An Un-boss Quiz

Posted by jlubans on December 09, 2014

How much of an unboss are you? Or, how democratic are you when leading others? This is a short quiz* about decision making in the workplace. If you are not a supervisor but would like to be, then answer these statements the way you WOULD lead others.

The answers for each of the 12 statements include Never (1 point); Seldom (2 points); Sometimes (3 points); Often (4 points); and Always (5 points).

So, How frequently do you allow others to participate in:
1. Defining personnel needs for your group?
2. Deciding which new people to hire?
3. Defining training needs for staff?
4. Making job assignments for the group?
5. Deciding on promotions for group members?
6. Making decisions about what work YOU will do?
7. Scheduling work for the group?
8. Setting performance standards for the group?
9. Making performance evaluations for group members?
10. Defining group norms, (e. g. start and end times, leaves, breaks, etc.)?
11. Preparing the annual budget for the group?
12. Preparing annual plans and defining objectives for the group?

There you have it. Sum up your scores. To illustrate scoring, if you “Seldom” allow others to take part in #11, “Preparing the annual budget for the group”, then you would score yourself 2 points. The maximum score for all twelve statements is 60 or that you always involve others in decision-making. The lowest scores is 12 or that you never involve others.
Once you have your score divide it by 12. If you got 60 points your base number is then 5.
The base score of 4 and greater suggests you practice “decision decentralization”. You are more of an unboss or a “democratic leader” than the traditional boss. The lower the base score (2 or less) the more it appears you practice “decision centralization” or limiting the input of others into decision making. You are the boss!
There may be good reasons for retaining exclusive decision making authority: inexperienced group members; unwillingness of group members to take part in decision making and/or the organization frowning upon supervisors who involve workers in decision making. On the other hand if you have highly experienced members in the group with ideas to offer, then it is probably a mistake not to involve them in decision-making. In my experience, decentralizing decisions usually produced higher quality decisions and improved our “product” and customer satisfaction.

*Adapted from J. L. Pierce, “Employee Affective Responses to Work Unit Structure and Job Design: A Test of an Intervening Variable.” University of Wisconsin. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, 1977.

@Copyright 2014 John Lubans

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