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Leadership Case Study

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1. Introduction
Leadership went through a long evolution process. From the innate leadership to acquired traits, Leadership has always been a process which competes for others’ help and support and achieves a common goal (Martin M. Chemers 1997). Leadership decided to enterprise size, strength, success or failure. To a certain extent, it is the most important factors leading to the success or failure of the enterprise, the more power of the leadership, the higher level of the enterprise (JunHao Chen 2011). The main purpose of this report is to evaluate leadership method of Kirsty conforms to the modern leadership theory and further research on the advantages and weakness of his leadership. This report focused on the current most popular topic in business word. According to the case study, all her sandwich factory senior management team is made up of women. Sandwich Company and its leader Kirsty made the change of Leader-member exchange (LMX), Path-goal theory and ‘New’ leadership.

Kirsty delegated more power to his staff and trusted staff to be fully committed and is open to ideas. The staff were happy and enjoying their devolved responsibility. The leadership theory has been integrated into Kirsty’s leadership style. Modern leadership approach in Sandwich Company was developed, and helped enterprises to further open the market. This research of the report is mean that the model of modern leadership approach has become a tendency which widely used in development of modern enterprise. After thorough research and analysis, development of leadership in Sandwich Company has been a success. Kirsty said that change never stops. Therefore, the modern leadership will be an important part of enterprise adjustment.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Path-goal Theory approach
In many different types of modern leadership approach, the Path-goal Theory approach is the primary one. The theory argues that leader depending on the different situation and nature needs different types of leadership behaviour, choose the best path in order to achieve the goal. This leadership work is necessary to provide to make sure that their goals can be adjusted with organization’s goals (Robert J House 1996). The path-goal theory has been considered to be the best leadership behaviour, is the most suitable for the demand of the enterprise staff and work environment, guide them complete the active task under the best path (Northouse 2013). In addition, according to theory of (Robert J. House 1996), leader set up the target direction and improves the path to ensure the goals including the following aspects. Leadership Process.

Leaders confirmed the needs of the employees, provide appropriate goals, will achieve the goal with remuneration, remove obstacles of performance, and give employees certain guidance. Objectives Setting. Group members need to feel that their goal is valuable, and can be and achieved the goal under the leadership of the existing resources. If there is no common goal, different members will go in different directions. The path improved. Leaders also need to know some contingency factors and selection of leading solutions especially have to balance the need for two types of support, before determining the smooth realization of the target path. Leadership Styles. Leader behaviours incentive effect, which made the needs of the subordinates associated with effective job performance, and provide the necessary guidance, support and reward.

The independent variable of Path – Goal theory is leader’s behaviours. Therefore the path-goal theory considered that leaders are flexible and they can change their behaviours or style depending on the situation (Evans, Martin G. 1970).

2.2 Leader-Member Exchange Theory approach (LMX)

Leaders build the special relationship with a few subordinates. These individuals become insiders which are trusted and get more care from the leader, are also more likely to become the privileged manager (Deluga, RJ 1998). LMX pay close attention to the nature and quality of the relationship between leaders and their subordinates (Robert Leo Power 2013). LMX theory predicts that the subordinates in inner circle will get higher assessment level. The enterprise will get lower turnover rate and higher satisfaction rate. The formation of leader – member exchange relationship is a process accompanied by the evolution of the time and change of development (Bauer & Green 1996). This change is from the “binary” relationship of Lead – member to the team level, developing the team – members exchange relationship.

For leaders, authorization itself means taking risks, therefore, leader must trust his subordinates, and will take action. For subordinates who have the higher performance level and strong ability in the early Stage, are easy to gain more trust and authorization more than others (Sherony, K., & Green, S. 2002). The leader will develop a loyal relationship with his Senior Management Team (SMT) so that the SMT can create more output by the influence of leader (Rozhan Othman, etc, 2009). However, Subordinate’s performance is not satisfactory, due to the subordinate’s loyalty to his leadership, his work and errors will be tolerated.

Therefore, firstly, the leaders should be understood the effect of the behaviour which promote building the higher quality of leader-member relationships. Secondly, LMX is a long-term process which is based on improving the capability of leader’s information feedback, job task analysis and the ability to delegate. Beginning from the subordinate just coming into the organization, subordinate can be able to enter the job roles as soon as possible. Through the guidance and encouragement especially incentives, new members take on more tasks, increase willingness to complete the task as much as possible and will be subordinated to inner circle. The dynamics of LMX development should be focused; constantly review organization scenario and LMX relationship which has been established and make adjustments according to the changed environment. (HongDu, etc, 2002)

2.3 ‘New’ Leadership Theory approach

New leadership theory includes charismatic leadership and transformational leadership. New leadership need to focus on the risk and changes in the business environment. Transformational leadership theory relates leader with subordinate, and attempts to create a process which can improve the level of both motivation and moral character between leaders and subordinates (James M. Burns 2010). It involves emotion, values, moral standards, and long-term goals, including follower’s valuation of the motives and meets their needs (Northouse 2007). The idealised influence which the leader needs to set the value of the following and set him as a model to the followers is the important part of the transformational leadership. The characteristic of the charm is instilling the sense of pride to the followers and make leader Gain respect and trust. (Edward Szewczak & Coral Snodgrass 2002). New leadership theory can better explain the leader’s ability to cope with the radical changes and the transformation of management failure.

The transformational leadership of the New Leadership Theory approach mainly embodied in the following aspects, idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration. Leaders, who usually have these factors, have strong values and ideals, can successfully encourage employees beyond the interests of the individual for team’s goal though mutual cooperation and common struggle (James M. Burns 2010). The leader can lead subordinates to exceed the expectations though behavioural characteristics of transformational leadership (John H. Humphreys & Walter O. Einstein 2003). However, this method also has its limitation. It should be kept the balance and focused on the needs in the work of the subordinates instead of just concentrate on the rewards and punishments (Kevin B. Lowe, etc 1996).

3. Analysis of the case study

3.1 Path-goal Theory approach

The Path-goal Theory is as the approach of reflecting the leadership style of leadership to be used by Sandwich Factory. In the case study, according to the words of kiesty, she attempt to make her subordinates know that they had the common goal to struggle and realize. Kirsty got her subordinates together as a team to complete what path and goal the leader let the subordinates know. The effect of the leader is leading the followers to achieve the target. The path-goal theory has been considered to be the best leadership behaviour, is the most suitable for the demand of the enterprise staff and work environment, guide them complete the active task under the best path (Northouse 2013).

Kirsty is unhindered to communicate with her subordinates because of respect each other. The subordinates are believed that the return of the work is worthy if they consider that they have the capability to carry out the work and will be success (Northouse 2013). However, she is likely to be considered to know all by employees, actually the quality and capacity do not necessarily reach high level. This kind of influence which following the leader, can lead to some employees regardless of the situation with serious consequences.

3.2 The Advantages and weaknesses of Path-goal theory approach in the case study.

On one hand, this kind of approach can be influence on the work attitude and the company structure adjustment. On the other hand, the approach ensures the member to complete the task smoothly, reduce unnecessary procedures and errors. According to the (N.K. Jain 2005), “leader behaviour has on subordinate motivation, satisfaction and performance”.

Supportive Leadership and Achievement Orientated Leadership. If employees are not satisfied with the existing work or leadership, the leader will solve this problem, and continue to pay attention to it which the leader need and like the friendly environment (Colin P. Silverthorne 2005). Kirsty show sufficient confidence to the employees that her outstanding employees can work in their respective fields. The example in the case, the subordinates enjoy devolution of authority and responsibility which the Kirsty gave.

For the weakness, Path-goal theory approach is overbroad and tries to involve every aspects of the leadership. It is difficult to combine theory with practice and apply the theory to the work.

3.3 Leader-Member Exchange Theory approach (LMX)

The LMX is the best way to deal with the inner circle and the outside. According to the Kirsty, she considered that the subordinate fully committed to what they need and increase own input to the business, because the approach has the steady and powerful relationship. The leader will develop a loyal relationship with his Senior Management Team (SMT) so that the SMT can create more output by the influence of leader (Rozhan Othman, etc, 2009). “The subordinates enjoy devolution of authority and responsibility which the Kirsty gave”. This kind of rights –trust exchange will contribute to the growth of the enterprise management team and the development of enterprises.

In addition, the subordinate is often considered to be good at all of the tasks, just because their job is very well as same as a subordinate’s performance is not good, because of loyalty, he is tolerated by his leader. The defect of this kind of phenomenon is affects the quality of the work.

3.4 The Advantages and weaknesses of LMX theory approach in the case study.

In the case, Kirsty open a new Sandwich Factory with her friends and share the business. Kirsty’s friends are considered the advantage in the enterprises. Kirsty are operating the good relationship with her friends, and her friends help her manage in the SMT based on mutual respect and trust between them. LMX approach can expound the core leadership process. The high quality of LMX is that Leaders rely on their followers and requires them to take more responsibility and participation in more work (Hana Medler-Liraz & Ronit Kark 2011).

However, management team, in certain circumstances, may be out of control, deprived of many of the leaders, take over the company and destroy the organizational structure and functions of the enterprise (Rozhan Othman etc, 2009). In the case, this kind of circumstance will not appear in a short period of time because of the Kirsty’s new company. Kirsty’s Leadership Style will not allow it to happen.

3.5 ‘New’ Leadership Theory approach

It involves emotion, values, moral standards, and long-term goals, including follower’s valuation of the motives and meets their needs (Northouse 2007). Kirsty said that she would try her best to help the staff solve problems.
Leadership Style of the Kirsty is seen as the transformational leadership to help the member in the organization achieve success.

The leader can lead subordinates to exceed the expectations though behavioural characteristics of transformational leadership (John H. Humphreys & Walter O. Einstein 2003). Transformational leadership can set a kind of values and an example to be influence on subordinates. In the case, the staffs enjoy the more rights and responsibilities which the Kirsty gave. Kirsty’s staffs have a better working condition and spirit into the work. Transactional relationship is another one of the new modern relationship. This approach is base on the performance of subordinates in the work, punishment or reward. But this approach is not suitable for Kirsty’s style which tends to relaxed and harmonious working environment.

3.6 The Advantages and weaknesses of ‘New’ Leadership Theory approach in the case study.

The characteristic of transformational leadership is that leaders can let the subordinates feel the vitality of enterprises, and stimulate their enthusiasm. Kirsty can use this method to set up a sandwich factory’s goal, with the goal of team. According to the Young Entrepreneur (London) Monthly in the case, He has the ability to set up own sandwiches factory, also need more like-minded people to develop the enterprises.

Leaders, who usually have these factors, have strong values and ideals, can successfully encourage employees beyond the interests of the individual for team’s goal though mutual cooperation and common struggle (James M. Burns 2010). The leader can lead subordinates to exceed the expectations though behavioural characteristics of transformational leadership (John H. Humphreys & Walter O. Einstein 2003).

The key to success of the new theory approach rely on the high-quality staff. In other words, subordinate do not know whether the leader’s decision is correct, and lack of the necessary analysis. According to the Kirsty’s word, she has to conceal and deal with some issues fast when she found them in the early stage. This is mainly because of transactional leadership behaviours. If the subordinate work performance is lower than expected, he will be excluded by the leader. This is the biggest drawback of the Transactional theory.

4. Conclusion.

This report has analysed the three main modern theories individually including the approaches, advantages and weakness, and how they affected the leader and followers. The path-goal theory can encourage the staff to complete to work. The LMX theory is shown a kind of relation which is an exchange and communication between the leader and subordinates. Transformational theory can better explain the leader’s ability to cope with the radical changes and the transformation of management failure.

The Sandwich Factory has a long-term Strategic Planning and a strong powerful leader to support progressive development. For example, they create a new market and need to deal with business as soon as possible. The modern leadership theory approaches are used flexibility by Kirsty in the Sandwich Factory. Advantages and disadvantages of the modern theory are concomitant. Therefore, the key is enhancing advantage and avoiding disadvantage.

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