Leadership and Theory

Topics: Leadership, Management, Situational leadership theory Pages: 8 (2575 words) Published: October 16, 2012
HRM10088 Assessment
Case Study Report Writing
Name: Zhang Fan
Student number: 40069172
Leader’s name: Janice McMillan
Submission data: 03, NOV, 2011

Table of contents:
1 Introduction <1> 2, Main Section <2> Development of Leadership theory <2> Two questions analysis in three parts:

Path-goal theory <2> Leader-member exchange theory <4> Transformational and transactional theory <6> 3, Conclusion <8>

4, Reference List <9>

To begin with, this report will provide a brief background introduction of the case study in week 5 of ‘Organizational Change in The Sandwich Factory’. The company was founded by entrepreneur Kirsty Flower in 2005. Kirsty and several colleagues set up a new company when they left Mr Bakes, a medium sized bakery company. Kirsty had members of her Senior Management Team which are all females, mid-twenties and with no experience in the company management. However, Kirsty made a decision to set up a new innovational company and set standard requirements for the company. After that, she perceived three main problems in the initial phase after the foundation of the factory.

First of all, there is a serious financial burden forced on the Senior Management Team. Second, some fractures have appeared in the SMT’s friendship at the initial stage of establishing a market. Third, there are some negative treatments from their competitors. To sum up these three main issues, Kirsty commented on her way of seeing the company through the start-up phase. She said that she had a vision and tried to make it clear to staffs to make them going the same way towards one goal. Otherwise, she not only devoted herself to dealing with all problems that the staff had but also trusted her staffs to be fully committed to what they wanted and was open to any idea on how to make that vision come true in reality.

In view of the ways of Kirsty’s leadership, it is not hard to find out the three modern leadership theories and approaches in her comments. This report will make a critical analysis of the strength and the weakness of Kirsty’s leadership for The Sandwich Factory by using the knowledge in leadership.

Main Section:
Leadership Theory Development
On the basis of the leadership conception we can defined that “leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal” (Northouse 2007:3). This definition emphasize on three key points -- ‘process’, ‘influences’, and ‘common goal’. Moreover, leadership is giving direction aligning people to the vision and helping them cope with changes. For instance, the CEO of Apple Incorporated, Steve Jobs was a leader who provided the strategic vision as the managing director to his whole company. With the development of leadership theory, some academics put forward a few methods of leadership step by step, from the original Trait Approach to the current Ethical Leadership Approach which has experienced several periods of evolution. People seek more information to answer what makes a good leader and how to be a good leader. Most of them believe that owning the ability of leadership could improve their social positions, personal cultivations of ideological morality and the quality of life. Many successful leaders are well equipped with good personal traits and comprehensive professional knowledge. In addition, they hold their opinions with persistence and bravely face new challenges and changes.

In this case study, the principal theory is modern approaches of leadership. It contains path-goal theory, leader-member exchange theory and transformational versus...
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