The process of globalization is acting to enhance many changes in everyday life of the population of the world, and leadership is considered one of the main means to achieve the desired results in the most effective way. Application of leadership styles in health care organizations is considered extremely important, as human life is the greatest value, as well as those health care workers who apply various leadership styles in order to contribute to people’s health maintenance and as a consequence, to life safety. Examining the concept of leadership, it is very important to distinguish several styles that can be noticed in the modern practice and also provide a clear explanation of traits of successful leaders. Description of real world leaders and their styles and practice would be useful for better understanding of the results of the concept application.
However, first of all, a clear definition of the concept of leadership needs to be provided. Leadership is not a passive theory, but it is a process which represents actions of people. It is important to pay attention to the fact that organization, hospital in this particular case, cannot represent a leader, but only a person can perform this function, as leadership is based on interactions among people (Leedy, Ormrod, 2010).
Leadership is directed to a person or a group of people whose behavior is aimed to be changed. After the aim is reached, these people become the followers and their present is an integral feature of leadership.
As a process, leadership means that some people should be influenced, and there are several ways to act so. First of all, the followers can be changed by intellectual activity; secondly, emotional influence can be applied, and finally, the leader might cause behavioral influence.
Being a complex concept, leadership does not only allow the leader to apply various modes to influence people, but it also gives the leader an opportunity to apply various leadership styles.
Three main styles of leadership can be defined. These are authoritarian, democratic, and free reign style. The first one is used when the leader tells the subordinates what should be done. For example, it takes place when a registered nurse tells their subordinates what actions need to be taken to provide a better health care or follow the rules of the hospitals. This style is appropriate when the leader has enough information and skills and also when the subordinates are well-motivated. Time limitations are acceptable for the style and do not make any significant difference when decisions of the leader take into account real opportunities of the subordinates.
Democratic leadership style is especially popular now. It is applied when the leader believes that it is better to work together with the team. Nevertheless, despite the common work, the leader is the person to make the final decision. However, this style of leadership is applied when it comes to internship in health care settings, as the leader does not possess enough information or skills. Such leaders are not required to have some sophisticated skills, so they start working with other employees who have better qualification. Such style is considered mutually useful, as it enables the leader and the team to make more reasonable decisions.
Free reign style is also applied at health care settings, especially when it comes to the work of nurses. Today their roles are increasing and they perform more and more functions. Some of them, such as medication prescription, are allowed to be performed without control of physicians and this example might serve to illustrate the style. It is important to notice that, despite the fact that representatives of the team make various decisions, their leader is the one to be responsible for them. The style is used only when health care providers are able to analyze the situation on their own and identify what should be done and how it should be done (Service, 2009).
Regardless of the fact which style of leadership is chosen, the leader needs to possess the following traits:
Desire to learn
Being just and fair
Being creative, and so on.
The list of the traits can be continued, and it has been proven by Linda Aiken and Geraldine “Polly” Bednash who were recognized to head the list of the nursing leaders. These two nurses have outstanding experience in terms of teaching, research, and clinical practice; they have received numerous honors and credentials for their contribution to the world of medicine and health care provision (Fralic, 1999).
Thus, it is possible to conclude that leadership is extremely important to be applied in every health care organization. The history knows numerous leaders who provided health care and contributed to the health of population, and all of them possessed a range of skills. These are being improved and made more advanced under the influence of the process of globalization.
Fralic, M. (1999). Nursing Leadership for the New Millennium: Essential Knowledge & Skills. Nursing and Health Care Perspectives, 20 (5).
Leedy, P.D. and Ormrod, J.E. (2010). Practical research: Planning and design. (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Service, R. (2009). The leadership Styles Quotient: Measuring toward Improve. Business Renaissance Quarterly, 4 (1).
Evaluate the philosophy of leadership within early years settings by critically analysing the characteristics and competencies of leadership. Ensure that you include why it is essential to have a leader who understands the importance of an effective and multi-disciplined team of staff
Title: Effective Leadership – Within this study, the topics being synthesized are the philosophy of leadership within the 20th and the 21st century. Furthermore, the skills and characteristics of a leader or manager are going to be synthesized, showing the reasoning behind having these certain skills.
Over the 20th and 21st century the term leadership has been changed several times and the perception of what a leader is has also changed. Extensive research has been taken under the topic of ‘leadership’, it has been discovered that through the 20th century there have been more than two hundred different meanings (Northouse, 2010). In the early 1900’s it has been seen that leadership was defined as the centre of power and domination and further down the line in the late early 1900’s the term was defined as persons having certain skills, values, motives and also being able to deal with conflicts (Northouse, 2010). However, Bonnici (2011) explains that leadership is about receiving praise, it is about being influential to teams and improving the student’s way of learning. Traditionally, leadership has been defined as a person having certain personality traits and qualities (Rodd, 2006). However, in recent research the definitions of a leader have been associated with shared ideas and working together (Dunlop, 2008)
Furthermore, Effective Leadership is perceived as inspirational, influential and charismatic, whereas management is about the organisational techniques and controlling things (Walker, 2011). Essentially, leadership is constructing and sustaining a vision and interpersonal relationships and management is monitoring activities and functioning (Davies & Burnham, 2003). There are many misconceptions of the term leadership and is usually mistaken as ‘Power’, this is down to the progression of influence (Northouse, 2010).
There are many general leadership theories and few well known. House and Mitchell devised the Path-Goal theory which is centralised on a model of motivation and is a part of the contingency approach (Burnes, 2004). The leader must provide the employees with support, confidence, and influential behaviour to feel able to attain their future goals (Burnes, 2004). There are two different situational contingencies within this approach; one being staff member’s individual characteristics and the second being the environment which they work in (Alanzi and Rasli, 2013). This theory involves around different situations and behaviour and how the leader’s motivation could lead to other staff being achievement-orientated (Alanzi & Rasli, 2013). However, there is a lot of debate whether path-goal theory is efficient within settings and Alanzi and Rasli (2013) explain further that good leaders will know and understand when and what approach to use when needed. Furthermore, Devader and Alliger (1986) discussed that using the Meta Analyst approach and self-report measures of 120 surveys and discovered that the evidence of its efficiency was infrequent. From the surveys that were conducted analysed, they discovered the environment and the task would not be adequate, it will not change the behaviourism (Devader and Alliger, 1986). Therefore this implicates that the behaviour of the leader will not affect the performance of the subordinates (Devader and Alliger, 1986). The weaknesses involved in the path-goal theory are lack of research and findings. However, Aubrey (2011) explain that the theory does not encourage the staff/team to act themselves as leaders when needed.
Psychologist Kurt Lewin formulated this style of effective leadership in the 1930s and many people followed his path. Lewin debated that there are three key aspects to the styles, these are Autocratic, Democratic and Lasseiz-Faire (Lussier & Achua, 2015). Lewin believed through his studies a leader is not solely based on personality traits but he moved towards different behavioural styles (Lussier & Achua, 2015). However, Lewin has also gained many criticisms of this three step approach and academic sources have noted that he has been progressively critiqued as only appropriate small scale alterations in stable environments and also stated that his model has issues of ignoring conflict and organizational politics (Burnes, 2004).
The autocratic style involves a leader who dictates methods of work and staff, struggles to involve staff in decisions of the setting and also limits the staff to doing different jobs (Khasawneh & Futa, 2013). This could be a leader is the owner of the business.). Therefore, this leader could be over-ruling to staff and lead parents/staff feeling under-valued (Johnston & Williams, 2012). Within an early years setting, it is vital that parents and staff feel welcome. If staff are not enjoying their job, this may lead to retention (Sadek & Sadek, 2004). Similarly, Sadek and Sadek (2004) explained that an autocratic leader is ‘like a spider in the middle of the web’, this could indicate that the leader is the only one with the control and power. Nonetheless, there are positives of the style such as the leader of the setting/business is the only one able to make decisions, also this could mean that the leader makes sure things run smoothly (Johnston & Williams, 2012).
The second of the style is democratic; this type of leader is able to welcome ideas and encourage staff to participate in all decision-making and closely watches/supervises (Lussier; Achua, 2015). A style like this could be welcoming, and staff may feel as though they are able to input their ideas as to what needs to be improved and sustained (Johnston & Williams, 2012). Lussier and Achua (2015) indicate that the democratic style increases the chances of staff feeling a valued member of the team, this will lead to present and future motivation and commitment. However, Johnston and Williams (2012) discuss that staff may misunderstand and feel as though the democratic leader may not have any true values or visions themselves. Furthermore, being a democratic leader in a setting will be more organised and have staff feeling valued to the leader (Johnston & Williams, 2012).
The third style is called ‘Laissez-faire’ which is also seen as non-directive and leaders who pursue this style may prefer to let the group of staff set their own goals. However, if problems arise within the setting, it is likely that they will be unable to get the staff back to being positive and motivated (Wood, 2012). However, leaders within an early years setting acting in the style of ‘laissez-faire’ could lead the other practitioners to become somewhat lazy and inefficient (Wood, 2012). In addition, Johnston and Williams (2012) state that a setting ran by a laissez-faire leader would come across and welcoming to children, parents and recruiting new staff. However, a setting ran by a leader who wants to work for an ‘easy life’ could also be seen as chaotic at times due to the lack of management (Lussier & Achua, 2015). Similarly, Wood (2012) adds on explaining that staff could lack in vision or no direction, also this could lead to future retention as the staff feel unsatisfied with the way the setting is.
Furthermore, Goleman’s research indicates that the visionary or effective leadership style is the most efficient and this is by making the vision everyone’s future goals (Burns, 2010). Leaders with this set style are able to connect with every individual in the workplace and know their capabilities and be able to give them time to grow and also how to achieve their goals (Mersino, 2013). Staff are able to benefit with this type of leader as they are able to tell them what they are doing right (Mersino, 2013). Visionary leaders heavily rely on the competencies, emotional intelligence, self-confidence, self-awareness and the ability to be empathetic to staff or others involved (Wood, 2012). In contrast, there are many issues with this style as Burns (2010) did not define how to be a visionary leader, this could come across as confusing. Furthermore, as this happened many researchers began to analyse the theory and show the cracks of it (Solan, 2008). Similarly, Bennis and Nanus (2003) searched further into the term ‘vision’ and researched into the behaviours of leaders with this style. They set out to do qualitative research and interviewed 90 different leaders. To add on Sashkin and Sashkin (2003) explained that Bennis and Nanus (2003) discovered that leaders have five different patterns of behaviour which were all down to trust, confidence attention and more.
One of the earliest leadership researches was based on characteristics of efficient leaders by Gregoire and Arendt (2004) who split these into a group of 5.
Surgency: – The traits being the individual characteristics and sociability.
Conscientiousness: – Dependability, the need to achieve and integrity.
Agreeableness: – Positivity, usefulness and connection.
Adjustment: – Emotional Intelligence, self-worth and strength of mind.
Intelligence: – Desire for knowledge, broad-mindedness and being learning orientated.
Since this approach based of characteristics, Jillian Rodd (2006) discussed personal assets of an early year’s leader. However, Jones and Pound (2008) indicate that characteristics, attitudes and skills are the base of an early year’s leader. Nowadays, researchers are following to think that the term effective leadership is now based solely about the interaction between leaders, staff, parents and agencies on the outside and also the emotional competencies between this (Jones & Pound, 2008).
Organisation is an important aspect of being a leader or a manager in a setting and this is because everything can be at hand. Practitioners that have a system in place for how they organize paperwork make it easier for inspections, to call people when in emergencies and also to look at different requirements for the children, for example, food requirements (Gabriel, 2005). Having paperwork at hand means that if anything goes wrong or they need to back themselves up by showing inspectorates that they have their filing systems up to date and showing that the staff are qualified up to standard (Gabriel, 2005).
A leader needs plenty of skills to be able to both manage and lead a setting. This includes many aspects such as assertiveness. Being assertive without needing to be may put the staff off their work and this may lead to possible retention (Stein-Parbury, 2013). However, being assertive for the right to be heard, valued and respected. Gabriel (2005) found within their research that practitioners were a lot better at being assertive in optimistic situations and this led to staff feeling appreciated and respected themselves. However, most of the research that has been done showed that assertiveness is usually seen in conflict and negative situations (Stein-Parbury, 2013). Furthermore, if an early year’s practitioner spoken to a staff member and told them to do something that they didn’t want to do, they would have to act assertively and also bring in an empathetic tone and let them know how it would help them move up and development (Stein-Parbury, 2013). Similarly, Maravelas (2005) explains that with high assertiveness, staff can become intimidated and undermined. On the other hand, she discusses that there is a low and high assertiveness and the lower toned assertiveness is used less (Maravelas, 2005).
Ofsted highlight the significance of having a strong leader within an early years setting which can influence how they are marked out of good and outstanding operations. The report also states that the visited settings have had few strong leaders who have the ability to self-evaluate and each staff being able to reflect on their own work (OFSTED, 2013). Furthermore, in the inspections, the leaders explain that it is vital to have staffs that are able to interact with the children effectively as it has a profound effect on the children’s development and learning (OFSTED, 2013). Ofsted created a survey that they gave to their ‘strong leaders’ and the findings were that they were inspiration to their staff, they were persuasive and passionate (OFSTED, 2013). Furthermore, the leaders were able to explain to other staff within the setting what strategies could work and why and also how this may be effective for children’s learning and development (OFSTED, 2013). Furthermore, due to the demand of “outstanding” schools and settings, there are many criticisms that OFSTED are facing, such as a member of the think tank explaining that “you’d be better off flipping a coin” and this shows that OFSTED are possibly becoming unreliable due to the amount of inspections that they are facing (Flanagan, 2014). In light of this, the inspections that OFSTED give are reasonable guidelines for schools and other settings. However, staff within a school may become pressured to do everything before the inspection as it is only once a year that it is done (Flanagan, 2014).
Blatchford and Manni (2006) explain that communication is key for all leaders working within a setting. Communication involves many factors, these include: reflecting, empathising, verifying, acknowledging, consulting and listening. Being accessible is vital for communication. Similarly, communication in the work place is vital, working with children involves a lot of communication as the job is pressuring and demanding, Making sure that everyone knows their role is especially important as the leader does not want the staff to make decisions without them and without consent to do so (Moyles, 2006).
In the early months of 2004, the government had dedicated themselves to use the United Conventions on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Furthermore, in 2011 the government devised a new law which is called the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure which also helps to confirm that the principles within this are actively used (Welsh Assembly Government, 2012).
There are also policies put in place to make sure settings such as nursery settings, family centres and child-minders have quality standards, such as nappy changing facilities (Welsh Assembly Government, 2012). One of the biggest of the policies is health and safety, Record keeping is also one of the health and safety standards. Records will consist of the parent’s contact details, the child’s health records (if there are allergies), medical administration, and statements on procedures in emergency, records of accidents (Welsh Assembly Government, 2012).
Over more than several years policies and governments have been changing the way they are working, especially with child care. Problems have risen within the past 20 years with mothers having to work and having to pay for childcare. It has been found that working parents pay more than twice as much for childcare than they do for food and bills (Lyus, 1999). Rutter (2015) has also found that 25% of families can afford to pay for full-time child care, whereas the other 45% rely on unreliable sources of care such as relatives, babysitters and friends (Lyus, 1999). In 2015 the family and childcare trust sent out a childcare cost survey and the findings were that parents still have to find the money to fund such necessities. Child care has risen for children under the age of two by 33% by the parliament (Rutter, 2015)
There a several different approaches to define leadership theory, for example the trait approach. Devader and Alliger (1986) established that traits of the personality were intensely related with insights of leadership. Furthermore, Kirkpatrick and Locke (1991) claimed that efficient leaders are diverse types of individuals in several ways. However, Stogdill (1982) had conclusions and his findings were that individuals will not become leaders because of certain personality traits that they have, but because they are able to be a leader in certain situations and then not necessarily be a leader in a different situation. Emotional intelligence is an important factor of our leadership skills; Devader and Alliger (1986) suggests that emotional intelligence entails two competencies which are personal and social. These include self-awareness, confidence and motivation (Northouse, 2010). However, the trait approach has several recognizable positives and has been researched for a century with theorists to back it up; secondly this approach shows what type of personality would fit a leadership role (Northouse, 2010). Nevertheless, the trait approach also has several weaknesses which could be critical, firstly it doesn’t state a definite depiction of the approaches needed to become a leader (Northouse, 2010). Furthermore, Stogdill (1982) implies that it is problematic to separate traits when there has been no insight to situational factors which is equally important as the leader might not lead in certain situations.
Since leadership has become wide spread within settings raising achievement in children, this is called shared / distributed leadership. This term is where a team within a setting are all active leaders other than the head leader (Lindon & Lindon 2011). Other team members have a role to play and it is their responsibility and feeling as they are capable to act as a leader in their own enjoyment (Lindon & Lindon, 2011). Distributed leadership is a well-known democratic theory, also in the category for ‘transformational leadership’ (Rodd, 2006), Moreover, this kind of effective leadership focuses on practice rather than delegation based on an individual’s expertise and encourages staff and practitioners to excel further and motivate them to work harder towards their goals (Rodd, 2006).
Lindon and Lindon (2011) explain that there are many misconceptions of the term and can be problematic within a setting. Distributed and shared leadership have separate meanings, the difference is that shared is that the leader delegates different roles to practitioners (Rodd, 2006). This would lead to effective partnerships within the work place, especially communicating with each other. Communicating is important when being a distributed leader and being able to listen to views of others, understanding and empathising with them (Williams and McInnes, 2005). Listening means providing individuals with their time and privacy and may require constant appraisal so that the staff feel invaluable (Williams and McInnes, 2005). Entrusting staff may be problematic, but with plenty of team working and outings, this may be reduced over time and staff time needs to be used efficiently (Williams and McInnes, 2005).
An example of shared/distributed leadership is family centres, such as sure start family centres. Becoming a leader within a family centre involves the ethic of care and sustaining caring relationships (Blatchford, 2006). Family centres involve multi-agency teams which consist of professionals within health care systems and supporting parents and children holistically. With extensive research in to ‘Sure Start’ family centres there have been many noted challenges. The challenges consist of: maintaining high quality services, leading through change, maintaining morale and motivation, increasing vulnerability, managing outside agencies (Rodd, 2006). Furthermore, family centres need staff that are able to form strong relationships by partnering with children, staff, parents and multi-agencies (Rodd, 2006).
There are many successes in working with multi-agencies, however there are also challenges. The children’s act (2004) brought out a plan to improve children and family services and emphasized the importance of integrated teams of educational professionals, health professions, social workers, job advisers and support for vulnerable parents and young people (Aubrey, 2011). Since the Every Child Matters Green Paper (2003) was devised because of the Victoria Climbie died from negligence and reports were made that on 12 occasions integrated services could have been able to help. This Green Paper is also along with the Children Act 2004. Every Child Matters (2003) discuss that ‘integrated working focuses on encouraging and enabling all professionals to work together and to have common visions which they can deliver, building around the needs of the individual children’. The professionals involved in working in a multi-disciplinary team could be:
Early Years Practitioner
Speech and language therapist
There are several key aspects of working with other professions, such as having an early intervention before problems become more of an emergency; The CAF which is Common Assessment Framework and is also consent based (NDNA, 2007). Furthermore, multi-agency working also involves record keeping, sharing information to the right people, working with the family and the leader (NDNA, 2007). There are also policies and legislation supporting multi-agency working such as EPPE Report (2003), local safeguarding children board (LSCB) and Children’s Act (2004-06).These legislations have strengthened the meaning of multi-agency working bringing all professionals together in sight of the child (NDNA, 2007). However, there are many potential barriers for integrating professions which can be parental consent. Parents can often feel judged and pressured by certain individuals. In comparison, Aubrey (2011) explain further that with a code of ethics within the setting and moving forward with strategies such as developing a mutual respect and trust, support the continuing development of the parents’ skills and help to develop them further. Furthermore, other publications such as the DCELLS (2005) explain that the challenges could include recruitment. Recruitment can be vital in a centre with such professionals due to new talent, and this could show more of a diverse work-force.
Methods of communication are also important within the early year’s sector with staff. For example, communicating face to face now and again is essential and gives the member of staff time to feel listened to and a valued member (Daly & Byres, 2009). However, Lussier and Achua (2015) explain that communicating one on one could also have negative effects from being unable to record informal discussions and make other team members worried that they haven’t been in a meeting and therefore they may feel less valued. Group meetings are also an easy form of communicating; this would consist of staff being able to make their opinions known and to share views on certain aspects. Employee handbooks can also be an official way of communicating with the leader and other staff, this could be important when a job role has changed (Daly & Byres, 2009) However, this could also have a negative effect as all written information needs to be up to date and this could apply with the National Minimum Standards (Daly & Byres, 2009).
Parents are as much a part of their child’s education as the practitioners and Bowlby (1969) stated that parents are the child’s first source of learning and need to be in close contact with the work that is provided to the children (Daly and Byres, 2009). In successfully managed settings, the leader will have to keep the parents up to date and communicate about the development of their child. Parents being able to feel welcome, valuable and able to trust the practitioners are a key aspect (OFSTED, 2013). Childcare providers can assure the parents that the information that they give them about the child is with them and that they will take care of every child’s needs (OFSTED 2013). It is important that parents feel that they can confide in the manager/practitioner so that they can give them the information that they need and so they can be used to organise activities for particular needs (OFSTED, 2013). There are many ways of keeping parents frequently updated on the development of their children. For example, there are systematic approaches which enable the parents to be updated every six weeks. The ways that communication can be easier for parents/practitioners are regular text messages through mobile phones, emailing via the internet and also the settings website page (OFSTED, 2013). However, systematic approaches to the means of communication can also be hard due to parents having lack of technology to enable them to contact the settings (Bryant & Oliver, 2009). In sight of challenges, many parents feel as though they are being judged by their children’s practitioners and back away from having face to face contact with them weekly (Moyles, 2006).
Challenges that are faced within the workplace need to be underpinned by the leader for some form of conflict resolution. For a good leader, being able to notice staff that are not getting on for some reason should be easy, however sometimes this may be challenging as staff do not want to go through problems that they are facing (Moyles, 2006). There many general ways of how a conflict is, competition, accommodation, avoidance, collaboration and compromise (Rodd, 2006). Leaders with a certain amount of emotional intelligence will be able to understand strategies how to resolve conflicts between staff members. Generally, solving problems such as conflict are able to gather information and evidence to what has possibly happened, and after the time it has taken to get the information, they may get staff in separately and speak to them (Rodd, 2006). However, Sadek and Sadek (2004) explains that many colleagues suffer from conflicts between each other now and again and this may hinder their ability to be efficient to children or other adults within the setting.
ACAS (2015) provide conflict resolution for managers and leaders to show them effective ways of problem solving through times like this. ACAS (2015) also offer information and case studies for leaders and managers to help them with these possible challenges. The government sees wider benefits to improve ‘leader and employee relationships’ which will lead to the ‘high trust relationships’. They have come up with a method of how to manage and avoid conflict within the workplace. Developing strategies which may help manage conflict before it may become a problem is essential within the workplace, such as developing handbooks for staff before they enter the place of work (ACAS, 2014). A democratic leader would be needed in such situations, as this would be an empathetic situation in many cases and they will not presume the problem, they are able to communicate informally (ACAS, 2015). The steps which can be taken are 1. Informally asking an individual to come and talk to you about the problem. Furthermore, if the informal stage isn’t as effective as it is needed then the issue would need to be investigated informally. 3. If stage 2 doesn’t work, then internal procedures need to be used (ACAS, 2015). Finally, making diagrams which could also be designated to the staffroom wall could be used for staff to understand policies and procedures which may be used when a conflict arises (ACAS, 2015). Adults need as much support during team building exercises as much as children need help when they have conflict with peers. Team building is vital within any daily job or setting as colleagues need to get to know each other and get to know how to work together on a daily basis (Williams and McInnes, 2005).
To conclude, this discussion shows leadership in positive and difficult situations. Distributed leadership is seen as one of the most important factors of a setting and partnerships with parents are also significant. The organisation ACAS (2015) has given leaders and managers information and procedures on many challenges that will be faced through working with parents, staff and children. Overall, the most efficient style is Goleman’s visionary leadership, where all staff are aimed towards the same outcome and goal.
ACAS (2015) Mediation and Early Resolution.
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The purpose of this report is to analyse the case study on D2 which is an auto-components manufacturer undergoing major structural changes to minimize costs and implement innovation and technology. While managing the change, the organisation had to face different kinds of issues. Thus, the report would be identifying the issues and proposing relevant solutions and their implementation to manage change effectively, by using the 5D-Framework which comprises of definition, discovery, dream, design and destiny.
When a company undergoes change, there are a series of opportunities and challenges that it has to face. Change is not a onetime occurrence but rather could take years to be implemented. When an organisation is undergoing strategic change, it needs to re-formulate its mission and strategies and thereafter align all its business operations with the overall strategy (Cummings and Vorley, 2009). While managing strategic change, implementation is more challenging than just designing the change.
Lack of Communication Alignment
Therefore, one of the primary issues witnessed in the D2 case was that the management would have difficulty in implementing the change due to improper communication channel used for communicating the strategy to the rest of the employees. Apart from this, having a balanced strategic change is also a significant challenge since in order to achieve the balance, the organisation needs to assure that its internal management and resources are aligned with each other and with the external opportunities (Bordum, 2010).
Apart from this, environmental pressures are another reason why organisations undergo change. In order to be aligned with the environment, there is a certain organisational structure and a strategic positioning required. One of the key issues in the case was that there has been an outpaced growth of technology over the years and in order to meet that pace it needed to undergo significant innovation and get rid of the obsolete technology. This required greater strategic flexibility which then bore a cost to the organisation since the employees resisted the change and job insecurity arose (Skordoulis, 2013). Moreover, owing to the environmental pressures, it was significantly cutting costs and thus, had to face a trade-off between lowering costs and smooth flow of work. The smooth flow of work would be disrupted since to lower costs, it would have to shut down some of its manufacturing facilities that are not producing enough and would have to redeploy staff to other geographic regions which would require a lot of planning and control. According to Alessa and Kliskey (2012), responses to environmental change management is required which can be done through change agents. These agents can be of three types: the initiators, the supporters and the opportunists. These environmental change agents would assure that the company’s strategy is in correspondence with the changes in the external environment. In the case of D2, the changes in technology were an environmental pressure which required a change agent to manage it effectively and efficiently.
Leadership Issues and Resistance to Change Management
Change management can be of many types, varying from a change in structure to a change in culture, leadership style, operations, systems and strategy. At times one change may lead to another change and while doing so, organisations encounter a number of issues. Another key issue evident in the case was the autocratic leadership style and a centralized management as a result. In identifying the change management areas, the management itself first made decisions and formulated the strategy, and then later informed the employees. As the case stated that the decision was yet to be announced and the workers in UK might be shock to hear it since the firm had made heavy investments in the manufacturing plants. Moreover, while redeploying the employees from one geographic region to another, cultural issues might also be faced which would require heavy investments in training. Thus, a greater resistance might be expected from the employees since they were not part of the decision making process and the organisation’s interests might then be in conflict with the interest of the employees (Banutu and Shandra, 2007).
Trade-off between managing change management and maintaining core competency
Lastly, and most importantly, since the company’s operations are dispersed geographically and one of its core competencies is the pace and quality of its product development, in change management , the company might lose out its current strategic position or the core competency it has, thus, assuring that the pace and quality product development remains the same while re-structuring its manufacturing operations, would be very challenging for the company. Furthermore, change management is not following a planned approach. This might cause D2 to lose out its competitive position in the market which would then be difficult to re-obtain since by focusing on cost reduction rather than value addition, maintaining the sustainability of operations is less likely to happen.
Leadership Issues and Employee Resistance to Change
The underlying problem chosen for in-depth discussion is the employee resistance to change and the leadership issues in bringing about the change. As stated in the case, D2 required an urgent need for change management therefore it cannot go slow in bringing about the change and would require major transformations in its structure and human resource. While deciding which operations to shut down and which ones to expand, it has been taking into account the external environment and the returns it would get out of it. However, in doing so, it has neglected the reaction that might be expected from the employees, and which could majorly impact and hinder any change management process that happens in the organisation. Resistance to change usually occurs when employee needs are not addressed; their goals and organisational goals are not aligned; there is communication gap between the different hierarchical levels as well as in horizontal communication; when there is downsizing and mistrust is created among employees; when there are major cultural issues to be faced as a result of change management ; and when employee participation in decision making is lacking (Bovey and Hede, 2001).
Furthermore, when the leader fails to apply a transformational leadership style where he articulates the vision and re-defines the strategy, the resistance increases further as employees are unclear about the goals and objectives they need to achieve as individuals as well as collectively (Eisenbach et al., 1999). The management needs to keep a balance between the organisational needs and the human needs since ultimately it is the human resource that needs to implement the change (Griffin and Moorhead, 2011). The key issue in the case of D2 was that a feeling of mistrust and insecurity was occurring not only in the U.K. region where it plans to close its facilities but also among the employees working in other subsidiaries located in Spain since the change management process is not communicated effectively and the decision making authority is vested in the hands of a few senior managers indicating that bureaucratic leadership style is more evident in the organisation which means that the increased level of formality between the management and the employees and the lack of communication would result in a decrease in employee morale, and hence, a decline in performance.
In order to address the issues, the leadership styles need to be changed. According to Bamford and Forrester (2003), using a middle-out approach would be of significant advantage in addressing the issue. This would involve giving the middle management the authority to lead the change under the supervision of the top management. In doing so, employee needs would be addressed in a better form since the line managers are more closely linked with the operational level staff and thus would be able to provide adequate feedback to the top management of how to create a link between the overall strategy and the needs addressed. Greater teamwork and participation of the workers would also be required to increase their motivational level and making the flow of communication more efficient. Leadership issues are also one of the reasons why organisations fail in managing the change. Uncertainty often accompanies change and as a leader, one needs to minimize the uncertainty levels and create an environment of greater employee commitment and trust. According to Ahn et al. (2004), globalization and change of technology at an accelerating pace requires that effectiveness in leadership has become immensely important, which is demonstrated through the leader’s adaptability to different management styles that involve greater coordination and engagement among all members of the organisation. According to Ashman (2012), ‘redundancies have become an unwelcome necessity across all sectors of the economy’,and while strategy and procedure in change management are important, the third element, psychology, is not given much attention which focuses on how employee emotions need to be dealt with to prevent any resistance to change management. Thus, this requires that to avoid such issues the message is communicated accurately while the sensitivity of such messages is taken into account adequately (Ashman, 2012).
One of the ways in managing the issues is to adopt a planned change management approach. The 3 step model of Lewin is applicable here which suggests that the organisation needs to plan change management in three stages: unfreezing, moving, and re-freezing (Burnes, 2013). In the case of D2, a sense of urgency was created and the change was seen more as an emergent one rather than a planned one. However, to make the change more sustainable, carrying out the planned approach would decrease employee resistance, since the unfreezing stage would first help in abandoning the old ways of doing work and preparing the employees for change. For instance, D2 could have addressed the issue of mistrust among its employees in other regions as well as in U.K. by defining the need for change and how it would benefit the organisation as a whole. It should then also point out the alternative employment opportunities available and how these would be a better platform for their growth. The moving stage then would involve applying the change process such as re-structuring, changing leadership styles, re-articulating the vision or changing the strategic position. This is when D2 should start shutting down its facilities and redeploying the staff where expansion is happening. The moving stage would then be followed by the re-freezing stage where the new practices would be adopted in a more permanent basis by providing training and aligning the new behaviors with the organisational strategy and culture (Bamford and Forrester, 2003).
Another potential solution of managing organisational change would be to conduct training programs and adopt situational leadership style. The situational leadership theory states that there is no one best style of management and the leader would have to either adopt a relationship-oriented style or a task-oriented style depending on the situation being faced (Griffin and Moorhead, 2011). Similarly, motivational levels of employees would also have to be taken into account and the purpose of the chosen leadership style would be to boost employee morale and assure that they have a positive attitude towards the change.
Also team building should be the ultimate focus of the organisation. This should involve self-managing teams, cross-regional/cross-cultural teams and cross-functional teams (Sisaye, 2005). The purpose of having such teams would mean greater diversity and flexibility among employees as well as greater coordination between different divisions and manufacturing facilities. By having cross-cultural teams, the employees would be more familiar with the cultural differences between Spain, France and U.K., thus, any issues arising as a result of change in culture could be better handled through cross-functional teams. The team performance model suggests that in order to create a team there needs to be orientation, trust building, goal clarification and commitment; and in order to sustain that team there needs to be implementation, high performance and renewal (Cooperrider and Dan Whitney, 2001).Therefore, the employees and the management should get involved in formulating the teams before the change management process and since this change is more about implementing new technology while cutting down the costs, the teams may focus on how the technology can be implemented. This would also be accompanied with extensive training to avoid any ambiguity among the employees.
The firm’s strategy of achieving cost leadership while maintaining the pace and quality of product development requires that it should, it focuses on value addition. This would mean cutting down costs by minimizing any wastage of resources and streamlining processes. At the same time, it would also be adding value through the innovative tools and technology used. This strategy would have to be defined by the leader after taking employee opinion and feedback using the bottom-up approach and would then have to be implemented across the organisation.
In order to implement the proposed solutions, careful planning and formulation would be required. The use the planned change model can be implemented by having a leader who first identifies the potential areas that require change in terms of employee attitude and behavior Also, while addressing the need for change, the leaders should first conduct a field force analysis to identify the factors that are for and against the change (Schwering, 2003). The leader could then use the forces that can help in driving change as an advantage. This would include the consumer demand for more innovative auto components, availability of technology, upgraded technology in the other two manufacturing facilities and the identification of a new strategy. The drivers against change management would include employee resistance due to increased mistrust, decrease in morale in case of deployment and fear of exploring the new methods of working. Thus, once the forces are identified, in order to overcome any barriers, training programs should be conducted throughout the change process, that is, the unfreezing, moving and re-freezing stage. These training programs should involve two way communications which would mean delivering the new company strategy to the employees and also taking their feedback on what concerns they have and how they think it can be improved further (Hoag et al., 2002).
Apart from this, in helping leaders being aware of different leadership styles, leadership workshops should also be conducted. These might include assessment centres and activities where the management can be given different scenarios and asked to adopt an appropriate leadership style (Cummings and Vorley, 2009). The workshops would then be concluded with feedback and suggestions. Also while change management is being implemented, the performance should be monitored and measured more frequently in order to understand employee behavior and their progress. In case of teamwork as well, the leader would have to assure that there is no group think that could result in in-group conflicts, and the goals of the team are aligned with that of the organisation (Raza and Standing, 2011). The management would have to be more decentralized in its approach by practicing open door policies and being on the floor to address employee needs. The alternative employment opportunities available for the employees need to be clearly identified before the change process in order to conduct the implementation smoothly. Similarly, while communicating the new strategy to the employees, the opportunities available to them should be delivered first, which could act as a buffer to the disappointment they might have on hearing the shutting down of operations.
In order to cut down costs while maintaining the core competency, the organisation should align its operations with the new strategy. This would mean implementing change management simultaneously. The firm should first start expanding its operations in France by investing in new technology and setting up the production design, it should then plan out staffing requirements and communicate the strategy to the employees in the U.K. as well as Spain regarding how the expansion could help organisation grow and how the operations in U.K. might decline the overall progress of the organisation. Online video conferencing or virtual teams can also be formed where there could be cross-regional communication to assure that all its units are at the same pace and the goals of the organisation are communicated clearly across. Also by using internet as a platform for communication, organisation would be further saving on its time and costs in coordinating the teams.
In implementing the proposed solutions, the possible limitations that might be faced include the heavy investment costs associated with training. This would conflict with the overall strategy of the firm of cutting down the costs. Therefore, in order to minimize the training costs, the management can focus on more informal ways of training such as in-house training where the costs of additional trainers and location can be saved. Similarly, the organisation could identify change agents who are trained and competent enough before the change takes place and then these agents could help other employees in carrying out the change (Griffin and Moorhead, 2011).
Furthermore, in identifying leadership styles, one of the factors that have been ignored is the number of cultural issues. For example, the effectiveness of relationship-oriented style is not only dependent upon the organisational situation but also on the culture where it is operational. There might be differences in terms of collectivism and individualism, and power distances (Kirsch et al., 2012). To overcome this limitation, the leader can identify the similarities in culture that can help employees adjust in the other two regions and make them aware of the differences to avoid any cultural shock.
While implementing the solutions, another possible limitation is the effectiveness of the feedback. Employees might be reluctant to speak up any negative feelings regarding the process or the feedback might be unstructured and more intuitive rather than formulized. To overcome this limitation, the management can take anonymous written feedbacks and then re-evaluate performance after the feedback is taken into account, in order to measure its effectiveness.
Thus, by strategizing the change process and aligning the structure, the culture and the processes with the overall strategy, implementing the change process would be more effective, reducing any potential resistance of the employees through greater involvement and empowerment in decision-making. Also by applying the three-step planned approach to change, the employee attitudes would be more positive towards change, removing any ambiguities that might exist regarding the strategic change.
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