Leaders in Innnovation

Topics: Leadership, Innovation, Skill Pages: 11 (1987 words) Published: May 18, 2014

Leaders in Innovation Assessment
By: Yaribel Velez
MBA-FP6006 - Leading Innovation Global Organization
Professor Steve Manderscheid
Capella University


As stated in the assessment instructions, in the field of organizational leadership, many models are used as a means of examining what qualities and skills make an effective leader. Although there is a variety of models I have decided to analyze the behavioural and the transformational theory models. Reviewing the resources recommended for discovery and delivery skills, I learned how those skills have a direct impact on an effective leader’s performance in innovation organization. The discovery skills are based on associating, questioning, observing, experimenting, and networking they are also referred as the DNA of innovation. Delivery skills also play in the innovation process with their four key skills which are analyzing, planning, detail-oriented implementing, and self-disciplined executing. In the body of this paper I will unfold my research on those skills and identify its correlation with innovation. I will also be assessing the strengths and weaknesses on my ability to support innovation in an organization. Leadership Models Supporting Innovation

Over the years, a number of leadership theories have been established including: trait, behavioural, contingency, and transformational theory. My analysis will be on behavioral and transformational. Behavioral Theories

As described in Doyle and Smith (2001) early researchers ran out of steam in their search for traits, they turned to what leaders did and how they behaved, specially towards followers. They moved from leaders to leadership and this became the dominant way of approaching leadership within the organizations in the 1950s and early 1960s. Different patterns of behaviour were grouped together and labeled as styles. This became a very popular activity within management training perhaps the best known being Blake and Mouton's Managerial Grid (1964; 1978). Various schemes appeared, designed to diagnose and develop people's style of working. Despite different names, the basic ideas were very similar. The four main styles that appear are: Concern for task. Here leaders emphasize the achievement of concrete objectives. Concern for people. In this style, leaders look upon their followers as people their needs, interests, problems, and development. Directive leadership. This style is characterized by leaders taking decisions for others and expecting followers or subordinates to follow instructions. Participative leadership. Here leaders try to share decision-making with others.

The behavioral theory has many assumptions which conclude that leaders can be made rather than born. This theory has a direct approach with innovation in the organization. With the managements concern for their employees it gives everyone in the organization the motivation to innovate. Innovation is all about adaptability and with the behavioral theory leaders are made, which means that they can adapt to any situation that they are confronted with. The following grid model was developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton in the early 1960s

The grid clarifies the magnitude in which a leader focuses on these dimensions determining the leadership style that they relate to. Some leaders are more concerned with getting the tasks at hand completed successfully in a timely manner. Other leaders prefer creating solid interpersonal relationships with their employees, because by being an oriented leader the employee’s performance will be higher. For example, if you have a high concern for completing a task and achieving results with little concern for having a relationship with people, you would be an authority-obedience manager. Another example: if you have little concern to complete a task or interact with people, you would be an impoverished manager....

References: Barnard, C. (1938), new definition of leadership. Retrieved from
Bass, B. M. (1990). From Transactional to Transformational Leadership: Learning to Share the Vision. Organizational Dynamics, 18(3): 19-32.
Bass, B
Damanpour, F. (1991). Organizational Innovation: A Meta-analysis of Effects of Determinants and Moderators. Academy of Management Journal, 34: 555-590.
Doyle, M. E., & Smith, M. K. (2001). Classical models of managerial leadership: Trait, behavioral, contingency and transformational theory. Retrieved from Infed Web site: http://www.infed.org/leadership/tradional_leadership.htm.
Dyer, J. H., Gregersen, H. B., & Christensen, C. M. (2009, December). The innovator 's DNA. Harvard Business Review, 87(12), 60–67.
Dyer, J. H., Gregersen, H. B., & Christensen, C. M. (2011). The innovator 's DNA: Mastering the five skills of disruptive innovators. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.
Elkins, T. and Keller, R. T. (2003). Leadership in Research and Development Organizations: A
Literature Review and Conceptual Framework
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