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Assignment 1: Discussion
In this module, you looked at various leadership theories/approaches in relationship to how to effectively lead. In this assignment, you will critically extend the leadership knowledge learned this module by reviewing the Leading Teams article and then comparing and contrasting the Situational Approach to leadership with the Style Approach to leadership while considering how metaphor might aid both leadership approaches in effectively leading a team. Consider if different metaphors would be required based on the leadership approach or if perhaps the same metaphor might work for both approaches. Once you have compared the approaches, you will justify (argue and support) which approach you believe would be most effective in leading teams along with discussing the metaphor(s) you would use with the approach.
Article:
McLeod, P. L. (2012). Leading teams. Leadership Excellence, 29(3), 8-9. Retrieved from ProQuest Central database.
Tasks:
Please review the Leading Teams article before you begin this assignment. This article provides guidance on how to effectively use metaphor when leading teams. After reviewing this article you will be able to consider how metaphor can aid leadership approaches in leading teams.
Based on your research, in a minimum of 400 words, respond to the following points:

Identify and discuss how the Situational and Style approaches to leadership could be used when leading teams.
Compare and contrast the Situational Approach to leadership with the Style Approach to leadership while considering how metaphor might aid both leadership styles. What are the advantages and disadvantages to both approaches?
Provide at least one example of a situation in which each approach would be most effective in leading teams and include the metaphor you believe would aid each approach in being effective.
Support your rationale with professional literature. Professional literature may include the Argosy University online library, relevant textbooks, peer reviewed journal articles, and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu, .org, or .gov).

Module 3 Overview

Contrast major leadership theories and discuss the key points of each theory.
Provide different organizational scenarios and analyze the responsibilities and privileges of leaders, including ethical and moral decisions and the use of authority and power.
Analyze leadership styles and the impact of those approaches in the workplace.
Analyze and interpret performance-based organizational issues, develop a solution to the issues at hand, and apply appropriate leadership theories in given situations.
Evaluate organizational situations and critique a group’s leadership process in a variety of situations.

Historical texts through the ages from different world cultures (Greek, Latin, Chinese, etc.) show philosophers expound leadership theories and approaches. Due to this extensive history, a number of leadership approaches have emerged. This module explores the Style Approach and the Situational Approach to Leadership.
Proponents of the Style Approach treat leadership as “the behavior of an individual when he [or she] is directing the activities of a group toward a shared goal” (Hemphill & Coons, 1957, p. 7). According to the Situational Approach, situational factors such as time, place, and circumstances shape a leader. This module will explore the key concepts of these two approaches.
Reference
Hemphill, J. D., & Coons, A. E. (1957). Development of the leader behavior description questionnaire. In R. M. Stogdill and A. E. Coons (Eds.), Leader behavior: Its description and measurement. Columbus, Ohio: Bureau of Business Research, Ohio State University, 6–38.

Style Approach—Leadership Grid
An important outcome of the Ohio State University and University of Michigan research was the development of Blake and Mouton’s Leadership Grid. The original model was known as the “bible” for the Agency for International Development and the Leadership Training of Foreign Studies.
Blake and Mouton’s Grid shows how leaders can help organizations reach their goals through two factors—concern for production and concern for people. The Leadership Grid suggests that the team style will achieve the best results because it portrays a high concern for both people and production. However, this grid does not support the concept of “one style fits all situations.”
The Style Approach provides a broad framework for understanding the actions of leaders in two dimensions—tasks and relationships. Because of its comprehensive range, this approach is often used as a model in training to develop self-awareness and awareness of others’ strengths and weaknesses.
The disadvantage of this style of leadership is that subordinates may become accustomed to frequent leadership activity and cease to respond. Leaders are often seen as the link between the organization and employees. This function acts as nurturing for the group and subdivision within an organization and can be counterproductive to establishing the leader’s persona as the focus is on the followers rather than the leader.
Style Approach—Leadership Grid
An important outcome of the Ohio State University and University of Michigan research was the development of Blake and Mouton’s Leadership Grid. The original model was known as the “bible” for the Agency for International Development and the Leadership Training of Foreign Studies.
Blake and Mouton’s Grid shows how leaders can help organizations reach their goals through two factors—concern for production and concern for people. The Leadership Grid suggests that the team style will achieve the best results because it portrays a high concern for both people and production. However, this grid does not support the concept of “one style fits all situations.”
The Style Approach provides a broad framework for understanding the actions of leaders in two dimensions—tasks and relationships. Because of its comprehensive range, this approach is often used as a model in training to develop self-awareness and awareness of others’ strengths and weaknesses.
The disadvantage of this style of leadership is that subordinates may become accustomed to frequent leadership activity and cease to respond. Leaders are often seen as the link between the organization and employees. This function acts as nurturing for the group and subdivision within an organization and can be counterproductive to establishing the leader’s persona as the focus is on the followers rather than the leader.
Situational Approach
The end of World War I also brought an end to hereditary leadership theories and researchers began developing theories that focused on personal qualities or traits. Following World War II, the focus of research shifted toward more observable behaviors. This led to the emergence of prescriptive leadership approaches that identified what leaders could do or what they could not do in various situations. Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Approach to leadership, which emerged in 1966, was one such prescriptive approach.
The core concept of the Situational Approach is that different kinds of situations will require different kinds of leadership. Thus, effective leaders are expected to be flexible in their leading style when moving from one situation to another and to adapt their leadership style to different situations. This approach suggests that at crucial decision-making moments, situational leaders do not fall into a single preferred style, such as transactional or transformational methods. Factors such as motivation, capability of followers, and the relationship between followers and the leader affect situational decisions.
The Situational Approach views leadership as a role with expectations about how people in a given position will interact (Hollander, 1986). It focuses on the characteristics of the task and situation or the social context in which leadership is enacted (Adams & Yoder, 1995).
References
Adams, J., & Yoder, J. D. (1985). Effective leadership for women and men. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Hollander, E. P. (1986). On the central role of leadership processes. International Review of Applied Psychology, 35(1), 39–52.
Situational Approach—Leadership Style

Several factors can impact a situation and thereby affect the leadership style of a situational leader. According to Yukl (1989), a proponent of the Situational Approach to leadership, the following are the variables that affect leadership style:

Subordinate effort: The motivation of and actual effort by followers.
Subordinate ability and role clarity: Followers’ clarity about what to do, how to do it, and their ability to do it.
Organization of work: The structure of work and the utilization of resources.
Cooperation and cohesiveness: The ability of the group to work together.
Resources and support: The availability of tools, materials, people, and other resources.
External coordination: The need to collaborate with other groups.

Besides the above factors, effective leaders should focus on factors such as external relationships, acquisition of resources, managing demands on the group, and managing the structures and culture of the group.
Warren Bennis (1961), who is recognized as one of the most progressive thinkers on leadership, identified the presence of the following conditions in the cognition of situational leadership:

Impersonal bureaucracy
Informal organizational and interpersonal relations
Benevolent autocracy that structures the relationship between superiors and subordinates
Job design that permits individual self-actualization
Integration of individual and organizational goals

These conditions are often used as foundations to study and research situational applications and applied theory.
Other situational theorists suggest that leadership is a matter of situational demands, that is, situational factors determine who will emerge as leader. In the U.S., situationalism was favored over the theory that leaders are born, not made. Supporters of this theory in the U.S. believed that the leader is the product of the situation, not a blood relative or a descendant of a former leader. They expect the situational leader to recognize that a situation calls for certain types of action.
References
Bennis, W. (1961). Revisionist theory of leadership. Harvard Business Review, 39(1), 26–36.
Yukl, G. A. (1989). Leadership in organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Style versus Situational Approach
The Situational Approach to leadership is based on the behavior of leaders in relation to the situation while the Style Approach to leadership depends on the readiness and abilities of the followers. Both approaches need to consider the environment. Situational leaders must have the ability to accurately diagnose the situation and respond with appropriate behaviors, whereas leaders implementing the Style Approach depend on their followers’ ability and willingness to respond to situations.
Supporters of the Situational Approach argue that leaders rely on the relationship with the followers to determine the best leadership model. However, one main drawback of Situational Leadership is that the leader’s styles and employees’ development level do not always match, making it difficult to attain full benefits of the Situational model. Some researchers also believe that task-oriented leadership behaviors create immediate results while relationship behaviors are less likely to be productive.
According to the Style Approach, leaders must also consider the nature of the organization (or the group) and its problems to determine the most appropriate leadership. The leader should propose his or her strategy, and the group should be “willing” to follow this strategy, for successfully solving the organization’s problems. One of the major drawbacks of the Style Approach is that while it assesses the readiness and willingness of the followers, it may not take into account the nature of the organization, which also plays a significant role in determining leadership style.
Module 3 Summary
In this module, you examined the key aspects of the Style and the Situational Approach to leadership and compared these two approaches. This provided you with an opportunity to think strategically and comprehensively about leadership. It also helped you analyze how leadership skills impact vision, organizational effectiveness, and strategy.
Here are the key points you covered in this module:

The Style Approach views leadership as the leader’s behavior when directing the activities of a group to achieve a shared goal. It considers leadership as an activity. Researchers identified initiating structure, consideration, employee orientation, and production orientation as effective leader behaviors.
The Style Approach provides a broad framework for understanding actions of people in terms of tasks and relationships and is often used as a model in training to develop self-awareness and awareness of others’ strengths and weaknesses.
The Style Approach assesses the readiness and willingness of the followers, but fails to take into account the nature of the organization, which plays a significant role in determining leadership style.
The Situational Approach is a prescriptive approach that identifies what leaders could do or what they could not do in various situations. It suggests that different kinds of situations require different kinds of leadership and that effective leaders should be flexible in their leading style when moving from one situation to another.
The Situational Approach focuses on the characteristics of the task and situation or the social context in which leadership is enacted. The disadvantage of the Situational Approach is that the leader’s styles and employees’ development level do not always match, limiting the benefits of this approach.

 

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