Leadership in small and medium businesses Essay
Leaders in organization possess characteristics that facilitate their ability to generate ideas for progress, gain support from their followers and therefore facilitate easier attainment of set objectives. Effective leaders possess the correct skills that guide workers in establishing the correct organizations’ cultures that further facilitate sustainability and higher profitability. Over the years, scholars appear in agreement that specific qualities manifested by leaders are useful in guiding organizations to their objectives irrespective of the field of specialization or even culture.
As Lussier and Achua (2010, pp. 49-51) and Glenn and Laura (2010, p. 85) concur, the following four basic considerations are very critical for a good leader. (a) The ability to develop a vision and make his/her subjects to see and accept it in an organization. (b) The capacity to establish effective model/s at the organization level that coheres with organization’s objectives and existing legal policies to operationaralise the vision. (c) Adherence to high level ethical underpinning during application of the aforementioned model.
(d) The ability to cite areas of weaknesses and assimilation of faster response mechanisms through motivation of the subjects. Over the last few decades, leadership has been attracting great interest as most organizations land in major dilemmas which negatively affect
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One cannot fail to mention the recent General Motors case where the United States government had to intervene in order to prevent it from total collapse. Leadership is therefore critical in the design of highly responsive models that facilitate internal and external analysis for change that is acceptable and ultimately creating the needed sustainability. This study seeks to evaluate leadership in the food industry. It particularly seeks to explore how personal leadership qualities at Arabic Food Company in Manchester facilitate decision making and their effects in the overall production.
The focus will therefore be directed to leaders at different levels in the company. From the understanding of effective leadership and its relation to organization’s strategizing, one is able to gather insights on developing related qualities. Notably, respective consideration creates a strong and informed view derived from seasoned scholars in the field of leadership. Most importantly, they enable one to view the whole concept of leadership holistically as opposed to isolation. Further critical analysis and short term testing of the vision facilitates reinvention and reenergizing involved subjects to remain focused.
The main aim of this study is examination of whether organizations leadership strategies application provides effective successes when applied. Therefore, it will consider different characteristics manifested by leaders at Arabic Food Company in Manchester and others through literature review. The findings of this study will be critical to Arabic Food Company in Manchester as they can be adopted by respective leaders for personal improvement. The company could further employ them as a baseline or a guideline in facilitating better leadership at different levels.
As indicated earlier, leadership is highly diverse and other organizations could equally assimilate these results for improvement. People seeking to become future leaders could also greatly benefit from the findings of this study through developing recommended personal traits. (3). Preliminary review of literature Notably, “leadership” as a concept has over the years changed depending on the scholars’ perspectives. However, most scholars appear in agreement that it is a process which involves a person influencing others to see things in his/her way to achieve a given vision (Gunnar, 2010, pp.
39-41). Owing to spatial-temporal development of the concept, various theories have been used to classify leadership and its application. Trait leadership theories as Lussier and Achua (2010, pp. 69-70) explain, consider leaders to have inborn characteristics that make them able to lead others. While using some key political, military and social personalities, this theory appears to dismiss those who are not born leaders from taking leadership positions. However, this theory has attracted great criticism from latter leadership theorists who strongly differ from it.
Contingency leadership theories on the other hand peg leadership capabilities to related situational factors such as assimilated style, respective capabilities and followers’ behaviors. This theory is therefore pegged on the notion that there is no one right way for leaders to articulate their operations. At this point, Kathy (2010, pp. 396-397) indicates that an organization must therefore create an effective environment to facilitate the leaders’ ability to make their leaders realize respective objectives. Like contingency theory, Crystal and Blascovich (2010, pp.
99-100) explain that situational leadership theorists argue that there is no single method that leaders can employ to be effective. Therefore, a leader is required to go a step further in creating the correct situation that can anchor success. For instance, Crystal and Blascovich (2010, p. 101) adds that they should motivate their subjects, establish the correct structures at work and provide the correct working tools. Torbert (2004, p. 78) who strongly oppose trait theories argue that leadership skills can indeed be learnt.
Transformational leadership theories seek to focus on the ability to change organizations through new visionary ideologies that bring about higher production and profitability. Montana and Charnov (2008, pp. 77-78) explain that transformational leadership is particularly critical in that it focuses on an already existing system. Therefore, its execution must be carefully employed to create a sense of improvement as opposed to feeling of failure by the followers. It must therefore address values and long term goals that are created on a progressive organization culture.
Leadership in a food company, to concur with Graen, Rowold and Kathrin (2010, p. 570) view, calls for special focus on things and people. This is the case because the end result of leadership which must be evaluated on the basis of production is dependent on services quality and “food”. Therefore, leaders must operate at a higher profile compared to other organizations in facilitating their employees’ commitment towards the visionary objectives of sustainability. For leadership to effectively articulate the aforementioned demands, the following factors are indeed very critical. • Decisiveness and understanding
This factor is essential in that it makes the leader able to arrive at various conclusions toward the main objectives with ease. It is critical that the leader possess key knowledge on the subject of food production in order to factor all aspects of production before decision making. A decisive leader is able to make the correct decisions and easily take his organization to the next higher level (Graen et al, 2010, p. 572) . • Cooperativeness with middle level managers and junior staff In his book, Gunnar (2010, p. 65) presents leaders as facilitators of their visionary views in an organization.
Therefore, cooperativeness with middle level managers makes the leaders to easily gather the correct information from all units that facilitate making of the correct decisions. This factor therefore creates a strong identity of middle level managers and other employees to the respective production processes and the organization as a whole. • Effective planning Adubato (2008, p. 68) argument that failing to plan is planning to fail was indeed correct. Effective planning provides the subjects of leadership with progressive requirement if a certain objective is to be achieved.
Consequently, this factor creates strong cohesion, generates the needed flow and further provides strategic assessment considerations to identify progress with time. Unlike the followers, leadership must have the whole objective and its application but with the necessary flexibility to cater for adjustment towards improvement or picking up with followers pace. • Confidence and tolerance to ambiguity Notably, leadership as Crystal and Blascovich (2010, p. 100) define it, involves making followers identify with a visionary proposition which is meant to create improvements.
Therefore, confidence acts as a cementing platform towards selling the whole vision for an organization. At this point, the leadership must be able to tolerate ambiguity and establish respective mechanisms to address it. Particularly, it is critical that the leader appreciate differing understanding and capabilities of followers and seek to match them with specific tasks in the organization. • Enthusiasm and doing more Leadership must be a guiding framework to show the way for subjects to follow. Therefore, it must be contented with the respective proposition and apply it with courage and great confidence.
At this note, Westaby, Tahira and Probst (2010, p. 490) and Eric and Diether, (2009, pp. 93-95) argue that leadership must move a step ahead and do more to show its enthusiasm for others to follow. For instance, it is essential that leaders commit more of their time in explaining new applications to their followers. They could also be directly involved in coaching their subjects. • Motivating Analysts argue that motivation in leadership is a key driving force throughout the whole journey to the expected goals. Crawford (2005, pp.
45-47) explains that motivation makes it possible for followers to easily identify with the set targets in a company. Besides, motivation brings the followers closer to their leaders as they view extra benefits in form of rewards or promotions. Notably, it is paramount that leadership establishes motivation as part of the organization culture to facilitate greater identity with the main vision among the subjects. • Self controlling This factor is very crucial in leadership since it creates a strong central supporting tower in an organization towards achieving its goals.
Though it is essential that the whole leadership is broken into smaller units to facilitate involvement of all in the development process, self controlling as Morgeson (2005, p. 90) explains must be recognized as the central energizing reference in leadership. For instance, effective self-control should be established to avoid conflicts escalating and overshadowing the main process. • Focusing on continued improvement through change It is perhaps the role of viewing the visionary application in an organization aimed at making improvements that has made leadership to be very hard for many.
Leadership must be able to see any achievement with a room for improvement. Therefore, the approach must seek to put an organization on wheels and set it in motion. The notion of change is very critical in that leadership appreciate that obstacles will always exist and thus the need to address them. Change anchors minor and major deviations in the initial plan towards the main objective or goal. Notably, all parties to the leadership must be made to sail in the same boat of change to avoid resistance. (4) Research questions and objectives (a) Questions The researcher in this study will seek to answer the following questions;
(i) What skills are effective for leaders in organizations? (ii) How can these skills be developed and improved? (iii) How can organization leadership be assessed? (iv) How does leadership relate to small scale businesses and how can it be used for their improvement? (b) Objectives (i) To examine leadership and its effect in Arabic food in Manchester. (ii) To determine how leadership strategies are employed in small scale businesses. (iii) To generate workable recommendations on leadership that can be used to improve quality of services, respective production and overall profitability.
(5) Research plan a) Research perspective To effectively generate highly effective recommendations, this research will employ both qualitative and quantitative approaches in analyzing the collected data. With the main focus being to answer the pre-identified questions and meet the objectives, the study will further assume an interpretive approach since Arabic food Company in Manchester has different employees in various departments with different behaviors. This approach will be essential in assessing variant views of leadership subjects, middle level managers, and top leaders in the company.
b) Research design data collection methods This study will employ a strategic quasi design which will facilitate identification of respondents and responses on a random but effectively distributed model. Saunders, Lewis and Thormhill (2009, p. 54) argue that strategic quasi design provides all members of the sampling population equal chances to be involved. Though random sampling as Saunders et al (2009, p. 58) continue to say is the best method to avoid bias, this method will be critical at Arabic Food Company in Manchester because different departments have unequal numbers of workers.
As a result, the collected data will be both representative and holistic. c) Data collection methods The integrity and usability of any research’s findings is entirely dependent on the data to be collected and methods employed. This study will therefore employ two methods of data collection; Primary data collection methods This study will largely depend on primary data collection which will be taken from Arabic Food Company in Manchester. Notably, this data will be very crucial in that it will give first hand information on how leadership affects operations at different departments and levels of management.
Respective methods will include. i) Interviews Interviews will be employed to survey the employees, middle level managers and top leadership on their views on how the leadership had affected their operations. One-on-one interviews will be employed to interview various employees at different instances at the comany. At the lower level, interviews will seek to evaluate how employees perceive their leaders and leadership models employed in the company. For the senior management, interviews will seek to evaluate how they influence their subjects when employing various strategies.
However, it is worth noting that employees may fail to give some information due to direct contact with the researcher. As a result, questionnaires will also be employed. ii) Questionnaires To facilitate holistic and open contribution of views, questionnaires will also be used. Notably, the strategically selected sample representatives will be provided with the questionnaires which they will fill and submit latter. Unlike interviews, questionnaires will give the employees a more confidential environment to express their views about company’s leadership.
To further aid respondents in answering the questions in the questionnaires, the questions will be effectively structured with simple questions based on the Likert Five Point Scale, for example (Very good, relatively good, not clear, bad, and very bad) (Saunders et al, 2009, pp. 71-72). In total, about 100 questionnaires will be distributed to the sampling population. Secondary data collection methods Secondary data creates an expanded viewpoint for researchers in their researches. In this case, secondary data will be generated from existing literature on leadership models such as books, journals and magazines.
Other sources of secondary data will include Arabic Food Company in Manchester books of accounts. Though secondary data will be employed to strongly support the findings of the study, it will be very critical in drawing applicable conclusions. d) Data analysis After data collection, analysis will be done using the Statistical Package for Social Package (SPSS). This method will facilitate an effective comparison of different variables in determining the effectiveness of leadership at Arabic Food in Manchester. Then, results will be presented in charts and graphs.
e) Limitations and how to address them i) Validity Saunders et al (2009, p. 79) argue that lack of valid data and collection methods project to results which are incorrect and consequently less applicable. To ensure high validity in this study, the researcher will employ random sampling method in collecting the data. As a result, different employees in various sections of the company will have equal chances of being included in the sample. This will reduce the overall bias in the study. ii) Reliability Reliability as Kathy (2010, pp.
402) explains, has been a major setback to effective research in the society. As a result, the researcher in this study will seek to generate high reliability of the collected data by conducting interviews where respondents will get effective clarifications on different issues they will be required to give their perception. In addition, use of questionnaires will further give respondents an effective environment to answer different questions outside their areas of work; a factor which will reduce possible considerations of victimization.
iii) Generalization Generalization in research have always remained a major problem as researchers often get out of their main focus especially with employees opening up about their operation models. Wit this research being no exception the researcher will seek to address this generalization by focusing only on leadership at Arabic Food in Manchester. Furthermore, the researcher will additionally define the key aspects to be assessed; leadership models application in small scale businesses and leaders traits.
Besides, through stratified random sampling, only the respondents identified in it will be used to generate the research data. (6). Ethical considerations The ability to uphold high ethical consideration in a research remains critical in determining the accuracy of the collected data. Klein et al (2006, pp. 602-603 argue that if researchers can be able to guarantee and communicate ethical baseline to their respondents and the research process, results would be highly accurate and therefore very useful in addressing real issues in the society.
In this case, the researcher will first seek to fit in the company being researched operation frameworks. In particular, the management of the Arabic Food Company in Manchester will be adequately consulted to give permission for doing research on the company. By explaining the expected benefits of this research to both the researcher and the company, the management will be able to provide the needed information like overall returns, respective policies and its projections.
Notably, since analyzable data will come from respondents who will be selected using the random sampling method, the researcher will take ample time in explaining to them about the research and how to respond to different interviews and questionnaires. An important point to note is that nobody selected in the random samples will be forced to be in the population against their will. In such cases, an alternative sample will be sought from the same department to maintain the total number of responses; a factor that will be very crucial in latter data analysis.
By factoring in the element of goodwill from the respondents, it will be possible to avoid late submission of questionnaires and leverage greater accuracy of information. Notably, all interviews and questionnaires will be conducted in a highly professional way that will guarantee respondents’ total confidentiality. As a result, the questionnaires will not bear the name of respondents or even their departments; however, they will be given codes that only indicate their time of issue and return.
This will totally clear fear of possible victimization for the employees if they give the correct information. Finally, the researcher will respect all copyright demands for resources that will be used to gather secondary data and information. Respective consultations to key authors where required will be made, while subscription to various authorized libraries will be done accordingly. This will ensure that the researcher does not abuse the existing literature talking into consideration that it is the same information that he is seeking to add.