Jan 16, 2019 in Economics

Behavioral Theory Management Essay

Part 1

Leading and Managing

Leadership and management are two words that are frequently used interchangeably when it comes to the operation and running of organizations. For many years, there have been debates in academic circles relating to the correlation between management and leadership. The questions that arise include whether a manager has to be a great leader and whether a leader needs to possess good management skills. This brings about the general question of what is the difference between leadership and management (Kotter, 2008). 

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Managers are known to be focused on the stability of the organization while leaders are more focused on innovation. Also, managers get people to carry out tasks more efficiently while leaders get people to make an agreement on how things ought to be done. 

Leadership may be described as an influence relationship that exists between leaders and their follower who aim for real changes that are a reflection of their shared goals. Management, on the other hand, may be said to be the attainment of the goals of the organization in a way that is effective and efficient. The manager can only achieve this if they organize direct, plan and staff organizational resources (Kotter, 2008).

Management relates to the process of control, which makes sure that performance lapses are realized and corrected through the use of feedback. Process of management must, therefore, be very close to fail-risk and risk-free. This means that managers try to avoid risk as much as possible while leaders are risk-takers. Leadership, however, is concerned with motivation, inspiration and energizing of people. This is attained through the satisfaction of their basic human needs attainment, a sense of recognition, self-esteem, belonging, self-control and the ability to stand by a person’s ideals.

Leaders are frequently referred to as bright and mercurial, with a great personality. They are also known to be comfortable with taking risks that may be at times crazy and wild risks. Most leaders are also known to have high imagination levels. Managers, on the other hand, have the tendency of being rational and self-controlled problem solvers.  They regularly concentrate on personnel, goals, available resources and structures. The personalities of managers are more inclined towards strong will, intelligence, persistence and analysis (Kotter, 2008).

Individuals naturally and voluntarily follow leaders because of their great personalities and charisma. A manager, on the other hand, will be obeyed because of the formal authority that is bestowed on him. Consequently, persons tend to show more loyalty towards leaders instead of managers. This makes leaders have followers while managers have subordinates (Elearn, 2009).

Management and leadership are two different methods of organizing individuals. Leadership involves setting a new vision or direction for a group, that is, a leader spearheads that new direction or vision. Management, on the other hand, is involved with controlling and directing persons or resources in a group in accordance with the already established values or principles. The manager applies formal, rational means while the leader applies passion and stimulates emotions.  This makes management objective and leadership subjective (Elearn, 2009).  

A leader is considered to be one who guides and influences other individuals while the manager is said to be a person who directs or administers others. Leadership is further stated to be more of an art while management is said to be more of a science.  The greater structure is rooted in management, and a lot of flexibility is based on leadership (Elearn, 2009).  

Leadership or Management or Both

Both leadership and management are good. There is a need for both roles. In most cases, leaders may end up as managers and managers may become leaders. Managers may become leaders through offering vision, approach, way and motivation to the organization and reinforce the principles and vision adopted. This is because management consists of the enactment of the vision and strategy that the leaders provide. At every level of organization, the reality is that managers have to lead people, and thus leadership is needed.  Neither leadership nor management is better than the other or a replacement for the other. The real challenge is, however, joining tough leadership and tough management and using them to balance each other. If, therefore, any of either management or leadership lacks in an organization, success in present day competition will be elusive. Good leaders motivate individuals through making the vision applicable to a particular group. They also support the employee with coaching, role-modeling and recognition of success. This has the same importance for a team leader and a manager. This shows that for a firm to be prosperous, it needs both great leadership and great management. 

Implementing Leadership and, or Management in Work Style

In any work form, both leadership and management should be executed. To be a strong manager or leader, or both, one has to adhere to difficult personal development. They also have to have faith in their own humility which is achieved from years of continuous experience. They own instincts, and values should also be their own guide. The charisma exhibited by leaders will play a great role in ensuring a good relationship between the leader and the employee. The rational trait of a manager will ensure that one is objective in reasoning and handles all situations that may arise with somberness.  The values set or initiated by the leader will be implemented through the work of a manager who will get things done. A person will undoubtedly perform better as a leader if they have some level of management skills as it assists them envisage the execution of their strategic vision. 


Traits Theory and Its Takeaways

The trait theory is an approach that is taken in the study of leadership. It majorly focuses on the personalities of leaders. In leadership studies, leader traits are personality or physical characteristics that can be employed in the differentiation between leaders and followers. According to this theory, traits are comparatively steady over a certain period, affect behavior and differ from one person to another (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2003). 

This theory, as stated by Stogdill and Mann, asserts that there are five core traits that are possessed by leaders. These are dominance, intelligence, levels of energy and activity, self-confidence and knowledge that is task-relevant. The theory further states that there are prototypes of traits and conducts associated with leadership. They include dominance, masculinity, and intelligence.

According to the traits theory, in relation to leadership studies, there are various particular traits that are associated with bad leaders. These traits include incompetence, corruption, rigidity, intemperance and narrow-mindedness. In this theory, women are considered to display more of social leadership. They employ more participative and democratic forms of leadership. Men, on the other hand, display more of a task, using more autocracy and dictatorial forms of leadership compared to women (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2003). 

The trait theory divides the central traits of leaders further into subgroups. These subgroups are task competence that entails skills on problem-solving, knowledge, and intelligence. There is also interpersonal competence that includes the demonstration of empathy and care and the skill of communication. The personal traits entail sociability, integrity, conscientiousness, and self-confidence.

The takeaways from the traits theory include the considerations that institutions may desire to embrace the use of evaluations on traits and personality in their procedures of employment and promotion. Also, programs of developing management may be used in the building of a conduit of leadership aptitude (Mullins, 2007). 

Behavioral Styles Theory and Its Takeaways

The behavioral styles theory centers on the specific behaviors that leaders possess. According to this theory, the behavior of a leader is the most reliant means of predicting their influences. The behavior of leaders, therefore, is the best determining factor of their success in leadership. 

A study by Ohio State University identifies two self-governing scopes of leader behavior. These include initiating structure, entailing the organization and definition of the activities of the group members. They also entail consideration, entailing the creation of mutual trust and respect between the leaders and followers (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2003). 

The Ohio State studies developed four styles of leadership. First is the high structure-high consideration style. Here, the leader offers more guidance regarding the means of task completion while maintaining high consideration on the employee’s needs. Second is the low structure- high consideration whereby the structure of employees’ tasks is less emphasized while the leader focuses on satiating their needs. Third is the low structure-low consideration style where there is a failure by leaders to provide sufficiently for both employee task and needs. Last is the high structure- low consideration style in which the structure of employee tasks receives more prominence with little focus on their needs (Mullins, 2007). 

From the behavioral theory, one understands that there is no particular outstanding leadership style, and the behavior of leaders can be methodically developed and improved. Also, the efficacy of a leader is dependent on the existing situation

Fiedler's Contingency Model and Its Takeaways

The contingency model by Fielder asserts that there is no particular way that is the best for leaders to execute their leadership. In this theory, Fielder further states that it the requirements of a leadership style are dependent on the various situations that are experienced by the leaders and the circumstances surrounding them. The solution to a leadership situation, therefore, is contingent on the aspects that are of influence to the existing situation. An instance of this is, in an environment that is highly mechanistic where the norm is having monotonous tasks, a comparatively directive style of leadership may lead to the best performance. In an environment that is dynamic, however, a leadership style that is more flexible and participative may be needed (Mullins, 2007). 

Among the takeaways from Fielder’s contingent model is that leadership styles are not constant. They vary depending on the existing situations. Also, a good leader is one who exercises their leadership in a way that is adaptive to the situations as they change. For a leader to be effective, they ought to take their circumstances into considerations, thereby ensuring observance if all their surroundings. This includes the environment together with the employees involved (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2003).

House’s Revised Path-Goal Theory and Its Takeaways

Robert House’s path-goal theory states that leaders can influence a group’s satisfaction, performance, and motivation through reward offers for achievers. They can also do this through the clarification of the paths towards set goals and the removal of performance obstacles. House’s revised version states that leaders engage in conduct that complements the group’s ability and compensates for shortages. It offers that the behavior of leaders, together with certain characteristics of employees and environmental factors affect the effectiveness of leadership (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2003). 

Among the takeaways of the revised path-goal theory by Robert House is that the effectiveness of a leader is dependent on such factors as the task structure and the employee features. There should be a simultaneously pushed mutuality in these factors for there to be effectiveness. Also, the working together of the behavior of the leaders and the characteristics of employees together with the environmental factors results in the attainment of positivity for both the leader and the employee or group member (Mullins, 2007).


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