Leadership Theories Relevant In Contemporary Organisations Management Essay


Leadership theories talk about different methods or ways that a leader follows to complete a given task with a group of people (followers or subordinates). These theories also talk about leader’s behavior, character, knowledge, and the environment the team is working in. as it is the leader’s task to complete the given work in given time and environment. Different theories talk about different leadership styles or methods a leader can choose to follow to complete the given task.

Leadership theories relevant in contemporary organisations:

Leaders play a vital role in determining the organizations effectiveness. Effective leaders are critical to the effectiveness of the contemporary organizations. Whether leadership can be taught, or even how effective it might are the question to answer (Collinson and Keith in year 2005). Leadership is not just a single man process, but it is a shared process (Hunt and Murrel 1997, 2004), leaders can become followers and followers can become leaders depending on the process, situation and the task. In simple terms, leadership is a process in which an individual or a group influences others to accomplish a specific task providing the necessary directions to the organization to become more effective. With growing technology and globalization, organizations are competing with each other like never before. As a result, how well and organization can use its resources plays a very important role. Some also argue that the effects of a leader on an organization are less when comparing with political, economical and environmental forces (Lieberson and O’Connor, 1972; Pfeffer, 1977), natural disaster in Japan recently is a perfect example of this.

Situational Leadership Theory

The situational leadership theory which is first introduced as “life cycle theory” was developed b Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard says, the effective leadership varies not only with the person or group but many other factors influencing the organization like environment, politics, economics, etc, which can affect the workflow of the organization. So, the most successful leaders are those who can adapt their leadership styles according to the situation and to the maturity of the individual or group they are attempting to lead or influence.

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Maturity can be seen as

1. The ability or capacity to set high but achievable goals. 2. Responsibility and commitment to complete the task. 3.Relevant education and experience with respect to task.

There are two fundamental concepts in Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership theory.

Leadership styles.

Individual’s or group’s maturity level. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situational_leadership_theory)

Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership theory talks about four different leadership styles and four different maturity levels of the individual or group. How different leadership styles can help different maturity levels is what the theory is about.

M1/S1: If the individual or group is not matured enough, leader should constantly tell them and direct them towards the goal. M2/S2: If the maturity level is medium and skills are limited, leader should coach them and direct them towards the goal, not constantly. M3/S3: If the maturity level is medium and the skill level is high, leader should participate with the group or individual and support them to achieve the goal. M4/S4: If the individual or the group is highly matured, leader involves him/her self in the process to check the development or the progress of the task. (http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_44.htm).

Some of the factors that will affect the leader’s decisions are:

Capacity and the influence of the leader.

Capacity and motivation of the subordinates or followers.

Relation between leader and team.

How serious is the situation or amount of the pressure on the leader and the team.

What are the resources available for the leader and the team?

As a leader plays a major in any organisation, it is important to have necessary information and knowledge about the planning and should have a clear vision. So, he or she can help the team or subordinates to have clear vision and together they can archive the common goal. There are many strategies a leader can approach (like task oriented or people oriented etc). However the approach can change according to the situation. In many areas situation plays major role, so understanding the situation and supporting the team will help the leader and the team to reach the desired goal.

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Leaders should mainly know about:

Subordinates or follower’s motivation and capacity to work in various situations.

Do all the subordinates know or understand what they should do ( action plan or vision )?

How the work is organised.

Understanding between team members (it plays a major role in completing task).

What are the resources that are available?

Information about external groups that a leader can coordinate and take support form in unpredictable situations.

Hersey’s and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Theory illustrates the development of the team in four stages. The four stages are:

Forming: Forming a team. It is important for the leader to select a team with a group with enough information and knowledge which helps leader forming plans and take actions to complete the tasks.

Storming: leader should have a clear vision of what he or she is doing and should have a clear plan how to do it. Leader when has a clear vision he or she can help the team to form a clear vision which helps the team to reach their goal. Clarity is very important for the leader and the followers.

Norming: Understanding between the team members or followers is very important for the team leader, as it plays very important role for the leader’s life. If the team members have a good understanding it is easy for the leader to complete the task with less trouble in unwanted situations.

Performing: Leader with all the information and knowledge about the task and all the resources that organization has, to complete the task. Making a perfect business plan is just beginning but performing according to the plan is tough and not easy. With proper motivation and leader’s charm it is possible to complete the task.

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Disadvantages/Limitations of the Situational Leadership Theory

This model was unable to differentiate between management style and leadership style. What leadership is all about, is it making decisions or motivating and inspiring and helping followers / subordinates? Concentrates a lot on what leader does for him/her self and for the team and for the organization.


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