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Theories of leadership and management Essay

There are a range of theories of leadership and management. Theories of leadership I looked at included the ‘Trait theory’ – this theory suggests that people are born with a range of traits (qualities or attributes), and that some of these traits are ideally suited to leadership. Individuals who make good leaders would have particular traits of being confident, organised, decisive, ambitious, dependable and trustworthy, intelligent, adaptable with good people skills. I believe we are all born with certain traits and are drawn to jobs and tasks that suit our personalities best. These are ideal traits for a leader to guide a staff team.

Behavioural theory – ‘This leadership theory focuses on the actions of leaders not on mental qualities or internal states’ (Cherry, 2011)

Based on the belief that good leaders are made not born and disputes trait theories of leadership. Behavioural theorists would argue that it is possible to identify specific behaviours and actions associated with successful leadership and that people can learn to become leaders through teaching and observation.

‘Participative’ theory suggests that the ideal leadership style is one that takes the input of others into account. This type of leader encourages participation and contribution from team members, making the team members feel more involved and therefore committed to the decision making process. The theory is that team members will also collaborate rather than compete, as they are working on jointly agreed goals. I have experienced members of my staff team jointly working on recent updates of care plans and it can still become competitive, over who has completed the most, first to complete or had the biggest input.

‘Contingency’ theory suggest that different situations lend themselves to a different style and that no particular style is best in all situations. Success will depend upon a number of factors including the leadership style, qualities of the team and aspects, or context of the situation. I would agree and relate with this theory to my own experience and adaptable leadership style when dealing with different staff and various situations in different environments.

‘Transformational’ theories stress that individuals and teams will follow a person who inspires them, by motivating and inspiring people by helping them see the importance of the task. This type of leader focuses on the performance of group members, but also wants each individual to fulfil their potential. Management theories tend to be more structured and defined. Frederick Taylor developed ‘scientific management theory’ at the beginning of the 20th century, and advocates the specification and measurement of all organisational tasks, which were standardised as much as possible. Some research showed that this approach appeared to work for organisations with assembly lines and other routine activities but it would not be appropriate approach in a residential care setting. A routinised approach is identified as one of the elements that can lead to institutional abuse.

The ‘administrative theory’ focuses on the functions of the manager. Henri Fayol (1916) identified five core elements of management as to control, to organise, to forecast and plan, to command and to co-ordinate.

‘Bureaucratic management’ theory – German sociologist Max Webber argues that bureaucracy constitutes the most efficient and rational way in which one can organise human activity, that systematic processes and organised hierarchies were necessary to maintain order, maximise efficiency and eliminate favouritism. The key elements Weber defined are: A well-defined hierarchy with a clear chain of command, where higher positions hold the authority to control the lower positions The division of labour and specialisation of skills – each employee has the expertise and authority to complete a specific task A comprehensive set of rules and regulations

Relationships between managers and employees that are distant and impersonal  ‘Human relations’ theory focuses on the human and behavioural aspects of organisations, which are seen as helping particularly to understand areas such as motivation of staff.

‘Systems’ theory is more modern (1940’s onwards). It sees an organisation as being made up of different sub-systems and recognises the different dynamics of individual organisations, and the impact of internal and external changes of an organisation. The management is the process of understanding these dynamics and maintaining effective relationships between the sub-systems of the organisation.

‘Contingency’ theory does not specify a particular management style because different situations and issues will require different approaches and solutions. This theory emphasises that managers must be flexible and able to adapt to new situations.

Emotional intelligence is a crucial component of leadership, as argued by Goleman (1999). It is ‘the capacity for recognising our own feelings and those of others for motivating ourselves, for managing emotions well in ourselves as others’.

Five elements were identified:

Self-awareness – knowing one’s emotions, recognising a feeling as it happens as well as self confidence Self-management – the management of one’s emotions, handling feelings appropriately, being adaptable and optimistic Social awareness – empathy to others feelings, appreciation of the difference in how people feel and organisational awareness Relationship management – the ability to handle relationships including social skills, influencing and developing others, managing conflict Motivation – motivating oneself, controlling feelings and emotions and directing them into achievement of goals

Goleman (2006), developed the emotional model making links to Social Intelligence. He suggests that having the ability to understand other people and predict how they would react in situations makes it easier to manage people and incidents.

In my workplace, the managers undertook some training for social intelligence via the Myer Briggs model. It was very interesting and I liked the concept but requires focus to put into practice.

There is lack of in depth research supporting the concept of emotional intelligence, it is seen as useful by CIPD (2007), but anyone undertaking training in this area should be aware there are other different models of emotional intelligence and to be sceptical of some of the more inflated claims made for the products and techniques.

These theories of management and leadership can be applied in the work setting to fit and suit situations, the environment and the personality of the team member involved. I believe one management or leadership style is not effective in dealing with the range of issues and environments in social care, being a people persons role requires tact, discipline, empathy, authority, patience, understanding and firm but fair approach. To get the best out of people and develop the staff team (human relations/transformational theories), and not create more issues or hostile environments, managers and leaders need to adopt different styles and approaches.

The theories discussed above demonstrate the range and varied approaches. Different personalities of the staff team will affect the way I, as a manager will approach an issue. Some staff need more encouragement and confidence building and others require a rather firm strict approach but knowing both these types of staff are worth the time. I view myself attached to the leadership and management traits of contingency, participative, transformational and trait theories.

Situations where application of styles and skills are required are training, paperwork and staff meetings.

As a manager, we meet every month to discuss care matters that have arisen, any updates on training that are needed and any problems with the computer/admin system set up we use. The meetings make sure everyone’s working together and what is expected of the staff on the teams.

Completing paperwork correctly – every service user needs a care plan, these are discussed with their families and themselves. This documentation is required by the CQC during inspections. Care plans are reviewed monthly after discussions with the staff and individual keyworkers, this is more leadership style.

A team leader may use a laissez fare attitude to leading a well experienced team that is presented with familiar challenges. A team that consists of less experienced staff and is presented with a challenge that is not routine, they may well adopt a more autocratic style to ensure they can affect more control over the situation.

If working with an experienced team, a participative model would work well but if I was leading an inexperienced team over an issue, a more authoritarian style would be needed.

When I was planning and setting up a new service whilst co-ordinating the staff team and another existing service, an administrative theory of management needed to be applied.

The core values of the company I work for include respect, wellbeing, opportunity, communication and equality and inclusion. This forms a service that is transparent, that promotes independence that is well led, effective, safe, caring and responsive. To achieve these values, management and leadership models are influenced by the want and need to get the best out of the team and the approach to the situation. Developing a team to provide an effective safe service, transformational theories would be used. Participative style is effective when training a team to be responsive, in communication and equality and inclusion, engaging the team to be involved with the care planning of the clients they support. As a leader and manager wanting the respect and to inspire the team, transformational and democratic theories would be the influencing models.

In a cultural context, recording and form filling would require a bureaucratic approach, including communication – passing down information and ensuring staff follow policies and procedures. Developing staff, encouraging whistle blowing, allowing staff to voice ideas and opinions and being supportive in the work place all influence the application of the different leadership models.

The democratic management model is fair and approachable but staff can become complacent or upset if their ideas and opinions weren’t always considered.

Both roles are vital and complementary. The interdependencies and common areas between these roles are communication, decision making, being a role model, development, flexibility and focus, knowledge, professional competence, integrity and setting standards.

Communication is of great importance in my opinion. I am in touch regularly with my manager above me and my senior team I manage on a daily basis. I am expected to provide shout backs each week to my line manager to report all information relating to my service so they remain informed and in the loop. As a manager, I am aware of the company’s vision and know what is happening at every stage which I feed down to my team.

Managers and leaders depend on each other to communicate well, to allow them to sort issues as they arise and share information. Team meetings and professional development are key features involving communication. Leaders are dependent on the manager to pass information and keep them informed of what is necessary and expected, and the manager dependent on their leaders to guide the ideas and information forward via the team to create the service expected.

Decision making is linked with both managers and leaders needing to make decisions, dependent on each other to make the right decision. My manager will make a decision that will have a bigger impact on how we work and trust the leader in me to decide how to carry the managers decision forward and
who is best in the team to delegate the work to.

Both depend on each other’s character to be role models. Respect is built this way, both roles seeing how the other carries out their responsibilities, inspiring their teams and creating confidence and respect. Development between the roles relies on the manager being responsible for leading their teams to achieve the goal, involving staff undertaking continuous professional development and a leader will be forward thinking, implementing change. My manager directs me to what he expects development wise of the service and staff and I guide the team to implement and make the changes and improvements. The leader part of me helps the staff team develop and grow their skills and my manager side will set targets and be responsible for the outcomes.

To develop and keep moving forward providing a good, safe service, the manager and leader must both be flexible and focused on the tasks in hand. Communicating with my manager and senior team what is working and what is not, changes that are required to suit a service and new ideas provide a well led service without being stuck in a regimented environment. Myself as a manager and my own line manager expect and need to have their teams committed.

Knowledge is what we expect from each other in our roles as managers and leaders. Managers have a different knowledge set to a leader, will be better informed on policies and procedures, following rules and regulations and a leader will have a sound knowledge base as well but will think outside the box to develop new plans and ideas, be I think less structured.

Professional competence – important traits and abilities both a manager and leader share. Knowledge, skills, attitude, behaviour and values. These abilities inspire and give confidence to a team to believe in what is being asked of them and gain respect. Integrity is adhering to moral and ethical principles, moral character and honesty, which both managers and leaders should share.

Conflicts in the application of management and leadership models will always appear, even though the roles have similarities and they complement each other, they are quite different. Managers are more task oriented, follow policies and procedures to make sure outcomes are achieved – they are involved with the planning and coordinating of a team.

Leaders are more people focused, making sure the team understands what their role is within achieving all outcomes. They provide motivation and drive for someone to achieve success.

A manager will apply their authority, be direct and commanding and may be seen as a bureaucracy nightmare sticking to rules and regulations for some leaders. They may resist new ideas stifling creativity. Staff morale may become low if their leader is listening to complaints and opinions yet the manager isn’t responsive. A manager could do a good job running and controlling a team but could be seen as overbearing.

Leaders could cause conflicts in the way they apply their role by not following all policies and procedures – causing headaches for a manager. Most policies and procedures are expected and required by the governing body CQC. Leaders who are more people orientated and focus on the staff team allowing them to have a higher level of input may lose respect and the authority, lose sight of the end goal and not achieve the desired outcomes.

Conflicts can be addressed by compromise, give and take. Encourage productive conflict as this is needed to grow and develop as a team.

Communication – listening, discussing and being patient between the two roles. Team meetings and supervisions are ideal situations to discuss issues and get across opinions.

Meet conflict head on, where the manager has the last word and say. This should be backed up with knowledge and an explanation as to why something must be completed or achieved in a specific way.

There are certain skills required to be an effective manager, these include:

Know and understand policies and procedures – making sure regular updates are read Have up-to-date knowledge of relevant legislation and standards within the sector Making sure policies and procedures are being carried out – regular staff meetings and communication Able to use a range of communication methods – ranging from the approach to staff and families to technology Can think ahead and plan – researches and updates knowledge base to put in place requirements before they become mandatory Ensure standards are met – team meetings and supervisions and audits

Skills needed to be an effective leader:

Inspire and motivate staff – leading by example, respected by the staff team
Good listening skills
Good communication skills
Model good practice
Be creative and innovative
Be adaptable
Allow staff to learn from their mistakes
Share good practice
Develop the practice and knowledge of others
Work well with a wide range of people

Managers need both management and leadership skills as mentioned above to be effective in their role. They need to develop both aspects of their practice and knowledge, so some of the skills apply to both roles.

The skills and approaches are used differently dealing with different sets of people. The monthly meeting with my senior team and the regular staff team meet is less formal than the meeting when I need to give a disciplinary to a staff member, meeting health professionals or making assessments.

Leadership skills can influence the values of an organisation by ensuring the team meet the standards and implement the Codes of Practice, particularly the requirements to protect the rights and promote the interests of people who use services and of carers, promote the independence of people who use services and protect them as far as possible from danger or harm and balance the rights of people who use services and of carers with the interest of society. The values influenced by leadership skills in my organisation are communication, opportunity, inclusion and equality. Promoting our service users independence and person centred care plans requires leadership skills to ensure the service operates as it does on paper. A leader should be a culture setter influencing the values of equality and inclusion within the organisation.

Leadership styles need to be adapted to manage different situations involving staff and service users. One team on shift may be experienced and confident requiring less input from the leader. Once a service is settled and into a routine with a regular staff team, participative style approach would work well and especially if the team is quite small. Leading through a change in the service will require a democratic style – consulting the team but ultimately the leader decides. If tensions have developed between members of staff, mediating and solving the issue requires a firmer and less personal approach – seeing both side’s views and not being drawn in personally to an emotional battle.

Individual team members are just that, individual. The same approach will not always work when dealing with individual staff – taking into account their characters and the issue that needs dealing with.

When the team has been under stress I have needed to take on an authoritarian style to give confidence and resolve the incident or stop it from becoming worse. For example, working with challenging behaviour in the house I manage, there are incidents when a service user becomes agitated and acts out – staff will look to me to guide and advise on the situation. Some staff become worried and unsure at times when someone becomes aggressive and the environment becomes stressful – as the manager I will make a decision as to what needs to be done and promptly, I expect people to follow my lead and instructions to keep everyone safe and lessen the damage of the environment.

Factors influencing policy drivers within my organisation include risk assessments – changes made to the main policy, a new layout of the risk assessment to include the benefits of the risk and positive outcomes. Physical intervention when dealing with our service users has changed and influenced policies. Staff receive training in CPI (crisis prevention intervention) and care plans include strategies relating to manual handling and restraint if needed. Historically restraint has been used in care at times in a negative way and without necessity. Policies around safeguarding, equality, dignity and human rights are in place.

Serious case reviews – the way we support/procedures/benchmarks and requirements change Commissioners that have inspected the service to rate the quality of the service provided Incidents – changes and risks highlighted

Law and legislation – updates and changes
Family complaints – reviews of the service and approaches
Service user’s comments – person centred practice and communication
Creative staff coming in with a fresh view on a service
Funding

All the above are factors that influence policy drivers within my organisation.

Emerging themes and trends that impact management and leadership – constant reviews relating to person centred practice and safeguarding has led to induction of staff and guidelines to change and improve. These changes improve new staffs awareness of the job role and expectations of them. The safe guarding referral procedure has been made clearer with the idea that providers and its staff will have a better understanding on what is a safeguarding and is reportable. There was a period within my workplace where a high number of safeguards were made and the local authority produced guidance on safeguarding thresholds.

My organisation made changes to our safeguarding procedures, stricter guidelines and informing the registered manager to filter the amount referred and looked at what may become a theme in future. Child protection training was introduced and the recording of information was updated. A quality and assurance manager was introduced who produced clearer benchmarks that matched and went beyond the requirements of the CQC and local authority requirements. Forms and requirements were standardised across the company in all areas.

A medication audit changed and improved the idea of updating a new medication policy. New recording sheets, competency assessments of staff, training and guidelines were standardised and go beyond the expectations and requirements of the governing body in the company’s field of care.


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