Understanding leadership

Topics: Management, Leadership, Decision making Pages: 5 (2828 words) Published: October 22, 2014

Understanding leadership5517515-638810

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1.1 Describe the factors that will influence the choice of leadership styles or behaviours in workplace situations (24 marks)

According to McGregor there are two types of leaders: Theory X and Theory Y. This belief states that Theory X managers hold the believe that workers are reliant upon incentives and direction in order to stay productive. Also that employees in general are work shy and without constant oversight and control, they will not work. Whereas a Theory Y manager would believe that the workforce is best left alone; that they will share direction of tasks and trust the ideas and self management skills of their subordinates. Although these categories are very black and white and not necessarily applicable in all scenarios, it is possible to (at least loosely) place all leaders into one of the groups. I believe the quality of the workforce and the type and size of the business is a strong factor in which group a manager will fall into. A large company with a significant staff turnover may be inclined to subscribe to Theory X where they have to squeeze the maximum amount of productivity out of people who do not see their job as permanent. Working in a smaller business with passionate individuals who are in the job they want to be in, who have worked hard to be there and are grateful for the opportunity may be more likely to fit into the Theory Y style of leadership.

However, there are other leadership styles than McGregor's and these can be influenced in different ways. For example, a manager's personality (I.e. a combination of their beliefs, experiences and culture) may influence them. Whether or not they are an Autocratic leader, someone who believes they have absolute authority over decision making, monitoring output and holding a firm belief in a company hierarchy (people having authority over others based on their previous merits) may be down to a strict and firm upbringing, possibly a military or religious background, or a public school education. On the opposite side of the coin there is the democratic leadership style, whereby the manager will still ultimately take control, but they will listen to the feedback of their subordinates after making decisions and occasionally allow the workforce to come to their own decisions. A democratic leader will often use praise and reward to enrich their employees and offer them incentives into taking ownership of their ideas and work. Someone who manages this way is likely to be a trusting person. They may have worked somewhere where they have felt empowered by this style previously, and it is certainly possible that they would have grown up with a lot of people around them (e.g siblings), where decisions were made based on what is best for everybody. It is likely they worked hard to get to where they are, overcoming obstacles with the help of other people, where they may have failed if they had not had that assistance.

Another factor which could influence the management style is the existing culture within the company, if the manager is hired or promoted into a role where the workforce is already quite reliant on authority, if they require constant feedback and approval along with direction and assistance, it is very likely that a manager would have to adopt a Micromanagement leadership style, where the manager is the individual who checks the small...
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