BUS401 Study Guide

Site: Saylor Academy
Course: BUS401: Management Leadership
Book: BUS401 Study Guide
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Friday, March 5, 2021, 8:13 PM

Unit 1: Introduction

1a. Develop a working definition and a distinction between management and leadership

1. Leadership is "a process of social influence in which one person enlists the aid and support of others in accomplishing a common task". Management is "the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives".

For a more in-depth look at management and leadership concepts, read Defining Leadership, and pay particular attention to the "Management versus Leadership" section.

2. Many people have very rigid concepts of managers and leaders: The former is results-oriented and concerned with internal tasks like scheduling, budgeting, controlling, etc. The latter is heroic and inspiring and focused on creating change in the world. Since the 1960s, social scientists have become more interested in studying leadership and the traits and behaviors common among effective leaders.

  • Why is it important to differentiate between management and leadership?
  • How is this image of a manager and a leader accurate? How is it inaccurate?

If you feel less confident in your ability to separate leadership and management, read What is Management? and focus on the "Management versus Leadership" section.


1b. Apply Kurt Lewin's leadership typology to the identification of leadership styles of contemporary leaders

Think about the five common styles of leadership. 

  • For each of the five leadership styles, who are two leaders – from politics, business, athletics, the arts, etc. – who exhibit the characteristics of that leadership type?
  • What is the leadership style of each of the leaders you have identified? How can you tell?
  • Which leadership styles do Vince Lombardi, Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela, and Teddy Roosevelt exhibit?

The five leadership styles originally posited by Kurt Lewin are examined in the Styles of Leadership. You may also want to brush up on Lombardi, Jobs, Mandela, or Roosevelt's leadership styles.


1c. Differentiate the leadership styles of leaders from their personal traits

Some traits, when found in individuals, are highly predictive of strong leadership capacity. Zaccaro argued that effective leaders possess cognitive abilities, social capabilities, and dispositional tendencies. When most people think of traits, they think of a leader's character, but be sure not to overlook cognitive abilities and skills!

  • What are the five personality traits related to leadership from Stephen Zaccaro's model?
  • What is the Trait Theory of Leadership?
  • How are traits different from leadership styles?
  • How do traits and tendencies make individuals predisposed to following a certain leadership style or leading with a certain leadership style?

Zaccaro's model is discussed in Defining Leadership.


1d. Assess the role of environment – athletics, business, and politics – in shaping the leadership provided by these individuals

Part of leadership is innate to our person, but part of it comes from our environment.

  • How do people become leaders?
  • What is the Contingency Theory of Leadership?
  • What is the Behavioral Theory of Leadership?
  • What does it take to become a leader in sports, the military, business, politics, or the arts? Does each field require a different type of leader?
  • How are traits different from leadership styles?
  • How do traits and tendencies make individuals predisposed to following a certain leadership style or leading with a certain leadership style?

To review, see Defining Leadership

Unit 2: Leadership Theory

2a. Describe the key traits of an effective leader

For generations, society has attempted to describe the traits which relate to effective leadership. In one form or another, you are likely either currently a leader in some regard, or you will be some time in your life.

  • What are the traits of effective leaders?
  • Which leadership traits do you believe best represents the type of leader you are or could be? Why?

To review trait theory, see Trait ApproachLeadership Traits, and 8 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs.


2b. Compare and contrast the competing behavioral theories of leadership

Managers who subscribe to Theory X assume employees dislike work and conserve their energies, rather than putting themselves fully into their work. Theory Y tells us that managers act on a notion that employees back organizational goals and therefore are committed to their work.

  • How do you think employees respond differently to so-called Theory X managers and Theory Y managers?
  • How would you explain the University of Michigan behavioral studies of the 1950s and 60s to a friend, family member, or co-worker?
  • What was the Ohio State University behavioral study from 1945? Why are its findings important?

To review, see What Do Leaders Do? Behavioral Approaches to Leadership and Behavioral Approach.

2c. Analyze the impact of situations on leadership effectiveness

No two organizations are the same. As such, situations arise which call upon the leader to react to or adjust to the situation they find themselves in.

  • There are times when management should be proactive. Why is this?
  • When managers have to be reactive to a situation, is this a negative mark on their abilities? Why or why not?

To review, see What is the Role of the Context? Contingency Approaches to LeadershipBoss' Habits = Situational Leadership, and Contingency Approach.


2d. Describe the skills associated with effective leadership

There will always be disputes regarding effective leadership. Remember that organizations are made up of individuals, and individuals have particular differences, preferences, biases, etc.

  • How can a leader provide the necessary skills to be useful in a situation?
  • How do or should leaders address their limitations when called upon to lead in particular situations they have little or no experience with and may lack the required skills?

To review, read Introduction to Competencies.


2e. Assess the effectiveness of visionary leadership

1. We often expect leaders to possess some vision to help lead, guide, direct, and convince others that the business organization has a use or benefit to the marketplace as a whole.

  • What is a visionary leader? What informs your answer to the previous question?
  • What are some examples of individuals who are visionary leaders? Why?
  • If a leader lacks a vision for their organization, movement, or purpose, are they ineffective? Why or why not?
  • For each of the leaders you identified, what are their visionary qualities? Why did you choose them?
To review, see The Seven Qualities of Visionary Leaders and Key Behaviors of Transformational Leaders.

2. Analyze the concept of transformational leadership. There are those leaders who invite change, even appreciate it. Take this opportunity to evaluate their leadership abilities.

  • Transformational leaders accept change readily. Does this mean they create more problems than they resolve?
  • Are transformational leaders beneficial to their organization? Why or why not?

To review, see Key Behaviors of Transformational Leaders.

4. Transformational leaders are more employee-centered than organization-driven.

  • Is this an effective way to manage an organization? Give arguments that support both points of view.
  • Why do transformational leaders have varying approaches?
  • Who are some transformational leaders who reflect these traits?
  • Do transformational leaders need to have all of these traits?
  • If you had to rank them in terms of importance, which would be first? Which comes last? Why?

Unit 3: Change Management and Decision-Making

3a. Utilize Lewin's three-step model of change in relating types of change to the decision-making process

  • Should managers be proactive or reactive toward change? Why?

When we think of change in organizations today, it could bring about a variety of responses. Change could result from something as simple as a dress code or something as complex as a new President being elected. The modern manager must be aware of the various forms of change as they come to an organization and then be prepared to deal with them. Kurt Lewin was a respected scholar in the field of change/change management. In subunit 3.1, you were responsible for identifying factors (both internal and external), bringing about change to an organization.

To make a successful transition in an organization, change should be ushered in with proper communication. Employees and their stakeholders have concerns about how change will impact their lives both at home and at work. One of the strategies that organizational behavior experts promote is that of transparency on the part of leadership. The more that employees understand change, the less fear or resistance. Lewin characterizes this phase as "unfreezing" the organization.

After unfreezing, managers may execute the intended changes. When the changes are final, organizations must ensure that changes become permanent. This involves the change becoming accepted, habitual to the employees, and takes time. This process is called "freezing", according to Lewin.

To review, see Planning and Executing Change Effectively.


3b. Assess various methods of communicating change within an organization

  • What are the leadership strategies that can be used for bringing change into an organization?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of these strategies for successful change management?
  • What are the six components of change that management should create and implement?
  • Conner and Stopper provided research on distinct leadership styles. How did Stopper's view differ from Conner's?
  • The three major types of organizational change are business process re-engineering, incremental change, and technological change. Are any major types of change are missing here? If so, what are they?

The research on change and organizations conducted by Lewin and other scholars has helped managers successfully bring change into an organization. Just as there is "no one size fits all" application for managing an organization successfully, neither does one exist for handling change. This section intends to address the existing research on change conducted by Lewin and other scholars. As a manager or a future manager, you may wish to become familiar with these methods to help serve as a basis for your strategy in dealing with change.

To review, see Managing Change for Organizations.


3c. Compare and contrast decision making based on individualized and team processes

Decision making as a function of leaders and managers today often requires using a small team of experts or influential individuals. The small group can often reach a consensus and conclusion fairly quickly. The larger the group, the more discussion that takes place that requires additional debate and consideration. Managing decisions among large groups can take more time and involve more issues. Having a large group reach a consensus on a decision does not always mean the group is correct. In this section, you will want to focus on the steps leaders and managers can take in guiding the decision-making process to lead to a justifiable result.

To review, see Techniques for Consensus Decision-Making in Large Groups: The Spokesperson Council Method.


3d. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of rational and "satisficing" approaches to decision-making

  • Identify a time when you or someone our know used either decision-making method. What were the good and bad results?

In the process of making a decision, people have two general methods at their disposal. A group may come to a decision based on what would create a satisfactory outcome for all the stakeholders – the leader of the group is a "satisficer". The rational method differs in that the decision made by either the leader or a group comes by way of whatever information is available at hand. There may be some boundaries that have to be accepted or ignored depending upon the situation. For example, if you wanted to purchase a pack of gum, you more than likely would refer back to your personal preference without seeking any additional information for consideration. This is a satisficing decision because the only stakeholder, you, is satisfied with the decision you will make. On the other hand, when you want to purchase a home, you will talk to your partner, realtors, bankers, financial analysts to help establish the "boundaries" impacting the decision you will make. Business decision-makers and scholars do not always support the use of the rational method.

See Non-Rational Decision Making for alternative methods to the rational and satisficing methods of making decisions. Pay attention to the role of emotion in making decisions.


3e. Analyze the impact of biases such as anchoring, groupthink, and selective perception on the decision-making process

  • What are anchoring, groupthink, and selective perception?
  • Have you seen these biases in action in a work setting before?

It is usually impossible to remove all forms of bias as one is making a decision. It is important to acknowledge these biases and be vigilant for the ways they manifest in your work.

To review, see The Psychology of Groups.

Unit 4: Leading Without Formal Authority

4a. Evaluate the primary methods used by leaders to exert power over their subordinates

  • There are several different forms of power: legitimate, referent, expert, reward, coercive, and informational. Which form of power do you most often wield at work and in your personal life?
  • Which power tactic do you use most often in a leadership role at home or work? How well does it work for you?

It is important to understand the type of power you have as a leader or manager because it affects how you apply it to get others to perform as they desire.

To review, see Sources of Power.


4b. Assess the methods used by leaders to exert influence over subordinates

  • Who are three organizational leaders you know? How do they display or exert their leadership in their respective communities, whether that is a team within a company or the wider community context for the business?
  • What companies are doing something productive for their communities?
  • Picture yourself as a retiring leader of a highly successful technology department within an organization. What advice or recommendations would you give to your successor?

Organizations themselves exert influence and leadership within their respective markets and community contexts. As a leader, the ability and talent for getting others to do what you expect or require of them can be a challenge and a skill in and of itself. Leaders and Managers need to understand the importance of collaboration, communication, and teamwork. There is a greater chance of organizational success when all involved believed their actions or efforts will lead to gains.

To review, see Nike Improving the Environment and Communities the Open Source Way and Advice from 5 Joomla Project Leaders.


4c. Analyze the role of "emotional intelligence" in leadership

  • Think about two experiences when you interacted with another person or an organization where conflict or tension had to be addressed. In either of those situations, did the person you interacted with have a high level of emotional intelligence?
  • Can you think of two instances where emotions had or did not have a positive effect that was based on emotional intelligence?

The ways we act, feel, or think all have some impact on our organization. We want to be positive and supportive leaders with the intent that those emotions will be reflected in our employees who, in turn, will inspire others (such as customers) to support the company or organization. Our emotional states transfer to those around us. We want to exhibit a high level of emotional intelligence to help us avoid issues or problems as we interact with other people or organizations.

To review, see Emotional Leadership and How Emotion and Mood Influence Behavior.


4d. Describe the key interpersonal skills in leadership

Each of us has our own unique personality, which means that leaders and managers have to get to a point where they understand how their employees think or feel to get the best performance from them that they can. We cannot stress enough how important it is to account for and properly utilize one's interpersonal skills. What you do, how you act, or how you express yourself could mean the difference between developing a successful employee and/or losing out on a potential successful employee.


4e. Evaluate the positive and negative elements of leadership without formal authority

  • Have you been in a situation where you were a leader or part of a team where you were given support to do your job?
  • Would you have preferred to have been managed more directly? Why or why not?

Bill Joy identified that an employee grouping often is more successful when they are left on their own with little boundaries or structure. The members know their roles, accept their responsibilities, and perform accordingly. Jim Whitehurst came to understand that, as a COO, it was necessary to give up the "advantages" he had held in a previous similar position. He found that being one of the team yielded greater results than if he had constantly reinforced the fact that he was the person in charge. The use of an "open organization" model has led to a situation where boundaries exist, but, as the leader, he still helps the members of the organization effectively do their jobs. He cites that his research is not conclusive, and as a leader attempting to interact with an established group, he still has a lot to learn. 

To review, see Should Open-Source Leaders Go Native? and Working with Individuals.

Unit 5: Managing Groups and Teams

  • 5a: Analyze the roles of cohesion, communication, and motivation in both team and group settings.
  • 5b: Describe the channels of communication utilized in team settings.
  • 5c: Compare and contrast primary strategies for building effective teams.
  • 5d: Assess the types of leadership strategies required for successful team or group performance.
  • 5e: Evaluate the importance of an effective transitional leadership strategy for teams.

Managing Diversity

  • What is diversity, as it relates to the modern organization in terms of small businesses and large companies?

Diversity is important in the modern world of work. Those leading and managing organizations have to realize that theirs (or yours) is not the only opinion that counts in guiding or directing the organization. Everyone has their own particular view or opinion. A leader needs to identify these concepts to help make sure the right individual has been placed in the right position within the organization.

We must expand our view of diversity beyond age, ethnicity, and gender. In the modern workplace, we have employees with mental and physical disabilities or differences that range from mild to severe. When the leader or manager can identify the benefits of the skill or knowledge set that the worker brings to the organization, all involved benefit.

To review, read Managing Demographic and Cultural Diversity.


The Internal Group Process

  • Would you prefer to be a part of a large or a small group when making major organizational decisions?

Today, many organizations value using small groups or teams to present new ideas or resolve existing issues. A small group is generally easier to manage than a large group. The leader/manager of a small group should be prepared to listen to, consider, and evaluate ideas. There will not always be consensus, and so, the leader must be able to use power and/or influence to steer the group to an action or decision to benefit the organization as a whole.

To review, see Small Group Communication and Effects of Group Size on Stability and Intimacy.


Building and Managing Teams

  • Which of the following attributes would you consider important when assembling a team to resolve a problem?
    • Communication Skills
    • Honesty
    • Loyalty
    • Creativity
    • Determination
    • Open-Mindedness

Anyone who has participated in any team activity understands that each team member has a role to play and should be held accountable for their performance. Leaders should position themselves to understand who their people are and what they are best at accomplishing. Success follows when leaders deploy the members of their team and acknowledge each member's specific skills and interests.


Team Leadership

The team members look to their leader for comfort, guidance, and direction at various times. The more that leaders can give team members the support they need, the more likely they will be to garner the desired level of performance.

In a modern organization, you may need to lead a virtual team, which often means teammates or subordinates work together from a distance. They could be on another floor of the office building or even in another country.

How should managers prepare for this type of leadership situation? What attributes would you look for when putting together an effective virtual team?