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Theme 5 – Vision of Leadership

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Leadership can be viewed in many ways, often than not we would chance upon similar leadership qualities in our organisation. Leaders that demonstrates the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership have proved to be more satisfying to work with, as they make you feel more committed, excited, energized and gives the organisation a more positive influence (Kouzes and Posner 2006). Kouzes and Posner (2006) discovered when leaders are at their personal best, there are five fundamental practices that is common.


Figure 1 Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership & Ten Commitments (Pace OD Consulting 2015)

Modelling the way is basically about how the leader can earn the respect from others by setting the right example. Short to say, you follow the person before the plan (Kouzes and Posner 2006). Many leaders have their fair share of inspiring vision and they need to be convinced in the dreams in order to achieve it (Kouzes and Posner 2006). Taking risk is considered a challenge for a leader, as you may fail or succeed. However, being able to accept change can prove to be beneficial to the organisation.  Leaders need to allow feedback and encourage teamwork to develop capabilities and skillset of the team (Wiley 2015). Rewarding hard work is common in most organisations, it makes people will appreciated (Wiley 2015).


Image Source: MYN Collective 2013

Coco Chanel has always been an inspiring story in the fashion world, she not only created iconic fashion statements which remained one of the most luxury and famous brand name even 30 years after her death, she dared to change what was typical women clothing in 1920s post World War. Coco Chanel wasn’t just ahead of her time, she was often ahead of herself (Sischy 1998). Coco Chanel was not only an entrepreneur, she introduced fashion freedom to women as she redefined the suffocating corset fashion to simple feminine clothes like the little black dress and impeccable tweed suits (Berry 2013). Coco Chanel was a visionary leader that created diversity and change during a strong masculine era. Coco Chanel was one of the most successful business leaders that went from rags to riches as she overcome the early death of her mother and was left by her father to be brought up by nuns in a convent (Entrepreneur 2008). However, her dejected childhood did not stop her from becoming the visionary leader she was. Instead, it strung her well and made her the strong leader she was.

coco chanel quote

Image Source: Lifehack Quotes 2015

I believe a leader needs to also be an opportunist to create a revolution (Graj 2013). Sheryl Sandberg, current COO of Facebook believed that technology was going to change the world and people’s lives when she decided to leave Google to join Facebook (Baer 2014). She also identified that being a leader does not mean you are an aggressive bully, as leadership portrays the confidence to speak out for the better good (McFadden and Whitman 2014). I was often remarked to be too bossy by my family members and team members and this is something I need to reflect and improve on. Sandberg argued that the word “bossy” tends to give a negative impact and causing girls to avoid leadership roles to avoid being labelled as “bossy” (McFadden and Whitman 2014). Based on my performance appraisal for the last 3 years as a team lead, I have shown continuous improvement in leading my team. I have consistently provide training to new and existing staff as well as meticulously check on their individual tasks to ensure we achieve our Service Level Agreement (SLA). Dealing with applications and servers on a daily basis, the team has also relied on me during crisis situation where I need to coordinate with other teams to get an issue resolved in a timely manner to reduce downtime and not affect operations. To encourage my team members, I often praise them when they have done a good job and I ensure that the management is aware of their contribution as a leader cannot be selfish.

Upon completion of my MBA, I hope to be an ethical leader who is not afraid to accept change. I believe if I am persistent, the organisation would be able to accept my views as a leader. Throughout the course, the subject that I have found to be the most useful to my job is Leadership as it has a lot of aspects that indirectly or directly interrelates to my current position.


Image Source: MamaDeb 2015



Baer, D. (2014) ‘14 Sheryl Sandberg Quotes on Women, Work and Careers’. Business Insider [online] 19 August. available from <> [3 April 2015]

Berry, A. (2013) ‘5 Things Coco Chanel Taught Us About Style’. Time Magazine [online] 4 February. available from <> [3 April 2015]

Graj, S. (2013) ‘Coco Chanel: Personal Branding Legend’. Forbes [online] 20 February. available from <> [3 April 2015]

Kouzes, J. M. and Posner, B. Z. (2006) The Leadership Challenge. Vol. 3. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons

Pace OD Consulting (2015) The Leadership Challenge [online] available from <> [3 April 2015]

Sischy, I. (1998) ‘The Designer Coco Chanel’. Time Magazine [online] 8 June. available from <,9171,988494-1,00.html> [3 April 2015]

Whitman, J. (2014) ‘Sheryl Sandberg Launches ‘Ban Bossy’ Campaign to Empower Girls to Lead’. ABC News [online] 10 March. available from <> [3 April 2015]

Wiley, J. (2015) The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership Model [online] available from <> [2 April 2015]

Image Source

Lifehack Quotes (2015) [online] available from <> [3 April 2015]

Mama Deb (2015) Balancing a Female Boss [online] available from <> [3 April 2015]

MYN Collective (2015) Clever Coco Quotes [online] available from <> 3 April 2015


Theme 4 – Ethical Leadership

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Image Source: ThoughtYouMayAsk 2015

People look for a leader who is inspiring to follow (Kouzes and Posner 1992). Ethical leadership is about questioning what is right or wrong and establishing an example on rightful or wrongful decision (Guy 1990 cited in Kouzes and Posner 1992). Rubin et al. (2010) believes that leaders are an essential element of change in an organisation. There are many arguments on ethical leaderships in organisations today, so what does being ethical means?

Teleology and Deontology makes up the two main principles of ethics. The word teleological is derived from the Greek word ‘telos’ which means purpose. Teleological or consequentialism is results-oriented and focuses on the purpose of each action and whether there is an intention or meaning for the action (Alder 1998). The term deontological is derived from the Greek word “deon” which means duty. Deontological perspectives are concerned with the process that leads to results and see the duty to act in a particular way (Alder 1998). Deontological does not justify the adherence to the theory while teleological always justifies the adherence to the theory. Deontological guides us to be fair and unselfish while teleological suggests that as long as you achieve the intended result, whatever you did to a person is acceptable (Emelda 2011).


Figure 1 Deontological VS Teleological Example (Constructed by the writer)


Image Source: At Ford Online 2014

Ford Motor Company is one out of 3 automotive companies which made the rankings of the Ethisphere 100 most ethical companies in 2014 (Ethisphere 2014). Ford implements a strong culture of compliance and ethics within the organisation (Ford 2014). According to Alex Brigham, the executive director of the Ethisphere Institute, Ford has promoted ethical practices to the environment and displays a clear view of how the company operates under the highest standards which lead to excellent performance and profits (PR Newswire 2015). Ford has a compliance program with ethical practices that defines the organisation operation guidelines. They include:-


Figure 2 Ford Ethical Compliance Practices (2014)

In response to the global warming situation, Ford has cooperate with industry partners and energy companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use in their operations (Ford 2014). On a social perspective, Ford maintains that communication with employees and business partners improves their work efficiency and quality to further innovate (Ford 2014).


Image Source: NLPC 2014

It took a lawsuit over a death of a woman for General Motors (GM) to recall 2.59 million cars with faulty ignition switches (Fisk 2015). The New York Times reported that GM engineers found the problem with the ignition switches in 2009 but it was not till 2014 that it was let known to the world (Norris 2014). The faulty ignition key would accidentally move from the run position resulting the engine and certain electrical components including the airbags to be turned off (Bennett and Spector 2013). GM is handling this crisis with their utmost caution, but are the leaders to be blamed? It was reported that the senior management was well aware of the issue but chose to ignore it because of the profits the company was making. Business psychologists use this case as an example of how managers can turn a blind eye to morality for profit purposes (Rupp 2014). Many of the business scandals including the Enron collapse has a similar pattern: ‘The ethical behaviour of those involved eroded over time’ (Gino, Ordonez and Welsh 2014). As Bernie Madoff said, once you get comfortable with something, before you realise it has snowballed into something huge (Gino, Ordonez and Welsh 2014).

Ethics still maintains as an arguable territory, while many authors described ethics in negative terms, the focus on ethics is on how we judge what is ethically right (Cranston, Ehrich and Kimber 2005). We all try to be ethical in our workplace, we would want to handle situations ethically. What comes around is, if the manager supports your ethical decision or would they want a workaround which was more profitable or looks better to the team. It is not always easy to confront your manager or go one level up to report an unethical act as your manager may be protected by the senior management and it all comes back to you being a nasty tell-tale. I strongly believe that in order to be an ethical organisation, you need to start with ethical decisions from the top.


Alder, G. S. (1998) ‘Ethical Issues in Electronic Performance Monitoring: A Consideration of Deontological and Teleological Perspectives’. Journal of Business Ethics 17 (7), 729-743

BBC (2014) Duty-based ethics [online] available from <> [1 April 2015]

Bennett, J. and Spector, M. (2015) ‘General Motors Settles Case That Triggered Ignition-Switch Recall’. The Wall Street Journal [online] available from <> [1 April 2015]

Cranston, N., Ehrich, L. C., and Kimber, M. (2006) ‘Ethical Dilemmas: The “Bread and Butter” of Educational Leaders’ Lives’. Journal of Educational Administration 44 (2), 106-121

Emelda, M. (2011) Difference between Deontology and Teleology [online] available from <> [1 April 2015]

Ethisphere (2015) 2014 World’s Most Ethical Companies [online] available from <> [1 April 2015]

Fisk, M. C. (2015) ‘GM Settles Death Lawsuit That Spurred Millions of Recalls’. Bloomberg Business [online] available from <> [1 April 2015]

Ford (2014) Sustainability Report 2013/14: Ethical Business Practices [online] available from <> [1 April 2015]

Ford (2014) Sustainability Report 2013/14: Ford’s Climate Change Strategy [online] available from <> [1 April 2015]

Gino, F., Ordonez, L. D., and Welsh, D. (2014) ‘How Unethical Behavior Becomes Habit’. Harvard Business Review [online] available from <> [1 April 2015]

Guy, M. E. (1990) Ethical Decision Making in Everyday Work Situations. New York: Quorum Books. Cited in Kouzes, J. M. and Posner, B. Z. (1992) ‘Ethical Leaders: An Essay About Being in Love’. Journal of Business Ethics 11 (5/6), 479-484

Kouzes, J. M. and Posner, B. Z. (1992) ‘Ethical Leaders: An Essay About Being in Love’. Journal of Business Ethics 11 (5/6), 479-484

Norris, F. (2014) ‘History Gives Other Cases of G.M.’s Behavior’. The New York Times [online] available from <> [1 April 2015]

PR Newswire (2014) Ford Motor Company Recognized as One of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere [online] available from <> [1 April 2015]

Rubin, R. S., Dierdorff, E. C., and Brown, M. E. (2010) ‘Do Ethical Leaders Get Ahead? Exploring Ethical Leadership and Promotability’. Business Ethics Quarterly 20 (2), 215-236

Rupp, K. L. (2014) ‘Where were GM’s Ethics’. US News [online] available from <> [1 April 2015]

Image Source

Thought You May Ask (2015) Leadership Quotes [online] available from <> [1 April 2015]

@Ford Online (2014) Ford Motor Company Recognized among World’s Most Ethical Companies [online] available from <> [1 April 2015]

NLPC (2014) ‘Congress Must Ask Barra Why GM Hasn’t Recalled Saturn Ions with Power Steering Loss’. NLPC [online] available from <> [1 April 2015]

Theme 3 – Change Management

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Change is goodImage Source: Toonpool 2009

We live in a world that is constantly changing to be increasingly complex and diverse, therefore organisations should be open to accept the challenge of change (Hurn 2012). Change is important to an organisation, yet people may be cautious towards change (Bailey and Raelin 2010). All changes in organisations starts from the top, leader takes a huge role in shaping the organisation. Leadership is about change, what happens when the employees are resistance to change (Kanter 2012)? Kanter (2012) listed some common change resistance situations happening in organisations.


Figure 1 Ten resistance to change (Kanter 2012)

Change may sometimes go awry and not according to plan. However, putting the responsibility on those resisting change may not be the solution and may lead to defensive behaviours causing them to look bad and lose sight of their original goals (Ford and Ford 2009). Resistance when accessed in the right way, can be beneficial in the accomplishment of change (Ford and Ford 2010). An effective change initiative means tailoring different strategies on different employees instead of applying one approach and forcing them to comply (Kotter and Schlesinger 2008).


Figure 2 Kotter 8 Step Process for Leading Change (Kotter 1995) constructed by the writer

Kotter’s change management model has been argued that it lacks hard evidence, yet it has remained so prominent that up till today it is still constantly being referred to in the change management scenarios (Appelbaum et al. 2012). The eight steps can be critically discussed as below:-

Change Process Description
Step 1 It is essential to promote strong motivation for change and clearly identifying the reasons for change (Hurn 2012). The persuasive methods to imply urgency can be bold and risky and requires the change agent to be aggressive to make change happen (Kotter 1995). Armenakis and Harris (1993) suggests that hiring outside of the organisation can emphasize the change message.
Step 2 A strong team is required in order to make a change. This step was initially meant to create a vision and to ensure it is spread on to the entire organisation (Kotter 1996). However, Lines (2007) was certain that leaders were proved to be more successful in implementing change.
Step 3 Staff throughout the entire organisation needed to be aware of the vision of the company. Managers who accepted and was passionate about the change were more motivating to the staff (Washington and Hacker 2005).
Step 4 Discussion among the staff was critical to receive feedbacks as communication proves to be a critical factor in whether the organisation’s change process can be successful (Bordia et al. 2004).
Step 5 Resistance to change has to be identified and evaluated as employees can be susceptible to changes. However, allowing the employee a chance to voice out can have an effect on their attitude to provide them with a sense of control.
Step 6 The short term goals need to be achievable to motivate employees towards the long term goals. Employee recognition was important in an organisation. It is important for the leader to set exemplary behaviours in change for the organisation to follow.
Step 7 Reinforcement was necessary to publicise success and it is crucial for leaders to identify other issues from the short term goals. According to Kotter (1996), the momentum would be lost if there is no urgency at this point. Employees needed to be encouraged to initiate and experiment with changing (Appelbaum et al. 2012).
Step 8 The corporate culture would have been developed and the entire organisation would have been affected with the change. Kotter suggests that the new changes needed to be rooted to the entire organisation in order to make the change stay.

Table 1 Kotter 8 Step Process for Leading Change (Kotter 1995)

Kotter argues that implementation of the first step was the vital part and not doing so would make it impossible to move on to the subsequent steps (Appelbaum et al. 2012). Appelbaum et al. (2012) suggests that some transformation do not require or were not able to go through certain steps. An example would be the implementation of a computer software used in a manufacturing process which was often difficult to undo.

KurtLewin ChangeModel

Figure 2 Kurt Lewin Change Management Model (AlchemyForManagers 2015)

Kurt Lewin’s 3 steps change management model was criticised over the application of it to the real world (Burnes 2004). Nevertheless, Lewin’s model still made an impact as if focused on resolving social conflict and promote ethical approach to change (Burnes 2004). Organisations are very focused on their societal image and therefore there is still relevance in Lewin’s model to be implemented on current day companies.


Image Source: Geekszine 2011

In the Apple against Microsoft war, Apple’s stock prices has sky rocketed while Microsoft remains desperate for success (Govindarajan and Trimble 2010).  With the huge financial stability that Microsoft has, what they lack of was innovation and imagination. The late Steve Jobs was said to have the magic formula for innovation and he understood that it was vital for profit (Lock 2014). Apple went from near obsolete in the 1990s to becoming the greatest success stories because their leader had a vision to change and he affected his entire organisation with the change on how computing, music and communications should be (Mind Resources 2011). There is without a doubt that effective change requires a good leader to achieve both short term and long term goals in the most beneficial way.

richard branson

Image Source: Success Magazine 2014

Founder of Virgin Empire, Sir Richard Branson is well known for being a societal and ethical entrepreneur who was not afraid of changes and trying something new (Vinnedge 2009). In his wide range of business including music, travel, telecommunications and even renewable energy, Branson has always embraced changes especially with the transformation of technology (Branson 2011). One good example was when CD was going to take over vinyl records, Branson started clearing the shelves at 100 of his Virgin Music store to give space for CDs and gave discounts to the vinyl records to clear them off the shelves (Branson 2011). They successfully switched their business over to CDs which many of their competitors did not. Despite the disruptive change, Branson successfully changed his business model and did so well that he later on moved on to many other ventures.

If the asylum was run by the lunatics, what the leaders can do is to take charge and lead those lunatics to run it right (Satell 2014). Change can be challenging yet refreshing, if applied the right way can be fruitful to the organisation. The change I hope to see in my organisation is a less autocratic leadership and giving the junior management a chance to make a difference and to make decisions.

richardbranson quote

Image Source: Virgin 2015



Alchemy for Managers (2015) The Kurt Lewin change model [online] available from <> [30 March 2015]

Appelbaum, S.H., Habashy, S., Malo, J. L., and Shafiq, H. (2012) ‘Back to the future: revisiting Kotter’s 1996 change model’. Journal of Management Development 31 (8), 764–782

Armenakis, A. A. and Harris, S. G. (2009) ‘Reflections: our Journey in Organizational Change Research and Practice’. Journal of Change Management 9 (2), 127-142

Bailey, J. R. and Raelin, J. (2010) ‘Employees See Death when you Change Their Routines’. Harvard Business Review [online] available from <> [22 March 2015]

Bordia, P., Hunt, E., Paulsen, N., Tourish, D. and DiFonzo, N. (2004) ‘Uncertainty during Organizational Change: Is It all about Control’. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 13 (3), 345-365

Burnes, B. (2004) ‘Kurt Lewin and the Planned Approach to Change’. Journal of Management Studies 41 (6), 977-1002

Ford J. D. and Ford L. W. (2009) ‘Decoding Resistance to Change’ Harvard Business Review [online] available from <> [29 March 2015]

Ford, J. D. and Ford, L. W. (2010) ‘Stop Blaming Resistance to Change and Start Using It’ Organizational Dynamics Journal 39(1), 24-26

Govindarajan, V. and Trimble, C. (2010) ‘Why Apple Beats Microsoft At Change Management’. Forbes [online] available from <> [30 March 2015]

Hurn, B. J. (2012) ‘Management of change in a multinational company’. Industrial and Commercial Training 44 (1), 41–46

Kanter, R. M. (2012) ‘Ten Reasons People Resist Change’. Harvard Business Review [online] available from <> [29 March 2015]

Kelley, L. L. (2002) ‘Situational leadership: Managing the virtual project team’. Journal of Management Development 20 (6), 461–476

Kotter, J. P. (1995) ‘Leading Change: Why transformation efforts fail’. Harvard Business Review 73 (2), 59-67

Kotter, J.P. (1996) Leading Change. Harvard Business School Press. Boston: MA

Kotter, J. P. and Schlesinger, L. A. (2008) ‘Choosing Strategy for Change’, Harvard Business Review 86 (7/8), 130-139

Lines, R. (2007) ‘Using Power to Install Strategy: the relationships between Expert Power, Position Power, Influence Tactics and Implementation Success’. Journal of Change Management 7 (2), 143-170

Lock, D. (2014) Change Management Lessons from Microsoft and Apple [online] available from <> [30 March 2015]

Mind Resources (2011) Leadership: Managing Change [online] available from <> [30 March 2015]

Satell, G. (2014) ‘To Create Change, Leadership is More Important than Authority’. Harvard Business Review [online] available from <> [22 March 2015]

Washington, M. and Hacker, M. (2005) ‘Why Change Fails: Knowledge Counts’. Leadership & Organization Development Journal 26 (5), 400-411

Image Sources

Geekszine (2011) Choose your life or poison [online] available from <> [30 March 2015]

ToonPool (2009) King Behead change good thing [online] available from <> [30 March 2015]

Virgin (2015) 10 inspirational Richard Branson Quotes [online] available from <> [30 March 2015]

Theme 2 – Management and Leadership

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Image Source: Spear 2013

Research shows that leadership behaviours can be achieved through management innovation (Vaccaro et al. 2010). Elenkov (2005) described alternative ways in which leaders can influence management decisions within the organisations. There is no certainty in which style of leadership works best for the organisation as style can be influenced by different culture. For management innovation to occur, the implemented change should include novelty in the way the organization is managed by means of new practices, processes, or structures, including their associated techniques (Vaccaro et al. 2010).

According to Lunenburg in Table 1, he defines the obvious differential between leadership and management (2011).

Category Leadership Management
Thinking Process ● Focus on people

● Looks externally

● Focus on things

● Looks internally

Goal Setting ● Has a vision

● Portrays the future

● Sees an entire jungle

● Execute plans

● Improves the present

● Sees only trees

Employee Relations ● Empowers

● Colleagues

● Trusts and develops

● Control

● Staff

● Direct and coordinates

Operation ● Do the right things

● Make changes

● Serves your staff

● Do things right

● Manage changes

● Serves your managers

Governance ● Use influence

● Use conflict

● Decisive

● Use authority

● Avoids conflict

● Responsible

Table 1 Comparisons between Leadership and Management (Lunenburg 2011)

situational leadership

Figure 1 Situational Leadership (Hersey and Blanchard 1969 cited in Mind Tools 2015)

In situational leadership, effective leadership requires a rational understanding of the situation to achieve an appropriate response (McCleskey 2014). Situational Leadership Theory (SLT) is derived from a task-oriented versus people-oriented leadership scale which represented that the leader focuses on the required tasks or focuses on their relations with the followers (McClesky 2014). There are four leadership styles according to Hersey and Blanchard (1969).


Figure 2 Leadership Styles

The situational leadership theory despite being a popular model has its flaws.  The three flaws associating with situational leadership theory identifies with its consistency, continuity, and conformity (Nicholls 1985 cited in McCleskey 2014). Bass (2008 cited in McCleskey 2014) mentioned on the lack of consistency, conceptual contradictions and ambiguities in the theory. Glynn and DeJordy revealed in their research that there was no particular leadership style that was considered universally effective and it was difficult to identify abstract leadership types based on behavioural theories (2010 cited in McCleskey 2014).


Image Source: Tesco 2015

Elton Mayo’s Hawthorn Effect experiment proved that productivity was not measured by the physical condition at the work place but rather by the fact that someone was concerned about their workplace (Hindle 2001). Tesco has applied the Hawthorne effect that suggests communication, teamwork, cooperative decision making, interesting work and wellbeing of others would enhance work performance (The Times 100 2015). Tesco takes communication with staff as one of their strong factors. Employees can have one to one discussion with managers through reviews and company intranet (The Times 100 2015).They have also provided training and development opportunities to employees that leads to career growth.

‘Old dogs will learn new tricks when the lead dog shows them off’ (Shea and Solomon 2013). To make a change happen, the leaders must be the first to lead by example. Leaders like Reed Hastings and Tony Hsieh have inspired changes in their organisations and they are people I aspire to work for.


It is often difficult for the senior management to implement a change because they may already be in the comfort zone and sometimes it is easier for a junior management to implement a change (Satell 2014).

It is never easy to change traditional methods of managing or old fashion thinking of your leaders, however I would anticipate that with the upcoming rise of differentiation in generations, change is going to happen. I would like to work in a company that has the ‘Google Culture’ where they allow an open concept of ideas sharing and interaction across teams and not forgetting to add play to work (Google 2015).


Image Source: Google 2015


Bass, B.M. (2008) The Bass handbook of leadership: Theory, research and managerial applications. New York: New York Free Press. cited in McClesky, J.A. (2014) ‘Situational, Transformational and Transactional Leadership and Leadership Development’. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly 5 (4), 117-130

Elenkov, D. S. and Manev, I.M. (2005) ‘Social Culture Intelligence, Top-Level Leadership and Innovation Influence: An International Study’. Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings 2005 (1), F1-F6

Fortune (2014) Best Company 2014 [online] available from <> [22 March 2015]

Glynn, M. A. and DeJordy, R. (2010) Leadership Through an Organizational Behavior Lens: A look at the last half-century of research. cited in Nohria, N. and Khurana, R. (2010) Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice. Boston: Harvard Business Press. cited in McClesky, J. A. (2014) ‘Situational, Transformational and Transactional Leadership and Leadership Development’. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly 5 (4), 117-130

Google (2015) Our Culture [online] available from <> [22 March 2015]

Hastings, R. (2012) ‘How to Set your Employees Free: Reed Hastings’. Bloomberg Business [online] 12 April. available from <> [19 March 2015]

Hindle, T. (2008) ‘The Hawthorne effect’. The Economist [online] 3 Nov. available from <> [24 March 2015]

Hsieh, T. (2010) ‘Your Culture is Your Brand’. Huffington Post [online] 15 November. available from <> [19 March 2015]

Lunenburg, F. C. (2011) ‘Leadership versus Management: A Key Distinction – At Least in Theory’. International Journal of Management, Business and Administration 14(1)

McClesky, J. A. (2014) ‘Situational, Transformational and Transactional Leadership and Leadership Development’. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly 5 (4), 117-130

Mind Tools (2015) The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory [online] available from <> [19 March 2015]

Nicholls, J. R. (1985) ‘A New Approach to Situational Leadership’. Leadership and Organization Development Journal 6 (4), 2-7. Cited in McClesky, J.A. (2014) ‘Situational, Transformational and Transactional Leadership and Leadership Development’. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly 5 (4), 117-130

Shea, G. and Solomon, C. (2013) ‘Change Management is Bigger than Leadership’. Harvard Business Review [online] available from <> [22 March 2015]

Satell, G. (2014) ‘To Create Change, Leadership is More Important than Authority’. Harvard Business Review [online] available from <> [22 March 2015]

Spear, K. (2013) Cartoon: Different kind of Shepherd [online] available from <> [19 March 2015]

Vaccaro, I. G., Jansen, J. J. P., Van Den Bosch, F. A. J., and Volberda, H. W. (2012) ‘Management Innovation and Leadership: The Moderating Role of Organizational Size’. Journal of Management Studies 49 (1), 28-51 (2014) Zappos Family Core Values [online] available from <> [22 March 2015]

Theme 1 – Diversity and Team Management

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Part 1

Team development has always been a vital point to building a successful team. Many theories have been derived to glamorise the different aspects of a team. However, effective leadership has been recognised as a factor of success within an organisation (Hargis, Watt, Piotrowski 2011). Diversity can be achieved by taking into consideration, respecting and valuing each individual’s differences (The City of Edmonton 2013). Leaders today require the capability to harness ideas, people and resources from different aspects (Ibarra and Hansen 2011).


Figure 1 Layers of Diversity (The City of Edmonton 2013)

The world of work is changing (Kravitz, 2006). Diversity at work refers to the structure of your team in their language, religion, social status, cultural differential, experiences and physical or mental attributes (Welinder, Araujo and Lynn 2012). How the manager sees the diversity impacts how well the team would perform. The advantages of a diverse team can see people of different culture and religion work together and this tends to bring new innovations to the team (Merrill-Sands, Holvino and Cumming 2000). They also share their knowledge on marketing to a diverse consumer market to profit the company. Of course, you would have a bigger variety of talents to work with hence having better chances of optimised results.

However, there can also be disadvantages arising when there are people of different race or culture working today (Merrill-Sands, Holvino and Cumming 2000). With different cultures and religions, there is a tendency to offend people who come from a belief. There can be moments when decision making can be affected due to the diverse behaviour in the team thus impacting your results and affecting the team’s productivity (Welinder, Araujo and Lynn 2012).

Part 2

NEC diversity

Figure 2 (NEC 2013)

NEC has shown dedication in promoting diversity across the company (2013). They have successfully recruited multi-cultural employees, promote women as leaders and even hiring people with disabilities as part of their diversity plan (NEC 2013). Other than race, gender, age, nationality, ethnicity, religion and disability; the company also recognise the diversity of working styles, careers, perspectives, values of the employees (NEC 2013). NEC has a diverse working system implemented for seniors so they can choose either a career support program or extend employment beyond retirement age (NEC 2013). The company insist on a healthy work-life balance, childcare and nursing care subsidies were made available to both male and female employees (NEC 2013).

Ikea IKEA’s previous CEO Mikael Ohlsson says that his leadership on diversity is vision-driven from a business point of view and value-driven at the foundation (Groysberg, Connoly 2013). He also explains IKEA’s hiring approach where two managers has to come to consent before they decide to hire the candidate, that way there will be two person responsible for the development of the candidate. “What matters are your values, not your education” Ohlsson once said this, as he started as a sales assistant and slowly rise up to be the CEO of IKEA Group(Braw 2011).

Leaders plant an influential image to the employees, so when they have adapted diversity in their management methods; this impacts the company’s progress and success rate. Many leaders have had their fair shares of experience that mould them to what they are today (Groysberg, Connoly 2013).


It is easy to have a new idea but it is never easy to cultivate it at the workplace. Perhaps what we need in the current organisations is to have leaders brave enough to step out and make the change (Sheth 2012). Having a great organisation to work with, you attract talents and develop the most diverse talent on the way.

From years of experience in customer service and managing my own team I have had my fair share of multi-cultural working environment and I strongly believe that diverse teams can produce results. We have implemented a flexible system in my team, where one team member from the shift duty is allowed to leave after half day if all tasks have been completed. I would verify through the reporting system and confirm all pending task have been cleared, then one team member could leave for the day. This improved productivity and motivated the team to complete their daily task more efficiently. However, whether or not the team succeeds is dependable on how the leader moulds the team.  Highly successful managers need to be diverse or transformational because transformational leaders and transformational organizations produce better results (Seidman and McCauley 2011).


Braw, E. (2011) ‘IKEA CEO Mikael Ohlsson’. Metro [online] available from <> [17 February 2015]

Groysberg, B., Connolly, K. (2013) ‘Great Leaders Who Make the Mix Work’. Harvard Business Review [online] September 2013. available from <> [18 February 2015]

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