired Leadership Behaviors: Confucian Asia