LEADERSHIP AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT
There are several factors to consider in operating an object-oriented organization, however some of these factors are very crucial and play key roles in driving the firm towards the achievement of the set goal, therefore the management team cannot afford to avoid them. These factors comprises of proper leadership and management of the firm. Leadership refers to a set of process that that create the companies in the first place.
It is a process of influencing a group or the followers of an organization towards achieving the particular set of goals at a specified period of time. On the other hand, management encompasses the processes of controlling a group of followers and the resources of a particular organization according to the set principles, culture and values. Management processes encompass aspects such as planning, leading, directing and controlling. Pearce ( p.172)
In this context, we are going to critically evaluate the two concepts of leadership and management and there application in a specific organization. In my research paper, I prefer the worldwide company referred to us Apple, which provides internet services across the globe. This paper will attempt to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different leadership theories, examine the alternative models of organizational change as well as identifying the factors that affect the change implementation process of a given firm. As if that is not enough, my research consists of a report on the strategic methods or measures of ensuring that organizational change is implemented in a sustainable manner as well as identification of the necessary tools and techniques for planning and implementing change. Anderson (p. 219)
Leaders are not born they are made through an endless process of education, training, life experiences and self-study. Leadership is the ability of a leader to influence the followers in a group to accomplish an objective and give the sense of direction to an organization in such manner that is more cohesive and coherent. Leaders conduct the leadership process using their knowledge and skills in a process termed as process leadership. The leadership process involves several parties and aspects namely the leader, followers, communication the situation that calls for leadership decision making and the actions that depict the outcome of leadership.
In other words, a leader leads the followers through effective communication to solve a particular situation or problem that will bring a positive change in organizational management and impact the course of achieving the objectives of a firm. Therefore in leadership concept, these parties must be involved to realize proper decision that results from the concert of all employees. This is because the decisions made by organizational leaders affect all parties in the particular organization right from the top management to the followers.
Apple company is an organization that facilitates all online technologies such as advertising technologies, the search of information, cloud computing, software, and hardware development. This firm was founded by the American entrepreneur called Steven Paul Job and his co-founder Steve Wozniak in 1970s. Since its origin, Apple firm has received a lot of attention for its unusual leadership and management culture. This culture is designed in a way that encourages creativity, loyalty, innovation as well as gender equality. Apple has achieved a lot through this emphasis on innovation as far as their products and services are concerned.
Apple has managed to provide significant products that have won the attention of its customers through their skills, innovation and proper leadership. These achievements have contributed to the growth and development of the company forcing some organizational change to the initial model. The management and leadership structure of Apple organization is not particularly unusual, but it has a few unique leadership positions distinct from other firms but fit for the services and products provided. The leadership structure starts with the CEO Steve Jobs, chief culture officer and the chief internet Evangelist. The board of directors plays a role of overseeing the company which further passes the instructions and authority to the executive management groups.
According to Cooper et.al pp.475-493 management groups oversee numerous departments such as the finance department, the legal department, product and engineering departments as well as the sales department. Each of these departments is further divided into smaller units into different parts of the world such as Africa, America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. The company has developed a leadership culture that gives a substantial leeway to all employees in developing new innovations and ideas with less oversight.
According to my understanding, leadership theory refers to the characteristics that actually define what organization leaders have in common as far as the criteria and principle of a given theory are concerned. As a matter of fact, there are four major types of leadership theories that are used in decision making and as the guideline in a business firm. They are trait theory, behavior theory, contingency theory and power theory.
All these theories approach leadership differently however they all consist of two parties namely the leader and the follower/ team. To start with, in trait theory/ approach to leadership, leaders are born with similar behaviors such as the ability to make sound decisions, likability, and empathy. However, Apple Company extends the personal leadership behaviors to the characteristics of the company in order to fit its mission and vision as well as aligning them with the set objectives. Therefore the individual traits and ability fit the products and services of Apple Company being creative and innovation firm. However, this theory has its strengths and weaknesses. The most important strength of trait theory that I can identify is related to its clarity, this factor makes it easy to understand hence it is easy to implement it in a business and enhancing its use and development of assessment devices.
On the other hand, the personal experience of the theorist is not considered in this theory. Furthermore, the trait theory does not fully address the origin and development of these traits. Also, trait theory, unlike the other theories, identifies and measures the personal characteristics of an individual.
The behavior approach to leadership classifies leaders into three major group’s namely autocratic, democratic and lacy leaders. As the word suggests, Autocratic leaders use a command and force in leading and controlling the follower’s especially when delegating duty and depending on the ongoing business situation. On the other hand, Democratic leadership attracts contributions from all members in a firm in decision making. It applies horizontally since all stakeholders of an organization has role to play in the management.
In this context, Apple tends to apply both democratic and autocratic leadership styles in managing and operating their business however it is basically a democratic company. For instance, when Apple altered the search engine, they took into consideration customer demands and made changes that affect customers positively. Web implementation is the best example of the company’s product that serves the customer interest and illustrates the democratic leadership application in Apple Organization.
From my own point of view, Democratic leadership style can have the both positive and negative effects to individual employees and to the firm itself. Among the advantages of democratic leadership style I can depict includes the following that all employees have a right to contribute to matters that affect them in the company. They contribute in decision making hence they have the opportunity to decide the most appropriate way to carry out their activity and realize the set objectives of the firm without necessarily being supervised. However, this type of leadership fails to distinguish the roles of the management and that of junior staff. Managers may develop a negative attitude towards their positions given the fact that even junior staff and employees can serve the same role.
The power driven theory/ approach to leadership suggest that leadership is taken depending on the source of powers in an organization. This theory defines power into personal power and positional power. Leaders in Google practice personnel power in leadership. Expert power, referent power, connection power and information powers come from the individual employees of the company. On the other hand, Apple applies the positional power which is divided into rewarding and coercive types of leadership.
This kind of power has its origin in the monopolistic power of the company. Rewarding power suggests that performing employees and customers be rewarded by their employers. Apple firm has a high rewarding power because it values customers and has more positional power compared to its competitors such as Google Company. The only limitation of this theory is that not all employees can benefit from company leadership because they may lack either of the experts and informational as well as referent power though all employees may be absorbed in at least one of the above sources of power.
According to my own research, in order for small businesses to survive among well-established competitors, the management and leadership need to carry out a regular review and modification of their management structures and business procedures. Furthermore, in order for such firms to stay a step ahead of their competitor, firms needs to strategize and design new and efficient ways and methods of doing things cost effectively. The fact that the available resources are limited and the demand is high keeps most companies on toes to keep changing and meet their targets and objectives. Furthermore in my own research, I realized that the business world is changing every day and the way of operating business need to be flexible so as to fit the changing trends. I further examined that that technology is taking roots into the business world a factor that facilitate the need for organizational change.
Therefore, in relation to the above changes in business trends facilitated my understanding of the term Organizational change as a process that involves reviewing and modifying the management structure and procedures of a given organization. Some of the factors that induce/drives changes in a firm’s includes, stiff competitions among similar companies, need to improve service delivery and products, change of policies that affects either a firm’s products or services, need to review the effectiveness and qualification of the existing employees, changes in technology, mergers and acquisition that affects the organizational structure and lastly, changes may be influenced by the poor performance experienced in a company.
Organizations that fail to embrace change may disappear shortly from the business environment because it may not meet the requirements necessary to compete favorably with the already established competitors. However organizational change is very difficult given the fact that in encompasses modification of people’s behaviors. Skeptical employees who have survived botched implementation in the past my resist change in an organization. This means that change may have a number of barriers to its implementation. Therefore, to embrace change in a firm, it is crucial to involve top management leaderships well as a clear explanation that depicts ways in which the contemplated change can help employees perform their duty efficiently.
Change efforts in an organization fail for various reasons. First, employees may resist change because of lacking enough understanding concerning the contemplated change and poor alignment behind it as far as the organizational vision, direction and priorities are concerned. Secondly, the changes may fail to recognize the company success, poor communication and failing to celebrate the achievements.
This is required in enhancing the pace of change and commitment to the new ways of operation the business. Another factor that may lead to change resistance is the unclear process of managing the operations within the company. For example the absence of the beginnings, endings and the co-ordinations to change process. As If that is not enough, failure to involve or buy ideas for change from the stakeholders such as the customer’s, employee’s shareholders, the executive/board and the community at large may lead to change resistance.
Detailed communication and engagement of all parties of the company is the initial stage of implementing change. Last but not least, lack of leadership- leadership is very importance in inspiring and engaging people in the new system of management. Proper leadership skills and personnel are required to induce the change in an organization. In order to effectively implement and manage change efforts in a company, leaders must strategize and follow the steps necessary for the anticipated changes. It is important to effectively communicate the importance of change to all the stakeholders and the reasons behind the change.
In this context, my research tends to explain eight major steps that leaders may not afford to avoid when implement changes in an organization. To start with, change must receive support from the management team of the company. Employees can only develop comfort to the organizational change when they realize that the management is proposing the anticipated change. Therefore leaders should start with the management team by convincing them about the need for and reason for a change. This will enable the management to facilitate the change communication down to the junior staff and interacting with the rest of the company employee.
The second step towards change implementation it the case of change, it is important to have a clear reason for change because there is no one who is ready to shift to new ways of doing things just because of change. The case for change should be clearly explained and may result from a research and data collection on defect rates; it can as well result from the customer demand survey, workers satisfaction, the organizational objectives as well as the company planning. Through case for change, all the involved parties have a clear and objective reason for a change. Northouse (p. 216)
Employee involvement and participation in inducing new changes stand at the third position of the way of change implementation. Organizational change right from minor changes to large changes requires an explanation and it must be communicated particularly to employees who are directly affected by the change. The core reason for employee involvement is the fact that employees have work experience that may enhance the quality and outcome of the change required. For example, in a case of need for change in customer satisfaction, it will sound meaningful if the leaders can consult employees who have direct contact with the prospective customers as far as the kind of change required is concerned.
According to Ramirez et.al ( pp.134-143,) Communicating the change to all stakeholders is an important factor to consider. It is the responsibility if the leaders in an organization to avail timely and correct information on the change to the employees and other stakeholders. Poor and delayed communication will cause earlier resistance to the change. When rumors of the anticipated change spread and no proper communication are made, the chance is likely to receive criticism and opposing. Being proactive in availing the change information make all parties feel like they belong to the change process.
In implementation period of the change in an organization, it is necessary to communicate about the rollout and implementation. A timeline should be made to serve the implementation process and the process must take place in such a manner that will alter the previous way of doing things and induce the new change into the system. Employees manage the process are required to explain the new change and provide the most appropriate way of training the parties affected by the new change. Step six encompasses making a follow-up after the implementation and assesses how the new change is working. At this point, should managers acknowledge that the new change is not working out in all aspects of the business, adjustments can be made so as to attain the desired and outcome.
Some employees may encounter barriers while implementing the new organizational change. These barriers can result from different departments, employees, as a result of inadequate training and lack of enough supply. On the other hand, the management may have the hard time to deal with difficult employees who tend to resist the changes. All these problems are solved in step seven of change implementation. This step is the referee to us barrier removing the step.
Last but no least is the celebration step, it is important to celebrate the new organization change. Through the celebration of the small change and successful implementation process, the company gains momentum for bigger adjustments that will facilitate the course of a success of the organization.
In this context, Apple made the biggest change in the company history different from the previous Company records. In August 2015, Apple leaders made new management changes of the company. They turned the firm into a subsidiary of a new collection of firms. These changes shocked the technology community and the company competitors like the Google when the company founder Steve Jobs announced the change. Steve Paul Jobs as the CEO with his co-founder Wozniak serving as the new president of the company. Apple is now a collection of companies trading in the same business of providing internet services across the globe. Bass (p.215)
The main reason for these new changes is to allow the firm to have a more management scale and learn the businesses independently. The subsidiary companies aims at ensuring business prospering under the influence strong and independent leaders who are capable of ensuring proper capital management and allocation as well as working together to ensure each business is executing.
Finally, after the implementation of change in an organization, the following tools and techniques play a crucial role in monitoring, planning and evaluating the new change in a firm. It important to put goals and targets for the new system to help the manager make a distinction between the outcome of the old system of management and the new changes implemented. Secondly, measure the capabilities and potential to realize the targets and objectives of the organization.
This tool helps the management to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the new changes as well as making the adjustment to the new system to meet the company needs. A continuous quality improvement is another technique that can be used to monitor the new change makes the regular report on the performance until the best system is attained. Kavanagh and Ashkanasy ( pp.S81-S103)
In summary, the process of leadership and management of an organization are the most important factor to consider when running an object-oriented and successful organization. Small firms with proper leadership and qualified management team have grown to be huge international organization serving people from all parts of the globe. The trick behind the success remains to be the availability of good leadership as well as its effectiveness and efficiency. On the other hand, many firms that fail to accomplish their objectives at the specified period of time end up winding up because of many reasons.
Among these reasons are, poor leadership and management practices particularly from within the organization, lack of flexibility and resistant to change. Therefore, it is important to embrace change and implement new strategies of doing business in order avoid repetition of the previous mistakes that hindered the company from achieving the set goals.
Anderson, D. and Anderson, L.A., 2010. Beyond change management: How to achieve breakthrough results through conscious change leadership. John Wiley & Sons.
Bass, B.M. and Bass, R., 2009. The Bass handbook of leadership: Theory, research, and managerial applications. Simon and Schuster.
Basu, R., 2004. Implementing quality: a practical guide to tools and techniques: enabling the power of operational excellence. Cengage Learning EMEA.
Cooper, C.D., Scandura, T.A. and Schriesheim, C.A., 2005. Looking forward but learning from our past: Potential challenges to developing authentic leadership theory and authentic leaders. The Leadership Quarterly, 16(3), pp.475-493.
Hall, G.E. and Hord, S.M., 2006. Implementing change: Patterns, principles, and potholes.
Hollenbeck, G.P., McCall, M.W. and Silzer, R.F., 2006. Leadership competency models. The Leadership Quarterly, 17(4), pp.398-413.
Ivancevich, J.M., Matteson, M.T. and Konopaske, R., 1990. Organizational behavior and management.
Jarvis, J., 2011. What would Google do?: Reverse-engineering the fastest growing company in the history of the world. Harper Business.
Kavanagh, M.H. and Ashkanasy, N.M., 2006. The impact of leadership and change management strategy on organizational culture and individual acceptance of change during a merger. British Journal of Management, 17(S1), pp.S81-S103.
Manes, S. and Andrews, P., 1993. Gates: How Microsoft’s mogul reinvented an industry-and made himself the richest man in America. Simon & Schuster.
Manes, S. and Andrews, P., 1993. Gates: How Microsoft’s mogul reinvented an industry-and made himself the richest man in America. Simon & Schuster.
Northouse, P.G., 2012. Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage.
Pearce, C.L. and Sims Jr, H.P., 2002. Vertical versus shared leadership as predictors of the effectiveness of change management teams: An examination of aversive, directive, transactional, transformational, and empowering leader behaviors. Group dynamics: Theory, research, and practice, 6(2), p.172.
Sheffi, Y., 2005. The resilient enterprise: overcoming vulnerability for competitive advantage. MIT Press Books, 1.
Waldman, D.A., Ramirez, G.G., House, R.J. and Puranam, P., 2001. Does leadership matter? CEO leadership attributes and profitability under conditions of perceived environmental uncertainty. Academy of management journal, 44(1), pp.134-143.
Watkins, P., 1986. A Critical Review of Leadership Concepts and Research: The Implications for Educational Administration. Publication Sales, Deakin University Press, Deakin University, Victoria 3217, Australia.