Discussion Forum in Blackboard (available under the tool folder) The nature of each contribution can be found on the weekly discussion forum in Blackboard. As a guide, the contributions need to be based on thoughts that arise after completing the week’s reading, video materials, etc. The thoughts may be based on personal experiences in (a not to be named) organisation (past or current), or perhaps from a web-site, journal article or mass media item that is relevant to the week’s module topic.
Generate discussion about topics in modules to make material in the text come alive. Students who make comments, observations or remarks, about other students’ contributions (in an appropriately supportive way) will further enhance their marks in this task.
The trait theory of leadership involves a set of many traits and tries to identify a key attribute from amongst those that must be adopted to become a successful leader. The results of researches conducted on this style of leadership show that leaders are made out of challenging situations and tasks (Sadler, 2003).
In the behaviorist theory of leadership, theorists believed that leadership is a set of behaviors. They evaluated different leaders on the basis of their doings and actions and developed patterns that indicated different leadership styles. The theorists who researched on this style of leadership also believe that the behavior theory takes into account the impact of rewards and punishments on behavioral patterns (Sethuraman & Jayshree, 2014).
Organizations which strive to select and develop effective leaders should research and follow the ten theories of leadership styles and identify leaders in their organizations based on these. For example, in organizations that have many managers at each level or department, should apply the trait theory of leadership. Many large consultancy firms such as Ernst and Young of the UK do follow this theory of leadership (Sethuraman & Jayshree, 2014).
Amongst the UK’s top 50 companies to work for as per the website given are Baringa Partners, NetApp UK Ltd, Twinings and Ernst and Young LLP. The key to these organizations and their employee retention and motivation is to provide international standard training to their employees and equipping them with the latest skills. In these top-end companies of UK and Europe, the management is proud of their employee culture and are committed to offer more to them (UK’s Best Workplaces (2001-2011), 2017).
Moreover such reputed organizations such as Ernst and Young and British Gas claim that their clients recognize their effectiveness, relationship building and provision of decent workforce (Best Large Workplaces in Europe in 2017, 2017). Organizations such as these strive to make their employees satisfied and provide a world-class environment to them. They believe that by maintaining a healthy environment at the workplace, they would be able to extract better from their workforce (Sadler, 2003).
Organizations such as these like to invest in two key elements of their organizational culture that enhance the performance of roles of the workforce, which are:
Inclusiveness – Inclusiveness is the method of getting to know each employee and have their opinions heard. Each employee in the organization must be looked after for the long-term benefit of the company.
Development – It is in the benefit of the organization if every employee in such big and reputable organizations is provided with growth and development opportunities that would not only enhance their performance of roles but aid the organization as well (Adeniyi, 2007).
Recently I saw the blockbuster movie ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ from the award-winning Hollywood director Roland Emmerich. Needless to say how much I enjoyed the film and how much I appreciated the storyline and visual effects. I think the film was extremely well-crafted and the re-introduction of all characters from the prequel ‘Independence Day’ was superb to watch. The storyline was a continuation of the earlier film, but fast-forwarded twenty years ahead in a situation where Umbutu and former President of the United States Mr. Whitmore experience recurring visions of extra-terrestrial logograms after their respective encounter with aliens and Umbutu has to learn to read them.
When I asked my friend at my college whether he liked the same movie his reply was a plain - No. In his views, the movie was dull and boring. In my anticipation of the reasons of his dislike were related to factors such as variations in his and mine interests, beliefs and values, previous experience of watching sci-fi movies and family background. I don’t think that differences in age and gender were factors here since these are more or less the same. My friend is more of a political enthusiast and takes much interest in drama and non-fictional films. He even likes to see biographical remakes and narrative documentaries, which are themes beyond my taste.
According to Prof. Richard Hackman of Harvard University, there are certain factors that when applied successfully lead to effective teams. The main ones are the small size of teams and consistent membership to minimize types of coordination tasks which consume valuable time (McCleskey, 2014). I agree that the former element of successful teamwork is necessary but the latter one would not be necessary.
Other conditions which would be necessary to build effective teams would be keeping courageous and assertive leaders who are able to invoke authority when required. If I was leading a team of high-potential new hires working on an international marketing campaign I would take care of a few steps that would ensure the team does not face problems that Prof. Hackman has identified (McCleskey, 2014).
First and foremost, it would be highly essential to bring together and coordinate the diverse skills and capacities to solve the problem and secondly, to take the advice of the management in making the team an effective workforce. In my understanding of the above case, the individual accountability of all team members can be enhanced when the team members are brought together and made to work as a cohesive unit (Adeniyi, 2007).
If I was Samantha parks, the CEO of Sparks Inc., then I would try to delegate only the trivial tasks to my executives in the organization. However, it would be essential to delegate some ordinarily important tasks to the executives as well since managing all the tasks by myself, would not be possible, especially in the case of expansion.
The most effective way to delegate responsibility and at the same time maintain authority on the executives is by eliminating trivial tasks (Singh, 2015). In this way, executives would be able to better exercise control over the most important decision making and control aspects of their jobs.
Executives can and should control some major projects to enable the management in effective performance of objectives. It would be unethical on their part to keep hold of important decisions just to remain in a position of authority (Garcia, 2017). It is because the executives do not possess sufficient rights to take control of important decisions and should only focus on their primary tasks.
In an organization the top executives must never delegate tasks which are of high priority and urgency to any bottom level executive (Adeniyi, 2007).
Adeniyi, M, A, 2007. Effective leadership management: An integration of styles, skills & character for today’s CEO’s. AuthorHouse, Bloomington: USA.
Best Large Workplaces in Europe in 2017, 2017. Best Large Workplaces. Retrieved online from http://www.greatplacetowork.co.uk/best-workplaces/best-workplaces-in-europe/best-large-workplaces on 15 September 2017.
Garcia, Y., 2017. The Path Towards Public Service Motivation in the Federal Government: Satisfying Employees' Basic Psychological Needs (Doctoral dissertation, Northcentral University).
McCleskey, J, A, 2014. Situational, transformational, and transactional leadership and leadership development. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5(4), p.117.