Essays on Principles and Ideas Drawn from Leadership and Management Theories - McDonalds Case Study

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The paper 'Principles and Ideas Drawn from Leadership and Management Theories - McDonald’ s" is a good example of a management case study. Leadership and management principles are critical to the success or failure organisations. This they determine the directions that organisations take in terms of making decisions, allocating resources to various activities, dealing with employees and other people, and dealing with competitors among other areas. Although leadership and management seem to imply the same thing for some people, others consider them to be different concepts. This point is captured in the assertion that “ people often confuse leadership and management or use the terms as if they mean the same thing” (Bates et al.

2007, p. 99). Similarly, Phillips and Gully (2014, p. 426) note that there is confusion in regard to the question of whether management and leadership mean the same thing. It is therefore important to make a distinction between the two concepts in order to understand the various theories and principles that are related to them. Leadership can be defined as the process or act of influencing the behaviours, attitudes, feelings and beliefs towards a certain direction with the aim of attaining the goals that an organisation has set (Kelly, P & Tazbir 2013, p.

3; Ogawa & Bossert 1997, p. 2; Samson & Daft 2015, p. 445). According to Phillips and Gully (2014, p. 426), leadership involves a relationship between a leader and those being led. That is, leadership is the behavioural as well as the interpersonal characteristic of what managers perform. On the other hand, management can be defined as the process of or coordinating activities as well as allotting resources in order to attain the goals that have been set by an organisation (Kelly 2012, p.

13). Management involves planning, organising, leading or directing and controlling various actions to attain the set goals (Fox 2009, p. 3). Planning involves determining what needs to be done, how it has to be done, where it has to be done when it has to be done, and who has to do it. Organising encompasses the actual work of performing the various activities and processes that have been planned by an organisation.

In order to be successful, organisations must time and again change their organizational structures to enable them to accommodate their changing plans (Daft 2008, p. 9). Leading or directing involves the use of influence to encourage employees towards the achievement of the goals that an organisation has set. This means establishing a shared culture as well as values, communicating about the goals of the organisation to employees, and motivating employees to work to the best of their abilities (Daft 2008, p. 9). Another function the management process, controlling, involves monitoring the activities that employees undertake, determining whether the organisations are on the path towards attaining the set goals, and making corrections where necessary (Daft 2008, p.

9). As can be seen from the definitions of management and leadership, the meaning of the two concepts is closely related. The relationship is even deeper considering that leadership can be seen as a subset of management through the leading or directing function as noted above. The significance of this is that based on their values and objectives, organisations will have different approaches to their leadership and management practices.

There are different theories that are used to explain the leadership and management approaches that organisations apply in their operations at various times. These include classical, behavioural, contingency and systems theories. Leaders and managers with a classical inclination would for instance focus on rules and regulations, organisational structure, division of labour, specialisation of tasks and strict discipline. In contrast, leaders who apply behavioural science approaches to management and organisation would emphasise on having sufficient understanding of the human element through their focus on informal leadership, social relations, empathy and concern for the welfare of others among other attributes.

On the other hand, contingency and system theories emphasise on the openness as well as a constant reworking of an organisation to align it with its tasks and the environment.

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