Owing to the great importance placed on leadership in recent decades, organizations and scholars are becoming increasingly obsessed with deconstructing the phenomenon into a universal set of measures (Dulewicz & Higgs, 2005). This obsession has fuelled the upsurge of numerous leadership styles assessment tools aimed at providing insight into leadership behavior and approach. In this paper, I intend to explain the usefulness of such assessments and their potential impact on individual employees and organizations. In addition, I will illuminate the potential impact of the styles approach to leadership on individual employees and organizations.
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To begin with, I contend that leadership styles assessments are a useful strategy that could be used to identify and develop leaders in an organizational setting. In addition, I support the argument by Dulewicz and Higgs (2005) that leadership styles assessments form a fundamentally important way for evaluating leadership competencies from which style profiles can be harnessed and then inexorably linked to the context in which the leader operates. It is the identification of these competencies that brings into light the leadership style approach, or the behavior of leaders in terms of what they do and how they act (Dulewicz & Higgs, 2005). In this context, I submit that these assessments are particularly useful in providing insight into leadership behavior, particularly in terms of skills, traits, beliefs, ideas, norms and values.
Moving on, it is my considered opinion that these assessments have a positive impact on individual employees and organizations, particularly in the choice of leadership with the desired competencies to deliver. I contend that these assessments empower employees to gain a deeper understanding of their leader’s personality type, leadership style and associated leadership skills, hence having a better view of whether such a leader will assist them in their growth and development (Dulewicz & Higgs, 2005).
Put in another way, these assessments are of paramount importance in assisting employees to unmask the type of leader they will be dealing with, and to know if such a leader with act to further their interests. In my view, organizations stand to benefit a great deal from these assessments not only because of their capacity to review if an individual has the relatively small range of skill or competence areas that differentiate an effective leader from other leaders, but also in guaranteeing to get a leader with the behavior, internal drive, skills, values and capabilities desired to drive the organizational agenda forward.
Lastly, in explaining the potential impact of the style approach to leadership on individuals and organizations, I want to acknowledge that this type of leadership focuses explicitly on the behavior of the leader. Owing to the fact that this approach is premised on enhancing relationship behaviors by helping employees to feel comfortable with themselves and others, I contend that a leader using the style approach to leadership may benefit employees in terms of building commitment and trust, promoting their personal worth and good working conditions, facilitating a fair salary structure, and encouraging good social relations.
Additionally, owing to the fact that the style approach to leadership is premised on task behaviors aimed at facilitating goal accomplishment, I contend that organizations may benefit immensely from the effectiveness of such a leader in terms of fulfilling organizational tasks and ensuring that policy decisions are followed by subordinates (Dulewicz & Higgs, 2005). In retrospect, employees and organizations stand to benefit from the style approach to leadership in that it provides them with an opportunity to know their leader through studies on leadership style (assessments), which validate and provide credibility to the approach.
Dulewicz, V., & Higgs, M. (2005). Assessing leadership styles and organizational context. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 20(2), 105-123. Web.
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