The Wider Literature on Leadership

Before going on, review in the three chapters by Richard Daft the early approaches to the study of leadership we need fist to differentiate leadership from management. In the rational bureaucratic model legitimation of authority depends on the position in the managerial (bureaucratic) hierarchy. Whilst all managers need to exercise leadership as a part of being managers some academics have sort to distinguish the different functionalities between the two concepts. Daft reproduces a summary statement of the key differences drawn from three academic sources written in the 1990s on p39 of his book which is reproduced here as Doc 3 in the readings.
Direction is really about time scales management is ensuring that processes function effectively and things ‘stay on track’ whereas leadership is about recognising when to change track. Although often the co-operative context is not so much about creating a new vision as it is about reinvigorating the original vision by relating and interpreting it anew to contemporary circumstances.
When we consider Alignment we can see that a CSCM approach in management requires an active member relationship management process that engages membership in their wider social context in order for the co-operative and credit union to optimise the competitive advantage inherent in their ownership model and purpose.
Under the heading of Relationships the co-operative difference continues to be amplified here. Co-operative Value Based Management culture is more about managers seeing themselves as facilitators rather than being ‘bosses. Here relationship management is about inspiring and motivating through communicating the connection between policies and processes and the vision and mission of the co-operative and credit union. The C.E.O. job is to facilitate the board’s decision-making and giving leadership based on his/her professional expertise and co-operative values. The collective leaderships of the co-operative must persuade the membership. Resorting to the use of position power as line-managers to demand obedience from subordinates indicates not only a failure of the co-operative culture but that something is wrong in the employment relationship that needs investigation so that it may be addressed constructively.
Personal Qualities are a pretty near match no matter what the organisational context except that co-operatives and also some other organisations would place greater emphasis on diversity than conformity whilst always seeking unity which is about shared goals not individual attributes or culture. However, we cannot separate social and environmental or economic goals from personal lifestyle choices and their impact on the co-operatives mission. Staff and members need to live the values not simply articulate them. This is particularly important for all those exercising any form of leadership at all levels in the co-operative. In terms of leadership co-operatives would want to see more emphasis on the qualities of servant leadership not as alternatives to the other personal qualities listed but rather as the mould that shapes their expression and application.
Outcomes Whilst stability is important for any complex system a management function in a Learning Organisation type culture would place at least equal emphasis on engagement and experimentation and flexibility to adapt to incremental change. Change in Co-operative and Credit Union leadership contexts would have a far greater emphasis on social rather than organisational change although recognising that to achieve effectively the former may well require rethinking the latter.
The three chapters which make up the main reading for this module address Traits, Styles and Contingency Theories together with what might be described as a cross-over model between rational bureaucratic and charismatic leadership styles , namely, that of strategic leadership.

Readings/uploaded files:

Doc 3. Daft, (1999) Exhibit 2.3 Comparing Management and Leadership, in Leadership Theory and Practice. Dryden Press, New York, p39 ISBN 0-03-022417-9

Doc 4. Daft, (1999) Chapter, 3 Traits, Behaviours and Relationships, in Leadership Theory and Practice. Dryden Press, New York

Doc 5. Daft, (1999) Chapter, 4 Contingency Approaches, in Leadership Theory and Practice. Dryden Press, New York

Doc 6. Daft, (1999) Chapter, 5 Leadership Vision and Strategic Direction, in Leadership Theory and Practice. Dryden Press, New York

Part 1 (300 words)

From what you have read in Daft Chapters 3 & 4 what would you say are the distinctive features of Trait, Style and Contingency Theories and how would you define the respective importance and flaws in their approach to leadership?
Summarise your discussion in 300 words.

Part 2 (200 words)

In chapter 5 Daft outlines what is a general corporate model of strategic leadership. Discuss how a cooperatives strategic leadership differs from that of the corporate model and where would it diverge or extend it from Daft’s discussion.

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