School of Business Affairs - October -2017

26 OCTOBER 2017 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS Foundations of Leadership— Theories and Strategies for Success Considering their complex roles, SBOs must be able to change leadership styles as needed. By David Dolph, Ph.D. LEADING FORWARD S chool business officials may deal with a more diverse group of people and situ- ations than any other edu- cational leader. Consequently, it is helpful that they are aware of the various approaches available to them if they are to be effective leaders. It is instructive to first consider two foundational studies related to leadership: the Ohio State Leadership Studies and McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y. Foundational Studies The Ohio State Leadership Studies, launched in 1945 by Ralph Stogdill, maintains that leadership behaviors can be categorized as initiating structure or initiating consideration (Coons & Stogdill 1957). Initiating structure refers to directing efforts to attain organizational goals. Initiating consideration refers to demonstrat- ing sensitivity to followers and being receptive to input (Daft, 1994). Leaders who favored directing others focused primarily on attain- ing organizational goals. Leaders who leaned toward sensitivity and engagement were more inclined to listen, value, and respond to fol- lower input. In other words, management focuses on getting jobs done, while leadership focuses on people. A second foundational approach related to leadership stems from the research of Douglas McGregor (1960) who developed what are known as Theory X and Theory Y. According to Theory X, people do not like to work, are not ambi- tious, and cannot be trusted to solve problems. In contrast, Theory Y posits that people do like to work, are self-directed, and are capable of organizational problem solving. Simply put, leaders who subscribe to Theory X think that followers need to be directed and monitored closely if organizational goals are to be accomplished—a view more in line with management. Leaders who lean toward Theory Y, on the other hand, believe employees can be self- directed and motivated. Transactional Leadership Transactional leadership is based on the idea that leaders, by virtue of their positions in organizations, have control over their employees. As such, leaders should have the ability to reward, punish, or sanction based on employee performance. Transac- tional leaders focus on results, are typically more directive, and work within existing cultures of organiza- tions (Management Study Guide, n.d.). These leaders • Are interested in maintaining cur- rent procedures and processes, making sure that they are func- tioning in an optimal fashion. YAYASYA/STOCK.ADOBE.COM