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Management vs. Leadership: Is there a difference?

Introduction

Civilization and its achievements, like the wheel, hinge on the hub of leadership. The ebb and tide of world empires point to the reins handled or pulled by individuals who exert power and influence. In this country, and even in the rest of the world, the assertions and importance of leadership is re-emphasized in many ways because of the rapidly evolving paradigms that assume a more pervasive role in the society.  This is the era of organizational revolution. The time is marked with rapid shifts in the demography of our workforce, changing corporate culture, and changing organizations. Organizational forms have become more complex and new forms have been developed (Block, 1981).

The management or leadership of people has never been as important and crucial than ever before. Today, it is considered a central figure and the key to productivity and quality especially in a very competitive society. In the light of the rapid shift in today’s organization, the skills required of human resource managers, beginners in the profession and even aspiring students in the discipline, rest on the foundation of knowledge on the whole gamut of human resources management, specifically management theories applied in the setting (Kline & Saunders, 1993).

The need for a more efficient, economical and equitable management of the people in the industry or organization has never been as pronounced as it is today. This need has never been brought about by factors which inevitably affect not only the established structures and ways of doing things within the personnel area but also by the more meaningful and substantial task of managing the organization’s most important asset – the human capital. Among these factors are: stiffer competition in business; rapid changes in technological, competitive and economic environments; the explosion of technical and managerial knowledge; spiraling wage and benefits cost and so many others. These factors have no doubt been responsible for the emergence of the personnel function as a vital area in the implementation of corporate strategy (Bruffee, 1993).

The arguments set forth in this paper spins around the theme of leadership and management: concepts that can either be the same or that each has remote characteristics and distinctiveness. However, for the sake of research and brevity at the same time, the study that follows will describe, compare and contrast the theme basically as especially theorized by Dr. Elliot Jacques, the great Canadian psychologist. Inasmuch as this paper centers around his theory, the  researcher intends to expand on what Dr. Jacques posited in his understanding of the individual in the context of work or in the organization he/she operates in.  The paper thus, answers the question whether there is a difference between management and leadership.

~ Survey of related studies

In defining leadership, Dr. Elliot Jacques said it in 1978 that he sees it as “a process of giving purpose to collective effort and causing willing effort to be expended to achieve that purpose, “ (Barth 2007 in Young 1986). Many of his critiques view his position as going against the grain of what is trendy in today’s organizational circles where leadership is concerned. According to Jacques, the current trend towards the emphasis of teamwork and what he deemed as the all gab about how wonderful when teams are at work are actually fallacious and unsettling considering that it is undeniable that in many organizational studies then and current, the fact is that the teams work because of managerial leadership effectiveness. With this line of thought, Jacques can well be understood as someone who really knew what he was talking about. Dr. Elliot Jacques has with him more than 50 years of experience, research and studies from the field of science, psychology, sociology,economics, medicine, and not to mention, psychoanalysis. His stratified systems theory premises on human behavior and social institutions which analyzes the capabilities and complexities of work with the intention of redefining the construct of managerial accountability, rationale behind remuneration, hierarchical principles in management and the concept of workplace citizenship (Jacques, 2002.

Discussion

~Background on the theory

Theories abound regarding perspectives of leadership. When Elliot Jacques developed the concept of requisite organization; it served as a unified whole system model for what he deemed effective managerial leadership. Some of the core beliefs in Jacques system, for instance, imply that people are supposed to be compensated on the basis of their individual aptitude or skills and foresight and how long it was before their judgment could be verified. Jacques also thought that where leadership gurus or external consultant like the ODs are concerned, these are only evaluated and equated with alchemy: as such these do not involve real concepts or precise or thorough definitions but rather are considered as rubbish and inauthentic to say the least. Jacques persuasion centers on much of what he calls as “maximum amount of personal responsibility” and encourages on every part of the organization, or team for that matter, to be stakeholders and thus have a say in the problems at hand.

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A. Extent of leadership

“Leadership is that inner power that a person develops to    serve well those around him or her. This power can convene    people and get things done.”                                  ~Charlotin Prophete, warehouse manager for   World Vision and community organizer, Lagonav Island, Haiti

People struggle for it, die for it, and take a life for it. Somewhere around the world this past year is seen occurrence violence mainly due to a collision for power. In the United States, we saw political fights that were at times typified by real argument on significant issues, but too frequently stained by cynical treatment in search of power by means of elected office (Atwater, 1996). How can power be used efficiently to lead? And in effect how should we try to lead? Talk about the word power and what comes to mind? Many would say power is evil, deceptive, self-serving, manipulative, hurtful, and possibly “America’s last dirty word.” These words tell to the dark side of power. There is, nonetheless, a positive look to tackling power acquirement, power -base advancement, and power exercise (Barnes, 1988). When power is used in an ethical and purposeful way, there is nothing evil about it. It is widely believed that leadership is the employment of power; and, for that reason, leaders must increase suitable organizational power foundation to use successfully and effectively their power to persuade others. Power apparently is an omnipresent actuality in the life process of all contemporary organizations. Leaders frequently obtain and use power to achieve specific work goals and to reinforce their own positions with reference to the reading of general or organizational goals. It means every dealing and every social affiliation in an organization as involving an exercise of power. Thus, the word leadership means the practice of by means of power to acquire interpersonal control. Harry Truman concisely stated, “Leadership is the ability to get men to do what they don’t want to do and like it” (Broder, 1981).

In a broad sense, power acquisition and its use can have bearing on professional advancement, on job accomplishment, on governmental effectiveness, and on the lives of many people.

B. Rationale for the leadership models in exerting change.

“Managers are people who do things right, while leaders      are people who do the right thing”.                         – Warren Bennis, Ph.D. “On Becoming a Leader”

In organizational behavior which is basic to the management of human resource, it points to the inquiry and application of learning about how people, individuals, and groups perform, operate, and work in organizations. It accomplishes this by means of adopting a system approach (Demick ; Miller, 1993).

Explicitly, it infers people-organization affairs in terms of the entire person, group totality, complete organization, and total social structure. Its intention is to put up enhance relations by attaining human goals, organizational purposes, and social goals (Kanter, 1999). In such a milieu, the goals to effect change are influenced by several significant factors which are crucial to the overall results. Hence, there are expected leadership behaviors that maintain momentum during the change process (Demick ; Miller, 1993).

Leadership Behaviors to Sustain Momentum

Firstly, leadership has something to do with change, stimulation of ideas, enthusiasm and encouragement for the tasks, and influence. I wish to enumerate three vital traits, each one linked with a specific function for leaders (Beckhard, R. 1969).

~The imagination to innovate

To promote innovation, successful leaders assist in cultivating novel view, the ideas, paradigm, and applications of expertise that makes an organization distinct. During the course of the implementation this particular trait is important especially that there will be delays, resistance to the change process that normally occurs. A good leader is ingenuous to create something which will contribute to enhance and sustain the momentum.

~The professionalism to perform.

Leaders offer personal and organizational capability, assisted by personnel preparation and education, to implement impeccably and dispense worth to ever more difficult and exacting customers. There will be criticisms to come, many personal-all of which can possibly help if the leader knows how and what to do with them. He is a professional, and an important virtue that he should characterize is to be able to deliver and keep his cool whenever difficulties arise.

~The openness to work in partnership.

Leaders create associations and linkages with partners who can enlarge the organization’s contact, improve its contributions, or strengthen its systems. Since an organization is composed of people, this leader knows a lot about human nature and behavior in group settings so he can appropriately anticipate and plan as well as adjust to various personalities.

Different models depict the organization’s cultural landscape. Deal and Kennedy defined organizational culture as the way things get done around here. An organization’s culture is a fusion of collective history, specific morals and way of life, and customary manners and conduct. Awareness that all corporations have a cultural hub — the core of thinking, movement, power, or personal identity — is time and again an efficient way to initiate culture change. Johnson (1988) illustrated a cultural system, classifying several fundamentals that can be utilized to explain or control Organizational Culture. These are: (1) The Paradigm: What are the Institution’s aims; what is its particular system; what is it accomplishing; what are the values. (2) Control Systems. (3) Organizational structures. (4) Power structures. (5) Symbols. (6) Rituals and routines. (7) Stories and myths. These fundamentals possibly will intersect. Authority arrangement might depend on power schemes, which may perhaps take advantage of the actual routines that engender accounts which could not be possibly true (Demick & Miller, 1993).

Companies time and again encounter the mistake of evaluating culture either too late or not at all (Hiatt, 2006). Systematic cultural diagnostics can appraise organizational inclination to change, convey key concerns to the surface, recognize tensions, and identify factors that can distinguish and influence basis of leadership and disagreement and conflict. These diagnostic tools are the essential ingredients in place to spot the foundational principles, perspectives, behaviors, and insights that must be considered for successful change to take place. They operate as the conventional baseline for planning major change rudiments, such as the recent shared vision, and assembling the procedures, arrangements and schemes necessary to impel change (Beckhard, R. 1969).

Every organizational development program has one thing in common: its success depends on the efficacy of several cooperative efforts, instead of a few single or individual valiant efforts. Constant and appropriate feedback from all levels in the organization is major component to continued success. Re-evaluation as a sustained effort cannot be underestimated. Re-establishing or setting in concrete the changes made through shared culture is a must. Furthermore, another important element is the recalling and sharing of the company’s vision (Lewin, K. 1951). The company should ascertain that members of the organization take ownership over what occurs in the institution where they belong. This shared success can only be stimulated, stabilized and nurtured – subtly – by way of the working milieu’s ethical-cultural surroundings, with management as its support. When managers are advocates of tasks, a number of things get done. When supervisors are campaigners of development programs, some added things get done. However, when leaders stand up for the culture, a good deal even more takes place. The tasks, the programs, the excellent passage over time, and the organization, all thrive, and the institution actually changes itself into a superior quality venture.

Summary of findings and discussion

The human individual is intentional and goal-directed in his endeavors and undertaking and with the proper input on this know-how, the workplace  will be a productive entity capable of harnessing people’s capabilities amidst the seeming human complexities where personal greed and self-centeredness may be expected but can actually be reduced. The emphasis on individual and corporate accountability highlights Jacques theory which looks at the person not only in a humanistic perspective but also in the fact that his cognitive domains are dynamic and continually interacts with his peers and superiors (McMorland, 2005).

His strong ethical view challenges the accusations hurled against his stand on the levels of work as natural development or process. What emerges upon closer scrutiny is his deep respect for the employment relationship. He did this by disputing the term “human resources” implying as something which actually relegates human individuals as equal to machines or technology which should not be the case (McMorland, 2005). He further explained that this perception which is misleading and deceptive must be constantly challenged in every organizational level and again,“redefine” the  meanings and terms which management and the organizational milieu had been using for a number of years and until now. Jacques expressly pointed the attention of CEOs and leaders in the organizational field to the fact that those entrusted with leadership must see it as “trust-inducing” rather than “fear-inducing” (McMorland, 2005).

This brings the discussion to the core inquiry whether a difference exists between management and leadership. In essence, there is actually no difference between these two terminologies in the prime values that Dr. Elliot Jacques placed on every part of the organization and as he postulated in his stratified systems theory. When he called for the individual responsibility, he meant  that whether the person in the spotlight may be the rank and file individual or he happens to be the plant manager, the type of leadership that is seen is expressive of this core value. Management then implies the adoption of accountability and this summarily implies leadership knowing as mentioned in the preceding pages on influence and exercise of power, when a person exercises accountability, he actually exerts leadership; leading by example and it is fundamentally ethical and transferable.

Management and leadership are seen then, as interchangeable essentials, and according to Dr. Jacques, the existence and continuity as well as the perpetuation of a successful team depends much on the kind of leadership exemplified in the theory he posited.

Conclusion

Every institution exists and cooperates in a network of dedicated, goal-oriented peers, in an environment of high expectations and immense collaboration. Communicating daily with professionals, a substantial background and specific competencies must be gained in this kind of practice. As the select few of these days’ higher technological tools and institutions create and enhance their vision to meet the needs of the changing population into the twenty-first century, the skills and attributes required are also changing. It is essential that the leaders and managers of our higher educational institutions welcome all their roles, contribute to the responsibility with the environment, and be acquainted with and incorporate change (Kincheloe, 1991).

What makes a leader ideal? What specific qualities make an individual suited to handling responsibilities, various roles and demands that are expected in an institutional setting catered to adults and the like? What training development model should be used to train those seeking such positions in institutions of higher learning? Every now and then a decision maker in an establishment pre-determines a need for training but savoir-faire trainers constantly evaluate the analysis data before jumping on to settle on the training objectives. Why? This is because intuition-based training interventions frequently detect symptoms rather than root sources. On top of that, training is never the key to all performance problems. Around 80% of performance obstacles are environment-connected. Developing occupation aptitudes will not advance these institutional issues either (Yukl, 2002). Considerations should also include the personality type of the individual, the hopes and aspirations the person have within him/herself; and the type of institution that the individual is placed into-the subculture prevalent that influences the decision-making processes of all the people or constituents involve. All of which and more, are indispensable factors for consideration. Training, as most people assume about it, is concerned about developing particular skills. The function and relationship of preparation to the place of work is implied. Training dubbed as performance improvement has been the focus in instructional professional which includes solving performance problems to attain business results. Performance improvement covers skills training and considers other issues as well, such as does the organizational structure (decision making, supervision, feedback) sustain the workflow and are the environmental working situations (equipment, light, interruptions) suitable. The notion of “performance improvement” is frequently an easier sell to management and trainees than “training” for the reason that the emphasis moves from the person to overall performance of the organization. This strategic system model put forth by Jacques is a methodical approach to managing the human capital.  Those who study and make use of that data in exclusive contexts are rightly described as professionals; in them lies the heart and soul of the profession. Industrial-age institutions look for routine and habit accomplished through standardized measures. Complex responsibilities are split into simple steps that are assigned to organizational positions to guarantee that employees are both interchangeable and effortlessly replaced. Bureaucratic hierarchies are likely to esteem proven evaluation of specific aspects of complex managerial tasks. In view of this, the picture of leadership is in reality changing as the image of organizations changes. Analysis ascertains those who require training and what skills or performance improvements are designated. Aims and goals set the restriction for the instructional outline and help attain the appropriate learning outcomes (Kincheloe, 1991).

At the heart of any profession is a body of expertise and abstract knowledge that its members are expected to apply within its granted jurisdiction. Those who discover and utilize that knowledge in unique contexts are rightly described as professionals; in them lies the heart and soul of the profession. A good teacher can overcome a poor curriculum, while a great curriculum will not substitute for a poor teacher. In the industrial-age organizations seek routine and habit achieved through standardized procedures. Complex tasks are broken into simple steps that are assigned to organizational positions to ensure that employees are both interchangeable and easily replaced.

Peter Northouse, author of Leadership: Theory and Practice observed the revival of an all-encompassing skills-based model of leadership distinguished by a map for how to reach efficient leadership in organizations (Northouse, 2004). He recommended that the classification of specific skills which can be improved by training has an intuitive appeal: “When leadership is framed as a set of skills, it becomes a process that people can study and practice to become better at their jobs” (Northouse, 2004). He also suggests that although the skills-based approach claims not to be a trait model, it includes individual attributes that look a great deal like traits. The act of leadership is also an exercise of moral reasoning. In their book Unmasking Administrative Evil, Guy Adams and Danny Balfour caution against elevating the scientific-analytical mindset higher than all other forms of rationality. Even as the rise of “technical rationality led inevitably to specialized, expert knowledge, the very life blood of the professional,” it also “spawned unintended consequences in the areas of morals and ethics as the science-based technical rationality undermined normative judgments and relegated ethical considerations to afterthoughts” (Adams & Balfour, 2004). Distinguished scholar Ronald Heifetz on the other hand, developed a definition of leadership that takes values into account. He maintains that we should look at leadership as more than a means to organizational effectiveness. Efficiency means getting achievable decisions that execute the goals of the organization. “This definition has the benefit of being generally applicable, but it provides no real guide to determine the nature or formation of those goals.” (Heifetz, 1994).  Heifetz went on to say that values such as “liberty, equality, human welfare, justice, and community” are inculcated with first-rate leaders (Heifetz, 1994). It is a necessity then, the infusion of these principles into the leader and from the leader into the organization.

Recommendations

There are distinct theories that are being adopted in various organizations all over the world. If the problem lies with the applicability of the stratified systems theory of Dr. Elliot Jacques, this is immediately disputed by those who had tried and tested the theory. Organizations like People Fit, Capelle Associates, Stratified Systems Group, and BIOSS International, utilize Jacques Requisite Organization model; they held their first RO conference in 2004, at Deakin University in Melbourne (Craddock, 2002 in McMorland, 2005).

For enthusiasts who are looking for a workable model in leadership which is realistic at the same time, the Requisite Organization must be considered. Training outfits who think that they have exhausted various leadership theories but have not studied in-depth the work of Dr. Jacques miss a very exciting and forward looking, not to mention an effective method in expanding the organization.

It is highly recommended that tests, surveys and studies be made for those who have adopted the strategies developed by the great Jacques and present proofs to its efficacy or perhaps its lack towards the improvement of productivity and efficiency of people in the workplace or in organizations. To end, Dr. Jacques made a small disclaimer that his theory might not be possible or effective with universities, cooperatives or professional service firms (Jacques, 1995). It might be good to start a pilot study in implementing or applying his principles in these institutions though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference:

 

1. Adams, Guy B. & Danny L. Balfour, 2004.  Unmasking Administrative Evil (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, pp. 31-36.

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