MGMT516 Week 6 Overview
What is the difference between management and leadership? John Kotter of the Harvard Business School writes that management is about coping with complexity, and that good management brings about order and consistency by drawing up formal plans, designing organizational structures, and monitoring results against the plans.
Leaders influence and control the actions and beliefs of employees who directly report to them, those who work in the specific groups or teams they directly control, and even those who work across an entire organization. A number of different leadership theories have been proposed by scholars over the years. The various approaches to leadership described in chapter 13 seek to explain why some people become leaders and others do not, and why some leaders are more effective than others in their attempts to influence people and groups.
Leadership is about coping with change. Hence, as we will learn in chapter 13, leadership is defined as the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of a vision or a set of goals. The source of this influence may be formal, such as that provided by managerial rank in an organization. Leaders establish direction by developing a vision of the future and then aligning people by communicating this vision and inspiring others to overcome hurdles.
Effective decision-making is an important skill for all employees and is particularly important for supervisors, managers, and leaders. Decision-making is defined as the process of choosing a solution from available alternatives. Simply put, it is the thought process of selecting a choice from several alternative options.
All organizational employees face decisions daily. In the workplace, you will be faced with two broad types of decisions—programmed and non-programmed. Programmed decisions are routine, almost automatic. Programmed decisions generally involve situations that have occurred before, so policies and processes already exist for how to handle them. Responding is simply a matter of following the guidelines on how to handle the situation. On the other hand, non-programmed decisions occur in unusual situations that have not been addressed often. Policies or guidelines do not exist yet, so these types of decisions are made on a manager’s intuition or best judgment.
Chapter 15 of your textbook will look at ethics and values. Ethical issues occur at all levels of the organization and are more nuanced than ever because of the complexity of choices that we face in each decision we make. Ethical thinking refers to the cognitive means by which people reason when they are faced with situations that involve values. It is the systematic evaluation of ethical issues at the moment of truth to determine whether a person’s actual or contemplated behavior is ethical or unethical.
Chapter 15 will also examine ethical decision-making frameworks that combine both ethical perspectives and ethical models, providing a systematic process designed to produce ethical decisions.