Leadership is an important factor for the success of any organization regardless of whether it is formed for profit, service or charitable purposes. It also does not matter whether an organization is owned by the government or by individuals. Due to this fact, the concept of leadership has been studied in detail over the ages. This paper will relate the topic of my study which is Christian leadership in the IT workplace with the mission statement of the School of Advanced Studies. The relationship will be made evident with the help of the following criteria.
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Creative and critical thought
It is true that many studies on different types of leadership styles that have evolved through the ages and been used in organizations throughout the world. There have also been studies about the effectiveness of Christian leadership in the workplace. But to date, no studies have been conducted with regard to Christian leadership in a relatively new and important field, namely information technology. Due to its inherent nature, IT professionals do not respond positively to tradition authoritarian styles of leadership. Theoretical and practical studies have shown that they are receptive to participative and servant styles of leadership. Intrinsic motivators matter very much when compared to extrinsic ones. Hence it needs creativity to link the two types of studies mentioned at the start of this section (business leadership and Christian leadership). In both cases, peer reviewed papers have been discussed to stress the value of both the topics. The creative aspect is linking the two into confirming the research hypothesis that Christian leadership does indeed have a positive impact on job satisfaction and employee retention in an IT setting. Leadership in an IT setting has been studies using the paper by P Glen. Christian leadership has been reviewed using the studies by various experts N J M Nouwen and Williams & McKibben. The Bible also has been extensively used. Intrinsic rewards have bee reviewed by studying theories of Herzberg and Maslow. Other studies have also been reviewed.
Significance and substance
As mentioned at the start, the importance of leadership for organizational success is proved beyond fact. This is especially true in the case of leading and motivating IT professionals. It has already been proved that IT professionals need a particular style of leadership to function efficiently. Hence this particular study is significant in the sense that it has proved certain qualities found in a Christian leader (who believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ) will be invaluable for a leader in an IT setting. It should be mentioned here that this is only a preliminary study and more research is necessary to prove a conclusive evidence for substantiating the effectiveness of Christian leadership in such a new setting.
Contribution to leadership
The study has given a new dimension to leadership which can be applied to many environments that require creativity and critical thinking. The IT field is the best example for such a setting. In that sense, a new leadership style adapting principles of established approaches (participative and servant leadership) and Christian leadership can evolve on the basis of this study.
Movement from academic passion to scholarly opinion
For a student to align himself with the mission statement of the School of Advanced Studies needs a certain amount of passion towards the chosen area of academics. It will only be complete when he or she is able to do more research on the topic and is able to provide informed scholarly opinions that have practical significance in the real world. The dissertation paper has moved from a passion for knowledge of human behavior and motivation on to a practical scholarly opinion (based on study of theory and research papers) with regard to Christian leadership in an IT setting. This initial study will be complete once the interviews are conducted and its results analyzed.
What problem will be solved?
The IT field is often plagued by high employee turnover. Introduction of Christian values (without bringing in religion) has the potential to improve job satisfaction and employee retention. The end result would be a much lower employee turnover (coupled with job satisfaction) resulting in overall benefits to both employees and employers.
Methodology to be followed
The methodology involves interviewing managers and leaders in IT companies. It has been mentioned in the dissertation that a qualitative method is more suited for such research.
as little as 3 hours
Collection and analysis of data
The data will be collected by conducting interviews with managers and leaders of IT firms situated in Missouri, St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield. A pre-interview step of ascertaining the interviewee’s religious outlook is necessary here. Only those following Christian ethics and methods will feature in the study. Due to the nature of the study the interview questions will be semi-structured or in-depth and both person to person and group interviews will be done. A study of the job satisfaction levels (and views on employer switching) among IT employees will also be done and the results analyzed using a Likert Scale model.