Leadership and Management Theories
The Effectiveness of the Leadership and Management Theories in the Organisation
Keywords: Management, Leadership, Theories, Styles, Effectiveness, Organisation, Performance
§ An Introduction to management and leadership theories
§ The shortcomings of these theories
§ Management Styles
§ The importance and effectiveness of these styles in the organisation
The topic of this research is ‘The Effectiveness of the Leadership and Management Theories in the Organisation.’ The purpose of this research is to observe and study the theories of leadership and management and their effectiveness in the organisation today.
“A key to achieving success is to assemble a strong and stable management team.” (Vivek Wadhwa) Hence, this study will give a brief overview on both management and leadership theories that have been applied in the organisation.
The research starts with defining the main terms, i.e, management and leadership. It will also evaluate the contribution of these management and leadership theories, the different styles of the manager, the shortcomings of such theories and their effectiveness in the organisation.
“Approaches to Management and leadership change constantly. So do prevailing views of which approach is best. A good leader or manager should understand both the most modern and prevailing methods as well as the outdated and ineffective methods. Knowing how the methods work and being able to draw effective tools from them-even the outdated and ineffective ones (sometimes just knowing what doesn’t work is valuable)- will enhance a manager’s or leader’s ability to do things right.” (Woods and King, 2010, p.43)
Furthermore, findings are presented as a result of extensive research carried out on the effectiveness and success of such theories developed and implemented by researchers.
Koontz (1961) gave his definition of management in his book The Management Theory Jungle as “the art of getting things done through and with people in formally organised groups.”
Summerfield (2014) defines leadership as “leadership is usually best conceived and administered democratically and collegially, but ultimately—at the core—the job of the leader is to make things better.”
Based on past research, leadership has several meanings as authors have different opinions based on their approach to the topic. “The concept of leadership is wide in its context and if not defined carefully may be unclear.” (Wart, 2017, p. 3)
Theories of Management and Leadership
Traditional Management Theories
“A leader acts as a beacon of light viewed as a symbol, example and a source of inspiration by subordinates/employees. The leader ensures concentration of efforts and combines the parts in a whole through a team work acting as an effective team leader.” (Khan and Adnan, 2014, p.501)
Countless theories on leadership and management have emerged dating back from the 1800’s and have become one of the most talked about topics in the business world. These theories have seemed to play an integral role in the effectiveness and success of organisations, although some have argued that they become outdated and inefficient.
Henri Fayol was one of the first theorists to develop some basic management principles which would improve an organisation based on his knowledge and past experiences. “He noted that managers should exercise these principles in any form of business in order to achieve their goals. Whilst, much of Fayol’s work lies in these traditional beliefs, these were only useful in certain organisation structures. Based on critical analysis, they were only proven to be effective in other organisational structures.” (Wood and King, 2010, p. 44)
Henry Mintzberg also criticized Fayol’s Theory and said it was insufficient and unclear. “Mintzberg implemented his own study and concluded that roles performed by managers described their job. These are interpersonal, informational and decisional roles. These roles didn’t make much sense in the practical sense and were only useless in its effectiveness towards the organisation.” (Wood and King, 2010, p. 50-53)
Based on the research conducted, management styles are approaches managers adopt based on personality, experiences and skills to interact with and encourage their staff. These styles should be chosen based on the size and culture of that organisation and staff.
Wood and King (2010), in their book Leadership and Management in the Hospitality Industry, outlined some of these styles, which are as follows:
Autocratic: Managers who are autocratic tend to make sole decisions without the input of managers or staff. This type of management style can do both harm and good, depending on the culture and type of organisation.
Bureaucratic: These managers often are not receptive to change and enforce rules and policies. Simple rules are followed.
Democratic: Managers who are democratic are seen as the ones who involve their staff in the decision making process. Everyone plays an integral role on the team and responsibilities are shared equally. (p. 57)
Leadership styles can affect the quality of work and forms an important relationship between a leader’s approach and the employee’s adaptability. Hence, various studies have been carried out on the different leadership styles encountered in an organisation and their impact on staff performance and the overall success of a business. However, the main ones that are dominant today and will be elaborated on are personality-based, situational, transactional and transformational leadership styles.
Personality-based leadership: These are leaders who are charismatic in nature. They have vision and inspire their followers.
Situational Leadership: “Situational leadership uses supportive and directive behaviours to create they recognize that the best leadership will vary depending on the situation.” Wood and King (2010, p.62),
Transactional Leadership: “Transactional Leadership is based on exchange process which involves followers compliance in respect to leader’s request but not likely to produce passion and dedication to work.” (Khan and Adnan, 2014, p. 504-505)
Transformational Leadership: “Transformational Leadership is growth of an organization and efficiency in operation is achieved through best practices adopted and pursued by organizations under the guidance / supervision of a dynamic and transformational leader. Hence, a strong and dynamic/transformational leader in today’s competitive environment plays a vital role in organizational performance.”
A transformational leader uses values and principles for motivating subordinates to achieve expected level of performance. (Khan and Adnan, 2014, p. 504)
Conversely, these styles can impact the growth of an organisation positively or negatively depending on the type of organisation. Few research have supported this view that leadership styles have not had any influence on the success of a business. They argued that leadership had no relationship with performance.
Other studies conducted have proven wrong. Khan and Adnan, (2014) conducted this study with leaders from the manufacturing and service organisation. The findings revealed that the type of style determine which has significant impact on performance.
” The researchers found that though the most suited style of leadership is transformational one but in new and growing organizations transactional leadership style may be more productive, while in certain circumstances though limited and for a short period, laissez faire style may be required. Hence, the leader might have to adopt a hybrid style of leadership style. Leadership style has a significant impact on the organizational performance.” (p.501)
The importance and effectiveness of these styles in the organisation
Leadership is essential in an organisation and plays a vital role in the best interests of the organisation and its employees. This is so because it is perceived as the driving factor in enhancing success. It is imperative for managers to adopt the basic principles and become the leader that everyone admire and respect. An ineffective manager does not contribute anything to the growth of an organisation and can adversely affect them from achieving their goals and maximizing their efficiency.
Numerous research have highlighted the importance of leadership in the workplace. Bass and Stogdill (1990) made reference to this. “Surveys of job satisfaction from the 1920’s onward illustrated the importance of leadership. They uniformly reported that employees’ favorable attitudes toward their supervisors contributed to the employees’ satisfaction. In turn, employees’ favorable attitudes toward their supervisors were usually found to be related to the productivity of the work group.” (p. 6)
Another author supported this view as well. “For organizations to perform well, apart from tangible and intangible resources, effective and dynamic leadership is a pre requisite. Leadership style of the leader of an organization has a strong impact on the performance of the organization.” (Khan and Adnan, 2014)
Research have concluded that leadership has impacts on whether an organisation fail or succeed. Based on my experiences in the workplace, I have seen where quality leaders have inspired and have influenced the attitudes of staff, evident by vast improvements in their work. It was revealed that if employees are treated with respect, and are supported and motivated, then it can lead to the success and growth of the company.
Yet few authors have argued that while Leadership is important, it may not be a significant factor in the success of an organisation. Brown (1982) proposed that leadership may have little impact regarding an organisation performance when other effective factors are accounted for.
Despite these controversial views, leadership seems to have had substantial impact on organisation. This was based on the finding discovered from journals written on the leadership of top level management. Organisation with poor leaders and managers will fail.
Allen (2003) mentioned that “I have found, however, that the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.” (p. 229)
Leadership and management are both essential to the success of any business. Whilst it’s not the only determining factor for success, it plays a vital role. The success of any company is dependent upon the management of it.
This study furnished a good discussion on the theories associated with both leadership and management and their effectiveness towards the organisation’s performance. By tactfully examining these theories and styles, this study concludes that leadership and management theories, if applied carefully, play a vibrant role in the success of any organisation.
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