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Leadership style is the manner and method of providing direction and motivating the employees at the organizational level. A leader is a person, who possesses a particular talent and has experience in a certain field. The excellent manager allows other leaders to emerge by motivating them to enter the next level. Different types of organizations require various leadership styles application. Therefore, leaders should choose the appropriate style to fit the firm’s peculiarities (Russell & Stone, 2002). When leadership styles are applied in the best manner, the company achieves the set goals and targets. Power and personal characteristics are the main foundations of leadership.
Situational Leadership Styles
Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey developed situational leadership style. It refers to the way leaders in an organization adjust their behavior to fit the employees as a response to willingness to influence them (Strom, Sears & Kelly, 2014). Under situational leadership style, the behavior may adapt to meet the needs of the stakeholders based on the current situation. Situational leadership follows the principles of directing, coaching, supporting and delegating. Directing happens when the workers have limited experience and knowledge for any task assigned to them. When the subordinates cannot perform the job to the standard, the leaders should take directory role to ensure the proper performance. Moreover, the function allows the leaders to supervise the workers depending on the prevailing situation (Hamstra, Van Yperen, Wisse, & Sassenberg, 2015).
Coaching approach is useful when the followers have the motivation to perform a task, but do not possess necessary skills to carry out the roles assigned. The method requires the leader to allocate the duties and responsibility. The coach typically seeks ideas and suggestions from the junior employees. During coaching, the leaders spend time with the followers, listening, advising and helping them to acquire the skills to perform the task. Supporting is also part of the situational leadership style. The approach is very useful when the employees or the followers have low willingness but high ability to complete the task assigned to them (Hamstra et al., 2015). Supportive function of leadership works in the situation when the followers can perform the job but refuse to do so. Therefore, a good leader should discover the reasons the employees are not willing to work. A supportive leader is an active listener, who appreciates the subordinates and motivates them in their work. Finally, the delegating approach is useful when the employees possess high willingness and the ability to work. Thus, the leader needs to delegate various task to the followers to ensure the support.
The following section presents the main advantages of the situational leadership styles in any organization.
- The leadership style is regularly used for training the future leaders. Junior employees, who have been delegated some roles, perform them successfully.
- The approach is easy to understand and apply in most organizations.
- It shows how leaders should act to ensure contribution of all followers.
- It motivates the employee, as they feel appreciated and recognized in the organization through delegation of authority.
- A strong relationship occurs between the leaders and the employees through situational leadership styles.
- With changing strategies in the organizations, a leader faces a challenge of implementing new strategies.
- The approach creates pressure on the leaders to ensure that the goals are met on a timely basis.
- The approach fails to address how demographic features affect the followers’ responses to leadership approaches.
- The style fails to explain how the subordinate employees move from low development areas to high development areas.
Servant leadership style is a set of practices that aim to enrich the lives of the employees in an organization; hence building a better environment. A servant leader helps others in the entity rather than subordinates serving the leader (Russell & Stone, 2002). Therefore, the approach motivates individuals to achieve and improve in their workplace. The leaders put the interest of their followers first through empowering and assisting them to develop their potential (Javed, Jaffari & Rahim, 2014).
Servant leaders are ethical and always lead others to serve the organization and the society. Servant leadership is guided by the four principles. First is the transformation for personal and organizational growth to achieve the objectives. Second is personal growth to ensure the followers can serve others in the company. Third pillar is nurturing the spirits to offer joy and job satisfaction at the workplace. The fourth principle is creating commitment of the followers to the organization as a way to ensure the collaborative effort.
A servant leader aspires to develop dreams and allows opportunities to be realized within the organization. The leadership promotes teamwork; hence enhancing problem-solving skills. A servant leader does not consider himself or herself above anybody in the organization. However, he believes all people are equal in the workplace. Therefore, a leader sees the subordinates as peers to lead and to learn from. They believe that being a leader does not make them better than the rest of the employees. Thus, the servant leaders are team builders as they contribute to the strength of the followers. Also, they act as a follower when needed. The servant leader uses power in an honest way for the welfare of the organization and the employees, with whom he or she cooperates (Sethuraman & Suresh, 2014).
- The servant leadership style is effective in various organizations, as it allows diversity to nurture in any environment.
- An organization that uses servant leadership approach involves their employees in the decision making process, where all opinions are considered. Therefore, the type of leadership incorporates problem-solving skills.
- Servant leadership creates teamwork through the involvement of all staff members, which is the important teambuilding function of the company.
- It increases job satisfaction and motivation. A servant leader views oneself as equal to the rest of the group and, therefore, motivates the followers to perform various tasks together.
- Servant leadership does not encourage the workers to think or be creative.
- The leaders, who view themselves as servants, are likely to fire their team members quickly.
- The involvement may result in poor decision-making because of the difference in opinions.
Application of Leadership in an Organization
Situational leadership can be applied in any organization to solve the problems at hand. Also, it helps the companies to achieve the targets. In the current paper, General Motors Company is an example that faces a situation of employee underperforming due to low wages and lack of career growth. A leader, who is the human resource manager and the managing director, will apply situational leadership styles in solving the issue.
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The situational leadership model requires the leader to determine the nature of the situation. In the current case, they need to establish the cause of the employees’ underperformance (Javed, Jaffari & Rahim, 2014). Then, the manager should try to understand the task at hand through initiating a negotiation with the employees. Finally, the human resource manager should use their delegating, coaching and supporting skills to resolve the issue.
Through the situational leadership style, employee development level will be increased, whereby the leaders direct the employees in their duties and offer to coach them. The leaders should ensure that the firm increases their profit level through higher output from the employees. The managers will study the situation rather than commanding and forcing the human resources to work. A leader should not be feared but respected; and therefore, under situational leadership style, the management will try to fit in the follower’s shoes and discuss the problems they are facing.
The supportive and motivating culture increases productivity in the G.M Company; hence addressing the low output issue. The output may be reduced due to low job satisfaction. Thus, improving staff morale will lead to the supportive environment. Situational leaders are good actors since they know how to adapt to the different situation they face. In the given case, the leaders should encourage the employees to work harder through various incentives. In the end, there will be an improved worker output as their leaders guide, couch and direct them.
General Motors can apply servant leadership to solve the problem of low output in production. The servant leaders act as equals with the employees. They will involve the employees in various decisions making and build a culture of teamwork. Therefore, it will lead to engagement of the workforce into the organization, while building stronger relationship.
They will actively motivate the employees to perform their duties well by leading through examples. Consequently, the employees will learn from them and return to their respective duties. Therefore, the two leadership styles help to solve the conflicts that may arise in the workplace environment. Firms should apply the methods in their operations to improve the performance.
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How Situational Leadership Styles Shape Organization Structures
An organizational structure shows the line of authority and displays the pattern of jobs in the company. They should be designed and shaped to achieve the organizational goals in the timely and effective manner. The organizational structure may be divided into centralized and decentralized methodology. In centralized structure, top management team conducts most of the decision-making and exercises firm control over the entire entity. In a decentralized structure, the decision-making roles are distributed among the employees in the department. Leadership style has a significant effect on the organization structure and is part of the primary determinant of efficiency and profit maximization. Application of situational leadership style will affect the decision making patterns in the firm (Du, Swaen, Lindgreen & Sen, 2013). For example, the servant leaders will regularly consult the junior employees to learn and understand their issues and ideas. Therefore, the structure will change as the employees cooperate with their senior leaders without following the hierarchy. There will be a close relationship among the management team members that contributes to solving any conflicts. On the other hand, servant leadership contributes to the development of future leaders within the organization and decreases the hierarchy boarders.
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Leadership is the major elements of any company. The top management has the role to influence the productivity and the morale of their workforce. Leadership style has a direct impact on the employee morale and company’s productivity. The situational and servant leadership styles help to shape the organizational structure through the close relationship among the management team members. Teamwork is significantly improved with the assistance of a good leader, who acts as a servant in the firm and increases the perceived equality. The organization should define the leadership style to correspond and contribute to the organization's success.
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