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This report will discuss the importance of leadership in an organization. To achieve an objective, an organization will rely on individuals it employed. These individuals will then have to collaborate with each other in order to perform a task. However, there is a need for those involved to be directed and motivated to perform this task. The directing and motivating of the personnel is being done by an individual or a leader. The leader is important as they will ensure that the objective or goals of the organization can be achieved within the scope and time limit. The leader must be able to influence and motivate the people around him. This report will briefly explain some model or theories that leader can use to achieve the task.
The first section of this report will discuss on the literature review about the leadership and team work. I will discuss various research articles in relation to leadership, management strategies and team work theory. Although there are numerous organizational behaviour based articles available, my literature review will focus on the following five areas which are Lewin's Leadership Styles, Blanchard's Situational Leadership Model, Transformational Leadership, Thamhain's Nine Ways to Influence on Projects and Tuckman's Model to Team Development. I will also include some additional related published materials which will help me to fully understand the whole concept of leadership and team work strategies.
Based upon the theories implied within the literature review, I will discuss the type of leadership my peer possesses. In this section I will discuss the leadership and management style that my peer used in order for us to complete the task. The discussion will also take into consideration on how my peer influences, and the method used to motivates the other team member. I will also discuss the positive and negative side of his leadership style and some recommendation based upon the leadership theories presented in the literature review.
In the next section, I will reflect upon my whole team performance based upon the literature review. The process will take into consideration on how the Tuckman's Group Development Model is used to explain the development of my work group. I will also discuss the importance of having an effective team and how our project team can be identified as an effective team.
In the last section, I will conclude my report based on my personal observation and findings on the whole leadership and team work process. The opportunity to work together as a team for 12 weeks has also broadened my perspective on leadership and on the importance of having an effective team.
Good leadership is essential for businesses, groups and organizations to succeed in achieving their goals. Nelson and Quick (2006) defines leadership as "the process of guiding and directing the behaviour of people in the work environment". Leaders can influence others through their ability to motivate, inform, inspire and communicate effectively. There are a number of different leadership styles and strategies that can be used to accomplish their organization's goals and objectives. Each style or strategy of leadership can be used depending on the situation or organization.
This section will discuss on literature review based upon Leadership Theories. The literature review is based upon the articles provided by the unit instructor, printed materials, electronic databases and search engines such as Google Scholar.
Leadership Styles Theory
The earliest researches on leadership style were conducted by Kurt Lewin who identified three basic styles of leaders that are autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire (Nelson & Quick, 2006). These three basic styles of leadership can be use on a team and it may be changed accordingly based upon the situation. The autocratic leader usually rules based upon strong discipline and controlling in nature. This type of leader will usually dominate the group and is suitable if the group is newly formed and still lack of direction. The democratic leader on the other hand is more responsive, and takes into consideration the ideas from their subordinate. A democratic leader will encourage members within the group to actively participate in giving out ideas and helps in setting the direction of the group. This type of leadership is helpful in creating strong relationship between all members. The laissez-faire style leader usually did not implement authority and responsibility and let the subordinate do all the things. This type of leadership is useful especially when all the team members are highly skilled and fully understands their objective.
Leadership Strategies Theory
Leadership Strategies is about how the leader can influence the performance of the group. One of the approaches suggested in this unit is to use the Situational Leadership Model developed by Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard. This model can be adjusted or changed as the project progress. This model is done by matching the leadership style to match the readiness of the group members based upon two characteristic of the leader, which are task behaviour and relationship behaviour (DuBrin, Dalglish, & Miller, 2006). In the task behaviour, the leader will spell out the duties of each individual or group. However, in the relationship behaviour the leader will engage in personal communication which includes listening, encouraging and coaching. This results in four styles which are identified as Telling, Selling, Participating and Delegating.
A leader should use the telling style where the follower is unable and not willing to do the task. This includes providing direct instruction while closely monitoring the individual or group. When a follower is unable but willing to do a task, the leader can use the selling style where he/she will explain decisions and provides opportunity for the follower to seek clarification. In the participating leadership style, the leader involves the group in the decision making process. The delegating style is where the leader delegates responsibility to the group and is informed of the progress.
However, based upon numerous researches done on Situational Leadership Model, it does not really work in reality (Graeff, 1997;Thompson & Vecchio, 2009). The model which was first introduced in 1969 underwent a few changes in order to adapt to its critics. However, as Graeff (1997) discovered in his research, there are a few inconsistencies between the two version of the Situational Leadership Model which creates more confusion. Another group of researcher, Thompson and Vecchio (2009) conducted research by comparing the versions of Situational Leadership Theory plus an additional version. It was found that based upon the feedback, this model is applicable only to certain type of employees. In comparing the multiple version of the model, they also discovered that the revised version was a "poorer predictor of subordinate performance and attitude than the original version". In summary, they recommend that Situational Leadership Model be taught as a starting point in discussing the interaction between the leader and the follower.
Liz Lee-Kelley (2002) discuss in her published article about the situational approach which is not in direct relation to the Situational Leadership Model. In the article she discusses about the possibility for a leader to change style to manage based upon the situation. Lee-Kelly suggested that from the evidence, there is no single style that is right for every manager under all circumstances. The study also confirms that a manager's ability to control and influence the team or situation have impacts on his management style.
Research in leadership field is ongoing as it is an important aspect of the organizational behaviour. Two types of leadership style which was recently introduced are the transactional and transformational leadership style. Transactional leadership is characterized by leaders and followers being in exchange relationship (DuBrin, Dalglish, & Miller, 2006). This type of leadership relies on rewards and punishment to deal with followers. Meanwhile, the transformational leaders rely more on their personal attributes to inspire and excite followers to high level of performance (Nelson & Quick, 2006).
Bass (2010) encouraged organizations to train their leaders to be a transformational leader as it will greatly impact the motivation and work ethic of the employees around them. By having the transformational leaders within their organization, it will boost up their corporate image not only internally but publicly as well. This leader will attract more intelligent prospects to join the organization which in turns increase the value of the organization.
Management Strategies Theory
Employees have choice in their work life, if they don't like the job, they can leave or switch department. In order to be successful, organization must be able to retain the people to do the job, as training new people will consume more time and other related resources. As pointed by Schwalbe (2007), H.J. Thamhain and D.L. Wilemon conducted a research on the approaches a Project Manager use to deal with workers and identified nine influence bases available for them:
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