Leadership styles can vary entirely between different businesses; sometake a fully democratic approach, with power shared between many employees, tothe other end of the scale, a very autocratic workplace where there is oneclear leader and there is little power shared between the other employees. Numerous theories and models have beenwritten in relation to leadership in business, many of which are still relevantin the workplace today. The theory I feel is still up to date with the modern businessworkplace is the Tannenbaum and Schmidt continuum. This theory looks at how the power andcontrol within a business is shared from management downwards.
From left to right it gets less Manageroriented and more Subordinate oriented, with the Degree of freedom awarded tosubordinates enhanced as the manager uses less authority on their employees (Babou, 2008). This theory was first published in 1973 as anextended and more updated version of the model Lewin and Lippitt produced in1938. At one end of the scale there isManager (task) oriented whereby the manager comes up with the idea before hetells his subordinates what to do. Thismeans the employees have very minimal power in the situation and are essentiallypuppets for the manager. This structurewill however be useful in places where there is little, if any, margin forerror such as in the military or in a trade such as a joinery or amanufacturing business. Steve Jobs isfamed for this kind of approach in his early days at Apple as his mindset wasvery rigid and he had his ideas which he wanted to implement and struggled tolisten to the contributions of others.
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This may have felt necessary for him at the time, due to the seeminglyimpossible deadlines they had to meet so there was limited time to evencommunicate ideas and address areas for improvement, however it led to himreceiving a lot of criticism from. Thisleadership style does have benefits as it allows faster decisions however beingfully autocratic is seem as outdated now as more businesses opt for involvingthe subordinates in the business decision making process. On the other end of the scale there is a verydemocratic mode of leadership, also known as subordinate oriented, where theemployees have a large degree of freedom with the manager sacrificing controlto be shared within the business. Theemployees have as much power in this style as the manager does in the previouslymentioned mode of leadership with all people involved with the business able tocontribute their own ideas and then as a team they decide on the most suitedoption to take. Apple are a greatexample of this with Steve Jobs as Apple would not be anywhere near thebusiness it is today if it wasn’t for Steve Jobs learning how to adapt hisbusiness style to be democratic and to take other ideas other than his own onboard.Google are famed for their approach to leadership with the treatment oftheir employees being exceptional and them building an environment which issaid to boost creativity for its employees to be able to think more forthemselves and come up with great ideas. Google search engine was founded by Sergey Brin and Larry Page whilstthey were pursuing their doctorates at Stanford University (Gill, 2016).
Following advice of more experienced businessmen they hired Eric Schmidt in 2001 having been impressed by hiscredentials. The 3 men (Brin, Page andSchmidt) then aimed to find experienced members to form smaller democraticteams which they did and to this day Google remain all for a democraticleadership style and this is shown in the way they treat their staff.Relating to Google’s well-rounded approach to leadership is the nexttheory in leadership, the Functional/Group approach.
This approach to leadership states that theskills required within leadership are based on the situation with which youfind yourself in and also it assumes that leadership skills can be learnt andtaught when required. “Successfulcompanies seek those out who possess leadership potential and expose them toexperiences designed to develop that potential” (Kotter, 1990). I feel this is a valid statement as it meansthat great leaders do not have to be born and they can be nurtured anddeveloped so anybody who has the potential can fulfil the qualities needed tobe a leader.
Adair’s action centredleadership approach. Linking in to thisideal is Adair’s Action Centred Leadership approach (1979). This states that great leaders must meet all3 of the areas within the diagram and find a perfect balance between task, teammaintenance and individuals. This modeltoo states that you can train to become a leader. The 3 elements John Adair shows in thediagram each vary. Task, or taskcompletion, states how some people will be driven by achievement incompletion.
Team maintenance, or teamwork, states that people be encouraged to work as one unit to form a synergyand all aim towards the same common goal. The third element of this leadership model is individuals, orindividualism, in which the leader encourages all staff to ensure they don’tlose their own identity within the workplace. Despite this model being from 1979 I feel it is still very relevant todayas it depicts every aspect of what a leader should be. Like leadership styles, management styles can vary greatly from onebusiness to another, from highly autocratic and the manager who doesn’t ask forany other opinions all the way to democratic whereby it is heavily focused onworking as a team. Managers may opt tobe very much in control of proceedings whilst others may be more willing totake a step back and let their subordinates run their own part within thebusiness. In my opinion a great manageris someone who is able to change the way he manages to suit a given situation.In 1917, Henri Fayol stated the 5 elements he believes make upmanagerial activity. The five elementsare planning, organising, commanding, co-ordinating and controlling.
Planning involves looking ahead to the futurewith key ideas in mind as to how you are going to approach any givensituation. If you don’t plan you willnever be organised. Being organisedinvolves having everything you need to carry out the task, from materials tolabour to time. Commanding then followsand this involves talking (or telling) your subordinates what is expected ofthem and if well managed they should know exactly what is expected ofthem. Next in Fayol’s model isCo-ordination in which you must ensure everyone knows what role they arecarrying out, so the team can work like clockwork.
Lastly there is Controlling. This is loosely stating that you must neverlose control of the workplace and your employees and ensure everything is workingas it should be. The five elements covereverything however I feel it is vague and outdated but that is to be expectedas it is over 100 years old. That is whyin 2007 Hamel came up with his own model as an advancement for this. This model is entitled Hamel’s Practise ofManagement. It involves 8 more specificexamples which is comparative to Henri Fayol’s but more modern. The seven points raised in Hamel’s theory andFayol’s theory interlink whereby the Planning stage in Fayol’s links with 2 ofthe points in Hamel’s (setting and co-ordinating objectives as well asAccumulating and applying knowledge), the organising stage is likened toanother 2 stages within the practise of management (developing and assigningtalent in addition to gathering and allocating resources). The command stage of Fayol’s then iscomparable to Hamel’s point which involves the Building and development ofrelationships.
Co-ordinating then linksto motivating and aligning effort as well as co-ordinating and controlling activitiesand finally the control stage of Fayol’s model links to Hamel’s point involvingbalancing and meeting stakeholder demands. Although on the surface it may look as though management hasn’t evolvedmuch between the 2 theories, but I believe it shows massive steps intomodernisation in Hamel’s theory and this is more relevant of a theory in todaysworkplace. Many factors may influence the way the manager runs the business, bothinternal and external.
For example, the Typeof business you are running and the nature of the business. Working in a creative environment may lead tomanagers taking more of a back seat in management and letting theirsubordinates think for themselves. Whereas in a more rigid environment where little room for error isallowed, a more stern and hard approach to management may take shape.
The external factors (PESTEL) also impact onhow a manager may decide to run things also.To round off my points about management I believe management doesdiffer from leadership because anybody can be a manager, but it is a greaterchallenge to be a ‘leader’. I believemanagement requires a good amount of adaptation between hard management andsoft management which basically means treating people as just another asset vstreating them as a valuable cog within the business. There are many approaches to the study of teamwork and such many ofthese approaches are still valid in today’s workplace. Teamwork is essential is the businessenvironment as no one person is bigger than the business. Working as part of a group shows many skillswhich make you more employable and as a result there has been a push for modernday businesses to take part in activities to make them a more efficient workingteam. There are many different types ofteams and groups, both formal and informal, in todays society.
For example, friendship groups operate on aninformal basis whereas command groups, which are groups directly linked to themanager.In my previous job working in the culinary industry for awell-established chain restaurant we had a great example of building interpersonalrelationships within the company. Every3 months we would hold an awards night in which we would all votes forcategories such as ‘best worker’ and ‘funniest moment’ followed by all staffmembers having a social event in a pub within our chain. I believe this really united the group as weall got to see each other outside of the work place and get to know each otheron a personal level and therefore when it came back to working together we weremore adept to working with each other and as a result the work saw high surgesin the productivity of our pub.
Belbin roles of teamwork states that to be the best team possible thereshould be someone with each of the roles. Essentially it states that has a broad degree of personalities is morelikely to be able to work efficiently than a team with more of the samepersonalities. Each role that theindividual has is not strictly the only role they have, and it can alter dependingon the given situation. There are 9different team roles involved in this model. One of the roles, for example, is called ashaper. These are the people who neverlose focus or momentum and are constantly striving forward. This person thrives under pressure but tendsto be aggressive and have a bad humour when trying to get things done (Belbin, n.
d.). Another example of the team roles within thismodel is the Monitor evaluator. This roleinvolves being somebody who provides a logical eye on proceedings and maintainsa level-headed approach. They weigh upthe pro’s and con’s up for any given situation before going ahead with theapproach they believe is best for the business. They usually operate in a dispassionate way however and this may be perceivedas boring and this also means they may struggle to inspire and motivate others. I would say that my team role is best describedas a Plant. A plant is very inventive isthe way they approach things however may have a tendency to be careless and notfollow through with things.
I believethis people would also be one of the livelier members of the team and may be a spiritedindividual. This theory is still relevantin todays workplace as regardless of how advanced things go within the business,the personalities of people will never alter and as a result, theories such asthese will never become outdated.Another theory in relation to teamwork which I believe is stillrelevant and useful in the workplace of today is the Five stage model for teamformation. This model basically comparesthe level of synergy within a team against the amount of teamco-operation. It maps how each stagefits within this graph and shows the evolution of team cohesion. The first stage on the graph is forming.
This involves little team co-operation aswell as no changes to the synergy, this is because the team will not know each otheron a personal level yet. Then there isthe storming. This is where each teammember will bring up their own ideas and is the stage before they have come toan agreement. Because of this thesynergy is a negative value as a severe lack of team cohesion is present due toindividual ideas. Next up is the normingstage.
This stage seen a shift up in thesynergy from the storming stage as people because to work together and sees anincrease in team co-operation as they all begin to communicate more fluidly. Penultimately, there is the performing stage,which involves the highest point of team co-operation as it is the point atwhich everyone needs to be at their best point and as a result the synergy isalso at a positive point and it is a positive point only bested by the finalstage. This stage is called theadjourning stage.
This involves the teamgoing their separate ways following the completion of a task and because of thisthe team co-operation sees a drop.To conclude this piece of writing I would finally like to add thatalthough I have only chosen to address a few theories in relation toleadership, management and teamwork which I feel are still relevant today, thereare many others which could have been used. The business world is constantly evolving but a lot of models still fitin to the everchanging business environment.