Discuss about the Extension of Transformational–Transactional Leadership Theory?
The theories of leadership have been long a subject of interest in the history of humankind. However, in the recent times, many leadership theories have emerged formally. Earlier theories of leadership were based on the qualities of the followers and leaders that distinguished them whereas the recent theories emphasize on the prospective of skill levels and situational factors (Miner 2015).
In case of vignette 1, the Romanian general manager was taking notes on his tablet computer. This was an unusual situation for him and he is not known to do the same. However, when the fire alarm went off, the managers remained silent. Although they were great leaders of the global company, yet they forgot their responsibility of giving out orders that were probably because of the presence of the big boss from Munich. They kept low of their normal behavior of giving orders but they failed to do the same. This in turn states that there is variability in their leadership qualities (Kenney 2012).
This trait is found in the Contingency leadership theory and it focuses on the variable environment, which determines the type of leadership that is to be followed according to the situation. No particular leadership style is followed throughout the work tenure but it changes with the situations. This is due to the reason that the general manager from Romania believes that success is dependent on a list of variables like the situation aspects, leadership styles and qualities of the followers (Nohria and Khurana 2013).
In case of vignette 2, Michael is an excellent analyst and he has performed well over the years. He is an extremely responsible person regarding his tasks and does not rely on new comers and inexperienced employees regarding critical jobs. He strongly believes that if he does not get involved personally in all the tasks, the quality of work might suffer. However, a feedback from his followers was not very satisfactory. Although he is an outstanding analyst, he is not that capable as a leader. He does not explain the task promptly to his team members and he distributes the work unevenly. Moreover, his team members feel that he was better as an analyst. This is a trait of the behavioral theory of leadership. According to this theory, great leaders are not born rather they are made. The theory focuses on the fact that the actions of the leaders have to be taken into account and not his internal states or mental qualities (Chemers 2014). Although Michael is a great analyst, but he has to learn the qualities of a great leader by observation and teaching for overcoming his shortfalls as a leader.
In case of vignette 3, the husband explains his wife about his day in office. He had a tough day in office while listening to the advice of the trainers regarding the topic of optimization of supplier relationships. Everyone contributed and shared their opinions and ideas about the potential supplier that they were all discussing. Although the husband was aware of the fact that his boss hates the company, yet he continued the discussion and encouraged others to forward their opinions. This style of leadership accords to the participative theory of leadership, where the leader considers others inputs. They encourage the contribution and participation of the members of the group and help them to feel more committed and relevant in the process of decision-making. In this theory of leadership, the people become more committed towards their actions and their inclusion in the process of decision-making makes them feel more collaborative towards the goal of the discussion (Lam, Huang and Chan 2015).
In case of vignette 6, Margarita strongly believes that the managers should be evaluated by their ability to develop and grow their subordinates. She groomed and developed her direct report Nicholas and he later became a successful employee. During the process, she spent hours with him with his presentations and reports prepared by him and exploring ways for correcting his mistakes. This style of leadership relates to the relationship theory of leadership, also known as transformational theory. This theory emphasizes upon the relationships formed between the followers and the leaders. They inspire and motivate people by helping them to see the higher good and importance of their role (Popper and Mayseless 2013). The leaders stress on the individual performances with the additional duty of fulfilling their potential. These leaders possess high moral and ethical standards. Although Margarita was a good leader with Nicholas, she was not that satisfied with Eugene that apparently raged her.
Michael has been widely regarded as an excellent analyst. Although he is very successful as an analyst, he gets a setback as a leader due to the issues of uneven workload distribution and improper explanation of tasks. The assessment comments state that he should continue as an analyst as he loves his work the most. This failure of Michael can be justified from the fact behavioral theory of leadership has to be followed by him for enhancing their effectiveness as a leader (Derue et al. 2011).
Contingency leadership theory
Since Michael has been promoted to a manager because of his outstanding abilities, now he has to learn the leadership skills by observation and teachings to become a good leader. Great leaders are often made and they are seldom born (Gavetti 2012).
Behavioral theory will help Michael to become a great leader. Successful leadership can be developed by learnable behavior and is definable. The leaders here observe success as describable action and so it makes it easy for them to act in a similar fashion. They learn to assess the actions of the other leaders and their success stories. The behaviors that contributed towards failure also help them to shape up as great leaders.
An action plan has to be developed for Michael to help him become an effective leader. Since the beginning of his employment, Michael has been an outstanding analyst. However, he prefers to do the work of the absent employees rather than trusting on his team members. Moreover, he double-checks every task before passing them on to the management. Therefore, he has to build a relationship of faith and trust with his employees to become a better leader without which, he will never be able to build a relationship of faith and trust that is very essential for a successful leader (Goetsch and Davis 2014). He needs to spend time with his team members and make them understand the tasks promptly by taking out some time from his busy schedule. Better distribution of tasks reduces the workload and every team member gets engaged. This has to be a prime objective of Michael to reduce dissatisfaction and encourage deeper relationships and trusts for inspiring them to have faith in him. Reading books on leaderships, being trained and observing other leaders will also help him to develop his leadership skills.
Vignette – 4
The husband is a good leader and has shown good leadership skills during his discussion with the trainers. He was advised in the training session that the mangers need to apply a variety of styles depending on the situation and the followers. Based on this, he tried to apply his training on his discussion with the trainers. During the discussion, he applied the participative theory of leadership (Buengeler, Homan and Voelpel 2016). However, that did not work as everyone participated in the discussion and forwarded their views but they were not aware of the fact that it was of no good use. The division senior vice president hated the company and would have never allowed doing business with the potential supplier.
In spite of knowing this fact, the husband applied the participative theory of leadership and allowed to continue the discussion, which he later repented to his wife, as he was late for dinner. The heads of production and purchasing enthusiastically expressed their interest regarding the new supplier, but the HR manager did not show any interest. This suggests that perhaps he was expecting his views and wanted him to join the discussion as well. However, his theory of leadership did not come out to be fruitful.
The action plan for the husband to enhance his leadership skills shall include the change of his leadership theory from participative to situational theory. This theory proposes that the suitable action course has to be chosen by the leaders depending upon the variable situation. Different leadership styles have to be implemented for different decision-making situations (Dinh et al. 2014). An authoritarian style can be most appropriate when the leader is the most experienced and knowledgeable among the group members while democratic style can be the most effective one if the group members are found to be skilled experts. The situational leadership theory was advised to the husband during the training session. Since the husband is, the most experienced and knowledgeable group member on the discussion panel as he had prior experiences of working with his boss, his chosen action plan should be authoritarian leadership style for the situational leadership theory (Van Wart 2014). For avoiding unnecessary waste of time by discussing over issues that have no results, this can be the action plan of choice by becoming authoritative.
According to the conversation between A and B in London, the conflicts in Prague were not an ordinary and easy one. In accordance with the issue, manager A suggested to fire both the commercial and production managers as he supposed that they were not competent enough to resolve their own issues. This was not a case of abusing his power, but he demonstrated management leadership theory. Management theory is also called as transactional theory and emphasizes on the group performance, organization and supervision. This leadership theory is based on the system of punishments and rewards (Avolio and Yammarino 2013). In its application in business, the employees are rewarded when they are successful and they are punished and reprimanded when they fail. Manager A had the belief that employees perform best only when they work under pressure and threats. This is also a perspective of the management theory of leadership, which states that both punishments and rewards motivate the employees and they perform best only when they are commanded over in a clear and definite manner.
Transactional leadership is based on directing and motivating the employees for satisfying their self-interest. They obtain this power from the responsibility and formal authority in the organization and they regard that the prime objective of the employees should be obeying the instructions of the managers. This is what manager A expects from both the managers at Prague. However, the biggest disadvantage of this type of leadership theory is that it cannot be observed as an ethical theory as manager A has no respect for the ethical values and beliefs or rights and dignity of his employees (Antonakis and House 2014). His leadership style will never allow him to set good standards and expectations to maximize the productivity and efficiency of the organization. The employees are also not encouraged to find innovative solutions or exhibit their creativity.
Vignette – 4
The division senior vice president of the company hates the potential new supplier because of an issue that goes back in history. This is a feeling of vengeance and has nothing to do with the leadership theories. In other words, the senior VP is abusing his power by not allowing the new supplier to enter the business when everyone else is very excited. An old incident drives him crazy by the name of the company simply states that he has a grudge for this company because of which, he will never allow to use the supplier under any circumstances. This is not an ethical leadership and the husband in the vignette realized that he would not value the opinions of the trainers and managers regarding their choice. This misidentification of values may lead to mistrust in the organization (Blundell 2015). The managers and trainers were not aware of the fact that the senior VP hated the company, so they carried on the discussion. After knowing the fact, their enthusiasm died and they left immediately. This suggests that the values and intentions of the VP are not clear to all the employees and he is abusing his powers regarding the selection of the supplier (Mohr 2013). For the sake of organizational growth, the senior VP should take into account the opinion of others.
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