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Using the Conservative Party as a working example, apply relevant management theory to the actions of the organisation in recent years, critically evaluating the appropriateness of behaviour, concentrating on leadership as a subject area.

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Introduction

Using the Conservative Party as a working example, apply relevant management theory to the actions of the organisation in recent years, critically evaluating the appropriateness of behaviour, concentrating on leadership as a subject area. Within this essay my aim is to clearly evaluate the actions and behaviours within the recent events that have been happening within the Conservative party and apply critical theory directly to them. The reason I have chosen the Conservative party is because of the recent change of leadership and the massive changes that this will provoke within the party. On the 7th of November 2003, Iain Duncan-Smith, known as the 'Quiet Man', resigned as the leader of the Conservative party after losing a motion of confidence (90 votes to 75) within the party after just over two years in charge. "The parliamentary party has spoken - and I will stand down when a successor has been chosen." Iain Duncan Smith. The Independent: 2003:1 The party then elected right-winger Michael Howard to become the third leader of the opposition within six years. This fact alone would suggest that the past leadership of the party has been not only unsuccessful but also unacceptable to its own members. In a statement just after the announcement of Iain Duncan-Smith's decision to stand down, the Deputy Shadow Prime Minister, David Davies said, "I am concerned that a protracted battle over the leadership will create still more divisions and that the aftermath of a contest will create serious difficulties for us in the run-up to the next general election." ...read more.

Middle

He has so many intelligent members of his party who have put there trust in him as there leader, so it would be common sense to incorporate them into moving the party into a challenging position in the next general election. The only possible flaw in this style, should he choose to adopt it, would be if he was influenced too easily and those around him abuse this trust to fulfil there own personal agendas. Should these decisions fall short of what is expected then it will be the leader, the one who chose that said decision, who would come out looking bad, and not the person who actually put forward the wrong solution. This then moves us on to discussing the characteristics that are required to make a successful leader, something that several of Mr. Howard's predecessors clearly lacked. The following quote by Liam Fox is something of a character reference for the new Conservative leader. "I have worked with Michael Howard... ...I think it is self-evident that he is a man with enormous experience, he is a political heavyweight, we don't need to wonder whether he will be able to carry out his duties as leader effectively, and we know that he can land a few blows on Tony Blair because he has done in the past." The Guardian: 2003: 5 The 'trait' approach (Drucker, 1989) identifies that leaders have skills that are 'innate' and that cannot simply be taught the skills that are required to succeed in their designated and respective fields. ...read more.

Conclusion

At the 2002 Tory conference he warned his doubters not to underestimate "the quiet man", telling his detractors that he would not shirk in his mission to transform his party. The first blatant challenge to IDS came on the night of the 2003 local elections when frontbench spokesman, Crispin Blunt, quit his post to voice his concern." (news.bbc.co.uk/politics:author unknown) In conclusion, I have chosen a quote to summarise the theory of good leadership, it typifies the characteristics needed by a quality leader to make a positive influence to an organisation. "Good leadership can be felt at all levels of an organisation. It gives people direction, energy and a sense of competence - in other words, 'Empowerment.' It is the result of leaders effectively communicating a vision, building trust and allowing others to use their competencies. Good leaders value other people learning, growing, developing and exercising competence-based power.' (Edward E. Lawler III, 1991, Pg 212) This is critical if Mr. Howard is to succeed as leader of the conservative party and become the first Tory Prime Minster of the 21st century. The success of the party is not just down to anyone of these theories put forward, it is more of a combination of them all, not just the luck of having the innate skills that Drucker talks about or the charisma and developed skills that Sewell-Rutter discusses, only the right balance along with a good personality and natural presence will win over a very harsh British public. ...read more.

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