Theme 2: The Best Approach May Varying According To Circumstances and Individual Characterisics

Comments 14 Standard

Many people are confused about the relationship between leadership and management and use the terms interchangeably. Therefore, it is important to discuss how these two terms differentiate from each other and in what circumstances they should be used. As the first step of this blog, the similarities and differences between management and leadership will be observed.

An initial comparison and contrast between management and leadership is illustrated as below.

Figure 1: The Relationship between Leadership and Management

Image

(Source: Truss, 2012)

The figure above demonstrates that the leadership implies instilling an inspiring vision while management involves instilling good operational processes. Nonetheless, both of the terms have a common scope, i.e. getting important things done.

Basically, leadership and management have two apparent similarities between them. The primary similarity between them is that they both involve controlling or guiding a group of people as to approach common objectives. Another similarity is that leadership and managers often share the same qualities, i.e. the qualities ascribed to leadership also apply to managers. There are good and bad leaders in the world. At the same time, there are good and bad managers.

Also, leadership and management have a number of differences that the leaders and managers need to understand as to produce good results. In general, the manager’s job is to plan, organize and coordinate. By contrast, the leader’s job is to inspire and motivate (Dow Jones & Company, Inc., 2014). In details, there are a number of differences between the two terms, including: leaders question while managers direct; leaders tend to praise while managers are likely to find fault; leadership inspires while management plans; managers have subordinates while leaders have followers; and so on (Myers, 2014 and Changing Minds, 2013).

CMI (2013) points out that there is no single ideal approach under modern context since the best approach may vary dependant on the specific circumstances and individual characteristics. I totally agree with this argument and would like support it with evidences.

According to the theory proposed by Hay-McBer, there are six key leadership or management styles. All of these styles are effective under certain circumstances but ineffective under others.

The directive management style is to approach the immediate compliance from employees by closely controlling employees. This style proves to be effective in case that there is a crisis or deviations may cause risks. However, this style is ineffective when employees are underdeveloped or highly skilled. The authoritative style, by providing long-term vision for employees, could be effective when the leader is creditable or clear directions are needed but ineffective when employees are underdeveloped or the leader is unreliable. The afflictive style that aims at harmony is effective in managing conflicts but ineffective when performance is inadequate. The participative style that focuses on consensus among employees may be effective when employees are working together, especially in a steady working environment, but can be ineffective in case that there is a crisis or lack of competency. The pacesetting style that encourages do-it-myself managers is effective when employees are highly motivated and little direction is required, but ineffective in case that teamwork is needed. The coaching style, which encourages managers to be developmental, is effective when the employees’ skills need to be developed, but may be ineffective during a crisis (Cardinal, 2014).

The theory above shows that there is no ideal management or leadership style that is effective under all the business circumstances. The adoption of the most effective management or leadership should be determined by the specific circumstance and individual characteristics.

As a member of a team, I would like to be managed or led by a coaching style. This style sets the primary objective at the professional development of employees in a long term. I have chosen this management or leadership style because my skills need to be developed, and additionally I am motivated and want professional development. By adopting coach style, the manager would encourage me to develop my strengths and improve my work performance by providing development opportunities. Considering my characteristics, the coach style is the most effective management or leadership style for me. However, as to overcome the disadvantages of this style, I need to avoid the circumstances in which this style could be ineffective. To achieve this, I would seek an alternative style when the leader lacks expertise, or my professional proficiency is too low to be developed compared to my peers, or a crisis occurs.

In conclusion, leadership and management, though distinct from each other, have shared connotations also. As CMI argues, the best approach should be determined by circumstances and individual characteristics. In my point of view, I would like to be managed or led under the coach style as to improve my strengths and work performance.

References:

Cardinal, R. (2014) ‘6 management styles and when best to use them – The Leaders Tool Kit’ [online]. Available from:

< http://leadersinheels.com/career/6-management-styles-and-when-best-to-use-them-the-leaders-tool-kit > [10 February  2014].

Changing Minds (2013) ‘Leadership vs. Management’ [online]. Available from:<http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/articles/manager_leader.htm > [10 February 2014].

Dow Jones & Company, Inc. (2014) ‘What is the Difference between Management and Leadership?’ [online]. Available from:

<http://guides.wsj.com/management/developing-a-leadership-style/what-is-the-difference-between-management-and-leadership > [ 10 February 2014].

Myers, S.(2014)‘Leadership and Management: What is the Difference?’ [online]. Available from: <http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/leadership/management/overview > [10 February 2014].

Truss, D.(2012) ‘Leadership and Management’ [online]. Available from:

<http://pairadimes.davidtruss.com/leadership-and-management > [10 February 2014].

Theme 1: Diverse Team

Comments 12 Standard

In this blog, I would like to share how a manager should use the diversity management skills as to produce better results. As a successful leader, the primary mission for him or her is to create a team with a diverse of backgrounds. Previous researches have shown that a diverse team is able to bring a wide range of ideas to the table, help tackle problems in a creative way and drive innovation significantly (Stone, 2011). In the perception of many people, innovation requires people with high ability. However, they often neglect the importance of diversity, which has the same role as that of ability in driving innovation and economic growth. Teams characterized by diversity often see problems in different way, and take different routes to access possible solutions.

Due to importance of managing a diversity team, the diversity management should be considered as the most important skill for managers across all industries in the world, such as the hotel industry. Nowadays, diversity management is the key to growth in the increasingly competitive hotel industry at a global level. Diversity management involves not only arranging the number of diversified employees within the organization, but also how the organization treats them as its business model (Llopis, 2011). Therefore, in the global hotel industry, the diversity management is a business imperative for the managers at all levels.

Based on the analysis above, I would say that it is important for a manager to use diversity management to drive good corporate performance. However, diversity management is never easy. Managing employees with many different backgrounds is a hard mission since everyone thinks in their own ways while the manager should get prepared for all the possible consequences. The diversified people could bring about a number of different opinions, and provide many solutions to a problem. Additionally, cultural misunderstandings might occur. For example, in India, ‘being fired’ stands for being yelled at, instead of losing a job. A manager who is lack of cultural difference may encounter problems in the process of diversity management.

The successful implantation of a diversity management requires that the following two factors should be paid attention to.

Firstly, the manager should emphasize on three major dimensions of diversity. The figure below illustrates the three dimensions of diversity.

Figure 1: Dimensions of Diversity

Image

(Source: NC Office of State Human Resources, 2014)

The figure above indicates that the diversity management includes three dimensions of diversity, i.e., the primary dimension, the secondary dimension and the functional dimension. The primary dimension of diversity is based on physical characteristics and personal orientations, and the secondary dimension is based on individual beliefs and value while the functional dimension is based on work experience. For example, the primary includes basic criteria that classify different groups including the race, the sex, and so on.

Secondly and more importantly, the management should keep a right attitude while implanting diversity management. In another word, the manager should address diversity management practically and constantly as to produce better results. On the one hand, the diversity management requires practical efforts instead of lip services. Under the modern context, the population is likely to evaluate how organizations relate to the diversity. The consumers and employees would question the authenticity of an organization in case that the manager is not authentic. In this circumstance, the diversity approaches should go beyond mentality and be embedded in our brand (Llopis, 2011). On the other hand, implementing a diversity management program requires constant efforts. The manager should keep in mind that diversity management is not an overnight task, but a long-term strategy. It takes time to foster a more acceptable work environment for diversity. In this circumstance, the manager should implant diversity management with time, patience, and structured efforts to educate and communicate with employees. Eventually, by successful implantation, diversity management policies and programs will increase the productivity of the organization and lead to excellent corporate performance (Conjecture Corporation, 2014).

In conclusion, it is the managers’ attitudes towards diversity that determines whether the implantation of diversity management would be successful. The analysis above indicates that a market success requires creating and managing diversity teams across all industries, such as the global hotel industry. Therefore, the managers should possess diversity management skills as to produce better corporate performance. The implantation of diversity management not only involves the three dimensions, but also requires the managers’ practical and constant efforts. The managers should not be limited to talking about the importance of diversity, but should start implanting diversity policies and approaches within the organization. Furthermore, the managers need to pursue diversity objectives constantly as it is a long-term task. 

References:

Conjecture Corporation (2014) ‘What is Diversity Management?’ [online]. Available from:<http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-diversity-management.htm > [10 March 2014].

Llopis, G. (2011)‘Diversity Management Is the Key to Growth: Make It Authentic’ [online]. Available from:

<http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2011/06/13/diversity-management-is-the-key-to-growth-make-it-authentic > [10 March 2014].

NC Office of State Human Resources (2014) ‘EEO Diversity Management’ [online]. Available from: <http://www.oshr.nc.gov/Guide/EEOS/diversitymngt.htm > [10 March 2014].

Stone, A. (2011) ‘Different is good: how diversity can benefit your organization’ [online]. Available from:

<http://performance.ey.com/2011/11/15/different-is-good-how-diversity-can-benefit-your-organization > [ 10 March 2014].