The Structure of Moral Leadership, Article Review Example
Words: 2936Article Review
The behaviors of leaders are a significant function within each organization. No matter the type of leader, their behavior sets a precedent in which the rest of the team or their constituents will follow. Taking a look at a few articles in which describe successful leaders includes the examination of leaders’ behavior in different work environments. “Successful Leadership Based on Democratic Values” (2007), written by Day and Leithwood, takes aim at the identification of the characteristics and the qualities of the success of the practices of leadership displayed at the Norwegian elementary and secondary school system. In looking at the article they took a case study approach in using previous research and data to look at the success of the twelve schools within the school district. From their perspective, “we have chosen a perspective that looks at leadership as grounded in activity and interaction rather than in position or role.” (Day, Leithwood, 2007)
In looking over this article in which takes a look at Norway’s educational practices, they see that education is a significant institution for survival in their country. In gathering success of schools, while it is important to look at the educational value as a whole and how students are successful throughout their school career, they also fundamentally focus on grades. The focus on this paper is to look at the leadership practices in which have made these schools and the students a success. They examined the selected schools based on the school improvement in their teaching and learning strategies, the core subjects, and assessments on their effects, as well as examining their systematic approach for developing an inclusive and safe learning environment. The way in which these principals and staffs demonstrate a successful leadership is define in their flexible and efficient use of resources in regards to their collaboration, decision-making, and achievements.
In collecting the data from the school and leadership observation, they interviewed several students and key members of the administrations in order to based their findings on. The findings illustrate that the factors of student enrollment, size, history, and geographical location impacts leadership practices. It is found that principalship and team leadership are the main findings in which show how each school emphasizes teamwork and collaboration. According to the authors in their research they found that not only do the teachers teams think of the school as a collective body, but they also work together to form close cooperation. “In addition to the team organization among the teachers we found that in most of the cases the principal and the deputies had developed a close cooperative community that embraced both “the challenges of today” and the “visions for tomorrow.” (Day, Leithwood, 2007) Through the leadership practice it found that students’ learning was a focal point for each leadership practice. They place emphases on the social learning environment which allows them to be interactive, and form a student/teacher relationship that helps them with fostering their stages of growth and development.
This is also discussed in Bulach, Boothe, and Pickett’s (2006), “Analyzing the Leadership Behavior of School Principals.” This article too, focuses on the leadership behaviors and practices of principals. In looking over the behaviors, the authors take a different approach in which they examine the National Association for Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association for Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Both of these models are used in order to examine the different skills and activities displayed by principals. The two models are used in helping to look at the behaviors of leaders, particularly principals, and where in their characters do they need to improve. For these authors they developed a new survey instrument that helps to examine the leadership style and behavior of the principals. On the instrument are 49 negative and positive behaviors that measure how the principals interact with their staff. They regulate the behaviors in five core categories, such as control and conflict, instructional leadership, trust/decision making, and human relations. Their primary purpose is, “to describe a survey instrument that could be utilized to measure behaviors principals use while supervising subordinates.” (Bulach, Boothe, Pickett, 2006) The way in which these behaviors are analyzed are used in negatively or positively impacts the learning environment and supervisory climate in each educational setting. Their data collection from over 375 graduate students at the University of West Georgia, in which they list the principal mistakes that occurred in interpersonal communications and human relations. It is clear that these principals are exhibiting transformational leadership practices in which they value the education, and learning process of the students. Discussed in Sendjaya (2003) “Morality and Leadership: Examining the Ethics of Transformational Leadership,” focuses on prioritizing morality as a critical aspect of leadership.
Morality and ethics are not only important in each organization, but as for leaders traits that need to be displayed in order to encourage an environment that is positive. Sendjaya state, “for leadership to be superior, it has to include both technical competences and moral capacities.” (Sendjaya, 2003) This is exceptionally true for each article discussed. Especially in a school setting, these leadership qualities are pertinent for effectiveness and improvement of organizational performance. These behaviors discussed are important throughout the success of schools, as well as graduate students going into the field of education. Morality and ethics behaviors are self-evident in their significance as it makes moral decision-making process easier, as well as encompasses the transformational leadership qualities needed to collaborate, cooperate, and enforce teamwork with members of the administration. In looking at the three articles, their focus is on leadership practices and the educational setting. For principals and other staff members to be successful they must exhibit positive behavioral traits that spread within.
Leadership Communication (4-7)
Communication is an important attribute to any organization. For leaders it is also significant that leaders exhibit open communication with their subordinates in order to be an effective leader. Vries, Bakker-Pieper, and Oostenveld (2009), “Leadership= Communication? The Relations of Leaders’ Communication Styles with Leadership Styles, Knowledge Sharing and Leadership Outcomes,” discusses the correlation of leadership communication styles and leadership outcomes, task-oriented leadership (leader’s initiating structure), human-oriented leadership (leader’s consideration), and charismatic leadership. In gathering data for their research, the authors conducted a survey of 279 government employees. The survey was broken down into six categories, argumentativeness, supportiveness, assuredness, preciseness, expressiveness, and aggressiveness. Their decision to conduct this research was to look at how interpersonal communication is not only a core element of leadership, but also different communication styles correlate with different leadership styles.
There has been a lack of integration and parsimony in communication styles for leaders. The authors tries to focus on the distinctions between the interpersonal aspects of leadership that surrounds the managerial aspects that includes controlling, problem-solving, decision-making, organizing, and planning. Their primary hypothesis was to find how communication styles are related to human-oriented and charismatic leadership styles, as opposed to task-oriented leadership. This distinction is important because research has shown that leadership styles impact organizational and individual outcomes. The research revealed, “positive relations between both transformational and charismatic leadership and subordinates’ job satisfaction, satisfaction with the leader, motivation, leader effectiveness, and group performance.” (Vries Bakker-Pieper, Oostenveld, 2009) Their findings showed that human oriented and charismatic leadership styles were more communicative. Unlike task-oriented leadership style where there was less communication attributes. The findings from the survey pointed out that the communication styles were differently and strongly related to subordinate’s team commitment, satisfaction with the leader, perceived leader performance, and knowledge sharing behaviors. The different types of leadership styles correlated the relations between the leadership outcomes and communication styles. The preciseness of the leader showed variances in the satisfaction with the leader, and the perceived leader performance. This research is imperative because it points out the importance of the leaders’ communication with subordinates, and the leader’s assuredness, and supportiveness.
This theme is also shared in the Zepeda’s (2004) “Leadership to Build Learning Communities.” Zepeda points out, “learning communities cannot exist without leadership that facilitates teacher growth.” (Zepeda, 2004) Paying attention to the educational environment, leadership is imperative to the overall success of the organization. The learning communities are based on the three fundamental factors, a capacity to work and see the flow of life as a system, a set of practices for generative conversation, and a culture based on human values. Zepeda believes that the principal cannot only be the figurehead for leadership in the community. Instead, leadership is spread out throughout the learning environment. The continual habit of learning, reflecting, acting, planning, studying, and refining learning as a cycle is a task for the entire school community. These figures includes the parents, students, principal, staff, and teachers. Her study revolves around the Midwestern urban elementary school principal’s work. The principal used instructional supervision as a way of creating a learning community for adults. The principal developed a process that met the learning needs of 125 teachers, by implementing numerous approaches taken from the school’s culture. Over a two-year process, she took a case study approach that took detailed description on how the principal’s methods of supervision helped to promote the learning community. The findings of her study showed the methods in which the principal used help to change the paradigm of leadership that influenced reflection, dialogue, and problem solving among the staff and teachers. Other leadership styles in schools is also seen in Waterhouse (2007), “From Narratives to Portraits: Methodology and Methods to Portray Leadership,” focuses on research design planning about leadership as it is developed, experienced, and constructed in schools. The research was purposed with gaining an insightful look at the social dynamic and relationships with the school environments. Trust and respect between individuals is measures by the degree of distributive leadership within schools.
Leadership is often a misconstrued term that leads to the wrong images of its meaning. In his first-person account he research different schools to describe their leadership narrative, communication style in which they have influence in the environment. The reflexivity and the tone of the voice used by leadership draws the correlation of an individual’s values, biases, and assumptions. This can also be taken from Neufeld, Wan, and Fang’s (2008), “Remote Leadership, Communication Effectiveness, and Leadership Performance,” in which they also reviewed the type of leadership and communication that impacted an organizations performance. In their research, they look at how remote work, impacts the leadership style. In their survey of 138 workers, with 41 leaders, it showed their almost half of the sample population showed that leadership style influenced communication effectiveness, while over 60 percent thought it influenced leadership performance. While the distance has no implications on the performance, a transformational leader that communicates effectively in their voice, and their behaviors. These articles placed a strong emphasis on communication and leadership, which greatly influenced the way in which employees were satisfied, their performance, and the overall performance of the organization.
Leadership and Performance (8-11)
In constructing a leader that inhibits behaviors of ethics and morality is a leadership style that engages with their subordinates, as well as shares their goals, values, and motives. The leader is able to encompass the true needs of their followers, which includes the physical, aesthetic, sexual, spiritual, safety, economic, and psychological needs. In Burns (n.d) “The Structure of Moral Leadership”, he provides a literary piece that revolves around the factors that influence a transformational leader in dealing with conflict and morality. Conflict is a continuous process within organizations, and a factor that leaders must continually learn to deal with. Out of conflict arises leaders, in which work to motivate, prod, and galvanize people. “Leadership acts an inciting and triggering force in the conversion of conflicting demands, values, and goals into significant behavior.” (Burns, n.d) Leaders do not shun conflict, but instead embraces it.
Leaders are able to channel and express the forces for conflict through the contention of power and preeminence. This can also be seen in Wells (2012) “Teacher Leadership in Selected Districts” in which conducted a mixed method study of superintendents that convey what teacher leadership meant to their school culture, and organization. The problems that they faced was that the school culture and teacher unions were challenges to teacher leadership. The superintendents saw that leadership among teachers were important in dissolving conflicts in which harm the learning environment, while also the goals of the school. Superintendents act as transformational leaders in which they are trying to lead schools to success. It takes a high quality and talent teachers to positively impact the lives of students daily. Leaders are able to take conflict, and command many roles that can require them to summon other followers into the conflict, override, bargain, and be advocate for their follower. They are able to influence the intensity, as well as soften the scope of conflict in dealing with their followers and competing leaders. According to Burns, the leadership strategy that is essential is in the mobilization of power that recognizes the range of goals and motives of potential followers. Leaders must be able to appeal to their followers’ motives by action and words. Be able to strengthen these goals and motives in order to promote their leadership power, in which changes the environment by which the leaders and the followers can act. In the way that leaders value the condition of conflict, leaders have the ability to increase influence at their highest levels of value and need of their followers. In doing so, they are able to help increase their followers by appealing to their deeply and widely held values such as goodwill, liberty, and justice.
Horton and Farnham (2007), “Turning Leadership into Performance Management”, also share these factors. The aims of their work includes reviewing and examining the nature of performance and leadership management. As well as how leadership individually can contribute to improve the performance in public services deliveries, and through their case study illustrate how performance and leadership management are linked in the civil service sector. In organizations, leadership has been broadly defined as the capability to mobilize efforts to the attainment of shared objectives and goals. Not only is leadership significance been recognized in the private sector, but also the public sector. Public services has transformed attention to the modernization of the need for leadership in both politicians and public managers that create managerial culture. Performance management introduction has placed emphasis on the importance of competencies and managerial skills needed in operating systems, in order to achieve effective and efficient organizational outputs. The authors note that particularly in governance, “Effective leaders are expected to convey a strategic vision of their organizations, their core values and social purpose and inspire, motivate and mobilize those whose efforts seek to achieve the aims and objectives and substantive outputs of public organizations.” (Horton, Farnham, 2007) Leadership is a process in which they influence that strategies, objectives, and task of the organization and group, to implement and achieve the objectives. Leaders are expect to move organizations, groups, and individuals forward by motivating, developing, inspiring, and challenging staff to achieve the stated objectives and aims. The authors discuss the leadership approaches, which influences the types of leadership that work in the public sector. Performance management in which provides constructive feedback, as well as present opportunities to spend time with tier managers helps to construct an environment in which benefits all involved. This is expanded also in Sarros and Cooper (2004), “Building Character: A Leadership Essential.” The character of a leader is an issue that has been thoroughly studied to assess the organizational performance. Authentic leaders are those that are strong in character, and have a moral imperative to their actions.
“Authentic leaders: know who they are and what they believe in “show consistency between their values, ethical reasoning, and actions…” (Sarros, Cooper, 2004) Authentic leaders are those in which their personal values are a part of their core character. They are able to promote trustworthy behavior in which they have better trust, a greater concern for the welfare of others, and better organizational performance. Their case study involved collecting data from the Australian Management Character Survey, in which 96 members answered 238 questions that dealt with demographics, characteristics of themselves, and the attributes of a leader. The study showed that leaders wanted to convey leadership attributes of self-discipline, fairness, cooperativeness, and integrity. In constructing a leadership that displays ethics, and authentic leadership, leaders must be willing to rise above conflict, and work towards moving their organization towards excellence. This applies to leaders in both the public and private sectors, no matter the country or origin, or career setting.
Bulach, Clete, Boothe, Diane, Pickett, Winston. (2006). Analyzing the Leadership Behavior of School Principals. The Connexions Project.
Burns, James. (n.d). “The Structure of Moral Leadership.” Leadership. HarperCollins Publishers.
Day, C, K. Leithwood. (2007). Successful Leadership Based on Democratic Values. Successful Principal Leadership in Times of Change, 71–85.
Horton, Sylvia, Farnham, David. (2007). “Turning Leadership into Performance Management.” Public Governance and Leadership, Deutscher Universitäts-Verlag, Wiesbaden, pp. 429-455.
Nuefeld, Derrick J., Wan, Zeying, Fang, Yulin. (2010). Remote Leadership, Communication Effectiveness and Leader Performance. Group Decis Nego 19: 227-246.
Sarros, James C., Cooper, Brian K. (2006). Building Character: A Leadership Essential. Journal of Business and Psychology, Vol 21, No.1.
Sendjaya, Sen. (2005). Morality and Leadership: Examining The Ethics of Transformational Leadership. Journal of Academics Ethics 3: 75-86.
Waterhouse, Joanne. (2007). From Narratives to Portraits: Methodology and Methods to Portray Leadership. The Curriculum Journal Vol. 18, No.3. pg. 271-286.
Wells, Caryn M. (2012). Superintendents’ Perceptions of Teacher Leadership in Selected Districts. The Connexions Project.
Zepeda, Sally J. (2008). Leadership to Build Learning Communities. The Educational Forum. Vol. 68. Pg. 144-152.
Vries, Reinout E. de, Bakker-Pieper, Angelique, Oostenveld, Wyneke. (2009). Leadership Communication? The Relations of Leaders’ Communication Styles with Leadership Styles, Knowledge Sharing and Leadership Outcomes. J Bus Psychol.
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