Case Study: Playing In The Orchestra

Case Synopsis and Analysis

Martina Bates is the newly hired orchestra teacher who oversees orchestras for the elementary, middle, and high schools in her area. Martina has success leading the elementary orchestra because she focuses on technique and form and helps the kids feel as though they can play their instruments. At the middle school level, Martina consistently provides friendly competition and rewards to enhance players’ skills and motivation. She has some success at this level, particularly because players generally have higher level skills and want to play in the spring concert. The high school orchestra is quite small, and Martina regularly teaches these students advanced-level techniques and skills and provides them with challenging music. Despite individual attention and hard work by Martina, the students at the high school level often want to quit.

This case study allows students to decipher the needs of three distinct groups of followers and then analyze how the leader should behave in order to motivate these followers.

Learning objectives:

· Students should be able to determine appropriate leadership behavior using path–goal and expectancy theories.

· Students should recognize a follower’s obstacles and determine how a leader can help remove those obstacles.


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