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Example research essay topic: Human Resources Management Narrow Mindedness - 1,929 words

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Paper (1) It is virtually impossible to name any type of human activity, where principle of leadership does not play an important role, as the main organizing factor. The effectiveness of any teamwork is directly related to managers ability to have a complete comprehension of how organizational goal can be accomplished. Therefore, the concept of leadership is best defined as an ability of individual to make effective executive decisions, within a context of managing group of people. Traditionally, this ability has been considered as such that derives out of leaders existential mode and as such, that is closely related to the notion of charisma.

Leaders were expected to effectively manage teamwork, without having to get down to operational details, associated with such teamwork. Even today, the majority of people understand perfectly well that leaders main responsibility is to lead people through different challenges and not to show them how to execute their professional duties. True leaders talent relates to his ability of turning subordinates into autonomous workforce, when there is no need in excessive supervision. It is physically impossible for the manager to know every aspect of team functioning; nevertheless, he must have a clear understanding of what needs to be done to accomplish every particular goal in most efficient way.

We can say that the traditional concept of leadership refers to a leader as person who understands more then he actually knows. In her article Top 7 Leadership Mistakes, Kristine Geimure defines the very essence of classical concept of leadership, by saying that: Many of the world's greatest leaders are people of average intelligence that don't know all there is to know in their industry. They understand that they can't possibly know everything and they hire people that do know everything! (Geimure, 2005). However, the growing popularity of social sciences, in the second half of 20 th century, has brought about a situation when rationalistic methodology is being increasingly utilized, within a context of analyzing issues, related to the concept of leadership. In its turn, it originated the Behavioral model of leadership, as we know it. This model implies that it is a proper behavior, on the part of manager, that defines his professional adequacy.

In other words, successful leadership depends more on quality of leaders professional skills then on psychological traits of his character. Given the fact that objective properties of such skills do not have an inborn characteristics, the proponents of Behavioral approach to leadership were able to conclude that it is quite possible for just about anyone to become an effective leader, for as long as he is willing to adopt a progressive outlook on issues, associated with organizational management. Behavioral model of leadership is closely related to sociological studies, conducted by Ohio State University and Michigan State University in 1947 and 1953, which revealed that leaders behavioral pattern falls into two distinct categories: employee oriented and production oriented. In its turn, it allowed Robert Blake and Jane Mouton to develop a so-called managerial grid, which specifies five distinctive styles of leadership that correspond to managers irrational tendency to put emphasis on increasing the efficiency of production process, or to his willingness to insure existential loyalty, on the part of employees, by having his managerial priorities shifted towards providing employees with various benefits. Thus, within a context of Behavioral approach to leadership, we can discuss managers as impoverished leaders, middle-of-the-road leaders, team leaders, task leaders and country-club leaders.

It is important to understand that managerial grid does not associate every specific style of behavioral leadership with a varying degree of operational efficiency, as it is being commonly assumed now. For example, putting emphasis on production, on the part of manager, does not necessarily result in employees becoming dissatisfied over the fact that their needs are being overlooked, because of such managerial practice. Alternatively, managers strive to win workers loyalty, as his foremost priority, does not always decrease organizations manufacturing effectiveness. One of the reasons why Behavioral model of leadership has been coined up, in the first place, is because Trait model, which used to be a dominant one in thirties, operated with categories that could hardly be measured. In other words, Behavioral model was expected to provide managers with a practical tool of measuring the effectiveness of every particular mode of organizational leadership. This, however, did not happen, because Behavioral model deals with notions that can hardly be referred to as scientific.

For example, there is no practical methodology, within a context of this model, which would allow researches to clearly position managerial behavior as task oriented or impoverished. Moreover, Behavioral model is very static, in its essence, which is why it often cannot be applied in highly dynamic work environment. The article Leadership Theories and Studies, which is available on the web site of Encyclopedia of Management Online, provides us with the insight on conceptual inconsistency of Behavioral model: The assumption of the leader behavior approach was that there were certain behaviors that would be universally effective for leaders. Unfortunately, empirical research has not demonstrated consistent relationships between task-oriented or person-oriented leader behaviors and leader effectiveness. Like trait research, leader behavior research did not consider situational influences that might moderate the relationship between leader behaviors and leader effectiveness (EMO, 2005). It is important to understand that this model derives out of socio-economic realities of the time when it was being created.

In fifties, it used to be commonly assumed that the prospect of receiving an adequate salary was all that workers were concerned about. This was the reason why sociologists thought that it was appropriate to try to rationalize the perfect balance between insuring manufacturing efficiency and providing employees with motivational incentives, which would guarantee workers commitment to execution of their professional duties. However, the fact that we now live in post-industrial era, often deems Behavioral models notions irrelevant, as they can be interpreted in variety of different ways, which in its turn, reduces their scientific value. It is not by a pure accident that promoters of this model often fail to clearly substantiate the validity of their point of view, in regards to human resources management.

For example, in his article A Plea for a Behavioral Approach in the Science of Human Resources Management, Albert Martin comes up with the series of unsubstantiated statements, while hoping that they will convince readers to adopt his point of view on what the concept of leadership stands for: The Behavioral Approach derives its propositions from the best theories from the social and behavioral sciences. It is problem-oriented in the strictest sense and thus escapes discipline-specific narrow-mindedness. It integrates the knowledge bases necessary for good practice. The behavioral approach to human resources management is a success story, it leads to numerous new and far reaching insights (Martin, 2004). Author does not specify what he means by best theories of behavioral science or what he refers to by mentioning discipline-specific narrow-mindedness. (2) The problem with Behavioral approach to leadership is that it implies the cultural homogeneity of workforce (as it used to be the case in fifties), which in its turn, fills in for the essential variable (EQ) in formula E = (EQ) /TMB, where E stand for managerial effectiveness, EQ for employees quality, and TMB for type of managerial behavior. Given the fact that citizens are now being forced to celebrate diversity, with Western societies becoming increasingly multicultural, it becomes simply impossible to predict the reaction of workforce to different managerial circumstances.

Thus, it is not that the essence of Behavioral model does not correspond to objective reality, but rather to post-industrial reality, associated with atomization of society, as whole. This is the reason why Behavioral model now incorporates notions that derive out of neo-Liberalism, as political doctrine: employee communication, delegation of authority, active listening, transition decision making, relationship building, empowering etc. It is not only that these notions cannot be objectively measured, because of their highly illusionary essence, but also they contradict the empirical foundation, upon which Behavioral model is based. The classical concept of Behavioral approach implies that by adjusting his behavior, manager should be able to manipulate with workforces operational responses. However, the modern practitioners of Behavioral approach think of it as rather the method of reducing the internal tensions within a collective.

In fact, Behavioral approach is now often being discussed within a context of enabling employees to be fully preoccupied with celebration of their uniqueness, as their professional priority. In her article A Behavioral Approach to Leadership: Implications for Diversity in Today's Organizations, Alisa L. Mosley suggests that making provisions for integration of diversity into a workplace, is Behavioral models only purpose: Diversity is increasingly recognized as one of the most significant challenges faced by all organizations today. Because the reactions to diversity are so emotional and divided among the general public and managerial leaders in particular, organizations have begun to develop ways of achieving diversity in different ways (Mosley, 1998). Authors logic is truly amazing after having described diversity as challenge (in other words problem), she insists that organizations must nevertheless strive to have their workforce diversified. We do not necessarily subscribe to this point of view.

There is only one measure of evaluating the adoption of Behavioral model of leadership concrete results. Effective leadership always leads to reaching a professional objective. Therefore, we cannot talk about the issue of leadership out of practical context. Nowadays, the importance of social aspects of Behavioral leadership is often being exaggerated.

Managers task is thought to be providing a psychological comfort for the team members. This approach is wrong, because it might eventually result in workplace being turned into a kindergarten. True leader does not waste time, while trying to accomplish inner unity within a team by adjusting organizations objectives. His task consists of finding employees, whose professional qualities would allow them to become an integral part of collective. One of the strengths of Behavioral model is that it utilizes rationality, as a tool of enhancing organizations performance. However, nowadays, the very concept of organizational rationality is often being described as euro-centric and therefore evil.

This is the reason why it is doubtful of whether this model is going to remain popular among managers for much longer. Bibliography: Bass, B. (1990). From Transactional to Transformational Leadership: Learning to Share the Vision. Organizational Dynamics, v. 18, n. 3, 1990, p. 19 - 31. Curry, M. Leadership What Makes a Good Leader. 2004.

Business Training Media. Retrieved September 11, 2008 from web Geimure, K. Top 7 Leadership Mistakes. 2005. Woopidoo Articles. Retrieved September 11, 2008 from web Hollow, J. (2006) Lessons in Leadership. Workforce Management, v. 85, no. 11, p. 50.

Leadership Theories and Studies. 2005. Encyclopedia of Management Online. Retrieved September 11, 2008 from web Kelly, G. and Nadler, S. Leadership: Leading From Below. 2007. MIT Sloan Management Review.

Retrieved September 11, 2008 from web Martin, A. A Plea for a Behavioral Approach in the Science of Human Resources Management. 2004. Bnet Business Network. Retrieved September 11, 2008 from web A.

A Behavioral Approach to Leadership: Implications for Diversity in Today's Organizations. 1998. Questia. Retrieved September 11, 2008 from web Mitchell, R. Strategy Formulation. 2000. Economy and People. Retrieved September 11, 2008 from http: // 64. 233. 167. 104 /search?

q = cache: ihEEDTpDAm 4 J: web Walumbwa, F. (2008). Authentic Leadership: Development and Validation of a Theory-Based Measure. Journal of Management, v. 34, no. 1, p. 89 - 126. Abstract: This paper discusses Behavioral model of leadership as such that utilizes a rationalistic approach to dealing with organizational issues. Outline: Part one Part two


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Research essay sample on Human Resources Management Narrow Mindedness

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