The idea of making profits is the sole reason for the existence of any enterprise, and therefore, effectiveness in this key objective comes at the cost of collaboration among employees and employers. Besides, the path to realizing business objectives requires management and leadership roles to ensure coordination in business operations and decision-making. My aim is to communicate and ensure my fellow workmates embrace an entirely digitized platform for their marketing activities, in particular for sales of new products in the market. Consequently, I have encountered a major problems as a leader in my department at Apple Inc., which is the lack of enough support and collectiveness from colleagues and fellow employees to work towards the set goals. In essence, this leadership challenge is a critical issue because it concerns individuals and their duties in the firm, and thus, failure to correct it could jeopardize operations and functioning of the company, leading to massive economic losses and unemployment.
Areas of Concern
The world of digital marketing demands necessary skills in computing and application of information technology facilities; this is a major concern for Apple Inc. Also, collaboration among employees and employers is another area of concern which ensures collective action in the communication of insights that enable good strategies so as to achieve the goals and objectives of firms. Lastly, it is important to consider the better relationship in the departments as another element of concern because it forms the pillar for the management of quality production and marketing in an enterprise.
Employers and employees are the primary players involved in gaining support and collaboration towards initiating an exclusive digital marketing environment in the firm, and as stated above as my leadership challenge. In this case, the employers are responsible for supervising and coordinating operations in the company while employees play key roles in meeting the goals and objectives of the company and this may involve collective effort input and engage clients about better products in the market.
Leadership Theories and Models
The Leadership Grid
According to Hania Zeidan (2009), the Leadership Grid model is a very modern concept for understanding leaders' alignment regarding 'task against people' concept as advanced during the early 1960s by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton. The model is practically essential in analyzing leadership styles in that it places the level of task orientation against person-centered and, therefore, determines up to five unique combinations of command types (Zeidan, 2009). From Blake and Mouton's interpretation their perceived dimensions were assigned Concern for Production, which indicated the attitude to attain results, and Concern for People, denoting the consideration for people when applying leadership roles (Molloy, 1998). Blake and Mouton (1982b) demonstrate that the two facets, as interpreted, would allow a high-high style of leadership that represents an integration of high degrees of the two dimensions. Furthermore, plotting concern for production versus care for people, on the grid, the results will have two observations. Therefore, the inference is that by emphasizing one element than the other, it could yield small production. However, when both production and people are considered equally, then there is an increase in collaboration among employees as well as productivity (Zeidan, 2009).
In their development, Blake and Mouton (1964) debated that, on the one hand, an individual responsibility to production while ignoring the welfare of employees involved in the production, results in trouble and discontent and hence, performance is affected negatively. On the other hand, however, overemphasizing thoughts to ensure good relations and prevent conflict is equally devastating for a business' role to meet its objectives. Therefore, from the Grid theory plotting the two variables, nine levels of concern are generated such that from 1 implies low degrees of interest while to 9 meaning high levels of concern (Zeidan, 2009).
From this perception of managerial behavior, there are five leadership styles as demonstrated by Blake, Mouton, and Barclay in their work on Gridworks (1993):
The bankrupt level (1, 1): which is described by small production and few employees.
The country club type: that has low production levels and many employees, due to much stress on the concerns of the people than production (Zeidan, 2009).
Produce and imperious form (9, 1): that is described by high degrees of output and small numbers of people. A task-aligned leader will put more emphasis on production than the thoughts for employees.
The status-quo style (5, 5): which has average production levels and staff in average numbers.
The team style (9, 9): which has high degrees of output and equally great numbers of people, implying leadership that pays emphasis on the concerns of both production and employees (Zeidan, 2009).
The Leader-Member Exchange Theory
According to his research Lunenburg (2010) indicates that the Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) framework consists of two distinct parts, that is, the association of leaders and each employee at an independent level, as opposed to the link between managers and staff as a group. Mostly, each association varies regarding quality, and thus, considerably, the leader has the bad interpersonal connection with some employees while at the same time, with other employees, they have good relationships (Lunenburg, 2010). These pairing relationships become a concept of primarily in-group and out-group scenario.
LMX theory demonstrates that a leader will establish exchanges with members of the firm on either in-group or out-group dyadic associations (Lunenburg, 2010). For instance, in-group members are involved in decision making and given additional responsibilities, and thus permitted freedom in their duties. The resultant effect is that the leader and employee discuss the employees' roles in a non-contractual exchange correspondence. Lunenburg (2010) suggests that in this part of the relationship, members adopt a higher unofficial rank as trusted deputy. On the contrary, out-group members comprise of employees that experience limited supervision different from the prescribed attention to be accorded to them as per the employment agreement (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010). The management is mandated only by the agreement between the subordinate and the enterprise. Consequently, the leader carries on his/her role as prescribed and does nothing further, and in this case, indicates that leaders are employing an exchange based on the contract with employees. Leaders end up exercising legal powers and not true leadership (Ilies et al. 2007). Similarly, staff in this category will also execute their duties only as indicated in their contracts.
Situational Leadership Theory
In the works of Jim McCleskey (2014) Situational Leadership Theory (SLT) implies that leadership in its effective way employs an intuitive understanding of current matters and responding appropriately, as opposed to a charismatic leader who is responsible for a multitude of followers (Grint, 2011). Review of past literature demonstrates that evolution of Situational leadership from a general view and Situational Leadership Theory (SLT) specifically, are from the managerial continuum of task-centered against people-centered (Conger, 2011; Lorsch, 2010). Although, the continuum was a representation of what leaders should emphasize as the important aspects whether responsibilities or associations with their subordinates, SLT, however, represents managerial styles, and highlights the requirement to align the director's managerial techniques to the rationality of their employees, as once advanced by Hershey and Blanchard (1996).
Several researchers have labeled SLT as a framework of behavior or rather contingency concept (Bass, 2008; Yukl, 2011). Indeed, both theories are valid since SLT directs leaders' character to concentrate on production and people (McCleskey, 2014). For instance, leaders with an alignment to tasks will outline employees' duties, provide instructions, plan and organize the structure of tasks and create official exchange channels. Whereas, relation-centered managers endeavor in the concern of people, whereby they make efforts to prevent conflict, encourage equity in engagements and harmony (McCleskey, 2014). Therefore, SLT accepts the element of behavioral, strategic leadership and also, admits that the conceptualization of task and link dimension are secondary characteristics contrary to mutually exclusive concepts. Jim McCleskey (2014) agrees that the maturity aspects of subordinates will suggest the appropriate style of management as well as link the past training and learning packages (Bass, 2008).
Application of Theories and Models
The leadership role of influencing fellow staff members and employers to shift into a complete digital marketing platform is vital for ensuring that each set goal and objective is met at Apple, Inc., and also providing better sales for new products in the digital world. However, the challenge of gathering support and collaboration towards this initiative cannot be overlooked.
Therefore, given the Grid Model, the level of attention given to applications and usage of computer applications for marketing purposes needs to be higher and equally rated as the degree of concern given to fellow employees and employers at Apple, Inc. For instance, according to Blake and McCanse (1991), a team management approach is what suits this initiative whereby, there is a definite concern given to both production processes and the people. Subsequently, optimum conditions and equal opportunities to advance staff relationships will be created and hence, increase efficacy in production. This, on the one hand, will involve motivation to employees and training of relevant computing skills and establish better communication of ideas. There will also be innovative digital marketing tools and facilities that are fast and reliable to both staffs at Apple, Inc., and consumers globally. The Grid concept rating of (9, 9) as mentioned by Zeidan (2009) makes an accurate estimation of proper degrees of collaboration and relationship in the business. Besides, in this application leaders can engage in conversations with employees about behavior concerns as well as improvement strategies.
Similarly, the Situational Leadership Theory (SLT) plays a key role in this leadership challenge whereby the leadership style to be adopted relies upon the environment or scenario that should be acted upon by every staff at Apple, Inc. Therefore, in this case, as the leadership style changes so are the needs of the employees. For example, to develop tolerance and support in employees towards a new move into digital marketing will require a supportive behavioral leadership whereas, to influence real digital marketing environments would need a directive leadership role. Since Apple, Inc., is a reputable company, the SLT theory serves right to indicate that in the case of rational and mature employees, support will be available in the areas of training relevant computer skills and application of digital marketing tools and more directions towards the set goals and objectives. Through supportive actions, collaboration efforts will be nurtured among employees and employers, and brought together to support the migration into a complete digital marketing platform.
Moreover, the application of Leader-Member Exchange strategy is seen to be supportive, particularly in areas where the leaders can acknowledge the differences among employees and the fact that these disparities lack randomness. In the case of Apple, In...
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