BMGT 335 Management and Organization – Paper #2: Leadership Analysis

$12.50

Purpose:
To deepen and personalize your understanding of leadership principles by comparing and contrasting the leadership styles and effectiveness of the “best” and “worst” leaders you have experienced.

Assignment Overview:
As organizations strive to achieve their goals, leaders play a central role in setting a vision, motivating people, and managing progress. Leaders can be found at any level of an organization, in both formal and informal capacities. The ways in which these leaders manage people can have a crucial impact on individual and organizational performance, and shape the culture in which subordinates conduct their work. Leadership styles are highly variable, as is their effectiveness. This assignment provides you with an opportunity to explore in depth the leadership styles of two leaders you have personally experienced, and analyze their effectiveness through the lens of leadership theory and research.

Instructions:
In this assignment, you will examine the “best” and “worst” leaders you have worked for/with. These can be past or present leaders, who led in either a formal or informal capacity (i.e., someone who had formal leadership authority, or someone without formal responsibility who took on leadership), in any kind of organizational context (e.g., the workplace, athletics, student group, volunteer activity, etc.). You will select your “best” leader and your “worst” leader and compare and contrast their leadership styles and effectiveness. It is ideal if you compare two leaders from similar contexts (e.g., boss; coach), but not essential. You will discuss the leaders’ backgrounds, provide concrete and detailed examples of their leadership behaviors, and analyze their effectiveness through the lens of leadership theory.

Assignment Guidelines:
This paper should be written in the form of a structured outline, using prose (complete sentences). The outline should be no longer than 3 pages in length (not including title page and References page), single-spaced, 10-12 pt. font, Microsoft Word format, and should carefully follow the structure and guidelines of the outline template provided below. This assignment will be worth 15% of the total course grade

Grading:

Generally speaking, your paper will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Leader Profiles (10%)
  • Challenges/Initiatives (25%)
  • Leadership Style (25%)
  • Strength of ideas, support of ideas, and application of theory (25%)
  • Overall presentation, organization, and quality of writing (e.g., grammar, spelling, documentation, APA style) (15%)

Outline Components

  1. Title page
  1. Leader Profiles: Create brief profiles of the two leaders you are analyzing (can be done in a table to save space) and include the following information:
    1. “Best” leader’s name and organizational position:
      1. Organizational setting and situation in which you encountered this leader
      2. The leader’s work & leadership experience at the time you interacted with him/her
  • Nature (e.g., direct report, colleague) & duration of your relationship with this leader
  1. “Worst” leader’s name and organizational position:
    1. Organizational setting and situation in which you encountered this leader
    2. The leader’s work & leadership experience at the time you interacted with him/her
  • Nature (e.g., direct report, colleague) & duration of your relationship with this leader
  1. Challenges/Initiatives: For each leader, provide 2-3 brief behavioral vignettes that exemplify the leader’s approach. Typically, these will be descriptions of challenges or initiatives the leader undertook. In clear behavioral detail (i.e., focusing on what, specifically, the leader did), describe how the leader responded to these situations, and analyze the effectiveness of their actions. Please use clear examples to support your description and analysis of the leader’s actions.
    1. “Best” leader’s challenges/initiatives:
      1. Challenge/Initiative 1. In your own words, briefly state what happened. Describe specific behaviors and give supporting example(s).
        • How did the leader respond to the challenge or implement the initiative? What impact did their actions have on the organization & the leader? Why?
      2. Challenge/Initiative 2. In your own words, briefly state what happened. Describe specific behaviors and give supporting example(s).
        • How did the leader respond to the challenge or implement the initiative? What impact did their actions have on the organization & the leader? Why?
  • (Optional) Challenge/Initiative 3. Briefly state what happened in your own words. Describe specific behaviors and give supporting example(s).
    • How did the leader respond to the challenge or implement the initiative? What impact did their actions have on the organization & the leader? Why?
  1. “Worst” leader’s challenges/initiatives:
    1. Challenge/Initiative 1. Briefly state what happened in your own words. Describe specific behaviors and give supporting example(s).
      • How did the leader respond to the challenge or implement the initiative? What impact did their actions have on the organization & the leader? Why?
    2. Challenge/Initiative 2. Briefly state what happened in your own words. Describe specific behaviors and give supporting example(s).
      • How did the leader respond to the challenge or implement the initiative? What impact did their actions have on the organization & the leader? Why?
    3. (Optional) Challenge/Initiative 3. Briefly state what happened in your own words. Describe specific behaviors and give supporting example(s).
      • How did the leader respond to the challenge or implement the initiative? What impact did their actions have on the organization & the leader? Why?
    4. Leadership Style: Drawing on leadership theory and research, compare and contrast the leadership approaches of each leader as illustrated by their responses to the challenges and initiatives discussed earlier. The goal here is to employ leadership theory as a lens for explaining each leader’s actions and analyzing the effectiveness of those actions. For whichever leadership theories you employ, you should begin by clearly describing and elaborating on the key aspects of that theory in your own words (and cite support)*. Be sure to also make clear links between the leader’s behaviors and leadership theory, and to provide research support for your ideas*. NOTE: THIS SECTION IS WORTH THE MOST POINTS IN THE PAPER.
      1. “Best” Leader’s Leadership Style.
        1. Based on the behaviors described earlier, what leadership theory (or theories) provides the best insight into the leader’s behaviors? Define/Describe the key components and conclusions of that theory in your own words. *
        2. Situate the leader’s behavior in context of the leadership theory you have chosen. What does that theory suggest about his/her leadership style and effectiveness?
          1. Based on the theory, where does (s)he demonstrate leadership strength? *
          2. Based on the theory, where does (s)he demonstrate leadership weakness? *
  • Suggest one specific thing that (s)he could do to become a more effective leader*. Reference leadership theory or research to substantiate your recommendations.
    1. Suggestion 1:
  1. “Worst” Leader’s Leadership Style.
    1. Based on the behaviors described earlier, what leadership theory (or theories) provides the best insight into the leader’s behaviors? Define/Describe the key components and conclusions of that theory in your own words. *
    2. Situate the leader’s behavior in context of the leadership theory you have chosen. What does that theory suggest about his/her leadership style and effectiveness?
      1. Based on the theory, where does (s)he demonstrate leadership strength? *
      2. Based on the theory, where does (s)he demonstrate leadership weakness? *
  • Suggest two specific things that (s)he could do to become a more effective leader*. Reference leadership theory or research to substantiate your recommendations.
    1. Suggestion 1:
    2. Suggestion 2:
  1. Conclusion: In this section, you will briefly summarize your main points and take-aways. Briefly summarize three main points, and conclude with a statement about how your experience with these leaders has influenced your own development and style as a leader.

* Reference citation expected here

Crucial Hints

  1. Leader selection: You don’t necessarily need to choose your absolute best and worst leaders ever, but you should at least choose leaders with contrasting styles, one of whom was effective and another who was ineffective.
  1. Research: Much of your supporting evidence can be gathered by researching books, journal articles, and business periodicals (in addition to the course textbook). For assistance in conducting further research on theories of leadership, I encourage you to contact our business librarian, Greg Notess.
  1. References: To do well on this assignment, you will need to reference external sources on leadership. Use credible and original sources (the textbook is one appropriate option)! Blog posts and online summaries are insufficient. Whenever you bring facts, data, theories, or the opinions of others into your paper, the original source MUST be cited. I have indicated areas where external sources will almost certainly be needed and cited, but there may be others. Whenever you include something in your paper that is not your own original idea, it must be cited! In the text of the outline, external sources should be cited using parenthetical citations, e.g., (Lombardi, 2004), and a References page in alphabetical order in APA style must be provided at the end of the paper.

The best way to reference others’ ideas in your paper is to summarize or paraphrase the ideas in your own words and provide a citation. For every sentence containing ideas that are not your own, you must provide parenthetical citations with the source(s) – it is not sufficient or appropriate to provide a single citation to cover an entire paragraph. If you feel the need to provide a direct quotation of others’ words, as written, you must use quotation marks around the material and include the page number in your parenthetical citation.

If you are not sure how to format in APA style, please reference an APA Style Guide or visit http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ or http://citationmachine.net/apa.

Microsoft Word also has functionality to help you format references in APA style.

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