Assignment Submission Cover Page
MSc Strategic Management
Student I.D. Number/s
Understanding and Leading Organisations
Title of assessment
23rd of October 2018
Date submitted 23rd of October 2018
Word count 2170
I / We hereby certify that this material, which I now submit for assessment on the programme of study leading to the MSc Strategic Management award is entirely my /our own work and has not been submitted for assessment for any academic purpose other than in partial fulfilment for that stated above.
Signed …Leane Power……………….Date ….21/10/2018……………………
Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3″ h z u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc527916583 h 3Overview of Papers PAGEREF _Toc527916584 h 41.1There is no leadership if no-one follows: Why leadership is necessarily a group process PAGEREF _Toc527916585 h 41.2Consequences of differentiated leadership in groups PAGEREF _Toc527916586 h 4Critique of Papers PAGEREF _Toc527916587 h 5Usefulness/Relevance for Managers PAGEREF _Toc527916588 h 9Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc527916589 h 10References PAGEREF _Toc527916590 h 11
The objective of this paper is to analyse and critique two journal articles related to a specific topic. The assigned reading, ‘There is no leadership if no-one follows: Why leadership is necessarily a group process” by Platow, Haslam, Reicher, & Steffens (2015) will be critiqued alongside “Consequences of differentiated leadership in groups” by Wu, Tsui, & Kinicki (2010). A critical approach will be taken to both articles.
This paper will provide a brief insight into the two articles and the results found. An in-depth analysis and critique will be conducted as well as any advantages and disadvantages in regards to both papers. Thereafter, results found from the critique will help in the application of the information for managers in the real world. It will also discuss the effects of the decisions that managers make in relation to groups.
The critique in accordance to the first article will take the focus of leadership in a group environment and whether or not the leader should focus on the individual and the group separately or as a collective state. The second article second paper will delve into a study of 70 work groups and concentrate on the issue of how differentiated leadership ultimately affects the level of group effectiveness.
The reason for choosing to critique papers in the area of leadership, especially within a group manner is because this is the way companies are moving forward. Having the ability to work in a group environment and possibly lead the group is becoming increasingly important from an employer’s aspect. Therefore, this is an interesting topic to analyse and recognise potential research in this area. Having an effective work group will contribute positively to an organisation. The ability to recognise when differentiated leadership is occurring is highly beneficial when working with future groups.
Overview of PapersThere is no leadership if no-one follows: Why leadership is necessarily a group process
Platow, Haslam, Reicher, & Steffens (2015) aims to demonstrate that leadership is essentially a group process and that they must be “one of us”. The argument put forward is in relation to social identity theory and self-categorisation theory. This thesis establishes to demonstrate three areas within the group process. Firstly, how leadership is exerted through in group based social influence. Second, how the more that group members exert the ‘us-in-context’, the more potential they have to be a leader. Lastly, how the typical traits of a leader can be understood as a result of “shared psychological group members”. CITATION Pla15 l 6153 (Platow, Haslam, Reicher, & Steffens, 2015). The article delves into a newly developed theory ‘Identity leadership’ which helps conclude that their understanding of leadership as a social and physiological process is evidence based. CITATION Pla15 l 6153 (Platow, Haslam, Reicher, & Steffens, 2015)Consequences of differentiated leadership in groups
Wu, Tsui & Kinicki (2010) conducted a study with 70 work groups from 8 companies across different industries in the U.S. From these work groups, the team were able to develop and test a group level model involving group focused and individual focused leadership using three phased survey data. The data was collected through online surveys over two months. The results from this study showed that “differentiated leadership within groups diminished group effectiveness through creativity divergence in leadership identification and member self-efficacy and lower group collective efficacy”. It also proved that group focused leadership enabled group identification and collective efficacy. The team also put forward the question of whether a leader should pay differentiated attention to individual members and the group as a collective simultaneously. Many researchers and common knowledge would tell us that a leader should pay the same amount of attention to both, however it was discovered it was not as straightforward as this. CITATION WuJ10 l 6153 (Wu, Tsui, & Kinicki, 2010)
Critique of Papers
In the article, “There is no leadership if no-one follows: Why leadership is necessarily a group process”, the aim was to put forward two points in relation to leadership within groups. The first is that leadership is a psychological process, involving social context and second, “there is no leadership if no one follows”, discovered from past research. The authors suggest that leadership within groups was subsequently more difficult to define and measure in a large company compared to a small project, which many agree with. CITATION Pla15 l 6153 (Platow, Haslam, Reicher, & Steffens, 2015) This article adopted a theoretical approach into leadership as primarily a group process.
An intriguing point was made in relation to how people perceive what a leader is. The paper argues that an individual should not assume the role of a leader just because they hold that position but rather that they must buy their followership. A leader should not expect followers behind them straight away. They have concluded that “leadership is a psychological group process in which it is followers who effectively make someone a leader”. CITATION Pla15 l 6153 (Platow, Haslam, Reicher, & Steffens, 2015) One suggestion the authors made, which makes you think about definition of a leader is in relation to characteristics. A thought-provoking point was that the traits a leader possess, such as trust and charisma, although proven to be true, may instead be an outcome of the group as whole. CITATION Pla15 l 6153 (Platow, Haslam, Reicher, & Steffens, 2015)A curious point made that can be easily mistaken by individuals is the idea that leadership is not merely about ‘being’ but more importantly the idea of ‘doing’ is also involved. CITATION Pla15 l 6153 (Platow, Haslam, Reicher, & Steffens, 2015) There are two aspects to this, first one being social identity advancement. For example, if an individual is seen to be carrying out activities than improve the group rather than personal gain, they are advancing themselves as a leader of the group. Theoretically this assumption is just as accurate as when it is carried out in reality. The second aspect is ‘Social identity entrepreneurship’. Instead of defining the meaning and psychological purpose of the groups, they suggest that it is not always set in stone. CITATION Pla15 l 6153 (Platow, Haslam, Reicher, & Steffens, 2015) This proves that the art of actually ‘doing’ something has more significance to other members of the group than actually just ‘being’.
Upon analysing, it is clear it is a well written article with an enormous amount of research proven throughout. It has a good structure and flow from point to point. However in one’s opinion it may not be as easy to read. Concentration levels drop towards the end, where this would contain the most important information in the conclusion. More examples or ways in which it connects to the real world would help the reader tremendously in understanding this article.
In comparison to the second article, there is a lack of implications, theoretical or managerial to their findings. Even though the data collected empirical evidence, the report leaves no room for further research suggestions this field. It is purely based on previous theoretical findings, not taking into account how groups may have changed in the last 5-20 years from which this research was conducted.
The second paper ‘Consequences of differentiated leadership in groups’ uses work group surveys to address how group focused leadership facilitated group identification and collective efficacy and ultimately led to greater efficiency within the group.
A strong point noted by the author was how by dealing with individuals separately, it may lead to issues at a group level. For example, if one member is treated more favourably than the other it is seen to be associated with a high level of differentiated leadership. On the other hand, low levels of differentiated leadership is argued as treating all members similarly. In accordance with Ilies, Nahrgang,, & Morgeson, (2007); Sheryony & Green, (2002) it is noted that as a result of high differentiation leadership, it will lead to “in-groups and out-groups”. Furthermore, the effects of this would be associated with lower member identification and lower group efficacy, as we have seen from the survey results. CITATION WuJ10 l 6153 (Wu, Tsui, & Kinicki, 2010). Backing this theory, it builds a structure by which it can support the research study results. This is an interesting point as one may not have given a significant amount of thought into this idea, but these results prove to the reader exactly what can happen in this situation.
An important aspect within this article that one may believe has as advantage over the other article is the implications. The last section of the report concludes with theoretical and managerial implications. Under theoretical implications, this research paper leaves the door open for further research. The findings in this paper suggest that areas such as the “individual-level situation argument” when applied at a group level need to be investigated further. It also shows a comparison to previous studies by Liden, Erdogan, Wayne & Sparrowe (2006) and the current findings today. (Wu, Tsui, & Kinicki, 2010). Furthermore a certain degree of importance should be given to the implications noted in this study, as the authors themselves have realised they have not covered all aspects in this area and any issues that may arise in the future.
As the results from this study were gathered from a survey, there are some concerning aspects related. Firstly, although it was performed across a wide range of industries, it was only conducted in the Southwest of the United States. CITATION WuJ10 l 6153 (Wu, Tsui, & Kinicki, 2010) There are already notable culture differences between the United and States and other countries across the world in relation to working environment and communication, for example. Therefore, it may not work as effectively in other countries. At the same time, there are general points that will carry over into any group process, regardless of culture or any other aspect.
Another issue from this article is in relation to managers. They have a clear element of managerial implications which really backed up the information gathered. However, what is not discussed is the maturity levels of managers. In order to be a leader, this needs to be imbedded within the leader. Being a mature leaders involves recognising contributions of any member involved and not signalling out members. This is an area not discussed which if not recognised, may result in in-groups and out-groups.
Usefulness/Relevance for Managers
The review of these papers and the critique conducted provides a way for manager to potentially re-evaluate groups within their organisation. For example, project based organisations can use this to identify how effective their groups are and whether or not the form leadership is helping or hindering the group as a whole. It is important to mention that Wu, Tsui, & Kinicki ( 2010) provided more insight into how managers can successfully contribute to the effectiveness of groups within an organisation, in comparison to Platow, Haslam, Reicher, & Steffens (2015), which is mainly theoretically based.
Results found by Wu, Tsui, & Kinicki, (2010) in relation to the benefits of group focused leadership helps managers to identify if for example, tension among groups associated with group focused and individual focused leadership styles arises. The authors suggested that a “contingency perspective” could be used to reduce tension among group members. It is vital that managers are provided with appropriate training so that they will have the ability to recognise situations that may need to be individualised and how to apply this without hindering group effectiveness. CITATION WuJ10 l 6153 (Wu, Tsui, & Kinicki, 2010)In the same article, it is argued, in accordance with Hill (2007) that the majority of managers “fail to recognise their group building responsibilities…equating the management of their group with managing the individuals in the group” CITATION WuJ10 l 6153 (Wu, Tsui, & Kinicki, 2010). It is of strategic importance for managers in organizations to have groups who are more effective and efficient in their operations. In order to ensure this happens, group focused leadership needs to be implemented, as a clear indication shows that the benefits related out way those of individual focused leadership. CITATION WuJ10 l 6153 (Wu, Tsui, & Kinicki, 2010)
In summary, it is clear that both of these papers provide a thorough insight into the different aspects of leadership in a group environment. Platow, Haslam, Reicher, & Steffens, (2015) merely focused on the sociological and psychological factors of a group. Whereas Wu, Tsui, & Kinicki, (2010) focused on the consequences of how a differentiated group may affect group effectiveness.
These two papers differ in the way in which they collected and analysed their research data. Platow, Haslam, Reicher, & Steffens, (2015) used empirical evidence to demonstrate how leadership is a group process and is not simply about being a leader. However, Wu, Tsui, & Kinicki, (2010) developed a test in which they surveyed 70 work groups to discover the effects of differentiated leadership in comparison to group focused leadership.
Research on the topic of leadership in a group context and differentiated leadership is far from
being conclusive. After Wu, Tsui, & Kinicki, (2010) gathered, their results and analysed both group level and individual level processes, a third was found; divergence in individual experiences in a group. Further research into these three processes and how all three may be influenced by different contexts would greatly enhance group leadership.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Platow, M. J., Haslam, S., Reicher, S. D., & Steffens, N. K. (2015). There is no leadership if no-one follows: Why leadership is necessarily a group process. International Coaching Pyschology Review , 20-37.
Wu, J. B., Tsui, A. S., & Kinicki, A. J. (2010). Consequences of differentiated leadership in groups. Academy of Management , 90-106.