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Brighton School of Business and Management Student Newsletter November 2010

News Update

At the start of the 2010 UK academic year 23 of our successful HND Higher National Diploma students transferred to Top-Up Bachelor Degrees at universities in the UK and elsewhere.

At the same time 27 of our successful Level 6 and 7 Diploma students transferred on to Masters level courses.

We are very proud of them and wish them every success on their new courses.

November Theme – Leadership

Leadership, once considered as only applicable to very senior managers operating at corporate, strategic levels, is now accepted as an essential element of management at all levels. Leadership style and attributes can be used effectively at all levels within an organisation, and in any type of organisation and any business sector.

It is an area of knowledge and understanding that all professionals must have, and which they must maintain and develop throughout their working lives.

We realize that those of you studying for higher level Management qualifications will already have knowledge of this, and the last 2 articles below should be of particular interest to you.

However, Leadership is a subject that is increasingly being introduced into many related courses, such as those covering Quality, Projects, Human Resources, Events, Marketing, Accounting, Purchasing & Supply, and it is our students on those courses that the first 2 articles below are particularly aimed at.

There are many thousands of articles on Leadership – here are a few that our Management tutor team felt would be of interest .

Personal & Career Development – Tip of the Month

Study of Leadership will provide developing managers and specialists with valuable tools and techniques that can be used to enhance their relationships with teams and individuals in their workplace, especially when moving to higher level of responsibility, and-or when moving into an organisation, or situation, where different leadership approaches are needed.

A positive first step would be to learn about the different leadership models and theories, and then to reflect on these from the point of view of which style you personally, naturally adopt, and how appropriate that is to the situation(s) you manage or operate in.

If there is a mismatch, then action is needed!

Leadership – Established Theories
There are 7 predominant theories.

The Great Man theory

This theory was prevalent at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century – the concept that leaders were born not made. They were, therefore, elevated as heroes. This theory is now discredited as it is now widely accepted that although certain personality traits may be helpful in leadership matters, there is much that anyone can do to improve their skills.

Power and influence theory

The essence of this theory lies in the fact that power and influence rest with the leader and negate the role of the followers and the strength of the organisation. Increasingly, the view that the position of leader inherently includes power is discounted and the consent of the team is viewed as desirable.

Behaviourist theory

The concept emphasises what leaders actually do rather than the possession of characteristics, and this still has some relevance for leaders today.

Situational theory

Situational leadership was championed by Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey (among others) with titles such as The One Minute Manager and The Situational Leader. This theory views leadership as being specific to a particular situation rather than reliant on a particular sort of personality or certain types of behaviour.

Contingency theory

This idea developed from situational theory and looks at situational variables which indicate the most appropriate leadership style to suit the circumstances.

Transaction theory

Increasingly fashionable and a classic, well-researched method, this places emphasis on the relationship between leaders and followers. It examines the mutual benefit from an exchange-based relationship. These exchanges include such areas as giving resources or rewards by the leader in exchange for the followers’ commitment or acceptance of the leader’s authority.

Transformational theory

Transformational leadership is based on intrinsic motivation. As such, emphasis is placed on commitment rather than compliance from the followers. The transformational leader is therefore, a proactive, innovative visionary.

* from an article by the BSBM Tutor Team

Leadership Styles

There are, of course, an infinite variety of ways in which a leader can behave, but it is generally accepted that there are 5 main styles of leadership.


This is dictatorial in that the leader makes and announces a decision, expecting it to be implemented without any discussion with the team. This would always be appropriate in an emergency. For example, ‘There’s a fire – vacate the building.’


Although here the leader will have made the decision, he or she will try to persuade their team to accept it by selling the benefits rather than just stating the decision. This method takes longer than just telling, but should gain more support for implementing the decision.


In this style of leading, the leader will present the issue to the team and encourage debate before making a decision. This can result in team members feeling that they have been consulted, but ignored if the suggestions they make are not adopted.


The leader and team discuss the matter together before arriving at a consensus decision. This is a good mechanism where the manager and team are likely to want the same things; it can become highly time-consuming if parties are unlikely to agree.


The leader gives the team freedom to make some, or all, decisions within the parameters laid down.

This last style raises the following four key questions:

1    First, can a leader-manager ever relinquish responsibility by delegating decision- making to someone else? The researchers Tannenbaum and Schmidt concluded that a leader-manager must be held responsible for the quality of the decisions made, even though, operationally, these decisions may have been made on a group basis. The leader-manager should therefore be prepared to accept whatever risk is involved whenever he or she delegates their decision-making power to the team.

2    Second, should the leader-manager participate with the team once he or she has delegated responsibility to the team? The leader-manager should carefully consider their role prior to involving the team members, considering if their presence will inhibit or facilitate the problem-solving process. There will be occasions when the group members will solve the problems better on their own, and similarly there will be times when the leader-manager will have some useful ideas to contribute to the situation. In these situations the leader-manager will see him or herself as a member of the team rather than as its leader.

3    Third, how important is it for the group to recognise the kind of leadership behaviour the leader-manager has been using? Tannenbaum and Schmidt felt it was very important that the team recognised the behaviour, as conflict and interpersonal problems occur when the leader has failed to make it clear how they plan to use their authority. It is very important that the leader-manager be honest and clear in describing his or her authority and the role being required from the team.

4    Last, can you tell how ‘democratic’ a leader-manager is by the number of decisions their team makes? The sheer number of decisions, Tannenbaum and Schmidt concluded, does not give an accurate account of the amount of freedom a team employs. More important is the significance of the decisions which the leader entrusts to his or her team.

Increasing team members’ participation in decision-making can:

·         raise their level of motivation

·         increase the readiness of individuals to accept change

·         improve the quality of all managerial decisions

·         develop teamwork and improve morale

·         further the development of individual team members

Team variables, such as cohesiveness, permissiveness, mutual acceptance and commonality of purpose, will exert a subtle but powerful influence on the ability of the team to function and to make effective decisions.

In the end, the problem itself will determine what level of authority should be delegated by the leader-manager to the team.

Today’s leader-manager is unlikely to function effectively without delegating some routine decision-making to their team. If the team is new, and has significant development-needs, it may be the medium-term strategy to move systematically to the point where the team is more autonomous, releasing the leader-manager’s time for developing individuals, looking at the wider picture and long-term planning issues.

The careful leader is one who can behave appropriately in the light of the above points. If direction is required, directions should be given; if considerable participative freedom is called for, the manager should be able to provide a framework for such freedom.

To summarise, the three main factors that are important when deciding on the most appropriate leadership style are to do with:

·         you, the leader: your confidence in your team, your own personal values and experience, your background and enthusiasm for leadership

·         your team members: their expectations, readiness to assume responsibility, interest, personality, understanding of the aims of the organisation and the department

·         the situation: the type of task, the time available, the environment, who’s involved

* summarised from BSBM study notes

The Impact of Leadership Style on the Organisation


A leader is a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal while leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal.
Different leadership style will result in different impact to organization. The leader has to choose the most effective approach of leadership style depending on situation because leadership style is crucial for a team success. By understanding these leadership styles and their impact, everyone can become a more flexible and better leader.

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leadership is a term used to classify a group of leadership theories that inquire the interactions between leaders and followers. This style of leadership starts with the premise that team members agree to obey their leader totally when they take a job on. The “transaction” is usually that the organization pays the team members, in return for their effort and compliance.
As such, the leader has the right to “punish” team members if their work doesn’t meet the pre-determined standard. Team members can do little to improve their job satisfaction under transactional leadership. The leader could give team members some control of their income/reward by using incentives that encourage even higher standards or greater productivity.
Alternatively a transactional leader could practice “management by exception”, whereby, rather than rewarding better work, he or she would take corrective action if the required standards were not met.

Transactional leadership is really just a way of managing rather a true leadership style, as the focus is on short-term tasks. It has serious limitations for knowledge-based or creative work, but remains a common style in many organizations.

Autocratic Leadership

Under the autocratic leadership styles, all decision-making powers are centralized in the leader as shown such leaders are dictators. Autocratic leadership is an extreme form of transactional leadership, where a leader exerts high levels of power over his or her employees or team members. People within the team are given few opportunities for making suggestions, even if these would be in the team’s or organization’s interest.

Many people resent being treated like this. Because of this, autocratic leadership often leads to high levels of absenteeism and staff turnover. Also, the team’s output does not benefit from the creativity and experience of all team members, so many of the benefits of teamwork are lost. For some routine and unskilled jobs, however, this style can remain effective, where the advantages of control outweigh the disadvantages.

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is a leadership style that is defined as leadership that creates valuable and positive change in the followers. A transformational leader focuses on “transforming” others to help each other, to look out for each other, to be encouraging and harmonious, and to look out for the organization as a whole. In this leadership, the leader enhances the motivation, morale and performance of his follower group. A person with this leadership style is a true leader who inspires his or her team with a shared vision of the future.
Transformational leaders are highly visible, and spend a lot of time communicating. They don’t necessarily lead from the front, as they tend to delegate responsibility amongst their teams. While their enthusiasm is often infectious, they can need to be supported by “detail people”.

In many organizations, both transactional and transformational leadership are needed. The transactional leaders (or managers) ensure that routine work is done reliably, while the transformational leaders look after initiatives that add new value.

Servant Leadership

This term, coined by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970s, describes a leader who is often not formally recognized as such. When someone, at any level within an organization, leads simply by virtue of meeting the needs of his or her team, he or she is described as a “servant leader”. Servant Leadership’s focus was on the leader as a servant, with his or her key role being in developing, enabling and supporting team members, helping them fully develop their potential and deliver their best. In many ways, servant leadership is a form of democratic leadership, as the whole team tends to be involved in decision-making.

Supporters of the servant leadership model suggest it is an important way ahead in a world where values are increasingly important, and in which servant leaders achieve power on the basis of their values and ideals. Others believe that in competitive leadership situations, people practicing servant leadership can find themselves “left behind” by leaders using other leadership styles.
Followers may like the idea of servant leadership so there’s something immediately attractive about the idea of having a boss who’s a servant leader. People without responsibility for results may like it for its obviously democratic and consensual approach.

Charismatic Leadership

The Charismatic Leader and the Transformational Leader can have many similarities, in that the Transformational Leader may well be charismatic. Their main difference is in their basic focus.
Whereas the Transformational Leader has a basic focus of transforming the organization and quite possibly, their followers, the Charismatic Leader may not want to change anything. A charismatic leadership style can appear similar to a transformational leadership style, in that the leader injects huge doses of enthusiasm into his or her team, and is very energetic in driving others forward.

However, charismatic leaders can tend to believe more in themselves than in their teams. This can create a risk that a project, or even an entire organization, might collapse if the leader were to leave because in the eyes of their followers, success is tied up with the presence of the charismatic leader. As such, charismatic leadership carries great responsibility, and needs long-term commitment from the leader.

Democratic Leadership or Participative Leadership

Although a democratic leader will make the final decision, he or she invites other members of the team to contribute to the decision-making process. This not only increases job satisfaction by involving employees or team members in what’s going on, but it also helps to develop people’s skills. Employees and team members feel in control of their own destiny, and so are motivated to work hard by more than just a financial reward. Democratic leadership can produce high quantity work for long periods of time. Many employees like the trust they receive and respond with cooperation, team spirit, and high morale.
As participation takes time, this style can lead to things happening more slowly than an
autocratic approach, but often the end result is better. It can be most suitable where team working is essential, and where quality is more important than speed to market or productivity.

Laissez-Faire Leadership

The laissez-faire leadership style is also known as the “hands-off¨ style. It is one in which the manager provides little or no direction and gives employees as much freedom as possible. All authority or power is given to the employees and they must determine goals, make decisions, and resolve problems on their own.

This French phrase means “leave it be” and is used to describe a leader who leaves his or her colleagues to get on with their work. It can be effective if the leader monitors what is being achieved and communicates this back to his or her team regularly. Most often, laissez-faire leadership works for teams in which the individuals are very experienced and skilled self-starters. Unfortunately, it can also refer to situations where managers are not exerting sufficient control.

The advantage of this kind of style is positive only in the case when the employees are very responsible and in case of creative jobs where a person is guided by his own aspirations. In these cases, less direction is required so this style can be good.

This style has more disadvantages because usually it is the result of the lack of interest of the leader that leads to his adopting this style. It proves poor management and makes the employees lose their sense of direction and focus. The disinterest of the management and leadership causes the employees to become less interested in their job and their dissatisfaction increases.

Bureaucratic Leadership

Found in most public sector organisations, this is a style of leadership that emphasizes procedures and historical methods regardless of their usefulness in changing environments. Bureaucratic leaders attempt to solve problems by adding layers of control, and their power comes from controlling the flow of information. Bureaucratic leaders work “by the book”, ensuring that their staff follow procedures exactly.

This is a very appropriate style for work involving serious safety risks such as working with machinery, with toxic substances, at heights or where large sums of money are involved such as cash-handling. In other situations, the inflexibility and high levels of control exerted can demoralize staff, and can diminish the organization’s ability to react to changing external circumstances.


Three factors that influence which leadership styles to use:
1) The manager personal background
2) Staff being supervised – The leadership styles used will vary depending upon the individual staff and what he or she will respond best to.

3) The organization – The traditions, values, philosophy, and concerns of the organization influence how a manager acts.

In determining the best leadership styles it is clear that:

1) There is no one best leadership style as leaders must adjust their leadership style to the situation as well as he people being led.

2) There are many different aspects to being a great leader. This role requiring one to play many different leadership styles to be successful.

3) Every leader has their own dominant style which they use widely in a wide variety of situations.

* An article from the Tutor Team at BSBM

Ethical Leadership

We’ve seen some high profile ethical failures in the press in recent years -senior management of several well-known companies being found guilty of bribery and corruption – executive managers of international banks allowing malpractices and abuses of customer funds – executives in city financial companies tacitly approving insider trading.

Other organisations have been found guilty of behaving unethically towards members of their staff and-or customers, by discriminating or treating them unfairly, whilst others have behaved unethically by outsourcing production to the developing world and exploiting child labour working in appalling conditions.

What we rarely see, however, are stories about the numerous companies that are managed by ethical leaders. While standards seem to keep falling in some corporations, other leaders “raise the bar” and inspire their teams to do the same.

These leaders do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons. They put their ethics before the bottom line – and as a result, they have dedicated teams that would do almost anything for them.

Define Your Organization’s Values

To lead your team with character and integrity, you must set an example. Your team looks to you for guidance. To begin, you must know your own values as well as your organization’s values.

For example, the global technology giant 3M is well known for its company values. Why?

Because the entire team – from top executives all the way down to the mailroom – live and breathe the principles of honesty and integrity every day. 3M communicates clearly that it wants its staff to do things like keep promises, have personal accountability, and respect others in the workforce.

Every leader in the company knows this, so they work by these rules. And as a result, everyone else follows.

As a leader, you need to know the rules and codes of conduct that should be applied in your workplace, your organisation – and to make sure you enforce them.

Your personal values are also important. If the company’s written rules don’t say that you must be fair to everyone, but this value is important to you – then, of course, you’re going to do it.

Good leaders follow their personal values as well as organizational values.

Ask yourself these questions:

·         What standards of behaviour are really important to my company?

·         What specific values do I admire in certain leaders? Do I identify with those values?

·         Would I still live by those values, even if they put me at a competitive disadvantage?

Set the Tone

Now that you know your company’s core values, you can begin to set the tone and create the right environment for your team and your organization. Again, leading by example is the best way to do this.

It’s what you do, not what you say, that demonstrates to your team what you care about.

So, if your company values honesty above all else, then make sure you demonstrate that by being honest with everyone around you. If your company values free speech, then make sure you allow your team to communicate their ideas openly.

Next, establish consequences for team members who don’t follow corporate values. If you allow someone to come in late continuously without making up the hours, that won’t set a good example for the rest of the team.

You need good consequences as well. Set up some kind of reward system for team members who consistently act according to the company values.

Storytelling is a great way to reinforce and communicate these values. If you know of team members – or even clients – who acted ethically in difficult situations, then tell their stories.

This shows your staff that they can do it as well. To learn more, see the Mind Tools article on the art of business storytelling.

By getting your team interested in ethical conduct, you communicate how important these values are to both you and your organization.

Recognize Ethical Dilemmas

We’re often faced with tough choices in the workplace. Most of the time, however, ethical dilemmas aren’t obvious, and they can be hidden in ways that are hard to uncover.

So, how do you recognize these dilemmas?

Identify “trigger” situations – Certain situations seem to attract ethical dilemmas. Some of these are areas like purchasing, hiring, firing, promoting, and calculating bonuses.
There can also be other unexpected situations. You could make a mistake – will you admit it to your boss, or try to cover it up? Or you could discover that a colleague is acting unethically – do you protect the person or tell someone?
By recognizing when these situations might occur, you can make the right decisions when and if something actually happens.

Prepare in advance – Imagine yourself in the situations we just mentioned. What would you do if you knew one of your colleagues was about to be fired, but you weren’t legally allowed to tell her?
Putting yourself in these imaginary situations can help you work through your feelings and decide what you would do if the situation became real. In real life, you may have only seconds to reach a decision. Of course, you won’t be able to imagine every possible ethical dilemma you might face, but this exercise WILL help you get to know your values, and it can prepare you for the decisions you may have to make.

Listen to your “inner voice” – Your conscience often tells you that something isn’t right, even if this is just a feeling of uneasiness with something. If you face a situation that makes you uncomfortable, or goes against one of your core values or beliefs, then make sure that you stop and think things through rationally.

Re-evaluate your decision before you act – If you’re in a difficult situation and you aren’t sure what to do, make a decision. But before you act on that decision, ask yourself how you would feel if your actions were in the company newsletter or on the evening news for everyone to see. Would you be proud of what you did? If not, then reconsider your decision.

When in Doubt

At times, you’ll make a decision but still wonder if you did the right thing. You may be uncomfortable, but these situations can teach you to trust yourself and your instincts. If you calm your anxiety and look logically at the situation, your instincts will often guide you in the right direction.

Key Points

Ethical living – and leading – takes courage and conviction.

It means doing the right thing, even when the right thing isn’t popular or easy.

But when you make decisions based on your core values, then you tell the world that you can’t be bought – and you lead your team by example.

Once you identify your company’s core values as well as your own, you can start to set the tone with your team and your organization.

Actions always speak louder than words, so make sure you do as you would wish others to do.

* an extract from BSBM study material

Featured BSBM Courses

If Leadership is already a significant, part of your role, or you believe it will be in the near future, we have three internationally recognised Leadership qualifications that may be of interest to you.

These are the:

Award in Leadership – an introductory, foundation level

Certificate in Leadership – covering the core areas of knowledge and understanding

Diploma in Leadership – which provides comprehensive coverage of the subject

All three are UK Accredited at Level 5 on the National Qualifications Framework by Edexcel – internationally respected as one of the leading educational and professional accreditation bodies, with offices in over 100 countries.

For details of these courses, please visit:

Study Resources of the Month

As this issue is focused on Leadership – here are some recommendations related to that topic:


Ernst and Chrobot-Mason – Boundary Spanning Leadership: Six Practices for Solving Problems, Driving Innovation, Transforming Organisations (McGraw Hill, 2010) ISBN: 0076138873

Thomas and Staub – Understanding Leadership: A Framework for Thought and Practice (Sage, 2010) ISBN: 076193040X

Denning – The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century (Jossey Bass, 2010) ISBN: 047058681

Burke and Cooper – Leading in Turbulent Times (Blackwell, 2003) ISBN: 145011522X


“…. … packed with information, articles, reports … everything you wanted to know about Quality…”  – our thanks to Malik

 “…. … Body of Knowledge very useful ….” – our thanks to Kim

Quotes from the Gurus

“A leader is best when people barely know they exist – when the work is done, the aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves” – Lao Tzu

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way” – John C Maxwell

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” – Harold McAlindon

 “What chance gathers she easily scatters – a great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together” – Johann von Goethe

“Anyone can steer the ship when the sea is calm” – Publilius Syrus

“Leadership is action, not position.” – Donald McGannon

Useful Study Links

advice, guidance, articles, on leadership issues

information, guidance, advice on leadership and related subjects

many sections on leadership issues

consultancy offering free articles and newsletter on leadership

Centre for Creative Leadership offering research reports on creative leadership approaches

extracts from Harvard Business Review articles

Chartered Management Institute has huge amount of information on leadership


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