TITLE: DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP AND ITS CONTRIBUTION TO IMPROVING THE OPERATIONAL WORKS AND IN OVERCOMING THE BUSINESS BASED BARRIERS AT THE WORKPLACE
In Business, the importance of production can never be denied which is linked with land, capital, workforces and entrepreneurship. Similarly, in business, leadership is an important ingredient that can make everything work in a seamless way- without leadership, all the business elements and activities will become dormant. In business, leadership refers to the ability of an individual to manage the entire organisation by achieving goals and competitive edge by instilling motivation and high-performance efficacy within the organisation. The leadership approach in business is important as it can tie both the external and internal stakeholders within the industry and beyond and can trigger the productivity and performance efficacy of the organisation to a considerable extent. According to Parker et al., (2018, pp: 150), “leadership is not one blanket characteristic which can cure all illness, rather it comprises with several elements which are considered to be adequate for ensuring the success of an organisation”. In this context, it can be said that there are many different effective or ineffective leadership styles that mainly depends on the goal and business strategy of the respective organisation. “Just because a manager is jovial and another one is refined that does not mean that either the leadership style or approach is effective than others”. To select or to identify the leadership capabilities of a manager within an organisation, it should be important to consider that how well the manager can carry out their duty.
The purpose of this assignment is to emphasise upon own reflection and professional experiences on democratic leadership and its importance to improve the operational performance by overcoming the business based barriers within workplace setup.
Figure-1:-(Source: Al Khajeh, 2018)
Democratic leadership is also known as participative or shared leadership. Democratic leadership refers to the approach where the individual with a group can play a participative role in the organisational decision-making process. This is a type of leadership approach that can be applied in a wide range of organisations- private business to healthcare setup; educational institute to government (Al Khajeh, 2018). More specifically, it can be said that the Democratic Leadership style is mainly based on the concept of mutual respect. This leadership style can often be combined with participatory leadership as it needs collaboration between leaders and people to whom they guide.
So, to define the term “Democratic Leadership” the concept of John Gastil can be used. In 1994, in the article “A Definition and Illustration of Democratic Leadership”, Gastil had given a clear definition of this leadership style. According to Gastil, “distributing the responsibilities within the members and empowering every individual within a group and aiding the group’s decision-making process is the main concept of Democratic Leadership” (Gastil, 2018; pp: 271).
For this proposed work, CaféPod Coffee Co. has been taken into consideration. CaféPod is a small scale business, based in London, which has started its operation in 2011 (Cafepod.com. 2020). IPO Status of CaféPod is private. Brent Hadfield and Peter Grainger- the two important names of Café Pod have taken the initiative to start an independent business in South West London. Now, in spite of being a start-up business Café Pod is running with a competitive spirit and single-minded ambition of transforming the mind setup of coffee drinkers and coffee products to a considerable extent (Cafepod.com. 2020). The CaféPod mainly tries to target the adventurous coffee drinkers of London with the implementation of innovation in crafting quality coffee. In the case of such an organisation, which has the prime aim is to become the UK’s most popular coffee super brand by providing coffee products to the consumer, the contribution of democratic leadership approach in the workplace can never be denied.
By using democratic leadership approach, I as an employee of CaféPod can maintain a strong collaboration between the organisational hierarchy and working employees to achieve the highest aim of the organisation. In this leadership approach, every member of the organisation can get the opportunity to participate and exchange their ideas freely and can feel encouraged to a discussion about future business strategies. It is true that the democratic leadership process tends to stress upon the group equality and free flow of ideas, but in workplace setup, the supreme role must lie on a leader to offer proper guidance and control over the business decision-making process. By taking the aim of this assignment into consideration, for a start-up business like CaféPod Coffee Co. democratic leadership will work best at the workplace set up to meet the organisational mission by overcoming potential barriers (Rifaldi et al., 2019). This is because; democratic leadership needs skilled and competent group members who have eager to share their idea and knowledge. Though, this leadership style has one disadvantage: in the situation, where the role of the leader is unclear or time is limited, this leadership can cause communication failure or restriction in project completion.
Leadership and Professional Practice- Literature Review on principle and policy-related with professional leadership Practice
The aim or purpose of this proposed work is to emphasise democratic leadership and to underpin its contribution to improve the operational activities and to overcome the business based barriers in workplace setup. To meet this issue or purpose of this assignment, a small scale start-up business of the UK “CaféPod Coffee Co.” has been taken into consideration.
More specifically, Democratic leadership is an approach based on the understanding of maintaining a balance between “an act of allowing every individual to take part in organisational decision making and to make the organisation capable to meet targeted objective”. During the 1930s or 1940s, Kurt Lewin together with his colleagues R. Lippit and R.K. white had tried to determine the distinctive characteristics of decision-making style, which afterwards is considered as the most closely linked approach with leadership (Gandolfi and Stone, 2017). These three leadership styles which were used mostly at workplace setup: autocratic, laissez-faire and democratic and their decision-making methods are outlined below:
Figure-2:- Source: (Gandolfi, and Stone, 2017)
According to Kurt Lewin, the most important element related to the Democratic Leadership approach are:
- The leader will expect that the subordinated must have the willingness to maintain a mutual understanding with leaders regarding their role and responsibilities in a workplace setup
- The leader will expect that the subordinates may exhibit their self-confidence and proficiency to get the thing done without continuous supervision within the workplace setup (Nagendra and Farooqui, 2016)
- The leader will expect that the subordinates must have the eagerness to get themselves involved in the decision-making process of the organisation and act incompetent manner
Figure-3:- Source: (Allafchi, 2017)
According to my view and experiences gained through working as a leader to CaféPod Coffee Co., democratic leadership is ideal for me to keep the employees informed about the organisational mission and vision and to encourage the employee to take part in problem-solving and decision-making practice. It is ideal to offer a continuous scope or opportunities to the employees to develop a sense of personal growth and job satisfaction in the workplace setup.
According to Allafchi, (2017, pp: 168), democratic leadership can be described as an approach based on distributing power and gaining consensus. In this article, democratic leadership has been explained on the basis of the concept “democracy” – an organised effort of governing. According to the CEO of Twitter and Square, Jack Dorsey “if I have to make a decision, have an organisational failure”. This reference refers to the fact that, in any organisation, the team members should be responsible enough in the decision-making process. A democratic leader always tries to empower the organisational people and team to take an active part in the decision-making process and to maintain mutual understandings within the workplace (Dyczkowska and Dyczkowski, 2018). In 2012, Dorsey has made a statement that “if an individual believes on something to be right or correct, then that individual should focus on his work to prove it. Authority derives from merit, not in another way. Every organisation tries to focus on innovative ideas that can help the organisation to reach the peak of the success”. By taking the concept of democratic leadership and its contribution to workplace setup into account it can be said that like any other leadership approach, it is not simple or comfortable, but by using democratic leadership., an organisation can motivate its people and can guide them to strive for organisational success.
To underpin the contribution of democratic leadership to improve organisational activities by overcoming barriers, Puni et al., (2016, pp: 7) stated that a democratic leader must be a good listener. It is often visible in any organisation that, many subpar leaders try to hear their team members and collect their opinion as a receipt he threw that away, later. But, a successful leader will always try to value and use the opinion, ideas and feedback of subordinates for the betterment of the organisation. According to Derecskei (2016, pp: 103), a democratic leader must have the necessity to shift their conception from “I want it my way or you can have it by your way” to “we will try together to find out the best way”. This understanding between hierarchy and sub-ordinates within workplace setup will always stress upon the participation and involvement from the people to the organisation. By fostering the feeling of involvement and inclusion, the organisational subordinates must feel important and valued. And this, in turn, may help the employees to be integrated into the organisation and to contribute the best effort for the benefit of the organisation (Mohiuddin, 2017). And with the increase of minds of working on a single problem will increase the way of a potential solution.
By taking the context of an organisation like CaféPod Coffee Co. into account it can be said that, in this organisation, the use of democratic leadership can be a way to create such workplace, where people can communicate, ideas can flow and seeds are sown for a strong relationship within employees and employers. Frequent communication with employees can directly impact the organisational operational activities and operation process. By using democratic leadership, it can be easy to make a team more tight-knit where every individual will feel a higher level of commitment and involvement within the workplace setup. Such work culture can trigger the implementation of innovation in the production process and workplace set up in a considerable way. In this context, GandolfiandStone ( 2017, pp:) has stated that democratic or partnership leaders must have to play enormous roles and responsibilities in an organisation set up. An organisation that incorporates democratic leadership approach needs strong leaders who must have the knowledge and attributes to avoid any downsides which can trip up a collaborative team while they lose their compass. According to (Kumarand Ayedee, 2017), if in a small scale organisation like Café Pod Coffee Co. the employees may feel lower in terms of their input are being ignored, then democratic leadership can help to enhance employee satisfaction and their productivity in the organisation by developing “power-sharing” arrangement.
The purpose of this proposed assignment is to identify the importance of leadership in a workplace set up to improve organisational productivity by overcoming all the potential threats or barriers. To meet the aim of this assignment, the focus has to be given to the practice of democratic leadership.
The aim of this assignment is to underpin the key concept associated with democratic leadership. Every organisation tries to maintain diversity in the workforce and create such a work environment where every individual can feel integrated into the company. In this assignment, the key concept associated with democratic leadership has to be included. Focus has also been given to how an organisation can overcome all the potential barriers or challenges by using democratic leadership approach.
To meet the aim of this assignment, a small scale start-up business in the UK has been taken into consideration. CaféPod Coffee Co. is a small scale organisation in the non-alcoholic beverage industry of the UK, which started its business in 2011. The main focus of this organisation is to implement innovation in coffee and coffee-product and bring transformation among the adventurous coffee drinkers of the country. In such a start-up business, as a leader, my mission will be to set up such a workforce, who will be dedicated enough towards the organisation and always be ready to contribute the best effort for helping the organisation to become one of the popular coffee super-brand in the UK (Al Rahbi et al., 2017). Being a leader it should also be important to keep room for diversity. And to fulfil this aim, as a leader it should be ideal for me to follow democratic leadership to help CaféPod Coffee Co. to lead to utmost business success. As a democratic leader, it should also be important for me to encourage and motivate the organisational employees to be committed to their role, so that, I as leader of CaféPod Coffee Co. can manage the human resources and administrative activities to the proper extent.
As a leader, my mission in this assignment should be to underpin that how by using democratic leadership approach, the potential barrier or threats can be overcome within the workplace set-up and can increase organisational productivity to a considerable extent.
So, as a whole, the aim of the organisation will be:
To develop a diverse workforce within the organisational setup and create a power-sharing arrangement, where the workforce can take an active part in the decision-making process of the organisation by using the concept of democratic leadership.
To meet the aim of this project, it should be preferable to select a specific organisation as for instance. So, the first plan is to select a small scale organisation of the UK, by using which, the contribution of democratic leadership in workplace setup can be described, properly.
Secondly, to meet the purpose of this project, the reflective analysis should be preferable to adopt. Through reflective analysis, the importance of democratic leadership in workplace setup can be explained elaborately. In this project reflection of leadership and management in practice should be included along with the issues that may arise in professional leadership practice and capacity building in workplace setup. The strategic focus will also be given upon the difference between democratic leadership and distributed leadership and management practice in an organisational setup.
To meet all the objectives of this project, a thorough review of the existing literature has to be carried out in accordance with the topic.
The structure of this project will be as followed:
To carry out any project, it should be important to keep all the ethical considerations into account. To meet the purpose of this project, CaféPod Coffee Co. has taken into consideration. Confidentiality of the organisational data should be maintained while reflecting upon own experiences regarding the use of leadership practice in a workplace setup.
Democratic leadership and Issues that have to be considered professional leadership practice and leadership capacity building
Be it democratic leadership or be it autocratic leadership, just because I become a leader in my organisation- does not mean that the floor won’t drop out around me. There are several challenges a leader may face while practising as well as developing leadership within the organisational scenarios.
Firstly, to adjust with the role: become a leader can be difficult to play the ownership role in the organisation by an individual in a proper way. There will always be some people in a team, in the organisation and in work-life who seem to be difficult (İnce, 2018). As a leader, it will be a foremost necessity to handle these people and their demands with kindness and grace. The work environment can also create a lot of pressure while practising leadership within the workplace setup.
Secondly, a common misconception is often related to the leadership practice in the professional area, that when an individual becomes a leader, he or she must have the supreme power to control and oversee everyone’s work (Veliu et al., 2017). But this can quickly be stifling for a team if an individual within a team cannot feel trusted or is no longer willing to work as a team.
The third is the lack of communication. It often becomes a common problem for a new leader that he may find it difficult to communicate with the team openly regarding the expectation, organisational requirements and issues that they may encounter while accomplishing the work. While micro-managing is considered as one of the critical issues related to leadership practice and capability development in organisational setup (Erke et al., 2019). Though, at the same time, problems may also arise for a leader if he or she cannot transmit proper guidance to the team member regarding what the organisation or leader will expect from them. While the people will come to know about their roles and responsibilities they will try to accomplish the target, but here it should be important for a leader to ensure that every individual with a team and workplace setup is aware of how their roles and responsibilities should be aligned with organisational mission and contribute to the time for acquiring the organisational goal.
Lack of accountability is another critical issue, which is often related to leadership practice in workplace setup.it is often seen in organisations that good ideas fall through the cracks and that can be linked with a lack of accountability (Xu, Loi and go, 2016). Being a leader it should be important to have a scoreboard where one can track the result that we or our organisation want. According to the majority of CEOs, practice this thing in real-time needs focus and self-discipline- to develop any system in the organisation, a leader must have to maintain the proper degree of accountability (Gandolfiand Stone, 2017).
Lack of clear vision can also be considered as another critical issue related to leadership practice and the development of capability in workplace setup. What the company’s vision for the future- if a leader does not have a clear vision about the organisational requirements, then it may be difficult to maintain an alignment in organisational requirements and roles and responsibilities of workforces, and the vision of a leader must not be a fluff statement rather it should contain proper and sound corporate-speak (Carter et al., 2018). A real leader should have the capability to create a compelling vision for the future success of the organisation and that should be implanted among the team members so that they can work hard and doing the right thing at right time. By taking the context of start-up businesses like CaféPod Coffee Co. into account, it can be said that today’s millennials have the belief that the work they do must go beyond the mere paycheque and should contribute to greater goods.
By taking all these issues related to leadership practice and capabilities development, into account, it can be stated that democratic leadership is one of the best leadership practices in today’s organisational scenario. The basic concept related to democratic leadership is to encourage the creativity of team members and rewarded them on the basis of performance. Though, like any other leadership practice, the democratic approach of leadership also stresses the fact that leaders must have the supreme power to make the final decisions regarding the betterment and future outcome of the organisation (Dyczkowska and Dyczkowski, 2018). Though in democratic leadership, the leader must encourage the subordinates to take an active part in the organisational decision-making process and their ideas should be valued for ensuring the future outcomes of the organisation.
By taking the concept of every leadership approach and organisational setup into account, it can be said that every leader must have the ability to provide opportunities to the team members for taking an active part in the organisational decision-making process, ideas should be exchanges and discussion should also be encouraged. Though, unlike any other leadership approach, democratic leadership stresses maintaining equality and free flow of ideas within the organisation (Veliu et al., 2017). A democratic leader has the power to decide who will be in the group and who will get the scope to contribute to the decisions that are being made. So, the primary characteristics of a democratic leader should be included the followings:
- The leader must encourage the group members to share ideas and opinions, though the leader must have the responsibility to final say over the decision that is made
- Creativity and shared power arrangement in the workplace and within the team should be encouraged
According to research, a good democratic leader must have to possess certain traits, which include:
- Skills and competency
- Creativity and accountability (Xu et al., 2016)
- Honesty, good listening skills and fairness
The benefits of using democratic leadership in an organisation are, as this leadership approach encourages to sharing of ideas and believes by the team members within the organisation; so democratic leaders can get better ideas and creative solutions to any organisational problems. In this leadership approach, group members can also feel to be integrated with the organisation and committed to the project which in turn can make them more efficient to contribute to better performance (Carter et al., 2018). And by taking all these concepts into account it can be stated that democratic leadership can lead an organisation to higher productivity and future success, irrespective of the organisational size and scope.
Figure-5:- Source: (Carter et al., 2018)
CaféPod is a small scale start-up business. The business has presently about 85 employees and in the past few years, it has become successful to gain a significant competitive edge in the non-alcoholic beverage sector of London. In the organisation, I am working as an assistant HR manager. With context to the organisation CaféPod, I can say that the organisation to some extent follow the democratic leadership approach but the supreme power of decision making is in the hand of its owners and managerial head. Being an employee of this organisation I have experienced that, the organisation gives enough value to the perspective of the managerial employees and provide those employees equal opportunities to participate in the decision making but the ultimate decision is taken by the leader. For example, a few months ago, the organisation identified the requirement for a new marketing strategy. So it conducts a meeting where all the managers are invited to participate and present their ideas regarding the issue and the final decision had been taken by the leader considering the views and ideas of all the managers. But also I felt that the democratic leadership approach is not fully utilised in the organisation as the lower division employees do not get the opportunity to present their ideas and effectively participate in the decision-making process. Those employees also experience very limited opportunities for growth in their carrier that makes them de-motivated. According to Fiaz et al., (2017), a business organisation can maintain its growth path by keeping the motivation level of the employees high. As the motivation level of the employees is directly and positively correlated with long-term organisational success. The approach of democratic leadership, allows the leaders to keep the motivation level of all the employees high by engaging them with the organisational objectives and make them feel that they are a part of the organisation. In CaféPod this approach is missing for the lower division employees. The more extensive use of the democratic leadership approach can bring huge benefits for the organisation. In democratic leadership, flexibility and adaption are the two crucial values. CaféPod is in the growing stage, it needs to be adaptable to the changing external environment where a number of strong competitors are playing against it. For such a situation by considering the democratic approach, the production and management of the organisation could be handle in a more flexible manner, that also allows the employees to be more adaptive with the changing needs and requirement of the organisation.
As an employee of CaféPod, I have experienced that, in spite of being a small scale business, the organisation highly relies upon teamwork. For every kind of work such as operational, administrative, production and so on, the organisation has different teams which look after different matters. By considering the democratic leadership approach in the organisational setting in a more comprehensive manner the team involvement, participation and engagement could be enhanced to a significant level. This approach will encourage the recognition of the contribution of each member of the team which provide the team members self-interest to give the best possible contribution in fulfilling the aims and objective of the organisation.
CaféPod Coffee Co. is a small scale coffee business, which emphasises upon production of strong and exciting coffee for adventurous coffee drinkers of London. CaféPod runs with a competitive spirit and single-minded ambition. To run business with innovation and use of craft in producing Coffee products-innovation the status quo is the DNS of CaféPod Coffee Co. To achieve this ambition or to fulfil this mission, the organisation always stresses using democratic leadership to implement flexibility and cooperation within the workplace setup. The organisation always tries to capitalise on their employees and their individual talents and strengths while benefiting from the power of the democratic leadership approach at the workplace setup. By using democratic leadership approach, CaféPod Coffee Co. is trying to implement operational changes, so that the leader and manager can get the scope to resolve problems either individually or within a group. By using democratic leadership approach, CaféPod can also get a scope to keep the line of communication open for the employees so that every individual can do their duty and responsibility to make the organisation able to acquire success. By using the Democratic leadership approach, the leader and hierarchy of CaféPod can respect everyone’s ideas and input to a considerable extent.
The concept of Distributed leadership advocates the power distribution among multiple individuals instead of a single leader. In the distributed leadership model, leadership has been depicting as group quality which ignores the binary ideas associated with leader and follower, where the leader act as the ultimate power holder and the followers function as their subservient. In simple words, this model, distributed leadership model focuses on the shared distribution of power and rejects the idea of the concentration of power only in the hand of one person(Zepke., 2017). The distributed leadership approach presents leadership as a concept of ‘centre stage’ rather than the individual leaders themselves.
The model stands upon the full-scale reconsideration of the power dynamic of an organisation. Under this concept, pluralistic engagement is encouraged from the strategy build-up to the achievement of the goals. The model does not rely upon the equal delegation concept, which suggests that a leader instructing and forcing his/her followers to fulfil their part of the responsibility and the followers only role is to follow the leader’s instruction. So it can be said that delegation is not a healthy culture of work for any kind of community or business (Mihai, et al., 2017). Instead of that, the distributed leadership model is focused on the active dialogue between the different levels of responsibilities. And besides that, it also emphasis on the ‘shared meaning’ within a community or organisation.
Figure-6:- Source: (Zepke., 2017).
The above Figure illustrated the applied concept of distributed leadership within an organisational structure. According to this model, there must have a certain level of autonomy in the hands of leaders which is necessary for maintaining systematic leadership within the organisation. But, the leadership must be distributed among a group of skilled and efficient people. Otherwise, the idea of autonomy can make the leaders arrogant and ineffective, which could bring back the culture of the delegation that in turn harm the process of creation of new leaders and a healthy pluralistic engagement within the organisation. The leaders must be accountable for the actions taken by them and also for the outcome of those actions. The term ‘capacity’ depicts the requirement for these autonomous leaders who completely believe that they are accountable for their actions which are supported with the various resources necessary to implement their devolved strategy.
Distributed leadership model advocates for the “consultation and consensus” approach instead of the “command and control” approach. This has a major impact on the internal environment of an organisation (Xu, Loi and Ngo., 2016). This model also focuses on the requirement of leader development, which is described as the development of interpersonal competence for the selected individuals within an organisation.
The democratic leadership and management practice is the distribution of responsibilities among the employees and empowering them with the employees and aiding the entire decision-making process. Democratic leadership and distributed leadership are two similar approaches. Both the approaches rely upon shared leadership, which is the distribution of decision making power from the hand of an individual to a group of individuals (Zepke, 2017). Both of the approaches emphasise group leadership practice instead of individual leadership roles. In this course work, for the organisation CaféPod such an environment have been aims to implemented where there the authoritative persons allow their subordinate to actively present their ideas and also participle in the decision-making process, so that, the employees become more engaged to the organisation and also give their best for performing their roles and responsibilities.
One of the most prominent aspects of distributed leadership is that it allows the employees to take ownership of their responsibility. In democratic leadership also, the employees are allowed to perform their job with flexibility and creativity. So the employees are bound to take ownership of their responsibilities. In the context of CaféPod, a more flexible working environment has been proposed to implement, where the employees could incorporate their creativity in fulfilling the job as they are now the owner of his/her responsibilities.
Both the leadership approaches encourage the upward movement of opportunities, which is the people will get growth opportunities on the basis of their performance and contribution towards the company’s success(Al Rahbi et al., 2017). In distributed leadership approach and democratic leadership, the approach allows such a management structure within which upward movement of opportunities is possible.
When the approach of distributed leadership is undertaken everyone gets the chance to participle in leadership activities (Malik, 2016). For example, the person posted in a formal supervisory role can also get the chance to perform the responsibility of leader for specific projects, and this approach develops the leadership quality of that employee and makes his/her ready to become a future leader.
By taking the context of CaféPod Coffee Co. and the leadership practice into account, it can be stated that being a leader, a strategic focus has been given while implementing leadership in an organisational setup. By taking the piecemeal approach into consideration, the key steps are being followed in CaféPod Coffee Co. and its hierarchy to maintain alignment in moving succession planning from bolt-on programs to develop strategic process:
- Establishment of a foundational framework for leadership development
- Develop organisational vision and mission
- Set up core values anchoring the culture of the organisation (Gilbert, 2017)
- Use of anonymous process to identify the core competency of workforces
- A succession plan to motivate the employees to strive the organisational mission by using mutual understandings and shared knowledge and ideas
The intention of this entire coursework is to develop constructive knowledge regarding the democratic approach of leadership and also to underpin its contribution and importance to improve the overall operational performance by overcoming the associated barriers within a workplace setting. Being an employee of CaféPod I have tried to maintain a strong collaboration between the organisational hierarchies and working employees to achieve the highest aim of the organisation. In this coursework, I have portrayed my experience in leadership and I have discussed my approach as a leader, towards improving the organisation’s leadership and management issues considering the democratic leadership style in the introduction section of the coursework, I have provided a concrete background discussion regarding the democratic leadership style and also provide background information about the organisation CaféPod. Various important definitions of democratic leadership have been discussed and from that, I have come to the understanding, that the democratic leadership style allows the employees to take an active participative role in the decision-making process within a workplace setting. Every member of a particular group gets equal opportunities to present their perspective and ideas within a flexible working environment. This approach basically tends to emphasize equality and the free flow of ideas within the guidance of the leader. A democratic leader does not simply put his/her decisions on others, the approach of controlled leadership is completely rejected in the democratic style of leadership, rather a democratic leader value the opinion and perspective of each of the employees and create a flexible and adaptable working approach under the guidance of his or her leadership(Mohiuddin, 2017). With the context of the organisation CaféPod, by considering the democratic style of leadership I could create a collaborative and affirmative working approach which could, in turn, allow me to mitigate operational barriers like coordination failure, workplace conflict, de-motivated workforce and many others.
In order to conduct the entire coursework in an efficient manner, I have conducted a literature review considering a number of scholarly literature and in most of the cases, I have found positive results regarding the hypothesis of the coursework i.e. democratic leadership has significant contribution in improving the operational works and in overcoming the business based barriers at the workplace. However, certain literature also provides conflicting findings. A summary of the findings has been discussed here. The democratic leadership approach is made upon three basic assumptions: firstly, the leader will expect that the subordinate must have the willingness to maintain a mutual understanding with leaders regarding their role and responsibilities in workplace setup. Secondly, the leader will expect that the subordinates may exhibit their self-confidence and proficiency to get the thing done without continuous supervision within the workplace setup. And lastly, the leader will expect that the subordinates must have the eagerness to get them involved in the decision-making process of the organisation and act incompetent manner (Gandolfiand Stone, 2017). The success of the leadership style in improving the working environment of an organisation to a large extent depends upon the fulfilment of these assumptions.
A democratic leader does not perform the decision-making and problem-solving responsibilities all by himself/herself, instead of that, the leader consults the issue with his team and by conducting proper analysis of the issue and proper discussion it comes to the point of taking a final decision. This process makes the leaders evaluate the various perspective associated with the problem and also the various aspect of solving the problem. While a group of people is engaged in analysing a problem and finding a solution, the different perspectives of the different individuals will be presented and from that, a comprehensive solution comes out. But, in this regard, I have found conflicting findings which suggest that sometimes the group involvement of democratic leadership makes the problem more complex simply due to the involvement of too many perspectives. As a result, the process becomes too much time taking and it sometimes actually deviates the leader from the optimal solution of the problem.
In this coursework, I also have conducted a thorough discussion regarding the issues associated with professional leadership practice and leadership capacity building. By analysing various literature on this subject I have come to the conclusion that being a leader is not an easy job. A leader must have an impressive personality and has the ability to deal with people with kindness and grace. The working environment of an organisation to a large extent depends upon the leadership style followed by the leader. In most cases, democratic leadership creates a more positive and flexible working environment compared to any other style of leadership. Lack of communication among the leader and the follower could be a major issue in the workplace setting. The leader must have effective communication skills and it is the responsibility of the leader to create a proper communicative environment where the team members do not hesitate to present their views or ideas (Veliu et al., 2017). Considering the entire research work I have made the conclusion that a good democratic leader must possess some traits which include: effective communication skills, courage, creativity and accountability, honesty and fairness. By using the democratic leadership approach in an efficient manner within a workplace setting, the organisational problems can be solved creatively and also the productivity of the organisation could be enhanced. This leadership style enhances employee engagement by keeping the employees motivated and engaging them with the organisational aims and objectives.
I have incorporated the concept of a distributive leadership model for measuring the implication of democratic leadership. And I have found that both the leadership approach is quite similar. The distributive leadership model emphasis the leadership quality of autonomy, accountability and capacity and similar to democratic leadership it also relies upon shared leadership. And lastly, I have discussed the piecemeal approach for the implementation of the democratic leadership approach within the organisational setting of CaféPod, which shows the five stages of maintaining alignment in moving succession planning from bolt-on programs to develop strategic processes.
Through the coursework, I want to reflect on the importance of a flexible leadership approach like democratic leadership within an organisational setting. As per the situational leadership theory, leadership needs to be tasking relevant and a leader should act in accordance with the demand of the situation. The democratic leadership approach makes the moves of the leader flexible as a result he/she can act according to the demand of any particular situation It is true that the approach is characterised its own advantages and disadvantages. But for creating a positive working environment and enhancing employee engagement, this leadership approach has a quite significant contribution.
By conducting the coursework, I have gained significant knowledge regarding the importance of the correct leadership approach and capability building. By considering the knowledge that I have gained from the coursework, I have set some objectives for future development of leadership skills which would help in strengthening my leadership skill for my growth in the carrier, the objectives are as follows:
- I will improve my verbal communication skill as a leader must have efficient verbal communication skills for motivating his/her employees
- I will improve my decision-making skills. Though in the democratic style of leadership, the leader considers the perspective of every team member but by judging the perspective and ideas of the team members the ultimate decision has to be taken by the leader
- I will try to become more empathetic. A good leader must develop empathy with his/her follower. This quality allows the leader to make a strong bond with his/her followers
- I will also try to become more accountable. A good leader takes accountability of decisions and for the performance of the team.
Al Khajeh, E. H. (2018). Impact of leadership styles on organizational performance. Journal of Human Resources Management Research, 2018, 1-10.Retrieved from: https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/60515332/687849-120190907-8705-i87j5d.pdf?response-content-dispos
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