Leadership and teamwork are some of the major drivers in the success of an organization. The 21st century has come with various challenges that require new ways of managing organizations. There have been unprecedented changes in the environment in which organizations operate. The changes in the business environment call for organizations to structure themselves in a way that allows them to be more competitive in the new business environment. It is the leadership of an organization that is given the responsibility to deal with change. They have to come up with techniques that make their organization more competitive in their areas. However, the business environment is becoming more competitive. Technological advancement and globalization have led to rapid changes in the business environment. Globalization has called for organizations to be able to deal with diversity.
Working in a team is a common phenomenon with a majority of people. Teamwork has become one of the techniques that are widely used as a way to gain a competitive advantage over other organizations. However, the main challenge that is faced by the majority of organizations is how to strengthen working teams and avoid negative behavior in working teams. A multicultural working environment has led to more challenges in team management. Team management has to ensure that there is effective cooperation between team members despite cultural diversity. Leadership is very important in team management. Leaders in working teams have to ensure that there is harmony between team members and that the team goals are attained.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) has grown to become a strong economy. Twenty years ago, the country’s heavily depended on oil. However, the country has been able to develop other areas of its economy to become one of the strongest economies in the Middle East. The country has attracted many other types of businesses, attracted more investors, telecommunication companies, and service-based companies. To succeed in business, UAE has explored new ways to manage its organizations. Business management in UAE companies is looking at ways to strengthen teamwork in their organizations.
There has been increased interest in the role of teamwork in organization and performance. Many organizations emphasize working teams and teamwork. Employees are expected to cooperate in their roles in an organization and move together as a team towards the organization’s goals. Teamwork is important business management in UAE. Working teams are emerging as an important tool in business management in the country. Leadership is very important in teamwork. A team cannot work together without leadership. To provide leadership in teamwork, leaders in the teams use different leadership styles. Leadership and Teamwork have been widely studied; there are many kinds of literature that explore leadership and teamwork. This literature review explores different opinions from various scholars on leadership style. In particular, the literature review wants to find the relationship between leadership styles and teamwork.
Definition of leadership
Leadership plays an important role in society and business. There are many definitions of leadership. Various scholars and individuals have tried to define leadership depending on how they understood the roles of leaders. According to Stogsdill, the definitions of leadership are as many as the individuals that have tried to define the concept of leadership. This shows that different individuals understand the role of leaders differently and try to derive the definition of leadership from their understanding of the role of leaders. According to Chemers, leadership is the process through which and individual influence of support other individuals toward attaining a common goal. The role of followers in leadership also influences the definition of leadership. According to Alan, leadership is the process that creates ways through which other individuals can contribute to the solution of a problem. According to the author, leadership should be distinguished from other aspects such as posturing. According to him, leadership involves playing a major to the achievement of a particular goal. Over time, historical figures have tried to understand leadership on the benefits that are obtained from leadership. Napoleon Bonaparte understood a leader as a person that instills hope towards a specific goal. According to him, a leader should help his or her follower to overcome the challenges to their common goals. A leader would create and share a vision that he or she would like to be achieved.
According to Rost, there are various controversies over the definitions of leadership. However, according to him, the various definitions of leadership are important in understanding the challenges experienced in conceptualizing and practicing leadership. According to Stogdill, the use of the term leadership was aimed at differentiating it from headship. According to him, leadership was opposed to headship which was based on usurpation, inheritance, or appointment. The new definition of leadership expanded its use in different areas of life. According to Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, leadership in various areas such as health, education, business management, and other areas share similarities that influence its definition in a particular area. According to the author, leadership in the modern days differs significantly from leadership in an earlier day. According to the author, leadership in modern days does not include the direct influence of a leader but also the indirect influence that a leader can have on the attainment of a specific goal.
There has been increased interest in teamwork in the recent past. According to Larson, Frank, and LaFasto, success in organizations that encourage teamwork has raised interest in teamwork in organizations. According to West, the major concern for teamwork is how people can cooperate and combine effort towards a certain goal. According to him, the various challenges that are faced in modern society call for cooperation between individuals. According to Larson, Frank, and LaFasto, the combined effort in teams is capable of achieving almost anything. However, according to them, teamwork is faced many challenges. According to the people seem to lack the ability to work together without conflicts. According to West, the challenges that are faced in teamwork can be overcome by using immense and powerful human capabilities. According to him, a simple answer to teamwork challenges is not possible since there is variation from one organization to another.
According to West, there are two main dimensions of functioning of a team: the task to be performed and the social factors in the teams. Work teams in organizations are created with expectation that they would lead to better performance than when employees work as individuals. It in hoped that, teamwork would lead to easier attainment of an organization’s objectives. According to Larson, Frank and LaFasto, composition of a working is dictated by the tasks assigned to a team.
Teams are important tools in modern organizational management. According to Nurmi, teamwork has become important managing human resource in organizations. He argues that working teams can help to improve performance. According to him, teamwork in organizations enables different individual to cooperate, minimizing their weakness while maximizing their strength. Definitions of teams differ depending on where the term is used. According to Nurmi, a team has higher meaning than just a group of people that come together in pursuit of certain goals. Salas et al argues posits that the commonly accepted meaning of teamwork is collections of individuals that work together to attain a common goal. Salas et al assert that the structure of a team differs from one team to another. The teams can have a rigid structure with well defined roles and hierarchical chain of command. On the other hand, a team can have a flexible structure where individuals in the teams have similar capabilities and tasks for the teams are allocated to the best available member. In the flexible teams, none of the team members is responsible for all the decisions but the decisions are made through consensus. According to Salas et al, some teams are formed transiently while others work together for an extended period of time.
According to Salas et al, the element of shared goal is important to teamwork. They argue that the notion of common goal is what bind the team together and make them cooperate rather than acting in mere self interest. Conti and Kleiner claim that team member do not aim at achieving their personal goals at the expense of other members. Instead, the members aim at achieving synergy where the team’s goals are placed before individual goals. Salas el al argues that team players aim making contributions that can benefit other members of the team and lead to efficient achievement of the team’s goals. In addition, according to Conti and Kleiner, team member are motivated toward cooperating with each other and avoid interfering with other members of their teams. The team members have a sense of common responsibility to their teams. Salas et al argues than team players are willing to step for another member and are also ready to take responsibility on behalf of their other members. Conti and Kleiner claim that the willingness to step in for other team members leads to fault tolerance in teams.
Leadership is important in teamwork. A team is viewed as a unit in an organization. As leadership affect performance in an organization, it affects performance of a working team. The different leadership styles can be used in team management. However, according to Klein and Pierce, the kind of leadership style affects the performance in a team and the organization at large. The concept common goal is important to teamwork. According to Klein and Pierce, the common goals is what unites the team members together enable them to achieve their common objectives. To have the necessary cohesion required in teamwork, leadership is required. According to Rouse et al, teamwork relies heavily on the notion of mutual awareness. He argues that mutual awareness does not depend on he shared goals alone but also on other characteristics of a team. He posits that static information such as the structure of a team can affect cohesion and performance of a team. The mission objectives, plan and dynamic information, such as present tasks, intermediate goals and achievement status also affect performance of a team. According to Rouse et al, leadership in teamwork help to achieve shared mental model of a team.
There are various leadership styles that are used in leadership. According to Goldman, leaders use leadership styles that they find to be more effective with them. Some leadership styles are natural to some people but others have to be learnt. Goldman argues that the biggest mistake made by managers is to assume that leadership style is determined by personality rather than strategic choice. He claims that leaders can choose a leadership style that is more effective to their situation. He says that research has confirmed that successful leaders have strengths in self awareness, motivation, self-regulation, motivation and social skill. He claims the basic leadership styles use emotional intelligence but in different combination. He argues that good leader do not use only on leadership style but they are skilled in several leadership styles which they switch depending on situation.
Leadership and leadership styles are widely discussed in literatures. The most dominant styles acknowledged by most literatures are transformational and transactional leadership styles. According to Beck and Yeager, transformational and translational leadership provides the true broad ways of categorizing leadership style. However, they argue that other leadership styles exist in between the two categories. Leaders in working teams use various leadership styles that fall in between the two major categories. In some cases a leader may use more than one leadership style depending on different situations.
Definitions of transformational and transactional leadership styles were first done by Burns. Burns identifies the two as the main styles that are used in leadership. He developed theories to differential and explain the two leadership styles. Using translational theory of leadership, burn explained that leader and follows use an invisible contract to guide their relationship. In this style, the leader aim at exchanging something valuable for performance by the subordinates. The subordinate are motivated by the promises made by the leader. According to Burns, the factors that motivate the subordinates include reward, praise, and other promises. However the subordinates are corrected by reproof disciplinary actions or punishment. Transformational leadership style has different characteristic as translational leadership style. Burns et al argue that transformational leadership has four components: charisma, individual consideration, intellectual stimulation and inspirational motivation. According to Burns et al, transformational leadership styles one which allows both the leader and subordinate to motivate each other. In this style the followers consider themselves to share in the values of their leader.
The review focuses on broader view of leadership styles other than the two broad categories. In their four-factor leadership model, Sims and Manz identified four categories of leadership styles. The categorize leadership style into Strong man, Transformational, Translational and empowering leadership styles. Strongman or Directive leadership style constitutes a leadership style that is characterized by a highly directive or even dictatorial style of leadership. Manz and Sims say the individuals that are associated with this style use their position to exert power on their subordinate. They add that the individuals using this style of leadership make decisions in an organization without consulting other individuals in the organization. Despite of making decisions without consulting other stakeholders, the leader expect his subordinates to comply with the decision without asking questions. According to Pearce and Sims, Directive leaders are leaders who take up situations and give directives without consulting other individuals. These leaders believe that they are best skilled or informed to make decisions and thus fail to consult other individuals. According to Pearce, the Directive leader would use some form of punishment against the subordinates if their directives are not followed. Manz and Sims claim that some form of directive leadership involves intimidation, assigned goals, fear based compliance and contingent reprimand.
Transactional leadership is viewed as conventional leadership style where a leader rewards the subordinate for completing tasks or compliance. According to Hartog and Van Muujen, translation leaders and their followers exist in a mutual contract where each side promises its responsibility. They argue that the followers in a translational leadership are aware their leaders’ expectation. Thus, the followers strive to fulfill what is expected of them in order to receive their rewards. The leadership style is framed on a rational exchange approach. Hartog and Muujen argue that the main focus of the style is the goals. The followers are evaluated and rewarded depending on their ability to meet the expected goals, The power of the leaders in transactional leadership result from their ability to provide of deny rewards. According to Manz and Sims, transactional leader’s conduct incorporates personal recognition, individual reward, material reward as well as interactive goal setting. Bass and Avolio point at rewards and incentives, close monitoring and taking corrective measures as the area that are most important in transactional leadership.
Unlike transactional leadership, transformational leaders inspire the followers towards the organizations goals. According to Thorn, the followers are so motivated that they work to the good of an organization. Pearce and Sims indentify view charismatic leadership, intellectual stimulation, idealized attributes, inspirational motivation and idealized behavior as the main dimension of transformational leadership. Transformational leaders create an image of the future in the followers. Motivated by the articulated vision, the followers are motivated and dedicate all their energy towards achieving the articulated vision. In controversial situations, transformational leaders are able to take a firm stand and, consequently, motivated the followers to take similar stands and work towards them. According to Bass and Avolio, transformational leaders provide their followers with intellectual stimulation to be able to view challenges from different perspective and be able to come up with solutions. They argue that transformational leaders emphasize on values, morals, belief and trust rather than goals only. Godard and Lenhardt refer to leaders who are followed by their followers because of the confidence that they demonstrate as having idealized attributes. The attributes of the leaders are able to motivate the followers towards certain organizational goals. Manz and Sims argue that, a transformational leader gives his/her vision, inspires and persuades his/her followers while taxing the status quo.
Arnold et al refer to empowering leadership style as a style of leadership that inspires the followers to lead themselves. They argue that Empowering leaders are not content with leading other individuals but want to create leadership traits in the followers. By creating self-leadership in the followers, empowering leaders can trust their followers in decision making. According to Manz and Sims, this leadership style is not common. After empowering the followers, the followers no longer require a leader since they are capable of leading themselves. Salam et al maintain that, distinctive leaders portray positive empowering behaviors and demonstrate self-leadership while developing it by giving incentives as well as constructive correction. The success of Super leaders is evaluated by their ability o maximize contributions from other individuals by empowering them to lead themselves. Unlike the Directive leaders, Empowering leader do not try to bend their followers wills by use of authority but inspire them to make better decisions by themselves.
Factor Affecting Choice of Leadership Style
Leadership style differs from place to another and from one individual to the other. Some authors associate leadership style with the personality of an individual. However, some scholars maintain that leaders consider various factors before choosing a leadership style. Tannenbaum and Schmiasdt claimed that three forces do affect the leadership style that is preferred. They identified the three forces as the leader herself, followers and situation. Yulk on the other hand identifies level in hierarchy, size of organization unit, function of a unit, characteristic of tasks, crisis situation, lateral interdependence, follower’s competence and organization’s lifecycle as the factors that affect choice of a leadership style. Herbert, on the other hand argue that choice of leadership style is determined by need for participation, distance of leadership and result of commitment. Maheshwari argues that decision in an organization depend of a number of factors including characteristic of an organization, context, nature of decision, and preference of decision makers. The level of difficulty of a task also affects the style of leadership that is assumed by a leader. On the other hand, Whyte argues that nature of a task; experience and skill of subordinate, power available to a leader; organization factor, leader’s personality, and time and leadership style preferred by the subordinates are the main factors that determine choice of a leadership style.
Relationship between leadership and team performance
Many organizations in the world have been concerned about how they can improve their performance. According to Herbert, many organizations look for ways that can improve their performance and make them more competitive in their areas. Leadership is an important factor in the performance of organizations. Various scholars believe that there is a strong relationship between an organization’s performance and leadership. Various scholars in management have addressed the relationship between organizations performance and leadership styles. Research studies of relationship between performance and leadership styles have been focused on the major leadership styles. Relationships between performance and leadership style have been observed in transformational and transactional leadership styles. In differentiating transformational and transactional leadership styles, Bernard Bass identifies various relationships between leadership style and performance. According to him, transactional and transformational leadership style has different effect of performance depending on the situation where they are applied. Bryman and Avery assert that leadership styles can be viewed depending on social, economical or cultural background. Their observations imply that leadership styles can affect performance differently. This brings the need to consider the context under which a leadership style is applied when evaluating its effect on performance. To comprehend the effect of leadership styles in solidarity, one has to appreciate the connection involving leadership style and performance. Effective leadership in teams is viewed as an important factor in gaining competitive advantage in the modern business environment. According to Rowe, transactional leadership style in a team helps an organization to link rewards to individual or team performance. A visionary leader in a working team creates the vision and motives other team members to work towards the created vision. Zhu et al argues that transformational leadership style can lead to higher level of cohesion, trust, commitment and motivation within a working team. In consequence this can lead to higher individual and group performance.
Effect of leadership is vital to the overall performance of an organization. According to Mehra et al, many organizations focus on ways to improve leadership performance when trying to gain competitive advantage over other organizations. They argue that this is because of the fact that team leaders play an important role determining collective norms. In consequence this help teams to cope with their environment and help to coordinate the collective team actions. According to Guzzo and Dickson, leader-centered perspective of leadership gives insight into the relationship between leadership style and performance in a team.
Leadership Styles in Middle East
There limited literature on human resource management from the Middle East. However, a number studies have addressed leadership and teamwork in Middle East. Ali et al, in a study on decision styles of United Arab Emirates’ managers, observed that most managers used consultative style of decision making. In another study on decision making styles on Arab countries, Ali observed that consultative decision making style was predominant. Other studies also point to consultative style of decision making among Arab Executives.
In a study on decision styles used by Jordanian managers, Dahha observed that most of the top managers used authoritative style of leadership. Similar observations had been observed among managers in Middle Eastern. Directive leadership style was observed on managers from India. Employees in the studies had behaviors that suggest that consultative style was used. The employee had high commitment to their organizations, higher level of satisfaction, and higher performance. These indicated that consultative style was being used. A number studies also show that leadership in Middle East encouraged consultation and participation. Ali et al observed that consultation was common with Arab leaders. Their study and indicated that leadership style in Arab countries were highly influenced by religion and culture.
Leadership and Teamwork in UAE
There is less literatures on leadership Teamwork in United Arabs Emirates. However, some scholars have addressed the topic in details. According to Inkson and Clinton, the main factor in management in UAE is managing diversity. They suggest that leadership style should be able to adapt to various situations. They say that cultural diversity is a major leadership factor in United Arab Emirates. To be a good leader in UAE, they advise that leaders should have cultural intelligence. According to Clinton and Inkson, leadership style in Unite Arabs Emirate is highly influenced by religion and culture. They claim that Islam has influenced leadership and teamwork in UAE. Leadership position in the country is predominantly occupied by males. Ali et al argue that leadership in UAE is influenced by Islam and culture. They say that business leaders in the region feel the responsibility to nurture and protect their employees. The resulting leadership style is one that is characterized by personal autocracy. According to Clinton and Inkson, the leadership style is characterized by high conformity that is motivated by respect for the leaders. However, they argue that leadership styles and teamwork in UAE is in constant change. Multinational companies and constant interaction with other cultures has brought other leadership styles.
There are several discrepancies in the leadership styles employed by different individuals. Avery identified four dimensions of leadership: classical, visionary, transactional and organic. He argues that the four leadership styles can be differentiated by use of the thirteen indices. The indices that are included in this review include decision making, power distance between a leader and the followers, range of staff power, key player of the team, team members responsibility, there are differences between one leadership styles to another. Avery identified thirteen factors to differentiate her four paradigms source of team member commitment, situation of management and leadership in the working teams, control in the organization and the situation diversity in the working teams.
The nine criteria are considered to be more relevant in measuring leadership styles than the other four Avery’s criteria.
Classical leadership is considered to be the oldest paradigm of leadership. The leadership style originated for the antiquity but it is still being used in contemporary organizations. The leadership style is characterized by a dominant individual or elite group. The leadership is either cohesive or benevolent or, in some cases, a mixture of both. The style has its benefits as well as limitations. According to Avery, the style leads to faster decisions. However, the leader may not be able to sustain his or her dominance for a long time leading to conflicts. Using the nine criteria, leaders under classical paradigm usually use an autocratic style in decision making, followers are either limitedly or never involved in decision making; these leaders do not empower their follower but aim at having an dominance presence. The classical leaders tend to be more directives leaving the followers with no power in their teams. The main source of the followers’ commitment is either respect of fear of their leaders. The operations in the organizations or teams tend to be more predictable and technical systems are more regulating. According to Avery, the organizations or working teams under classical leadership style are highly controlled by the dominant leaders.
According to House and Mitchell, exchange process is the criterion used in transactional leadership. The relationship between the leaders and the followers is based on exchange between the two parties. Piccolo and Judge argue that transactional leadership has three dimensions: management exception-active, contingent reward and management by exception-passive. The contingent reward is the case where a leader sets the exchanges with the followers. In exception-active, the leaders their expectations from their followers and establish rewards for meeting the expectations. According to Howell and Avolio, active transactional leaders anticipate problems take corrective steps before the problem occur while passive leaders react accordingly to problems after they happened. The Rewards become the main criterion to guide the relationship between a leader and the followers.
According to Avery, transactional leaders use a consultative style of decision making. He posits that a transactional leaders can be indentified by how consult when making decisions. He says that transactional leaders are involved in different levels of consultation with the followers. However he argues that despite of the consultations the leader remains the final decision maker. Transaction leaders do not often empower their followers.
According to Avery the followers do not have much power in the organizations. The only thing that the employees can do is to withdraw from an organization or contribute more to the organization. Avery argues that the sources of followers’ commitment result from the agreement, reward and expectations that are negotiated before the leader and followers come into contract. The technical system of the organization is more regulating and followers do not have freedom to as they wish. He argues that operations in organizations using transactional leadership are mainly routine and predictable. He says that the operations in an organization or teams are highly controlled by the leaders. Avert argues that the followers is a transactional leadership are highly knowledgeable than those in a classical leadership. In most cases the followers are individuals who are skilled on specific tasks.
Visionary or transformational leadership is highly spoken of in the recent past. According to Bass, visionary leadership is based on belief that leaders can extend their vision to the followers and motivate them to certain goals. Bass et al argues that the followers are expected to respond to the leaders’ vision with enthusiasm and be committed to their leaders’ objective. According to Avery, transformational leaders can be differentiated from the other leadership styles. He says that visionary leaders use more collaborative style of decision making where the followers are involved in making decisions. He argues that visionary leaders share problems with their subordinates and allow them to participate in making decisions. The followers in a visionary leadership are much more empowered than in classical or transactional leadership. Avert argues that visionary leaders require sufficient power for them to work autonomously towards a common vision. He posits that the source of the followers’ commitment result from the leaders charisma and common goal. The technical system in a visionary leadership is more complex while the operations are more unpredictable and uncertain. Unlike in transactional leadership, Avery argues, the organization is controlled jointly by the leaders and the followers. He adds that visionary leadership requires knowledgeable and skilled follows that are able to share in the leaders’ vision.
Organic leadership style is a relatively new leadership style. According to Drath, the new leadership style is likely to eliminate the formal distinction between leaders and followers. According to Raelin, the new leadership style relies on reciprocal actions. In this type of leadership the team members cooperate independent of their position or power. Employees in this form of leadership become like partner where they determine the actions to be made in teamwork. According to Avery, organic leadership allow individual with different expertise to be accepted as leaders. Avery argues that under organic leadership there could be no formal leaders while interaction of all team members act as leadership. The team members are held together by their shared vision common values or culture. Since there is no formal leader, Avery argues that an integrator role may appear to link the many parts of an organization. According to Avery, organic leadership style uses a mutual agreement style of decision making. Although decisions may not be unanimously agreed, they are based on consensus between the members. Members in this form of leadership have a high level of power resulting from shared leadership. All members share in responsibility and accountability. Avery argues that shared values, visions and culture are the main source of commitment in this style of leadership. The operations in this style of leadership are highly self-organizing and unpredictable. According to Avery, control in this style of leadership result from shared value and vision, peer pressure and group dynamics. According to Raelin, organic leadership is appropriate for knowledgeable workers and professionals.
Leadership and teamwork are very important in organization management. In the increasingly competitive business environment, leadership and teamwork can be used to gain competitive advantage. Leadership and teamwork has become an important consideration as United Arab Emirates grow economically. The literature review identified various leadership styles. Visionary, transactional, classical and organic leadership styles are identified as the main paradigm of leadership. However, from the review it is observed that the leadership styles are not clearly partitioned. To choose leadership styles, the leaders consider various factors.
Leadership is very important in team management. Leadership style used in a team can either promote or inhibit performance. In the literature review, a strong relationship between leadership style and performance has been established. Leadership would have similar effect on organizations’ team. The literature review provides an important theoretical framework to the study on Leadership styles and teamwork in UAE.
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