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LDRS 302 Unit 9

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Northouse Leadership Theory and Practice

Chapter 5

Situational Approach

Peter Northouse

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The situational approach was developed by Hersey and Blanchard and is one of the more recognized approaches to leadership.

The situational approach focuses on leadership in situations.
Different situations will require different methods of leadership.

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Situational leadership suggests that a leader should change their method to be supportive of the followers needs.
Situational approach requires that leaders match their style to the competence of the follower.

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Leadership style
The behavior pattern of an individual who attempts to influence others
It includes both:
Directive (task) behaviors
Supportive (relationship) behaviors
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Definition:

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Directive behaviours help followers accomplish goals by giving:
directions,
methods of evaluation,
setting timelines,
defining roles,
establishing goals,
showing how goals are to be achieved
Directive behaviours clarify often with one-way communication:
what needs to be done
how it is to be done and
who is responsible for doing it
Directive (task) behaviors

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Supportive behaviours enable the leader to make followers feel:
comfortable about themselves,
their coworkers,
and any situation
Supportive behaviours involve two-way communication and responses that demonstrate social and emotional support.
An example would be asking followers for input, problem-solving, praising, sharing information, listening.
For the most part supportive behaviours are job-related
Supportive (relationship) behaviors

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A major component of this situational leadership chart is the development level of the followers.
Development levels

Looking at the situational leadership II chart, situational leadership can be broken down to four quadrants
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Quadrant S1. – Directing Approach
The leader is to use a high directive and low supported behaviour.
Focuses communication on goal achievement, with a small amount of supported behaviour.
Leaders give instructions about what and how goals are to be achieved by the followers and then supervises them.
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Quadrant S2 – Coaching Quadrant
The leader shows high-directive and high support behaviour.
Focuses communication on achieving goals and meeting followers’ socioemotional needs.
The leader will be involved with followers by encouragement and soliciting follower input.
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Quadrant S3 – Supportive Quadrant
Leaders use supportive behaviours to bring out followers’ skills:
listening, praising, seeking input, and giving back.
Followers have control of day-to-day decisions, but the leader remains available to facilitate any problem-solving. Leaders are quick to give recognition and social support to followers
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Quadrant S4 – Delegating Approach
The leader offers less goal input to the followers, low social support, facilitate follower’s confidence and motivation regarding details and goal clarification.
Leader has low involvement in the planning control and details.
This type of leadership gives controls to the followers and the leader doesn’t intervene with any unnecessary support unless required.
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What is the competence level of the follower’s?
What is their commitment to achieving the given goal?
It indicates whether a person has mastered skills to achieve the goal or whether they developed a positive attitude regarding the goal
Followers can be classified into four categories D1, D2, D3, and D4,

Development Levels
The degree to which subordinates have the competence and commitment necessary to accomplish a given task or activity

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Definition
Dimension Definitions
D1
Low Competence
High Commitment
D2
Some Competence
Low Commitment
D3
Moderate-High Competence
Low Commitment
D4
High Competence
High Commitment

D4
D3
D2
D1
Developed
Developing
High
Moderate
Low
Developmental Level of Followers

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D1 followers are low competence and high commitment.
They’re generally new to the goal and don’t know how to do it but can be excited about the challenge.

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D2 followers have some competence but low commitment.
They’ve started to learn the job but have lost some of their initial motivation.

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D3 are followers who have moderate to high competence but variable commitment.
Essentially they have the skills for the job but are uncertain with themselves if they can accomplish it.

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D4 follower’s highest development and a high degree of competence and commitment.
They have both the skills and the motivation to do the job and need little supervision.

How Does The Situational Approach Work?
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In any given situation Leaders have 2 tasks:
1st Task
2nd Task
Diagnose the Situation
Identify the developmental level of employee
Ask questions like:
What is the task subordinates are being asked to perform?
How complicated is it?
What is their skill set?
How motivated are they to do the job?
Adapt their Style
The leadership style must correspond to the employee’s development level

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How does the situational approach work?
The whole premise of the situational approach is that around the idea that followers move forward and backward along the development continuum which represents their competence and commitment.

To be an effective leader it is essential that the leader determine where followers are in the development process and adapt their leadership style to match the follower’s development level

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History of usefulness in the marketplace. It is well used for training leaders within organizations.
Practicality.
Easy to understand,
intuitively sensible, and
easily applied in a variety of settings.
Straightforward approach.
Strengths
Prescriptive value.
While many theories of leadership are descriptive in nature, the situational approach is prescriptive. It tells you what the leader should do and should not do in various contexts.

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It emphasizes the leader’s flexibility. Stresses that leaders need to know their followers and what their needs are and then adapt to them. Leaders cannot use any single style. They must be willing to meet the challenges and requirements of the situation. It also acknowledges that followers will act differently when doing different goals.
Finally it reminds us to treat each follower differently based on the goal before them and to seek opportunities to help them learn new skills and competence.

The situational approach emphasises that followers have exceptional needs and deserve the leaders help and attention to be more efficient in their work.
Strengths

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The situational approach has several limitations.
Limited research studies to justify assumptions and propositions set forth.
Concerns over the unclear conceptualization of the follower’s development levels. It is unclear how commitment, combined with competence can form the four distinct development levels
Research does not explain the theoretical basis for each development level. There’s no weighting of competence and commitment across the development levels. (D1 – S2 etc…)
Doesn’t take demographics into account. (Education, age, experience, gender)

Criticisms

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Not entirely practical in all situations. It doesn’t address one to one vs group leadership in organizations.
Why does the motivation level go down or fluctuate as the competence level goes up? (The more competent you are at something the more commitment you should have to doing it?!?)
Situational leadership assessments of leadership effectiveness may classify effective leaders as ineffective if they tend to use the same style across situations (e.g. high task, high relationship).

Criticisms

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Can be applied to any level of the organization from CEO to Workers.
Situational Leadership is applied during the beginning of a project
and when information is important during final phases, when execution is important.

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Do Scientific Management principles hinder or help contemporary leadership Practices?

Student’s Name

Institutional-Affiliation

Course

Instructor

Due Date

Do Scientific Management principles hinder or help contemporary leadership Practices?

Leadership plays a fundamental role in organizations, governments, and family platforms. Before, the 1900s there lacked a contemporary management theory as experienced today. Following the rise of many scholars, who were concerned with addressing the existing gaps in management and leadership respectively, today exists many theories that are applicable to management and leaders in an organization. Among the earlier theories, the scientific management concept has remained popular since its inception by Fredrick Taylor. The scientific management movement produced revolutionary ideas for the time. In this regard, concepts such as worker training and implementation of standardized best practices to improve productivity have been put in the application. Taylor’s theory was referred to as scientific because to develop it, he employed techniques borrowed from botanists and chemists, such as analysis, observation, synthesis, rationality, and logic (Merkle, 2018). Currently, scientific management has helped in contemporary leadership practices through its applications and concepts.

Firstly, using the first principle of scientific management theory, the practice has helped many leaders in increasing productivity. This principle proposes that leaders should look at each task scientifically to determine the best way to do it. Contrary to top leaders who lack sufficient knowledge on a job, this theory helps managers to critically analyze the input and outcomes of a particular task in an organization. To determine the work quota scientific research process is used. Taylor chose the appropriate and skilled workers; researched the exact sequence of these people use in their work basic operations or actions, and each person uses tools; third, action to eliminate all errors which increase productivity (Zhang, 2015). Therefore, this principle helps leaders in following all appropriate steps before assigning workers certain roles.

Furthermore, the second principle of scientific management theory argues that hiring the right workers for each job, and training them to work at maximum efficiency helps in achieving positive results. Instead of firms wasting resources on unqualified workers, the principle helps contemporary leaders to choose qualified and efficient leaders who can perform within the time framework and efficiency (Asyali & Bastug, 2014). Workers assigned to a certain role must possess relevant experience and expertise to ensure better delivery and effectiveness. This principle helps organizational leaders to record profits by hiring employees that possess the knowledge and have the necessary knowledge to navigate workplace problems thus increasing production. Further, the principle proposes leaders train, develop and teach the worker about his/her roles on the job. Therefore, through this approach mistakes and errors are reduced considerably as the best-qualified candidates are allowed to work at the expense of less qualified individuals.

In addition, the third principle facilitates good leadership practice by encouraging cooperation between the employer and the employee to improve productivity and motivation. For instance, Taylor observed that through distributing work, each employee performed well in duties in which they qualify best. Through this theory, leaders are advised to monitor employee performance while correcting and instructing them where they go wrong. Taylor aimed at improving the relationship between a leader and a worker through constructive interaction that increases productivity. Lastly, the fourth principle of scientific management theory emphasizes the division of labor between the management and workers to increase productivity and teamwork. Notably, the role of the management in planning and execution of a task must be accomplished by the worker’s performance of the aforementioned duty. In conclusion, the scientific management theory helps in contemporary leadership through the proposition of principles and concepts that ensure positive production and motivation between the management and workforce.

References

Merkle, J. A. (2018). Scientific management. In Defining Public Administration (pp. 169-179). Routledge.

Zhang, Y. (2015). The Principles of Scientific Management Spread Forever—-to Commemorate the Principles of Scientific Management Be Published by the 100th Anniversary.

Asyali, E., & Bastug, S. (2014). Influence of scientific management principles on ISM Code. Safety science, 68, 121-127.

Leadership Concepts Reflections 

Student’s Name

Institutional-Affiliation

Course

Instructor

Due Date

Leadership Concepts Reflections
In any organization, having a firm and efficient leadership plays a critical part in the long term success.
In this course, I have become aware of various concepts and theories developed by famous scholars about management strategies.
The contribution of concepts such as Marslow’s hierarchy needs and motivation, human relations theory and other neoclassical approaches have shaped my knowledge on evolution of management practices.

Historical view on Leadership
During the entire course, I have learned that leadership perspective has evolved to a more cooperative and friendly level.
Importantly, I recognize that during the tribal era, leaders used brute and excess force to impose authority on followers.
The grave implications of this style of leadership led to followers feeling intimidated and underappreciated thus reducing motivation and productivity respectively.
During the pre-industrial period, leadership was highly associated with religion thus embracing a authorization approach where followers were treated as objects.

Cont’d
Therefore, throughout the course, I have become aware of the struggle of followers/workers to be involved in organizational decisions and plans.
I have learnt that during industrial revolution, workers were less considered in decisions as leaders concentrated on production costs.
Leaders had created a negative perception of workers as lazy, inefficient with supervision required to increase productivity.
Until this period, the welfare of the workers were disregarded by the management of most organizations.
However, post-industrialization period saw the increased concerns about the socio-economic conditions of workers leading to changes in roles and attitudes thus productivity. s

Neo-classical Management theories
During the course, I have appreciated the role of earlier scholars such as Max Weber and Fredrick Taylor on their attempts to provide theories of management
I understand that as a concept, participative management entails involving workers in critical decision-making process thus improving productivity and motion.
I learned that contrary to the past where workers concerns were not addressed, the neo-classical approaches intended to address the existing gaps.

Cont’d
During the classical theory, I realized that employees and followers were treated as machines which left limited room for creativity and motivation.
This concept was replaced by the human relations theory which sought to improve the employee-employer relationship.
Through the Hawthorne’s experiments, scholars and organizations established that providing suitable conditions for workers improved productivity and increased motivation.
Notably, the neoclassical approaches considered workers as a social entity with aspirations, beyond fulfilling duties at work.

Behavioral Approach
I realized that during this course, the impacts of acquiring behaviors and skills can play a fundamental role in leadership.
Depending on the level of management in an organization, the three skills namely conceptual, human and technical can assist leaders in day-to-day operations.
In terms of human skills, the course has taught me to consider the views of others as well as mine before making a decision.
I realized that good leaders should create a good, comfortable and secure atmosphere where workers can freely voice concerns that they face.

Cont’d
Additionally, I have learnt about the need for leaders to possess technical skills in solving problems
Before the course, I thought technical abilities are needed at all levels. however I have learned that in top management platforms, managers require human and conceptual excellence to address issues at work.
Developing concepts and ideas are critical to any management compositions as it helps the firm to beat off competition
The course has enlightened me on the need for leadership to be aware of the potential problems found at workplaces.

Scientific Management theory
I understand that this theory was among the earliest attempts science to the engineering process of leadership and management altogether.
During the course, I have learned of the objective of scientific management theory to improve work efficiency.
This theory emphasizes on teaching, training and developing an employee to improve productivity and efficiency.
I agree with the theory’s emphasis on assigning duties to employees based on their capability and motivation which results in maximum input.

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