Management & Leadership Critical Essay

Category: Leadership
Last Updated: 06 Jul 2020
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[pic] Course: MBA Part Time Student Number: Level: HE7 Module: Management and Leadership (MBA 4054) Credits: 20 Assignment: One of one Weighting : 100% Submission date : 16th January, 2012 Module Tutor: Module guide at Bolton: RECORDS SECTION Introduction Management and leadership is a subject that has been in discussion for a long time and has been dealt and answered in different ways . Both the concepts go hand in hand but they differ in many aspects. According to Yukl (2010, p24) there is an ongoing argument regarding these two concepts.

Yukl reached to a conclusion that however everybody agrees the fact that both are equivalent, the degree of overlap is a point of sharp disagreement. ( Yukl ,2010, p24) . This course takes into account the fact of overlapping, where successful managers often have to be in a role of leaders in various circumstances. Here we are scrutinizing our behavioural characteristics as a manager and a leader in different situations i. e. how we tend to behave in situations towards others and for achieving the task. I have analysed various models of self-assessment tools developed to assess self.

Each assessment gives me a picture of various aspects of my behaviour and the areas that need improvement so that a development plan can be made on the basis of my strengths and weaknesses. Self Assessment Results 1: Firo-B Scores Firo-B is a model for the identification of our behaviour towards others and how I want them to behave towards me. This instrument helps to know more about our self-understanding in various important areas, like interpersonal relationships and how is your recognition among others and how you perceive others. |Inclusion |Control |Affection |Row Totals | |Expressed towards Others |5 |2 |7 |14 | |Wanted from others |2 |4 |5 |11 | |Column Totals |7 |6 |12 |25 |

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My result detailed above indicates that I have a moderate level of expressed inclusion, with low degree of expressed control and high level of expressed affection towards others. But I do not expect similar level of inclusiveness from others and am not comfortable in flexible situations . But I expect similar level of warmth and closeness from others. Conclusively,I am a person who prefers a balance between time alone and with others ,with low degree of control and who likes warmth and closeness. 2: Locus of Control

Locus of Control is a theory developed to refer to the level to which individuals tend to believe that they are the controller of their own destinies (Julian . B. Rotter, 1954). we use the questionnaire produced by Whetten et al. and was adapted from work of Rotter (1966) |Locus of Control (out of 23) |3 | According to locus of control questionnaire, here the score refers to a comparatively low external locus of control. This score shows that I have a tendency to believe that my life and destiny is a result of my own doing.

External factors are not so relevant in determining what happens. 3: Tolerance of Ambiguity This is a tool of assistance to find how individuals operate in ambiguous circumstances where too many things are happening. A highly influential work in this regard was done by Budner (1962) and the questionnaire followed was his. The way in which people deal with an ambiguous situation reflects their tolerance of ambiguity. Where there is no sufficient information to structure a situation, there exists an ambiguous situation.

Managers who are highly tolerant of ambiguous situations are more productive in their actions. (Whetten et al. 2000) Budner further divided this concept into subdivisions like novelty, complexity and insolubility where each relates to the degree you are tolerant of new and unfamiliar information of situations, tolerant of multiple or unrelated pieces of information , tolerant of difficult situations where alternate solutions are not evident. |Tolerance of Ambiguity Score(44 – 48 average) |70 |

According to Whetten et al. the average Score is between (44-48). My score shows that, I am intolerant of ambiguous situations. Hence I am intolerant of “change” which is often characterised by new, uncertain and complex environment. According to Budners subscale ‘novelty’ stands high on my side in the tolerance of ambiguity. High tolerance of ambiguity is a necessity in today’s changing world to cope up with new and unfamiliar situations which always occur. 4: Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory David. A . Kolb’s (1984) Learning styles model, is based on experimental learning.

This model sketches two related views towards possessing experience. They are, Concrete Experience and Abstract Conceptualisation, Reflective observation and Active Experimentation. Kolb’s gave rise to learning style inventory as an assessment used to determine an individual’s learning style. |Concrete Experience(CE) |Reflective Observation(RO) |Abstract conceptualisation(AC) |Active Experimentation(AE) | |25 |31 |28 |36 |

CE refers to feelings, RO is watching, AC is thinking, AE is doing. As the model highlights two related views the table below gives a picture of the relation. | |Doing (AE) |Watching (RO) | |Feeling (CE) |Accommodating (CE/AC) |Diverging (CE/RO) | |Thinking(AC) |Converging (AC/AE) |Assimilating(AC/RO) |

According to Kolb, as I score more in Reflective Observation and Active Experimentation where learning reflects back on the experience and to test a theory or plan for a new experience. As shown in the diagram below, for east-west axis, it is processing continuum and north-south axis it is perception continuum where my style is placed on east-west axis which is doing and watching which Kolb calls ‘grasping experience’. Honey and Mumford (1970) developed their own inventory based on Kolb’s model.

Their styles corresponding to stages in the cycle are named Activist who involve fully in every situation, Reflectors who considers deeply and observe experiences from different aspects, Theorist who convert their findings into theories, thinking of problems systematically to be a perfectionist and Pragmatist who are very eager to experiment their ideas and to check whether they work or not. In this style I will be classified as Pragmatist who tries to experiment theories for planning new steps.

Stress should be given to the fact that all four approaches are important for a managerial role to be successful. If we lack any of the styles, strong emphasis should be given to develop the skills. Kolb’s Learning Style [pic] 5: Work Preference Score Team Management Profile Work Preference is an extensively investigated and authenticated psychometric tool that determines how individual development is the critical initial step to upward performance team working.

While in olden days individual appraisal was given focus for getting things done, The Team Management Profile -Wheel and Index- from Margerison and McCann (1988) consists of techniques particularly useful for assessing team management in relation to individual and wok preferences. Margerison and McCann questionnaire leads to 4 dimensions which give a picture about how we are related to others, how information are handled, how decisions are made and how well we are organised. This is the work of famous theorist Carl Jung and was re-interpreted by Margerison and McCann. | | | | | | | | |Extrovert |Introvert |Practical |Creative |Analytical |Belief |Structured |Flexible | | | | | | | | | | |6 |6 |8 |6 |8 |5 |6 |9 |

This can be calculated mainly in 4 ways as, preferences for extroverted or introverted work, proportion between practical and creative work, impact of analysis and beliefs in judgements, the need to work in a structured or flexible way. In a major role, I tend to be Extrovert, Practical, Analytical and Flexible. This can be compared to Myer’s – Briggs type indicators. My result compared to Myer’s - Briggs type indicator shows that I am an Extrovert, Sensing, Thinking and perceiving person. From the work preferences my work function is assessed as ‘Developing’ (Extrovert and Analytical) .

If assessed more ‘Inspecting’ (Practical and Introvert) can also be a work function as my preference for extroverted and introverted work is same. A team management wheel is provided with 8 team role work preferences people can perform which form the basis of outstanding teamwork. They are 1) Advising 2) Creating 3) Promoting 4) Developing 5) Organising 6) Producing 7) Inspecting 8) Maintaining. In the team management wheel my work preference is evaluated as Assessor-Developer who assesses and develop ideas, likely to have well prepared people around, with situations fully analysed, communications and facts focused are clear and logical.

Team Management Wheel [pic] 6: Problem Solving Questionnaire This questionnaire gives emphasis to characteristic traits needed for an individual for a managerial team environment. |Enquiring |Diagnosing |summarising |Proposing |Directing | |21 |25 |24 |17 |23 | Among the problem solving skills, my strengths are Diagnosing and summarising .

Skills of Directing and Enquiring are also on a moderate level. But I need to improve a lot in my Proposing skill. My proposing skill is very poor and I am more of a Problem centred person than solution centred. For a successful managerial role all five skills are equally inevitable, especially person has to be more solution centred. 7: Managing Conflict Managing Conflict Style is an assessment of how conflicts are handled by each person. This style is adapted from a title by Thomas K. W. (1976). hen two persons make an attempt to solve a dispute ,they express varying levels of assertiveness and co-cooperativeness in their behaviour. Assertiveness is the extent to which one tries to satisfy his own concerns and co-cooperativeness is the extent to which others concerns are satisfied. My different personality types of managing conflicts is rated in the below table as per the instrument. |Compromise |Compete |Accommodate |Collaborate |Avoid | |9 8 |9 |9 |10 | In this style, my scores are on a balanced side. But ‘Avoiding’ dominates my handling conflict style of character. My score is low for ‘Competing’, which is a style used when new strategic changes should happen for which there could exist strong opposition. This can be evidenced in my high avoiding conflict style where I am uncomfortable in changing or conflict situation.

In this personality style, I expect to work as a subordinate, concentrating more on a particular skill, willing to put in extra efforts to accomplish the task given. 8: Linking Skill Questionnaire Linking is the leadership skill required to bring people together. In Margerison- McCann linking skill profile t is the central part of team management essential to high performance working . There are 11 skills of linking and my scores in each are tabulated in the table below:. Active Listening |26 | |Communication |23 | |Problem Solving and Counselling |25 | |Team Development |19 | |Work Allocation |22 | |Team Relationships |21 | |Delegation |28 | |Quality Standards |24 | |Objective Setting |22 | |Interface

Management |24 | |Participative Decision Making |26 | According to linking skill, my three best attributes are delegation, active listening, and participative decision making. For an effective managerial performance, I need to improve in other aspects like team development, work allocation and objective setting as well. 9: Driver’s Questionnaire An individual is ruled by five identified drivers. The Driver behaviour questionnaire determines which driver behaviour is dominant in my character. Among many characteristic traits, an individual is driven by or dominated by some traits of his personality. My scores are given below: Be Perfect |Please Others |Hurry Up |Be Strong |Try Harder | | | | | | | |17 |16 |13 |10 |14 | The analysis seems accurate where I tend to focus on perfection and to please others . Even if the work is done perfect there is a want for me to analyse the negatives ignoring the positive aspects of it.

If the work is allocated and got done, the perfectionist instead of looking into the effort and positive aspect of work, questions the drawbacks which discourages the subordinates. For pleasing others I may take on additional work which I don’t have time for . This increases stress. 10: Personal Styles Transactional Analysis Theory (Eric Berne, 1968) gives us a picture of our self-development and our action towards us, how our communication is connected with others and suggests and intervenes changes to grow. Berne developed 3 ego states to describe our own making up and our relation to others. The 3 ‘ego states’ are categorised as ‘Parent, Adult and Child.

Considering this as three base ego states, it has subdivisions shown in the table. |Critical Parent |Nurturing Parent |Adult |Adapted Child |Natural Child |Rebellious Child | |16 |20 |16 |25 |17 |12 | My result indicates that when I interact with others ,I act more like an adapted child, if taken positively this could be seen as cooperating with others and at times I act like a nurturing parent which could be seen as caring for others. However these ego states fluctuate depending on transaction. 11: Leadership Style Questionnaire

Adair’s three circle model ‘Action Centred Leadership’ (John, Adair-1989) is a long lasting view which defines leadership in terms of three overlapping and interdependent circles. The circle consists of The Task, The Team, and The Individual. This is a fundamental model which describes the qualities of a leader, the action they must take whatever be the environment, to be an effective leader. [pic] The leadership style questionnaire is designed to help identify our leadership style. My scoring grid is as follows: |Task (A) |Team(B) |Individual (C) |Non-Managerial (D) | |31 |41 |21 |3 |

In Adair’s leadership style, I have scored high in Team which determines that I have concern for Team and Team Spirit; Here I have succeeded in keeping my Non-managerial attribute very low. An effective manager tends to have concern for each attribute depending on the situation as this is the fundamental model. 12: Johari Window Johari window is a model for self-realisation, individual development, familiarity with relationship and development of the group. This model was created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955 in United States. According to Charles Handy, the concept Johari House has 4 rooms. These four rooms are referred as quadrants. 1. Open quadrant- The part of our behaviour which is known by ourselves as well as others. 2. Hidden quadrant-The behavioural part which is seen only by us, not known to others. 3.

Blind Spot- This part is which others see in our behaviour, but not seen by us. 4. Unknown-This part is mysterious to both parties. Disclosure of our behaviour is a significant fact as it includes an amount of faith in other individual because they are made to know something regarding you which they are not aware of (Hannagan, 2008) One contradicting fact (Anita Kelly,1996) is that disclosing personal secrets to others invites dangers as we give them control over us. Another contradiction is that it has a limitation of selecting only five or six from the fifty six adjectives. This is too small a selection. However this is an effective tool for self awareness. |Known to Self |Not Known to Self | |Known to others |Friendly |Able, Adaptable, | | |Nervous |Brave, Cheerful, | | |Trustworthy |Confident, Dependable, | | | |Dignified, Energetic, | | | |Happy, Helpful, | | | |Independent, Mature | | | |Observant, Religious, | | | |Self-Assertive. | | | | |Not Known to Others |Caring |All other objectives | | |Kind | | | |Sentimental | | My Johari Window conducted in accordance with 5 of my colleagues is given above. My result shows that only 3 adjectives come under open area. Majority adjectives is a blind spot for me and through this tool, I can assess myself.

As my blind spot area is wide, I need to realise myself and this assists me to develop these attributes for a better managerial role. The adjectives not known to others can also be assessed. However this can be an eye-opener to an individual. SWOT Analysis A SWOT Analysis helps to estimate the results of the questionnaires. SWOT Analysis comprises of our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and Threats. Strengths • Self Knowledge as realised through strengths and weaknesses questionnaire • Balanced learning habits and skills • High internal locus of control which signifies that I take responsibility for my action • ‘Be Perfect’ trait helps me set high standards and try to achieve them • Keen on experimenting new ideas as I am a pragmatist. • Strong ‘Delegation ‘ skills ‘Active listening’ and ‘Participative Decision Making’ skills. • High Team skills and Team Spirits Weaknesses • Low ‘Expressed Control’ which makes me weak in taking control in crucial situations • Extremely high internal locus of control which makes me associates responsibility for all happenings to my actions. • High Tolerance of Ambiguity score which signifies that I’m tolerant highly intolerant of ambiguous situations • Low on creativity. • Lack of relevant professional knowledge which can push me back in the corporate world. • Adaptive Child who is very emotional. Opportunities • The identification of my strengths will help me capitalise more on them in my career. The identification of my weaknesses will help me workout strategies and overcome them to achieve further excellence. • A good qualification will give me relevant professional knowledge and added skills to advance in my career. Threats • Difficulty to manage personal and professional lives in the right balance due to demands on the personal side. • Executive stress due to busy personal and professional lives. • Tough business environment due to the current economic crisis ANALYSIS SECTION Critical Incidents: 3 critical incidences from my work life have been narrated below to highlight my behaviour at work. Incident 1 This was an experience I went through during my first job as a student counsellor at Aptech Computer Education Centre.

As a student counsellor I was responsible for timely submission of student records to head office. The last day of every month was the deadline for submission of all such reports and records so that the response from the head office could come back by the 15th of the next month. Since I was new in my job, I was not familiar to the systems and procedures and I had realised the seriousness of missing such deadlines. This particular incident happened in the second month after I joined. The system of sending the documents was to collect all relevant documents by the 25th and check all the documents for correctness and courier the documents on or before the last day of the month without fail.

This document packet contained exam score sheets, attendance reports, course conduct schedules, lab usage reports etc. This was very important to be sent on time as this was the basis for all replies from Head Office including student results, certificates etc. I had prepared all the documents as per schedule and was on target to despatch the reports in time . I fell ill during the last week of the month and had to go on leave. I started being so upset whether I could send the reports in time and so I reported to the office on 29th to send the reports. I was still weak and exhausted from my illness. I came into office on time on 29th and started my work of arranging the documents .

I noticed that that the exam results card for last week had not been collected. It was at least half a day’s job to collate data and prepare this report for about 100 students. I started to panic and felt weaker. I started on the report and by noon I was half way through. Next I remember is waking up in the hospital bed and it was around 5pm. I had lost consciousness and my colleagues had brought me to the hospital in a taxi. I was so weak and took more than a week to recoup and get back to work. The above incident which happened early in my career could be attributed to a lot of my personal characteristic traits which I discovered through the various instruments of personal discovery.

My locus of control was Internal and my score was 3 which meant that I was a person who assumed responsibility for my action. I would relate the events in my life to my own actions. Here, I was holding myself responsible for not sending the reports in time and was getting worried more than needed. My Tolerance of Ambiguity is 70 which means I was highly intolerant to the ambiguous situation of what would happen if I missed the cut off date to send the report . My Firo-B results showed a low expressed control which meant that I would prefer to be controlled and was submissive in nature. I was being fearful of the repercussions of not sending the report on time.

I should have realised the possibilities to delegate some of those responsibilities and to seek the help of my colleagues, could have informed my superiors in time about my health issues and made alternate arrangements to avoid such happenings. I assume that my driver to be perfect also acted here making me go to extremes to be perfect. It was interesting for me to note that my linking skills showed that I had the quality of delegating , but my driver to be perfect , my high internal locus of control and my high tolerance of ambiguity caused me to mess up the situation. Incident 2 The second incident that stays fresh in my mind is one which I had later in my career with Aptech Computer Education after I had been promoted to the post of Centre Manager.

Aptech used to have a budget meeting in the last week of December every year this meeting would be a review of the current year and the presentation of the budgets and forecasts for the next year. The Centre Manager’s from all over the region (about 30 of them) would come to the state head quarters and meet at a five star hotel for a full day conference. It was my first budget meeting after I was promoted as Centre Manager and I was keen to put in my best efforts to come up with an excellent presentation. I was keen to make it innovative as well. I collected a lot of data regarding our performance in 2004 and prepared a detailed budget for 2005.

I called in some of my brilliant students at the centre and got done a multimedia presentation for my introduction . This presentation had sound effects and music and I was sure this would be unique. I used the help of my team members to make a detailed power point presentation for the budgets for 2005. The day of the budget meeting came and I got quite tensed as the meeting began and progressed. The regional head and his team were asking a lot of questions about the budgets and how the figures were obtained etc. It was a very serious meeting and everybody was serious and formal. I started getting worried as my presentation had a lot of sound effects and music in the introduction and played an introduction multimedia clip.

I could see everybody including the regional head laughing as they saw this. I could see that they were laughing with the message that it is the figures that they want to see and not such colourful or glossy presentation. I felt embarrassed. But my power point slides had a lot of analytical data. I took longer than all those who presented before me. I could answer all the questions by my superiors and could give a good presentation. The regional manager appreciated me as I concluded my presentation. When I relate this incident to my personal discoveries about working behaviour, I could see a lot of matches to my evaluation scores and my actual incidences.

My driver to be perfect was the driving factor which made me put in lot of effort on my presentation. I delegated a lot my work and made a beautiful presentation which had a lot of information. As can be seen in my linking skills score I am good at ‘Delegation’. I think my personal style of ‘Adapted Child’ and my Learning style of ‘Active Experimentation’ was visible in my making of a colourful multimedia presentation. My work preferences of ‘Extrovert’, ‘Practical’ and ‘Analytical’ were seen in my report which was appreciated by my superiors. My needs for ‘Expressed Inclusion’ and ‘Expressed Affection’ might have influenced me to make such a presentation so as to attract the attention of people and gather appreciation.

When I evaluate all this, I realise that I could have done a better job as my presentation in itself was good but if had restrained my needs of expressed inclusion and expressed affection, as well as controlled the adapted child in me, I would have made a very formal but deeply analytical presentation which would have been more appreciated by my superiors. Incident 3 The third is a more recent incident that happened in early 2011. One of the key machine operators in our factory tendered his resignation quite abruptly. His move was quite unexpected. We had to get a replacement immediately to meet the production demand or convince this person to continue for some time until we found an alternative arrangement.

But this person was quite adamant that he should be relieved immediately after his 30 days notice period. I called him for a meeting . He told me that he had communicated many times his desire to get a personal loan from the staff provident fund through the production manager and I had not approved the same. I had information through other office sources that this particular person used to consume a lot of alcohol during after office hours and squander his money lavishly. This was the reason I did not approve the loan application and kept his application pending without citing a reason to him. This lack of response from my side demotivated this person and soon the situation escalated to a stage where he decided to tender his resignation .

When I discussed this with him he seemed more upset and stood his stand to resign. I was unsuccessful in convincing him to continue but he agreed to stay on for a maximum of another 30 days until we found an alternative. When I analyse this incident , I realised that my trait of avoiding which I discovered through the managing conflict instrument was one of the main factors that led to the deterioration of the situation here . The ‘Johari Window’ showed nervousness in my open area which signified that I am quite nervous at handling situations . This explains the uneasiness I had felt in explaining my reason for not approving the loan application.

My linking skills rated me low on team development and I would associate that as a reason to why I was not aware of this deteriorating situation and I realise that I should have rather been solution centred in my approach by realising his problem in time and acting upon it to avoid the employee becoming demotivated and agitated. Self Development Plan | | | | | |Three Personal Development |Objective Achievement Plan |Progress Monitoring Plan |Improvement in situation after following | |Objectives | | |the plan | |Improve my Professional |Identify relevant areas |Compare present performance with earlier. Improvement in performance standards | |Knowledge |Attend Training Programmes |Presenting my ideas to my subordinates in|Is a best tool for career development | | |Refer through articles and journals|relation to the profession seeking their |Can command more respect in team | | | |feedback | | | | |Do periodical progress checks by | | | | |conducting discussions with colleagues’ | | | | |on relevant topics | | |Increase Concern for Individuals|Identifying the importance of |I will seek the opinions of my |My increase in individual/employee concern | | |individuals in completing a task. |subordinates and colleagues whether they |will motivate them. | | |Improving the behavioural pattern |were comfortable working with me. |Increase in productivity in the group where| | |towards colleagues’ and |Should seek their feedback whether they |I am in charge or involved in. | |sub-ordinates which supports and |felt like their contributions are |Able to build good relation with co-workers| | |motivates them to complete the |considered. |which lessens conflicts among them. | | |task. |If a project yields good and healthy | | | |As a manager or leader, I will |result, it shows that my individual | | | |provide them favourable working |relation has improved. | | |conditions. | | | |Self-Organising to be made |Prepare a time schedule on a daily |Make continuous checks on development of |Will not feel overload of work. | |Structured |basis. |new methods. |Time is effectively used and can be more | | |Try to utilise time effectively by |Check whether time is effectively managed|productive | | |setting tasks on a priority basis. |and work is progressing as per schedule |Reduces mental stress. | |Proper delegation of work will |Will keep a chart for noting the progress| | | |improve my self-organising factor. | | | Bibliography Adair, John. (1989). Great Leaders. Guildford: Talbot Adair. S Berne, Eric. (1968) Games people play : the psychology of human relationships, London : Penguin Books. Budner, S. , (1962). “Intolerance of ambiguity as a personality variable. ” Journal of Personality. 30, 29-50 FIRO: A Three-Dimensional Theory of Interpersonal Behavior. (1958). NY: Rinehart Goleman, D, Boyatzis, R. and McKee, A. (2002) The New Leaders: transforming the art of leadership into the science of results, London: Little Brown. Hannagan,T (2008)–ManagementConcepts&. 5th edition. Harlow, Pearson Education Honey,P. And Mumford,A (1986) –The Manual of Learning Styles Kolb,D A(1984)Experimental Learning EaglewoodCliffs,NJ:Prentice Hall Kelly, Anita E. and McKillop, Kevin J. (1996), "Consequences of Revealing Personal Secrets. " Psychological Bulletin, v120(3), pg. 450 Margerison, C. and McCann, D. (2002) Team Leadership. TMS (UK) Ltd• Problem Solving/communications Margerison,C. (2002) Team Leadership. Padstow.

Thomson Learning McCann, D. (1988) How to influence others at work. Glasgow. Butterworth- Heinemann. Parker C and Stone B (2002) Developing Management Skills for Leadership, Glasgow. FT Prentice Hall. Pedlar, M. , Burgoyne, J. and Boydell, T. (2007) A Managers guide to Self- Development. Maidenhead. McGraw-Hill. Thomas K. W. (1976) “conflict and Conflict management” Dunette, MD (ed) Whetten, D. , and Cameron. K. (2007) Developing Management Skills. Pearson International Edition. New Jersey (new 2011 edition now available) Winstanley, D. (2005) Personal Effectiveness. Trowbridge. CIPD Yukl, G. (2010) Leadership in Organizations. New Jersey. Prentice Hall.

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