Examining leadership theories


Transformational leadership are those leaders that have vision and passion for great things and ensure that their followers are inspired by injecting enthusiasm and energy into them. According to Bertocci (2009), transformational leadership starts with the development of a vision, a view of the future that will excite potential followers.

Transformational leaders are people oriented and they aim at making sure that the employees are highly committed to achieving the goals of the organisation. They encourage the employees to participate in contributing to the growth of the organisation by allowing them initiate ideas towards strategic directions.

Transformational leaders motivate their followers to perform effectively in an organisation by encouraging, supporting and rewarding their performance. Furthermore, they also delegate task to their followers to enhance their performance and do a follow up to ensure that they are on the right direction of achieving the goals of the organisation. Transformational leadership focuses on achieving a vision and exceeding goals through intrinsic motivation and rewards, Bertocci (2009).

The transformational leaders encourage the flow of communication in the organisation by clearly communicating the vision and goals of the organisation to the employees and they create a learning and development culture to make the employees to become competent. More importantly, they create an interesting workforce where the employees or followers are happy to deliver good services to the customer’s.


Transactional leadership are leaders that reward their employees according to their contributions in order to enhance their performance and make them effective in the organisation. Transactional leadership focuses on the goal to be accomplished and provides rewards that are tied to performance but does not intervene unless the goals are not being met, Bertocci (2009).

Transactional leaders believe that employees must obey the instructions given by them and that any task delegated to them must be done on time in order for their efforts to be rewarded. It should be noted, that transactional leadership style is one of the most used styles in organisation to enable the leaders or managers enhance the performance of the employees and to increase productivity in the organisation. According to Bass, the best leadership is based on both transformational and transactional, Homrig (2001).


Asda store is the UK’s second largest supermarket and was founded in 1949 in Leeds. For a short time in the 80’s Asda stores ltd was a subsidiary of Asda MFI plc. The company went through financial issues in the early 90’s, however, under the leadership of Archie Norman (CEO), Asda’s long-term sustainability plan was developed.

When Norman left the organisation to pursue his political career, he was replaced by Allan Leighton and in 2005 Tony de Nunzio replaced Leighton. At present the (CEO) of Asda is Andy Clark.


Asda’s aim is to deliver the best services to its customers by providing affordable goods and services. In order to achieve these aim colleagues at Asda are highly committed at performing their duties effectively. The organisation decided to change the structure and culture of Asda during the period of Norman by adopting the transformational style of leadership. Archie Norman transformed Asda by creating new strategies to change the culture of the organisation; his strategies focused on lower prices in order to attract more customers and also developed a customer friendly culture and a flat hierarchy. Norman wanted to build a culture that valued listening, open communication, learning and speed of response.

During an interview conducted with one of Asda’s store manager who stated that at present Andy Clarke has continue the use of the same transformational theory of leadership in order to accomplish the vision and sustainability of Asda, and one of the reason was to develop a dedicated team for delivering goods to the customers and to make sure the customers are happy.

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In order to motivate their colleagues in achieving the goals of the organisation they encourage their performance through what they call huddles. The huddle is a way of keeping everyone informed about how the business is performing, Asda (2008). The store manager ensures that they communicate the activities for the day and help the colleagues stay focused in achieving the goals of the organisation.

They also provide training and development programmes that is suitable for the employees in order to support them with everything they need for their job and to also enhance their performance. The programme is developed to also strengthen the employees in order for them to be able to achieve the goals of the organisation and most importantly for them to have knowledge about the job. They also make sure that new employees understand the nature of their job and the unique culture of the organisation through a proper induction programme. After which they provide the employees with all the necessary tools to deliver their jobs effectively. Asda provides training programmes such as tailored training, colleague to manager, new retail managers etc.

The duty managers at Asda also empower their colleagues by giving them the opportunity to put ideas that will add more value to the organisation Andy Clark uses his suggestion scheme to encourage colleagues to present ideas to make the business even more successful, Asda (2010).The ‘tell Andy’ gives the colleagues opportunities to contribute ideas during meetings which eventually encourages the colleagues at Asda to be part of the organisation.

At Asda, the leaders encourage the performance of their colleagues by recognising their contributions towards the success of the organisation. They offer those employees that have contributed in a unique way a competitive package to show their appreciations. At Asda, the leaders also reward their employees according to the contributions they bring forward. The bonus scheme is designed to recognise and reward colleagues for their valued contributions.

It should also be noted that the managers allocates and communicates what is to be done to their colleagues and also make them aware of the rewards and benefits they get according to how effective they are in carrying out their various task.


Leadership strategy makes explicit how many leaders you need, what kind, where, with what skills and behaving in what fashion individually and collectively to achieve the total success you seek, Pasmore (2010).

In order for a leader to become effective in an organisation, the leader needs to understand the vision, mission, values and goals to be able to formulate strategies to really fit with the objectives of the organisation and how to achieve the strategies to accomplish the goals of the organisation. A leader cannot move an organisation forward without the people, therefore people with potentials are needed to support the growth of the organisation.

Andy Clarke created strategies to support the growth of Asda by using a concept which he called ‘tell Andy’ concept and the ‘suggestion scheme’ to encourage colleagues to come together to meet the goals of the organisation. The idea of the strategies is to make the colleagues be a part of the organisation by presenting their ideas to make the business even more successful. Furthermore, if the ideas of the colleagues are accepted the duty manager’s ensure that the contributions are recognised and rewarded.


In my analysis, I was able to understand that the impact of transformational and transactional leadership theories in Asda makes the organisation very effective in providing the best services for their customers. However, I would like to also suggest the path goal theory of leadership in the organisation which will also contribute to making sure that the task given to employees at Asda will be carried out within the given period of time. The path goal theory proposes that effective leaders motivate their followers by rewarding performance and the accomplishment of goals within time frames set by the task, Bretocci (2009).

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The use of the theory in the organisation will further encourage employees more and make them even more effective in delivering good customer service in Asda.


Asda 2008: www.asda.jobs/all-about/index.html assessed on 30/12/2010

Asda 2010: www.asda.jobs/hourly/training-and-benefits/recognition assessed on 30/12/2010

David I. Bertocci 2009, leadership in organizations: there is a difference between leaders and managers (published by university press of America inc.) pgs. 52, 56, 59

Colonel Mark A. Homrig 2001(http://www.leadership.au.af.mil/documents/homrig.htm) assessed on 21/12/2010



In this task I will be presenting the leadership requirements and planning for the development of leadership skills to support the growth of an organisation.


In order for an organisation to be successful in their business the management needs skilful and talented leaders that will support the employees in effectively driving the workforce of the organisation to attain its goals. To be an effective and good leader entails looking into the future of the organisation for continuous growth therefore it is important for every organisation that is working towards success to have leaders that will initiate and bring ideas forward in the interest of the organisation and a highly skilled labour force that will also help the organisation to become highly competitive.

Therefore, to be a competent leader, effective communication skills, effective time management, effective decision making, effective innovative skills, effective planning, effective listening skills, effective coaching skills, effective people management skills, effective motivating skills etc. are needed to develop plans to meet the requirements of the organisation.

More importantly, the performance of the employees to meet the objectives of the organisation depends on the culture and structure of the organisation and it should be noted that a bad culture can be an obstacle to the progress of the organisation. However, as a good leader with good qualities of leadership I’m required to restructure the organisation by initiating ideas to move the organisation from a bad culture and structure to a better one. Also bearing in mind that the most difficult part of restructuring is telling employees not to do what they are used to doing which might lead to the employees resisting to changes in the organisation, therefore a drastic leadership qualities will then be needed to change the behaviour of the employees by communicating with them to let them know the reasons for a strategic change and how the change will have an impact on them as well as the organisation. It is however, also important to adopt different styles of leadership to enable me adapt to different situations or difficulties that might arise in the organisation. Furthermore, the purpose of adopting the different styles of leadership is to be able to deal with challenges like managing people in the organisation during the strategic change by supporting them in carrying out an effective task in the new structure. The purpose of change is to move an organisation from its present point to a different one which is more desirable in meeting its objectives, Hannagan (2002).


Planning helps to ensure that the future is taken into account, which may help the organisation to control the situation it finds itself in as far as possible and to prepare for unexpected eventualities, Hannagan (2002).

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There are new approaches and technological advancements coming up every day and in order to keep up with the changes in technology, training and development is important. Therefore, coaching skills is required to coach and support the employees with the ever changing developments to enable them come together to achieve a goal. To follow up on the employees is my responsibility as an effective leader to make sure everything is going well with them during the training and if additional coaching is needed to make them carry out their task effectively it should be provided without any hesitates.


Having identified the leadership skills required above (see fig 3.1.1) to become a competent leader in taking up a role in management, it is important to carry out a proper plan on developing the skills. It should be noted that, i already have some leadership skills used in supporting my personal business but it is important to improve the skills and develop new ones to enable me meet professional requirements.

To attain the role of a human resource manager in the family business in two years it is necessary to get a degree in the MBA programme by 2012 to set me on a journey of achieving my training goals. Furthermore, the learning objectives is to make me exhibit required skills in managing people because the human resource department is all about looking after the welfare of the people in the organisation, to exhibit communication skills to be able to express and analyse clearly the vision, mission and goals of the organisation. However, it should be noted that there are different ways of communicating with people; therefore, it is important to develop interpersonal communication skills like listening skills, writing skills to be able to interact with the employees. It will also help to exhibit skills in team-working because the human resource manager is all about working with other members and departments to come together to achieve the goals of the organisation.

In achieving the learning objectives it is important to practise and develop myself by addressing major issues that include managing people during a strategic change, problem solving and all the other necessary skills required of a human resource manager in an organisation. In order to boost the leadership skills, it should be noted, that practising these skills will help to improve my performance on how to effectively lead employees in the organisation. More importantly, to be a professional leader, continuous learning and self-development is also necessary so after my MBA programme I would like to further gain more experience in human resource management by enrolling in a three months professional course back home in my country to enable me boost my profile and to be well qualified to take over the role of the human resource manager in the family business.

On successful completion of the MBA programme and the three months professional course in human resource management, I am sure to have improved on my skills and be ready to effectively carry out my responsibilities as the new human resource manager in the family business in the nearest future.


The purpose of the learning method is to enhance my knowledge and performance on the new and existing skills that I have. The learning is useful because it gives the knowledge of how a good leader should behave and set good examples for the followers. It further gives me a better understanding of strategic leadership and management.

The use of the self-development method in planning for the leadership skills needed is to help me develop myself through practising the skills of a leader.



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