Blog 5 – My Vision of Leadership


To be a good leader, you will have to be able to influence and inspire the people around you with your behavior, communication skills, and charisma. The main ingredient in leadership is to have a vision and manifesting that vision into reality.  Leadership also involves the use of a particular character to overcome a challenge, therefore, how a leader is able to influence and use that character depends on the effectiveness of the leader.  Effective leadership simplifies complicated situations and makes action compelling and successful (Nikooparvar and Shekari 2012). In an organizational context, employees would be highly motivated with effective leadership as they are able to achieve personal and career goals in addition to organizational goals (Naile and Selesho 2014).


My Vision of Leadership

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Figure 1

Source: Google

In my opinion, a good and effective leader has to be able to demonstrate various leadership styles to suit a particular situation.  According to CMI (2013), there is no single way of leading as the best approach varies to circumstances and individual characteristics. I could not agree more with the above statement because situations and circumstances in an organization changes on a constant basis.  In that sense, I would like to be a situational leader. Situational leadership is perceived to be an adaptive leadership style due to its flexible nature (Spahr 2015). This style changes according to the employee’s knowledge, skills and commitment in a given task (MWAI 2011).  There are four stages in the situational leadership model are directing, coaching, supporting and delegating (Spahr 2015).  All of these four stages focus on developing the ability, confidence and willingness of employees to accomplish tasks (MWAI 2011). Additionally, leaders coach and guide the employees to be handling various issues in an organization, hence enabling them to be always ready to overcome challenges (MWAI 2011).  When employees are deemed to be delivering exceptional performance and collaborating well among themselves, a leader could empower his/her employees to act independently with the right resources to get the job done (MWAI 2011).


My Inspiration

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Figure 2: Richard Branson

Source: Google

I admire the leadership style of Sir Richard Branson who’s the Chairman of Virgin Group. Virgin Group is one of the most successful conglomerates ranging from travel and leisure, financial services, music and entertainment and many more known in today’s rapidly changing world (Virgin n.d.). Branson is an inspiring leader to me because of the way he carries himself as a charismatic, confident and determined person. Despite his enormous wealth, he is down-to-earth person, a good listener and prioritizes his employees before himself (Niphadkar 2014). According to Branson, people are his greatest assets and he treats them with a lot of respect and care that they don’t want to leave the company although paid slightly lesser than the market value (Niphadkar 2014). Branson does not believe in his employees following blindly but gives them the liberty to think and freedom to be empowered (Niphadkar 2014).  He capitalizes on the entrepreneurial spirit of his employees while minimizing the bureaucracy of the systems (Niphadkar 2014). Branson is more motivated by the challenges he faces in the business world rather than the money he makes. Additionally, he creates a work culture which is fun and exciting which makes employees to deliver their best (Niphadkar 2014).


Team Reflection

Throughout the entire module, I am under the impression that I have worked with my peers in a democratic manner. I believe in inclusiveness and that everybody’s opinion matters before making a decision or presenting a case. Based on my peer’s feedback, I understand that I would need to improve on my time management skills and communicate my ideas in a more efficient manner. My peers also believe that I should be more persistent and keep inspiring others around me. These are constructive feedback which I would definitely work on to become a better person.  The leadership skill which I would want to develop as I progress through my MBA is on ways to inspire and convince people around me. Additionally, I would like to enhance my critical thinking skills and develop team-building skills which are a vital step towards becoming an effective leader.  I could achieve all the skills mentioned by continuous reading on various materials, attending progressive workshops and improving my personal traits by eliminating my weaknesses.



In conclusion, the leadership module has been very informative in terms of learning and identifying various leadership and management styles as well as theories. It has broadened my horizons of the leadership perspective as there is no one particular leadership style that works best.  I have exposed myself to many exemplary leaders from various industries and simultaneously identifying weaknesses of certain leaders who abused their authority for their personal or corporate gain which is morally unethical. This module has been very inspiring to me and without a doubt, I would leverage on these theories and leadership styles when I stand a chance to lead someday.

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Maxwell, J. (n.d.) Situational Leadership Quotes. Quotesgram [online] available from <; [26 March 2017]

MWAI, E. (2011) “CREATING EFFECTIVE LEADERS THROUGH SITUATIONAL LEADERSHIP APPROACH”. JAMK University of Applied Sciences [online] available from

Naile, I. and Selesho, J. (2014) The Role Of Leadership In Employee Motivation [online] available from <; [26 March 2017]

Nikooparvar, M. and Shekari, H. (2012) Promoting Leadership Effectiveness In Organizations: A Case Study On The Involved Factors Of Servant Leadership [online] available from <; [26 March 2017]

Niphadkar, C. (2014) Richard Branson’S Style Of Leadership [online] available from <; [26 March 2017]

Spahr, P. (2015) What Is Situational Leadership? How Flexibility Leads To Success [online] available from <; [26 March 2017]

Virgin, (n.d.) About Us [online] available from <; [26 March 2017]


Blog 4 – Leadership and Change

Managing Change

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Figure 1: Change Management

Source: Google

Change is a form of transition to be different and it’s an inevitable element which takes place on a daily basis. Like it or not, every day there appear to be something which is constantly changing, be it social or organizational life and we are all subject to change of one form or another (Mullins et al 2013).  Management change is the systematic approach and application of knowledge, tools, and resources to enable an organization to be more efficient in terms of productivity and performance.  These changes have to be realistic, achievable, measurable and most importantly sustainable (Metre 2009).

It is all down to the personality of the individual and there is little management can do about resistance to change”

I would disagree with the above statement as the management of an organization can come up with alternative methods to resist change.

According to Mullins, selected individuals actively thrive on new challenges and constant change while some would resist these changes to remain in their comfort zone. In my opinion, the need for change is imperative to remain competitive and to keep up with rapid globalization as well as hastened technological innovation. As quoted by George Bernard Shaw, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”.  Therefore, organizations and individuals must always adapt to change to enhance organizational and personal growth.

On the other hand, people resist structural and cultural changes due to selective perceptions, breaking routines (Brown n.d.), loss of status (Brown n.d.) and fear of uncertainty which takes place in an organization when certain changes are implemented (Mullins et al 2013).  For example, an individual may resist taking up a promotion because of uncertainty over changes in roles, responsibilities, and methods of working (Mullins et al 2013). These are the kind of people who are contented with their current position in a particular organization. Additionally, some have developed a stereotype view of a management, for example, biasedness and therefore oppose any management change because, in their minds, any decision taken is going to be biased to a selective bunch (Mullins et al 2013).

I believe that both changes and resistance can bring a positive or a negative impact to an individual or an organization depending on how it is perceived. The leader and the management of an organization are responsible for making the right changes, hence creating a positive impact for the organization. According to Ford, Ford and d’Amelio (2008) and Ford and Ford (2009), resistance could also increase the quality of management and decisions in a change process as a certain form of resistance should be understood as an important source of employee feedback if appropriate methods of communication are provided (Bringselius 2010).

Change Management Models

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Figure 2: Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model

Source: Google

Kotter’s 8- Step model would be one of the change management models which I would recommend to managers. Kotter began by listing common errors that leaders make in an attempt to initiate change (Lunenberg 2010).This model is directed at the strategic level of the change management process which focuses primarily on the establishing a sense of urgency to kick-start the efforts taken for a change to take place in an organization (Lunenberg 2010). A vision is then developed and communicated, followed by eliminating barriers to change and to encourage risk-taking and creative problem-solving. Moving forward, short-term improvements are then planned for which would lead to more change which involves more people and policies (Lunenberg 2010). These changes are reinforced by clarifying connections between new behaviors as well as processes and organizational success (Lunenberg 2010).  Leadership development and succession are vital during the final stage (Lunenberg 2010). Limitations of this model include a lengthy process which consumes time and could also lead to frustrations among employees if their needs are not taken into consideration.

Lewin’s Model

Kurt Lewin’s 3 step change model involves three stages which are to unfreeze, change and refreeze. The goal of unfreezing is to create awareness of the current status which has caused a crisis in an organization (Lunenberg 2010). The status quo is considered the equilibrium state (Kritsonis 2005). Symptoms for changes are identified in this stage. Unfreezing is necessary to overcome individual resistance and group conformity (Kritsonis 2005). In the second stage, driving forces and restraining forces for change are identified and more driving forces would move the current status to a new equilibrium level. Changes are then implemented to develop new values and behaviours (Lunenberg 2010). The final step is to refreeze whereby changes are stabilized and new patterns are reinforced in an organization in terms of organizational culture, policies and staff norms (Lunenberg 2010).

An organization which embraced change to create a positive impact

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Figure 3: Pearson

Source: Google

Pearson is known to be one of the established book publishing companies. John Fallon, the current CEO announced a company-wide transformation known as the Global Education Strategy (GES) in 2013 and implemented a massive reorganization that clustered the workforce into six business units (Wang 2014). The focus of this company was shifted to the proposed strategy which intended to strengthen the company’s position as the world’s largest education company. The GES is the most substantial restructure the organization had undergone in its 150-year history and Pearson took home the 2014 Work Better Together Jive Award (Pankonien 2015). Fallon also demonstrated transparency through his employee collaboration solutions via regular blog posts and feedback which was an efficient way to communicate about the company’s restructuring (Pankonien 2015). Additionally, Pearson demonstrated a culture whereby leaders are open, transparent and practice effective communication (Pankonien 2015). It’s believed that employees will respond to change more quickly if they feel consulted and informed (Wang 2014).

An example of resistance to change

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Figure 4: Taxis and Uber

Source: Google

The traditional taxi industry is now facing an issue trying to make a living due to the recent trend of ride-sharing services such as Uber. The taxi industry’s resistance to the introduction of Uber is a pointless attempt to impede innovation (Bouquet et al. 2014). Taxi drivers complain about Uber’s “illegal” activities, stating that they do not own official permits and can’t charge by the kilometre since they do not have meters (Bouquet et al. 2014). Most people opt to take Uber because it’s cheaper, more reliable, transparent and safer as compared to traditional taxi rides. Uber ‘s success primarily falls back to its response to customer needs as it offers a unique and innovative experience as compared to taxis (Bouquet et al. 2014). Taxi companies being pioneers in the transportation spectrum are still in denial thinking that they could succeed with their current business strategies (Bouquet et al. 2014). If they refuse to innovate, they would probably be left behind.

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Bouquet, C. and Renault, C. (2014) Taxis Vs Uber: A Perfect Example Of Resistance To Change [online] available from <; [16 March 2017]

Bringselius, L. (2010) Resistance To Change: Four Interpretations [online] available from <; [16 March 2017]

Brown, G. (n.d.) Resistance To Change In An Organization’s Structure & Culture [online] available from <; [16 March 2017]

Lunenburg, F. (2010) Approaches To Managing Organizational Change [online] available from <,%20Fred%20C%20Approaches%20to%20Managing%20Organizational%20Change%20IJSAID%20v12%20n1%202010.pdf&gt; [16 March 2017]

Metre, C. (2009) Deriving Value From Change Management [online] available from <; [16 March 2017]

Mullins, L. and Christy, G. (2013) Management & Organisational Behaviour. 10th edn. United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited

Pankonien, L. (2015) Pearson’s New Workstyle Is Transforming How Leaders Lead [online] available from <; [16 March 2017]

Shaw, G. (n.d.) George Bernard Shaw Quotes [online] available from <; [16 March 2017]

Wang, D. (2014) Successful Organizational Change Examples You Need To Copy [online] available from <; [16 March 2017]

Blog 3 – Most Effective Leadership & Management Styles & Approaches

Leadership vs. Management

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Figure 1: Leadership vs Management

Source: Google

‘There is no single ideal, as the best approach may vary according to circumstances and individual characteristics.’ – CMI (2013).

In response to the above statement, I would strongly agree that the command and control method which is practiced in the past still exist in selected organizations. However, leaders and managers are encouraged to have a more approachable method to overcome varying situations.

Leadership and Management overlap in the sense of sharing similar duties which consist of working with people and influencing others to achieve goals, however, are two different functions. Leadership focuses on developing a vision, setting a direction, advocating change and encouraging new functions towards meeting long-term goals (Bohoris et al. n.d.). The leadership process aligns people with the vision which was developed through effective communication and motivates them through empowerment and basic need fulfillment (Lunenburg 2011).

On the other hand, management focuses on deciding what should be done and getting other people to do it (Mullins et al. 2013).  The management process involves planning and budgeting, organizing and staffing, controlling and monitoring activities as well as problem-solving to achieve organizational goals (Lunenburg 2011). Additionally, a good management makes use of its resources efficiently as well as pays attention to the development of its people.

Leaders and managers are distinct with regards to their values and personalities. Leaders value innovation, adaptation, and flexibility (Yuki 2013). They are concerned about the people working for them and the economic outcome as they look into the long-term effect of their objectives and strategies (Yuki 2013). Leaders care about what things mean to people and try to influence these people to a consensus about the most vital things to be done (Yuki 2013).  Managers value stability, order, and efficiency (Yuki 2013). Additionally, are risk-averse when it comes to problem-solving, focused on short-term results and they provide expected results consistently to meet stakeholder demands and leadership needs (Bohoris et al. n.d.).

Leadership Styles

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Figure 2: Leadership Styles

Source: Google

There are many dimensions to leadership and various leadership styles which exist in an organization. The vision, culture, and goals of an organization could determine what style of leadership suits best. The different leadership styles comprise of the authoritarian, democratic and the laissez-faire (genuine) style (Mullins et al. 2013).   All of these leadership styles have their own way of determining policies and implementation of new systems and procedures.

The authoritarian style gives managers the power to decide and solely make decisions without the employees having an option of voicing out their opinions and suggestions (Mullins et al. 2013). The democratic style encourages the participation of the entire group as a whole in decision-making which leads to greater interaction among the group members (Mullins et al. 2013).

The laissez-faire style provides freedom to the employees to act in their best interest and not interfere unless help is needed (Mullins et al. 2013).

In my opinion, I believe that the most effective approach to managing the work of subordinates is the democratic (participative) style. This approach gives the employees a sense of belonging and allows them to participate in decision-making whereby new ideas are proposed and discussed. A diversified workforce would be an added advantage to this type of leadership approach as individual talents, creativity and experiences would enhance the pool of ideas leading to good decisions being made. Although the final decision belongs to the top management of the organization, employees would rather feel appreciated for being part of the organization’s development.

The democratic style would not work so well if team members lack adequate skills needed to provide solutions to specific problems or are prohibited from finding out classified information that can’t be shared with the team in order to make a decision (Murdock 2014).

Examples of Leaders Using the Democratic Approach

James F. Parker


Figure 3: James F. Parker

Source: The Buffalo News

James F. Parker was the CEO of Southwest Airlines in 2001 and has portrayed great leadership throughout one of the ultimate crisis the U.S. airline industry had ever faced (Glynn 2014).  The 9/11 terrorist attacks caused airlines to be grounded and Parker decided to provide a refund to the customers in which if customers demand for refunds, the airlines would exhaust all its money to stay in business. The outcome turned out to be positive for Parker as some loyal customers sent money back to the airline with the intention of helping the company (Glynn 2014).  Southwest airlines did not retrench its employees or cut their pay during this crisis but instead went all out to resolve this crisis with great team work (Glynn 2014).

In addition, the company also made a planned contribution of $179millon to an employee profit-sharing plan (Glynn 2014).  Despite challenging times, the company still made money in the final quarter of 2001. Parker strongly believes that the success of Southwest airlines partially lies in the hands of its employees due to their team work towards achieving the goal of serving customers instead of focusing strictly on doing their own jobs (Glynn 2014).   Parker also believes that an effective leader would create an atmosphere whereby employees are proud of their jobs, understand the mission of the company and want to do the right thing (Glynn 2014).

Jack Stahl

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Figure 4: Jack Stahl

Source: Google

Jack Stahl was the former CEO of Coca-Cola and Revlon. Stahl learned that working with others is the best way to work as he knows how to delegate work to their employees to get a job done but at the same time take a step back when it’s necessary. Given the fact that Stahl simultaneously gives importance to his employees’ views and used his knowledge hands on propelled these two companies to greater heights (Nayab et al. 2011).


A well-balanced organization should have a mix of leaders and managers to be successful as both leadership and management play a vital role towards achieving organizational goals and are complementary to one another (Algahtani 2014).  A strong leadership and management would enable an organization to reach its optimal effectiveness (Algahtani 2014).

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Algahtani, D. (2014) Are Leadership And Management Different? A Review [online] 2nd edn. American Research Institute for Policy Development. available from <; [2 March 2017]

Bohoris, G. and Vorria, E. (n.d.) Leadership Vs Management A Business Excellence / Performance Management View [online] 1st edn. LUND University. available from <; [2 March 2017]

CMI (2013) Understanding Management Style Checklist 236, Chartered Management Institute: London

Glynn, M. (2014) Ex-Southwest Airlines CEO Offers Lessons In Leadership From Post-9/11 Crisis – The Buffalo News [online] available from <; [2 March 2017]

Lunenburg, F. (2011) Leadership Versus Management: A Key Distinction—At Least In Theory [online] 14th edn. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT, BUSINESS, AND ADMINISTRATION. available from <; [2 March 2017]

Mullins, L. and Christy, G. (2013) Management & Organisational Behaviour. 10th edn. United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited

MURDOCK, K. (2014) Participative Leadership: What It Is And When It Works Best [online] available from <; [2 March 2017]

Nayab, N. and Edwards, G. (2011) Analyzing 5 Real-World Leadership Scenarios [online] available from <; [2 March 2017]

Yuki, G. (2013) Leadership In Organizations. 8th edn. United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited



Blog 2 – Challenges of managing diverse teams


As we move towards the 21st century, a fundamental shift is taking place in the global economy.  With increased globalization, technological advancements and an interdependent economy, interaction and collaboration among people from diverse backgrounds (Green et al. 2002) are essential to remain competitive, innovative and increase organizational effectiveness (Thomas and Ely 1996).


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Figure 1: Diversity

Source: Google

Diversity can be defined as the differences among a group of people with respect to age, race, ethnicity, gender, class, disabilities, religion and cultural background (Green et al. 2002). The ability to understand, accept and value these differences are the most vital factors in acknowledging diversity (Green et al.2002). Capitalizing on workforce diversity is a vital issue for the management of an organization to yield greater work productivity and competitive advantages (Green et al.2002). However, managing diversity is a significant organizational challenge hence leaders are ought to have managerial skills which can accommodate a multicultural work environment.


Challenges in Managing a Diverse Workforce

Although an organization which embraces workforce diversity can broaden its skill base and be more productive, there are a number of issues and challenges that come along and has to be dealt in an efficient manner (Dhuppar 2015). Discrimination occurs when an individual is denied opportunities based on a personal attribute which has no relevance to job performance (Dhuppar 2015). Discrimination can happen due to various reasons which include a particular race, gender, age, disabilities and employee retaliation towards the employers (Law 2014). Communication barriers are also a contributing factor to managing workforce diversity due to cultural differences. For example, a British company hires employees of other cultures whose first language is not English, there would be difficulties communicating with each other and may lead to misunderstandings and a decline in productivity (Dhuppar 2015). Besides that, there are employees who oppose workforce diversity and reject new ideas which make the work environment tougher. These are the kind of employees who do not encourage change in their workforce and may not react positively to changes made (Dhuppar 2015). Conflicts among employees from various backgrounds are also a concern to having a diverse workforce. Preconceptions without actual experience, racism, discrimination and lack of respect in the work environment lead to conflicts and these conflicts can turn explosive if not controlled (Dhuppar 2015).


Advantages of a diverse workforce

“Any time you bring together diverse perspective, it just creates a bunch of potential that you weren’t really expecting”.  –Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter (Showers 2016)

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Figure 2: Benefits of Workplace diversity

Source: Google

A diverse workforce can provide a greater variety of solutions to problems which leads to better decision making (Lee n.d.). Employees from different backgrounds could bring individual talents and experiences in suggesting idea’s that are more creative, innovative as well as flexible in adapting to customer demands and evolving markets (Greenberg n.d.). With new ideas, new processes can be developed and implemented. There also could be a variety of skills displayed in terms of languages and cultural understanding which could better serve clients on a global basis (Greenberg n.d.).  Besides that, the productivity of an organization increases when employees of various cultural backgrounds work together towards organizational goals (Lee n.d.). For example, employees from India benefit U.S companies with their outstanding quantitative skills especially in the Information Technology field (Lee n.d.).  As a result of higher productivity, an organization could increase their profitability and return on investment (Showers 2016).


Theoretical model applied in workforce diversity

Tuckman’s model of team development is an established method to transform a group of diverse individuals into a high-performance team.  The model consists of four stages:-

Figure 3: Tuckman’s model (Brooks 2012)

1) Forming – A brand new team of a diverse workforce is formed and objectives of the team are clearly defined with the guidance from a manager.  Team members have not fully understood their roles; therefore they would have a relatively high degree of dependence on the team leader.

2) Storming-  Team members from various cultures and backgrounds start suggesting different ideas or may work with different styles which may lead to conflicts. Additionally, team members start getting more comfortable with their respective roles and may challenge others for a higher position. It’s imperative to identify issues and evaluate perspectives to enhance team spirit and avoid major conflicts.

3) Norming- Team members have somewhat established a good relationship with their peers in terms of socializing, helping each other solve issues and provide constructive feedbacks.  The commitment and unity is strong within team members.

4) Performing – Team members are independent with minimal interference from a leader unless involving personal issues and are very focus on achieving the goals with their highest abilities. They are able to make decisions collectively as a team, attend to process issues efficiently and disagreements are resolved positively.


Example of organization managing workforce diversity

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Figure 4: P&G

Source: Google

Procter and Gamble (P&G) is an example of a successful organization which has given utmost importance to managing diversity.  P&G focuses on their employees from various departments by providing them the opportunity to equally have a say in decision-making processes (Rodgers 2017).  Additionally, the company has implemented a reverse mentoring program to allow employees from all levels and departments to serve as mentors to the leaders of the company (Rodgers 2017). This provides them the chance to communicate effectively with leaders instead of only hanging out with each other. Moreover, P&G rotates senior executives to undertake the Chief Diversity Officer role to keep fresh ideas flowing through diversity efforts (Rodgers 2017). In an effort to create a razor for the Indian market, P&G sent a team of researchers to India to live alongside with men over there which lead to them gaining an insight of what Indian men expected from a razor (Rodgers 2017). As a result, P&G created the highly successful Gillette Guard razor (Rodgers 2017).


Example of diversity management in relations with Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory

Sweden Thailand
Power Distance Index (PDI) 31 64
Masculinity (MAS) 5 34

Figure 5: Scores of the Sweden and Thailand in Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions

Source: (Pongpayaklert and Atikomtrirat 2011)

Countries such as Sweden with low power distance often portrays stronger effects of participations on workplace diversity due to a higher level of equality as compared to Thailand with high power distance whereby a majority of the workers do not act on the same level as their superiors (Pongpayaklert and Atikomtrirat 2011). In addition, Sweden portrays a lower level of differentiation and discrimination between genders due to their lower level of masculinity (Pongpayaklert and Atikomtrirat 2011).

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Brooks, A. (2012) Forming Storming Norming Performing [online] available from <; [17 February 2017]

Chapman, A. (2013) Bruce Tuckman Forming Storming Norming Performing Team Development Model [online] available from <; [17 February 2017]

Dhuppar, S. (2015) “Managing Workplace Diversity: Challenges And Strategies”. International Journal of Research [online] 2 (3). available from

Green, K., López, M., Wysocki, A., Kepner, K., Farnsworth, D. and Clark, J. (2002) Diversity In The Workplace: Benefits, Challenges, And The Required Managerial Tools [online] 1st edn. University of Florida. available from <; [17 February 2017]

Greenberg, J. (n.d.) Diversity In The Workplace: Benefits, Challenges And Solutions [online] available from <; [17 February 2017]

Law, M. (2014) The Most Common Causes Of Employment Discrimination [online] available from <; [17 February 2017]

Lee, M. (n.d.) Business Advantages Of Diversity In The Work Place – An Article By Michael Soon Lee, MBA, CSP [online] available from <; [17 February 2017]

Mindtools, (n.d.) Forming, Storming, Norming, And Performing: Understanding The Stages Of Team Formation [online] available from <; [17 February 2017]

Pongpayaklert, T. and Atikomtrirat, W. (2011) “Managing Diversity In Multinational Organizations”. Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics [online] available from

Rodgers, J. (2017) How Diversity Management Fuels Procter & Gamble’S Success [online] available from <; [17 February 2017]

Showers, R. (2016) 4 Business Benefits Of Diversity In The Workplace – Real-Time Chat For Online Hiring & Networking [online] available from <; [17 February 2017]

Thomas, D. and Ely, R. (1996) Making Differences Matter: A New Paradigm For Managing Diversity [online] available from <; [17 February 2017]

Blog 1: Ethics and Leadership

Ethics and Leadership

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Figure 1: Ethical Leadership

Source: Google

Ethics is defined to be the code of values and moral principles which guide an individual or group behaviour with respect to what is right or wrong (Mihelič et al. 2010). In other words, these values and moral principles are displayed through our actions which are then judged as being ethical or otherwise as quoted by Jane Addams; “Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics”. Leadership, on the other hand, is the ability to influence and guide others towards achieving a desired goal or vision which has been set.  However, leadership can also have different meanings to people depending on the various terms of leadership which include traits, behaviours, interaction patterns, influence, role relationships as well as the occupation of an administrative position (Yuki 2013). Leaders vary depending on their individual style which stems from their personality characteristics (Mihelič et al. 2010). Good leaders set examples and often have visions which are realistic and create values for the organisation, stakeholders and customers as a whole. Most importantly, good leaders would need to sell their vision to their employees by effectively communicating and influencing employees to strive towards that vision (Chuang 2013). In addition, they acquire the abilities to recognise and connect global trends with organisational development plans (Chuang 2013). According to Brown, Trevino and Harrison (2005), ethical leadership is a demonstration of appropriate conduct through personal actions and interpersonal relationships and the promotion of such conduct to others through two-way communication, reinforcement and decision making (De Hoogh and Den Hartog, 2008). It’s also a way of enabling people in an organisation to do the right thing while respecting the rights and dignity of others. Ethical leadership is vital in an organisation because leaders who strive for ethical conduct motivate others to act in ethical ways (Butts n.d). Brown, Trevino and Harrison (2005) also described ethical leaders to be honest, fair, trustworthy and caring. As such, leaders of these kinds structure work environments fairly and do not bias when it comes to decision making.

Principle theories of Ethical Leadership

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Figure 2: Approach to Ethics

Source: Google

The two commonly known principles of ethical leadership are identified as the deontological theory (Kantianism) and the teleological theory (Consequentialism). The deontological theory emphasizes on rules and duties whereby an action must be undertaken regardless of the consequences. This study suggests that good or bad conduct is apparent in the action itself and we should always do the right thing. Contrary to the deontological theory, the teleological theory points out that the outcomes of an act determine if the particular action is good or bad.  In other words, an action whether good or bad that produces the greatest amount of good consequences is the right thing to do (BBC 2014). However, there are certain limitations with the teleological theory. This theory could lead to a conclusion whereby certain awful acts which produce good consequences are the right thing to do regardless of whether it is ethical or not but as long it produces great results (BBC 2014).

4-V model of Ethical Leadership

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Figure 3: 4-V Model

Source: Google

Ethical leadership can be explained using the 4-V model which was developed by Dr Bill Grace. The 4-V model is a framework that lines up the internal factors comprising of beliefs and values and the external factors which include behaviours and actions for the purpose of advancing common good (Kar n.d). The 4-V’s stands for values, vision, voice and virtue. Values carry an individual’s ideas as to what is right and desirable as well as influences behavior, perception and the level of an individual’s motivation.  Vision is the ability to frame our actions in service to others (Kar n.d). Voice is the process of expressing our vision to others in a convincing manner and the ability to communicate effectively (Kar n.d). Lastly, virtues are the understanding that we become what we practice, therefore we foster virtues by striving to do what is right and good (Kar n.d).

Unethical practices of leadership

Figure 4: Martin Winterkorn, former CEO of Volkswagen

Source: Fast Company

In today’s world, many individuals who have been selected as leaders or CEO’s of organisations tend to misuse their authority by defrauding and laundering money, insider trading, falsifying documents and conspiracies. These are examples of bad ethical leadership. Similarly, Martin Winterkorn, the former CEO of Volkswagen had his share of being unethical by approving the installation of a software device which failed to accurately report emissions of nitrogen oxide on its vehicles which could lead to the decrease in environmental safety (Dishman 2015).

Good ethical leadership

Figure 5: Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks

Source: Fast Company

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks who’s a billionaire has proved himself to be preoccupied with more than just profits. Schultz involves himself in social responsibility programs and has initiated a plan to cover college tuition fees for its U.S based Starbucks employees who are working more than 20 hours per week to enroll in an online degree program from Arizona State University (Dishman 2015).  Moreover, Schultz has offered comprehensive health care and stock options for his employees to create a more committed workforce (Dishman 2015).


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Figure 6: Ethical leadership

Source: Google

In conclusion, this blog provides a brief understanding of being an ethical leader. A leader can be powerful and rich but without ethics, the method of leading would not transform individual lives or make a significant impact to an organisation. A profound ethical leader would need to examine their own behaviour and values as well as the willingness and strength to accept responsibility for the effects of their actions on others.

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