REI Leadership Case Study

I need some help with this Masters Degree paper, specifically with respect to how it applies to REI. I understand REI’s business model, but not sure what type of leadership style the senior management uses. Here is the assignment (full text in attached file):

– Research the company REI (starting with Fortune Magazines “Top 100 Companies to Work For 2011” http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2011/full_list/ ), then answer the following questions:
– Which of the classical leadership styles exemplifies this company?
– What is the added value of this leadership style?
– What impact does this leadership style have on the organization’s overall image?
– Contrast this leadership style with United Airlines, named the worst company in America to work for by glassdoor.com.
– Based on your experiences and research, what kind of leadership style is needed to promote efficiency in an organization? What contingencies affect this outcome? Justify your response.

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1. REI can be said to have a democratic leadership style. A look at the company’s website and a review of its corporate culture, its human resource policies and testimonials by employees would imply that the culture is one that promotes employees growth and development through which they offer stellar products and services. This culture is in keeping with a democratic leadership style that allows for employee empowerment, inclusion in decision making and collaboration. This in turn motivates workers as they feel a sense of belonging and self actualization ( a theory advanced by Abraham Maslow).
You may ask why can’t it be laissez faire leadership? The close knit nature of the relationships that employees have and team orientation at the company would suggest more collaboration – hence a democratic style, than independent autonomy which is more closely aligned with laissez faire leadership style. The employee testimonial and stories of team building speak to an environment with a democratic style of leadership. http://www.rei.com/stewardship/workplace.html

2. Now let us look at the value added aspect. Leaders should seek to not just guide employees towards goal …

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REI leadership case study is examined.

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