Modern day business organizations must focus on constantly innovating their products and services in order to stay competitive in the market and in order to gain a competitive advantage in the market. In order to foster innovation and creativity in their workplaces, organizations must focus on promoting an open organization culture in the workplace which enables the employees to freely share and communicate their views without the fear of being punished or ridiculed. However there are certain risks which are associated with innovation in an organization and therefore companies must focus on mitigating the risks associated with innovation in order to reap the benefits of innovation.
1. The different types of leadership style are as follows:
Autocratic Leadership-Autocratic leadership style is a uni-dimensional leadership style which provides full power and authority to the leaders. In the autocratic style of leadership, the leader makes all the decision by himself without consulting any of his subordinates or team members. An autocratic leader takes all the crucial calls and decision in a group which are then communicated to the team members and then the team members are then expected to work on those instructions immediately. In other words the leader is the ultimate decision maker in autocratic leadership style.
Democratic Leadership- The democratic leadership style is participative in nature in which the leader involves the team members while taking critical decisions. As stated by Farooq et al. (2018) the democratic style of leaderships works best in the organization where the team members are highly skilled and experienced. The most crucial part of the democratic style of leadership is that the communication is upward to downward in the democratic style of leadership. In the democratic style of leadership, the leaders are required to be creative, intelligent, considerate and competent in nature.
Coaching Leadership- In this style of leadership, the leader and team members act as mentors and coaches to their team members and subordinates. There are various benefits of the coaching leadership style which includes boosting the motivation of the employees, increasing the performance skills of the employees and grooming and motivating the team members. The coaching leadership style is one of the most effective leadership style, as it involves leading in an indirect manner rather than in a direct manner.
Strategic Leadership- According to Mocha (2015) strategic leadership is defined as the ability of leaders to influence the team members to voluntarily make decisions which enhance the prospects for the long term success of the organization. In other words, strategic leadership indicates a leader’s potential or capability in order to express a strategic vision for their organization and to influence them to chase that vision with the help of right strategies and tools. The strategic style of leadership facilitates leader to create a team of team members who are well trained and well equipped in order to counter with unforeseen risks and threats. The strategic leadership style helps in creating more leaders.
Transformational Leadership- As opined by El Khouly, AbdelDayem and Saleh (2017) the transformational leadership style aims at creating a thriving work culture through effective communication in a team. The transformational leadership style demands a certain level of strategic vision and intellectual simulation in order to initiate change in self and others in the organization. The transformational style of leadership emphasizes on setting high goals with strict deadlines and accordingly working in tandem in order to achieve those goals on time and in this way transformational leaders set challenging expectations for themselves and for the team in order to achieve exceptional results.
Laissez-faire leadership- As opined by Xie et al. (2018) in this type of leadership, the leaders delegate the responsibility of decision making to the team members and lets them to work on their own with minimum or no interference. This particular leadership style provides the maximum scope for innovation and flexibility. This leadership style works perfectly for the creative teams possessing self-motivated and experienced individuals who do not require that level of supervision.
Charismatic Leadership- In the charismatic leadership style, the leaders automatically attracts a lot of individuals with their charm by virtue of their charm and charisma. The charismatic leaders are self-motivated, passionate and confident in nature. As opined by Oke (2013) this type of leadership style is helpful in building a powerful standing in the market and gain a huge fan following by virtue of their strong self-image. In this style of leadership, the success of the leadership style depends heavily on the leader and their impact. This leadership style is perceived as a one man show rather than a collective effort.
As stated by Kesting et al. (2015) the personal leadership style which should be applied in the workplace in order to model positive innovative thinking and practice is Laissez-faire style of leadership in which the staffs of the company will have the ability to take important decisions and the team leader or manager will have little and no level interference in those decisions and the responsibility of the team leaders and managers in this style of leadership style is to continuously motivate the employees and manage the risks which arises from the decisions of the employees. This style of leadership in the workplace will foster innovative thinking process and creativity among the employees of the company. As stated by Palmer (2016) one of the pre-requisite for innovation to occur in an organization, is an open organization culture in which the employees of the company will freely be able to think in a positive and innovative manner without the fear of being punished or ridiculed which in turn fosters creativity and models positive innovative thinking in the work place and therefore Laissez-faire leadership is the most suitable style for the workplace in order to support and foster innovation.
The examples to show how the laissez-faire leadership style was used in the workplace in order to model positive innovative thinking and practice are as follows:
- The employees of the workplace were given the authority to take various important decisions regarding the team and its way of operating without the interference of the team leaders and managers.
- The employees of the workplace were given the assurance to think creatively and communicate it to others without the fear of being punished or ridiculed.
- The employees of the workplace were rewarded accordingly for their creative ideas and practices in order to motivate them to further motivate them to think in a creative and innovative manner.
2. The benefits of applying laissez-faire leadership style in the workplace are as follows:
- As opined by Alonderiene and Majauskaite (2016) it increases the accountability of the team members of the workplace as they remain responsible of taking various important decisions and therefore it becomes their responsibility to ensure that the decisions which are undertaken are effective in nature which helps in increasing the effectiveness and productivity of the workplace.
- As opined by Chapman, Johnson and Kilner (2014) it helps in fostering an innovation and creative culture in the environment as the staffs of the workplace remain free to take their own decisions without relying on the decision taken by the leader which increases the creativity skills of the employees.
- It helps in creating an inviting work environment as most of the employees of a company seek freedom and independence in the workplace in order to perform their day to day tasks in the most effective manner.
- It helps the experienced teams of the workplaces to use their experience as by counting on those experiences and letting that wisdom come through, the tasks become easier for them to accomplish because the leadership is getting out of the way to let the team do what they do the best.
The disadvantages of applying laissez-faire leadership style in the workplace are as follows:
- The laissez-faire leadership style only proves effective when the employees of the workplace are skilled and experienced in nature in order to take vital decision within the policies and procedures of the company.
- The laissez-faire leadership style creates confusion among the employees regarding their roles and responsibilities while performing various day to day tasks of the company.
- As opined by Taha (2013) the laissez-faire leadership style creates difficulties in adapting to any immediate circumstances because during such situations, when a leader feels that it is necessary to change or adapt themselves in order to respond to the circumstances, they cannot do so as it depends solely on the employees to determine if they want to change or adapt to the new circumstances based on their evaluation and analysis of the situation.
The chances of litigation increases by applying the laissez-faire leadership as the managers or group leaders gets the authority tire or dismiss any workers if the intended results are not being achieved b them and the workers at that moment will
- not possess an active defence in such situations as they were provided full authority to complete those tasks by themselves.
The methods which can be applied in the workplace in order to refine the leadership style are as follows:
- According to Clarke (2014) provide training to the employees of the workplace for improving their skills and productivity so that they can become capable of taking critical decisions own their own without any supervision.
- Briefing the team members regarding their specific roles and responsibilities while performing a task so that there remains no confusion regarding their roles and responsibilities.
- Briefing the team members regarding any changes which have taken place in the operating environment of the company so that the employees understand the importance of the change and accordingly embrace the changes.
3. The risks associated with innovation in an organization are as follows:
Operational risks- There are various operational risks associated with innovation for an organization such as failing to meet the quality, costs and scheduling requirements of the company which could result in the disruption of the operations of the company.
Commercial Risks- As stated by Syed, Ur Rehman and Kitchlew (2018) there are various commercial risks which are associated with innovation for an organization such as failing to attract the required number of customers towards the new and innovative products and services of the company which could result in loss of market share of the company and lower sales revenue of the company.
Financial Risks- There are financial risks which are associated with innovation for an organization such as investing in unsuccessful innovation projects which could result in financial losses to the company.
The control measures which are suitable to manage the risks of innovation are as follows:
- It is highly recommended to the company to seek professional advice from consultants, industry professionals or contacts in business networks to get valuable insights regarding the market in which they operate.
- As opined by Hussain and Hassan (2016) it is also advisable of the company to set up joint ventures with other companies as sharing the development process with a business partner diversifies the risk which means the company an benefit from their expertise and resources.
- It is also advisable for companies for adopting licensing policies as it allows another entity to bear the risks of developing their idea in return for fee and royalties.
The main recommendation to Sim’s hardware is to redefine their organization culture which will help in fostering innovation in the workplace. The company must focus on developing an open organization culture, by fostering open communication in the organization so that the employees of the organization feel free to cope up with various creative ideas no matter how absurd it may be, without the fear of being ridiculed or punished. As opined by Derecskei (2016) another recommendation to the company is to heavily invest in Research and Development business function of the company as it will help in fostering innovation in the company and also manufacture high quality products. Another recommendation to the company is to high quality standards in the production process of the company as it will help in increasing the quality of products of the company. Another recommendation to the company is to implement technological advancements in the organization which will help in effectively streamlining all the business process of the organization. As opined by Fiaz, Su, Ikram, and Saqib (2017) another recommendation for the company is to invest heavily in market research in order to get an in-depth knowledge of the customer needs and requirements and also to remain updated about various trends in the market so that the company manufacture and market the products according to the requirements of their target customer and by complying with the market trends.
From the above report it is clear and evident that innovation is a very vital criteria for organizations to succeed in the competitive world as innovation and creativity in the products and services of a company lends competitive advantage to the company in the market. In order to foster innovation and creativity in the workplace, it is ideal for organizations to adapt a laissez-faire style of leadership in which the employees have the authority to take their own decisions regarding performing tasks in the company but there are certain de-merits which are associated with laissez-faire leadership and therefore a leader should focus on addressing those demerits in order to take full advantage of the potential of laissez-faire leadership style.
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