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Leadership Theories Essay

There are many leadership theories that have oriented and contributed for the leaders in management. One of them is the “Situational Approach” theory, which was found by Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard (1979). In this task, we will evaluate the usefulness of the leadership styles mentioned in the theory, then compare and contrast with some of the other styles. 1. Evaluate Four leadership styles include: Directing, Coaching, Supporting and Delegating.

According to Seth Godin (2012, Situational Leadership by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey), when Style 1 (Directing) said that leaders closely supervise followers and give the recommendation and decisions themselves; Style 2 (Coaching) showed that the leaders still take responsibility in supporting and making decision but there is more two-way communication between them and the employees.

Supporting Style (S3) indicated that the followers now do not need too much motivations and support and they can equally make decisions with the leaders, whereas for Delegating Style, the followers control and fully take responsibilities of their work without the leaders’ help. From our perspective, these leadership styles are very helpful for the managers. They are easy to follow and help the manager to figure out which one is mostly appropriate to apply for their employees in every specific situation.

For example, Directing Style is applied for “people who lack competence but are enthusiastic and committed” (Godin, 2012) while Delegating Style is suitable for employees who are highly-skilled and also, can independently do their jobs without others’ support. By selecting correct leadership styles for each worker, the managers may easily divide them into every working development level and give them their best suitable jobs. Once the employees are able to do their appropriate work, they can give their best performance and improve their own abilities more.

2. Compare and contrast with some of the other style The theory of Hersey and Blanchard (1969) concentrate on leadership in situation and followers. It is said that the manager evaluates the competence and commitment of his subordinates to choose the best management style. For example, in a handicraft company, a superior usually focus on his employees to rate them by two criteria: capacity and commitment. Then, he finds the suitable style to direct and support them in work. He doesn’t pay attention to the desired outcome when he applies this theory in his leadership.

Therefore, the theory has a drawback when it does not concern to the task/production. Meanwhile, Blake and Mouton’s managerial Grid(1964) talks about the relationship between task and people. This theory said that when a manager has a high rate in both “concern for people” and “concern for production”, the organization will achieve a high performance (BPP, p. 177). Apparently, it is useful to appraise the manager’s performance but did not point out how the manager direct or support his workers.

On the other hand, the leadership styles of Goleman (2000) seems to have the most comprehensive overview and covers most of factors which have influence on leadership: leaders, contingent, followers and desired outcome. It has 6 distinctive styles applied in each specific situation with specific types of employees and detail desired outcomes. The newest style can be the best choice to put into the reality and help leader improve not only the organization’s performance but his performance as well.

When the organization creates a change, there are some people who agree or disagree with the change. In the respect of people disagreeing, six solutions were made by Kotter and Schlesinger in 1979 in order to help the leaders to persuade the staffs disagreeing. In the scope of the assignment, we will mention three techniques: education and commitment, facilitation and support, participation and involvement. To begin with education and commitment, the leader will announce the change to the staffs before operation and explain the employees to understand the benefit of the change. The solution is used when the workers misunderstand information or their information is imprecise.

For example, if the company has a plan moving worker A from Marketing department to Administration department, they will give the advantage of the moving such as an easier work or higher bonus and convince the staff A before giving the announcement. This will bring the pleasure to help the staffs accept the change but the leader will lose time to explain with the workers Moreover, facilitation and support is known that the manager will assist the people suffering the adversity of change about the feeling and matter. The technique is referred when there are too many complaints from the workers about the change.

For instance, when the company moves the place from the center of the city to the suburb, the workers will complain about the long road they must go to work and they will spend too much time to go to work. In the situation, the manager will support the transportation or increase salaries for the workers. Although the company lose the expenditure, they will keep the satisfied of staffs and create the comfort for the employees in order that the workers will accept the change and concentrate on working better. On the other hand, “participation and involvement” gives people chance to help design and execute the changes.

The advantages are that it can add information to change planning and builds commitment to change. However, if a company do not make right plan to overcoming resistance, they will take risk with their employees. If someone has important information and/or power to resist, the organization have to make a clearly strategy so that they can select the right person who they need. If they got mistake in their plan, the wrong person will get the wrong participation and it will give nothing to the company and make that person feel uncomfortable. They will be disappointed and depressed; lead to it is their performance will down.


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