Understanding leadership

Topics: Leadership, Management, Skill Pages: 5 (1573 words) Published: April 28, 2014

1.1 Describe the factors that will influence the choice of leadership styles or behaviours in workplace situations.

In most workplace situations, no one style is used on its own, a good leader will change the style as the situation changes. The factors that determine the style are the same which ever leadership style is used whether Autocratic , Democratic or Laissez-faire they are :- the situation or the task, the team and their readiness , the behaviours of the team and the environment. Leaders own abilities.

The Situation and the Environment will influence the style, dependent on the type of task whether it is on a production line in a factory were set routines require far more direction or in a design company were flexibility and a good environment creates productivity, the time constraints and the company culture would very greatly also in these situations.

The Team and their readiness , the readiness of a team or followers was quantified by researchers Hershey and Blanchard ,they used a scale that stated; R1 at one end was were there was no abilities , skills or will to get the task done, to R4 at the other end were there was much ability , skill and will. Teams or Individuals in R1 would need a far more direction and instruction management style so as to get the task done ,such as with new starters or apprentices . At the other end R4 , these teams or individuals would need a less hands on management style and be allowed to run themselves .

The Behaviours of the team or individual range from being unmotivated and lazy at one end and highly active and motivated at the other end . These two extremes are known as the X theory and the Y theory as based on McGregor theory. Again the leadership style will vary greatly from an X to Y team.

Autocratic leaders also known as strict authoritarian leader do not consult with the workforce and take all responsibilities themselves, they wield a great deal of power and control over their team members . This style is used in situations were very tight deadlines and budgets have to be met and decisions have to be made quickly. Team members would be of the type X R1

Democratic leaders make final decisions but are team focused and consult team members for constructive input which is valued. Team members are also encouraged to take responsibilities of their own and be creative. This style creates motivated workforce who feel they are listened to and enjoy there work. Team members would be of the type Y R4.

Laissez-faire leaders have very experienced and highly skilled team members, the leader allows the team to run themselves in terms of work and their deadlines and most decision making . The leader will monitor progress and feedback regularly to the team members provide advice and resources. Team member type Y R4

There are a number of styles that fall in between these such Bureaucratic were the task is very inflexible such as a task with high safety issues and rules have to be strictly adhered to. A Charismatic leader uses his personality to create team spirit and teamwork.

1.2 Explain why these leadership styles or behaviours are likely to have a positive or negative affect on individual and group behaviours

The different styles of leadership have their own positives and negatives and the choice will often depend on the type of workforce available to get the job done. In reality a team is made up of people with different abilities , characters and skill so a good leader will combine attributes from many different leadership styles

An Autocratic leader is very good at getting the job done were the job has very tight time deadlines, were job is routine and repetitive such as a production line where pressure is on for productivity. This style also lends its self to quick decision making as there is very little consultation. This workforce would mainly consist of X and R1 members who need discipline. On the...
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