Leadership and Organizational Conflict

Published: 2019-09-10 06:30:00
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According to Fiedlers original model of leadership, a leaders effectiveness depends on the situational factors regarding leadership style and situational favorableness. In the model, Fiedler postulated that leadership style is fixed and measurable using a scale he called the Least-Preferred Co-worker Scale (LPCS). The score obtained on the LPCS scale determines the characteristics of the leader. Using the LPCS scale, Fiedler argued that task-oriented leaders tend to give a negative personal consideration to LPCS, resulting in low scores on the scale. These types of leaders are very effective in mobilizing and directing the organizational groups to complete the required tasks. Such leaders pay little attention to the relationship aspect of management and do not consider employee connections an essential ingredient for effective leadership. In contrast, relationship-oriented leaders consider the LPCS more positively and thus obtain a higher score on the scale. These types of leaders focus more on employee relationships and exhibit superior abilities in the management of conflicts in the organization (Milner, 2005). Also, relationship-oriented leaders have the capacity to make complex organizational decisions because they incorporate the aspect of employee involvement in the decision-making process (Rao, 2010)

The other issue of leadership as defined by Fiedler is the situational favorableness. Situational favorableness occupies a significant position in the model as it describes the environment in which the employees interact with tasks under the auspices of the relevant the leader in the organization. The mentioned situation is influenced by the head -teams relations, task structure and the leaders positional power in the organization. The leader-team relationship represents the level of trust and confidence the leader command from the employees. A more trusted leader would exert more influence on the employees and thus creating a more favorable situation than the leader who does not enjoy the trust and confidence of the teams in the organization. Also, task structure is essential in fostering the favorableness of the leadership situation. Fiedler categorized the tasks as clear and structured, and vague and haphazard. Tasks that are clear and well-structured provide a favorable leadership environment whereas the tasks where leaders have little know-how yield an unfavorable situation. Moreover, the leaders positional power influences the ability of the leader to exert authority on the teams for the achievement of organizational goals. According to Fiedler, strong positional power gets things done, thereby creating a favorable situation while a weak positional power would create an unfavorable leadership environment (NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR TECHNOLOGY AND NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY, Bartone, Pastel, & Vaitkus, 2010)

Cognitive Resource Theory is and enhancement of the Contingency theory. The theory postulates that intelligence and experience of leaders plays a vital part in achieving efficient management. The theory relates the decision-making process with the stress levels under which the leader is operating. Under stressful conditions, an intellectual person is faced with unfavorable conditions and therefore may not be resourceful in such situations (Milner, 2005). Conversely, an experienced person would be an effective leader in situations of high stress because these individuals rely on past occurrences to make decisions. The two theories have several similarities regarding effective leadership. Both recognize the importance of employee involvement as a strategy to achieve effective leadership in the organization. The contingency theory views relationships as an essential part of building confidence so as to create a collaborative environment for the achievement of organizational goals. Also, the theories agree on the role personal attributes play in fostering effective leadership in the organization. Furthermore, the theories concur with each other on the influence of the situations to the decision-making the process as a function of effective leadership (Rao, 2010). In spite of the inherent differences, the theories offer insight into the leadership styles that command considerable relevance in the contemporary leadership environment.

More experienced leadership characteristics are most suited in high-stress incidents. Given the Cognitive Resource Theory, experience plays a significant part in neutralizing the consequences of stressful environments. The theory postulates that more experienced leaders are more likely to make better decisions in stressful situations compared to their intelligent counterparts. This is because intelligence is impaired when an individual is exposed to high-stress incidents, necessitating an approach that does not need sophisticated analysis of the situation before arriving at the best course of action. Such model of decision-making requires effective communication to the team members for them embrace and understand the technical standpoints of the implementation process (Rao, 2010). And since intelligence is impaired during high-stress situations, the leader may not be in the right frame of mind to pass judgment about the courses of actions that need to be undertaken by the teams in the organization. Also, the intelligent leaders tend to lose communication skills during high-pressure environments as they tend to seek concentration on how best to handle the situations at hand. Moreover, more intelligence becomes important when tasks are more intellectually-demanding. In this regard, more intelligent leaders are required to the extent that knowledge is relevant to the successful accomplishment of particular tasks. This means that some jobs do not require guidance from the leaderships, and thus, the intelligence of the leader may not be relevant to the effective accomplishment of the tasks (Rao, 2010). The position of a police officer, for instance, does not require more intelligent individuals. Routine tasks such as raids on drug dens, handling riots, protection of civilians, conducting a highway patrol, manning of borders and confrontations with gangs, require experience and minimal guidance and supervision.

The more intelligent leader is ideal for an environment of low-stress, planned incidents. According to the Cognitive Resource Theory, creative leaders require low-stress conditions so as to rationalize the various courses of action. Most smart leaders would seek for solutions through rationalization and analysis of the different variables that may play a part in the outcome of their decisions. These leaders require a low-stress environment for effective decision-making and implementation process. Also, more intelligent leaders recognize the value of the teams in the fulfillment of organizational goals and objectives. Mostly, they involve the subordinates through consultations so as to receive adequate information regarding a scenario before making decisions. The intelligent leaders understand that communication of their knowledge to the teams is important to get the support of the issues that are being proposed for implementation (NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR TECHNOLOGY AND NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY, Bartone, Pastel, & Vaitkus, 2010). In this regard, the more intelligent leader ensures conflicts are managed to avoid instances where the desired courses of action are not derailed. The position of a detective police requires low-stress environment for the officers to carry out their duties effectively. The position demands a lot of analysis of crime scenes to gather facts and collect evidence, collation of evidence obtained from crime scenes, testifying in court proceedings, interview suspects and witnesses and the preparation of periodic reports about crimes. These job requirements dictate thorough rationalization of the various courses of action to arrive at the best alternative. Also, they require extensive analysis of the evidence gathered to build strong cases against suspects. Therefore, an intelligent mind and low-stress environment is essential for the mentioned police officers to carry out their activities effectively and help the respective department to achieve its overall of law enforcement.

Transactional leadership is the type of leadership that uses the rank to organize and supervise groups in the organization to ensure that the course towards organizational objectives is not disrupted. These leaders use rewards and punishments as the motivator for the employees. This leadership philosophy is founded on the concept of fairness as espoused by classical organization behavior scholar, Max Weber. Employees simply get what they deserve as measured by the outcomes of their input. In a criminal justice scenario, senior rank officers have specific leadership behaviors that influence their effectiveness in managing junior officers and offering the motivation to perform their duties effectively (Williams, 2015). For instance, the position of police superintendent may require that the officer in charge to show fairness in the management of junior officers to minimize issues of discontent that may interfere with the police relationships and hamper the activities of teams in fighting drug cartels.

Transformational leadership involves collaboration between the leaders and followers in carrying out activities that help the organization to achieve higher levels of performance. This leadership style considers teamwork and cooperation is an important element in boosting the motivation of the subordinates to improve the performance of assigned duties and responsibilities. In contrast with the transactional approach that emphasizes on give and take policy, the transformational approach espouses the leaders personality and ability to inspire the subordinates and articulate the vision, of say, a police department (Williams, 2015). Transformational leadership is essential in the anti-drug enforcement units so as to instill new cultures that respond to the changes of tactics of drug cartels. Drugs cartels change tactics each day, and this requires the leader who consults with junior officers and nurtures leadership skills among these officers.

Visionary leadership entails leadership practices that promote the envisaged position of the organization. These leaders focus more on the long-term status of the organization and employ available resources to institute several measures that would put the organization in an advantaged position in the future. The leadership requires effective communication of the organizations vision and the specific expectations of departments and individuals towards these efforts. Also, the leadership needs a lot of charisma and extensive employee involvement so as to instill the appropriate culture that steers the organization clear of its goals and objectives (Williams, 2015). Crime deterrent departments exhibit this type of leadership practices to thwart terrorist activities in the country.

Comparisons and Contrasts between the Traditional view, the Human Relations View and the Interactionist View

The three standpoints about organizational conflict acknowledge that an organization is a social environment and therefore, conflicts are bound to happen. The Traditional view holds that organizations face conflicts, and these conflicts have an influence on the organizations ability to achieve its objectives but must be suppressed at all costs. Similarly, the Human Relations approach acknowledges the positive part of conflicts in an organization. According to the proponents of the Human Relations View, conflicts cannot be eliminated, and they play an essential role in shaping the relationships within the organization with the intention of pursuing organizational...

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