Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Leading Learning in the Workplace
Leadership is one of the most important ingredients of a successful workplace. According to Dierendonck and Patterson (2010, p. 41), leading people within a workplace setting requires one to possess leadership qualities that would make one unique among others. A leader must be able to make followers behave in a given desirable way within an organization. It is through this that such a leader would be in a position to bring success within the organization.Advertising We will write a custom critical writing sample on Leading Learning in the Workplace specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Scholars have put forth a number of theories of leadership to explain ways in which a leader can assert his authority and ensure that followers do what he desires. This may not be an easy task. Different leaders draw their power from different sources. Depending on the source of power and the strength of this source, a leader would be able to sway the th inking of the followers in differing degrees. This research will focus on three leadership theories and explain their relevance in the contemporary workplace. Trait Leadership Theory According to English (2011, p. 60), trait theory of leadership is one of the most common leadership theories. This theory holds that leaders always have some traits that make them be admired and this earns them leadership within the society. Some traits are admirable. Such traits as courage, self-confidence, ability to listen to people and deliver to them what they expect are some of the traits that a society would admire. These traits would make one become a leader quite easily because the person would gain trust and admiration from people. People will look at such a person as an individual capable of offering guidance to them within an organization. In the workplace, this trait is very common and admirable because people always want some form of guidance in the workplace setting. They always prefer le aders who can be understanding and offer leadership without putting a lot of pressure on them. They always need people with good traits of leadership because there is a belief that these people always understand. Business owners also prefer putting people who understand employees into leadership. It is important to ensure that the person being given opportunity to lead others is able to understand how best the followers can deliver good results. Employee motivation is one of the most important factors in the current workplace in ensuring that the desired results are obtained. This makes trait leadership theory a very important leadership strategy in the current workplace. This is because this leadership is based on those desires that employees would like. This theory has come under criticism from a number of scholars. Golensky (2011, p. 88) says that some people with desirable qualities as courage, confidence and selflessness do not always seek positions of leadership in their entir e life.Advertising Looking for critical writing on business economics? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More For this reason, the assumption that people with these traits are or should be leaders is a misleading argument. The sentiments of this scholar may be true to some extent. However, he also made some assumptions when describing who a leader is within the society. A leader may not necessarily be someone in direct authority within the society or in an organization. A leader can be someone who takes a very low profile in the society, but people listens to him or her whenever he or she speaks out. It does not take an office to be considered as a leader. Within the workplace, there are such people who would always be consulted whenever a major decision is needed despite the fact that they are not holding any office. This is because of the influence they command on people. This means that having these desired traits helps one gain confidence and love from others. This in itself gives this person a sense of authority because he can easily influence the decision of people irrespective of the office he holds in the firm. There have been some arguments on this theory about the origin of these desirable traits of a leader. According to Nohria and Khurana (2010, p.59), there are those who believe that such good traits as courage, confidence and selflessness come naturally. This argument says that people are born with these traits and they find themselves expressing them in a natural manner in their daily life activities. This argument compares closely to the argument put forth by Great Man Theory, which holds that great leaders are born. Those who hold this argument says that it is difficult to teach selflessness to a person unless it is something that comes out naturally. If a person has some selfishness in his or her behavior, it can be very difficult to eliminate this trait and replace it with selflessness becau se naturally the person is selfish. The only thing that may happen is that the selfishness can be suppressed when the environment is not conducive enough. However, when such a person finds himself in a situation where there is need to act through reflex reaction, the selfishness in him would be clearly demonstrated. Some scholars have however, argued that traits can be learnt as one develops. Based on the environment and values one is put through during the developmental stage, it is possible to learn some of the traits that are considered desirable.Advertising We will write a custom critical writing sample on Leading Learning in the Workplace specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Situational Leadership Theories Situational leadership theories are another very popular theory in the current leadership of organization. According to Donlevy and Walker (2011, p. 47), situational leadership theory holds that a leader should always offer le adership depending on the prevailing situation within an organization. There are situations where a leader would need to evoke democratic leadership while in some instances, dictatorial leadership would be the most appropriate. For instance, when a leader is more knowledgeable in this field, and the ideas that may come from followers may be misleading, then such a leader should employ dictatorial style of leadership. This is because such a leader is certain that followers cannot add any meaningful insight into the decision that is to be made. The leader would then be the sole source of power. Issuing instruction to those followers must be observed to the letter in order to achieve the desired success. On the other hand, if followers have as much knowledge as the leaders, then the most appropriate leadership style should be democratic in nature. Such a leader would need to lead but in a consultative manner. This is because the knowledge of others may be relevant or even better in som e areas that need decision making. Being democratic here means bringing on board all members of the organization and making them give their thoughts about how best a given issue can be handled. The idea here is to come up with the best approach through consultation with people who have enough knowledge of what should be done. Situational leadership is very relevant in the contemporary leadership. The report done by Marquis (2012, p. 24) says that human being is very complex and to successfully manage him, a lot of care and skills will always be needed. For instance, ethics is one of the most important ingredients of a successful organization. Sometimes a leader finds him in a workplace where people do not practice ethics in their daily activities. Such a leader would choose to either get into the system or conform to the practice that has been embraced, or create a change within the organization. These two situations would need different leadership approach. When one decides to conf orm to the current practice, then it would be easy because the leader would only need to sit back and watch what others do. On the other hand, it can be challenging when the leader decides to change what has been entrenched as a common practice. Such a leader would need to bring a new thinking into the organization, and in this regard, some elements of dictatorial leadership would be needed. The leader would need to make followers understand that any form of corruption is not acceptable and can lead to serious consequences.Advertising Looking for critical writing on business economics? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More The leader must be strong-willed in order to achieve the desired goal, especially when the desired goal is not what the norm is in the current practice. Hutchin (2012, p. 67) argues that it is not easy to make a complete change of approach within an organization, especially if it involves fighting vices such as corruption, laziness and unethical behavior. The leader must first determine the kind of situation he finds himself in, and then determine the most appropriate leadership approach. Contingency Theories Contingency theories of leadership have very close relations with situational leadership theory. According to Wu (2013, p. 78), contingency theories of leadership holds that there is no single style of leadership that can be considered as being the most appropriate in every situation. This theory has its assumption that different situation will call for different actions in order to achieve the desired result. The theory also holds that different leaders will use different appr oaches to ensure that the desired result is achieved. In this theory, the end will always justify the means. What a leader should realize is that some specific targets should be achieved within a particular period. With this knowledge, the leader must be able to determine the best approach of making the employees deliver this desired result. It would be upon the leader to choose the approach that would work best for him given the prevailing condition of the organization. The choice of leadership in this case will depend on the leader and the followers. Every given leader has his or her unique approach of leadership used when a specific goals is to be met. This theory holds that such a leader would most likely go for the leadership approach he or she is well versed with in order to influence actions of the employees. It may not be prudent to set rigid structure for such a leader because he or she would have to struggle in order to achieve the desired result. Similarly, the followers will always determine the best approach a leader should take when offering leadership to them. There are followers who work best with as minimal supervision as may be possible. On the other hand, some followers cannot work without close supervision. Understanding these two opposite groups would be important (Lussier Achua 2010, p. 58). Having identified them, leadership would then be offered in a way that would make each employee yield the best results. Contingency theories of leadership are very important in the current multicultural business society. Some firms have been able to attain global market coverage. These firms operate in different societies with differing cultural norms. For instance, when a firm operates in Saudi Arabia and the United States, contingency theories of leadership would be very appropriate. This is because these two countries have different cultural environments that must be taken into consideration when offering leadership. The kind of liberalism that is commonplace in the United States is a new practice in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The place of women in this society is also a little different from what it is in the United States. Understanding these differences would be the first step in determining the right approach of leadership that is appropriate. As this theory explains, it is important to understand that different environments would call for different leadership approaches. When operating in Saudi Arabia, it would be important for a leader to appreciate the need to respect some of the cultural norms, even if the leader does not agree with them (Lussier 2013, p. 68). This society has its way of considering what is ethical and what is unethical. For instance, it would be common in the United States to organize team building retreat for employees where people intermingle easily and play different games in the field irrespective of their gender. Such retreat are popular where members of the organization would play such popul ar games as soccer, baseball, basketball or even hide and seek without giving much concerns to oneÃ¢â¬â¢s gender. This is quite different when it comes to Saudi Arabia. The culture of this society does not allow men to have direct bodily contact with women who are not their spouses. This means that such games and other activities that would result into bodily contact with the other person are unwelcome. A leader should be in a position to determine the best approach to take when in such intriguing situations. Conclusion Leadership is an important factor within an organization, and scholars have put a number of theories forth to help explain how best leadership should be practiced in the society. One of the earliest theories of leadership to be formulated was the Trait Theory of Leadership. This theory states that a leader is born with leadership qualities that earn him or her respect among peers. It is this earned respect and admiration from peers that would put the person into le adership. Although some scholars have questioned this theory, it is considered as one that has helped explain sources of power for leaders. Another popular theory of leadership is situational leadership theory. This theory holds that as a leader, there will be different situations that would call for different leadership approaches. The third theory of leadership discussed in this research is the contingency theory of leadership. It holds that there cannot be a universal approach to leadership because of differing environmental forces. List of References Dierendonck, D Patterson, K 2010, Servant leadership: Developments in theory and research, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. Donlevy, J Walker, K 2011, Working through ethics in education and leadership: Theory, analysis, plays, cases, poems, prose, and speeches, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam. English, F 2011, The SAGE handbook of educational leadership: Advances in theory, research, and practice, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks. Go lensky, M 2011, Strategic leadership and management in nonprofit organizations: Theory and practice, Lyceum Books, Chicago. Hutchin, T 2012, The right choice: using theory of constraints for effective leadership, CRC Press, New York. Lussier, R Achua, C 2010, Leadership: Theory, application, skill development, Cengage Learning, Sydney. Lussier, R 2013, Leadership: Theory, Application, and Skill Development, South-Western, Mason. Marquis, B 2012, Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application, Lippincott Williams Wilkins, Philadelphia. Nohria, N Khurana, R 2010, Handbook of leadership theory and practice: An HBS centennial colloquium on advancing leadership, Harvard Business Press, Boston. Wu, B 2013, New theory on leadership management science, Chartridge Books, Oxford. This critical writing on Leading Learning in the Workplace was written and submitted by user Randall Mccray to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly. You can donate your paper here.