Sample Essay on Leadership development and Organizational Productivity

(Suggested topics)

The Effects of Leadership Development on Organizational Productivity

or

Leadership development and Organizational Productivity

Name:

Institution:

The Effects of Leadership Development on Organizational Productivity

An organization is a structured group of people with a common focus towards accomplishing certain goals for a particular target group. In most cases, organizations grade their output performances in relation to their respective possible in-puts (Carter, L. et al 2005 p.28). When this is done, comparative results indicate whether or not positive progress is realized.  Therefore, organizational productivity is the ability of an organization to timely break even in a given financial year and move towards realizing high profit margins. However, this type of organizational success depends on the organizational leadership culture (Carter, L. et al 2005 p.19). A productive organizational leadership has the potential to steer quality performance among team members and foster identification, molding and development of prospective future leaders for the same organization (Burgoyne, J. & Turnbull, K. 2001 p.2). It is important to note that the manner in which this is done, determines whether or not organizations would survive from external competitions. This work is determined to provide a critical analysis of the modes adopted by various organizations in their leadership development programmes and compare their respective outcomes based on organization’s performance indices.

Motivation of the dissertation topic

The current market dynamics are quite unpredictable due to emergence of new products and services from upcoming organizations (Burgoyne, J. & Turnbull, K. 2001 p.21). As a result, existing organizations experience external pressure either on its pool of expertise or market dimensions. The former is characterized by relevance of skills necessary for particular organizational production chain while organizational market orientations dictate the existence behavior of an organization. It is important to note that the success of these factors is highly dependent on the contribution of the top leadership an organization’s leadership development plan (Carter, L. et al 2005 p.20). Therefore, in order to meet these demands, it is imperative to study leadership development cultures and their effects on organizational growths.

The aim of this work is to look at leadership development in organizations and evaluate the role a well-designed leadership development strategy can have on the overall performance of leaders in conjunction with workers and organizational productivity (Velsor and Ascalon, 2006) and (Carter, L. et al 2005 p.21-29). This is in line with the need to strengthen leadership in organizations with a view to encouraging transformational leadership that possesses the skills designed to implement innovative and development oriented managers who have capacity to address responsibility, authority and accountability and are able to articulate expectations, develop autonomy, resolve conflicts, take risks and solve problems in modern 21st century organizations (Hancock et al, 2005) and (Kraus, A. & Wilson, C.2012).

Research Questions

In order to realize the goals for this study, a number of research questions have been developed.

Can leadership development be accountable for in organizational performance? In this context, the research question aims at considering the important role leadership development plays as a source of competitive advantage and the need for organizations to invest in its development (Day, 2001).

Can organizations cope in the 21st century without effective leadership development strategies? This research question focuses on organizational leadership development as a phenomenon and whether organizations can afford to ignore its leadership trend (Storey, 2013).

Can leadership development approach build effective experiential learning rooted in organizational real life, real time, and future performance prospective? This question looks at leadership development models adopted by organizations during training sessions and to ascertain if their package takes into account Human Resource Development (HRD) requirements as contained in international corporate leadership institutes (Goninet al, 2011). Besides, it provides a guideline on establishment of leadership culture capable to sustain organizations through any form of challenge.

Research objectives

Adair (1973) defined leadership as ‘the ability of an individual to persuade a group of followers willingly to behave differently by satisfying the needs of the group members’. Therefore, it is imperative to provide insight into good or bad leadership performance in organization attributable to training and development of leaders or lack of it (Ogbonna and Harris, 2000). This research will show that the only way organizations can cope with increasing challenges associated with their external business environment is to train and develop leaders in order to equip them with the necessary skills required to deal with modern organizational challenges (Ogbonna and Harris, 2000).  To establish this, a critical evaluation of the following objectives would be determined by the study.

  • Examine different organizational leadership approaches and their implications on leadership development.
  • Establish the relationship between leadership style, organizational culture, and leadership performance.
  • Assess how leadership development through regular training affects organisational performance.

Literature Review

Leadership has been considered an important force in driving change, achieving organizational objectives, and facilitating appropriate responses to organizational challenges (Hughes et al, 1996). For leadership to live up to its role of influencing people to achieve set goals, personal leadership attributes in any organization must be constantly developed to meet these needs (Yukl, G. 2002 p.2). In this regards, Hughes et al (1996) suggest that organizations must constantly take professional and strategic initiative to develop and build their leaders within the organization so as to enable them provide strategic intervention required in cases of need such under-developed workforce infrastructure.

An effective and well-designed leadership development programme therefore has to provide training for managers in line with perceived challenges facing the organization. Velser and Asealon (2006) argue that this has to be in form of developing organizational leadership in terms of shaping their ethnical behavior. This is maintained because leaders in organizations often violate ethical codes (guiding the operations of the organization) due to lack of principle on the part of individual managers or as a result of a leaders drive to overcome tough competitive pressures within the organization.

Generally, this shortcoming affects organizational motivations as targets are never realized or if realized, they are time bared. Leadership development on ethical training helps developing an organization’s leadership culture by facilitating individuals’ leadership abilities to be persistent, develop creative problem solving ability, learn to deal with cognitive complexity, have a strong communication and influential skills besides developing complete dedication skills to work in the overall interest of the organization (Kraus, A. & Wilson, C.2012 p. 3). However, Giber et al (2009) differs with this approach, as they believe that organizational leadership development is an elusive and difficult task. Also, they assert that leadership development is a challenging task to achieve, not only within organizations but in other spheres of human endeavour like politics, economics, psychology or human development. They posit that development is a situation where things continually have to evolve. This means that since organizations are transitive, leadership development is a modern complex structure of organizations, which may fail not only in preparing people for jobs but may also lead to stagnancy of the common universal leadership competencies.

From this argument, it is clear that in the current century, leadership definition includes the preparation (by leaders) for any outcome (whether positive or negative) within an organization. Thus, the fundamental challenge that befalls organizational set-ups is how to make leadership development adaptive to all circumstances and develop capacity that would provide answers to immerging issues in the course of implementation periods. As a result, a proposal is put forth that leadership development curriculum needs to develop some broad generalist capabilities that will help upcoming organizational vision bearers be able to integrate multiple perspectives in discharging their responsibility.

For example, a leader in a chain store must not only focus on customer service, but must also be able to integrate customer service with merchandising besides having an understanding of how to create the products the chain store offers. Hancock et al (2005) agrees with this view as they maintain that transformational leadership development strategy must be one, which provides skills for the profession, which stretches its boundaries through the development of innovative initiatives. These should first assess respective problems in an organization and provides solution relevant to all. They are of the view that for leadership development to be successful (especially in the UK), Leading Empowered Organization (LEO) project has to be implemented in organizations that aim to equip frontline leaders and professionals who wish to  empower  themselves and others by addressing responsibility, authority, and accountability.

In an effort to achieve this, Tannenaum and Yukl (1992) have suggested that organizational analysis process should be able to identify when a departmental leader or all the leaders in the organization require training. It is mentioned that this can help to identify specific development programmes that can cause job satisfaction and thus, productivity. They are of the view that training programmes should support strategic direction within an organization and that training objectives ought to be aligned with organizational goals.

In this regard, leadership development needs should be well defined in order for trainees to understand learning objectives. The organization also needs to take into account trainee characteristics, current knowledge about learning processes and practical considerations such as constraints and cost in relation to benefits. Wilson (2005) considers these moves as evolutionary as organizations regularly aspire to participate in the long tradition of training, education and developing leaders for the purpose of contributing towards the achievement of individual, organizational and societal goals. He however observes that efforts of organizations to engage in leadership development has attracted a considerable amount of criticism due to claims that organizations’ effort is to depict upcoming leaders as replacement parts serving the mechanistic organizational requirements . He argues that organizational leadership approach consider leaders as people that can be interchanged and dispensed at will.

In their attempt to address the subject of organizational leadership development, Avolio and Gardner (2005) observes that given the unique stressors facing organizations today, the focus of leadership development in organizations should inculcate development of leaders who have the capacity to address organizational current or future challenges. They contend that leadership development strategies should be able to adapt to persistent shifts by acquiring fresh skills as new challenges, technologies, market demand and competition emerge. Among other roles, they suggest that these leadership directions should be able to bring about a renewed focus on restoring confidence, hope, and optimism; make a come-back after a catastrophic event and display resiliency; help people in their search for meaning and connection by fostering a self-awareness and genuinely relating to stakeholders (associates, customers, suppliers, owners, and communities).

As a result, these qualities would develop leaders who lead with purpose, values, and integrity, leaders, who build sustainable organizations by motivating their employees to provide superior customer service and create long-term value for respective share-holders.

Methodology

Two major methodological approaches would be adopted for this work. These are discourse reviews and comparative content Analyses

Discourse Review

In this research work, the major type of data to be collected is secondary data.  Methodological approach to this realization is review of scholarly materials, both hard copies and soft copies (or on-line). The major guiding factor to this approach is authenticity of materials reviewed as determined by credibility of the sources from where retrieval is done and the date of publication. For instance, academically reviewed publications in highly esteemed journals provides have both legal and academic authority in their respective subject matter. On the part of time, recently, published materials carries more weight as the content presented addresses current occurrences which are more relevant as the study is focused on current phenomena.

Comparative Content Analyses

Comparative analyses of the reviewed works would be based on three major objectives of this study. These are examination of different organizational leadership approaches and their implications on leadership development, establishment of the relationship between leadership style, organizational culture, and leadership performance besides assessment on how leadership development through regular training affects organisational performance.

These analyses will lead to results or findings based on the title of this study. After which, conclusions on the subject of study, guided by the research questions or hypotheses would be drawn.

Limitation

The major limitation to this study is diversity in organizational leadership approaches. That is, there being a need for huge load of practical information on how organizations conduct their leadership development operations, there is no guarantee that the information accessed through internet sources and other print materials will be all inclusive. This brings to question the adequacy of the research study as income required to conduct an extensive data collection process is a factor worth consideration. Therefore, this may lead to lack of adequate information which may allow the research to formulate its hypothetical ideas on sample non-representativeness.

APPENDIX A: Time Scale

The following are tentative dates representing the anticipated progress of the dissertation.

Submission: September 2014

Month Action
Mid-May-June   Preparation Meeting with supervisor;Final plan for the proposal;Draft of introduction;Extensive literature review;
July Data collection and Analysis Sample identification and collection (secondary sources)Statistical analysis of dataWrite-up of findings
August Write-up & Submission Discussion of findings, limitations & conclusionProofread of dissertationSubmission

References

Burgoyne, J G, & Turnbull James, K. (2001). Leadership Development: Best Practice Guide for Organisations. (Burgoyne, J G and Turnbull James, K (2001) Leadership Development: Best Practice Guide for Organisations. Council for Excellence in Management and Leadership, London.) Council for Excellence in Management and Leadership.

Carter, L., Ulrich, D., & Goldsmith, M. (2005). Best practices in leadership development and organization change: How the best companies ensure meaningful change and sustainable leadership. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Kraus, A. J., & Wilson, C. N. (2012). Leadership Development for Organizational Success.

(Suggested topics)

The Effects of Leadership Development on Organizational Productivity

or

Leadership development and Organizational Productivity

Name:

Institution:

The Effects of Leadership Development on Organizational Productivity

An organization is a structured group of people with a common focus towards accomplishing certain goals for a particular target group. In most cases, organizations grade their output performances in relation to their respective possible in-puts (Carter, L. et al 2005 p.28). When this is done, comparative results indicate whether or not positive progress is realized.  Therefore, organizational productivity is the ability of an organization to timely break even in a given financial year and move towards realizing high profit margins. However, this type of organizational success depends on the organizational leadership culture (Carter, L. et al 2005 p.19). A productive organizational leadership has the potential to steer quality performance among team members and foster identification, molding and development of prospective future leaders for the same organization (Burgoyne, J. & Turnbull, K. 2001 p.2). It is important to note that the manner in which this is done, determines whether or not organizations would survive from external competitions. This work is determined to provide a critical analysis of the modes adopted by various organizations in their leadership development programmes and compare their respective outcomes based on organization’s performance indices.

Motivation of the dissertation topic

The current market dynamics are quite unpredictable due to emergence of new products and services from upcoming organizations (Burgoyne, J. & Turnbull, K. 2001 p.21). As a result, existing organizations experience external pressure either on its pool of expertise or market dimensions. The former is characterized by relevance of skills necessary for particular organizational production chain while organizational market orientations dictate the existence behavior of an organization. It is important to note that the success of these factors is highly dependent on the contribution of the top leadership an organization’s leadership development plan (Carter, L. et al 2005 p.20). Therefore, in order to meet these demands, it is imperative to study leadership development cultures and their effects on organizational growths.

The aim of this work is to look at leadership development in organizations and evaluate the role a well-designed leadership development strategy can have on the overall performance of leaders in conjunction with workers and organizational productivity (Velsor and Ascalon, 2006) and (Carter, L. et al 2005 p.21-29). This is in line with the need to strengthen leadership in organizations with a view to encouraging transformational leadership that possesses the skills designed to implement innovative and development oriented managers who have capacity to address responsibility, authority and accountability and are able to articulate expectations, develop autonomy, resolve conflicts, take risks and solve problems in modern 21st century organizations (Hancock et al, 2005) and (Kraus, A. & Wilson, C.2012).

Research Questions

In order to realize the goals for this study, a number of research questions have been developed.

Can leadership development be accountable for in organizational performance? In this context, the research question aims at considering the important role leadership development plays as a source of competitive advantage and the need for organizations to invest in its development (Day, 2001).

Can organizations cope in the 21st century without effective leadership development strategies? This research question focuses on organizational leadership development as a phenomenon and whether organizations can afford to ignore its leadership trend (Storey, 2013).

Can leadership development approach build effective experiential learning rooted in organizational real life, real time, and future performance prospective? This question looks at leadership development models adopted by organizations during training sessions and to ascertain if their package takes into account Human Resource Development (HRD) requirements as contained in international corporate leadership institutes (Goninet al, 2011). Besides, it provides a guideline on establishment of leadership culture capable to sustain organizations through any form of challenge.

Research objectives

Adair (1973) defined leadership as ‘the ability of an individual to persuade a group of followers willingly to behave differently by satisfying the needs of the group members’. Therefore, it is imperative to provide insight into good or bad leadership performance in organization attributable to training and development of leaders or lack of it (Ogbonna and Harris, 2000). This research will show that the only way organizations can cope with increasing challenges associated with their external business environment is to train and develop leaders in order to equip them with the necessary skills required to deal with modern organizational challenges (Ogbonna and Harris, 2000).  To establish this, a critical evaluation of the following objectives would be determined by the study.

  • Examine different organizational leadership approaches and their implications on leadership development.
  • Establish the relationship between leadership style, organizational culture, and leadership performance.
  • Assess how leadership development through regular training affects organisational performance.

Literature Review

Leadership has been considered an important force in driving change, achieving organizational objectives, and facilitating appropriate responses to organizational challenges (Hughes et al, 1996). For leadership to live up to its role of influencing people to achieve set goals, personal leadership attributes in any organization must be constantly developed to meet these needs (Yukl, G. 2002 p.2). In this regards, Hughes et al (1996) suggest that organizations must constantly take professional and strategic initiative to develop and build their leaders within the organization so as to enable them provide strategic intervention required in cases of need such under-developed workforce infrastructure.

An effective and well-designed leadership development programme therefore has to provide training for managers in line with perceived challenges facing the organization. Velser and Asealon (2006) argue that this has to be in form of developing organizational leadership in terms of shaping their ethnical behavior. This is maintained because leaders in organizations often violate ethical codes (guiding the operations of the organization) due to lack of principle on the part of individual managers or as a result of a leaders drive to overcome tough competitive pressures within the organization.

Generally, this shortcoming affects organizational motivations as targets are never realized or if realized, they are time bared. Leadership development on ethical training helps developing an organization’s leadership culture by facilitating individuals’ leadership abilities to be persistent, develop creative problem solving ability, learn to deal with cognitive complexity, have a strong communication and influential skills besides developing complete dedication skills to work in the overall interest of the organization (Kraus, A. & Wilson, C.2012 p. 3). However, Giber et al (2009) differs with this approach, as they believe that organizational leadership development is an elusive and difficult task. Also, they assert that leadership development is a challenging task to achieve, not only within organizations but in other spheres of human endeavour like politics, economics, psychology or human development. They posit that development is a situation where things continually have to evolve. This means that since organizations are transitive, leadership development is a modern complex structure of organizations, which may fail not only in preparing people for jobs but may also lead to stagnancy of the common universal leadership competencies.

From this argument, it is clear that in the current century, leadership definition includes the preparation (by leaders) for any outcome (whether positive or negative) within an organization. Thus, the fundamental challenge that befalls organizational set-ups is how to make leadership development adaptive to all circumstances and develop capacity that would provide answers to immerging issues in the course of implementation periods. As a result, a proposal is put forth that leadership development curriculum needs to develop some broad generalist capabilities that will help upcoming organizational vision bearers be able to integrate multiple perspectives in discharging their responsibility.

For example, a leader in a chain store must not only focus on customer service, but must also be able to integrate customer service with merchandising besides having an understanding of how to create the products the chain store offers. Hancock et al (2005) agrees with this view as they maintain that transformational leadership development strategy must be one, which provides skills for the profession, which stretches its boundaries through the development of innovative initiatives. These should first assess respective problems in an organization and provides solution relevant to all. They are of the view that for leadership development to be successful (especially in the UK), Leading Empowered Organization (LEO) project has to be implemented in organizations that aim to equip frontline leaders and professionals who wish to  empower  themselves and others by addressing responsibility, authority, and accountability.

In an effort to achieve this, Tannenaum and Yukl (1992) have suggested that organizational analysis process should be able to identify when a departmental leader or all the leaders in the organization require training. It is mentioned that this can help to identify specific development programmes that can cause job satisfaction and thus, productivity. They are of the view that training programmes should support strategic direction within an organization and that training objectives ought to be aligned with organizational goals.

In this regard, leadership development needs should be well defined in order for trainees to understand learning objectives. The organization also needs to take into account trainee characteristics, current knowledge about learning processes and practical considerations such as constraints and cost in relation to benefits. Wilson (2005) considers these moves as evolutionary as organizations regularly aspire to participate in the long tradition of training, education and developing leaders for the purpose of contributing towards the achievement of individual, organizational and societal goals. He however observes that efforts of organizations to engage in leadership development has attracted a considerable amount of criticism due to claims that organizations’ effort is to depict upcoming leaders as replacement parts serving the mechanistic organizational requirements . He argues that organizational leadership approach consider leaders as people that can be interchanged and dispensed at will.

In their attempt to address the subject of organizational leadership development, Avolio and Gardner (2005) observes that given the unique stressors facing organizations today, the focus of leadership development in organizations should inculcate development of leaders who have the capacity to address organizational current or future challenges. They contend that leadership development strategies should be able to adapt to persistent shifts by acquiring fresh skills as new challenges, technologies, market demand and competition emerge. Among other roles, they suggest that these leadership directions should be able to bring about a renewed focus on restoring confidence, hope, and optimism; make a come-back after a catastrophic event and display resiliency; help people in their search for meaning and connection by fostering a self-awareness and genuinely relating to stakeholders (associates, customers, suppliers, owners, and communities).

As a result, these qualities would develop leaders who lead with purpose, values, and integrity, leaders, who build sustainable organizations by motivating their employees to provide superior customer service and create long-term value for respective share-holders.

Methodology

Two major methodological approaches would be adopted for this work. These are discourse reviews and comparative content Analyses

Discourse Review

In this research work, the major type of data to be collected is secondary data.  Methodological approach to this realization is review of scholarly materials, both hard copies and soft copies (or on-line). The major guiding factor to this approach is authenticity of materials reviewed as determined by credibility of the sources from where retrieval is done and the date of publication. For instance, academically reviewed publications in highly esteemed journals provides have both legal and academic authority in their respective subject matter. On the part of time, recently, published materials carries more weight as the content presented addresses current occurrences which are more relevant as the study is focused on current phenomena.

Comparative Content Analyses

Comparative analyses of the reviewed works would be based on three major objectives of this study. These are examination of different organizational leadership approaches and their implications on leadership development, establishment of the relationship between leadership style, organizational culture, and leadership performance besides assessment on how leadership development through regular training affects organisational performance.

These analyses will lead to results or findings based on the title of this study. After which, conclusions on the subject of study, guided by the research questions or hypotheses would be drawn.

Limitation

The major limitation to this study is diversity in organizational leadership approaches. That is, there being a need for huge load of practical information on how organizations conduct their leadership development operations, there is no guarantee that the information accessed through internet sources and other print materials will be all inclusive. This brings to question the adequacy of the research study as income required to conduct an extensive data collection process is a factor worth consideration. Therefore, this may lead to lack of adequate information which may allow the research to formulate its hypothetical ideas on sample non-representativeness.

APPENDIX A: Time Scale

The following are tentative dates representing the anticipated progress of the dissertation.

Submission: September 2014

Month Action
Mid-May-June   Preparation Meeting with supervisor;Final plan for the proposal;Draft of introduction;Extensive literature review;
July Data collection and Analysis Sample identification and collection (secondary sources)Statistical analysis of dataWrite-up of findings
August Write-up & Submission Discussion of findings, limitations & conclusionProofread of dissertationSubmission

References

Burgoyne, J G, & Turnbull James, K. (2001). Leadership Development: Best Practice Guide for Organisations. (Burgoyne, J G and Turnbull James, K (2001) Leadership Development: Best Practice Guide for Organisations. Council for Excellence in Management and Leadership, London.) Council for Excellence in Management and Leadership.

Carter, L., Ulrich, D., & Goldsmith, M. (2005). Best practices in leadership development and organization change: How the best companies ensure meaningful change and sustainable leadership. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Kraus, A. J., & Wilson, C. N. (2012). Leadership Development for Organizational Success.

Yukl, G. A. (2002). Leadership in organizations.

Yukl, G. A. (2002). Leadership in organizations.