Leadership Styles At Spar Stores Management Essay
Leaders have an ethical responsibility to attend to the needs and concerns of followers. A leader often initiates the relationship, creates the communication linkages, and carries the burden for maintaining the relationship. Leadership is the way of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. The leader is the inspiration and director of the action. He or she is the person in the group that possesses the combination of personality and skills that makes others want to follow his or her direction.
SPAR was founded in Holland in 1932 by Mr Adriaan van Well; SPAR is now the world’s largest international food retail chain, with 13,600 stores in 33 countries. SPAR is also the UK’s leading convenience store group, with a turnover in excess of £2.7billion.
SPAR was set up in the UK in 1957 with five founding wholesale members. The business is now made up of six wholesale members servicing more than 2,600 stores. At SPAR, their philosophy is all about being ‘Tuned In’. ‘Tuned In’ is what makes SPAR different and they deliver that difference every day. Spar are local, it’s stores have local owners and our products are supplied by local and regional companies. SPAR is a ‘symbol’ group, which means individual SPAR members retain their independence but enjoy the advantages of belonging to a global brand.
SPAR is local, our stores have local owners and our products are supplied by local and regional companies.
It really understands the local community because SPAR is part of it.
It develops its stores in line with the needs of our customers.
It works with local people, support local initiatives and support other local businesses
This company also respond on an individual basis to local needs and know our customers
Current theories and models of leadership and their applicability to different sub-divisions, organizations, industries and sectors.
Describe two current leadership theories, identifying the advantages and disadvantages of each. For each theory explain how it might benefit a named organization as well as how it could be incorporated effectively into the organization.
Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. The leader is the inspiration and director of the action. He or she is the person in the group that possesses the combination of personality and skills that makes others want to follow his or her direction. In business, leadership is welded to performance. Effective leaders are those who increase their company’s’ bottom lines.
There are different leadership theories. Among these Two current leadership theories are described:
Trait theory, and
People are born with inherited traits.
Some traits are particularly suited to leadership.
People who make good leaders have the right (or sufficient) combination of traits.
Description: Early research on leadership was based on the psychological focus of the day, which was of people having inherited characteristics or traits. Attention was thus put on discovering these traits, often by studying successful leaders, but with the underlying assumption that if other people could also be found with these traits, then they, too, could also become great leaders. Stogdill (1974) identified the following traits and skills as critical to leaders.
Adaptable to situations
Alert to social environment
Ambitious and achievement-orientated
Dominant (desire to influence others)
Energetic (high activity level)
Tolerant of stress
Willing to assume
Diplomatic and tactful
Fluent in speaking
Knowledgeable about group task
Organised (administrative ability)
McCall and Lombardo (1983) researched both success and failure identified four primary traits by which leaders could succeed or ‘derail’:
Emotional stability and composure: Calm, confident and predictable, particularly when under stress.
Admitting error: Owning up to mistakes, rather than putting energy into covering up.
Good interpersonal skills: Able to communicate and persuade others without resort to negative or coercive tactics.
Intellectual breadth: Able to understand a wide range of areas, rather than having a narrow (and narrow-minded) area of expertise.
There have been many different studies of leadership traits and they agree only in the general saintly qualities needed to be a leader.
For a long period, inherited traits were sidelined as learned and situational factors were considered to be far more realistic as reasons for people acquiring leadership positions.
Paradoxically, the research into twins who were separated at birth along with new sciences such as Behavioral Genetics have shown that far more is inherited than was previously supposed. Perhaps one day they will find a ‘leadership gene’.
Advantage of Trait leadership theory:
According to trait theories of leadership, leaders are selected for their leadership qualities. We expect our leaders to display the right traits. They are supposed to be taller, more handsome, more intelligent, blah blah. Short leaders (such as Napoleon) are expected to have some other exceptional characteristics, to compensate for their lack of height.
Ability to solve Problem, Understanding, Decisiveness
Drive, Initiative, Confidence
Health, Height, Handsome
Statistics indicate that gender, social class and ethnic origins can affect a person’s chances of becoming a leader. In the past, there were many leadership positions that were only accessible to men who had attended the right school or university. Nowadays, the advantages of belonging to the right social category have been considerably diminished, but we are not yet in a fully egalitarian and meritocratic society.
Disadvantage of Trait leadership theory:
Unfortunately, the trait reported by some researchers are often contra dictionary, and no single trait was consistently identified with good leadership. Some other issues with Trait theory include:
-Relativity: Not possible to clarify the relative importance of the various traits
-Interaction: Most trait type models are disregarding interaction effects.
-Universalism: Situational studies have found that traits are not universal; they depend on the situation
-Change: Traits transform over time.
-Cause and effects: cause and effects are unclear.For example: Are leaders ambitious or does being a leader lead to ambition?
Beneficial of Trait leadership theory and its incorporation at SPAR:
As leaders are selected by their leadership qualities according to Trait theory, a trait leader will be able to able to show the right traits such as physique, character, intelligence, SPAR will be able to achieve a right leader to reach goal at right time.
Situational leadership theory:
This theory is developed by Hersey and Blanchard,was based on the assumption that leaders need to alter their behaviours depending on one key situational factor- the readiness of the employees.
The theory focuses on two leader behaviours:
Task behaviour- refers to the extent to which the leader engages in spelling out the duties and responsibilities of an individual or group. It includes telling people what to do, how to do it, when to do it and who is to do it.
Relationship behaviour- refers to the extent to which the leader engages in two-way or multiday communication. It includes listening, facilitating and supportive behaviours.
To determine which combination of leader behaviours to use in a given situation, according to situational leadership theory, a leader must assess the readiness levels of employees. This is the ability and willingness of employees to accomplish a particular task.
Ability, or job readiness, includes the ability, skill, knowledge and experience that are needed to do a specific task.
Willingness, or psychological readiness, consists of the confidence, commitment and motivation needed to complete the specific task.
This is closely linked to the four leadership styles of Tannebaum and Schmidt described earlier.
To apply the situational leadership theory, leaders need to determine what task areas they would like to influence, asses the readiness level of the individual and elect the appropriate leadership style that corresponds to that level. The theory’s underlying notion is that leaders should help increase the task-related leadership styles.
Blanchard and Hersey characterized leadership style in terms of the amount of direction and of support that the leader gives to his or her followers, and so created a simple matrix (figure).
Leadership Behavior of the Leader
S1 – Telling / Directing – High task focus, low relationship focus – leaders define the roles and tasks of the ‘follower’, and supervise them closely. Decisions are made by the leader and announced, so communication is largely one-way. For people who lack competence but are enthusiastic and committed. They need direction and supervision to get them started.
S2 – Selling / Coaching – High task focus, high relationship focus – leaders still define roles and tasks, but seeks ideas and suggestions from the follower. Decisions remain the leader’s prerogative, but communication is much more two-way. For people who have some competence but lack commitment. They need direction and supervision because they are still relatively inexperienced. They also need support and praise to build their self-esteem, and involvement in decision-making to restore their commitment.
S3 – Participating / Supporting – Low task focus, high relationship focus – leaders pass day-to-day decisions, such as task allocation and processes, to the follower. The leader facilitates and takes part in decisions, but control is with the follower. For people who have competence, but lack confidence or motivation. They do not need much direction because of their skills, but support is necessary to bolster their confidence and motivation.
S4 – Delegating – Low task focus, low relationship focus – leaders are still involved in decisions and problem-solving, but control is with the follower. The follower decides when and how the leader will be involved. For people who have both competence and commitment. They are able and willing to work on a project by themselves with little supervision or support.
Effective leaders are versatile in being able to move around the matrix according to the situation, so there is no style that is always right. However, we tend to have a preferred style, and in applying Situational Leadership you need to know which one that is for you.
Likewise, the competence and commitment of the follower can also be distinguished in 4 quadrants.
Development Level of the Follower
D4 – High Competence, High Commitment – Experienced at the job, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. May even be more skilled than the leader.
D3 – High Competence, Variable Commitment – Experienced and capable, but may lack the confidence to go it alone, or the motivation to do it well / quickly.
D2 – Some Competence, Low Commitment – May have some relevant skills, but won’t be able to do the job without help. The task or the situation may be new to them.
D1 – Low Competence, High Commitment – Generally lacking the specific skills required for the job in hand, but has the confidence and / or motivation to tackle it.
Steps in Situational Leadership. Process
Make an overview per employee of his/her tasks
Assess the employee on each task (D1…D4)
Decide on the leadership (management) style per task (S1…S4)
Discuss the situation with the employee
Make a joint plan
Follow-up, check and
Advantages of situational leadership theory:
-Situational leadership theory is to understand
-It is easy to use in an organization
Disadvantages of situational leadership theory:
-Distinguishing between leadership and management is often failed by model. What is called leadership style is really management style.
-Leadership is not primarily about making decisions anyway-it is about inspiring people to change direction
-Leaders may indeed vary the way they inspire people to change.But this is when they have already decided on the need to change. Hence leadership style does not reduce to decision making style.
Beneficial of situational leadership theory and its incorporation at SPAR:
This model allows a leader to analyze the needs of the situation that where he is and to solve it. A leader can make an overview per employee of his/her tasks at SPAR. He/she can assess the employee on each task (D1…D4).Then situational leadership decides on the leadership(management)style per task(S1..S4).Then he/she discuss the situation with employees of SPAR and makes a joint plan, follow up, check and correct to reach the ultimate goal.
In this way this theory is incorporated at SPAR.
Explain how leadership effectiveness is influenced by factors such as efficiency, innovation and human resources in an organization with which you are familiar. What other factors might influence leadership.
Way by which leadership effectiveness is influenced by efficiency:
Understanding power of employees and situation: A leader should be capable to understand the ability and willingness of each and every employee to perform a task as well as to reach the goal. A leader must assess the readiness levels of employees. This is the ability and willingness of employees to accomplish a particular task. He/she also has power to adopt opportunity at the proper situation.
Way by which leadership effectiveness is influenced by innovation:
Today the rapid the growth of information technology has lead to the term information age.this refers to the global change of direction away from the production of physical goods towards the use and communication of information. A well leader has also this type of quality by which his/her leadership effectiveness is influenced.
Way by which leadership effectiveness is influenced by human resource:
Determining the requirements for those individuals who will work to hold and to further company mission, vision, values and works to bring such individuals to the areas where needed is an essential task for any organization. If a leader will not be capable to set the right people in the right numbers, in the right place and at the right time, his effectiveness will be influenced by these ultimately to reach the goal.
Other factors that may influence leadership:
(i) Emotions: A leader should have the ability to perceive emotions in oneself and others, as well as in objects, art and events.
(ii) Turnaround leadership: This leadership considers the nature of leadership necessary for turning around a persistently low-performing organization to one that is performing acceptably as measured by achievement according to test of objectives.
(iii)Cultural issues: Culture is the way of doing work in the society. It’s issues can have significant effect on leadership of an organisation. Many attempts have been made to tackle these issues, with varying degrees of success. Many organizations consider the nature of cultural problems to be sufficiently important for specialist help to be sought. Supporting networks, placements, coaching and mentoring and other approaches to learning in the workplace are necessary which may influence leadership.
Current and future requirements
Describe four current requirements of leadership. Identify what external factors have an impact on each requirement.
Consider likely future leadership requirements. Describe three requirements and explain why such needs are likely to arise within an organization.
Current requirements of leadership and impact of external factors on each requirement:-
Just as in the nineteenth century historians referred to the Industrial Age because of the major developments in engineering and industry, so today the rapid growth of information technology has led to the term Information Age. This refers to the global change of direction away from the production of physical goods towards the use and communication of information. It is also less commonly called the Digital Age and the Wireless Age.The subsequent growth of information and communication technology has had a significant impact on world economy and created new businesses and jobs that require a different range of skills and training.
To lead a business effectively, using and communication of information should be adopted to adjust with global economy easily.
Leaders need to have a good understanding of cross-cultural patterns as they often work with virtual team members from many countries. Diversity of the population and the workforce has become a fact of life for all organisations. Talented, educated knowledge workers seek opportunities all over the world, just as organisations search the world for the best minds to help them compete in a global economy.
The general population, and thus the workforce, is also growing more ethnically and racially diverse. Generational diversity is another powerful force in today’s workplace, with employees of all ages working together on teams and projects in a way rarely seen in the past.
A virtual organization is a collection of managers,employees and stakeholders who have chosen to to carry out their activities through through the use of the internet rather than through conventional channels, such as a retail outlet or an office base.They will opeatye in the same way as any other organization, but will not necessarily have direct personal contact with customers and clients..much, if not all, of their activities will take place through a computer interface.
Many virtual organizations, such as amzon.com,provide direct personal contact with customers oly in the event of problems. The vast majority of transactions will take palce without any face to face contact.The advantage of virtual organization include reduced operating cost and rapid response. Most organizations of this type are able to offer prompt attention and often almost immediate response.To operate effectively, a virtual organisation will have well-defined processes and an efficient performance management system in place.The key processes will be:
Common goals and objectives with the customer.
Sound knowledge of who the customers or clients(both internal and external) are and what they can offer them.
Detailed understanding of the product or service offering.
IT systems that are reliable and able to fulfil organisational objectives.
Discrimination: Discrimination is categorised in the UK as
-treating people differently because of their age, sex, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins or marital status, religion.
-paying men and women different rates of pay-even though they are doing similar task-because of they are men or women.
-treating disabled people less favourably than work colleagues who are not disabled.
There are two types of discrimination-direct and indirect. These all should be understood by a leader.
If this discrimination practice is run on in a society it will impact negatively on overall country and its economy.
Consider likely future leadership requirements. Describe three requirements and explain why such needs are likely to arise within an organization.
Future leadership requirements:
Market globalisation: Globalisation is the process whereby worldwide testes and product offerings converage and are increasingly satisfied by global products rather local ones. It is driven by hard economics. To complete effectively, an organization has to incur high fixed costs, forcing executives to spread these costs over higher volumes.
Mergers and acquisition: Merging with, or acquiring, another company can often be an attractive proposition for a company, strategy wise. A leader has to arrange this in future to gain profit.
Privatisation: It is the transfer of public sector resources to the private sector. It has been an important feature of government policy over the past twenty years, but has now in some cases been reserved. It is essential for a leader to run industry
Proposals for the development of leadership
As SPAR is now the world’s largest international food retail chain, its leadership development should be maintained properly. Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. The leader is the inspiration and director of the action. For a company like SPAR, some actions should be taken to improve the development of leadership:-
-It’s trait reports are often contra dictionary, and no single trait was consistently identified with good leadership. Its not possible to clarify the relative importance of the various traits
As Traits transform over time, it should be monitored carefully and should also be made transparent and stable.
-At SPAR it may be become very difficult to Distinguish between leadership and management that is often failed by situational model. These two should be adjusted by this company’s management.
Leadership should be done primarily about making decisions anyway along with inspiring people to change direction.
-Not only these but also a leader at SPAR should be trained up properly to develop himself/herself in order to make an overview per employee of his/her tasks, to assess the employee on each task, discussing the situation with the employees, making a joint plan, following-up and check properly.