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Importance of Strong Leaders

Are Companies Over Managed And Under Led?

In this era of globalization and internationalization, human resources are the biggest assets for any organization. Today, the large companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc. have expanded across the world as this expansion has been possible with the focus on human resources (Belias & Koustelios, 2014). Therefore, it is important the organizations should provide a culture where employees can work with high level of productivity. In an organizational setting, the employee productivity would be high only when employee motivation is high, and it is the responsibility of leaders to ensure that employee motivation is high. Therefore, organizations are dependent on strong leaders at top. For example, the success of Apple Inc. can be attributed to the leadership styles and qualities exhibited by Steve Jobs. However, it is not always easy to have strong leaders at top. Many a times, organization would hire the people from leadership position, but they would fail. Hence, it is important that organizations should understand the difference between management and leadership (Chu, Leino, Pflum & Sue, 2016). There is an increased debate in today’s world about the large companies’  management style and leadership approach. It is believed that companies do get good managers, but it is hard for organizations to get qualified leaders and eventually this results in over management and under leading. This issue can actually be resolved with the use of path goal theory of leadership.

The Path-Goal model is a theory based on specifying a leader's style or behaviour that best fits the employee and work environment in order to achieve a goal. The benefit with path goal theory of leadership is that it is open and flexible in nature. This theory acknowledges that employees are different in nature and likewise a different style of leadership should be used to treat employees (Belias & Koustelios, 2014). The four types of leadership style that path goal theory advocates are directive, supportive, participative and achievement. It is interesting to analyse the ways by which these four styles can actually help the leaders s powerful within the organization. At the same time, it is important that along with path goal theory, leaders should also focus on cultural aspects of employees because in large and multinational companies, employees would belong to different cultures. Chu & Leino (2016) argued, that the knowledge of different culture helps people to adjust in the different culture and people face less internal resistance if they are comfortable with the different culture. It is recommended that people should not fear the unknown factor while dealing with the people from different cultural backgrounds (Tyssen, Wald & Spieth, 2014). The four leadership styles of path goal theory and its connection with companies over managed and under led can be discussed as:

Management vs Leadership


Directive leadership style: This leadership style is based on the fact there would always be some employees that would need direction. This leadership style works best in the case when the direction of the team is not clear, and employees need direction from their leaders. It works best when people are not sure about the task that they have to do, and they seek help from others. In this case, the leader act as the person who shows the direction to the team. It is important to mention that leader does not do the work of others and he or she would just show the direction so that team is on the right path (Cummings, Bridgman & Brown, 2016). The directive leadership style enables organization to have tight knit teams in place that can work in cohesion with high level of productivity. It is observed that people have high trust on their leaders when the leaders have directive leadership style.

Supportive leadership style: The leaders who have supportive leadership style would develop a unique relationship with employees (Jing & Avery, 2016). In this style of leadership, the leader makes work pleasant for the workers by showing concern for them and by being friendly and approachable. The healthy relationship between leaders and employees enable leaders to motivate the employees and get the work done (Anderson & Sun, 2017). With the supportive leadership style, leaders do not face any resistance. The supportive leadership style is also based on trust and transparency and it is important that leaders and employees should develop a unique bonding. This leadership style generates a feeling of self-belongingness among employees and this feeling of self-belongingness continuously motivates employees to do better.

Participative leadership style: The participative leadership style works best when leaders take the opinions of team members before making any decision. With the participative leadership style leaders generate confidence among team members (Dinh et al., 2014). This style of leadership works best when the team members are trained and highly knowledgeable. With this leadership style leaders take team members as their partners with the objective to solve the business problem. The participative leadership may not work in the scenarios when employees wait for the direction from leaders. So, in a way, participative leadership is the opposite of directive leadership style. It is important to mention that any organization can have leaders that belongs to both directive and participative leadership style (Cummings, Bridgman & Brown, 2016).

Path-Goal Theory

Achievement leadership style: The leader sets challenging goals for her followers, expects them to perform at their highest level, and shows confidence in their ability to meet this expectation. The achievement leadership style works best at the top  management level. With this leadership style, the company management would ask different leaders of departments to make their own decision (Dinh et al., 2014). Each of the department head is allowed to run the department as his or her own organization. The decisions for the department and made within the department, though the organization management does play a role of check and balance where the management ensures that every department complies with organizational policies and guidelines and carries the vision of the organization.

The above four types of leadership style focus on leaders as someone who can take the charge of organization. The idea is to have leaders in the organization that are more than managers. It is important that leaders should understand the difference between management and leadership so that the organization is not over managed and under led. Any organization would be adequately led only when the senior leaders provide a platform where new leaders can grow. Hence, it is important to have a culture of trust and transparency in place. Mulki, Caemmerer & Heggde (2015) argued that positive publicity automatically comes for organization if they are transparent about their matters in public. The bottom line is that the employees should know what matters to them. In an organizational setting, leaders may often find themselves in tough situations. The tough situations can be avoided with the adequate groundwork in terms of data collection and information gathering. The collection of data and information would help the senior management to identify new leaders.

Path-Goal is based on Vroom's (1964) expectancy theory in which an individual will act in a certain way based on the expectation that the act will be followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual. Today, organizations do have number of managers. However, there is always a need of good leaders. It is expected that the use of path goal theory would help the organizations to have qualified leaders in place. However, it is important to mention that organizations may not find it easy to implement the various leadership style of path goal theory. Any organization would have to go a great deal of change to implement the learnings from path goal theory (Anderson & Sun, 2017). It is expected that leaders would have a change management approach in place to manage the change that comes with the implementation of path goal theory. The key thing is that organization should have an open and flexible culture so that managers can actually attain the path of leadership. With the open and flexible culture, organizations would be able to bridge the gap between managers and leaders. The organizations in global environment would be able to solve the problem of over management and under leading only when they can bridge the gap between qualified managers and charismatic leaders. It would be correct to say that organizations should practice the four-leadership style of path goal theory (Dinh et al., 2014). The underlying assumption of path goal theory is that leaders are flexible in nature and leaders would have the leadership style based on the team members. The application of this theory would help organizations to solve the problem of lack of effective leaders in long term.

References

Anderson, M. H., & Sun, P. Y. (2017). Reviewing leadership styles: Overlaps and the need for a new ‘full?range’theory. International Journal of Management Reviews, 19(1), 76-96.

Belias, D., & Koustelios, A. (2014). The impact of leadership and change management strategy on organizational culture. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 10(7).

Cummings, S., Bridgman, T., & Brown, K. G. (2016). Unfreezing change as three steps: Rethinking Kurt Lewin’s legacy for change management. human relations, 69(1), 33-60.

Chu, J., Leino, A., Pflum, S., & Sue, S. (2016). A model for the theoretical basis of cultural competency to guide psychotherapy. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 47(1), 18.

Dinh, J. E., Lord, R. G., Gardner, W. L., Meuser, J. D., Liden, R. C., & Hu, J. (2014). Leadership theory and research in the new millennium: Current theoretical trends and changing perspectives. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(1), 36-62.

Jing, F. F., & Avery, G. C. (2016). Missing links in understanding the relationship between leadership and organizational performance. The International Business & Economics Research Journal (Online), 15(3), 107.

Mulki, J. P., Caemmerer, B., & Heggde, G. S. (2015). Leadership style, salesperson's work effort and job performance: the influence of power distance. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 35(1), 3-22.

Tyssen, A. K., Wald, A., & Spieth, P. (2014). The challenge of transactional and transformational leadership in projects. International Journal of Project Management, 32(3), 365-375.

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