- Describe at least three interpretations (each) of the concepts of leadership and management.
Although leadership and management are often used interchangeably, they are two different concepts based on their definition and functions. While leadership refers to the capacity to influence people to work towards specified goals, management refers to the capacity to organise and coordinate activities to achieve the desired outcome. In human resource management, leadership ensures that the HR function has the capacity and organisational design to work collaboratively with other employees and understand organisational goals and objectives (D’Souza, 2020). The primary differences between leadership and management in the HR context are well illustrated by various models and theories. The interpretation of each concept i.e leadership and management will be exemplified by at least three theories.
According to Haden (2020), leaders, leadership style and the process of leadership are aspects that have a direct impact on the organisation. The models/theories that have been developed and are used to describe leadership include trait theory, situational leadership theory and transactional/transformational theories. The trait leadership theory assumes that people inherit a unique set of qualities and traits that make them better leaders (Haden, 2020). The theory is almost similar to the great man theory whose idea is that leaders are born and not made. The theory is built on the identification of specific behavioural traits shared by leaders. The weakness of this theory is that there is no justification or appropriate explanation for people who possess leadership traits but are not leaders. The weakness nullifies the idea of born leaders and therefore, physical and behavioural traits alone are not enough to define a leader (Haden, 2020).
The situational leadership was developed by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard (Kukreja, 2019). The theory suggests that leaders have to adopt different leadership styles based on the particular situation and development level of the team members (Kukreja, 2019). The primary advantage of this model is that the leader can adapt to the needs of the team and set a balance in an organisation. The situational variables determine a leader’s actions and leadership style. The transactional leadership theory suggests that team performance is based on the chain of command (Zahid, 2019). The primary focus of a leader according to the transactional theory is supervision, organisation and group performance. The leadership approach under this theory suggests that rules, processes and regulations must be observed and the relationship between the leader and subordinate is the give and take relationship. Transformational leadership on the other hand is more relational because it focuses on the relationship between the leader and follower (Zahid, 2019).
The management concept can be justified through the functional models, scientific management model and human relation school of thought. The scientific management model was developed by Fredrick Taylor and it is also referred to as Taylorism (Kukreja, 2019). The model is based on four core principles of scientifically looking at a task to determine the best way to perform it, hiring the right workers, monitoring work performance and diving the work between management and workers (Kukreja, 2019). The functional management model was developed to manage human factors from a systematic perspective. Its primary focus is on functions and not structures. The Human relation school of management is focused on individual and group motivation and leadership (Beynon and Enock, 2017). The theory suggests that the primary focus of motivation is to choose between alternative forms of actions to achieve the desired outcome.
- Explain and justify distinctions drawn between the concepts of leadership and management.
Leadership and management are two different concepts that are dependent on each other and complement one another in their functions (Yulk, 2010). While management involves managing organisational processes leadership focuses on leading people towards achieving organisational objectives. Leaders need to be trusted by their followers to effectively lead them but management requires the manager to control the subordinates. Leadership makes use of principles and guidelines as well as established rules but management applies policies and procedures that should be implemented at the organisational level (Yulk, 2010). While leadership is proactive and seeks to bring changes, management is reactive and is an effective tool for establishing stability.
While some scholars (Kumle and Kelly 2000) argue that leadership and management are two different sides of employee supervision, others view it as complementary roles in an organisation or two sides of the same coin (Gokenbach 2003). The conceptual differences between leadership and management can be traced back to ancient literature where leadership was first defined. It is clear that leadership involves influencing employees through motivation and vision and a leader is expected to provide direction that will bring about change. The conceptual foundations of management came about during the industrialisation period. The emergence of complex organisations required the application of managerial skills for better planning, scheduling of resources and utilisation for better development. Based on the conceptual foundations, it is evident that leadership and management differ in two main ways. First, leadership is associated with influential power while management is about positional power. Secondly, leadership came about to cope with change but management was developed to sought out complex organisational issues (Toor and Ofori, 2008). The table below gives a summary of differences in functions and approach of leadership and management.
Figure 1: (Difference between leadership and management, 2018)
Despite the differences, leadership and development are inseparable in an organisational setting. Often, managers play the role of leaders in assisting businesses achieves their objectives. Additionally, managers must possess the qualities of leaders to build a robust management system that can sustain a competitive advantage and solve organisational problems. Both leadership and management are essential for organisational and individual success (Juneja, 2015). The link between management and leadership in an organisational setting may be difficult to separate. This is because; a manager must have leadership traits to influence people and direct them through a difficult season to create a competitive advantage. Trying to separate leadership and management in a business may cause challenges that will be difficult to solve (Juneja, 2015). All successful organisations comprise of a management system that can plan and coordinate its staff while motivating them to be more productive and to give their best performance.
- Evaluate at least four different approaches for developing leaders and managers
There are formal and informal approaches for developing leaders and managers. Depending on the role, career level or seniority different techniques can be applied in the development process (Zahid, 2019). The formal learning method may comprise of both internal and external courses, online learning, workshops and seminars. The first primary approach for developing leaders is coaching and mentoring. Coaching and mentoring offers one on one discussion designed to meet personal needs. The topic of discussion revolves around leadership and management development and the discussion happens between a manager and an individual (D’Souza, 2020). Coaching is important because it enables the learners to understand that there is a special set of skills that they need to have to be able to manage others effectively. The primary focus of coaching and mentoring is to enhance the effectiveness of a leader/manager.
The second approach for developing leaders and managers is job shadowing. It refers to the technique where two managers are paired up and they have to spend a specified period together. The three applicable types of shadowing include hands-on-technique, observation technique and regular briefing technique (D’Souza, 2020). The shadower is expected to document all observations and provide feedback at the end of the specified period. This is an important technique that helps employees learn the critical elements of other jobs while expanding their knowledge and understanding of their jobs. Shadowing is also a formal avenue for an employee to explore their career potential within their current positions and their aspirations. One of the primary advantages of job shadowing in an organisation is that it promotes networking by breaking departmental barriers across the firm. It also enhances efficient communication and an opportunity to share best practices (D’Souza, 2020).
The third approach is known as secondments. It is an organisational process, whereby an employee may be temporarily moved from one department to another or from their organisation to another organisation. The employee is expected to take up the given role to broaden their skills, knowledge and experience. This approach is widely recognised to be valuable for both employees and organisational development. The primary advantage of secondment is that it offers an opportunity for career development and it is also used as an element of the talent development programme. Secondment is an organisational development approach that plays a critical role in professional development and career progression.
The fourth and final approach is formal learning. This involves enrolling for management and leadership classes in a formal learning institution. The options of formal learning range from undergraduate to postgraduate degrees and diplomas in business management. The degrees are comprehensive because they cover disciplines of management and leadership. Another formal approach includes enrolling for specialist courses such as those delivered by professional bodies as part of the professional development programme. A good example is the CIPD. Other forms of formal learning include management apprenticeships, internal leadership development programmes and enrolling for courses from management membership organisations. While formal learning may be very beneficial for theoretical learning, it is difficult to ascertain the leaders’/managers’ ability to transfer the knowledge into a work station or organisation (D’Souza, 2020).
- Provide at least five examples of how the L&D function can support leadership and management development
Establishing the organisation’s leadership needs by assessing the company’s long term and short term strategic goals. By determining the qualities of a leader that an organisation needs, the development programme can be aligned to meet the organisation’s leadership priorities. Various scholars have listed decisiveness, integrity and fairness as the most desired leadership traits for organisational and business leaders (Beynon and Enock, 2017). Analysing the organisational structure in terms of expansion plans and functions can facilitate the process of needs identification. Designing the delivery of learning and development interventions involve mentoring, nurturing and training leaders when creating the development programme. Various individual activities such as job rotation and project leadership should be incorporated in the development programme. The design should be specific to the operations of a particular organisation.
The third example of how L&D function can support leadership and management development is with the identification and assessment of potential leaders. Any organisational employee is a potential leader but the challenge is in the identification process. Often, the top-performing employees may be regarded as leaders but good performance does not equate leadership skills. An effective programme should be able to look beyond performance and assess individual skills and capability to lead. Availing the leadership and management programme to all employees equips all of them with relevant skills and empowers those with leadership skills. The fourth example is the evaluation of outcomes or measuring results. It is important to determine how one will evaluate the success of a programme before its implementation. Some of the results to be evaluated include the number of participants who complete the programme, number of employees who will receive a promotion upon completion, and the rate at which leadership responsibilities will increase among the employees. It is also important to evaluate the leadership traits that will make the employees more effective in their jobs and incorporate them into the training programme.
In conclusion, the L&D function can facilitate the justification of investing in leadership and management development. As previously stated the programme is essential in the identification and grooming of talented employees who might be considered for managerial and leadership positions in future. Offering rewards, recognitions and compensation to match individual skills is a great technique of employee retention. Holding regular meetings to discuss if employees are satisfied with their jobs and career paths ensure that the workers feel engaged and appreciated. The HR department of the organisation is responsible for the identification of existing skills and talent and the identification of various developmental needs. Having a leadership and management development plan for a business not only promotes the development of skills but also improves the general organisational productivity.
- Identifies at least four indicators of success for leadership and management development programmes
Indicators of successful LMD programme can be categorised into organisational or individual success. However, it is important to ascertain that all indicators are based on SMART goals. The difference between organisational and individual success is brought about by the impact of success. For example, behavioural change that may be brought about by the LMD programme is an individual success that has a direct impact on organisational productivity. The first indicator is individual performance. Using the performance management system to rate an employee enables the employer to grasps the performance improvement and promote the employee if they had applied for a senior position. The primary objective of the programme is to produce leaders. Therefore, the application of theoretical knowledge into the work environment may result in behavioural change. Behavioural changes are indicators of successful LMD programme in terms of its application to an organisation and readiness to transition from the current employment position into a managerial role (CIPD: Gifford 2018).
Effective succession planning is an important element of an organisation and an indicator of LMD programme. High performing individuals are part of a team that can play different organisational roles and if someone leaves a critical role in an organisation there should be continuity (CIPD: Week 2018). The programme ensures organisational continuity by developing leaders that can replace the existing leaders in the event of death, illness, resignation or retirement. An effective programme should accommodate logical details of organisational strategies and resources that can provide a competitive advantage in case of recruitment, retention and unexpected turnover. The rate of employee turnover and retention can impact an organisation’s performance. LMD programmes provide opportunities for skill development and thus serve as an intervention to retain high performing employees. The higher the employee retention rate within an organisation, the better the talent pool retention (CIPD: Green 2018). Retention and talent development have a direct impact on an organisation. An experienced and talented technician is likely to be more efficient than a talented non-experienced technician. Training offered by the LMD programmes is essential in talent development and exposure that adds to persona experience.
The success of the LMD programme can also be measured by the value-added indicators. Value-added indicators refer to any positive impact that arises from LMD intervention other than what is expected. A good example is when middle-level managers build connections in addition to using action learning (Mayer 1997). Value-added indicators are all other duties that were not taught in the LMD programme but the trained personnel can execute without straining. They are a set of values developed as a result of interactions and LMD programme. A happy sheet is a form tailored for a specific evaluation. Use of questionnaires or interviews can provide the desired feedback to assess the positive and negative rating of the LMD programme. Happy sheets ensure that the desired competencies are being transferred and the required adjustments will be conducted (Monarth 2015). In conclusion, the evaluation of successful leadership and management development programme is guided by senior management members of an organisation that are tasked with the decision making process. To attain accurate results, various evaluation methods are used to provide accurate results.
- Provide a rationale for at least three methods to ensure the success of leadership and management development programmes
Involving and ensuring contributions of key stakeholders. The commitment of top management and primary stakeholders to the development process is important because the process can be costly and time consuming. Successful implementation of LMD programme cannot happen without the managers or CEO consent in an organisation. Financial resources will be required over a period of time to ensure and this can only be made possible by the presence of key stakeholders who will authorise the use of organisational resources. It is important for a company that has decided to start a training program to start small so that it can be able to sustain the process. Small groups can be very effective because it is easy to focus on individual skills and ability.
Another method to ensure the success of LMD programme is to develop individualised interventions for the small group that will be subjected to the activities of the programme. Individual talent gaps and development capabilities should be assessed and incorporated in the program. Multiple methods of learning leadership concepts should be considered to fit the needs of different individuals in the selected group. The creation of a multi- media training programme will ensure that different forms of learning (such as written material, one on one discussions and video viewing) are used thus making the leadership lessons interesting. All individual learning through the project should have personal goals and expectations. The goals could be short term or long term. Goals are important in measuring personal success at the end of the programme.
Demonstrating and communicating the achievement of success indicators is an essential element of LMD programme because both the organisation and individuals will be able to gauge their success level. However, upon completion of the programme support should be offered for the new leaders. Conducting regular meetings will have a positive impact on employee retention. The HR plays a critical role in the achievement communication process and the creation of a leadership development strategy. It is through the HR communication office that senior managers will be able to assess return on Investment (RIO). Normally, the size of an organisation determines the structure of the development programme and the cost inputs. Communication through the HR ensures that all aspects of the programme are analysed and the success indicator communicated to all relevant stakeholders.
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