Leadership and management: a review of current academic research “You may use lots of different styles and approaches when you are leading people, but it’s still you, your character and your personality. You are simply adopting the appropriate behaviors for the particular moment. ” Lock Tyler (2006, pap) Leadership and management are words that can seem synonymous at first glance, quite different on reflection and as slippery as soap when trying to define.
The word leadership is derived from Old English, and has its origin in the sense of pathfinder or taking followers on a journey; management derives room menus, Latin for hand and indicates the control of a machine, or engine. Seen in this light, Leadership stands rather heroically, like the Saxon Beowulf, with management as the classical Roman governor practicing the political art of control. But while that may help to clarify a difference, it does not explain how and where they interact.
In the course of the last century in particular, the study of leadership and management has led to the formulation of multiple theories, each with a different focus; where some highlight a transformational approach that sees the job of leader as being to create new leaders, others might emphasis the situational approach where leadership/management is seen as the function of the relationship between the designated leader, the followers or staff, and the situation.
An area I want to explore in some detail is the use of emotional intelligence (El) in leading and managing. This is partly based on my instinct that this is an area of strength for me, but also because it is my experience that it is not a very well developed skill in current management practice. In The New Leaders, Daniel Coleman, Richard Botanists and Annie McKee describe six styles of leading, each affecting the emotions of the target followers.
The interesting point here is that these are styles, not types, so that any leader can use any style; indeed can tailor the approach to the situation. It is an adaptation that relies on the use of emotional intelligence, which the authors say is “The fundamental task of leaders to prime good feeling in those they lead. That occurs when a leader creates resonance – a reservoir of positivist that frees the best in people. At its best then , the primal job of leadership is emotional. (Coleman et al, 2002 poll) The authors go on to say that “for too long managers have seen emotions at work s noise cluttering the rational operation of organizations”. The chief premise of the emotional intelligence approach is that success in leading and managing requires the awareness, control and management of one’s own emotions, and those of other people. Emotional Intelligence has connections to many other branches of emotional, behavioral and communications theories like Transactional Analysis, Neuron- Linguistic Programming and empathy.
What the approach suggests is that by developing our emotional intelligence we can become more productive and successful at what we do, and help others to be more productive and successful too. There is a firm basis in scientific studies that show that our actions have pronounced physiological effects on other people’s feelings, and vice versa, through the workings of the human limbic system: “The open loop design of the limbic system means that other people can change our very physiology – and so our emotions. (Coleman et al 2002, up) At the heart of the development of the El approach to management is the acknowledgement that reducing stress for individuals and organizations and decreasing conflict will lead to improved relationships and understanding, and increase stability, continuity and harmony; a move from dissonance to assonance.
When I consider my own working experience within the broad field of social provision, I am aware that the development of emotional intelligence among the leadership in general is still underdeveloped, with colleagues often expressing the view that “management” is aloof and that its fiats are uncomprehending of the reality on the ground. In this respect, the II approach is stark in its warning: Perhaps the most unfortunate aspect of organizational dissonance is what it does to the individuals who work there: As their passion diminishes, they can lose touch with their own best qualities.
In place of excellence and self inference, we’ve seen in such companies displays of false bravado, thoughtless compliance, or open resentment. People show up for work, in body at least, day after day – but they leave their hearts and souls elsewhere. ” (Coleman et al, 2002 IPPP) Stephen Covey, in the 8th Habit, describes how most employees experience considerable emotional pain working in their organizations. He says this is because they are treated as objects, not fully developed human beings.
As a response, he indicates the need for a new paradigm based on respect for the complete person – mind, body, heart and soul – not just the part that works from nine to five. It is an approach that centers around personal fulfillment, which in turn is predicated on helping others to achieve fulfillment too. In this respect, it links into Mason’s notions of ‘Self-Actualization’ and ‘Transcendence’ in the Hierarchy of Needs model.
It also aligns with Coveys earlier leadership principles, which aimed at fulfillment through helping others. You can buy a person’s hand but you can’t buy his heart. His heart is where his enthusiasm, his loyalty is. You can buy his back, but you can’t buy his brain. That’s where his creativity is, his ingenuity, his resourcefulness. (Covey, 2004, PAP) Covey here is highlighting the need for principled leadership, an approach which he suggests should be rooted in character traits like integrity, patience, industry and humility.
He calls these traits “habits” and this is an indication that they can be acquired and developed, in keeping with the self-development nature of this type of literature. There are seven of them, as outlined: habit 1 – be proactive habit 2- begin with the end in mind habit 3 – put first things first habit 4 – think win-win habit 5 – seek first to understand and then to be understood habit 6 – synergies habit 7 – sharpen the saw
Essentially, Covey argues that organizations need to consider the people involved in it, and that results-focused working will ultimately fail to deliver the thing it sets out to achieve if the process makes no account for the people involved: Effectiveness lies in the balance – What I call the P/PC balance. P stands for production of desired results, the golden eggs. PC stands for production capability, the ability or asset that produces the golden eggs. (Covey, 2004 p. 54) The insight, neither new nor radical, is to look after the geese that lay the golden eggs.
It is perhaps reflective of modern leadership styles in practice that Covey’s dead is often perceived to be in contrast to what is experienced in the work place. One way in which this situation arises is reflected in Coveys Circle of Concern and Influence (Appendix 4). This suggests that often people direct, or are directed to direct, their efforts to circles of concern, rather than to the circle of influence; to areas where they have no control and away from areas which they can influence.
This has massive implications for an individual’s personal effectiveness, and consequently for the organization as a whole. “Proactive people focus their efforts in the circle of influence. They work on the wings they can do something about Reactive people, on the other hand, focus their efforts in the circle of concern. They focus on the weaknesses of other people, the problems in the environment, and circumstances over which they have no control. Their focus results in blaming and accusing attitudes, reactive language, and increased feelings of visitation. (Covey 2004 pap) The proposed solution is through the use of emotional intelligence in leadership; to understand that we all have our area of influence and concern, and that, as a manager, my area of influence is necessarily different to the workers. As a case n point, in supervising and case managing my four staff recently, I have been asked a number of times to give direction to particular cases where there is a perceived need for definite action.
It has been instructive to experience that in each case the worker had within their self the solution to their “problem” and that our conversation about the nature of the situation at hand was able to tease this solution out. The consequence was, I believe, that the outcome was mutually satisfactory; the worker felt assured of their own professionalism and ability to take the right course of action and certainly felt empowered as a manager eloping to achieve that result.
In essence, then, it is the duty of a manager to help staff identify the best solution out of the range that we are able to consider together. The sense that everyone is working toward shared goals builds team commitment: People feel pride in belonging to their organization. (Coleman, Botanists & McKee 2002, pap) But there is also a risk of being one dimensional in the El approach; that good as it is, it must also be allowed that it is not an end in itself.
As Covey points out, there is a balance to be struck between the wellbeing of the team, which s of course an emergent property of the wellbeing of individual members, and its performance as a whole, the end product which includes results. One way to reconcile these twin demands is to provide the team with knowledge and understanding of the drivers behind service development so that they can develop a clear vision of what is being required of them now and in the future, and to lead and manage the team’s emotions in the light of these facts.
If a team does not have strong feelings and emotions but relies simply on facts to make its decisions it is effectively a less intelligent team The best session makers use both facts and feelings. (Lock Tyler (2006 p. 76) Chapter 3 Methodology It has been apparent in the previous discussion that leading and managing only make sense in the context of a team; without followers there can be no leaders, and my considered approach to managing and leading will be heavily informed by the use of emotional intelligence in my relations with my team.
As mentioned at the start of this assignment, the national 2020 strategy specifically targets a need for strong leadership in integrating services; my use of italics is to emphasis the ongoing nature of a task that will see people’s working habits and environments change dramatically. In considering my research, I was mindful that any method needs to be approached ethically with due regard for the welfare and needs of participants, and that when undertaking research one ought to be honest about how and why the research is taking place.
Furthermore, Cohen and Minion (1994) point out that ethical issues can materialism at any stage of the research process. In type, research can be broadly divided into two camps, or paradigms: ‘positivist’ and ‘interpretative’. Positivist research, sometimes referred to as the scientific del, focuses on objectivity and controllability and is often characterized by its use of quantitative methods (numerical data). In contrast, interpretative research is epistemological in its concern with understanding and interpreting the world. It tends to use qualitative methods like descriptive data.
I adopted both approaches but I began by asking myself a series of questions. The questions were, what particular attributes do I have and in what context might they best be used; what do I need to develop in order to maximize my existing skills; and, finally, what attributes might I need to adopt in order to rather the agenda of ECMA and the 2020 strategy? In order to help me answer these questions I felt I needed to consider the likely sources of any answers. Taking the first question, What particular attributes do have and in what context might they best be used? I felt that this is a question about knowing myself and evaluating my personal attributes and personality type. I therefore decided to evaluate myself according to the Myers- Briggs Type Indicator (AMBIT) where each individual’s personality type is described in terms of a four-letter code, a brief descriptive interpretation of which is provided in Appendix 7. For a simple, straightforward description of one’s personality make- up, use of the AMBIT would seem an appropriate choice. The instrument is scored using oneself as the norm against which to measure oneself, and uses true/ false distinctions.
Four heterogeneous dimensions classify individuals either as extroverted (E) or introverted (l), sensing (S) or intuitive (N), thinking (T) or feeling (F), and judging (J) or perceiving (P). Combinations of the four preferences determine personality types so that each individual is classified in terms of one of 16 possible four-letter codes (such as ESP., NEFF, NNTP, and JIFFS). Each type is aid to define a specific set of behavioral tendencies, reflecting differences in attitudes, orientation, and decision-making styles.
The individual is ultimately typed as either one or the other for each dimension. However, there was a flaw in my plans; the AMBIT test is copyrighted and its use is limited to people who are professionally qualified to administer and interpret the results. I therefore decided to use a variation of the test that provides a asymmetrically simple description of Jungian personality types. Its main use is as part of an overall psycho-dynamic approach that emphasizes the analysis of the relationship twine the leader and the subordinate.
As such, it focuses on the psyche of the leader and on the psychological factors that dictate the nature of the relationship between the leader and the follower. It does not, however, account for organizational factors like the culture of the organization or its structure. Another limiting factor is that many people simply reject the notion that emotional reactions occur to people or events, and organizational leaders in particular are often prone to the view that management and leadership ought to be as rational a process as possible.
However, given my belief that emotions lay a major part in the daily life of people at work as well as away from work, the approach recommends itself precisely because it offers the prospect of greater emotional valence; and while I did not use the evaluation process in its full sense to integrate my personality with those around me, did use it to provide an estimate of my personality type as a starting point for my interactions With other staff. In looking for an answer to my second question, What do I need to develop in order to maximize my existing skills? Felt that this could most usefully be provided by people who know me professionally and/or who have experience of y work environment at a leadership/management level. Asking questions is one of the most common research methods. The researcher can ask questions in a structured or in an unstructured way depending on the type of research and the context in which he/she is doing the research. Surveys are very frequently used with the researcher selecting a sample of respondents to whom he submits a standardized list of questions. In some cases, it is appropriate to have the respondents answer the list of questions themselves.
At other times it is more appropriate to have interviewers ask the questions and record the answers given. This latter technique can be used in face to face interviews or over the telephone. One of the most common ways of asking questions is the self-administered questionnaire and this was the form I chose, admittedly on grounds of time. In choosing the self-administered questionnaire, was aware that the respondent would be totally responsible for understanding the questions, completing the questionnaire and making questionnaire available for evaluation.
However, I attempted to ameliorate some of the difficulties posed by this method by making telephone contact first, talking through some of the issues they would be asked about, and then e-mailing the questionnaire as an attachment. This meant that the mode of reply was set up in the first place, and that any reply could follow swiftly on completion of the attached questionnaire. Paid careful attention to the layout and working of questions because I was aware that there would be no interaction between the respondent and myself.
I was also aware that there would be little control over the way in which the questionnaire is answered so I attempted to make sure there were very clear instructions and layout design in order to guide the respondent. I paid particular attention to the wording of the questions and made every effort to avoid ambiguity. I was also aware that self-administered questionnaire’s do not elicit a large response rate so I was careful to target my respondents as those most likely to reply. Finally, in answering my own final question, What attributes might I need to adopt to further the agenda of ECMA and the 2020 strategy? Felt that it would be useful to gain a different view to that offered by management. Instead, I needed to consider the views of people who do not manage or lead other staff but are managed or led. This decision was an acknowledgement of the reflexive relationship between follower and leader that I have already highlighted. Chapter 4 Research Action, Quality of Data The first evaluation tool I decided to use was a multi-question instrument derived from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (AMBIT).
For the Psychodrama Approach Survey I undertook, please see appendix? Having scored the survey in keeping with its strictures, it elicited my psychological type as ISP, or a combination of Introvert, Sensor, Feeler and Perceiver. An introvert is characterized for the purpose of AMBIT interpretation as someone who: is reflective, internally focused, and deep; someone who likes to think things through before speaking. Please note that this does not include our lay definition of an introvert as someone who is shy. (Morehouse, 2004) According to this interpretation, the key difference between extrovert and introvert is the source of a person’s energy: extrovert from outside, introvert from within. On this basis, I would agree that this is an accurate indication of my introversion/extroversion balance. I think I do tend to draw my energy from within myself, rather than relying on the energy created in my interactions with other people. But I would qualify the interpretation in relation to myself by saying that this is a tendency rather than an extreme attribute.
The next dimension relates to how people gather information. As a Sensor, I am interpreted as being practical, realistic, factual and specific as opposed to being conceptual and theoretical. I think my struggle to understand the difference between these two sides of the dimension probably proves the point that I am a sensor; I find it hard to imagine how one can have concepts or theories that are not predicated on specifics. My third dimension was Feeling, and this relates to decision making.
Where Thinkers are interpreted as ‘firm, just, clear and detached in making decisions” (Morehouse, 2004), Feelers tend towards a humane and harmonious process that makes use of input from other people. Reflecting on my own style, think I do tend towards the more consensual approach, looking to bring people on board to my ideas and allowing them to change or amend decisions if their suggestion seems valid to the group as a whole. My final dimension was Perceiver and indicates how I interpret my environment.
My opposite, the Judger, looks to “control, plan, structure and schedule” (Morehouse, 2004). In contrast, the Perceiver tends to be more adaptable and flexible in their approach. Overall, I think the type ISP is a fairly accurate reflection of my personality traits. Am aware that the instrument’s main strength lies in its ability to help analyses the relationship between the leader and the subordinate but, notwithstanding that, I feel it has helped to highlight the consensual style of my democratic approach to leadership.
Alongside the Umbel-derived survey, I devised a questionnaire that, with prompts, would allow me to structure a discussion beyond a simple question and answer Tyler, and to open out the evaluation from a discussion on my attributes or traits to a discussion of what my new role would demand of its successful practitioner, and how that practitioner might be required to develop in the context of change within the Local Service Team and the Children and Young People’s Directorate, all within the overarching agenda of ECMA and the 2020 strategy.
I chose to circulate this questionnaire to four people who I felt would be in the best position to provide insightful comments to the answers I was looking for; two of them have been very closely involved in my recent career as Education Attendance Officer and as Casework Manager but it is also important to note at this point that there is a sliding scale to the participant’s personal knowledge of me, ranging from long-standing colleague and supervisor, to someone who has never worked with me professionally.
Before I sent out the questionnaires made contact with each interviewee by phone to make sure that they were happy to participate and to reassure them that I was not expecting them to set aside too much of their time. Also made sure that they were aware of the context in which would be using their feedback and that they would be provided with a copy of he assignment. Once I had received the feedback to my questionnaire, I took time to reflect on the detail and substance of the responses.
In analyzing the research conducted, some key themes appear in respect of the difference between management and leadership. The role of casework manager is seen to primarily demand the skills of a manager in that the task is to manage both the service delivery and the personnel in the team delivering this to the optimum level. However, there is also a parallel, if slightly subordinate, need for leadership skills as a consequence of the many different professions involved in Local Service Team (appendix 1).
These need to be integrated so that they can work together more effectively and leadership is seen as the skill that can effect this most successfully. Interestingly, one respondent did not highlight leadership as one of the key attribute. Instead, they suggested that being a political creature was an important aspect of the Casework Manager’s role; in particular, they specified the need to balance casework demands with the limits of internal capacity and to balance all this against the perception of partner agencies.
This was an unexpected response, but probably reflects the voice of experience. Taken together, the interviewees display a clear sense that the leader/manager role is necessarily a balanced compromise that needs to meet the competing demands of the directorate, the team dynamics and, externally, the relationships with partner agencies. What is required is: Adaptability; effective cross-professional partnership and agency joint working. (Appendix 2, pap ) This adaptability also points to one of the most striking themes to come out of the interviews.
All interviewees made reference to change, perhaps not surprisingly given the environment in which we are all working; what is most tricking is that it is referred to as a given, that the environment just is a landscape of continual change and that the leader/manager is someone who must understand this and adapt their self, because … Change is continual. The common mistake that people make is thinking that if they change something, that’ll be it. Actually, change is continual and ongoing which is why it is important to ensure that your people understand that you don’t arrive, breathe a sigh of relief, and celebrate that the change is over.
It is constant. (Tyler 2006, pap) Change, it seems, is here to stay; all the interviewees pointed to the constricting uncial situation and the new political landscape when asked to indicate the challenge to the future delivery of integrated services. My final evaluation was also in questionnaire form, but aimed at providing an insight into how management and leadership is viewed within the organization in general; I therefore limited this questionnaire to non-managerial staff.
In this, was interested in the experiences and perceptions of staff who work on the ground, as a counterbalance to the drift in focus that can so easily occur when one starts to look up the corporate ladder and away from the people who in real sense are holding that ladder for you. It aims to compare their views of the organization’s leadership style with that of their own, as well as seeking to quantify their perception as to whether results are achieved despite or because of the leadership/management of the organization.
I assured all participants that their responses would be confidential, as I felt this was important to ensure the honesty of the responses and to reassure the participants that there would be no consequences for participating. Based on the leadership styles of Coleman, Bobstays and McKee (2002) (Appendix ), the questionnaire was aimed at people working in different roles across the Local Service Team, including Parent & Family Support Advisors and Emotional Health Workers. Eave collated the results below, using the modal average of the scores given by each respondent for each style: Table One- Respondents view of the organization I Visionary – Inspiring / Moves people toward shared dreams 16 13 15 14 to detail I Coaching – Encouraging / Supportive / Guiding I I Affiliated – Collaborative / Harmonious / Problem solving I Democratic – Participative / Inclusive / Team focused
I Pacesetting – Results focused / High standards ‘Attention II Uncompromising targets and monitoring I Commanding – Clear direction / 12 What is clear from this table is that the most dominant style, as perceived by respondents, is Pacesetting followed closely by Commanding. This clearly reflects a feeling among staff that they work for a results-focused and goal-driven organization.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, the styles of management that were least perceived within the organization as a whole were styles involving an El approach, namely Democratic and Affiliated. Furthermore, when asked an open need question about what would improve their experience of management within the organization, the overwhelming response was the wish that management would talk to staff and listen to their views; views that one would expect to be at least softened if a greater emphasis were placed an El.
Chapter 5 Reflection Leadership and management are two distinct terms that are often used interchangeably. In following my research, it has become clear to me that leadership is just one attribute that a successful manager should foster. The main aim of a manager is to maximize the output of the organization through administrative implementation. They can achieve this through organization, planning, staffing, directing and controlling their resources.
In this light, leadership is an element of the directing function. A manager cannot just be a leader: Management requires that manager’s think and act to find the best ways of achieving some target or objective, using and directing other people’s skills. (Flynn, Public Sector Management 2007 up) In contrast, it is the leader who points out the objective: The main tasks of a leader are to generate excitement, optimism and passion for the job ahead, as well as to cultivate an atmosphere of cooperation and trust.