1.1 Theories and models of leadership and management

Course: NVQ Level 5 Diploma In Leadership & Management for Adult Care (RQF)

Unit 1: Leadership and Management in Adult Care

LO1: Understand the application of theories of leadership & management

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1.1 Theories and models of leadership and management

While management is defined as “the activity of planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and controlling human activities” (Dale & Stacey 2007), leadership arises due to the need for management. A leader is a manager with charisma that can gather people together into some form of association or union. Leadership originates from followers, not the other way around.

There are many models and theories of management. The following page provides an outline of the most popular models and theories in management, with particular emphasis on Lewin’s leadership styles. It also includes trait theory as well as Belbin’s Team Roles model which scans for team members’ individual roles within any given group setting or situation.

These principles and theories do not only apply to the office and to managers and employees. Rather, they can be found in almost every aspect of our daily lives. Therefore, as a leader, it is important to understand the different models and theories as it will assist you in being a better manager and leader.

Models & Theories

Leadership Styles (Kurt Lewin)

Kurt Lewin’s top-down approach to leadership styles is universally applicable across all sectors regarding the general way people lead and manage others. It is an excellent example of a functionalist theory as it helps those at lower levels in an organization or society understand how to gain more power and even change social dynamics, but this process does not imply any revolutionary changes within the current social order (Mills, 1959). The only question remaining after reading this theory is how one can become a better leader within the parameters of this theory.

Kurt Lewin (1947) describes three leadership styles:

Autocratic (Authoritarian)

An autocratic style of leadership focuses on getting the task completed and delegates control to subordinates. Directive managers tend to exhibit a focus on tasks. In the workplace, this style is often used with a lead-follow approach.

Autocratic styles of leadership do not create any strong emotions in their followers or make them want to improve themselves – it leads to a very mechanical and functional relationship between managers and employees. An example of an autocratic leader would be a military officer who issues orders without explaining or gaining input from his or her squad.

Democratic (Participative)

A democratic style of leadership that focuses on both task and social concerns, delegating control to subordinates and encouraging group discussion and input where appropriate. The focus is not only on pushing the task forward but also making sure everyone involved in the process is happy with their role. Democratic leaders foster a sense of belonging among their followers.

Democratic leaders who want to be more effective in the workplace should exhibit a focus on people and tasks, making sure that their subordinates understand their role in achieving common organizational goals. An example of a democratic leader would be a team leader holding regular meetings for his or her staff members to share feedback about projects they are assigned to work on together.

Laissez-Faire (Permissive or Delegative)

A permissive style of leadership that focuses on the task only, relying heavily on persuasion and personal motivation for their subordinates. Leaders who exhibit laissez-faire styles may do this with a strong focus to motivate employees by offering rewards such as incentives, bonuses, and/or promotion opportunities to entice them to work harder and continue achieving at higher levels. This is one of the most difficult styles for followers because although everything looks very smooth from an outside perspective, it hides all kinds of problems that lie within – troublemakers and those who want more power will tend to thrive under these circumstances (Sims & Fox, 1987). One example of a permissive leader is the owner of a local boutique who asks their employees to do whatever they want but does not give them the freedom to make any decisions on their own. These leaders do not create any sense of community or belonging among their followers.

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Ten Principles of Management (Lyndall Urwick)

Lyndall Urwick was a management consultant in the United Kingdom in the 1940s and 1950s. His management principles are rooted in his belief that managers should be “idealists, not sectarians”, meaning they should put their employees’ needs before company profits. In order to follow these principles, a manager must possess a genuine interest in helping his or her subordinates reach peak performance.

Here are Urwick’s 10 management principles, as he explicitly stated them in his book The Essential Principles of Management :

  1. Know and understand your people
  2. Make sure your workers have all the tools they need to do their jobs properly
  3. Treat each worker as an individual, not a mere cog in the company machine.
  4. Give everyone who works for you a proper sense of belonging – treat them like an extended family.
  5. Keep your workers informed – do not hide any important information from them, whether it be good or bad news.
  6. Take pride in the work you do and demand excellence from all your subordinates. This does not mean that you should only take on tasks that are suited to your own skillset.
  7. Give clear goals and provide proper motivation for your subordinates.
  8. Make sure that you let your employees know how they are doing at their jobs on a regular basis, not just once or twice a year.
  9. Support the growth of your workers in any way you can.
  10. Work hard so that you can set a good example for all your employees to follow.

Trait theory

Trait theory was proposed as a better, more scientific way of explaining leadership. It says that some people are born with certain qualities and those who possess the best traits for leadership will become leaders. The trait approach is based on the idea that people with good leadership qualities and analytical skills will be better suited to take on leadership roles while people without these traits should not.

This theory also states that although some people possess good leadership qualities, they will not become leaders unless other factors such as intelligence and background give them high status in society. People might think that if they have above-average intelligence, they could just go forward and take a leadership role but all these things are true only when other factors come into play. This means that even an intelligent person who comes from a rich family has more chance of becoming a leader than an equally intelligent person who comes from a poor family. There are many reasons why wealthy families would be destined to create leaders for themselves. They would be able to send their children to schools that offer important qualifications for leadership roles, they would have the resources to provide their kids with an excellent education and prepare them for occupying a leadership role in society, therefore leading them there even if it turns out that they are not born with an innate talent for it.

Traits are present throughout our life but some people are either better at developing or displaying certain traits than others which is why some leaders will always believe that only the best leaders should lead the organization. The trait theory does not consider situational factors as part of its analysis of good and bad leaders and this has been criticized by other theorists who see the importance of studying how different environments influence whether someone can or cannot develop certain qualities.

Leadership Styles & Emotional Intelligence (Goleman)

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is another aspect of leadership that has been contributed by Daniel Goleman. He defined Emotional Intelligence as “The abilities to recognize our own feelings and those of others, motivate ourselves, manage emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.”

Goleman’s theory is based on the idea that emotional intelligence is more important than IQ or technical skills when it comes to being a good leader. He says that Emotional Intelligence will play a key role in the success or failure of a leadership project and even if someone has all the qualifications for a leadership position if he does not have emotional intelligence, he will hesitate when it comes to making important decisions regarding his team members.

According to Daniel Goleman, in his book “Emotional Intelligence” there are five key skills that a leader needs. They include:

  1. Self-awareness: knowing one’s emotions, recognizing a feeling as it happens and its intensity, and giving an appropriate expression to the emotion
  2. Self-regulation: controlling or redirecting one’s disruptive emotions and impulses and being resilient to stress
  3. Motivation: inspiring and influencing people in a positive way by setting goals that can be reached
  4. Empathy: being able to understand other people’s feelings by paying attention to them and then responding appropriately
  5. Social skills: relationship building, building rapport, and cooperation

In addition to these five competencies that are essential for a successful leadership project, Goleman also mentioned three things that can help a leader better utilize his emotional intelligence. They include knowing oneself, self-fulfilling prophecy, and self-perception.

The book “Leadership That Gets Results” by David Goleman was an extension and development of Lewin’s leadership styles. Goleman’s six leadership style categories are:

  1. Affiliative: a person who seeks to develop and maintain warm, friendly relationships with others
  2. Coaching: someone who provides guidance and feedback for individuals’ professional development
  3. Democratic: a leader who wants to involve employees in making decisions
  4. Pacesetting: an individual who demonstrates high performance and productivity expectations of others
  5. Commanding: someone who directs the actions of others with little or no explanation
  6. Visionary: a goal-oriented leader who focuses on the future and shares his goals with his team or organization

Goleman also developed a Leadership Skills Assessment questionnaire. He issued this for managers and employees in order to discover which leadership style has the highest potential for success.

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Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow)

Abraham Maslow also contributed a theory on leadership. In his book, “Motivation and Personality”, he stated that people do not work only for the money. He said that individuals have other needs aside from physical needs. People need to feel good about themselves and they want to be recognized as important members of an organization or society.

Maslow developed a hierarchy of needs that has five levels: Physiological Needs, Safety Needs, Social Needs, Esteem Needs, Self-Actualization needs. The hierarchy shows that once a lower-level need is satisfied, an individual climbs up to the next higher level and satisfies the new needs. When all levels are satisfied then self-actualization happens. Maslow said that individuals at this level are able to contribute their full potentials to the organization.

  • Physiological needs: these are the lowest levels of needs. These are the basic human requirements necessary for existence, such as food, water, shelter, etc.
  • Safety needs: these are the individuals’ need for physical safety and security which is associated with economic stability or job security. For example, people put up with unpleasant working conditions if their salaries are high enough to support their families.
  • Social needs: these are the individual’s need for love, belongingness, and affection.
  • Esteem needs: individuals perform well when they feel respected by others as well as self-respect. Esteem also means having a good self-image, feeling of accomplishment, and recognition for one’s knowledge/skills. Esteem comes from observing personal mastery of tasks, professional recognition, and achieving that which is difficult.
  • Self-Actualization needs: these are the individuals’ needs to fulfill their full potential for creativity, productivity, growth. Self-actualizers know where they are going in life. They believe that they can make a difference in the world.

Maslow’s theories on motivation and leadership were then further developed in “Motivation to Work” (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.) by Yerkes and Dodson in 1908. They theorized that there is a direct relationship between arousal and performance: when stress levels are high, performance levels drop; when arousal or stress levels drop, performance increases.

Situational Leadership (Hersey & Blanchard)

Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership model was based on the simple premise that a leader should do whatever it takes to get a follower to perform. They argued that there is no one way to lead because every situation is different from the others.

The Situational Leadership Model shows four basic leadership styles: Directing, Coaching, Supporting, and Delegating. The follower’s capability and readiness determine which leadership style is appropriate for the specific situation.

  • Directing: followers are doing the job well and need very little guidance or feedback
  • Coaching: followers are just starting to do the job, but still need some training. Leaders provide more guidance during this stage.
  • Supporting: workers are doing a poor job and need a lot of guidance to improve their performance
  • Delegating: leaders promote autonomy by trusting employees to do the job without being supervised.

In the last forty years, researchers have found support for leader behaviors that positively influence followers’ attitudes and behaviors. In other words, there is evidence that leaders who use empowering behavior such as providing assistance, coaching, giving assistance with rewards as well as sharing power and information create more engaged employees. Engaged employees not only perform better but they also stay longer in their jobs compared to those who are not engaged or disengaged employees.

The Leadership Challenge (Kouzes & Posner)

The Leadership Challenge is based on the most extensive study ever conducted of effective leadership. It expands on data gathered by Kouzes and Posner starting in 1983 on over 600 leaders from all different kinds of organizations across the United States. Before this study, there was no comprehensive research on how to measure leadership effectiveness.

Kouzes and Posner’s Leadership Challenge is a mountain of research distilled into five practices that distinguish good leaders from great ones. These are: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process and Performance, Enable Others to Act and Encourage the Heart.

  1. Model the Way: Effective leaders are those who demonstrate the practices they expect their followers to use. When team members see their leader working hard, showing respect for others, being honest and ethical, it makes them want to do the same.
  2. Inspire a Shared Vision: Effective leaders make people feel like they’re part of something greater than themselves – they create unity and a common purpose. The leader’s responsibility is to create a vision for the future and inspire people to see how they can contribute to it.
  3. Challenge the Process and Performance: Great leaders challenge themselves as well as others — they focus on continuous improvement, stretch challenges, build trust and confront problems. They lead through times of crisis and motivate team members when things are tough.
  4. Enable Others to Act: Effective leaders understand that their teams need room to run – they justify their actions by asking what could be better rather than proving why something is good enough. Leaders give their subordinates the resources necessary for success, communicate clear goals and expectations, then let them do what needs doing – leaders don’t make every decision or try to control every outcome.
  5. Encourage the Heart: Effective leaders have a personal stake in the success of their organization – they take great pride and enjoyment from helping others succeed. In doing so, they believe that outcomes are more important than processes. They inspire followers by creating unity through trust and respect.

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Team Roles (Belbin)

The team members in a project have different roles and play a crucial role in the success of the project. According to Belbin, in a high-functioning team, there should be no more than five roles. In The Team Roles Identified by Tandem Leadership in Project Teams, the authors share that effective organizations have teams with fewer team members, who are assigned specific tasks that rely on each other to perform.

The nine-team roles identified by Belbin are:

  1. Resource Investigator: This person is in charge of collecting and providing materials and making sure that the team has what it needs to perform.
  2. Team Worker: This person encourages cooperation within the team and helps resolve conflicts between team members.
  3. Plant: This person is in charge of moving the project forward, solving problems, and initiating new tasks. Sometimes this role can be combined with that of the Resource Investigator.
  4. Coordinator: This person resolves conflicts between team members in the group and makes sure they are on track to meet deadlines.
  5. Committee Member: This person contributes to the overall outcome of the project but is not directly involved in its day-to-day operations.
  6. Monitor Evaluator: This person reviews the progress of the project and discusses deviations from deadlines with team members.
  7. Shaper: This person encourages the group to meet deadlines by adjusting priorities, setting shorter time limits, or establishing milestones. Sometimes this role can be combined with that of the Plant.
  8. Implementer: This person ensures that tasks are being carried out as planned, and can also be a member of the team or serve as a consultant.
  9. Completer-Finisher: This person ensures that tasks are done to perfection without any errors.

In any given project, there may not be room for all nine roles which is why some people will have multiple roles on a high functioning been developed from a wide range of professional disciplines. A common framework for understanding the role of leaders is offered by a model based on a combination of psychology and classical economic theory. In this article, an example of the application of this model to transformational leadership is given.

Management by Wandering Around (MBWA)

Management by Wandering Around (MBWA) is an informal management technique that involves managers dropping in unannounced at the workplace of their staff, with the intention of seeing how they are getting on. The aim of MBWA is to improve communication between managers and their workforce, as well as create a closer bond between them.

The practice of MBWA was popularized in the 1970s when Hewlett-Packard (HP) introduced it. The idea behind MBWA came from HP’s founders, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, who would walk around the office to talk informally with employees. This practice was seen as an important part of the company’s success.

MBWA has many benefits for both managers and team members. Managers can benefit by establishing closer bonds with their workforce, which helps improve morale and ultimately productivity. Team members can benefit by having an opportunity to speak personally with their manager about issues that may be affecting their work performance without fear of reprimand. This allows managers to find out what’s going on and take appropriate action, potentially averting a crisis.

MBWA can also help improve communication between team members. This is especially useful when there are silos in an organization; with MBWA individuals from all levels of the organization will come into contact, allowing ideas and information to flow more freely.

MBWA can be a useful tool for managers to use in a crisis situation as it allows them to see firsthand how an issue is affecting their staff. By observing the behavior of team members, they may also be able to uncover other problems that would otherwise go undetected. This could lead to decisions being made that not only resolve the initial crisis but also have a positive effect on other areas of the business.

Final Thoughts

Leadership is an art that some people seem to have a knack for, while others struggle. It’s important not only when leading your team but also in everyday life because there are many aspects of leadership that can be seen as small or large-scale decisions depending on what kind you want them too perform.

The difference between being managed and managing is that in the former you’re told what to do, while in the latter you get to choose. Because leadership behavior is not always easy to understand there are several models that can be used as a guideline when thinking about how you would like your team members to act.

Leadership and management theories have changed dramatically over the years. In an earlier era, it was believed that leadership skills were part of one’s genetic makeup which they either had or didn’t possess depending on their destiny as a leader; this idea started to shift with more modern thinking where individuals are able to learn new techniques for success in any type situation by constantly adapting themselves based upon what’s needed at present moment.

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