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Comparison of Two Articles About Issues of Leadership and Management

The First Article

Purpose and Scope

The research in question was explorative in nature, so the authors instead of arguing produced several hypotheses and tested them in order to uncover new information about the topic. Their purpose was to investigate the leadership preferences in representatives of different nationalities in contrast to their cultural values. In their paper, Herbert, Mockaitis, and Zander (2014) hypothesize, among other things, that Asian and non-Asian responders will exhibit dissimilarities in collectivism and individualism both horizontal and vertical.

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The scope included Hofstede’s theory of cultural dimensions that become the basis for the study. Above that, the authors used shared leadership as a key variable, the term coined by Zander Mockaitis, and Butler (2012). Theoretical and practical knowledge of leadership was also discussed in the article. Being rather broad subjects for studies, culture and leadership in this article were presented through the prism of individualism and collectivism, which make the purpose and scope of the article comply with the requirements of a good scientific paper.

Critique of Existing Literature

The authors studied and critically reviewed numerous articles and books on leadership and cultural preferences in business. Their main discovery was that there is a gap in applying shared leadership concept to global practice. Herbert, Mockaitis, and Zander (2014) mention that few studies are devoted to measuring shared leadership preferences in multicultural teams, which is why this study was produced. In addition, previous studies conducted in this area demonstrated controversial results which also proclaimed the need for further studies. It appears that the present article contributes significantly to explaining the nature of the relationships between shared leadership and dimensions of cultural individualism and collectivism. It applies the concepts to practice and brings new evidence for scientific discussion.

Data Collection and Analysis

The scientists used a quantitative method to prove their hypotheses. A four-part survey was distributed via e-mail to students from around the world. The sample of students was comprised of 476 people, 357 of which submitted the completed questionnaire. Dimensions of individualism and collectivism as well as shared leadership perceptions were measured using a 7-point Likert scale. This measurement tool is rather standard for this kind of assessment and seems to correspond to the study’s goals. The collected data was quantitatively analyzed using descriptive statistics, factor, parallel analysis, p-value, ANOVA and a range of other tools available in SPSS. The research features standard metrics used in quality studies to safeguard the results from bias and inconclusiveness, which speaks further to its value.

Findings, Results, Conclusion

The authors have found that despite the fact that cultural dimensions of individualism and collectivism were significantly diverse in Asian and non-Asian participants, leadership preferences were less different from ones expected. The scientists argue that such results contain broad implications for implementation of shared leadership. Theoretically, the authors managed to confirm other author’s claims and add more statistical value to them. Another positive feature is the article’s strong practical value. The researchers conclude that a multicultural team should include members with similar cultural perceptions of shared leadership. The importance of the article is in the uncovered theoretical and practical possibility of combining Asian and Non-Asian workers and managers into an effective team.

The Second Article

Purpose and Scope

The purpose of the article is to relay the results of key performance issues in leaders of organizations subject to rapid change. The study’s scope includes a variety of concepts such as change management, performance, the manager-employee relationship in all their complexity, multisource feedback, and other notions. The purpose is rather practical which corresponds with aims and tasks of present-day management discipline and the needs of businesses worldwide which makes the article highly relevant. The scope is rather broad and includes multiple spheres of leadership, management, and human resources, yet the authors view them only at specific angles.

Critique of Existing Literature

As Longenecker and Yonker (2013) suggest, the literature contains extensive evidence of the adverse influence of performance deficiencies on individuals and businesses. The research of feedback importance is also in place. However, the previous studies lack data on implementing multisource feedback to managers with the aim of identifying shortcomings in their leadership behavior connected to a rapid change environment (Longenecker 2010). The authors seem to have chosen the underdeveloped area in the literature and rightfully decided to fill it with fresh evidence which is positively characterizes the article.

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Data Collection and Analysis

The research is quantitative and included a sample of 153 middle and front-line managers from 50 different organizations across the US. The managers were asked to identify a few critical members of their team or supervisors who could give feedback on their performance, which the participants of the study then assessed and singled out areas in which they were lacking. Then, both, the initial results of the multisource feedback and the assessed version done by managers was submitted to the authors. The results were measured using frequency analysis. Part I of the study under analysis seems to be lacking descriptive statistics and measurements of the statistical significance of the results. However, the frequency of identified deficiencies is rather demonstrative and easy to understand.

Findings, Results, Conclusion

Longenecker and Yonker managed to identify the most frequently surfacing issues in managers subject to rapid change environment. Among the top 3 performance deficiency factors were ineffective communication practices (66% of cases), inefficient time and goal management (54%), poor clarity of directions (46%). Authors note that communication problems need to be addressed with proper training and increased attention to this issue. Investing in developing time management skills was also noted as no less important than any other professional competency. Clear instructions were also identified as a valuable area to invest time and resources. The authors not only identified the key deficiencies, but they also produced ways of dealing with them, which increases the value of their paper. However, since the paper in question is only a part of the work, the solutions are limited to general recommendations. The paper will be a valuable addition to the annotated bibliography as it contains insights on leadership problems that are frequently encountered by executives.

Comparison

The two articles seem to address issues of leadership and management in a distinct yet clear manner. The differences between them are numerous. Firstly, the two papers differ in depth. The article by Herbert, Mockaitis, and Zander demonstrates a proper example of quantitative research with measures against bias, inconclusiveness, and statistical errors such as p-value, ANOVA, standard deviation, etc. In Longenecker and Yonker’s article, the measurements were taken rather briefly, which to some extent allows questioning the external validity of the results. However, it is also possible that certain study design items and measurements were excluded from part one for the sake of simplifying the results.

The goals of the two articles were also distinct. If the first one was explorative in nature, the second one appeared as explanatory. The gaps in the literature identified by both researcher teams suggested the problems of the chosen areas were of dissimilar nature, which required them to take different study approaches. Another difference was that the results produced by Herbert, Mockaitis, and Zander (2014) need further research in order to have sound implications for practice. Positive correlations identified in their study require further confirmation from case studies that focus on international teams and shared leadership implementation. In contrast, the study performed by Longenecker and Yonker (2013) produced results that are easily implemented in practice as recommendations to managers and leaders. Thus, the first article bears more value for theoretical research, while the second is probably more useful in today’s business context.

The methodology was also different in the two articles. The first used an online model of questionnaire distribution while the second group of researchers preferred conventional methods. The difference may be pertaining to the desired number of participants, as in the first case a larger sample was required to confirm major correlations hypothesized in the beginning. The second sample was twice as small, yet sufficient to uncover vivid trends and problems. The sample in the first case was comprised of rather young people with mean age constituting 22 years. In the second case, this figure was 45. This again speaks to the theoretic affliction of the first article as it worked primarily with students, rather than experienced members of teams and leaders. The second study, on the other hand, aimed to help to resolve a practical problem, which determined the need for a sample of employed participants. Demonstration of research results was designed more for scientists in the first article. In the second one, it was oriented more on business analysts, leaders, and team members.

Reference List

Herbert, K, Mockaitis, AI & Zander, L 2014, ‘An opportunity for east and west to share leadership: A multicultural analysis of shared leadership preferences in global teams’, Asian Business & Management, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 257–282. Web.

Longenecker, CO 2010, ‘Barriers to managerial learning: lessons for rapidly changing organizations’, Development and Learning in Organizations, vol. 24 no. 5, pp. 8-11. Web.

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Longenecker, CO & Yonker, RD 2013, ‘Leadership deficiencies in rapidly changing organizations: multisource feedback as a needs assessment tool – Part I’, Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 159–165. Web.

Zander, L, Mockaitis, AI & Butler, CL 2012, ‘Leading global teams’, Journal of World Business, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 592–603. Web.

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