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Women and Leadership – 20 Years Later, Research Paper Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1783

Research Paper

Leadership

Human resource personnel have been noted to play an important role in the success of an organization because they are the ones who determine the leadership direction. Avolio, Mhatre, & Lester (2009), determined that there were four major questions to be answered to determine if leadership interventions were more effective than others. The first question was whether or not certain leadership interventions were more effective than others. Next, the authors wanted to find out if the setting of job was correlated with the type of intervention that works best. The third question evaluated leadership strategies that were based upon theories of leadership. The final question sought to understand specific target interventions.  This was a meta-analysis. The researchers studied 18 databases. Several variables were used, including gender of leadership and setting of the job. The instrument used was data analysis. The demographic makeup consisted of persons from Caucasian, African American, Latino, and Asian ethnicity. The age frame ranged from 27-56 years of age. The data was collected from several Northeastern HR companies. The researchers compared how size and setting affected leadership interventions. This was a preliminary study and further research needs to be conducted. This article sought to answer four major questions. The first question was whether or not certain leadership interventions were more effective than others. Next, the authors wanted to find out if the setting of job was correlated with the type of intervention that works best. The third question evaluated leadership strategies that were based upon theories of leadership. The final question sought to understand specific target interventions.  There seems to be a correlation between leadership styles and gender. This information would prove important to human resource workers when they are hiring in the educational field. The authors found that men and women tend to lead in different manners.  The limitations of this study were lack of information and how variable might affect findings. Knowing what type of population one has and the type of leadership needed, a human resource worker make an informed decision. This article also detailed that leadership that was based upon theories in leadership was more effective than other forms of leadership. During the hiring process, human resource workers can determine what drives potential candidate’s leadership styles.

Conflict in the Workplace

Workplace conflict is directly correlated with effective leadership. Guttman (2009) examines workplace conflict and how it can reduce productivity. This article examines workplace conflict and how it can reduce productivity. This study took place over a 5 year period of time and consisted of 150 organizations. Information was gathered using interviews and surveys. The ethnicity and gender of participants was not revealed.  A total of 3500 participants were included. The findings were, “Overall, a significant majority (67%) of respondents (both targets and non-targets) agreed (strongly or slightly) that an employer apology would have made a difference to them in resolving a workplace dispute; however, less than one third (29%) agreed (strongly or slightly) that an apology would prompt a withdrawal of an EEOC charge; slightly more than one third (35%) agreed (strongly or slightly) that an apology would prompt settlement of the case” (Guttmann , 2009). The study also uses a previous study conducted by a North Carolina University. The findings suggest that workplace conflict can reduce productivity as much as 22 percent. Guttman suggests that HR works can use strategies to reduce and eliminate workplace conflict to increase productivity. Accommodating was one strategy that Guttman felt was essential. This type of strategy is used in minor conflicts when one of the persons in dispute is willing to try to maintain peace.  Another strategy he suggested was collaborating. He believes this works best because each person is involved in the integration of ideas. I think this is a great strategy because no one feels left out because each person has input in the final decision. He suggests that resource managers can use conflict management skills training to effectively teach employees skills needed to reduce conflict in the workplace.

Gender and Leadership

Much research has been completed on gender and effective leadership within organizations. Koch, Luft, & Kruse (2005), sought to determine how have people’s attitude concerning gender and leadership roles changed over the past 20 years. The research question for this article was: How have people’s attitude concerning gender and leadership roles changed over the past 20 years.  One hundred people participated in the study. A total of 54 women and 47 men participated. The dependent variables were a total of 25 traits from the Osgood’s semantic. The independent variables were the gender of the participants, the title they held, and the number of employees. The information was collected using data analysis. The findings of the research suggest that women have difficulty with leadership positions. The researchers concluded that men to tend to be neutral on issues, while women tend to attach each issue, regardless to how small. He, states, “Strategic leaders must be adept at finding common ground and achieving buy-in among stakeholders who have disparate views and agendas. This requires active outreach. Success depends on proactive communication, trust building, and frequent engagement. Strategic leaders are the focal point for organizational learning. They promote a culture of inquiry, and they search for the lessons in both successful and unsuccessful outcomes. They study failures—their own and their teams’—in an open, constructive way to find the hidden lessons” (Koch, Luft, & Kruse, 2005).  The final conclusion was that in the past 20 years, the business world has moved towards gender equality.

HR Relationships

Having a positive relationship with the human resource department is a great strategic plan (Lawler, E., & Boudreau, J. 2009).  This meta-analysis study gave valuable insight that human resource workers can use when implementing strategies to enhance business productivity.The author suggests that over the last 10 years, the role of human resource personnel has changed drastically. They have become strategic planner. The study also examines the role of human resource workers in large corporations around the United States. The human resource workers should know each employee and their talents and capabilities. For example, “In human resource management practices (HRMP), individuals most likely have a higher level of communication with co-workers, employees and outsiders of the organization; a greater involvement of in decision making process. It can be said that individuals give high value to these new opportunities, as result their overall job satisfaction might increase when an employee participates in decision-making, he or she can trust his or her supervisors; perceive his or her jobs as challenging and intrinsically rewarding” (Lawler, E., & Boudreau, J. 2009). The limitation was that limited data was presented on the findings of using HR practices. This is a great resource because when new positions become available, human resource workers can begin their search within the employee pool. The author adds, “Also, as one of the human resource management practices, job rotation might increase employee’s job satisfaction by giving him/her a sense of belonging, reducing boredom, and mastering his/her skills needed for promotions” (Lawler, E., & Boudreau, J. 2009).

Productivity and Morale

Morale of workers plays a significant role in productivity of an organization. McPherson (2008), suggest that leadership and management skills are directly correlated with employee morale. This study took place of a 7 year period. The researchers use a qualitative approach to gather information. The study took place in several cities in California. The participants were from various ethnic groups including: African American, Latino, Dominican Republican, Caucasian, and Japanese. The main objective of this article is to determine ways to improve staff morale within organizations. Her findings suggest that leadership and management skills are directly correlated with employee morale. Yet, some employees maintain positive morale even when leadership and management skills were not effective. These employees were members of productive teams and have positive morale due to team accomplishments. The author outlined that skills like effective communication, clarity of rules, and performance oriented culture helped to improve employee morale. For example, “This allows the staff to fully understand their current tasks as well as showing the customer the up and coming personnel. It also gives the staff more ownership of their work, which again helps to minimize turnover” (McPherson, 2008). This article would be beneficial to human resource workers in various fields. The morale of employees is the key to productivity.  I believe, by ensuring that the employees are happy, human resource workers can ensure that the organization is successful. Although this article focuses on production workers, the same strategies could be used or duplicated in other organizations.

Media

The concept of brand talent developer was introduced by Professor Younger Smallwood and Dave Ulrich (Younger, J., Smallwood, N., & Ulrich, D., 2007). This study took place over a 6 year period of time and 6 large corporations were studied. A total of 4, 688 participants were used.  The information was gathered using surveys and interviews. Nearly 36 percent of the participants were of African American ethnicity. The study took place in several southern states. The concept of brand talent developer was introduced by Professor Younger Smallwood and Dave Ulrich. They believe that this concept ensures that significant career opportunities are available for people in the media world. In this article, they outline the important role that the human resource manager must take on. They point out that several well known companies have taken this approach. For example, Exxon Mobil, P&G, and Ketchum have used this strategy. However, to properly implement these strategies, the human resource workers must be properly trained.

Conclusion

Human resource personnel have been noted to play an important role in the success of an organization because they are the ones who determine the leadership direction. Workplace conflict is directly correlated with effective leadership. In the past 20 years, the business world has moved towards gender equality. Morale of workers plays a significant role in productivity of an organization

References

Avolio, B. J., Mhatre, K., Norman, S. M., & Lester, P. (2009). The moderating effect of gender on leadership intervention impact: An exploratory review. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 15(4), 325-341.

Guttman, H. (2009). Conflict Management as a Core Competency for HR Professionals. People and Strategy, 32(1), 32-39.

Koch, S. C., Luft, R., & Kruse, L. (2005). Women and leadership – 20 years later: A semantic connotation study. Social Science Information, 44(1), 9-39.

Lawler, E., & Boudreau, J. (2009). What Makes HR a Strategic Partner? People and Strategy, 32(1), 14-22.

McPherson, B. (2008). Reasons to be cheerful: Staff morale improves at Lancashire County Council. Human Resource Management International Digest,16(6), 10-13.

Waters, J. T., & Marzano, R. J. (2006). School district leadership that works: The effect of superintendent leadership on student achievement. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

Younger, J.,  Smallwood, N., &  Ulrich, D. (2007). Developing Your Organization’s Brand as a Talent Developer. HR. Human Resource Planning,30(2), 21-29.

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