Innovation & Change Essay

3750 words - 15 pages

Innovation & ChangeIntroductionThe focus of this assignment looks at the nature of leadership and what effect it has on the ability of an organisation to be innovative. Appropriate Leadership and innovation theories and models will be used to answer the question of whether leadership is all an organisation needs to be innovative. First of all the meaning of leadership is looked at and discussed followed by a critical discussion of the role leadership plays in innovation within an organisation.LeadershipTo understand the relationship between leadership and innovation a crucial question needs to be answered before assessing whether leadership is the only requirement an organisation needs to be innovative. What is leadership? The reality is that there isn't really a definitive answer to this question. According to the Department for Further Education and Skills (DFES). "On 9 August 2003 there were 12,963 books on leadership. If we were able to read at the rate of one per day this would equate to 35 years of reading, including weekends. By 28th February 2005 this had already increased to 47 years and 17,138 books."Although many books, articles and reports have been complied with regards to the meaning and the nature of leadership, the truth is no one can say exactly what it means. There is often confusion between the terms leadership and management, it states in the text "Organizational Change" by B Senior and S Swallies that "management is more about what goes on within the formal structure of the organization while leadership focuses more on interpersonal behavior in a broader context." For the purpose of this assignment it is important to note the difference.The theories surrounding Leadership over the last 200 years have evolved; one of the earliest theories' put forward by Sir Francis Galton in 1869 suggests that leaders are born with a distinct set of "traits" which were passed down through families via genetics. These traits included height, attractiveness, intelligence, creativity and self-reliance (Manning G and Curtis K 2002). However, in the mid-19th century, Stodgill and Mann arrived at the conclusion that there was very little correlation between the character traits put forward by Sir Francis Galton and the actual performance of a leader (Senior, B,& Swallies, S, 2010). A lot of the theories from the 18th and 19th century centered what makes a good leader but over time theorists approaches have changed and leadership has now been studied from an array of different prospective. More recent studies have looked at leadership styles and behavior, these break leadership down into a number of different styles such as the one's suggested by Wright in 1969, these where; Concern for task, concern for people, directive leadership and participative leadership. Another of the well-known theorists who studied leadership styles is Kurt Lewin who came up with what can be described as probably the most popular set of leadership styles to date,...

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