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).
|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
● Trusts and develops
● 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
|● Use authority
● Avoids conflict
Table 1 Comparisons between Leadership and Management (Lunenburg 2011)
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 <http://fortune.com/best-companies/2014/> [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 <http://www.google.com/about/company/facts/culture/> [22 March 2015]
Hastings, R. (2012) ‘How to Set your Employees Free: Reed Hastings’. Bloomberg Business [online] 12 April. available from <http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2012-04-12/how-to-set-your-employees-free-reed-hastings> [19 March 2015]
Hindle, T. (2008) ‘The Hawthorne effect’. The Economist [online] 3 Nov. available from <http://www.economist.com/node/12510632> [24 March 2015]
Hsieh, T. (2010) ‘Your Culture is Your Brand’. Huffington Post [online] 15 November. available from <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tony-hsieh/zappos-founder-tony-hsieh_1_b_783333.html> [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 <http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_44.htm> [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 <https://hbr.org/2013/03/change-management-is-bigger-th> [22 March 2015]
Satell, G. (2014) ‘To Create Change, Leadership is More Important than Authority’. Harvard Business Review [online] available from <https://hbr.org/2014/04/to-create-change-leadership-is-more-important-than-authority/> [22 March 2015]
Spear, K. (2013) Cartoon: Different kind of Shepherd [online] available from < http://kevinspear.com/tag/pastors> [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
Zappos.com (2014) Zappos Family Core Values [online] available from <http://about.zappos.com/our-unique-culture/zappos-core-values> [22 March 2015]