Although control is recognised to be an important construct, it isn't an idea that holds one single definition. What command happens to be, or how to define it correctly is still seen as a puzzle by many. Management is something that may differ depending on people involved, the problem at hand, and the goals being pursued, and is therefore available to subjective interpretation. Stogdill (1974: 259) figured there are 'almost as much definitions of management as there are persons who have attempted to define the idea'. Maybe it's argued that everyone has their own knowledge of what constitutes authority, predicated on personal and learning experiences, and situations and people, which is exactly why it is difficult to capture in a succinct definition. Grint (2004) narrows down the key reasons as to the reasons it is so difficult to find a single and agreed understanding of command: process problems, position problems, beliefs problems, and purity problems. These problems make reference to whether leadership is derived from traits or a sociable process, whether a leader is automatically in control with officially allocated expert, and the questions as to whether a leader has intentional impact on the behaviour of followers, and it is leadership embodied in individuals or categories and could it be a purely human being phenomenon.
This essay looks for to explore what authority means to me, pulling on personal connection with authority as a communal phenomenon, and discussing my views from the point of view of both a leader and follower. To make sense of my understanding of leadership, a crucial review and commentary on management theory is roofed in the dialogue.
2. Personal Experience of Leadership Inside the Workplace
For days gone by five years I have had a part time job at Marks and Spencer, and therefore come across various kinds of leaders and professionals. The question often asked is whether a supervisor can automatically be assumed to also be a innovator? Zalenznik (1977) was one of the first ever to contrast command and management as he argued that a leader uses creative imagination and intuition, whereas a manager solves problems using rationality and control. Since that time, many academics have arranged and argued that 'good management brings about a amount of order and persistence to organisational techniques and goals, whilst authority is required for active change' (Kotter 1990: 104 cited in Bolden 2004: 6). Within an company such as Grades and Spencer then, it is vital that they have both good management, who offer stability, regularity, order and efficiency, and good market leaders who produce important change by keeping employees concentrated and motivated to achieve the vision communicated. In my workplace, I'd say we've good 'managers' based on the above mentioned assumptions, however, I would not say that each supervisor is also a good innovator. Because of this I agree with Kotter and Zalenznik, management and management differ from one another significantly.
In the work area context I am a follower, therefore from this perspective I have seen what I would consider to be good authority, and poor leadership styles. The writers who have centered on followers suggest that they are lively participants in the management marriage (Boccialetti, 1995; Chaleff, 1995; Kelley, 1992; Shamir, Pillai, Bligh, & Uhl-Bien, 2007). The socially constructed view recognizes leadership as being 'in the eye of the beholder' where it's the followers who have to acknowledge what constitutes authority, and who they are prepared to follow. If the followers, and in my personal situation fellow employees, do not value the first choice, it is improbable they will follow at all. Unless supporters recognise and orient to particular behaviours, that they regard to be 'authority', then the person seeking to lead is not a head whatever their motives.
There is therefore no chance for a person to lead unless people are ready to follow. There were many instances at the job when one particular manager has tried to lead change in the store, however because she actually is not well respected, and in my opinion will not come across to be a natural leader, often her eyesight gets overlooked until another administrator provides instructions for personnel about the same vision. This administrator is seen by employees as having the role of simply instilling self-discipline, completing administrative tasks, and organising the shop floor, somewhat than connecting visions for change. Furthermore, although I believe the assignments of professionals and leaders are extremely different, in my job there are no obvious 'leaders' who are not managers in my store. The management team automatically take on the role of management, whether or not they may be a good innovator or not. As it is therefore management who try to provide the visions and programs for change, and employees like myself have no responsibility or say in the directions they wish to take. Uhl-Bien and Pillai (2007) claim that followers who perceive the first choice as responsible for making decisions are less inclined to take a dynamic role in the decision making process, and so, they give up autonomy. Many of my fellow employees, who often do not benefit from the job, also expect the leader, in this situation our director, to encourage them alternatively than motivating themselves. The professionals recognise this and often offer incentives, such as a bottle of wine, if we achieve certain targets. This could therefore be considered to be transactional command.
A typical way of talking about authority styles within the company is making use of McGregor's (1969) theory X and theory Y. McGregor assumes an organisation and its leaders can have differing thoughts on the inspiration and abilities of their workers. My line manager presumes that her staff dislikes working and requires a negative view of individuals nature, thinking we will avoid carrying out work if possible. This is evident, as she'll often divided employees up on the shop floor to prevent them from 'chatting', and she constantly checks up on her personnel to ensure these are doing what she's asked these to do. Her activities and control style concur with what McGregor identifies as theory X market leaders. My manager feels that coercion and control is necessary to ensure that individuals work, and she never offers employees like myself any extra duties. This style is generally known as the autocratic style.
Although my director is assumed to be the first choice at work, I'd argue that she is not a good leader, and there were times when I've had better guidance from a fellow colleague. My supervisor has a coercive style matching to Goleman's six management styles. She needs immediate compliance, often provides negative and corrective opinions and controls firmly. This style does not motivate employees to see her visions or follow her business lead, instead they have often flipped employees against her and people have refused to do certain jobs because of her management style.
3. Myself as a Innovator - Badminton Coach and Captain
From a age I have already been told i am an all natural head, possibly because I am bossy and like to get things done! Since I remember I've acquired certain personality traits, that i consider to be those of leaders: I am assured, ambitious, dominant, and so in a natural way take the business lead in most situations. Predicated on what I've learnt from market leaders I have come across, when leading my badminton team I retain in mind what styles I really believe will be most successful.
I consider myself to be a transformational innovator (Bass and Avolio 1994) when in the role of badminton captain. As the leader I believe it's important for me to truly have a clear vision, & most importantly, have the ability to converse it effectively to the complete team. Unlike the original transactional theory of leadership, which emphasizes corrective action, centralised control and rewards only once performance prospects are attained, transformational leaders trust their subordinates and it is a more developmental and constructive form of management. In a athletics team context additionally it is important for me to articulate our team's goals, which should be natural and achievable. For instance, before coming into a tournament I'll point out where I expect us to finish, and that the vision is to gain a gold medal. In order to achieve this goal I also have to inspire the team, and make sure they put the team and tournament at the top of their concern list, above another self-interests in those days. Additionally I must get the associates to comprehend how their design of play affects others, therefore motivating them to see their game from others perspectives. And lastly I have to develop the team in many ways, both physically to get ready them for a huge tournament, and mentally so they reach their highest degrees of ability. It might therefore be argued, that as a innovator I follow what Bass and Avolio (1990) call the 'four I's': Idealised Influence, Inspirational Motivation, Intellectual Activation, and Individualised Account.
As a person I've previously been told i am very charismatic. I think this also shows in my control style and I believe I am also a charismatic leader. Northouse (2004) explained the major characteristics as: dominating personally with the desire to impact others, strong role model behavior and competence, articulation of ideological goals with moral overtones, and high expectation of followers and confidence that they will meet these expectations.
Although I believe I have the personality traits required to become a innovator, I am aware that there were occasions when my control styles have been unsuccessful, as I have become impatient or intolerant of the supporters. From these experiences I believe I've learnt a lot and therefore also see the value of situational leadership and having the ability to alter the control styles I adopt.
4. Could Parents be looked at to be Leaders?
When considering market leaders and authority, and what this means if you ask me, I thought about what my first connection with leadership ever before was. Although control in an company is the key emphasis of the component and course, it cannot go dismissed that my parents were the first influential leaders in my own life. My parents have been very influential leaders in my life. As taking care of directors of their own company, they have got always enjoyed the role of managers, however in our home their authority style varied compared to that of in their work place, and also to the styles of one another. My parents have 'led me in the right route'. Unlike the original theories of command such as The Great Man Theory I would argue that my mum is the most powerful leader in our home. It's been argued that women are more likely to use transformational command (Rosener 1990), and since the follower, this is the style I find motivational, inspirational and therefore successful. She uses more interactive command styles compared to my dad as she induces participation, ability and information writing and enhanced self worth.
Although the authority varieties of parents are probably very different to the people of leaders within an organisation, my parents and their styles have had a massive impact on my understanding of management and on my whole life! They have led me to where I am today. I have already been extremely blessed to be able to experience their management styles whilst jogging their company, therefore in a organisation. In this situation they both use different ways of leading than they actually at home, thus supporting Hersey and Blanchard's (1969) theory that leaders could modify their styles to match the problem. Situational or contingent authority models recognise this, and support the discussion that what constitutes effective management will be inspired by the situational factors including the people involved, the task to be completed, and the organisational culture. Hence, it is essential that leaders hire a variety of strategies across a variety of situations.
From making the effort to consider what leadership means to me, it offers only are more apparent about how exactly complex the idea of leadership happens to be. I really believe 'authority' is different to differing people. Whom I consider to be a highly effective leader, others may not, and what I consider to be qualities that create an effective leader, others might not. Leadership to me is something that comes obviously, however in different situations, there has to be different forms of leadership for your supporters to 'follow'. Although there were many studies on command, and many theories produced, I trust Burns' assertion that 'control is one of the very most recognized and least understood phenomena on earth'. (Burns, 1978: 3)
5. 1 My theoretical knowledge of leadership
I have found it difficult to truly understand and identify my theoretical position of leadership. Generally speaking, it is assumed that a person either believes that command is a consequence of a couple of characteristics or characteristics possessed by leaders, or that management is a cultural process that emerges which is discovered throughout life and from group human relationships. I, on the other hands, believe there is real truth in both techniques. I would claim that some individuals are simply given birth to leaders due to their dispositions and personalities, however they also have to learn and understand how to use these features to become a successful head, hence leadership capability must be partly learned. I have this opinion because of my experiences. I often become the leader in group job situations, at university or college for example, and even though I understand it often comes effortlessly to me, I have had to learn how to use my leadership characteristic effectively in order to succeed and lead the supporters. I agree with Gallie's assertion that 'Management is apparently, like ability, an essentially contested concept' (Gallie 1995 cited in Grint 2004: 1). Furthermore, I've the same thoughts and opinions of the situational command approach credited to personal encounters with leaders, so when a leader myself. Zaccaro (2007), Sternberg (2007), and Vroom and Jago (2007) argue that neither characteristic nor situational attributes alone are sufficient to make clear leader behaviour and effectiveness. It is the interaction between features and situations that matters.
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