Leadership and change

ASSIGNMENT 1: A critical review of the following three chapters of organizational change - Senior and Fleming - 1500 words: - a) - Leadership and Change b) - Hard Systems models of Change c) - Soft System models of Change

Leadership and Change

In the chapter, Leadership of Change, Senior and Fleming have stressed on the topics such as Management and leadership, Approaches to leadership, Team and distributed leadership and Leadership in times of change. With the help of these topics, they have gathered views on the role of a Leader in the structure of Organizational change. Not only have they stressed on the roles of a leader but also the approaches, the types and the changes that occur in the leadership pattern at the time of the Organizational Development.

Leadership cannot be talked about without taking into consideration the whole thought of management, which led to the formation of the concept of Leadership.

Mullins has described management as an activity that takes place through the efforts of people, which are directed towards the attainment of aims and objectives of the organization, within a structured setting, using predefined systems, procedures and roles.

Leadership on the other hand, as described by Naylor, is a concept in management, which is concerned with influencing of people towards the achievement of organizational goals. As per Mintzberg's Managerial Roles, Leader is one of the ten roles described and, the rest being that of Figurehead, Liaison, Disseminator, Entrepreneur, Resource allocator, Monitor, Spokesperson, Disturbance handler and Negotiator.

Senior and Fleming have also brought into picture the contributions given by Kotter on the comparison between Management and Leadership. Kotter has based the differences on the basis of Direction, Alignment, Relationships, Personal Qualities and Outcomes.

In the terms of Direction, he has stated that Management consists of planning and budgeting while keeping the eyes on the bottom line whereas, Leadership consists of creating a vision and strategy keeping the eyes on the horizon.

In the terms of Alignment, Management includes organizing, staffing, directing, controlling, and creating boundaries whereas, Leadership includes shared values and culture, helping others to grow and reduce boundaries.

In the terms of Relationships, Management focuses on objects, is based on the position of power, and a Manager behaves like a boss whereas, Leadership focuses on people, is based on personal power and a Leader behaves like a coach, facilitator or a servant.

In terms of Personal qualities, a Manager should keep emotional distances, have an expert mind, should be glib-tongued, should follow conformity and should have an insight into organization whereas, a Leader should keep emotional connections, have an open mind, should be a good listener, should be courageous and should have self-insight.

In terms of Outcomes, a Manager's job is to maintain stability whereas, a Leader has the sole responsibility of bringing radical changes. In Kotter's words "Leadership is thus about people and management is about control."

While discussing the approaches of Leadership, Senior and Fleming have stressed on 'One best way' form of Leadership, Transformational Leadership and Transactional Leadership whereas, in Team and Distributed leadership, they have discussed the Contingency theories of Leadership.

Under 'One best way', Senior and Fleming have included leadership traits mentioned by Lord, De Vader & Allier (Intelligence, Extroverts, Dominance, Masculinity and Conservatism), Kirkpatrick & Locke (Drives-achievement, ambition, energy, tenacity,& initiative; Motivation, Honesty and integrity, Self-confidence, Cognitive ability and Knowledge of the business), and Dulewicz and Herbert (Risk-taking, Assertiveness and Decisiveness, Achievement orientation, Motivation and Competitiveness). They have also included risk taking as one of the important traits in relation to Change management, Creativity and Emotional Intelligence.

Under 'One best way', the Leadership behavior stresses on the findings of Wright, who said that the leadership styles are a mixture of- Concern for task, Concern for people, Directive Leadership, and Participative leadership.

Under Transformation Leadership, the leaders who are charismatic and visionary make major changes to Organizational mission, Organizational structure and political and cultural systems of the organization by inspiring followers to transcend their own self-interest for the good of their organizations. Whereas, Transactional leaders, who follow management by exception (active or passive), guide followers to establish goals by clarifying role and task requirements.

In the Contingency theories of Leadership, which study the variety of situational influences on leader effectiveness, Senior and Fleming have included Tannenbaum & Schmidt, Fiedler, Hersey and Blanchard, Path-goal and Quinn.

Tannenbaum & Schmidt have talked about a continuum which shows the relationship between the levels of freedom that a manager gives to the team and the level of authority he uses. The appropriate position on the continuum depends upon forces in the manager, forces in the subordinate and forces in the situation in relation to the nature of task and organizational context.

Fiedler's theory states that there is no best way for leaders to lead as it all depends on the situational factors like task structure, leader-member relations and positioning power of the leader given by the organization. After this he rated the leaders on the basis of task orientation and relationship orientation.

Hersey and Blanchard, through their situational theory discussed the amount of direction and amount of socio-emotional support a leader must provide given the situation and the level of maturity of the managers.

Robert House's Path goal theory is based on the expectancy theory of motivation and thus states that the leaders engage in different types of leadership behaviors depending on the basis of a situation. These behaviors or styles can be achievement-oriented, directive, participative or supportive, based on the environment and follower characteristics.

As per Quinn's theory of Competing Values, the leadership styles should fit the overall organizational model which can be a team, the adhocracy, the firm, and the hierarchy.

In Leadership in the times of change, Senior and Fleming have contributed by including thoughts from Greiner and Clarke & Pratt on Leadership and the organizational life-cycle, Dunphy & Stace on Leadership and the nature of change, Clarke on Leadership and resistance to change and, Strebel, Beer, Eisenstat & Spector and Kotter on Analyzing and managing resistance to change.

The whole discussion about leadership in the times of change deals with the various styles a leader adopts or changes at the time of the organization going through various phases. For e.g. in the case of Organizational Life cycle, Leadership goes for a particular management style as per the phase of the organization. In the case of Dunphy & Stace's Change Matrix, it is study between the type of change and the style of change management. As per Clarke's Resistance to change, the most important is to handle the outraged objections both relevant and irrelevant. The most important among these was Lewin's Force-field Theory of change which stated that organizational change occurs only when either of the two, forces of change or resisting force to change, is occurring or both are occurring together.

Senior and Fleming ended the discussion on Leadership and change by pointing out six major steps to effective change given by Beer, which are Mobilizing commitment, Develop a shared vision, Foster consensus for the new vision, Spread revitalization to all departments, Institutionalize revitalization and Monitor and adjust strategies. They also suggested points why transformation efforts fail by Kotter which is the absence of the following:- establish a sense of urgency, form a powerful guiding coalition, create a vision, communicate the vision, empower others to act on the vision, plan for a create short-term wins, consolidate improvements and sustain the momentum for change and institutionalize the new approaches.

Hard Systems models of Change

To discuss the hard systems model of change, Senior and Fleming have started by discussing the situations of organizational change. As per them, changes with hard complexity are more likely to be enacted easily and speedily than in the case of soft complexity. HSMC that stands for the Hard Systems Models of Change is best applicable in the case of hard complexities or hard situations.

HSMC is derived from the earlier methods of problem solving and decision making such as operational research. These approaches of HSMC rely on the assumption that clear change objectives if identified can help in order to work out the best way in achieving them. These objectives should be quantifiable and concrete about the achievement date.

HSMC consists of three stages, namely the Description stage, the Options stage and the Implementation stage. The description stage describes and analyses the situation, the involved, and thus setting the objectives for the change. The options stage generates options for change and thus selects the most appropriate one. The implementation phase is concerned with putting feasible plans into practice and monitoring the results.

Thus, the HSMC provides for a practical approach to change that has been designed to apply to situations of low-medium complexity. It can also be effective to begin to diagnose a change situation before categorizing it into more simple or complex change. It does not identify the political and moral issues surrounding types of change.

Soft System models of Change

In this part, Senior and Fleming have included thoughts from Ackoff, who gave three perspectives of tackling soft complexity related problems: - Resolve them, Solve them or Dissolve them.

As per SSMC, standing for Soft System Models of Change, these problems require a more people-sensitive, political, 'touchy-feely', 'let's-open-up-on-our-tensions-and-values-and-aspirations' approach.

To this they have added the concepts of:

  • Messy Management: - Managers face messy, moving situations- complex systems of changing problems that interact and problems are defined by analysis from messes, than problems which independent of each other.
  • Group facilitation and sensing: - the group working skills of the change agent and use of behavioral science and organizational development methods.

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