There are many leadership styles which can be adopted by organisations in order to achieve their objectives. Each of these is suited to particular situations and will have ‘pros and cons’, so no particular style can be defined as the best to use at all times.
In this assignment I will be discussing the prevailing leadership style within the Information Management and Technology (IM&T) Group within the NHS Greater Manchester Shared Service (GMSS).
IM&T has roughly 180 staff, jointly led by:
• Ann Halpin, Head of IT Technical Support (To whom I report)
• Martin Sheridan, Head of IT Delivery & Development
I took up the position of IT Engineering Manager in February 2018, after having been promoted from Engineer Team Leader. I manage 9 Senior IT Engineers and 3 Engineer Team Leaders (who in turn each manage 7 IT Engineers).
Previously, my position was occupied by David Walsh, now Service Delivery Manager. Hence, for the purpose of this exercise, I have chosen to discuss his leadership style, as this will have left an impact on the staff I now manage.
THEORETICAL MODELS FOR THIS REVIEW
I will be using the following two theoretical models to review the leadership styles:
1. Transactional/Transformational – Burns (1978) focusses on moving from transactional relationships to empowerment. Holds a common belief that leaders can transform performance by appealing to the values of the followers.
• Transactional leaders typically have legitimate authority in a management hierarchy. The emphasis is on achievement of task, objectives, rewards and punishment. It is based on a relationship of mutual dependence and an exchange process.
• Transformational leaders encourage high levels of commitment and motivation amongst team members. Their emphasis is on creating vision and appealing to the values of the followers.
They promote loyalty and trust in the business and aim to transform business performance. Also, they generate high levels of awareness and purpose of the business; they encourage staff to transcend their own needs to the sake of the business, activating higher-level needs.
There are four key components to Transformational Leadership, as cited by Bernard Bass and Ronald Riggio (2006):
i. Idealised Influence (II) – Serves as a role model
ii. Inspirational Motivation (IM) – The ability to inspire and motivate
iii. Individualised Consideration (IC) – The demonstration of genuine concern for the needs of their followers
iv. Intellectual Stimulation (IS) – Encourages innovation and creativity
Some view transformational leaders as being ‘too soft’, but in reality they constantly challenge followers to achieve higher levels of performance. Research evidence has shown that groups led by transformational leaders often have higher levels of performance and satisfaction than those led by other types of leaders.
2. Visionary/Charismatic – Max Weber (1947) is based on the personal levels of power and influence the leader exercises.
Charismatic leaders sell a vision of themselves that followers want to accept. They gain followers because of their personalities. For visionary leaders they use the vision of the way things could be.
• Charismatic leadership involves the use of power and influence.
Charisma is defined in the Collins English Dictionary (2012) as “a special personal quality or power of an individual making him capable of influencing or inspiring large numbers of people”.
Power and Influence
Power is a resource that you have at your disposal. It can be a tangible resource – such as money, information, physique. Otherwise it could be intangible – such as belief other people have in your expertise.
Influence is the observable (though not always recognised) outcome of using power. It is visible evidence that you have a strong enough power-base relative to the other people you are dealing with.
Having some kind of power-base is why people comply (are influenced) by you. It relates to their perception of how powerful you are, but it is important to remember that the power-base they give you may be different from the one you think you may have.
The power-bases. A study conducted by psychologists, John French and Bertram Raven (1959) identified five bases of power:
• Legitimate – authority to make demands and expect compliance.
• Reward – ability to compensate another for compliance.
• Expert – superior knowledge or skill
• Referent – perceived attractiveness, worthiness and right to respect from others
• Coercive – can penalise others for non-compliance
If you are aware of these sources of power you can:
o Better understand why you’re influenced by someone, and decide whether you want to accept the base of power being used.
o Recognise your own sources of power
o Build your leadership skills by using and developing your own sources of power, appropriately and for best effect.
The most effective leaders use mainly referent and expert power.
Your ability to influence others relates to their perception of your power-base.
Dr. David Kipnis (1982) identified eight generic influencing strategies by asking employees how they manage their manager(s), colleagues and subordinates.
• Rational persuasion – Use of logical argument and factual evidence
• Inspirational Appeal – Appeal to values, ideals or aspirations to generate enthusiasm
• Consultation – Seek participation in planning a strategy, activity or change
• Ingratiation – Attempt to create a favourable mood before making a request
• Exchange – Offer an exchange of favours, share of benefits or promise to reciprocate at a later time
• Personal appeal – Appeal to feelings of loyalty and friendship
• Legitimating – Seek to establish legitimacy of a request by claiming authority or by verifying consistency with policies, practices or traditions
• Pressure – Use demands, threats or persistent reminders
• Visionary Leadership brings together the concepts of a range of other leadership theories.
It focusses on the following aspects of leadership:
o Leadership Behaviours
o Leadership Characteristics
o Culture Building
Some of the most successful leaders are those that have combined visionary and charismatic leadership. They are often creative thinkers that desire to benefit their society in some way. One well-known example is that of the late CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs. He was famed for creating the vision for Apple products, then using his charisma to sell the vision.
The problem that visionary leaders face is that having a vision is often not enough. A leader has to encourage people to accept the vision in order to make it a reality.
The key features of charismatic visionaries are:
• Having a clear vision of where they want to go and how they are going to get there
• Having the ability to articulate their vision to others
• Promoting innovation and creativity
• Having the confidence to take calculated risks
• Understanding the emotional needs of others
• Adapting approach to meet the needs of the masses
• Possessing a high level of emotional intelligence
However, there are several factors which prevent leaders from exercising the kind of visionary leadership described.
o Lack of time – team members need time to attend meetings, read materials and maintain contact with each other between meetings.
o Avoidance of risk taking – In order to be innovative and creative in its decision-making, leadership teams must be willing to take chances, to try new things, to take risks. Visionary leaders should strike a balance between taking chances and maintaining the traditional management role.
o Micro-Management – Leadership teams must not waste time discussing trivial matters whilst neglecting major agenda items. It is critical that a leadership team focusses its attention on items of critical importance to the organisation.
o Holding on to the old ways – Organisations can hold only a small number of rules and operations at any time so they must have the ability to shed old rules and make room for the new. Shedding becomes more complicate in systems involving human beings, because their sense of self-worth is often attached to many old rules.
o Lack of Clarity regarding staff roles and relationships – can result in leadership teams that don’t exercise visionary leadership because they don’t think it’s their job.
o Not had to be visionary before – Clients, Members and consumers may have walked into the door alone. Viewing things this way leaders didn’t consider market pressures, or a competitive marketplace. This has all changed and leadership teams now need to keep pace with this new awareness.
Leadership has been identified as a major feature of highly effective teams. Leaders will often subconsciously pursue the path that they believe to be the most important, but can fail to recognise the effect their behaviour has on others. Leadership styles and behaviour have a great impact on others and can dramatically affect in individual’s engagement, motivation and overall output.
Although many approaches to leadership have been discussed, it is clear that no one style of leadership will suit all occasions. Nonetheless, there are some basic guidelines that can be adhered to.
REVIEW AND EVIDENCE
I have used a simple survey for staff who report to each of the leaders listed in the Introduction to establish whether they are seen as having a Transactional or Transformational leadership style. I have based my questions on the table shown on P359 of Transformational vs. transactional leadership theories by Odumeru & Ifeanyi (2013)
The output came by ‘scoring’ each attribute 1 – 5 to arrive at an average score to provide a balanced perception of the styles.
Survey for Ann Halpin
Nick Burke Andrew Parkes Alan Chan Rash Murphy Sanjeev Jairath
IT Engineering Manager Change Manager Directory Services Manager Service Delivery Manager Service Delivery Manager
1=Leadership is responsive 5=Leadership is proactive 4 3 4 5 4 4.0
1=Works within the organisational culture 5=Works to change the organisational culture by implementing new ideas 3 5 3 4 4 3.8
1=Employees achieve objectives through rewards and punishments set by leader 5=Employees achieve objectives through higher ideals and moral values 3 2 2 4 4 3.0
1=Motivates followers by appealing to their own self interest 5=Motivates followers by encouraging them to put group interests first 3 4 2 5 4 3.6
1=Management-by-exception: maintain the status quo; stress correct actions to improve performance. 5=Individualised consideration: Each behaviour is directed to each individual to express consideration and support. Intellectual stimulation: Promote creative and innovative ideas to solve problems. 2 2 3 5 5 3.4
Apart from my own perception, I surveyed another four peers who report to Ann, and asked them to show whether they believe her management style to be Transactional or Transformational. This gives an overall average rating of 3.6.
Her approach includes communicating to staff largely via e-mail, but recognises that messages can be conveyed using other means to have more of an impact. An example of this is where our company values are matched with an item in the IT Code of Conduct which is used as a ‘Monthly Focus’ for everyone to consider. This is seen as Transformational as it does not specifically say that something in particular has to be done, more simply creating a mind-set which encourages loyalty, generating a high level of awareness of the purpose on the business. These are currently posted on the walls around our Salford offices…
*E-mails from Ann*
Survey for Martin Sheridan
Suzanne Russell Emma Walker Donna Haughton Claire Jameson Naz Hussain
Project Manager Project Manager Project Manager Project Manager Project Manager
1=Leadership is responsive 5=Leadership is proactive 1 5 4 2 5 3.4
1=Works within the organisational culture 5=Works to change the organisational culture by implementing new ideas 1 5 4 4 4 3.6
1=Employees achieve objectives through rewards and punishments set by leader 5=Employees achieve objectives through higher ideals and moral values 1 5 3 1 3 2.6
1=Motivates followers by appealing to their own self interest 5=Motivates followers by encouraging them to put group interests first 1 4 3 4 3 3.0
1=Management-by-exception: maintain the status quo; stress correct actions to improve performance. 5=Individualised consideration: Each behaviour is directed to each individual to express consideration and support. Intellectual stimulation: Promote creative and innovative ideas to solve problems. 1 4 4 3 5 3.4
I surveyed another five peers who report to Martin, and asked them to show whether they believe his management style to be Transactional or Transformational. This gives an overall average rating of 3.2.
*E-mails from Martin*
*Discussion with Emma or Claire needed*
I have used ‘The Visionary Leader – Leader Behaviour Questionnaire’ by Shashkin (1995) to measure the prevailing leaders within our organisation.
surveys, opinions, communications, and observations of how power and decision making authority are distributed etc.
Ann Halpin – LBQ survey – Leadership Behaviour 104; Leadership Characteristics 65; Culture Building 42; Visionary Leadership Total 211.
Martin Sheridan – LBQ survey – Leadership Behaviour 101; Leadership Characteristics 42; Culture Building 39; Visionary Leadership Total 182.
David Walsh – LBQ survey – Leadership Behaviour 101; Leadership Characteristics 42; Culture Building 39; Visionary Leadership Total 182.
Based on the review above, the prevailing leadership styles in the organisation are Transactional and Visionary.
Bass, M.B., Riggio, E.G. (2006) Transformational Leadership. 2nd Ed. Mahwah, NJ, USA. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Burns, J.M. (1978) Leadership. 1st Ed. New York, USA. Harper & Row Publishers.
Collins, W. (2012) Collins English Dictionary, Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition, Harper Collins Publishers.
French, J. R. P., Raven, B. (1959) The bases of social power. New York, USA. Harper & Row.
Kipnis, D., Schmidt, S.M. (1982) Volume 1 of Kipnis-Schmidt Profiles of Organizational Influence Strategies, David Kipnis. University Associates Publishers.
Odumeru, J., & Ogbonna, I. (2013). Transformational vs. transactional leadership theories: Evidence in literature, International Review of Management and Business Research, 2(2), 355-361. Retrieved from http://www.irmbrjournal.com/papers/1371451049.pdf
Shashkin, M. (1995) The Visionary Leader – Leader Behaviour Questionnaire. 1995 Ed. Amherst, MS, USA. HRD Press Inc.
Weber, M. (1947) The theory of social and economic organization. 1st American Edition. New York, USA. Oxford University Press.