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Ethical and Value-Based Approaches to Leadership

Info: 4870 words (19 pages) Essay
Published: 23rd Sep 2019 in Leadership

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Assignment Requirements







Figure 1 Comparison of Management and Leadership Process Differences in the workplace (Kotterman, 2006).

Figure 2 Hardy’s 4 classes of culture (OpenLearn. (n.d.).)

Figure 3 Fundamentals of Strategy (Johnson et al. 2012)

Figure 4 John Adair’s Action-Centered Leadership Model (Okpalad,2015)

Figure 5 Characteristics of Leadership Styles (Mitchel, G. 2013)

Figure 6 9 common leadership styles – which leader are you – TEC (tec.co.au, 2015)

Assignment Requirements

  1. Introduction; Explain the difference between Leadership and Management (100 words)
  1. Explain what is meant by the culture and values of your own organisation and explain their ethical and value-based approach to leadership. Evaluate how this can support a high performance inclusive work culture. (650 words)
  1. Explain and evaluate the differences between the different leadership styles and discuss how they could be adopted to influence others (600 words)
  2. Explain how these leadership approaches can impact on the culture of your organisation. Use practical examples and theory to illustrate your answer. (650 words)


Leadership and Management are often used to describe the same activity however there is a difference between the two terms (Belbin, R. 2000) although the separate skills attributed to each are required to drive a successful business (Kotter, J. 2001, Mullins, L. 2010, Kotterman ).

 The quote“Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing. Both roles are crucial, and they differ profoundly” (Bennis and Nanus, 1985), highlights the overarching differences between the leadership and management however Kotterrman (2006) provides a more details breakdown (figure1).




Vision Establishment

  • Plans and budgets
  • Develops process steps and

sets timelines

  • Displays impersonal attitude

about the vision and goals

  • Sets direction and develop the vision
  • Develops strategic plans and achieve the vision
  • Displays very passionate attitude about the vision and goals

Human Development and Networking

  • Organizes and staffs
  • Maintains structure
  • Delegate responsibility
  • Delegates authority
  • Implements the vision
  • Establishes policy and procedures to implement vision
  • Displays low emotion
  • Limits employee choices
  • Align organization
  • Communicates the vision, mission and direction
  • Influences creation of coalitions, teams and partnerships that understand and accept the vision
  • Displays driven, high emotion
  • Increases choices

Vision Execution

  • Controls processes
  • Identifies problems
  • Solves problems
  • Monitor results
  • Takes low risk approach to problem solving
  • Motivates and inspires
  • Energizes employees to overcome barriers to change
  • Satisfies basic human needs
  • Takes high risk approach to problem solving

Vision Outcome

  • Managers vision order and predictability
  • Provides expected results consistently to leadership and

other stakeholders

  • Promotes useful and dramatic changes, such as new products or approaches to improving labor relations

Figure 1 Comparison of Management and Leadership Process Differences in the workplace (Kotterman, 2006).

Understanding the culture of an understanding can support the success of change or make implementation of a change impossible. It can make leadership effective or in effective. But what is organisational culture? The culture of an organisation is defined by its written and unwritten rules and policies together with the values, beliefs and behaviours of the employees, the organisational history and its leaders.

Charles Handy (1999) describes organisational culture split in to four types; power, role, task and person (figure 2)

In this model Handy describes the link between four culture traits within an organisation culture.

In the power culture, a few leaders have the power and control and the ability to make the decisions with communication being controlled from this point. Decision making is quick although there may be some reticence in feeding bad news up from employees to the decision makers. Power cultures are often seen within the Fashion, publishing, and film industries (Dougsguides.com, n.d.).

The role culture illustrates where an individual’s position within that structure defines their power and decision making abilities. This culture trait provides its employees security, development, recognition and reward and provides rules, policies and procedures that are adhered to. This culture is suitable for large organisations such as the Police and NHS.

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The task culture is project orientated, it is skill based with individuals having a start and a finish to each project. It has a very flexible work ethic however as individuals work on one task it can lead to wider organisational factors being omitted. An example of task based culture is within NASA (Johnson, 2012).

The people culture concentrates on the individual and is usually based on that individual’s expertise and requirements. It is not usually found to be widespread within organisations however in areas such as consultancy; this culture can be found.

Whilst Hardy’s model looks at the organisation culture structure Edgar Schein, (1988) looks at culture from an observer’s perspective, describing three levels of culture. The artefact level describes what is actual visible to the observer such as the offices and furnishing and how the people interact with each other and outsiders. Company slogans and mission statements represent the espoused values and the most difficult to articulate are the basic underlying assumptions. These are assumptions that are not written down and can be based on the organisation history, local rituals or routines and are explored by Johnson et al (1992) when they developed the cultural web. This included key points from Hardy’s and Schein’s work but also looked at the unwritten rules affecting culture; stories where past events and the people connected to them are talked about both by people in the company and outside, and rituals & routines which identify acceptable behaviour in any situation. All of the elements are interlinked to the paradigm that allows change (Figure 3).

Within Santander worldwide, there is an overarching, dominant culture which aligns to the espoused values described by Edgar Schein (1988). The company slogan ‘Simple, Personal & Fair’ (Santandercareers.com, n.d.) is visible throughout the business and website and all products sold align to the slogan. The company behaviour policy model is widely published throughout the workplace and these form part of the development review process for all staff. Santander is investing heavily in to development of sites within the UK, recognising the strengths and dedication to the areas and so providing some security to the staff.

The organisational structure is more diverse as different areas within each Santander site can have different organisational culture structures. These subcultures have developed and may be site, department, team specific and are based on a common experience within that group of people (Gregory, K.1993). In the Bootle site of Santander for example, there is a subculture of those employees who have worked for Girobank, Alliance and Leicester and latterly Santander within the same buildings. This subculture will often rely on relationships rather than follow the structured processes in place and whilst this often gets things resolved quickly, as that circle of members reduces, the knowledge base reduces and this has a ripple effect in knowledge share. This ever decreasing group in this subculture are more resistant to the strict control regime in place and aligns to the thinking of Kilman, R. & Saxton, M (1991) who suggest that the subculture is driven by work processes and relationships.

There has been great interest in the differing leadership styles and culture within businesses to understand the impact on productivity and development of workers within organisations. Yukl (2013) states that leaders who are able to inspire, enable and guide others to reach the business objective are essential to successful leadership and this supports earlier work by Adair (1973) who had produced the Three Circle Leadership Model (Figure 2).

Working with a team of between 5 and 20 members, leaders are able to utilise the three aspects of the model to achieve their team’s common goal. In order to be effective Adair states that the leader must be successful in eight functional skills which require continued review in order to continue success. The eight functions create an effective environment for teams to be productive. The leader must be able to plan and define the tasks at hand and set clearly defined objectives which are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Constrained) (Doran, G. 1981). Having the SMART objectives and appraisal of works enables the leader to evaluate individuals and drive improvements by training and address shortfalls effectively. Planning for every outcome enables teams to work with the leader as testing the plans for contingent occurrences creates belief that the leader has control. Ensuring that the team is aware of what is happening both within their own team and the wider organisation stimulates teamwork and can encourage motivation with individuals, communication is vital. Those leaders who have control of themselves, their processes and a team who know the tasks required in the event of unplanned absences, Adair believes will achieve the highest results. Motivation is another key function and the leader who recognises achievements, provides a fair salary and sets challenging but realistic goals will result in a motivated team. Ultimately it is the leader’s responsibility to lead by example.

There are a number of different leadership styles that are suitable for different situations within an organisation. Lewin et al (1939) outlined three leadership styles; autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire (Figure 3) which can be applied to different situations;

Autocratic leadership rewards with high productivity and can be useful in crisis situations however its can have a negative impact on morale and motivation. This was a situation was reported by Financial Times (Stevens, P. 2009) when reporting on the leadership of the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King prior to the Budget being released in 2009. Mäkitalo, A. (2017) found this was also true within French banks however this could be reflective of the cultural behaviour of French businesses where the chain of command is strictly followed within organisations (Lewis, R. 2006)

Democratic leadership style is defined as

Distributing responsibility among the membership, empowering group members, and aiding the group’s decision-making process” (Gastil, J. 1994 pp 953).

It requires groups working together to drive the required results and according to Marriner-Tomey, (2009) is the best style to use during change implementation. However this has its drawbacks as Marquis and Huston (2008) found that it can be less effective when compared to authoritative leadership as it can make decisions making slow.

The Laissez-faire approach to leadership is effective when working with subject matter experts but Lewin et al (1939) identified that there was a lack of ownership, progress and work when this leadership style was applied.

There are a number of leadership styles including (figure 4) and all have attributes and disadvantages if applied in the wrong situation by an inexperienced or incompetent leader however an organisation is able to use the relevant best fitting style to suit the activity that is being undertaken.

Santander UK has a predominately role leadership style, a strict hierarchy at present and decisions and changes rarely occur out of this hierarchal pyramid. However there are certain areas within the bank where different leadership styles can be seen. In teams were change management is the team objective, Hardy’s task leadership style is prevalent as the objective of the team is to implement the required task and each task has a start and end position. However the disadvantages of this style such as leaders being task oriented (Benjamin, T., n.d.) has been addressed by introducing an intermediary to other areas of the bank and their role is to ensure that the interests of the wider team and bank are considered during the change implementation. In operational areas where the team objective is to process one type of customer request, there is a management style rather than a leadership style. This ensures that regularity and legal requirements are met and there can be no deviation from that process (Toor, S., Ofori, G. 2008, Algahtani, D. 2014)), turnover of staff is high and constant process support must be given. There is an attempt to address the affect that this has on morale by introducing non work related activities however given the rate of staff turnover this does not appear to be successful. In areas where a relationship is required rather than rules and processes there is a more situational leadership style encompassing Peter Drucker’s implication that leaders know the rules but sometimes bend the rules to bring on change (Bohoris, G. Vorria, E. n.d.). These areas encourage workers to air their thoughts and influence change. Noticeably there are more staff with considerable years of service within these areas (often 20 plus years) and whilst this can be attributed to the leadership style and contentment it could also be due to the benefits that align to years of service; pension, leave allocation which links to Hardy’s people area culture.

In an attempt to address the beliefs, stories and rituals Santander have a number of strategies in place. Use of technology has seen an improvement in communication ensuring that all employees receive consistent information at the same time. This aligns to the findings by (Okoro, R., Washington, M., 2012) that good communications across a workforce benefits organisations both in competitive edge but also ensures that the workforce is motivated and inspired to achieve objectives (Dahiya, R., Luthr, A., 2015). Recent announcement of significant investments in Santander head office site buildings (Militon Keynes and Bootle) also addresses the soft elements highlighted by Johnson et al (1992) having a positive effect on sense of pride and security. Conversely these announcements have had a negative effect on the workers within the Leicester head offices as they are seeing a display of dedication to other sites and so has had a negative effect on morale. Santander also complete an annual employee opinion survey covering all aspects of working conditions and leadership and this focuses on the workforce wellbeing (Griffin, M., et al, n.d.) however recent survey results have shown a negative reflection on leadership although this may be as a result of significant structure and cost cutting exercises. This change is not just affecting the lower ranks of the workforce within Santander, there is also significant senior change evolving and until a more collaborative leadership style can be introduced (Denis, J. et al., 1996) observations show a more autocratic leadership style is being followed.


In conclusion, Santander has a number of leadership styles in place which is dependent on the area of work that is being undertaken and uses various methods to address organisational culture. However, specifically in the Bootle site where the work force is very diverse in age and cultural background, the most prevalent cultural levels to overcome are the rituals, routines and stories which direct the workforce and both leaders and managers must address these to enable a functional and effective environment.


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