Identification of Leadership Challenge and Appropriate Theory/Approach

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Identification of Leadership Challenge and Appropriate Theory/Approach

One of the major challenges that I anticipate to face in my future career as a leader is managing organizational change. According to Hage (1999), rapid changes are taking place in business across the globe. To survive, organizations have been forced to adapt appropriately. The author points out that it is the responsibility of leaders of any given entity to create a climate in which all stakeholders are ready to cope with a change. Both employees and managers must be set to face any change process to guarantee the continued existence of the organization. The readiness of various teams in an entity to embrace change, in particular, plays a critical role in determining the process success. This is because, though a leader may be effective in running a given organization, it is the entire stakeholders forming it that hold real transformation power. Consequently, the role of the manager is reduced to simply stimulating or supporting a change process. Employees have the power to embrace a change or reject it altogether.

I anticipate that the change process will pose different challenges for me as the manager than for my subordinates. The situation would require me to apply patience when handling any eminent resistance. Conflicts are likely to arise and would require being addressed quickly so that they do not disrupt the schedule. Additionally, I will be responsible for dealing with setbacks and build a focused team that exercises professional brilliance, critically thinking, and that remains dedicated to their work. More importantly, a leader that faces this situation has to ensure that his workforce is motivated. The best leadership-style that would result in great success would be transformational leadership. Here, I would emphasize on the creation of involvement during the change process. Moreover, this approach would help me to encourage my subordinates to put in the extra effort through commitment and trust. This way, I would keep them inspired and motivated.

Analysis of the Rest of Leadership Theories/Approaches With Respect to the Current Challenge-identification of Leadership Challenge and Appropriate Theory/Approach

The 21st century has been characterized by highly competitive and unstable economy that necessitates change process for organizations to continue to exist. According to Bennis (1989), leaders must apply appropriate leadership theories and approaches to adequately meet the present challenge. Bass (1990) points out that the uncertainties and rapid changes that organizations across the globe are currently facing require determined leaders that have the ability to inspire their subordinates to willingly take part in various team-efforts. Additionally, such a leader must build a shared responsibility that would encourage his employees to achieve the goals set by the organization. When analyzing leadership –styles in relation to motivating employees during organizational change, the best approaches or theories to use are those that consider the leader’s role with respect to his subordinates. Transformational leadership would, therefore, prove to be the most appropriate approach. Consequently, seven leadership theories and approaches have not been selected. They are the trait approach, the behavioral approach, the situational approach, transactional leadership, authentic leadership, servant leadership, and the psychodynamic approach. These theories and approaches would prove problematic and therefore inappropriate in achieving employee motivation during organizational change.

Though the trait approach adequately defines effective leadership that suits a given situation, they fail to explain how effective leadership can be developed during a process change.  According to Derue, Nahrgang, Wellman, and Humphrey (2011), theories relating to this approach were developed with the aim of establishing core traits among leaders that achieve organizational success. The theory identifies several leadership traits that would prove useful during organizational change. They include adaptability, determination, cooperation, and self-confidence. However, it would not yield good results if used to manage process change since it tends to be leader-centric. Consequently, it fails to focus on both the situation and the followers. More importantly, it fails to identify how outcomes such as employee satisfaction and productivity are impacted by specific leadership traits.Identification of Leadership Challenge and Appropriate Theory/Approach

During the organizational change, a leader may be required to adapt his psychological make-up, behavior, or leadership style. Derue et al. (2011) note that leadership behaviors entail change-oriented and relational-oriented actions. The approach, therefore, translates leadership from trait to deeds. Consequently, it could prove easier to put into practice. However, the theory is not associated with any desirable work outcomes. Moreover, the failure of the model to address a leader’s psychological make-up, his behavior, style, and leadership methods makes it too risky to apply during a process change. Furthermore, enough information has not been gathered to explain how the theory can be utilized during the change process.

Situational leadership models required leaders to adopt appropriate leadership approach that adequately meets the situation they are facing. It is however found inappropriate because it could divert the focus of a leader from the organization’s long-term goals and strategies. This is because the approach focuses more on the maturity of subordinates and neglects more important factors such as providing direction, achievements made by employees, and availing the required support during process change. On the other hand, transactional leadership, which focuses on management process through activities such as short-term planning and controlling, is unsuitable for organizational change. According to Dion (2012), the model reflects utilitarian perspective. Leaders who use this approach aim at attaining their self-interest. The subordinates only serve to facilitate the leaders attain their own ends. Due to its less ethical nature compared to other leadership models, the theory will not be used.   Identification of Leadership Challenge and Appropriate Theory/Approach

The authentic leadership approach would prove inappropriate when solving the anticipated challenge since according to Nyberg and Sveningsson (2014), it is characterized by tensions that could have a negative impact on the stability and coherence of a leader. However, it could be useful to some extent since it demands that a leader be willing to learn all relevant new developments. In the present age, leaders of organizations face numerous demands and pressures, which could be met adequately if employees feel heard. Moreover, connections should be established at all levels in an organization.Identification of Leadership Challenge and Appropriate Theory/Approach

A Thakore (2013) points out that servant leadership model is built on the idea of a leader that embraces the duty to provide direct support or service to his subordinate. In a management setting, it may involve a leader delegating responsibility to a team and afterward providing support that may take different forms such as carrying out research and running errands. This style of leadership would prove challenging during organizational change due its timescale. It takes time and therefore becomes difficult to improve in large organizations that consists of long-established groups. Greenleaf also notes that the model is associated with lack of authority and could result in confusion (Greenleaf, 2002). These attributes would make it unsuitable to be used during a critical moment in which an organization is going through a process change. The psychodynamic approach would also not be used since it is not based on any particular theory or model. Additionally, it does not factor in the changing relationship between subordinates and their leader that characterizes today’s organizational environment.

Appropriateness of Transformational leadership During Organizational Change

Leaders perform a crucial function of steering process change. During this time, employees require being inspired and stimulated for an organization to achieve the set goals. During a period of organizational change, effective leaders have a responsibility to provide vision and direction to their subordinates. Additionally, a leader is responsible for developing a conducive organizational culture and promoting favorable values that would enable employees to display the established code of conduct during the process change. They are the ones tasked with conceptualizing and administering the best strategies that would enable an organization to achieve continuous improvement. Additionally, a leader motivates employees to improve their performance and facilitates changes in all functionalities within an organization.Identification of Leadership Challenge and Appropriate Theory/Approach

According to Eisenbach, Watson, and Pillai (1999), transformational leaders are highly effective in steering organizational change. Through their visions, they effectively motivate teams to accomplish excellent performance. They focus on building cohesive teams, which helps to build the commitment of employees to change (Herold et al., 2008). This way, they create an environment that facilitates teamwork among all their subordinates. Consequently, it becomes easier for the organization to improve its performance.

The effectiveness of transformational leadership is facilitated by its focus on employee empowerment, team building, alignment of the goals of an individual with those of the organization, and building of favorable culture. Consequently, employees become motivated to embrace a give process change. Additionally, this leadership styles requires leaders to involve all subordinates. It, therefore, facilitates the process of transforming their priorities and values and aligning them with those of the organization. According to Yukl (1994), a leader can use it to encourage his employees to improve their performance and surpass their expectations. The author notes that the leadership style influences worker to pay more attention to the impact of various task outcomes. In most cases, they are forced to go beyond their interests in an effort to ensure that their organization becomes successfully.

Applying Transformational leadership to Steer Organizational Change-identification of Leadership Challenge and Appropriate Theory/Approach

Transformational leadership involves four different scopes. They are personalized considerations, encouraging critical thinking, motivating, and achieving idealized influence (Green, 2014). As a transformational leader, I will strive to engage my employees’ emotional involvement with the aim of creating a sense of confidence, identification, and commitment to my mission. I will focus on creating exceptional effects on my subordinates and various social systems within the organization. Through this approach, my juniors will develop a great commitment to my mission. Moreover, they will be more willing to make momentous personal sacrifices for the sake of the organization. Additionally, they will be willing to perform beyond average expectations. With respect to idealized influence, I will focus on ensuring that the employees have respect for and pride in their leader. Additionally, I will serve as a trustworthy role model that can be emulated by his juniors. The motivation component of the transformational leadership approach would require me to articulate a vision and build optimisms and enthusiasm among all employees. I will promote critical thinking by encouraging my subordinate to critically analyze and question the proposed change process. Moreover, I will strive to understand the attitudes and desires of each of my juniors.

Whatever leadership approach or theory applied to steer organizational change, the focus must be directed towards building competence in a team. A leader should create conditions that facilitate learning. More importantly, they should create an organizational climate that would promote the development of individuals as well as the entity itself through building confidence. In addition, it is necessary to support collaboration in work through appreciation of achievements made by teams. Overall, leadership approaches that focus on providing support and building collaboration tend to be effective in facilitating organizational change.

 

References

Bass, B. M. (1990). From transactional to transformational leadership: Learning to share the vision. Organizational dynamics, 18(3), 19-31.

Bennis, W. G. (1989). Managing the dream: Leadership in the 21st century. Journal of organizational change management, 2(1), 6-10.

Derue, D. S., Nahrgang, J. D., Wellman, N. E. D., & Humphrey, S. E. (2011). Trait and behavioral theories of leadership: An integration and meta‐analytic test of their relative validity. Personnel psychology, 64(1), 7-52.

Dion, M. (2012). Are ethical theories relevant for ethical leadership?. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 33(1), 4-24.

Eisenbach, R., Watson, K., & Pillai, R. (1999). Transformational leadership in the context of organizational change. Journal of organizational change management, 12(2), 80-89.

Greenleaf, R. K. (2002). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. Paulist Press.

Green, M. T. (2014). Improving organizational effectiveness through transformational leadership. North Charleston, SC: CreativeSpace and Leadership Studies.

Hage, J. T. (1999). Organizational innovation and organizational change. Annual review of sociology, 25(1), 597-622.

Nyberg, D., & Sveningsson, S. (2014). Paradoxes of authentic leadership: Leader identity struggles. Leadership, 10(4), 437-455.

Herold, D. M., Fedor, D. B., Caldwell, S., & Liu, Y. (2008). The effects of transformational and change leadership on employees’ commitment to a change: A multilevel study. Journal of applied psychology, 93(2), 346.

Thakore, D. (2013). Servant leadership. International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, 7, 23-32.

Yukl, G. (1999). An evaluation of conceptual weaknesses in transformational and charismatic leadership theories. The leadership quarterly, 10(2), 285-305.