1. Problem statement: Which management/leadership style is appropriate?
Pushing a team or a group to be a good and productive team is always a challenge. I and my friends just finished an opening face-to-face session of a part of AACE course where we had to form a team in purpose of finishing some projects. And now, we should make an assessment of our team development progress and then we should choose what management/leadership style more adaptive to the current situation is.
2. Feasible alternatives: Management/Leadership Theories
There are many theories of leadership models according to Scouller’s (2011) classification, because he criticized four older models and suggested his Three Levels of Leadership model based on leadership presence. For answering this problem, I am going to use three major leadership style theories based on situational/contingency theory according to Scouller’s (2011) classification including Blanchard & Hershey’s Lifecycle Theory of Leadership/Situational Leadership theory, Kurt Lewin’s Management Style theory, and Tannenbaum & Schmidt’s Continuum of Leadership Behaviors theory.
3. Calculations: Donald Clark’s 32 questionnaires survey
For having a good analysis of what we should do manage the team, we should know first about our current position or stage where our team is. In order to assess our team development stage position, we are suggested by our professor, Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, to use 32 questionnaires as a survey tool developed by Donald Clark. The summary result of the survey assessment from 11 members of class using PERT P90 is as follow:
Forming : 28
Storming : 24
Norming : 29
Performing : 33
4. Setting minimum criteria: Team’s development position stage
The scores show that the group development stage we are now is already in performing stage. According to Tuckman’s model (Figure 1), performing stage is characterized of high participation of the members because they are already know their tasks and responsibilities. The barriers of among members are little and they don’t need more direction from the manager/leader because the team already had the clear objectives. This is a problem to be managed to maintain what we already have now to perform and move forward the group to the next stage otherwise we will not have a good and productive team.
Figure 1. Tuckman Model of Group Development Stages
5. Comparison of the alternatives against criteria: Management/Leadership Theories Application
Blanchard & Hershey (1969) proposed about the way a leader should do in the stage of a team development. It’s like mirroring the situation in stages in Tuckman’s model. In performing stage, a leader should delegate the authority and responsibility to the members.
Figure 2. Blanchard & Hershey Situational Leadership Theory Model
Lewin & White (1939) suggested the models based on the control between the management and employee. Situationally, the performing stage is where the control of the members is very high. The free reign (laissez faire) style is very adaptive in the performing stage.
Figure 3. Kurt Lewin Management Style Theory Model
Adopted from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadstl.html
Tannenbaum & Schmidt (1973) researched the management’s way in decision making. In forming stage, a manager or a leader should decide less than members/subordinates do and give them more freedom and independence to decide.
Figure 4 Tannenbaum & Schmidt’s Continuum of Leadership Behaviors Model
6. Selection of the best alternatives compared against the criteria: Conclusion of theories analysis
In order to solve the team problems in the performing stage and move forward to the next stage, the leader should have more delegation of authority and responsibility to members (Situational Leadership), less control in free reign/laissez fair style (Management Style), and fewer decisions made (Continuum of Leadership Behaviors). In general, all theories give a same result that a leader should not hold more control or authority and give more of it to its members/subordinates.
7. Follow up assessment: The leader does next
The leader in performing stage should give more independence and authority to the members to decide and control themselves. It’s caused by already good and clear objectives the team got in our previous stage. Also, the team should make an updated position stage periodically to monitor the team’s cohesiveness.
Hersey, P. and Blanchard, K. H. (1969). Life cycle theory of leadership. Training and Development Journal, 23 (5), 26–34.
Hersey, P. and Blanchard, K. H. (1977). Management of Organizational Behavior 3rd Edition: Utilizing Human Resources. New Jersey/Prentice Hall
Lewin, K., LIippit, R. and White, R. K. (1939). Patterns of aggressive behavior in experimentally created social climates. Journal of Social Psychology, 10, 271-301
Scouller, J. (2011). The Three Levels of Leadership: How to Develop Your Leadership Presence, Knowhow and Skill. Cirencester: Management Books 2000., ISBN 9781852526818
Tannenbaum, R., Schmidt, W (1973). How to choose a leadership pattern. Harvard Business Review, May/June 1973
Tuckman, Bruce (1965). “Developmental sequence in small groups”. Psychological Bulletin 63 (6): 384–99. doi:10.1037/h0022100. PMID 14314073. Retrieved 2008-11-10. “Reprinted with permission in Group Facilitation, Spring 2001”