Initially I plan on reviewing the prevailing leadership styles in my organisation and then assessing the impact of these on the organisation’s values and performance. In order to assess the leadership styles I have produced a questionnaire (see appendix 1). The questionnaire was designed to find out how directive, participative and permissive each manager in our organisation is and then study the most prevailing style. It was evident from the information collated that the prevailing leadership style in our organisation is participative and directive rather than permissive.
On assessing this information it became apparent that our manager’s leadership styles reflect a Contingency theory and they rather be present and take part in services in order to ensure controlled success. Contingency theory is a class of behavioral theories that claim there is no best way to lead a company, or to make decisions. Instead, the best action is contingent (dependent) upon the situation. Several contingency approaches were developed in the1960s.
They suggested that previous theories such as Weber’s bureaucracy and Taylor’s Scientific Management had failed because they neglected that management style and organisational structure were influenced by various aspects of the environment: known as contingency factors. There could not be “one best way” for leadership or organisation. Historically, contingency theory has attempted to formulate broad views about formal structures that are typically associated with or best fit the use of different organisations.
This perspective originated with the work of Joan Woodward (1958), who argued that skills directly determine differences in such organisational attributes as a span of control, centralisation of authority, and the formalisation of rules and procedures. My Organisation Values and Performance The organisation that I work for delivers a range of high quality services and projects, these services follow the principles of empowering communities, developing lives, furthering equality, diversity and inclusion and strengthening local voluntary sector delivery.
These principles dictate the values in which we function. We are very much a voluntary sector, charitable organisation ensuring that at the heart of our services are the people that access them. Performance is measured through a set of service delivery indicators which form the base of our promises to funding bodies, staff, volunteers and customers in everything we do. These indicators are measured via our service development plan.
Each year we publish an Annual Report based on our Service Delivery Indicators, which measure our progress and informs the public of our work over the previous year in delivering against our priorities. (See Appendix 2 for our organisations SDI’s) Our organisation values and performance clearly highlight a need for the leadership to be open and receptive. This allows us to except feedback and input from our service users.
A directive and participatory leadership style is imposed by managers in our organisation for staff; however when dealing with service users we have to adopt a more directive style to ensure commination is clear and there is no room for bought. We have found in the past when we have given service users who are vulnerable and have mental health difficulties an opportunity to contribute to services they feel empowered, however they need time and guidance in order to make informed decisions.
Effectiveness of my Own Leadership Style On assessing my own leadership style I appeared to be more directive, in the middle when it came to participation, however I did not seem to be very permissive. The results did not surprise me and seemed to be consistent with my approach. I tend to direct staff by the use of many models including action plans which are produced in team meeting and each member of staff is allocated actions, timescales, budget and directions.
I am participatory when tasks are being carried out I ensure I understand the delivery method and observe when necessary. For example if we are promoting a new group I will ensure all promotion literature is checked by me prior to going out and visit the new group to view session delivery. I do not hide away form front line delivery and ensure I gage with staff, clients and volunteers therefore I understand the reason why on my leadership assessment I did not score highly on being permissive.
Therefore I feel my management style suits the organisation. However with the changing nature of our organisation leading towards a more business-like approach I may find I have to review my management style. I may need to become more permissive, less participatory and even more directive. This will ensure I can work more strategically to order to retain services and staff. Changing my approach may be difficult for my staff to accept, however explaining that their jobs may be at risks if I do not manage differently may put it all into perspective.
By applying a Contingency theory mentioned earlier I should be able to manage this effectively. I asked my staff to assess my leadership style using the questionnaire I produced and gave to fellow managers (Appendix 1). The results mirrored my self assessment, demonstrating that I understand my own leadership style well and that the staff have the same opinion. Apply Own Leadership Style in Range of Situations Over the last two weeks I have begun to assess my own leadership style in a variety of situations. These have mainly taken the form of meetings.
I have chaired a client/volunteer meeting and a full staff meeting. My leadership style tended to change in these situations. I became less formal with the client and volunteer meeting in order to project at their level of understanding. Less detail was presented and less decision making was required. The meeting was more informative and decisions had been made by the staff team prior to the meeting. Feedback and participation was welcomed however it was in a manner in which it could be controlled so as a staff team we could make informed decisions.
Courtney from Study Moose
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