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Leadership styles

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Introduction

In this task I will describe leadership styles and their use in the uniformed public services. I will include examples of public service situations when each style may be used. I will also compare different leadership styles used in the uniformed public services, evaluate the effectiveness and draw conclusions about why this is the case and consider whether the styles make the team leader effective or not and why. Leadership Styles A leadership style is the manner and approach of providing direction for a team, implementing plans and motivating people to complete a task. There are several different leadership styles, each with advantages and disadvantages. The public services are constantly changing in response to changes in public expectations, the law and the current political environment and so the styles of leadership they use change and evolve too. Authoritarian leadership - is a very direct leadership style where the leader tells the team members what they must do. Sometimes this style is also described as autocratic. It is often considered a classic leadership style and is used when a leader wishes to retain as much power as possible and maintain control over the decision making process. It involves the leader telling the team members what they must do without any form of consultation or negotiation. Team members are expected to obey orders without receiving any explanation. Appropriate conditions when you might use this leadership style are: * You have all the information to solve the problem * You are working to a tight deadline * The team is well motivated and used to working for an authoritarian leader. ...read more.

Middle

In a public service context, a good example of this would be a murder enquiry where the supervising officer would employ a laissez-faire approach to a scene-of-crime officer or a forensic investigator. The experts know what they are there to do and can be safely left to get on with it, leaving the supervising officer free to attend to other tasks. Transactional leadership - is a very direct style of leadership and uses rewards and punishments to motivate the team. This is similar to autocratic but not as extreme, even though transactional leaders, like autocratic leaders, are direct and dominating and spend a great deal of time telling others what is expected of them. Transactional leaders are very common in businesses where people receive rewards such as bonuses, training or time off if they demonstrate good performance. Transactional leaders use conventional rewards and punishments to gain the support of their team. They create clear structures whereby it is obvious what is required of the team and what incentives they will receive if they follow orders (salary, benefits, promotion or praise). Team members who perform adequately or accomplish goals will be rewarded in some way that benefits their own self-interest. Those who don't perform or meet the standard required will be punished by the leader through the 'management by exception principle', whereby, rather than rewarding work, they will take corrective action against those who don't work to the required standards. Table: The advantages and disadvantages of transactional leadership. Advantages Disadvantages * The leader actively monitors the work and each individual's performance. * Leaders tend to be action oriented and focus on short-term tasks. ...read more.

Conclusion

A disadvantage of this is that it can focus so much on the well-being of the team that the job they do is neglected. Task-orientated - style is about getting the job done. The completion of the task rather than the needs of the team is the key goal. Task-orientated leaders focus mainly on getting the task done, whether it is structured or unstructured. They will define the work and the roles required, put structures in place, plan, organise and monitor with little thought for the well-being or needs of their teams. This approach can have many flaws, such as difficulties in motivating and retaining the team. This style of leadership is the opposite of people-orientated leadership. In practice, most leaders use both task-orientated and people-orientated styles of leadership. As an example, a police inspector organising crowd control at a football match may use a task-centred approach, but back at the station, when dealing with junior police officers, she might employ a people-centred approach. Appropriate style for the situation The public services receive their strategic plans either directly from a government ministry or they must draw up their own plans under the prevailing political will of the time. This means that even very senior officers often have no input into the goal setting of the organisation but are given authoritarian dictates that they have to impose on their employees. Despite this a public service leader must be ready to respond to the challenges and changes that they may arise in society with a whole range of leadership techniques that can be deployed singly or all at once. Public service leaders must be highly adaptable and comfortable using all styles of leadership. ?? ?? ?? ?? Leadership Styles ...read more.

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3 star(s)

3 Stars - A very thorough, well organised and well written assignment that considers a wide range of points.
Where this piece could be improved is through more consistent use of practical examples that demonstrate the theoretical points. Also, with proof reading and editing it would become more apparent that there are passages that are repetitious.

Marked by teacher Dan Carter 26/09/2013

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