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Leadership – different perspectives Essay

The term leadership refers to “the dynamic process in a group whereby one individual influence others to contribute voluntarily to the achievement of group tasks in a given situation” (Pettinger, 2000, pg. 120). Good leadership is essential to the organizations to help members defining their goals and finding ways to achieve them as well as to influence the activities of the followers through altering communication process and allocating resources in order to achieve corporate objectives (McShane & Travaglione, 2003, pg. 466).

In order to achieve organizational success, leaders must have a good understanding of employee’s values, perceptions and attitudes. By analyzing the case study ‘Managing like a Man’, we can see how employees’ values and perception affects their attitudes. This essay will discuss employees’ attitude towards work/life balance, consultation and inclusion at work, and leadership style. This essay will also discuss Sally’s attitude which is influenced by her values and perceptions and relate it to discrepancy theory. Recommendations to improve Sally’s leadership style will be identified. As mentioned above, value influences someone’s attitude.

According to Wood, Wallace, Zeffane, Chapman, Fromholtz and Morrison, (2004, p. 111), values are “global beliefs that guide actions and judgments across a variety of situations”. Value is about

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someone’s perception towards certain conditions. It contains a judgmental element in that they carry an individual’s ideas about what is right, good, or desirable. Values are important to organizational behaviour because they are the foundations of employee attitudes and motivations and influence their perceptions. In the “Managing like a Man” case study, the employees have high values towards work/life balance.

It was showed from the fact that the employees are unhappy with the new decision to change the working hours. Previously, employees have to work 10 hours per day, and now they have to work 8 hours with the same salary as before. The problem occurred as the 8 work hour was divided into three shifts (6 a. m. -2 p. m. , 2 p. m. -10 p. m. , and 10 p. m-6 a. m. ). For the employees, the only sensible time for work is from 6 a. m. -2 p. m. because employees have responsibility towards their family. The employees believe that balancing the demand of work and family is important.

Balancing the dual demands and responsibilities of work and family roles has become increasingly widespread problem experienced by employees and employers (Graham and Crossen, 1996). If the balance of the demands is not equal, then it would become a work-family conflict, “an incompatible pressures arising simultaneously from the intersection of work and family roles (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985 in Parasuraman & Simmers, 2001, p. 556). In the case study, the employees believe that the new system should have been discussed with the employee before she implemented it.

Communication is an ongoing process. By incorporating activities that inform and involve workers, employees’ behaviour will be motivated. Effective communication is strategic, ‘leader driven’ and seeks to build an understanding among employees about the vision and direction of the business. ‘Walking the talk’, that is leading by example is imperative if a manager is to develop trust within an organization. In the case study, Sally is making the decision without any consultation with the employee, as the result the employee is dissatisfy with their job.

The employees believe that Sally only thinks about how to increase productivity without considering the employees situation. The employees also think that Sally is a bad manager with lack of leadership capabilities. They describe Sally as a task-oriented leader who is more oriented to the productivity than people-oriented who is more oriented to the relationship between manager and the subordinates (McShane & Travaglione, 2003). The employee also believe that as female manager, she has to be more participative and considerate to the employee than a male manager.

According to Pettinger (2000, p.128), the characteristic of participative management style is “the decisions made by the group, by consultation or vote, all members bound by the group decision and support it, all members may contribute to discussion, development of coalitions and cliques, and leadership role is assumed by Chair” Attitudes are defined as “the cluster of beliefs, assessed feelings and behavioural intentions towards an object” (Mc Shane and Travaglione, 2003, pg. 119). Attitudes are an important component of organizational behaviour. Attitudes are influenced by values, but they focus on specific people or objects.

Employees’ positive or negative feeling about their job as a result of the participation it allows is an example of attitude. It is important for leaders to understand people in terms of their attitudes, because strong attitudes are very likely to affect behaviour (Perlman and Cozby, 1983, cited in Tosi, Rizzo and Carrol, 1990). The attitude that the employee showed about the problem is they complained to the General Manager about their dissatisfaction with the current workforce. Dissatisfy workers often complaint to their supervisor about their labour workforce before decides to leave the job (Lee & Mitchell in Greenberg, 1994).

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