Leadership and Management Distinctions and Development

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Defining Leadership and Management

Leaders and managers play a critical role in any business venture. However, there is a substantial difference between leaders and managers and their function in an organization. A variety of theories are employed to define and explain leadership and management. For example, trait theory surmises that leaders should possess specific qualities such as “high energy, integrity, the competence of their area of expertise, intelligence, and faith, among others” (Hunt and Fedynich, 2018, p. 22). Thus, within the framework of the trait theory, leadership can be defined as a natural ability that someone may possess. Trait theory surmised that some persons are born with a set of qualities that make them great leaders, while others who lack those qualities are incapable of developing them.

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In contrast to the trait theory, the situational approach considers the role of environmental factors in leadership development and the leader-subordinate dynamic. The situational and contingency theories separate leadership from an individual, viewing it as a function that can be implemented by people with different traits and natural abilities (Hunt and Fedynich, 2018). According to contingency theory, leadership can only be effective if applied in the right circumstances (Chow, Salleh and Ismail, 2017). In comparison, the situational approach argues that the leader should adopt different leadership styles to adapt to the situation (Hunt and Fedynich, 2018). In both theories, leadership can be defined as a function that a person can utilize to reach a desirable result.

Meanwhile, transformational leadership describes it as a process of change and transformation to achieve specific goals. Transformational leadership theory states that leaders help raise their followers to “higher levels of morality and motivation” (Chow, Salleh and Ismail, 2017, p. 150). It is noted that it is a bilateral process, and leaders and followers help further each other’s development. Overall, leadership has several definitions that describe the notion in terms of a specific theory.

Similarly, management definitions are specific to particular theories on the notion. One of the earliest theories is Taylor’s scientific management which states that managers should be able to match the best workers to tasks, provide supervision, and monitor their performance (Mind Tools, 2018). Taylorism expects managers to spend their time planning tasks and training employees (Mind Tools, 2018). Thus, within the Taylorism framework, management can be defined as the procedure of working process optimization. Elton Mayo developed the human relations theory that states that individual workers are more likely to perform better when given special attention from the manager (Gordon, 2021). Considering the human relations theory, management can be defined as supporting employees and facilitating their unique needs to achieve desired organizational outcomes.

One of the earliest management theories is Fayol’s six management functions approach. Fayol’s management theory distinguishes six management functions: forecasting, planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating and controlling (Bacud, 2020). Fayol also recognized 14 principles such as division of labor, degree of centralization, and unity of purpose to help train and educate future managers (Bacud, 2020). Thus, management can be defined as the process of planning and directing the workforce to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization.

Leadership and Management Distinctions

Leadership and management positions within an organization have several overlaps. Nevertheless, there are various distinctions between a leader’s work and a manager’s work. Thus, leaders and managers have different functions and play different roles in the direction of an enterprise. According to Scouller and Chapman (2021), leadership is “about change, inspiration, setting the purpose and direction, and building the enthusiasm.” Leaders help define the company’s direction and set its main goals and objectives for the employees, including managers. They are also responsible for creating a vision for the company reflected in the vision and mission statement. Meanwhile, managers work towards achieving the set goals and objectives and upholding the organizational vision. They are responsible for implementing tactical actions and guiding and managing the work of other employees to ensure the company follows the direction outlined to it by the leadership (Scouller and Chapman, 2021). Thus, leaders and managers play different functions in the organization’s business direction, with leadership outlining the company’s vision and management translating it into practice.

Furthermore, leaders and managers have distinct organizational relationships that serve different functions. Leaders guide others through inspiration and empowerment, motivating them to reach specific goals and objectives, including individual, professional and organizational ones (Scouller and Chapman, 2021). Leaders influence a group of employees to work willingly. They can also act as a coach or a facilitator, helping others to understand the group objectives and encouraging teamwork when necessary. In contrast, managers are responsible for planning and improving productivity (Scouller and Chapman, 2021). Similarly to leaders, managers can boost efficiency by motivating and encouraging employees. Nevertheless, their position is more official, and they are more focused on reaching the company’s objectives than the workers achieving their individual professional goals. In addition, managers are in charge of assigning and delegating tasks to their subordinates (Scouller and Chapman, 2021). They can also undertake the responsibility of training new employees. Thus, leaders and managers have distinct behavior patterns and interact and communicate with their subordinates differently.

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Moreover, leadership and management strive for different organizational and employee outcomes. According to Scouller and Chapman (2021), leaders aim for meaningful change and long-term improvement of the company they work for in the future. They encourage their followers to enhance their working habits and produce new solutions that can facilitate their personal and professional growth and the company growth as a result. Thus, the primary outcome leaders intend to achieve is to enable and expedite the development of the business. In contrast, managers are less concerned with change and strive for “stability and making the best use of resources” (Scouller and Chapman, 2021). The company’s management aims to reach the set goals and objectives with the least resources used. Although managers encourage efficiency and innovation, they are focused on maintaining stability within the company. Overall, numerous distinctions between leadership and management concepts are justified by the different positions within an organization and their different functions.

Leadership and Management Development

Development is critical for any profession or function as it promotes organizational growth. Leadership and management development can be defined as any developmental activities that help leaders and managers enhance their skills and competencies (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2021). According to Roupnel, Rinfret, and Grenier (2019), such development is necessary for becoming an effective leader or manager. Thus, leadership and management development are necessary for the overall development of an organization, and they enable and facilitate the company’s future direction.

There are numerous approaches to the formal and informal development of leadership and management. One of such approaches is action learning, the process of reflection and knowledge acquisition aimed at solving practical problems arising in the organization (Roupnel, Rinfret and Grenier, 2019). It traditionally takes the form of group meetings with managers from one or more companies participating in solving organizational issues. The approach encourages collaboration and reinforces various skills as leaders and managers are compelled to utilize them during group activities. However, the approach is time-consuming and can only be effective if the participants are selected from related fields of business.

Mentoring is another popular approach to leadership and management development. It is defined as a “support relationship involving two individuals in which knowledge, strengths, and experiences are passed on from a mentor to a mentee” (Roupnel, Rinfret and Grenier, 2019, p. 133). This approach is highly beneficial as it results in considerable experience gains by the junior leaders and managers and leads to acquiring up-to-date industry knowledge. Nevertheless, the approach has significant disadvantages, including a high level of dependence of the junior managers on their senior counterparts. In addition, mentees cannot always choose their mentor, leading to mismatches of personalities and junior specialists being paired with mentors that cannot offer them new knowledge.

Coaching is similar to mentoring, with leaders and managers being paired up with coaches that help them develop their skills and competencies. Unlike mentoring, coaches do not transfer their knowledge to their apprentices but play the role of facilitator, guiding them in identifying their own development goals (Roupnel, Rinfret and Grenier, 2019). Coaching is advantageous, allowing leaders and managers to increase their performance and improve self-reflection skills. However, the quality of such training depends on the experience and expertise of the coach. Coaching is also time-consuming, with numerous sessions for junior managers to develop their skills and gain new knowledge.

Another approach to leadership and management development is secondment. It can be defined as a form of staff rotation in which a manager is temporarily assigned to another department or company (Mizintseva, Sardarian and Chavykina, 2019). Thus, managers can be assigned to oversee another department in their organization. Secondment can lead to developing new skills that managers can apply after returning to their original position. In addition, secondment rotation can help leaders gain new perspectives and knowledge of how different departments operate. However, the approach can be time-consuming, with at least 80 working hours recommended for each secondment (Mizintseva, Sardarian and Chavykina, 2019). In addition, a poorly designed secondment placement is unlikely to result in meaningful development.

Learning and Development Function in Leadership and Management Development

The learning and development (L&D) function are essential for the growth of any enterprise. L&D aims to align employees’ goals and performance with that of the organization that employs them (Vinikas, 2021). The discussed organization has an L&D function incorporated within the human resources (HR) department. L&D managers are tasked with identifying skill gaps among employees and addressing them to further their individual and organizational development.

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L&D Function: Needs Analysis

The L&D function supports leadership and management development via a needs analysis conducted among the employees. In order to effectively guide development, the L&D function should carry out a needs assessment to determine the skills gaps of managers and leaders (Periyasamy, 2021). Organization-wide, individual, and task-related assessments can be performed to define the needs of the firm (Periyasamy, 2021). For example, a needs assessment can show that company managers lack conflict management skills, pointing to the necessity of such development. Thus, the L&D function outlines the direction of leadership and management development within the company.

L&D Function: Design

The L&D function of the HR department is accountable for the design and delivery of interventions and development programs for leadership and management. Such programs should be based on the skills gaps discovered with the help of the needs analysis. The appropriate leadership and management development approach and delivery mode are selected at this stage. For instance, the training on conflict management skills was conducted utilizing the action learning approach and face-to-face delivery mode.

L&D Function: Development

This stage includes the further development of training content by the HR department. The L&D function serves to produce content for the outlined training program, ensuring that its goals and objectives are aligned with the overall business goals (Vinikas, 2021). All learning materials to develop specific competencies should be prepared during this stage. Thus, for the action learning training program focused on facilitating the development of conflict management skills, the L&D function prepared materials, including real conflict situations observed in the company.

L&D Function: Implementation

The implementation stage of leadership and management development is concerned with the communication of the program to the company’s leaders and managers. Thus, the development of the conflict management skills program required the business’s department managers to participate in a series of seminars, where they worked in small groups on solving real conflict situations. The conflicts were selected from actual occurrences at the company that took place within the previous calendar year. Thus, the firm’s management and leadership development was based on appropriate information relevant to their place of work.

L&D Function: Evaluation

The final stage in the development process aims to assess the program results and evaluate participant outcomes in meeting the set goals and objectives. The evaluation stage is crucial as it determines whether the development was successful and helped the company leadership and management meet individual and organizational goals. For example, the successful completion of the conflict management scheme resulted in managers learning how to mediate conflict situations and overall performance and productivity improvement throughout the organization.

Indicators of Success for Leadership and Management Development Programs

The process of evaluating the success of the leadership and management development programs is critical. It illustrates whether the chosen approach is effective and appropriate or whether a new method should be considered for future interventions. Several indicators can be employed when evaluating the success of development programs implemented by a business venture. For instance, Kirkpatrick’s model measures the success of four levels: reaction, learning, behavior, and results (Kurt, 2018). It assesses participant satisfaction with the program, knowledge retention and skill development, and changes in behavior facilitated by the training (Kurt, 2018). The highest level of Kirkpatrick’s model, the results, evaluates the program’s overall success, accounting for organization-wide outcomes (Kurt, 2018). In the discussed case of conflict management training, the decrease in the number of conflicts reported to HR was considered the primary outcome indicating the program’s success. Formal and informal surveys measured such markers as employee satisfaction with training, knowledge retention, and behavioral changes.

Another framework for evaluating the success of training programs is Will Thalheimer’s Learning-Transfer Evaluation Model. The model considers such indicators as decision-making and task competencies and skill transfer and the effect of transfer on the organization to assess training success (Thalheimer, 2018). Thus, a program can be viewed as effective if the participants learn how to make better decisions when confronted with a specific situation, for example, a conflict between two employees. Furthermore, training program efficiency can be measured by outcomes affecting the learners, their coworkers and subordinates, and the organization (Thalheimer, 2018). Overall, Thalheimer’s framework accounts for several indicators that can be implemented to assess the management development scheme.

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A critical indicator of a successful training program is the retention of key employees. The HR department should consider that the company’s leadership and management are unlikely to remain in the employment of an organization that assigns them ineffective and unsuitable training. According to Adamska-Chudzińska (2020), the retention of employees requires timely motivational support. However, it can be argued that the necessity to attend training programs that do not offer new knowledge or skills to the leaders and managers of the company is demotivating. Thus, ineffective development is detrimental to the motivation of key workers and the company’s growth. Excessive implementation of unproductive training programs can lead to personnel searching for new employment opportunities, leading to high turnover rates.

Organizational culture surveys can also be utilized to evaluate the success of training programs. They can help assess the leadership and management styles of the company, operational policies, unwritten beliefs, and whether employees are satisfied with the organizational culture (O’Neil, 2020). Thus, surveys can be utilized to measure leadership and management satisfaction with implemented development programs. Employee satisfaction can serve as a critical indicator of training program efficiency. It can be argued that personnel satisfaction with a development scheme can translate into high knowledge retention and transfer into practice, whereas low satisfaction is detrimental to program success. Overall, the employment of organizational culture surveys serves as a reliable indicator of training program effectiveness.

Methods for Ensuring Success of Leadership and Management Development Programs

The organization considered for this report on leadership and management is a software development company focused on developing custom applications for other business ventures. The company employs over 200 personnel working both from the office and remotely, including several managers who oversee the performance of the teams assigned to them. The company regularly provides training sessions for IT, administrative, and management staff. The organizational culture surveys indicate a supportive environment with high employee satisfaction rates. Overall, the employees are satisfied with the offered development schemes, with low turnover rates among the IT developers and management staff.

Although training program evaluation helps elucidate their efficiency, it is more beneficial to implement methods for ensuring the success of leadership and management schemes. For example, 360-degree feedback can be implemented to facilitate leadership and management development. The feedback obtained from peers and program leaders is tangible as it identifies the areas for improvement for every employee (Explorance, 2020). The 360-degree feedback method can serve as the basis for designing and planning leadership and management development schemes. Programs aimed at developing specific skills required by the company’s employees are more beneficial than training focused on developing general skills, for example, communication skills. 360-degree feedback can help determine substantive skills gaps and help employees efficiently address them. In addition, continuous feedback can help evaluate achievements and identify further development areas, contributing to the company’s efficient training culture (Explorance, 2020). Thus, the 360-degree feedback technique is applicable for ensuring the success of leadership and management development.

Lessons learned is another method for evaluating training programs and ensuring their efficiency and successful implementation. Lesson learned is an ongoing process that can be implemented throughout the training program to evaluate and adjust it to the needs of the employees (Project Management Qualification, 2019). The program leader can identify and analyze the lessons learned reports collected from the training participants to evaluate the ongoing development and determine what knowledge and competencies should be addressed further (Project Management Qualification, 2019). This method is appropriate as it effectively ensures the efficiency of the leadership and management development scheme as it allows for evaluation during its implementation stage. It should be noted that program leaders should be prepared to adjust elements of the training program to improve the individual and organizational outcomes and ensure the program’s success.

Furthermore, assessment before and after the training can help evaluate the program and ensure training corresponds to the needs of the personnel and accounts for organizational demands. Surveys taken before the beginning of the development program can help identify what the participants expect to learn from the program and adequately address those expectations. In addition, the assessments before the training can be employed to adjust the program if needed to align it both with the company objectives and the participants’ individual professional objectives. The exit surveys can be utilized to assess the program’s success and can be implemented during the design stage of future leadership and management development schemes to increase their efficiency.

Reference List

Adamska-Chudzińska, M. (2020) ‘Employee retention management in the context of situational leadership’, Nierówności społeczne a wzrost gospodarczy, 62(2), pp. 214–227. doi: 10.15584/nsawg.2020.2.14.

Bacud, S. (2020) ‘Henri Fayol’s principles of management and its effect on organizational leadership and governance, Journal of critical reviews, 7(11), pp. 162–167. DOI: 10.31838/jcr.07.11.25.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2021) Management development, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Chow, T., Salleh, L.M. and Ismail, I.A. (2017) ‘Lessons from the major leadership theories in comparison to the competency theory for leadership practice’, Journal of Business and Social Review in Emerging Economies, 3(2), pp. 147–156. doi: 10.26710/jbsee.v3i2.86.

Explorance (2020) Why 360 Degree Feedback is Effective for Development, Explorance.

Gordon, J. (2021) Human Relations Theory of Management – Explained, The Business Professor

Hunt, T. and Fedynich, L. (2018) ‘Leadership: Past, present, and future: An evolution of an idea’, Journal of Arts & Humanities, 8(2), pp. 20–26.

Kurt, S. (2018) Kirkpatrick model: Four levels of learning evaluation, Educational Technology

Mind Tools (2018) Frederick Taylor and scientific management: Understanding Taylorism and early management theory, MindTools.com

Mizintseva, M., Sardarian, A. and Chavykina, M. (2019) ‘Personnel development of leadership capacity management in organizations’, in Strielkowski, W. Sustainable leadership for entrepreneurs and academics. Springer, pp. 91–101.

O’Neil, M. (2020) The company culture survey: Establish a strong culture, Peoplegoal.com

Periyasamy, R. (2021) Employee training needs analysis: Ultimate guide for L&D professionals, Apty.io

Project Management Qualification (2019) How to do lessons learned in project management, Project Management Professional Training

Roupnel, S., Rinfret, N. and Grenier, J. (2019) ‘Leadership development: Three programs that maximize learning over time’, Journal of Leadership Education, 18(2), pp. 126-142. doi: 10.12806/v18/i2/t1.

Scouller, J. and Chapman, A. (2021) Leadership vs. Management, Businessballs.com

Thalheimer, W. (2018) The learning-transfer evaluation model: Sending messages to enable learning effectiveness. Work Learning, pp. 1-34.

Vinikas, I. (2021) 5 reasons why learning and development is so important for organizations in 2021, Kaltura

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