The main objective of understanding the leadership models is due to the dynamic changes in diversity and complexity in present organizations. According to Winston & Patterson (2006), a leader is someone who trains and guides people who possess different skills and capabilities necessary for the achievement of all goals and objectives in an organization. The leader motivates the follower to put all their efforts in a unified effort to achieve the organization's goals. The critical importance of a leader is to ensure that everyone works hard towards the accomplishment of the organization's goals and objectives, which means proper coordination of all the activities in an organization.
Therefore, in an attempt to achieve the best in an organization, there is a need for the selection of the appropriate leadership style because a leadership style that suits one organization will not satisfy the other efficiently. It is, therefore, necessary to understand the various leadership styles to appropriately determine the style that best suits an organization's needs. Several theories have been described in the past, which try to create a functional and vivid comprehension of the different leadership styles. The leadership styles and models, however, have dynamically changed from time to time, leading to the emergence of new models.
Characteristics of Traditional and Contemporary Leadership Styles
The traditional leadership styles were initially formulated in the 1960s and it's from which recent developments have led to the emergence of new models of leadership. Examples of traditional leadership models are trait model, behavioral leadership model, and contingency model of leadership. Trait theories of leadership are based on the identification of personality traits that differentiate a true leader from those that cannot lead. Trait theories believe that a leader is born with leadership qualities and that leadership trait cannot be gained through learning. However, this model has been criticized since it fails to account for situational and environmental factors that can influence the development of a successful leader (Slocum & Hellriegel, 2007) positively.
Another theory is the contingency theory; it considers both the organizational and situational factors as critical factors in the determination of effective leadership. In this theory, the effectiveness of leadership will not rely only on the leadership style but also on a number of factors: the relationship between leader and subordinate, the hierarchical power held by the leader and the organizational setup. In the behavioral leadership model, the main focus is on the behavior of leaders at different hierarchical levels and ranks in power in relation to their subordinates. In this leadership model, there are three models, autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire. Autocratic leadership style all decision-making and power are centralized; hence, all the power lies in the hands of the leaders. Democratic leadership style encourages group participation, where leaders and subordinates come together to make decisions. Laissez-faire style, the leaders possess maximum power and authority, but they are not actively involved in their works. The main characteristic of traditional leadership styles is that they focus mainly on the relationship between the leader and his or her subordinates to predict the organization's outcome.
In contemporary leadership, models argue that leaders have the ability to cope with radical changes, contradictions, and they have the potential to identify and react to complex situations within an organization successfully. The most common examples of contemporary leadership model include charismatic, transactional, and transformational leadership styles. In the case of transactional leadership, the leader can identify and give a reward according to the service provided. Therefore, in this model, leaders should be to correctively identify the best prize that will motivate subordinates to work more towards the achievement of the organization's goals.
On the other hand, transformational leadership involves an interactive method through which both leaders and followers transform towards positive development in an organization. The leaders observe high moral and work ethics, which inspires confidence and loyalty to followers. In this case, the leaders are more concerned with the general development of the subordinates in terms of personal life and professionalism, which contributes positively to the organization's growth. Charismatic leadership model, the leaders use their own personal influence rather than the formal authoritative power to influence the followers. In this, the leaders inspire their subordinates through their understanding of the organization's goals and objectives.
In the four-framework approach, Bolman and Deal (1991), the display of leadership characteristics is in one of the four frameworks: structural, political, symbolic, or human resource. Leaders utilize one of the four styles, but only one is appropriate for a particular organization and at a specific time. In several organizations, structural leadership is more effective than symbolic. Structural leadership focuses on the integration of environment, strategies, and general structure towards achieving the organization's goals. Human resource framework leadership style involves believing in people, empowering the subordinates, sharing of information, and engaging the follower in the decision-making process. In political style, the leaders give vivid instructions on what they want and control the distribution of resources. The leader concentrates more on team-building. Finally, Symbolic leadership involves leaders who visualize an organization as a theatre with different roles, there is the use of symbols to draw attention, and the primary leadership style is an inspiration.
Incorporation of Traditional and Contemporary Leadership Styles in Adult Learning Praxis
A profession is an occupation that requires training, education, and ethics to meet and maintain general standards. The society has various professions and organizations among them educational institutions. Currently, educational institutions are critical, owing to the importance of education. An educational institution, by definition, is a group of individuals, in a particular place whose main objective is imparting knowledge, skills, and training to students to achieve educational goals and objectives.
It is similar to other organizations whose aim is to achieve particular goals. School leadership involves developing ways and guiding talents and integrating the efforts of teachers, pupils, and parents towards the achievement of educational goals. It has a high impact on the perception of students and teacher's organization of instructions and the overall educational interactions (Mulford, 2003). The head principles head school leadership; they play the administration roles in the schools. Their main objective and purpose are coordinating the efforts of the critical stakeholders in the school towards the accomplishment of educational goals.
The choice of leadership style relies on the kind of organization, the service, and people the organization deals with. Similarly, school leadership depends on the number of students within the school, the level of education (preschool, high school, college, university) and at times, the location. In adult education, there is a need for leaders and administrators who will help to create plans on how to achieve the main objectives of adult education (Schmidt & Yelich, 2016). Planning in adult education involves, having a concrete plan on when certain events will occur. A system is created that ensures communication among all stakeholders is done, team building, and also decisions are made that favors all parties involved.
The relationship between leaders and administrators in adult education is beneficial, however, there is a distinctive difference between a leader and an administrator. An administrator occupies a formal position of power, and their crucial role is managing people and resources in an organization. The basis of adult education is grounded on social good, and that is effective leadership. Therefore, the leader must be willing and strive to understand the feelings of followers. An effective leader in adult education can genuinely share their opinions with their followers to impart change a characteristic typical charismatic leadership style (Rosete & Ciarrochi, 2005). The leaders understand well that their actions directly have an impact on the emotions of others. In this kind of organization, the decision-making process involves the input of the followers, making it a democratic type of leadership.
The administration is different from teaching, and administrators in adult learning play a different role from those who teach. Therefore, they require additional training and skills. In primary and secondary education, there is a vivid division between who works in the administration and those who teach (Schmidt, 2016). In adult education, administrators work at various levels and may possess several responsibilities. However, the primary responsibilities of administrators are managing resources within the organization, overseeing legal compliance, and fostering an ethical work environment through the analysis of individual and the organization's needs.
Alternative Leadership Styles That Would Effectively Meet the Organizational Needs
My current position is a school resource officer, in a high school with a population of about 1254 students with the most significant percentage being predominantly African-American students. Like other organizations, the strategy is critical in the achievement of any organization's goals. One of the strategies applied in the process of employees training and development. Employee development plans are necessary for the organization's growth. However, it is not appealing to the employees as professionals, but it's essential for the organization. In this case, the high school has two instructional coaches who conduct employee training. The main aim is to transfer core job knowledge and skills, and also relevant information to the employees in a formal manner.
The leadership at the school is headed by a head principal which is assisted by two assistant principals. The role of the principal is essential in the management of the school to ensure that the teacher and other staffs work effectively towards achieving the education goals. As the principal serves several roles, in such a large organization the leadership is structured that the head principal has two assistant principals who help in the managing the challenges and carry out various duties within the school. The leadership in the school can be visualized as structural according to the Bolman and Deal (1991), it mainly aims meeting the organization's needs effectively and efficiently. There is a minimization of risks arising from unpredictable changes by establishing a simple organizational structure and strategies. Division of labor is critical for the general management of the organization, as observed the school is run by three principals, the head principal alongside two assistant principals. And also, the training of employees is done by two instructional coaches.
An alternative leadership framework would be the human resource frame, which focuses on aligning employees needs and organizational requirements (Al-Omari, 2013). In this, a clear understanding of employee's skills, needs, and emotions is necessary before expecting them to excel in the performance. Therefore, it is useful during the goal making process where one's abilities are known. Accordingly, the principals will s...
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