Most Effective Management Style for a Modern Workplace

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1st Aug 2018 Management Reference this

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Executive Summary

This leadership project is a study of effective leadership in modern business organizations.

This project begins with an introduction on leadership, a review of leadership theories throughout the history and distinguishes between the focus of earlier literature on leadership which is central around leader characteristics & styles and the new leadership theories of leadership development, transformational leadership, charismatic leadership, and visionary leadership.

The next section is on the different leadership models and frameworks being applied and used in modern organizations. These models identify the responsibilities required of people holding leadership positions.

The following section introduces Juthoor Development Services and discusses the type of leadership strategies and approaches that are used and applied in the company. The focus of leadership then is shifted to that of team leadership due to the practices in Juthoor Development Services.

The section on Personal Leadership describes and evaluates my own leadership style and the leadership skills that need to be developed and enhanced. This section includes personal reflections and an extensive action plan on individual leadership.

The project concludes with an overview on what was discussed and recommendations for better leadership which results in better performance.

Introduction

A leader is an individual that possesses a mixture of skills and styles that makes a team want to follow the leader’s direction; hence leadership is the ability to motivate and influence a team to achieve a specific target and goal. Leadership is all about creating a vision and comprises the power to convert the vision into reality. Different styles of leadership, different kinds of leaders lead to different results in an organization. In the business world, leadership is generally related to performance. Effective leaders are those who have the ability to add value to their company by increasing its bottom lines. It is widely known that organizations all around the world lose because managers are not adequately skilled and knowledgeable. The main reason behind this issue is that managers are not aware of how important their role is in an organization. They are unaware of the necessity of “leadership” issues that should enter into all their decision-making activities.

Literature Review

Strategic leadership is fundamental for accomplishing and sustaining competitive advantage in this century (Ireland and Hitt, 1999). Effective leaders have been repetitively distinguished for their important role they play in identifying opportunities and making the right decisions that overall affect an organizations procedures and bottom line (Finkelstein et. Al, 1996). The effective and efficient skill leaders’ practice adds substantial business value to the organization.

Review of academic research and studies on leadership expose a changing series of “schools of thought” starting from the “Great Man” theory to Transformational Leadership theory. Earlier, majority of leadership literature and study was mainly centered on leaders’ characteristics and leadership styles. According to (Yukl, 1998), great attention of earlier leadership studies were centered on the performance of lower-level management and how they should perform as they offer supervision, support and constructive feedback to their team However, this new century and modern research shows a new interest and fresh new perspective on leadership. Nowadays, research, studies and theories are focusing on leadership as a whole, followers and the relative nature of leadership in an organization. The rapid change in the business environment has made people think about leadership on different levels. Leithwood et al. (1999) believe that instead of looking only at the quality and characteristics of a leader, our focus needs to be shifted to the leadership challenges in organizations and companies. They viewed leadership in term of their nature and the challenges faced which will result in developing leadership as a whole instead of just a single leader.

The result and materialization that has come out from the new interest of studying leadership – mainly focused on managing invariable change – is called the “New Paradigm” model. Today, leaders steer a world that is undergoing continuous change. The New Paradigm model involves modern theories and styles such as charismatic leadership, visionary leadership and transformational leadership. Visionary leadership refers to the act of creating a practical, sensible, and solid vision of the future for a company (Nanus, 1992), Charismatic leadership involves creating a personality that is so influential that people are naturally drawn to the leader, and transformational leadership is a leadership style that forms positive transformation in followers. Transformational leadership is the style being promoted in modern organizations. Old models view leadership as a process that that entails motivating others takes place within a team and entails goal achievement (Northouse, 2001). Modern leadership focuses on leadership development and development of social capital. Other modern studies have emphasized on the relationship between leaders and their followers, some authors stress the importance of studying “follower ship” because leaders are followers and followers are leaders. The two entities are interconnected and are equally essential for the success of the organization.

Leadership Is Not a Solo Act

The picture of a heroic person who leaps in to save the day is what is engraved into our minds. But all gathered facts from studies imply that the constant success of a company is a collective and group effort rather than a single effort. Kouzes and Posner (2002) confirm that after studying numerous cases on effective leadership, they did not find any example of astonishing accomplishment that happened without the dynamic participation and support of many individuals. What is understood from this is that Leadership is a team endeavor. Without team work and the support of people a single person cannot get astonishing things done in a company.

Dispersed Leadership

A theory that is currently gaining interest and getting plenty of attention is the “dispersed” leadership. This type of leadership, with its basics in sociology and psychology defines leadership as a practice that is spread throughout a company rather than exclusively with the officially elected ‘leader’. The importance therefore transfers from developing leaders to developing ‘leaderful’ companies with a communal accountability for leadership.

The significances of group of people relationships in the leadership agreement, the requirement of a leader to be recognized and accepted by his/her followers and the understanding that no single person is the perfect leader in all situations have set a rise to a new school of leadership thought. The dispersed leadership theory introduces a less official approach to leadership where the leader’s responsibility is separated from the organizational hierarchy. It is suggested that people at all levels in the organization and in all jobs can apply leadership influence over their peers and consequently influencing the whole leadership of the organization.

Heifetz (1994) differentiates between the practice of “leadership” and the practice of “power” – hence separating leadership from formal organizational power roles. Raelin (2003) discusses of developing “leaderful” organizations through simultaneous and combined effort. The first thing to do is make a clear distinction between the concept of “leader” and “leadership”. Leadership is referred as a method of logic-making and direction-giving inside a team and the leader can only be defined on the base of his/her association with others in the team who are acting as followers. Along these lines, it is fairly probable to visualize the leader as emergent rather than predefined and that the leader’s responsibility can be implicit in the course of exploratory of the relationships within the team (other than by giving attention to the leader’s personal character or qualities).

Dispersed leadership demonstrates on notions such as organizational culture and environment to emphasize on the appropriate nature of leadership. It is a communal conception and suggests for a shift from the growth of individual leader characteristics to recognition of what comprises an effective leadership practice within a company. A shift in the spotlight from the individual leaders to the leadership relationships (amongst the leader and followers).

Leadership Development

Leadership development is the process of developing leadership practices and leaders in an organization. It focuses on creating and sustaining social assets as a whole. At the core of leadership developments involves the combined capability of individuals to set goals and successfully carry out leadership functions and roles to build a strong team that meets commitments and attains organizational goals. The accomplishment of goals and leadership activities should come with and without official authority.

Saxenian (2006) has branded the new type of leaders that have emerged as “New Argonauts” who challenge the business and dynamically lead an organization despite the ongoing change in the business environment. According to Saxenian, these ‘Argonauts’ leaders certainly echo today’s leadership. (Argonauts where a brand of heroes in ancient Greek, source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argonauts).

Transformational Leadership in modern organizations

When companies adopted themselves to the constant evolutionary change, transactional management was in good turn of managing those changes. However, with the circumstances and situations of present organizations performance need undertaking some essential, transformational changes. And managing these changes needs new traits; one of these traits is applying transformational leadership in organizations.

The book “Leadership” written by James MacGregor Burns in (1978) was one of the first books to introduce the concept of transformational leadership. Transformational leadership is where leaders transform their followers. This leadership theory holds high importance in this century especially in recent literature. Transformational leadership builds on the foundation of transactional leadership. Nevertheless, as Burns clearly affirms “what is needed today is not the old traditional style of Transactional leadership, but the new style of Transformational leadership”.

Tichy and Devanna (1986) have researched leadership throughout the years and came up with a list of specific characteristics which distinguish transformational from transactional leaders. Some of these characteristics are listed below:

  • Agents of Change: Transformational leaders encourage flat structures and flexible workplaces. They are able to get the organization to adapt quickly to change.
  • Courage: Transformational leaders face reality and do not fear risk.
  • Confidence in the followers: Transformational leaders have faith in their team members. They give them a boost and push when required and try their best to empower them.
  • Life-long Learning: Transformational leaders believe in life-long education and attempt to extract lessons from experiences.
  • Vision Capabilities: Transformational leaders see the big picture. Their visionary abilities are excellent.
  • Live by their Values: Transformation leaders have values they live by.
  • Passion and Enthusiasm: They pump their followers with their enthusiasm to get them going.
  • Ability to face the unknown: Transformational leaders do not life with fear and are ready to face the worst situations knowing that they can handle anything that comes their way.

According to Bass (1998), ‘the transformational leader motivates followers to do more than formerly expected’. Bass reveals that a leader is able to transform his/her followers by:

  • Emphasizing on the significant of goal and task, by creating awareness
  • Encouraging the followers to direct their efforts for the company
  • Meeting the followers needs.

Bass and Avolio (1994) have proposed five transformational styles that leaders typically display; these styles and behaviours are illustrated in the table below:

Transformational Style

Leader Behaviour

Idealized Behaviors

  • Speak about their values
  • Emphasize the significance of having a sense of purpose
  • Take into consideration the consequences of decisions made
  • Support new opportunities
  • Discuss the issue of trust amongst each other

Inspirational Motivation

  • Have an optimistic look about the future
  • Talk with enthusiasm about what needs to be accomplished
  • Articulate a compelling vision of the future
  • State confidence about goal attainment
  • Present a thrilling image and picture of what to consider

Intellectual Stimulation

  • Examination of critical issues
  • Search for differing views when attempting to solve issues
  • Encourage individuals to look at things from different perspectives
  • Propose new methods of how to complete tasks

Individualized Consideration

  • Make time for mentoring and teaching
  • Help others to build on their strengths
  • Spend time listening to others personal needs
  • Encourage personal development

Idealized Attributes

  • Lets others know that it is a pride being connected with them and
  • Work to build others respect
  • Show power and capability
  • Assure everyone that barriers will be overcome

In 2007, Hooper and Potter broaden the concept of transformational leadership and identified 7 types of competences of “transformational leaders”, these competences are:

  1. Building direction
  2. Being a Role Model
  3. Communication
  4. Arrangements and Grouping
  5. Get the best in his/her people
  6. Leader as a change representative
  7. Suggesting decision in a crucial situation

Nature of Leadership in Modern Organizations

Contemporary organizations take up a range of HR management and leadership activities to boost staff contentment and satisfaction. Efforts are centered on enhancing and raising the quality, expertise and capabilities of the employees. In addition, providing intensive training and development activities helps in improving the quality.

– Recent studies have given a lot of attention to emotional intelligence, especially transformational leadership. Emotional intelligence has become a major part of leadership in modern organizations. Emotional intelligence is a leader’s capability to one’s ability to be alert of one’s personal feelings, be alert of employees’ feelings, to distinguish between them and to use the information to direct the leader’s thoughts and behaviour. Emotional Intelligence contains three types of capabilities: assessment and expression of feelings, directive of feeling and using feelings in the decision-making process. According to Goleman (1998) “emotional intelligence is twice as important as technical skills and IQ for jobs at all levels.”

– Motivation is also an important element in leadership in modern organizations. The abilities of any employee will be limited if they are not encouraged and motivated to execute their jobs. According to Bass (1998), compensation, appraisals, incentives and job security can motive employees to achieve their assigned goals and execute their jobs effectively. As a leader, part of the job involves understanding employees and learning motivational strategies to enhance performance. The main challenge is that every employee is different, therefore, what may work for one employee wont work for the other.

Communication has also been a major part of leadership. Up-ward and down-ward communication are equally important and need to be transparent and effective. A Leaders responsibility is to ensure such communication takes place and should eliminate all obstacles in the way of corporate communication.

Team leadership is the most rapidly growing area of current research. Modern leaders in organizations do not think of themselves simply as a body of authority, but rather a team leader because they understand the significance of a team compared to just individuals. By understanding the skills of the team members and what motivates them, leaders earn respect from their style not solely because of their position.

Culture and leadership

Modern theory has shifted its attention to figure out what the link between leadership and culture and how leadership changes from one culture to another. Collins (2001) has revealed proof of leadership behaviours that are cross-cultural, and others that are culturally focused. However, studies and evidence on the relationship between the two elements (leadership and culture) are still very limited.

John Adair Action Centred Leadership Model – a model for team leadership

According to Adair, the effectiveness of the leader relies on meeting three areas of need within the work group.The three parts of Adair’s model are generally represented by 3 overlapping circles; this model is a helpful technique in assessing what effective leader’s responsibilities are. The challenge for the leader is to manage all parts of the circles successfully.

Task

  • definition of task to be achieved
  • Action plan
  • allocation of job and resources
  • managing the quality and time of effort
  • monitor performance aligned with action plan
  • amending the plan

Team

  • sustaining regulation and control
  • encourage team work
  • motivate team
  • assign junior-leaders
  • encourage and inspire team communication
  • develop and build the team

Individual

  • listen to personal troubles and issues
  • Appreciate and honour individuals
  • give positions and ranks
  • distinguish and use individual capabilities
  • develop he individual

To be able to meet the three areas within the work group, specific leadership roles have to be executed, these functions are:

Awareness of what is happening in the work group and its processes. Being alert at all times.

Understanding the functions and tasks that are required and the skill to accomplish and complete the task successfully.

Case Study: Juthoor Development Services

Juthoor development services are an organization comprising a team of real estate development professionals who provide comprehensive services to clients across the Middle East. Juthoor works with its clients through out the three critical phases of the development process (project feasibility, project implementation and development control). The complete organization is based on Team work, although each employee has an important role to play, their combined efforts is much more valuable. Jose Lora, is the CEO of the company and leader, heads the entire team of professionals.

Juthoor’s vision

Juthoor Development Services vision is to build the Oman of tomorrow. The employees’ key responsibility is to work towards this vision. The success of the organization lies in the employees’ ability to work as a team and build the Oman of tomorrow.

Leadership in Juthoor Development Services

The leader’s relationship with his/her followers is extremely important. An organizations failure or success rate all relies on the leader and the nature of leadership. According to Robbins and Finley (2000), involvement and empowerment of the employees are two key behaviours a leader must possess. There are many ways a leader can strengthen the relationship with his/her followers. At Juthoor, the leader of the company understands the significance of the relationship between himself and the rest of the team. He adopts the following two behaviours:

Asking questions instead of giving answers (For example, asking an employee “How do we proceed on this?” “What do you think we should do next”). This involvement gives a sense of purpose and satisfaction to the employees. This helps employees envision the goal and improve their efforts to achieve and excel in their part of the job.

Giving followers the opportunity to lead (For example, asking an employee to lead a meeting or put an employee in charge of a task that the leader is taking part in). This empowerment gives the employee the confidence and helps him take ownership).

Juthoor Development Services is a team-based organization. Therefore, the focus of this case study will be around team leadership.

The Functional Model

This model focuses on how a company and how the work group is being led rather than whom the leader is. This results in lesser time spent focusing on the person who is in the leadership role and instead put all the attention on the leadership function that is taking place. This model emphasizes on the nature of the work group and the followers of the leader. This is exactly what is taking place in Juthoor Development Services, work is done in teams and the team spirit in the company is high and ensures transparent communication.

Due to the fact that Juthoor is a service provider for real estate development, the key to success is the collaboration of the team. The business is based on team work. A group of people together is not necessarily a team. A team is a number of people that get together that have high level of interdependence, working towards a common goal. (http://www.teal.org.uk/et/page5.html)

A team has a number of advantages for an organization:

Maximization of HR: team members are trained, coached by other members. Success or failure is not pointed at individuals, but rather the team as a whole.

Greater outputs and results. A team is known to outperform a group of individuals.

There is continuous improvement and development.

The way a team is lead has a huge impact on the success. The leader in Juthoor is responsible and holds these values:

Commitment to the team members as well as the mission that needs to be achieved

The desire to support a team, serve and lead

Experience, enthusiasm, and energy.

The ability to build a team and achieve more as a team

Team Leadership

It is known that team work and team spirit are fundamental in enhancing the growth in an organization. The saying goes, “Two heads are better than one”. Taking up all the responsibility and working alone will only reach you so far; team work is required and is vital for desired results. Different individuals have different skills and talents, bring them together to work on a specific task or certain goal will prove that they would outperform any individual.

According to Belbin (1993), there are two types of leaders; Solo leader and Team leader. The major difference between the two revolves around the behaviour and participation of the two as seen below:

Solo Leader

  • This type of leader interferes and sticks his/her nose in everything
  • This type of leader delegates tasks and roles without interfering
  • Attempts to mold the team members into specific standards
  • Develops team members and encourages them to grow
  • Collects acolytes
  • Seeks talent and does not fear team members with special talents

Team Leader

  • Team leadership differs from Solo leadership in the following ways: (http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/educatrs/leadrshp/le2diffs.htm)
  • Responsibility is shared among the team members and is not only burdened by the leader
  • Control is left to the group and not just the leader.
  • The leader views the team as a whole and not as individuals.
  • Expression of needs are encouraged by the leader

In today’s business world with the rising complexity and the irregular nature of modern workplaces promote Team leaderships as opposed to Solo leadership. According to Belbin (1993), team leadership is not as natural as solo leadership, however he suggests that team leadership can be learned and developed.

Jose Lora, the CEO of Juthoor takes the approach of Team Leader. It was his idea to start Juthoor Development Services and he understands how important an effective team is in the success of the organization. He ensures communication, reads feelings and emotions, practices emotional intelligence and takes time to understand each team member to know what his/her personal needs are and what motivates him or her. The nature of leadership in Juthoor is revolves around team leadership and transformational leadership. Jose Lora is a true e leader who inspires the work group to put their efforts towards a shared vision of the future. The leadership style in Juthoor is highly visible, and built on communication. Jose Lora doesn’t lead from the front, as he gives responsibilities to the team members.

Juthoor is a team-based organization, therefore, is there is any problem or issues, all heads are put together to solve the problem and make a decision. Team meetings are conducted daily between the team members to ensure proper communication, transparency and to tackle issues before they arise.

Juthoor’s Leadership Framework

The leadership model used by Juthoor has 9 key fundamentals and they are:

  • Builds Shared Vision
  • Team Building and teamwork
  • Strategic thinking and planning
  • Focuses on outcomes
  • Maximizes Potential Opportunities
  • Managing and developing staff
  • Transformational Leadership
  • Motivates & Coaches
  • Delivers Results

Many organizations develop their own leadership frameworks because there is no “one size will fit all” framework, although most frameworks in organizations are similar, they are not exactly the same. I believe that it is not the framework that is significant, but rather the process by which it is developed.

Case Study Discussion and Recommendations

Management needs to obtain and use their compassion and social expertise to improve their personal transformational leadership. Thus, the challenge for any modern organization, including Juthoor development services is to build and develop the emotional intelligence of the management. Suitable involvements may be required to improve and build on their competencies and that would entail education and intensive role-related training.

Managers’ ought to be encouraged to improve and develop their skills by constant self-education and learning. Companies must offer encouraging supports for staff learning and improving management and supervisors vital emotional competencies, motivation and team building techniques required for their roles. Companies should recruit individuals that hold a vision and have a pleasant personality that is also known as charisma. There should also be suitable shifts in the company’s organizational structure and to encourage flat structure and less complicated hierarchy. Changes in organizational culture are also required to reward staff for learning and self development.

The changes in organizational culture and structure should encourage managers will encourage attain emotional intelligence competencies required for employee motivation. It is well known that, the most complex part of leading a team is motivation of work group members. In practical and theory, motivation plays a vital role in a organizations management. Motivation is an essential part of effective performance.

Throughout my experience in working at Juthoor, I believe the factors Affecting Leadership Effectiveness in an organization are the following:

  • The leader’s personal characteristics including personality, skills, and outlook.
  • The leaders experience with dealing with teams and work groups
  • The features of the team, their attitude and expectations.
  • The relationship between the leader and the work group
  • The type of company
  • The organization culture & structure
  • The type of tasks that need to be accomplished
  • The external business environment

My Leadership Development Plan

This part of the report is central around my leadership style and my leadership development needs. This section addresses a number of questions like, “Do I have the right combination of skills to lead an organization?”, “What skills need to be developed to lead effectively?” How can I develop and establish myself? How can I influence others?”

Throughout my career, I have spent a lot of time observing myself and the nature of leadership in the organizations I worked for. At the beginning of my journey, the main challenge for me was trying to understand the difference between managers and leaders. Once that was figured out, I shifted my entire focus to understanding, observing, and learning from the leaders I worked for. One of my professional goals is to become a leader one day, and to be able to influence and motivate a team to achieve and succeed. Therefore, I spent an incredible amount of time studying and observing the leaders in my life.

I have studied the leadership theories including characteristics, styles, and modern leadership theories of transformational leadership, etc. and based on the findings of the literature review conducted in the second section of this report, I assessed my leadership skills and checked my ability to execute and implement effective leadership in my job and contribute to the leadership functions of the organization. Out of all the different types of leadership styles, can say that I take the approach of situational leadership style. I don’t view a leadership position as an authority position, I view it as the ability to touch other people’s lives and help them grow. I actually feel that I best relate to situational leadership style because I am extremely flexible when situations arise and occur. Situational leadership is the approach of changing your style to best suit the circumstances. However, earlier I used to not be an expert at this because I always resisted change and felt like I lost focus when things didn’t happen the way I expected them to. But as I changed jobs and got more experience, I understood that change is required and I must learn how to handle and adapt to situations instead of getting angry over things not working out the way I wanted them to.

There are a number of ways I have practiced my leadership in my job, for example, when I am heading a group I make sure to emphasize the importance of working together. Although I am the leader of the group, I do not show it to other. I work just as hard as they work and try to give as much constructive feedback as I can. My approach is all centered on listening to the team members, understanding their point of view, asking them what their recommendations are and I try to encourage participation. I would say that I am always very fun to be around. When a task needs to be accomplished, I don’t give out orders, I give each member the choice about what part they want to handle. Once we complete a task or reach a specific goal, I usually show my appreciation for their work through celebrating together, either inviting them for lunch or dinner.

I have assessed my skills and used a number of tools and techniques to evaluate my

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