The Organizational Leadership

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Preliminary and exploratory phase:

We reviewed a wide range of literature in the form of academic articles in electronic data bases about change management and innovation broadly. Those searches helped us in identifying the links between the leadership qualities and organizational change, which further helped us in refining and narrowing down our topic and research question. The main themes identified in academic articles were certain leadership qualities resulting in change and innovative strategies. We tried to search for some real cases during that time as well where the visionary and innovative practices have lead to successful outcomes. Our interest was more towards the developing countries firms experiences due to the reason that socio political environment of developing countries doesn’t facilitate vision based innovative ideas and practices. We also wanted to see the applicability of the concepts and models used in the Western context to the developing countries context. Besides we conduct a few telephonic interviews with people with relevant background to identify the critical factors of phenomenon. In formally we tried to know about the phenomenon through chartrooms of MSN/YAHOO/SKYPE. Due to the reason that managing organizational change itself is a broad phenomenon and is defined differently in various settings, we have to conduct this preliminary and exploratory research.

Data Collection phase

The second stage of data collection was rather more systematic. We narrowed down our research by inserting keywords “Vision” “Leadership” and “innovative approach” in the search fields in electronic data bases. We reviewed more than 40 articles, and we identified that almost three fourth of the articles were about the concept and role of leadership.
We succeeded in finding two practical and real cases as well during that time. One was Nirala Sweets from Pakistan and, the other was MAS Holding from Sri Lanka. Thus we choose two different companies of different countries; these are Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The reason to select the Pakistani company was that it is located in our home city, and it was also not difficult to gather data from this company, because our relatives and friends are working in this company. One of the reasons to choose that company for our case study was that after reading the different articles we arrived at conclusion that this company suits best to addre ss and explore our research question.
In the case of Nirala Sweets we gather data from telephonic interviews and internet meetings with different officials including Manager Human Resources (HR) and Manager Research and Development (R&D) department. We also interviewed two of our friends and relatives working in this company. Four people were interviewed in total, the two are manager (HR) and manager (R&D), and the other two are our close friends working in this company in the department of sales and operations and are regular employees. The manager HR and manager R&D both were interviewed twice in four sessions and the total time of these interviews was 72 minutes, about 15 to 20 minutes in each session. These interviews were informal in nature, where we talked about the company’s strategies, details of different departments, the management structure and the steps taken by the leadership during the process of organizational change. We have talked several times with the guys working in operations and sales department, as they are our friends and we meet quiet often at internet via different text, and voice channels. During our different chat sessions we talked about the new items introduced by the company, companies marketing and sales strategies and the repute of the company in the market. All the collected data was saved carefully and confirmed again and again, we also try to cross check the gathered data with information available on internet, in order to increase the reliability credibility of our work. The reliability can be taken as the stability of results. If the data collected through different channels is stable and refers the researchers towards same results then it can be considered stable and “A high degree of stability indicates a high degree of reliability” (Joppe 2000, in Golafshani , 2003, p 599) The interviews were made telephonically and electronically through MSN, Skype and smart VoIP.
The purpose of interviews was to identify the vision of the leader that motivate the company towards organizational change and innovation from employees’ perspectives and also managers point of view who were involved practically in the process change management. It gives perspectives from 2 different angles on the same phenomenon.
It also helps in validating our concepts, or findings. According to Joppe “Validity determines whether the research truly measures that which it was intended to measure or how truthful the research results are” (Joppe 2000, in Golafshani, 2003, p 599)
The reason to choose the company from Sri Lanka was also same; our previous teacher did research on this company. In addition two of our friends in Pakistan who also had worked for that company in the past. One was working in the department of operations as an Assistant manager and the other was working in manufacturing unit as a shift in charge. We conducted in-depth interviews from total three persons; we interviewed with of our teacher three times for the purpose, with 45 minutes of total time. In this interview we talked about the history of the company, the vision of leader/leaders and the achievement made by the company. We have talked several times with both of our friends, through telephone, Skype, MSN messenger and Smart VoIP the nature of these chat sessions were informal where we talked about the working atmosphere of the company, the facilities for the workers which are introduced by the company, the annual sales and the performance of the company in the national and international business. We made notes of the relevant information, wrote in the form of words and analyzed. The data was also cross checked with the information available on net. After writing all the data in the form of cases it was send to our friends, teacher as well as the company officials to check the data for its reliability, and after their confirmation this was put into our final work.

Data Analysis Phase:

We employed content analysis approach here by counting the number of times that, any particular leadership property was linked to organizational change and innovation, accepting the fact that innovation and successful organizational are closely related things (Schunpeter, 1971). We reviewed those three forth articles and identified the instances of the visionary leadership. We reviewed that the visionary leadership and innovative approach are two of those important factors for bringing change in any organization, so we come to conclusion after content analysis that the role of leadership is central for the change and innovation as well. At the same time we did in-depth within and across analysis of 2 case studies to identify the constructs that we identified in literature and its relation to organizational change and innovation in the cases. We analyzed all the interviews to identify the constructs and the relationship we identified theoretically in the literature in the case studies. We in one way matched the patterns (words) in the literature with the words of the interview. It’s called pattern matching in case study approach. We reviewed different books and article and literature in order to build a model, though the primary objective of this study was not to arrive at a model.

Writings the Thesis:

During our thesis work, we see that the visionary and innovative leadership is the relatively important factors for bringing change in any organization, so we come to the assumption that the role of leadership is central for the organizational change and innovation as well. There are certain specific leadership traits which spur innovation processes in the organization. Our case studies suggested that these traits were the prominent factors behind the generation and implementation of visionary and innovative practices on the respective organizations.
The resulting model is based on the article, literature and case studies which we have studied in depth. The model can be tested and further developed in the future.

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Theoretical Framework

When we think about the term “Organization” two questions may arise in mind as a first reflection. The first is “What kind of organization”? And the other is “Who is the leader? There may be many factors which can lead an organization towards success or failure, but the role of leadership is also important and crucial in handling organizations.
In these chapters we will define and discuss the characters of our thesis under the light of scientific articles, journals and books. We will discuss the research questions which are mentioned in chapter one, and the related terms, with different angles, in order to give our readers a multi angle view over the topic, and try to keep it simple and well understandable.

Why vision is important for leadership

In this chapter we will describe and discuss the term “leadership”, its characteristics and qualifications. We will discuss the term leadership in detail later in this chapter under the light of scientific definitions, but in our thesis we will use the term “leadership” in the meaning of a Person/Manager/ or Leader who is responsible for organizational matters .
Knowing the fact that leader is a person, anyways, and a person can have multiple qualities and characteristics, we will use the terms “Vision” and “Innovative Approach” as two of those several qualities that a leader can have.
The purpose of this thesis is to investigate effectiveness of leadership on the basis of tow variables, which are “Vision” and “Innovative Approach”. This thesis does not deny the importance of other variables/characteristics through which the role and effectiveness of leadership can be investigated.

Vision

The vision is sort of complex term to define and has multidimensional view. Different scholars and researchers describe it in different way. Kouzes takes it as “an ideal and unique image of future for the common good” (Kouzes and Posner, 2007). At the other end Jonathan swift states that “Vision is the art of seeing the invisible ”1. To better understand the term vision we quote a lesson which Alice learned in world fame novel “Alice in Wonderland”. Alice learned this lesson when she was searching for a way out of Wonderland and came to a fork in the road. “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” she asked the Cheshire Cat. “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” the cat responded. Alice replied that she really did not much care. The smiling cat told her in no uncertain terms: “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go”.
Knowing where you are going and what is the destination needs a clear vision. Vision can develop motivation, inspiration, and mutual responsibility for success and can provide smart choices to the people because they can make their decisions on the basis of end results which are already in their mind because of their vision (Kotter , 1996). Therefore vision can be taken as an ability or characteristics of a person which can not only make h/her capable to perceive the future in precise and accurate way, but also can increase h/her motivation and sense of responsibility to get this desired future.

Leadership

Leadership and its role are the most concerning issue for the business and organizations now days. The “Leaders are individuals who establish direction for a working group of individuals and who gain commitment from this group of members to established direction and who then motivate members to achieve the direction‟s outcomes ” (Conger, 1992, p18). The term leadership can be viewed through multiple angles and concepts. Traditionally leadership is a set of feature owned by the leader or it is a social phenomenon that comes from relationship with groups.
These concepts can give different opinions about the definition of leadership. It is a continuous debate that whether the leadership comes from the personal qualities of a leader or a Leader makes followership through what s/he does or believes (Grint 2004). Grint also highlight position problems with the leadership, which explores, is the leader a person in charge? With the true authority to decide or implement, or it is only a person in front who takes h/her directions for someone. Recent reviews take leadership as “a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal (Northouse 2004). Another view about leadership is that “leadership is like the Abominable Snowman, whose footprints are everywhere but who is nowhere to be seen” (Bennis and Nanus 1985).
In short leadership/leader is either a person who is in charge and has authorities to take decision and also ahs powers to implement his/her decisions or a process having a set of other authoritative process about organizational, personal or social process of influence for which the groups, teams or organizations can do more to increase their ability. The selection of the leader not only depends on the personal characteristics of personal b ut also on the social and cultural factors along with h/her exposure towards life (Bolden 2010).

The Organizational Leadership

Organizational leadership is not a magic that one person have and other don’t have. It is also not all about the ordered by boss and then observed by him that how much these ordered are obeyed. The leadership of an organization is instead, an ability of management to get and protect the company benefits by realizing employees need and company targets and bringing them toge ther to work in a better environment to achieve the common goals (Sansom 1998). Organizational leadership has a central role in evolution and cultivating an organization. It can help the member of an organization and working teams to face the challenges and to work for organizational goal in a worthy way.
Dunphy and Stace describe an organization leadership as a person who can promote change in an organization by its vision and strategy (Dunphy and Stace 1994 in Senior and Fleming 2006). In this era of rapidly changing business trends and increased customer demands, the role of leadership is more crucial now a days. The strategic leadership is eagerly needed for organizations, which is well capable to predict the essential alterations and changes, in advance and create required commitment and highly suitable atmosphere for worker and teams to understand and adopt these changes successfully. This action by leaders is decisive not only for the effectiveness of the organization but also for its very survival (Bass, 1990; Burke & Cooper, 2004).
As the business goals can’t be achieved without adopting any strategic business process, likewise the organizational success and sustainability also can’t be accomplished without a strategic role of leaders. From allocation of resources to alignment, from perception of thing to decide future focusing, form commitment and motivating the teams to get the goals of an organization, to confirm the sustainable growth, it’s a leadership whose footprints are everywhere (McGuire, 2003).

Table of contents :

1. Introduction
1.1. Research Background
1.2. Research Importance
1.3. Research Question
1.4. Purpose
2. Methodology
2.1. Preliminary and Exploratory Phase
2.2. Data Collection Phase
2.3. Data Analysis Phase
2.4. Writings the Thesis
3. Theoretical framework
3.1. Why Vision is Important for Leadership
3.1.1. Vision
3.1.2. Leadership
3.1.3. The Organizational Leadership
3.1.4. Visionary Leadership
3.2. What is the importance of Innovative appraoch
3.2.1. Importance of Vision and Innovative approach for Leadership
3.3. Why is Change needed for Organizations
3.3.1. The Organization
3.3.2. Change
3.3.3. The Organizational Change
3.3.4. Importance of Organizational Change
3.3.5. Organizational Change and Organizational Innovation
3.3.6. Role of Leadership in Organizational Change
3.4. Summary
4. Introduction of Proposed Model
5. Case Studies
5.1. Nirala Sweets Pakistan
5.2. MAS Holdings Sirilanka
6. Analysis
7. Conclusion
7.1. Contribution
7.2. Further Research
References

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