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DRU 501 Leadership

Published : 07-Oct,2021  |  Views : 10

Question:

Apply Drucker’s views and principles of leadership to a work environment.
 
Distinguish between the different styles of leadership.
 
Explain the factors that affect group dynamics.
 
Develop a SWOT analysis and prepare a strategic plan.
 
Discuss Drucker’s “management by objectives” (MBO) model, as it works under different leadership models; apply to student projects
 
Build a plan to develop others in a work environment
 
Build a plan to foster good communication, negotiating skills, and teamwork in a work environment. 
 
Explain the aspects of a learning organization, how it compares to “non-learning” organizations, and apply to oneself and how one manages errors in work and life.
 
Discuss the biggest mistakes leaders can make, why we make them, and apply them to ourselves.
 
Develop and present an organizational change project. 

Answer:

Fiedler’s Contingency Model

Leadership is important in organizations in securing the commitment of the employees so as to do the work needed to execute the plan charted by the organization in terms of strategic goals and aspirations. Managers who lead organizations are therefore required to secure the commitment of their subordinates to the objectives and strategy of the organization. Fiedler’s Contingency Model analyzed the relationship between organizational performance and leadership. Though well articulated and researched, it fails due to its subjectivity and narrow definitions of the parameters used.

Analysis of the Model

The model postulates that organizational performance is high when the leader has LPC (least preferred coworker) which is high, with the task being highly structured.   The leader-member relations should also be high with the leaders having high positional power within the organization. Organizational performance will be low when the reverse is true. The leader will exhibit low LPC and have low organizational power. The leaders will also have poor leader-member relations and oversee a task which is unstructured. The assumption is that the leader will either be a task or relationship oriented in their approach.

Position taken

The model postulated by Fiedler is well researched, concise with well defined parameters (Afsaneh, 2015).  However, I do not agree with his model according to the diagram. The parameters set out end up making it open ended and subjective. It ends up having no position and therefore indirectly stating that there is no “one best” approach to leading an organization. This divergent view can best be qualified by stating the deficiencies of the parameters set out within the context of the Least Preferred Coworker and the situational factors affecting the effectiveness of the leader.

Least Preferred Coworker

This parameter is subjective and does not factor in the attitude of the employees toward the leader in reciprocity. This parameter is open to bias and therefore to abuse and cannot be adequately used as a metric in measuring relationships (Calloway & Awadzi, 2008)The diagram assumes that the leader has scored the maximum points with regards in each item such as friendly/unfriendly. This is seldom the case in real life. It also assumes that the consideration of the situational factor will remain constant. This is a false assumption as the task structure and leader member relations may change.

Situational factors. The leader member relations consideration is weak within the context of this model. It assumes that if the leader is trusted and liked by the members of the group, they will willingly follow the leader and this will improve the effectiveness of the group (da Cruz, Nunes & Pinheiro, 2011).  The metrics used are absolute with no margin for an intermediate measure: it only postulates the extremes of Good and Bad. A better analysis should have provided for “good, fair, bad” in order to give more realistic results.  It can therefore be only applied in controlled settings for purposes of research.  

The task structure is also presented as being either “high or low”. Real life tasks at the workplace range from high, medium to low. This lack of making allowance of task structures which follow in between reduces the efficacy of the model. Another assumption is that the whole structure of the task is wholly high or low. Most often in many organizations, tasks incorporate elements of both: there are some parts which are have low structure but are ultimately linked with the highly structured portion (Musibau Akintunde, Cho, Ekanem Edem Udo, & Ojochide, 2016). This parameter is therefore limited in application in real life.

The position power is assumed to be in absolute terms within the organization. This would mean that the leader has assumed an autocratic style or transactional, leading with a model of rewards and punishment (Gandolfi & Stone, 2017). The real workplace environment seldom vests absolute power on one person and ensures that there are checks and balances (Singh, 2009).  It is also inconceivable that a leader could be powerless (low power) as in the laissez-faire style. This weakness in stating levels of leadership power reduces its application in real life at the workplace.

Leadership seeks the commitment of the subordinates to the organizational goals and objectives. Fiedler’s Contingency Model states that the effectiveness of the leader is affected by the traits they adapt in leading. This is coupled with situational factors and together they affect the performance of the organization. The shortcomings of this model are in the subjectivity of the parameters it postulates. It is also narrow in its definitions of “Low, High, Good and Bad.” This reduces its application in real life situations and works best in controlled situations.

References

Afsaneh, N. (2015). The Art and Science of Leadership. Boston: Pearson.

Calloway, J. A., & Awadzi, W. (2008). LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATIONAL SUCCESS: AN EXAMINATION OF THE TRAIT, SKILLS, AND TRANSFORMATIONAL APPROACHES. Consortium Journal of Hospitality & Tourism, 13(1), 13-23.

da Cruz, M. P., Nunes, A. S., & Pinheiro, P. G. (2011). Fiedler's Contingency Theory: Practical Application of the Least Preferred Coworker (LPC) Scale. IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior, 10(4), 7-26.

Gandolfi, F., & Stone, S. (2017). The Emergence of Leadership Styles: A Clarified Categorization. Review of International Comparative Management / Revista De Management Comparat International, 18(1), 18-30.

Musibau Akintunde, A., Cho, N. M., Ekanem Edem Udo, U., & Ojochide F. P. (2016). HOW ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AIDS BUSINESS PERFORMANCE. CLEAR International Journal Of Research In Commerce & Management, 7(8), 64-68.

Singh, A. (2009). Organizational Power in Perspective. Leadership & Management in Engineering, 9(4), 165-176. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)LM.1943-5630.0000018

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