Leadership Effectiveness: Style and Ethics
Culture is a powerful force in organizations. Leaders must build and share a vision with followers which is ripe for the culture and current climate. Leaders must also recognize when an organization’s culture no longer supports the mission.
Target is a corporate pillar in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Target’s mission is, “to make Target your preferred shopping destination in all channels by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation and exceptional guest experiences by consistently fulfilling our Expect More. Pay Less.® brand promise” (Target, 2014b, para. 3). Target brands itself as the best company ever and declares itself ...view middle of the document...
Additionally, layoffs impacted corporate Team Members and rocked Target’s cultural foundation, forcing many to look externally for the next opportunity. Target lacks effective leadership to deliver exceptional guest experiences.
A common measure for the success of a leader is leadership effectiveness. Leadership effectiveness is measured by multiple indicators including employee morale, organizational commitment, and job motivation (Jogulu & Wood, 2006). Leadership effectiveness is a result of leadership style and ethics.
Leadership style definitions have evolved from trait centric theories of a “Great Man” (Jogulu & Wood, 2006) to today’s highly regarded transformational style (Limsila & Ogunlana, 2008). Organizations have become employee oriented instead of production oriented, elevating employee performance to new heights (Limsila & Ogunlana, 2008). Target is highly Team Member oriented, albeit to a fault which reduces its ability to deliver. Target values face-to-face meetings to ensure all stakeholders are on board before implementing. Meetings are challenging to schedule because of required attendee and room availability. Team Members are granted unlimited sick and volunteer time away, not to mention they are expected to meet with their network regularly. Execution halts while Team Members wait to meet.
Focus on ethical leadership has increased with the fall of companies such as Target, Enron, and Tyco. Ethical leadership examines the heart of leadership, comparing leader professional morals and style with the organization’s mission (Palmer, 2009). When leadership actions are in conflict with the mission, the mission is insupportable and leadership is ineffective. Ethical leaders are a part of a beloved community which is grounded in the same narrative (Roberts, 2011). In the case of Target, the leadership failed because the organization continues to focus on goals which did not create exceptional guest experiences, instead Target continues to value internal corporate culture and image above its guests. Its internal culture is grounded in the same narrative, however its narrative must be realigned.
Authentic leadership connects leaders and followers emotionally and creates a movement to a common goal (Palmer, 2009). Target is not authentic in its leadership, it manipulates emotional responses within...