Applying Leadership Styles

Leadership is currently one of the key concepts in the field of management. The meaning of the concept of leadership is very broad. Nowadays leadership is rarely associated with the management of the organization. For most people, the word “leader” is associated primarily with politics, social activities, martial arts, sports.

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However, in the modern innovative society (one of the main characteristics of it is to accelerate the changing of socio-economic conditions of the organizations) the reliance on the initiative of all participants in the process of production is a key management tool.

Situation theory

Situational theory means leadership as a characteristic of the situation (but not as a specific type of person). At its core, there is an attractive idea that in different circumstances different forms of leadership have to take place. Among its supporters are Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey. Their «Situational Leadership Theory» even nowadays remains a manifesto for adherents of situational theory.

Transactional theory

Becoming a part of the fashion, the transactional theory focuses on the relationship between those, who lead and those, who follow the first one. It analyzes the mutual benefits of the relationship based on exchange, when a leader may have something:  resources or remuneration in exchange for recognition of the followers of his power.

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Transformational theory

Comparing with the transactional leadership model, which is based on external relations of non-deep motivation for exchange, transformational leadership basis means an internal motivation. Thus, it pays attention, not to the adulation and loyalty of followers, and their commitment to the real leader. In connection with this type of transformational leadership, the leader is an active and creative person, able to think broadly and imaginatively (Eagly, Johannesen Schmidt, 2003).

The “Hewlett Packard”

A company “Hewlett Packard”, which was founded by Bill Hewlett and David Packard in the US, in 1939, was specialized in the production of scientific instruments. Since then, it has grown to become the second-largest US computer company revenue, the second in the world in the production of computer workstations, and a global market leader in the production of mini-computers, computer printers, and equipment for testing and measuring.

The strength of the “founding fathers” was that they were both engineers, who liked to invent something new. This framework continues today. Engineers mainly control the firm. This is an important advantage, which means that “Hewlett-Packard” can bring to market new technology in a short period, even if it is associated with a decline in sales of existing products (which their competitors mostly avoid).

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There can be thought that, as a result, everything goes by itself. Therefore, the “complacent” is not something, which can be aspired to “Hewlett-Packard”. Some representatives in the company argued that “Hewlett-Packard” supports a “healthy paranoia.” They are always watching the competition and contemplating the next move (HP, 2013).

Chief executive Lew Platt believes strongly in this order. He understands that it is too easy to keep doing what they are doing today for a little longer than it should be. In March 1994, the Financial Times newspaper was quoted saying Platt: “No matter what we do and what we are now successful in, it would be inappropriate in 2 years. This can work this year. Perhaps it will even work in the next year, but it will kill you in a year after.”

Transformational leadership must also be distinguished from transactional leadership. Transactional leadership is the process of motivating followers by appealing to their self-serving interests and exchange of i.e. pay and status for their diligence. Transformational leadership is a process, in which leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of morality and motivation (Bass, Avolio, 1994).

Transactional leaders clarify the role of subordinates, show respect for them, initiating structure, reward and punish, as well as trying to meet the social needs of subordinates.

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Transformational leadership has more to do with the “mutual obligations” between leaders and followers (Tracey, Hinkin2008). Leaders are trying to “link completely obligations” to subordinates and awake their enthusiasm. They are trying to make their employees feel the understanding of the key issues in the group or organization. They seek to subordinate interest achievement, growth, and development (Kark, 2004). Also in the organization of “Hewlett Packard,” a very important place is taken by inner awareness and internal motivation.

The organization's transactional leadership is presented in “Hewlett Packard”, as the leader takes corrective action only if the employee makes a mistake or fails to achieve the goals. The leader does not try to change management practices if subordinates cope with the work. The leader does not take action if there is no problem.

Situational leadership factors in the “Hewlett Packard” include:

1. The relationship between managers and team members means loyalty, dedication, which is shown by subordinates, confidence in their leader, and the attractiveness of the individual leader to the performers.

2. The structure of the problem involves the familiarity task, clarity of its wording, and well formation, instead of its indistinctness and lack of proper organization.

3. Official powers mean the amount of legitimate authority, which is associated with the position of the head and allows him to use the reward as well as the level of support that is provided by the head of the formal organization.

All of these steps are widely used and appreciated in the company “Hewlett Packard.”

Thus, Hewlett Packard combines the use of transactional, transformational, and situational leadership, which allows them to keep the leading position in the market. However, the major of them are transactional. Exactly the essence of creating new in a non-stop regime forms the basis of its success all over the world.

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