The paper "Management and Leadership of London Fire Brigade" is a good example of a management case study. Managers play crucial roles in organisations to ensure their success. According to Waterhouse and Crook (1995, p. 8), managers are rather like actors in that they may need to play particular roles to manage in a specific circumstance. For instance, a manager may have to act from time to time as a leader of the group to enable it to achieve tasks successfully. This is particularly true where organisations that provide emergency services are involved.
For instance, managers in Fire and Rescue Authorities have to ensure that their staff arrive at an emergency scene in time help to save as much life and property as possible. With this background information, this paper looks at the role the managers at the London Fire Brigade play in ensuring that the Service provides the most efficient services to the people of London. Later in the paper, the leadership style and theory in this organisation are compared to that of another emergency service provider, the St.
John Ambulance. Overview of the London Fire Brigade (LFB) The LFB is the largest Fire and Rescue Service in the United Kingdom. It is committed to making London a safer city, and its vision is to be an outstanding Fire and Rescue Service for the city of London, Londoners as well as visitors. The Service employs close to 7000 staff, of which about 5800 are operational firefighters and officers (London Fire Brigade, 2011). With such a large workforce, the management must offer crucial directions to ensure efficient operations and service delivery. Roles and responsibilities of managers within the fire and rescue service Existing literature shows that there are many leadership styles that managers in organisations can adapt to suit their situations (Ogbonna & Harris, 2000; Elearn, 2007, p.
93). According to Waterhouse and Crook (1995, p. 8), the leadership styles often fall into three broad categories: interpersonal, information and task implementation roles. Interpersonal roles involve communicating with other individuals and managing relationships within and between groups of people. For instance, acting as a figurehead or as a group leader falls in this category. Information roles encompass the collection and disseminating of information both within an organization and between members of a group.
Such roles may also involve representing the viewpoints of a group to the outside world. Examples of these roles include acting as a spokesperson or acting as an information seeker and disseminator. Lastly, task implementation roles encompass deciding what needs to be done and how it should be achieved. Here, the leader can act as a problem solver, delegator, negotiator, resource allocator or decision-maker (Waterhouse & Crook, 1995, p. 8). In a Fire and Rescue Service, a manager has to balance these roles as the organisation faces challenges of different magnitudes. Challenging situations imply that the leader has to shift his or her roles accordingly to match the needs of a particular situation.
Overall, the manager plays the following roles according to the H. M. Fire Service Inspectorate (2006, p. 8): Taking account of all relevant statutory provisions Establishing policies, setting priorities and defining safe systems of work Ensuring the provision of appropriate equipment, information, training and supervision Reviewing policies and procedures and revising them as appropriate Ensuring that suitable and adequate resources are available to provide safe systems of work.