Leadership Theories Based on Dr. Spock and Captain Kirk

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 257
  • Published : March 13, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Table of Contents
Abstract…………………………………………………………………….…………..3 Introduction………………………………………………………………….…………4 Literature review……………………………………………………………….………5 Results………………………………………………………………………….………7 Discussion of results……………………………………………………………………7 Recommendations……………………………………………………………………..11 Conclusion……………………………………………………………….……….……11 Bibliography……………………………………………………………………..……..12

Abstract
The paper discusses 2 contrasting leadership styles based on characters of Dr. Spock and Captain Kirk. Dr. Spock’s style is explained as rational, instrumental, transactional, managerial. Captain Kirk’s style is described as humanist, interpretive, transformational, leading, charismatic.

The high-technology company Apple is innovative, democratic, creative, inspiring and therefore Captain Kirk with similar views would suit better to it. Since the chemical corporation BASF supports traditional way of doing business, focuses on sustainability, precise structure and logic, Dr Spock’s rational dispassionate style would be perfect for BASF.

Introduction
The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist. Eric Hoffer

Leadership is a process of motivating people to achieve specific goals (Ebert and Griffin, 2007, 266). The study of leadership has a long history. First attempts to find out what makes a person a leader were made in works of Plato and Plutarch. Since then many theories of leadership have been developed. The most significant of them are trait theory, situational approach, behavioural and style theories, contingency model, transactional and transformational theories. The purpose of the paper is to scrutinize 2 contrasting leadership styles based on the characters of the popular TV series “Star trek” – Dr. Spock and Captain Kirk – and to answer the following questions: Which of the two individuals would be better suited to BASF? Which of the two would be better suited to Apple? Why? The classification based on the characters of Dr. Spock and Captain Kirk is studied quite detailed in the work of Brian Leavy “Key Processes in Strategy”, where the author also draws some parallels with another classifications of leadership such as transformational and transactional styles. The paper touches upon the differences of concepts “leadership” and “management” and provides some information on a relatively new notion of charismatic leadership.

Literature review
Brian Leavy (1996, 65) states that leadership is an integral part of strategic management influencing company’s competitiveness and efficiency and therefore it is very important to define what basic factors could improve leadership skills of managers. Other researches share this point of view pointing out to the fact that lack of proper leadership in the field of strategic management could cause troubles in work of a whole company (Zaleznik, 1989). According to Brian Leavy strategic management has a dual nature – rational-instrumental and humanist-interpretive. This point of view led to a new styles classification of leadership based on characters from the popular television series “Star Trek” – Captain Kirk and Dr. Spock who represent 2 contrasting leadership styles. Under this approach Dr. Spock corresponds to rational-instrumental side of management while Captain Kirk – to romantic-interpretive one. Boje describes leadership style of Dr. Spock as very logical, exact, based on rational planning, command and control (Boje, 2001). He manages finance, law, accounting and other business matters of the company relying upon numbers and established facts. His management style can be described as scientific and prosaic. Dr. Spock puts all processes into a precise system with a clear logical structure. The company itself including its employees is regarded as a perfect machine where you can replace any part with another one with no considerable losses to the whole organization. The leader here is also just a...
tracking img