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一篇英国留学生团队领导管理论文

时间:2015-07-27 17:11:51 来源:www.ukthesis.org 作者:英国论文网 点击联系客服: 客服:Damien
微软的创始人比尔•盖茨(Bill Gates)在1997年的一次会议上曾指出“当我们展望下一个世纪时,那些赋权于员工的人才是真正的领导人。” 赋权是当今领导人的一个主要特征,在过去十年中,企业文化的动态发生了变化,赋权的出现,在很大程度上与其相关。事实上,像泰勒主义和官僚主义这样的传统理念在如今的企业运营中仍然是一个重要组成部分,但这些理念同时也历经一些挑战并修改成符合现代环境的理念。带来的问题是:21世纪领导人的主要特征是什么?本文献综述的目的是通过选择性引用一些当代文学,更清晰的理解这个时代领导人有哪些不同的特质。在培养领导力一书中有记载,拟合当今的社会环境,对领导人各种特征有矛盾的结论进行讨论。可以看出领导人的主要特征是,信任自己的团队并授权于团队,领导人有远见、以身作则,最后通过行动授权于他人。
 
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, once quoted "As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others," at a conference in 1997. Empowerment, one of the key traits of leaders today, is getting ever more relevant following the change in dynamics of organisational culture over the past decade. Indeed, conventional ideals like Taylorism and bureaucracy still play a major part in how organisations today operate, but these ideals are constantly being challenged and modified into the modern context. This leads to question: What are the key traits of 21st century leaders? The aim of this literature review is to provide, through selective reference to some of the current literature, a clearer understanding of the different qualities that make up a leader in this age. Existing writings on leadership development are reviewed, and there is discussion of the sometimes-conflicting conclusions about the various traits fitting to today's environment. The key traits that will be looked at are, leaders that mandate the trust of their team, leaders with a vision, leaders who lead by example and finally leaders that empower others through action.
 
Wearing (2010), a professor of psychological science at the University of Melbourne, proposed that by developing the team's knowledge and capabilities, leaders engender the trust of their team. Similarly, the extent to which leaders effectively build competencies, show compassion and act with integrity affects their degree of trustworthiness (Mayer, Davis, & Schoorman, 1995). Dirks and Ferrin (2002), in their survey of 1000 industrial leaders, also reported that there is a strong, positive correlation between transformational leadership and trust in the leader. This means that when team members believe that their leader is trustworthy, competent and care about the team's work, they will be more willing to disclose their views and opinions, and share sensitive work-related information with the leader, facilitating effective knowledge sharing (Levin, Cross, Abrams, & Lesser, 2002). However, the literature noted that leadership practices that build trust in the team are more important than practices focused on building trust in the leader. Thus, future research could extend training and development efforts to the team as a whole and not solely on the leader. Nevertheless, an honest and trustworthy leader can drive transformational leadership through the open sharing of knowledge and opinions.#p#分页标题#e#
 
Steward (1991) in his report, cited Peter Kreeft, a professor of philosophy at Boston College, "to be a leader you have to lead people to a goal worth having; something that's really good and really there" (p. 142). He added that, that essential "something" is vision. A vision is also a target toward which a leader concentrates his/her energy and resources (Stewart, et al., 1991). Likewise, a visionary leader keeps moving despite various obstacles. Correspondingly, when employees share the vision, it can keep an entire organisation moving forward in the face of adversity, enabling and inspiring leaders and employees alike. Moreover, a forward-looking leader can turn a stereotypical corporate hierarchy into a well-organized matrix working together towards a common goal (Graves, 1994). Barnard (1938), a pioneer in management theory, sets out in The Functions of an Executive that leading is "being out front and providing direction"(p. 13), in which the most important direction is the defining of a common goal. This is consistent with prior research that suggests that vision is a critical element for organisations that place excellence as a priority (Peters & Austin, 1985). On the contrary, leadership development quite often focuses on the professional side of leadership, i.e. subjects that focus on decision making, strategic and performance management. Less precedence is placed on personal leadership development such as communication and emotional intelligence. Future research should seek to collect data from additional sources (e.g. different level leaders) in order to gauge leadership qualities at both macro and micro levels. Above all, an effective vision provides an idealistic goal, which presents a desirable future (Bennis & Nanus, 1985).
 
Everything a leader says, everything a leader does, and every feeling a leader expresses is observed by others and has a effect on the organisation (Scarnati, 2001). By observing military combat and fire-fighting situations, Frost, Fiedler, & Anderson (1983) generalised that the leader who set an example by personal risk-taking was judged the most effective. Recruits observed, were likely to respect and emulate their leaders only if they had proved themselves in action. Incidentally, the leader provides an ideal, a point of reference and a focus for their follower's keen interest. For this reason, Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Moorman, & Fetter (1990) suggested that transformational leaders influence followers by role modelling the appropriate behaviours. This means that a leader becomes an image that helps define character for their followers, the kinds of qualities, values, beliefs and behaviours beneficial to develop. However, the choice of a role model to a person is purely subjective and may not be due to his/her key competencies but also the distance of relationship or personal similarities. There is an opportunity for future research to examine the impact of relationship distances between leaders and followers on role modelling behaviour. In which whether a leader would be motivated to put on a good example if he/she knows that they are being looked highly upon. Given these points, charismatic leaders, that take risks, make personal sacrifices, and engage in unconventional ideological behaviour, exemplify courage and conviction and thus earn credibility to serve as a role model of values to their team (Sashkin, 1988).#p#分页标题#e#
 
According to the Oxford Advance learners Dictionary (2008), the formal definition for empower is "to give somebody the authority to do something (p. 427). Yeo (2006), a senior researcher at the University of South Australia, described leaders as those who focus on unleashing the potential of each team player by empowering them with decision-making capabilities. He added that empowerment aim to encourage a sense of shared thinking within the organisation. Furthermore, leaders today often perform a role as "facilitators", encouraging and empowering their teams to be receptive to change and technological innovation, rather than executing the conventional role of directing or controlling work processes, (Caldwell, 2003). Conversely, leaders accept an overall decline in their traditional supervisory role, while at the same time expanding their new enabling and empowering role (Goffee & Scase, 1992). In an interesting case study of Googolplex, headquarters of Google Inc, Towers (2006) noted that organisational leaders work closely with architectural designers to create an environment in which employees can maximize their own skills and make decisions that enhance the company's vision. In essence, empowerment focuses on delegation and on passing power from higher organisational levels to lower ones. This causes leaders to place a greater emphasis on employee wellbeing and skill development (Carson & King Jr, 2005). However, Eastern (2010), finds that delegation too has its limits. The person to whom the work is delegated to, often do not have the authority to take what they believe to be the appropriate action. While delegation is a positive start to empowerment, it is seen to be more of a modern-age efficiency improvement model. Future research could be done on other types of teams such as new product teams or action teams, in order to further test the effects of empowering leadership on team processes and performance. In short, by empowering employees, organisations are able to speed up responses to environmental changes and stakeholder demands. Identically, employee morale increase in relative to feelings of importance and recognition for what they have to offer, thus making empowerment a key feature of leaders in management today.(Seiter, 1999).
 
This literature review has discussed some of the key traits of 21st century leaders. To summarise, an honest and trustworthy leader is able to drive transformational leadership through the open sharing of knowledge, skills, and opinions with team members. By building a sense of rapport between people of various levels, the team can relate easier to the leader at a personal level. Second, leaders today should be forward thinking. As a matter of fact, a vision is what drives an organisation forward, in the face of difficulty. A visionary leader's persistence will eventually guide the path through. Third, others look upon leaders for advice and action. They are therefore expected to demonstrate good character as role models. In addition, leaders today are willing to go to the grounds and lead from the front line, inspiring their team behind. Finally, a 21st century leader should be able to let go of control, entrusting them to his/her team. Leaders then follow up by providing support and guidance, but allowing the team to eventually lead the way for themselves. By and large, leaders today are trustworthy, visionary, role models and empowering. Quoted from the Dalai Lama,#p#分页标题#e#
 
"I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquillity comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It is the ultimate source of success in life."
 
To put it in context, people are what drives an organisation forward, and 21st century leaders are there to steer the way.
 
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