Assessing the leadership and organisational behaviour types

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Researching and looking at the different approaches to leadership and management within South Tyneside college, I started by looking at the hierarchy structure (Appendix 1) that is within the college and departments, and what roles and responsibilities were set from the higher end of the hierarchy table right to the lowest point of the table. Whilst Glaser, (1990 ;) Snow, (1989) Reported that structure is the degree to which the instructional/ developmental activity explicitly determines the pacing hierarchical structure. This imposition of structure provides greater external guidance Snow and Lohman, (1984).

The principle has recently started at our college and was introduced to all staff and students, making it known to all, of an open door policy she has put in place. She is determined to make our organisation a grade one college and has a very positive attitude, setting goals to achieve this. Our mission statement within South Tyneside College states: We are at the heart of the community, dedicated to helping individuals and businesses to maximise their potential for the social and economic advancement of the whole community (STC).

Ken Blanchard and Robert Lorber (2007,p.25) suggested; An effective leader will make it a priority to help his or her people produce good results in two ways: making sure people know what their goals are and doing everything possible to support, encourage, and coach them to accomplish those goals. This has been the way our principal is approaching her role within the college environment and positive reactions are being made from staff members.

Looking more closely at the way South Tyneside college runs, I see role culture within the organisation, Handy (1993, p.185) suggests that the organisation rests its strength in its pillars, its functions and specialities. This culture works well within the college, as it is a large organisation which is more formalised, and as each department or "pillars" as Handy suggested, has its own roles, and specialities and responsibilities, other cultures could come in to force depending upon the attitudes and behaviours of each department, changes in culture could also arise through new leadership, growth or success of the department. Thompson & Luthans highlights this need for a more systematic approach:

"Changing culture in the light of this behaviour-consequence concept involves comprehensive planning and execution. Consistent messages must be conveyed through behavioural interactions and through changes in employee's environment. Through behavioural actions people communicate ideas and values. People learn more from behaviours than from printed statements and company policies."

(Thompson & Luthans, 1990, p330)

Handy (1985) actually advocates mixed cultures, but in a more controlled manner. Handy suggests organisations are best served if different functional specialities have different cultures depending whether their activities are routine and steady state (role), innovative (task), crisis management (power) or policy directing (power) (p207). The implication of Handy's recommendation is that cultures can be defined and established through managerial action, sees and its own valuable part of the running and structure of the college.

Our hierarchy structure within the hairdressing department has 6 tiers; all members of hairdressing department work closely with the first five levels. Top of our table is Eileen Manion who is the sixth form head of faculty. The head of faculty's job role is too over see all departments within the sixth form college, the hairdressing department being one of areas. The head of faculty works closely with the vice principals and principal.

Eileen's leadership style is autocratic, rules and responsibilities are filtered down through the hierarchy tiers, and team members are not given many opportunities to express themselves. Eileen has to make decisions on behalf of the faculty; some of these choices may not be popular so as a leader she needs to be tough, but fair with some flexibility. Changes made in any department can bring uncertainty, being management you have to be able to deal with conflict of opinion and be able to create positives even out of negative situation. Linstrone and Mitroff, (1994) suggests people are the most important factors in making change, however they are the most difficult element to deal with. McGregor's "Theory X" is sometimes used within Eileen's management as she has a huge faculty and tight control must be used, but also "Theory Y" is used, Eileen is approachable, praises achievements and always strives for continuous improvement within the faculty and departments so "Theory Y" helps Eileen works closely with all heads of department within the sixth form faculty.

Adele Townsend is head of department in hairdressing. Adele has many roles as our middle manager including, figure head, spokesperson, liaison and negotiator, her role on the hierarchy table is below head of faculty, and above team leaders. Adele liaises between senior management and lower management, bringing relevant information on procedures, deliberates actions that may have to be taken and keep harmony within the department. This is an important role as all staff below middle management very rarely interacts with senior management on their roles and responsibilities, or are able to share with senior management their vision for the department.

Adele has both autocratic and democratic leadership styles, Adele has to answer to senior management and has targets to meet like everyone else, she also has to deliver orders from senior management which are not flexible and has to be adhered to so her approach can be very direct. Other times Adele's style is Democratic where she is open and direct and asks for views and opinions of members of staff this makes the team feel valued and motivated within their work "Theory Y" (McGregor) . Adele also uses a combination of legitimate power, and reward power. French and Raven (1960), to achieve the results she needs to attain within the department. Legitimate power is normally use when changes are being made within the department, making it clear that cooperation must be given. Reward power (ibid) is used when managers want something that is normally outside of normal working routine, i.e. working overtime in lieu, instead of receiving payment. To make this a reward management offers four and a half hours in lieu for three working hours. Effort in work is as natural as work and play. 

Gleeson and Shain (1999) reports that these managers have a key role in mediating tensions and change and in filtering competing messages from 'above and below' yet the nature of their role means that they may have considerable 'local' knowledge, power and autonomy.

Adele also has responsibility of recruiting staff to work as part of a team within our department, this is a panel decision but Adele being one of the closest to the team understands the importance of recruiting the right person for the job role.

Belbin (1998, p.229) suggests that it is important to ensure that people have the right fit in the organisation, if not, difficulties may arise, also Kareem Abdul-Jabber (p.229) says 'One man can be crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.' So the importance of middle management liaising with staff members is crucial so the balance of the team will be strengthened not weaken in performance. The hairdressing department is a close knit department, working and developing the department's strengths and weaknesses as a team rather than working individually.

Middle management uses a combination of influencing tactics to achieve set goals within the department. One tactic used is rationality, influencing the team's decision using persuasive arguments Kipnis et al. (1980). Pressure tactics are used to influence members of the team to do things Yukl and Falbe (1990). Another influencing tactic that is used is liking, ingratiation, quite regularly within department meetings after the rationality and persuasive arguments are used nearing the end of the meetings, liking and the ingratiation tactics are used to make the team feel better putting us in a better frame of mind before leaving the session. This last tactic is a clever tactic to use at the end of a meeting as all team members leave feeling more optimistic that they had currently felt earlier in the meeting.

Adams equality theory suggests; the more input you put into an organisation the more output is given back to an individual or department. The hairdressing department goes against this theory, as from personnel experience I have found the more an individual or department puts into achieving set goals, and increasing productivity, or holding a certain amount of responsibilities the more that is expected of an individual by the department increasing the work load with no thought to the individuals needs. Alderfer's ERG theory is used within the hairdressing department. Hairdressers have passion and motivation to succeed within their working environment (Existence), being within a salon or a large organisation. They have to continually grow within the industry (Growth) or be left behind. Having this passion and commitment within the industry they strive to achieve growth and personal satisfaction and working as a team (relatedness) they need to feel accepted. ERG theory proposes that people work towards fulfilling various needs simultaneously (Ivancevich &Matteson, 1999).

Mayo also suggests in his motivational theory, he believes people working closely within a team can increase motivation influencing them to succeed at a higher level than that of working on their own. This is relevant to our hairdressing team as we all prefer to work together than individually.

Our team leader Andrew liaises between our head of department and staff members. Some parts of his job role are very similar to our head of department i.e. spokesperson, liaison and negotiator. Andrew is our members of staff first contact, with any management within the college. He keeps staff motivated, knows what individually drives each person to achieve to the best of their abilities, supports and guides members of staff when needed. He also shares the team's vision on where they would like to see the department move forward to in the future. Andrews's uses reward power French and Raven (1960) his leadership style is democratic and also Servant leadership Robert Greenleaf (1970), he talks to his team asking views, advice and opinions, the department also may problem solve and make decisions together "Theory Y" (McGregor), this is normally done at staff meetings but also done on an individual basis. This helps make our hairdressing team feel involved and fully committed to the department.

Team leadership is participatory, in contrast to the primarily manager-driven nature of regular work groups. On a team, the manager or team leader frequently involves team members in helping shape the goals and plans for getting the group's work done (Marty Brounstein). Another theory that sits within the hairdressing department is Mayo's motivational theory he suggests people working closely within a team can increase motivation influencing them to succeed at a higher level that working on their own this also increases better working relationship with management.

As a hairdressing department, all staff is fully committed in achieving goals and plans that have been set out for the department, being from a hairdressing back ground all members of the department specialise in the same area. We all know what each other's strengths and weaknesses are, enabling leaders to direct certain job roles to the best team member. This helps make us work stronger as a department increases motivation achieving set goals. With being such a close team we motivate each other on a daily basis. According to Vroom (as cited in STC handout 2010) Motivated actions results from combined perceptions of attractive outcomes and chances for success. Thus, the more compelling an outcome is and the greater the likelihood for success translates into a stronger motivation towards a particular goal (Geiger & Cooper, 1995: Tollefson, 2000).

Within Bruce Tuckman's team development model, Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing which was developed in 1965, the hairdressing department is working at the performing stage within the model. As an individual you can speak your mind even if you're in disagreement with others and know it won't be taken personally and it won't damage your working relationship with others. The department is an enjoyable place to work with plenty of light hearted fun.

In the department we have five casual staff that has been with us for many years. All of these staff would like permanent contracts, but as all departments within the college contracts are hard to come by within the current financial climate. The motivation to do the job role to the best of the ability, sometimes doing far more than their job role expects of them in hope they may one day get that contract. Maslow hierarchy theory works within the casual staff of the department. They are motivated by wanting the stability of a contract (Safety), knowing there is going to wages at the end of each month. (Physiological). They also wants to be involved in team meetings and staff development, (Belonging - love) but they are not paid for attending.

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