Example of appropriate leadership style potential

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Example of appropriate leadership style Potential theories that candidates could reference include (not exhaustive): McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y Adair’s Action Centred Leadership Tannenbaum and Schmidt Continuum Blake and Moulton leadership styles Transformational and Transactional leadership Situational leadership Path Goal leadership Charismatic leadership The following suggested answer gives examples of three of these theories and is an illustration of how a candidate may tackle this question. Credit will be given for application of theory, supported by a relevant example. Marking scheme is 1 mark for relevant theory with explanation, and 1 mark for each well-argued supporting example. The example chosen is a new Finance Director at a large local authority Using McGregor’s Theory X and Y leadership theory, where Theory X leaders take a fairly negative view of human nature and believe the average worker does not want to be there and is not motivated to work, whereas the Theory Y leaders believe that people generally want to accept responsibility and actively seek it, this leader would be categorised as a Theory Y leader. (1) He actively encouraged staff to take responsibility and make decisions. He encouraged staff to make suggestions for service improvement and gave feedback on why a suggestion may, or may not, be implemented. (1) Situational Leadership This leader applied situational leadership and changed leadership style depending on the situation and the experience and expertise of people. (1) When he needed to enforce very strict control over expenditure, adopted a directive approach with staff at all levels in the organisation, even at the most senior level. When the financial situation eased, he allowed departments to have more responsibility and decision-making. In this way, he was able to adopt the most appropriate leadership style to get the best result for the organisation, and because the reasons for the strict control was explained clearly to all affected, he gained the support of staff across the organisation for these measures. (2)
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SL Examination Guide June 2015 Page 15 Transactional and transformational leadership (Burns) Transformational leadership relies on the leader’s ability to inspire and motivate others. (1) This leader took over the role of finance Director at a time when the financial position of the authority was precarious and there was a general air of uncertainty and worry amongst staff. After several years of not being trusted or given responsibility, staff were reluctant to think that they had anything worth saying and did not expect to be listened to. (1) To begin with, transactional leadership was a more appropriate style – the “business as usual” approach provided the certainty and routine that staff needed. (1) Once they had become more settled, the Director adopted a more transformational approach. This was demonstrated through his efforts to find out from staff at all levels what their views were, how they had been affected by previous events, and to work with them to build the vision for finance for the future. By
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