Leadership And The Competing Values Management Essay
This chapter has two parts: a management theory part of leadership and the competing values framework that puts the topic of research in context; and the second part provides a background insight on the applied field of research which is newspapering in Yemen.
This part of the literature review chapter represents an attempt to dive into the ocean-deep literature on leadership is exerted to provide a theoretical background on this heavily studied domain in management. This argumentative collection and discussion of leadership literature will attempt to provide a quick overview of leadership different definitions and the associated theories that enrich leadership literature. A quick reference to the most important models and tools used in leadership studies will be made and discussed. From the various models, the selected theoretical framework of leadership the (Competing Values for Leadership) by Quinn (1983, 1993, 2006) will be subject of more focused presentation and discussion. The reasons of selecting this model – not any other – will be explained. This part concludes with reference to “effective leadership” and the role of leadership in the overall organizational effectiveness.
2. 2.2. Leadership
220.127.116.11 Leadership as an Area of Research
Due to the extensive attention, leadership is one of the most extensively researched areas in organizational contexts for the significance role leadership play in organizations or at a larger scale in nations.
Early studies and theories of leadership provided theoretical frameworks which were used as basis for the following eras of studies. Historically, leadership was studied from different perspectives and the following chronology of major studies and resulted theories: the Personality Traits (1841-1927); the Power and Influence of a Leader (1928-1956); the Behavioral Leadership (1955- 1983), where famous Managerial Grid Model was first presented by Blake and Mouton in 1964; the Situation theory (1943-1978) with a new research model: Open-Systems Model presented by Kats and Kahn in 1978; the Contingency approach to leadership (1964-1989) during which the situational theory presented by Hersey and Blanchard, 1969-1977); the Transactional model (1958-1979);and finally the Transformational approach (1977-1989). This volume of theoretical work is categorized under four generational groups. These are in chronological order: Trait theories, Behavioral theories, Contingency theories, and Transformational theories.
Across sectional, leadership becomes an interdisciplinary field with contributions from political science, psychology education, history, agriculture, public administration management, community studies, law, medicine anthropology, biology, military sciences, philosophy and sociology. In many of these disciplines, leader ship is now an established subfield (Goethals, et al., 2004 p. xxxiv).
These different approaches to leadership across management and organizational literature particularly the researches made in the second half of last century call for different leadership styles, and competencies. However, Hofstede (1980) argued that most “process” leadership theories share a common factor which is their advocacy for “â€¦participation in the manager’s decisions by his/her subordinates ‘participative management'” (Hofstede, 1980 p. 56).
As referenced above, the past century witnessed a remarkable change in the field of leadership research and the major in-depth wave of studies started in seventies and eighties. “Two features stand out when the current situation is compared to that of today. These two features are the greater optimism about the field and its greater methodological diversity (Bryman, 2004).”
However, the evolution of leadership theories did not stop at this stage, a new era emerged in which researchers attempt to develop a more integrated approach to leadership (Vilkinas, et al., 2006). One of the most important theoretical advancement toward this result is the Competing Values Framework (CVF) for leadership (Quinn, et al., 1981, 1983), (Denison, et al., 1993), (Cacioppe, 1998), (Vilkinas, et al., 2006).
18.104.22.168 Definition of leadership
Different scholars come up with different theories and consequently introduce their definition to the term “leadership” based on their respective areas of study. Leadership’s guru, Bernard M. Bass (1990) for instance, considers leadership as one of the world’s oldest preoccupations and that its understanding has figured strongly in the quest of knowledge.
Leaders of organizations or nations who were described as effective leaders did not have necessarily the same traits, which poses a challenge to the traits theory, especially when it come to the secondary attributes. Researchers traced the lives of these leaders and came up with general characteristics that distinguish leaders from subordinates.
John Gardner, in his book “On Leadership” by Free Press in 1989, studied a large number of North American organizations and leaders and came to the conclusion that there were some qualities or attributes that did appear to mean that a leader in one situation could lead in another. These characteristics included: Physical vitality and stamina; Intelligence and action-oriented judgment; Eagerness to accept responsibility; Task competence; Understanding of followers and their needs; Skill in dealing with people; Need for achievement; Capacity to motivate people; Courage and resolution Trustworthiness; Decisiveness; Self-confidence; Assertiveness; and finally Adaptability/flexibility (Doyle, et al., 2001).
On the contrary, leadership gurus Bass and Stogdill conceive leadership as the focus of group processes, as a matter of personality, as a matter of inducing compliance, as the exercise of influence, as particular behaviors, as a form or persuasion, as a power relation, as a instrument to achieve goals, as an effect of interaction, as a differentiated role, as initiation of structures, and as many combinations of these definitions. Under each phrase above, scholars define leadership, and the handbook defines leadership as “â€¦ an interaction between two or more members of a group that often involves a structure or restructuring of the situation and the perceptions and expectations of the members. Leaders are agents of change-persons whose acts affect other people more than other people’s acts affect them, (Bass, 1990 pp. 20-21)”
Bass and Stogdill (1990) present above a competency-based definition, which comes after an extensive digest of the various concepts and approaches of organizational leadership. This definition goes along with Chemers’ (200) who defines leadership as “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task (Chemers, 2002).”
As leadership is a process not a person; involves influence; occurs in groups; and involves a common goal, Northouse (2010) defines leadership as “â€¦ a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal (Northouse, 2010 p. 3). Following the same path yet in a wider scope, John W. Gardner (1993) defines leadership as “â€¦the process of persuation or example by which an individual (leadership team) induces a group to pursue objectives held by the leader or shared by the leaderand his/her followers (Gardner, 1993 p. 1)
Another example of the process perspective leadership is found in Burns’ book “Leadership” (1978), in which he introduced two types of leaders: transformational leader and transactional leader, presenting a new approach to leadership literature. Burns (1978) said, “â€¦ transforming leadership ultimately becomes moral in that it raises the level of human conduct and ethical aspiration of both leader and the led, and thus it has a transforming effect on both.” (Homrig, 2001). However, these two types are deemed as modern leadership styles in the organizational contexts.
The argumentative set of definitions brought above are built on the interaction between a leader and follower, rather than the personality traits or behaviors of a leader, although leadership traits approach suggests otherwise. This approach suggests that if these traits are truly present in a person, they will manifest themselves almost without regard to the situation in which the person is functioning (Gardner, 1993 p. 6).
The researched confidently can argue that a leader is identified by followers/subordinates as well as an organization or any collective effort with a common goal that provides situational context in which he/she practices leadership. However, having those traits identified in a person, but without people of context, the traits will make of him/her a leader just for the sake owning them.
In conclusion, it can be inferred that leadership is process of complex behavior whereby a person is set to inspire, and motivate his/her followers toward achieving common goals that are not effectively achievable otherwise.
22.214.171.124 Leadership vs. Management
Both “leadership” and “management” are used in organizational context with little sensitivity to the terms especially when the right balance is maintained among all organizational elements that include people, processes, design, system, and technology. However, Doyle, et al. (2001), argued that not all managers, for example, are leaders; and not all leaders are managers.
An attempt to make a distinction between managing and leading, one risk of this separation is that management is pushed into the background. Technically there is an overlap of domains and activities between management and leadership and thus in literature you will find managerial leadership (Gosling & Mintzberg, 2003). Although leadership is not confined to management, there is wide agreement that the most successful organizations have strong, effective leaders. Most organizations contain both formal and informal leaders, some of which are in management positions, some are not (Albarran, 2006).
To lead is to take risks on behalf of purpose and the greater good. To manage is to mitigate risk on behalf of the bottom line. A successful organization does both as well as a successful executive. A valuable employee at any level of the organization does both too (McBride, 2010). Although Gardner (1993) believes that leaders perform managerial jobs, he made several points to differentiate managers from leaders. “The manager is more tightly linked to an organization than is the leader. Although he stresses on the interchangeable roles of leaders and managers, he argues that leaders do not necessarily have organizations and used Ghandi who was a leader before he had an organization (Gardner, 1993 p. 4). This leads to the term “managerial leadership” which is more practical in terms of leadership development and training.
126.96.36.199 Leadership Models and Tools
As highlighted above, leadership has been studied extensively and dimensionally for more than a century (Seters, et al., 1990). The remarkable change and dimensional development in leadership research resulted in the introduction of several models and frameworks on leadership.
Some researchers combine more than one theoretical framework to come up with a unique approach based on the scope of their studies. Yet, each approach is based on a theoretical framework whether it examines leaders’ personality traits, and behaviors or examine leadership as a process of interaction.
Numerous tools and instruments have been developed to examine, study, and evaluate the impact of leadership in search of developing effective leaders (Ladyshewsky, 2007). Over the last decade the 360-degree review process has become a very popular tool in evaluating the impact of Leadership Development programs. The 360-degree assessment is now replacing the traditional performance appraisal (Toegel, et al., 2003). Despite its growing popularity, is not without its weaknesses. Some of these weaknesses include collusion to promote self-interests and selection of raters who will influence results positively. This reduces the value of the 360-degree review because the opportunity for receiving accurate feedback is lessened. Managers, peers and subordinates may also ground their responses using different perspectives because of their relationship to the ratee. These tools give a comprehensive understanding of the roles, and behaviors of leaders/managers
One of the recent popular tools is The Leadership Circle Profile (TLCP), which contributes effectively to major advances on the best 360 instruments. As a validated tool, TLCP is designed to measure a battery of key leadership competencies. The Leadership Circle Profile is designed to integrate many of the best theoretical frameworks from the leadership, adult development, psychological and spiritual bodies of knowledge. Few, if any, 360 tools have a theoretical framework to complement their research base. TLCP has a rich and integrated theory base. This allows practitioners to use multiple frameworks that help the client connect the data to deeper insight (Anderson, 2006).
Bryman (2004) concludes that leadership research is dominated by a single kind of data gathering instrument-the self-administered questionnaire. The field is replete with countless studies that employ questionnaires within the context of experimental, cross-sectional, and longitudinal designs. The Ohio State LBDQ scales, Fiedler’s LPC scale, and more recently the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), which exemplify respectively the style, contingency and new leadership phases of the field’s development, are emblematic of this feature. The questionnaire has become the instrument of choice for researchers working in a variety of different theoretical traditions and within different research designs. The Full Range Leadership Development Theory provides the backbone for analyzing the leadership style of each manager by using the MLQ (Saad, 2008).
The different tools and models create more confusion for organizations, leaders/managers, and researchers which is more valid or more appropriate as each assumes and defines different set of competencies (Cacioppe, et al., 2000). Regardless of the confusion between these models and framework in the leadership literature, none can argue if one particular framework to be right while others are wrong. Rather, the most appropriate frameworks should be based on empirical evidence, should capture accurately the reality being described (in other words, they should be valid), and should be able to integrate and organize most of the dimensions being proposed (Cameron, et al., 2006).
One of the most popular leadership-management assessment instruments that integrates several aspects of leadership and previous models is the Competing Values Framework (CVF) introduced by Quinn and colleagues in 1981 and 1983. The CVF has been the subject of several organizational studies ever since. In all previous studies, it achieved high level of reliability and validity (Yu, et al., 2009) based on all empirical studies structured around the concept of organizational effectiveness (Quinn and Rohrbaugh, 1983; Quinn et al., 2003; Belasen, et al., 2008; (Cameron, et al., 2006); (Denison, et al., 1993) (Ladyshewsky, 2007) (Quinn, 2006) (Vilkinas, et al., 2006) (Vilkinas, et al., 2009).
The CVF instrument is developed to study the behavioral complexity of leaders (Denison, et al., 1993) and a later stage the CVF, which was developed in the early 1980s as a tool to examine the organizational culture and its variables was introduced as a framework of leadership effectiveness (Cameron, et al., 2006) (Belasen, et al., 2008).
2.1.3 The Competing Value Leadership
188.8.131.52 Theory and Definition
The Competing Values Framework was developed initially from research conducted on the major indicators of effective organizations (Cameron, et al., 2006, p 33). It was developed as a result of empirical research on the question of what makes organizations effective (Quinn, et al., 1981) followed by studies of culture, leadership, structure, and information processing (Denison, et al., 1995) (Cameron, et al., 2006). Those conducting the preliminary research asked certain key questions like: What are the main criteria for determining if an organization is effective or not? What key factors define organizational effectiveness? When people judge an organization to be effective, what indicators do they have in mind?
A spatial model was developed from the judgment data. It indicated that three value dimensions, focus (task–people), structure (control–flexibility), and time (short-term–long-term) underlie conceptualizations of organizational effectiveness. Furthermore, the model suggested some fundamental criteria of organizational effectiveness that differentially reflect these three value dimensions (Quinn, et al., 1981).
However, Quinn and Rohrbaugh (1983) conducted further analysis and came up with two major dimensions; (a) one that “differentiates a focus on flexibility, discretion, and dynamism from a focus on stability, order, and control”; and (b) a second that “differentiates a focus on an internal orientation, integration, and unity from a focus on an external orientation, differentiation, and rivalry” (Cameron, et al., 2006, p 34).
Figure 1: The Competing Values Framework
Together these two dimensions form four quadrants, with four different organizational cultures. Figure 1 illustrates the relationships of these two dimensions to one another. What is notable about these four core values is that they represent opposite or competing assumptions: flexibility versus stability and control, internal versus external.
The upper left quadrant, for example, identifies values that emphasize an internal, organic focus, whereas the lower right quadrant identifies values that emphasize an external, control focus. Similarly, the upper right quadrant identifies values that emphasize an external, organic focus, whereas the lower left quadrant emphasizes internal, control values. The competing or opposite values in each quadrant give rise to the name for the model, the Competing Values Framework.
The resulted quadrants are labeled to distinguish their most notable characteristics-clan, adhocracy, market, and hierarchy, which were derived from the scholarly literature. They also match key management theories about organizational success, approaches to organizational quality, leadership roles, and management skills (Cameron, et al., 2006, p 35-37).
184.108.40.206 The Competing Values Approach to Leadership
The Competing Values Framework (CVF) has been named as one of the forty most important models in the history of business (Cameron, 2010). The framework was developed as a result of extensive empirical researches focusing on organizational effectiveness (Quinn, et al., 1983). It predicts that balancing the full range of leadership roles should help managers perform their job effectively; yet, limited cognitive and emotional resources constrain employment of the full range of roles (Belasen, et al., 2008).
220.127.116.11 The CVF Leadership Quadrants
In keeping with the emphasis of this model on behavioral complexity and leadership as a portfolio of capabilities, the eight roles in the model are defined in terms of a set of skills necessary to perform each role (Denison, et al., 1993 p. 6).
The figure 2 below highlights the rights managerial leadership roles.
Figure 2 – Eight CVF roles of managerial leadership (Denison, et al., 1993 p. 6 & 27)
Figure 2 suggests a spatial model with eight separate roles presented in terms of two underlying dimensions, with a specific set of relationships among these roles. The roles should take the form of a “circle” within these two dimensions, such that some pairs of roles (such as the monitor and the coordinator) should be very closely related, while other pairs of roles (such as the mentor and the producer) should be far less closely related. Opposite roles are presumably more “contradictory” and adjacent roles are more similar. One might expect, for example, that a leader who was highly proficient as a mentor would also have facilitator skills in their behavioral portfolio, but might be somewhat less likely to be highly proficient as a director or producer (Denison, et al., 1993 p. 9).
18.104.22.168 The CVF Leadership Roles
As we have seen above the CVF has four quadrants with four types of cultures, the Competing Values leadership model divides each of its four quadrants into two leadership roles (Quinn, et al., 1983), (Denison, et al., 1993), (Cameron, et al., 2006), (Belasen, et al., 2008), (Cameron, 2010). The CVF leadership quadrants and roles are explained below (Denison, et al., 1993, pp. 6-8).
The upper-right quadrant, which the effectiveness framework links to open-systems theory and the process of adaptation to the organization’s external environment, defines two leadership roles:
The innovator is creative and envisions, encourages, and facilitates change.
The broker is politically astute, acquires resources and maintains the unit’s external legitimacy through the development, scanning, and maintenance of a network of external contacts.
Moving clockwise to the lower right quadrant, labeled the rational goal model in the effectiveness framework, two more leadership roles are specified. These roles emphasize the rational pursuit of goals external to the group, and the leader’s role in defining and motivating the attainment of those goals.
The producer is the task-oriented, work-focused role. The producer seeks closure, and motivates those behaviors that will result in the completion of the group’s task.
The director engages in goal setting and role clarification, sets objectives, and establishes clear expectations.
The lower left quadrant is referred to in the effectiveness framework as the internal process model and places primary emphasis on internal control and stability. Two additional leadership roles are specified in that quadrant.
The coordinator maintains structure, does the scheduling, coordinating, and problem solving, and sees that rules and standards are met.
The monitor collects and distributes information, checks on performance, and provides a sense of continuity and stability.
The upper left quadrant is referred to in the framework as the human relations quadrant, placing primary emphasis on human interaction and process. Two final leadership roles are defined within that quadrant.
The facilitator encourages the expression of opinions, seeks consensus, and negotiates compromise.
The mentor is aware of individual needs, listens actively, is fair, supports legitimate requests, and attempts to facilitate the development of individuals.
22.214.171.124 Leadership Effectiveness
Extensive research by management scholars has identified critical competencies that characterize the most effective leaders and the most effective organizations worldwide. Quinn and Cameron (2006) introduced an instrument that assesses 20 key areas of leadership competency based on the Competing Values Framework. The leadership skills being assessed were not arbitrarily selected, but were derived from more than a dozen studies of leadership effectiveness.
Figure 3 The Competing Values Framework – culture, leadership, value drivers, and effectiveness.
The focus of this study is to identify the competing values leadership roles of the chief editors of the participant newspapers, rather than assessing their competencies. Therefore, the suggested leadership competency assessment by Quinn, et al. (2006) will not be used in this study. However, it is of paramount significance to get a comprehensive view of the CVF different instruments.
The congruence of leadership competencies and organizational culture leads to effectiveness, according to Quinn and Cameron (2006). To create value, managers’ competencies must be congruent with their organization’s dominant culture. Demonstrating leadership competencies in the quadrants that dominate the organization’s culture is associated with higher levels of success for the leader (Cameron, et al., 2006, p. 160).
The management guru, Drucker (2006) in his book “Effective Executive” argued that effective executives should be able to manage time; choose what contributed to the organization; know where and how to mobilize strength for best effect; setting the right priorities; and knitting all of these together with effective decision-making.
126.96.36.199 CVF Model Application
Though the framework is most often thought of as a leadership tool it has shown to have many important advantages. The CVF can be used for all aspects and levels in organizations. For example, It can be applied to personal style, yet the same framework can also be used to assess communication, leadership, organizational culture, core competencies, decision making, motivation, human resources practices, quality, employee selection, organizational capabilities, organizational change patterns, strategy, financial performance and many others (Cameron, 2010).
The CVF is an approach to thinking – that is, to interpreting or making sense of complex phenomena – as well as to developing a repertoire of competencies and strategies that address the complexities being encountered (Cameron, et al., 2006).
Criticism & Development of the CVF Model
Beyond the organizational effectiveness, the CVF has been studied and tested in numerous organizations for the past 25 years by scholars and professional experts not only in the United States but also in China (Vilkinas, et al., 2009); Australia (Vilkinas, et al., 2006); Malaysia (Yiing, et al., 2009); Yemen (Al-Marhadhi, 1996) and elsewhere. As a tool, the CVF is not only used in academic research, but also in as an assessment tool in the service industry (Degraff, et al., 2010).
Although the model has been widely used in management and leadership research and development, it receives some criticism and further development by other researchers. Hooijberg (1996) questioned the two dimensions of the CVF model and some of the questionnaire items that measure the leadership role distributed across the model. According to Cacioppe et al (2000), who reference the work of Hooijberg (1996) the CV framework, for instance, does not adequately capture “vision” or “customer orientation” roles or competencies that are fundamental to many models of leadership and management. As a result, Cacioppe and Albrecht developed a framework that used several of the aspects of the CV model supported by research with modifications to a number of roles and question items (Cacioppe, et al., 2000).
Further application and empirical testing of the CVF led to further advancement. In response to developing researches, Quinn and colleagues developed the model further. In Australia, for instance, the Integrated Competing Values Framework (ICVF) was approached by Vilkinas and her co-authers who introduced the Integrator, as the ninth leadership role (Vilkinas, et al., 2006).
Why the CVF?
The Competing Values Framework provides a theory of effective leadership through managing tensions, which is the subject of this research. “It includes predictions that congruence among disparate elements in organizations leads to success, paradoxical management is required for effectiveness, and comprehensive strategies and tactics representing all parts of the are needed to create value.” (Cameron, et al., 2006, p.158-159).
The selection of the CVF as a framework for this research is not because it is the best model or framework, but rather because of the significance it has left on leadership and organizational effectiveness, through hundreds of studies around the world. Moreover, the simplicity of the model; and its relevance to the internal and external competing environments of newspapering in Yemen represent supportive factors for selection.
Besides, the CVF as a model can be applied as a multi-purpose model to assess leadership effectiveness; leadership managerial competencies, organizational culture, and overall organizational effectiveness. The abundance of literature on CVF, its measurement tools, research questionnaires, and analysis frameworks contribute positively to be the chosen model for this research.
The CVF has been adopted in various organizational contexts as an assessment as well as a development tool. According to Quinn and Cameron (2006), the CVF is valid and significant for organizational and personal contexts alike.
Chapter II: Literature Review
Part 2 – Yemeni Newspaper Industry
This part of the literature review is dedicated to the newspaper history, background and industry in general. A discussion of the environment, newspapers exist is given with examples and citations from existing literature. The overall part aims to present a comprehensive view of newspapering in Yemen with existing merits and challenges.
The Republic of Yemen embarked on democracy, political plurality and public freedoms in 1990 after northern and southern parts of the country were reunified. The reunification gave birth to a national constitution which guarantees political and social rights and public freedoms including freedom of the press.
The emerging democracy in Yemen and plurality of the political system necessitated the plurality of media as one of the main pillars of a healthy democracy. Although the state continues to control the broadcast media including TV and radio until today, a wide spectrum of print media outlets exists. Although, Yemen has known journalism as early as 1872 when the Turks established a printing press and issued “Yemen” and then “Sana’a” newsletters in both Arabic and Turkish (The Evolution and Development of Journalism in Yemen, 2008)
Free press plays a key role in sustaining and monitoring a healthy democracy, as well as in contributing to greater accountability, good governance, and economic development. People need to be able to watch the performance of their government and public authorities through a free and independent coverage of relevant news and events. Media as an educational tool is supposed to contribute to raise peoples’ awareness about their rights and duties.
It is assumed that the news media can best fulfill its functions in a democracy if there is a rich and pluralistic information environment that is easily available to all citizens. There is a large body of American literature which suggests that if TV has taken over from the press as our main source of news this may limit our capacity to learn about public affairs; newspapers are believed to be far more effective than television at conveying detailed information necessary to understand complex and detailed policy issues (Norris, Fall 2000).
In Yemen today, there are three major types of media: broadcast (TV and Radio); print (newspapers and magazines); and electronic (internet).
2.2.3 Classification of Print Media in Yemen
The print media, which includes newspapers and magazines, in Yemen is categorized into three categories from ownership perspective: public or state-run newspapers, political or partisan newspapers, and privately owned newspapers (Al-Asaadi, 2007, Raja, 2010). However, Hassan Mansour (2009) added a fourth category that includes newspapers published by civil society organizations or trade unions, which I believe should be treated as newsletters rather than newspapers – because they are distributed for free; don’t necessarily have general news on their pages, are not for profit; and finally they don’t represent any completion in the market to other newspapers. It is important to note that this classification is not necessarily applicable to first world countries or full democracies where media companies are corporate businesses.
Goff (2006, p. 681) qouted R. G. Picard (2002) in his article Electronic Commerce in entertainment and media, that U.S. broadcast media have been privately owned and operated commercially, but required to meet general and specific obligations to serve the public interest. In much of the rest of the world broadcast facilities were initially financed and operated by the government as noncommercial enterprises intended to provide universal service and benefits to society.
A heated argument is in place between the Yemeni Journalist Syndicate and the Ministry of Information regarding a new draft law that is seen restricting the freedom of speech. By doing so the government puts more pressure of newspapers, and news websites which hinders their development or growth (Al-Alimi, 2010). There is no question about the influence of the political and regulatory factors in the evolution of any business, market and/or industry and it is more influential in the media industry (Porter, 1980 p.p 28-29; Albarran, 2006; Mansour, 2009 et el).
2.2.4 Private Newspapers
The privately-owned newspapers are started as individual business ventures by entrepreneurial practicing journalists or businessmen with some background or interest in the media field. The owners of the private newspapers, although they have a moral mission, are concerned of their ventures growth and profitability. They are not directly or explicitly funded by the government, political parties, or any other organizations. They rather have to struggle hard to generate revenues from selling advertisements or copies of their newspapers (Raja, 2010).
Business organizations share relatively similar characteristics with variable focus on one area or another depending on the type of business. However, media organizations – including newspapers – have some distinction for the special role they play in societies (Albarran, 2006) and products they offer regardless of the medium. As Laswell (1949) – quoted by Albarran (2006)- defined media as a “primary source for information and entertainment and an important part of the function described as transmitting the culture of a society. Therefore, it is not odd to see that both Lavine and Wackman (1988) put together five distinctive characteristics that differentiate media industries from other types of businesses. These include (a) the perishable commodity of the media product, (b) the highly creative employees, (c) the organizational structure, (d) the societal role of the media (e.g., awareness, influence) and (e) the blurring of lines separating traditional media (Albarran, 2006).
Moreover, Caves (2000) offers a distinction between media firms and other businesses through the theory of contracts and the differences involved in dealing with creative individuals and demand uncertainty.
As a matter of fact, most of the private newspapers in Yemen are founded by journalists, who have achieved a good professional reputation in the political arena. These entrepreneurial journalists go into these ventures based on their established connections, savings they have collected, and aspirations to grow. After establishment, they end up playing the leadership role in their organizations, and the day-to-day management activities. Some survive and several drop out of business. The management of daily issues overshadows the leadership role essential to pursuing the vision, and attaining the organizational goals among others. This situation represents a crisis of leadership in the organizational life cycle (Greiner, 1972). However, this phase ends with a Leadership Crisis, where professional management is needed. The founders may change their style and take on this role, but often someone new will be brought in.
Thus professional and prominent leadership deems very necessary during growth as well as internal and external crisis facing an organization. “We are in a crisis of leadership in which vast numbers of ‘educated’ people make â€¦ gross errors in choosing whose leadership to follow, and in which there is â€¦ little incentive for able and dedicated servants to take the risks of asserting leadership (Greenleaf, 1977).”
Newspaper organizations, like any business organizations, evolve over time once they start, but new systems are needed. The founding entrepreneur (chief editor) usually does not have the expertise to manage the transition or is unaware of the needs of new systems. This is what Larry Greiner has called the Leadership Crisis in his organizational life cycle theory (Greiner, 1972).
2.2.5 Organizational Structure of Newspapers
Typically at the top of the hierarchy is the publisher, who is accountable to the newspaper’s ownership for the economic performance of the newspaper. The editor-in-chief, or managing editor, is responsible for the actual editorial content of the newspaper. Other layers of management exist in a newspaper including section editors (e.g. political editor, health editor, news editorâ€¦ etc.) who practically provide guidance and supervision for their teams of reporters, photographers and support staff. In addition, there are also departments that provide support functions; among them are accounting and billing, retail and classier sales, personnel, and customer service. Hence, management can take place within and across numerous departments (Albarran, 2006, p. 11). Although this is the basic newspaper organzaitonal sturcture, but in most of the private newspapers in Yemen the chief editor (being the owner and leader in most cases) performs editorial and support functions.
The study subjects will be newspapers that are owned by individuals or companies with business objectives. Newspapers technically, these organizations have a complex nature from a managerial structure perspective because of the several layers of management throughout a newspaper organization, in which the number of employees, market position, and organizational culture requires individual analysis to discern what style of leadership/management will work best (Albarran, 2006).
As a matter of fact, most of the journalists who are in key position in their newspapers came from different education backgrounds, mainly in the English-speaking newspapers. In these newspapers, the publishers try to equip the distinguished English-language graduates with journalism skills rather than training professional journalists on English to be able to write and edit. To the contrary of the first, the latter option is very expensive, time consuming and results are not guaranteed. As a living example, the researcher holds a BA in English was trained on journalism and became chief editor in the same newspaper after six years.
2.2.6 Market of Newspapers
Newspaper business in Yemen is relatively young as the plurality in print media came as a result of the political plurality of the new Yemen after the national reunification in 1990. Newspapers – particularly the private ones – are increasing in numbers especially in the recent years.
The Ministry of Information regulates media in Yemen. It is the prime authority that grants the licenses for newspapers or any print media. The number of newspaper is increasing every year especially the privately owned one. The 2008 Annual Statistics Book indicated that 127 newspapers and magazine are circulated in the country with a 58% increase from the year 2000. However, the regularly-published privately-owned newspapers excluding magazines were 51 in 2008 comparing to 29 in 2000 with an increase 56% (Central Statistical Organization, 2009).
Although the statistics shows a growing trend in number among privately-owned newspapers in the country, there are several questions about the sustainability of these newspapers and their ability to face internal and external challenges. Up to the moment, the private newspapers lack the institutional capacity to maintain growth (Al-Asaadi, 2007; Mansour, 2009; Taher, 2008; Raja, 2010). They are in a dying need to grow and become independent, learning and sustainable organization (Al-Alimi, 2010; Raja, 2010).
Looking at the newspaper market in Yemen, circulation of newspapers, distribution networks, scarcity of resources aside from the political pressure, and shortage of qualified man power multiply the challenges in this business. Moreover, the nature of the market dynamics, environmental factors, and also internal challenges surrounding newspaper business in Yemen, requires a very special leadership style and competencies to attain an intact and growing organization and also minimize risks (Raja, 2010).
The national economy does not support the evolution or newspapers and their consolidation into an industry because of the state’s interference and the strong regulations that expose these businesses to state suppression (Mansour, 2009).
Moreover, there are other factors that affect the competitiveness of an organization as well as an industry (Porter, 1980 p. 6) which include the five competitive forces – entry, threat of substitution, bargaining power of buyers, bargaining power of suppliers, and rivalry among current competitors.
Porter (1980) believes that market competitiveness comes from the control an organization can have on the five forces. Customers of Yemeni newspapers are either readers and/or advertisers. The readership of newspapers in general is very small relatively to the volume of population of Yemen which nears 23.5 million people with 50% of illiteracy rate (CIA Factbook, 2010). In addition, the topographic distribution is very spread with 70% of the population in rural areas. All does not justify the low circulation of newspapers, where the highest circulation of a newspaper in the country is 60,000 copies per edition in (Central Statistical Organization, 2009).
By starting a newspaper, they are motivated to get better status, better income, and be their own bosses (Barringer & Ireland, 2008). In addition, these adventurers seek to be recognized as players in the society and achieve indirect goals that include among others: higher social and political status; access to authorities; and others. It is unquestionable that weekly newspapers play a unique and important role as suppliers of news for citizen which makes them better off in the democratic public sphere.
Newspapers’ main products are news and information on one hand and space for advertisements on the other. The existing law entitles the government to revoke the license of any newspaper; send staff and owner home by an administrative order. This situation makes this kind of business very risky for investors. This justifies why almost all private newspapers are owned by professional journalists, whose managerial knowledge is very tiny in comparison to their professional background. This environment does not support consolidation of newspapers into a growing industry, but remain in further fragmentation.
The government significantly increased restrictions on freedom of speech, press, and assembly, and there were reports of government use of excessive force against demonstrators. Journalists and opposition members were harassed and intimidated. Academic freedom was restricted, and official corruption was a problem (US State Department, 2010).
Dependent on mass audiences to maintain its advertising revenue streams, it needs new delivery and revenue models that will allow it to leverage its content generation capabilities in the face of an increasingly competitive marketplace and changing media consumption habits. The crux of the dilemma is that to maintain a sufficiently large aggregate audience, newspaper companies must maintain print products suitable to the consumption preferences of their established audiences while developing new digital products to capture that portion of the audience adopting new consumption patterns. A shift to all-digital production and distribution would offer publishers sufficient cost savings to offset any potential reduction in circulation revenues, but neither technology nor consumer adoption patterns will permit that shift for decades (Shaver and Shaver, 2006 p. 646).
In the media management literature, organization are influenced by three factors that are likely to dominate the evolution of media industries and define the challenges facing media managers/leaders-digital technologies, consumer adoption patterns, and the global regulatory environment. If change is the keyword to describe the direction of media industries, managers/leaders must understand media consumers to understand that change. Advances in media technology have occurred-and will continue to occur-with extraordinary speed and, sometimes, in unexpected directions (Shaver and Shaver, 2006 p. 639).
2.4 Chapter Summary: Literature Review
As indicate in the introduction of this chapter, the literature review is presented in two parts: the management theory of leadership and the applied field of research, which is newspapering in Yemen. Below the lines sum up both parts as follows:
Given the volume and breadth of literature on leadership make it a science that stands by itself. Above, the researcher introduces the counter views of leadership with quick glance on the historical evolution of leadership theories, associated definitions, models and tools. The research presents argumentative views whether leadership is a matter of traits or is more of a process and interaction between leaders and followers. Supporting the later perspective of leadership, the researcher concludes with a definition based on the accumulated knowledge gained.
The selected research framework, the Competing Values Framework is presented as a model that highlights the inherent tensions and contradictions that face organizations and leaders as they navigate their complex and changing environments. The structure of the model, its applicability, criticism, and justifications for choosing it are presented. In the following chapter, a concentrated discussion will be made on the CVF model as a methodological framework with the analytical approach and its validity.
In the second part of this chapter, the research introduces a background of the newspaper industry in Yemen, classification of various types of media. The print media categories are also presented based on ownership. Then a detailed discussion of the private newspapers, and their market, along with the challenges is presented with references from local and international media-related literature for deeper understanding of the newspaper business.