Leadership theories and models applied to TATA Communications
The global reach and industry expertise of TATA Communications drives and delivers a new world of communications. The company leverages its global networks, vertical intelligence and leadership in emerging markets to deliver value-driven, globally managed solutions.
TATA Communications Ltd. (TCL) unites the industry and market expertise of VSNL, VSNL international, Teleglobe, TATA indicom enterprise business unit, VGSL and CIPRIS to become the leading integrated provider of telecommunications solutions.
Fortune 1000 and mid-size enterprises, service providers and consumers rely on TCL’s global network, encompassing one of the most advanced and largest submarine cable networks, a tier 1 IP network, and connectivity to more than 200 countries across 300 PoPs. Their comprehensive portfolio includes transmission, IP, converged voice, mobility, managed network connectivity, data centers, communications solutions and business transformation services for global and Indian enterprises and service providers, as well as broadband and content services to Indian consumers.
TATA Communications serves its customers from offices in 80 cities across 40 countries, reflecting the diversity of the customers and markets we live in and serve. Their unique market and industry expertise enables them to deploy a comprehensive portfolio of communications solutions on customers in existing and emerging markets worldwide. With a strategic investment in the South African operator Neotel, TATA Communications possess a strong anchor to build an African footprint.
TATA Communications Ltd. is part of the $29 billion TATA group; it is listed on the Bombay stock exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India and its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:TCL).
I chose this company for my leadership assignment because it is a classic example to true leadership where different cultures are involved and the industry is very dynamic in nature.
1 (a) Evaluate a range of leadership theories and models that reflect current thinking identifying how they might be of value to TATA Communications.
Leadership: – The study of leadership is very important and crucial in the field of any organizational behaviour.
“Leadership is the ability of a superior to influence the behavior of a subordinate or group and persuade them to follow a particular course of action.” – Chester Bernard.
Qualities of an effective leader: –
Although there is no set of qualities/traits defined for a real leader but still at TATA comm. A leader is defined who has the following characteristics: –
– Takes initiative.
– High on ambition.
– have desire to lead.
– Is self-confident.
– Poses analytical abilities.
– Have knowledge of the process, technology and the industry.
– High creativity level.
– Flexible in teaching and learning ways.
Theories and models defined for leadership in TATA comm.: – There are 3 global theories defined and applied in the co. I worked.
1) Personality Trait theory: – As per this theory, leaders stand apart from non-leaders in terms of some personality traits which are unique. One of the traditional old age theory under this was “Great person” theory which said that leaders might not born with the required leadership attributes but it can be acquired gradually by learning and experience.
There is one model and theory under this, which explains this trait theory in more detail. This theory is called Theory X and Theory Y.
T.McGregor was in an opinion that managers/leaders tend to make certain assumptions about human nature. These assumptions/views were explored in his theory X and theory Y.
1. “The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if he or she can”.
2. “Because of this human characteristic, most people must be coerced, controlled, directed, and threatened with punishment to get them to put forth adequate effort toward the achievement of organisational objectives”.
3. “The average human being prefers to be directed, wishes to avoid responsibility, has relatively little ambition, and wants security above all”. (McGregor, 1960:33-34)
1. “The expenditure of physical and mental effort in work is as natural as play or rest”.
2. “External control and threat of punishment are not the only means for brining about effort toward organisational objectives. People will exercise self-direction and self-control in the service of objectives to which they are committed”.
3. “Commitment to objectives is a function of the rewards associated with their achievement”.
4. “The average human being learns, under proper conditions, not only to accept responsibility but to seek it”.
5. “The capacity to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination. Ingenuity, and creativity in the solution of organisational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed I the population”.
6. “Under the conditions of modern industrial life, the intellectual potentialities of the average human being are only partially utilised”. (McGregor, 1960:47-48)
2) Behaviour Theories: – The behaviour theories explained the aspects related to the behaviors found in the leaders which take them to effective leadership. There are 4 theories under this. Out of this “the managerial Grid” is the most applicable to TATA comm.
The Ohio States studies.
Universities of Michigan studies.
The Managerial Grid.
The Managerial Grid: – This model was developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton. This is also called “The Leadership Grid” which majorly focuses on the parts missed in the early theories. This revolves around production/relationship orientations. The grid is based on the Leaders’ concern for people (relationships) and tasks (production). As per this the best way to lead and manage people the 9,9 way.
The Tri-dimensional Grid: – This is one of the approaches of behavioural theories of leadership defined. This talks about 2 main dimensions of the style i.e.: –
Tasks Orientation: – This describes the main effect on the efficiency of the leaders work.
Relationship Orientation: – This talks about the human relations and the resources in TATA Comm.
Change / Effectiveness: – This aspect of the theory tells about how effectively the leader can adapt in the changing scenario.
3) Contingency Theories: – Also called situational theory. As per this theory the leadership style is not same to all situations. Every leader is expected to analyse the situation and then adapt or apply a style that is best suited for the situation. There are 5 contingency models under this leadership style: –
Fiedler’s contingency model.
Hersey and Blanchard’s situational theory.
Leader-member exchange theory.
Path goal theory.
In TATA Comm.’s managerial environment 2 contingency models apply i.e. (a) and (e).
Fiedler’s contingency model: – in this approach a leadership style is apt to the situation as described by the 3 principles below:
Leader-member relation: – how much is the leader accepted and supported by the group members. Personalities of the leader and subordinates play an important role in this principle.
Task Structure: – under this it is examined that how the task is structured for the subordinate. To what extent the freedom is given to the group member to accomplish the tasks.
Position Power: – It’s the ability and power of the leader as to how much his power and he himself is accepted in the group.
e) Path Goal theory: – this theory was coined by Robert House. Under this theory the leader is expected to provide a complete guidelines/coaching to the team members to achieve the objectives of the TATA comm.’s goal. The leader defines the goals of the individual and supports them to achieve them in a better an efficient way.
Below model describes the entire path goal theory followed at TATA comm.
The Path-Goal Model
Types of leadership:-
Leader effectiveness in influencing subordinates
Are matched against To Produce
Situational Factors: –
ƒ Subordinate Characteristics
Perceived control of destiny.
ƒ Nature of the task
Emotional Intelligence: – “A person’s self-awareness, self-confidence, self-control, commitment and integrity, and a person’s ability to communicate, influence, initiate change and accept change”. (Source: Coleman)
Self awareness: A leader needs to do a self assessment in terms of self confidence.
Self-regulation: – control over self emotions is very necessary for a leader to lead his team. He needs to take responsibility for performance, should be approachable and adaptable to change.
Motivation: – Self motivated leader is the one who can lead the team and take them to the position where required.
Empathy: – Its quality of understanding others by being noticed about their feelings, needs and concerns.
Social Skills: – Handling the situation diplomatically, be an open ear and offer convincing messages, inspire and motivate others to achieve the shared goals.
1 (b) Explain the expected impact of a range of leadership styles on the warehouse, back office, company senior management and policy, web design, sales, marketing and product selection functions
Impact of a range of leadership styles on TATA Comm.’s various important functions: –
The important functions in TATA Comm. are: –
Product management: – This team is responsible introducing new products in the market based on the research done analyzing the completion. The major challenges are faced in terms of pricing the product.
A combination of leadership styles fits in this functions is in following ways: –
– The leader here motivates the team by both means i.e. monetary and non-monetary rewards. The outcome of the product team is judged by the revenue generated out of their product.
Sales and marketing: – This team is responsible for selling the products in the market in the most profitable way. The issue which is faced by this team is the extensive pressure for the numbers.
The leaders play an important and crucial role in this function by:-
– Always being in an energetic style which is contagious to the team.
– Giving directions to the sales people.
– Rewarding and recognizing their performance on regular intervals by giving the employee of the month award.
Back office for sales: – This function is responsible for the entire back office job done after sales. Includes from order login to making reports for performance done by sales team from various regions in the company. The job of this function is very monotonous and thus requires and high level of leadership and motivation.
The leaders face a very challenging role in this function.
– They apply contingency theory to a large extent as to acting differently in differently in different situations.
– Keep the employees motivated.
– Keep the employees guided and coshed regularly.
CSO (customer service operations): – This function is responsible for “after service delivery” to the customers. They need to function as per the customer issues faced on day to day basis. In telecom industry the main service/product offered are leased lines and voice services. Being so dynamic in nature these services need immediate fix from provider’s side.
Leadership qualities displayed in TATA comm.’s CSO function are as below: –
– Path goal theory is used as providing the final goal to be achieved in terms of fixing the circuit for the customer.
– Team management of the “leadership grid” 9,9 style impacts by keeping the team in harmony and fixing the circuit or fixing the network laid for the customer.
Finance: – This function is responsible for all MIS related activities in terms of revenue reporting, fund raising, preparing balance sheet, performance reporting of various LoB’s (line of business), etc.
– Traits theory plays a major role in this function.
– Leaders find the type x and type y kind of members in the team s defined by the theory X and theory Y.
– After identifying the types, the leader takes contingency approach to deal to deal with situation and people.
2 (a) Assess the current leadership and managerial requirements of TATA Communications
Current leadership and managerial requirements at TATA Communications: –
As leaders and managers at TATA comm. they have a key leadership role in influencing others to achieve success. As an organization and as individuals it is necessary to be able to provide the appropriate balance between leadership and management.
The leadership requirements are defined as below: –
Leaders are required to set and communicate the vision of the organization, department, or group.
Leaders need to align the organization to the vision-leaders at TATA Comm. are exceptional who not only create the vision of where they are going but also make sure other see it can help get there.
They motivate and inspire others to succeed-they inspire greatness in others.
They not only effectively manage change but also are the drivers of change.
The Managerial requirements are defined as below: –
The managers’ help people cope with everyday- they remove barriers to getting things done and help people solve problems.
They need to provide the consistent expectation that need to be achieved and prove stability.
They need to monitor work and report on success.
They are more of problem solvers and help others focus on the details.
They are more tactical- focused on short term planning and everyday business function such as budgeting.
Achieving the balance: –
At TATA Comm. the leadership and management expectations are covered in the following matrix called “achieving the balance”.
All are managers and leaders. They have to focus on the work and focus on the future. It is not one or the other but how they balance their manager hat with that of being a leader.
Able to meet today’s needs and to predict, respond and often drive the future.
Great ideas, energy, innovative. Execution is the challenge.
Delivers well in stable environment. Slow in adapting to change.
2 (b) Develop an internally consistent and plausible scenario of likely future requirements of leadership and management for TATA Communications: –
Future requirements of leadership at TATA Comm.: –
Before we analyze future requirements of leadership I would like to identify some future challenges which are/will be faced in today’s’ generic environment.
Information age – Changing technology
New careers-generation X
New psychological contracts
Globalization – rapid changes in the market places
Overtaking of strategies
Rapid changes in workplace culture and ways of working
Focusing on Strategic Vs operational activities.
Mergers and acquisitions
Increasing accountability and regulation
The leaders are faced with these challenges on day to day life at work. The leaders need to adapt to these changing conditions both internally and externally. A t TATA Comm. this is done by leaders accepting these changes and adapting different leadership styles to overcome these challenges.
For this the conditional leadership style is mostly suited to change roles as per the situation and take the lead. Manager’s role is generally to stick to the goals set by the leaders to achieve the target and help the team to reach there.
They need to cultivate winning relationships with the rest of the functions as well: –
3 (a) Make proposals that are designed to meet the specific leadership and managerial requirements of TATA Communications
Proposals for development of leadership: – Here i have identified different methods of developing leaders and managers which are followed and implemented in TATA Comm.: –
Training Courses: – At TATA Comm. various trainings are organised round the year to develop and enhance the leadership and managerial qualities in the employees.
These training are generally related to enhancing leadership skills. These are organised by the external trainers who are professional in this field.
Coaching: – Great leaders as coaches, encourage employees to take risk and let them make mistakes and learn from them. They get the most out of every employee and recognise the difference between adding workload and offer growth opportunities.
At TATA Comm. the following model is used to decide whom to coach and how much time to devote:
Coaching for values and results model
Mentoring: – Mentoring is done on one to one basis in TATA Comm. by the respective managers who play a leader’s role at this time.
Companies’ own universities: – TATA Comm. have their in-house training centre called as TMTC (TATA management and training centre). This is separate entity in TATA group responsible for various training and development programs for TATA employees.
Time management and delegation: – Mangers do a proper time management and delegation of work to the subordinate employees as they grow in their leadership ladder. They do take care of the transition traps.
3 (b,c) Critically evaluate the use of a full range of methods of leadership and management development that is available to TATA Communications before selecting and justifying the choices made about how to develop management competencies.
The methods used and described above result in the 3 main/core expectations from leaders at TATA Comm.: –
Leading the business
Leading the results.
Leading the People.
Leadership of results:
Drive for results:
High energy professionals who play to win.
Institutionalize stretch as a way of life.
Laser sharp focus on execution.
Constantly evolves and applies appropriates benchmarks and dashboard to calibrate results.
Lives “customer centricity” in judgement and behavior.
Collaborates with customers to add value.
Strives to achieve leadership for TCL in its targeted segments by developing compelling and sustainable value propositions.
Timely decision making:
Demonstrates the ability to ensure that decision making is clear, timely and taken at the appropriate level.
Demonstrates ingenuity and creativity.
Champions and steers business innovations.
Leadership of Business:
Managing Vision and purpose:
Displays the ability to think through the future creating a vision factoring in opportunities and threats in terms of technology, competitors, regulations, suppliers, partners and customer buying behaviour.
Ability to effectively communicate and get shared ownership on the vision to motivate stakeholders.
Dealing with ambiguity:
Is able to juggle multiple conflicting priorities.
Is comfortable living, leading and managing in an environment of constant and rapid change.
Communicates effectively to address ambiguity.
Capability to identify opportunities globally with internal and external constituents.
Is able to align short term with long term strategy.
Plans contingencies. Factors in CSR appropriately.
Displays financial acumen and bottom line centricity.
Ability to steer business proactively anticipating market developments.
Optimizes resources and creates sustainable value.
Leadership of people:
Ability to work vertically, horizontally and diagonally.
Fosters a network of collaborators.
Ability to factor in one’s own work style while working with others.
Is able to inspire and manage knowledge workers.
Building effective teams:
Is effective in a cross cultural and multi functional environment.
Enables and empowers others by creating context and an environment of shared ownership of vision.
Displays ability to zoom in and out at need.
Grows and develops others.
Stimulates and supports a learning culture.
Reviews organizational capability and fosters talent.
Build future capability.
Handles demands of operational conflict and complex systems.
Is able to optimize stretch with work life balance and human element at the work place.
Uses motivational techniques to deliver enhanced performance.
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