Ðàçëè÷íûå ñòèëè ëèäåðñòâà íà ïðèìåðå îäíîãî îòåëÿ
Ðàçëè÷íûå ñòèëè ëèäåðñòâà íà ïðèìåðå îäíîãî îòåëÿ
Leadership is one of the most mysterious phenomena that occur in our
society. Leaders appeared in the ancient times and since then the necessity in
leadership has increased. Our society has become more complicated. Today there
are a lot of social units on different levels that need leaders to function
effectively. But it has been a difficult task to understand how leadership
occurs. Leaders are different, their tasks vary, as well as the way they lead
their teams. Being an effective leader in one organisation does not presuppose
the same success in other organisation. There are many “but” in this field of
study, leadership raises lots of questions. No wonder that there are several
approaches to leadership.
The aim of this paper is to assess the applicability and value of
different approaches using a service organisation as an example. I have chosen
Quality Arcticus Hotel in Harstad and three of its leaders as a field for my
research. I work at this organisation, so I know the personnel and I have
observed the style of their work for some period. Now I will use my knowledge
and the method of interview to go deeper into the question. Quality Arcticus
Hotel is a typical service organisation that offers lodging and catering. The
restaurant and the café belonging to the hotel are both very popular
among the citizens of Harstad. The hotel itself is the second best in the town,
following Røkenes Gjestegård (which takes the first place due to
its exclusiveness) Such success of Arcticus Hotel would be impossible without
My work consists of theoretical and practical parts. In the
theoretical part I describe the approaches that we have been introduced to.
In the practical part I take a look at the structure of the Quality
Arcticus Hotel and try to apply different approaches to leadership to
understand the style of work of the three leaders that I have chosen as the
subject for my study. I describe what, in my opinion, helps these three persons
to be effective leaders (if they are so in reality)
2. Theory about leadership.
2.1 Definitions of leadership
Defining leadership has been a complex and elusive problem largely
because the nature of leadership itself is complex. A lot of studies have
emerged from every discipline “that has had some interest in the subject of
leadership: anthropology, business administration, educational administration,
history, military science, nursing administration, organizational behaviour,
philosophy, political science, public administration, psychology, sociology,
and theology.” (Rost, J. C. Leadership for the Twenty-first Century, p. 45)
Joseph Rost -- and many others, including James MacGregor Burns,
Warren Bennis, and Henry Mintzberg -- goes on to argue that the entire history
of modern leadership studies has been seriously flawed. First, because while
everyone talks about leadership, no-one has satisfactorily defined what it
actually is. Like art, we seem to know it only when we see it. (www.infinitefutures.com)
We can see how definition of leadership changed:
1927: “...the ability to impress the will
of the leader on those led and induce obedience, respect, loyalty, and
cooperation.” (Steward, in Moore, 1927)
1930’s: “…interaction between specific
traits of one person and other traits of the many, in such a way that the
course of action of the many is changed by the one.” (Bogardus, 1934)
“Leadership may be broadly defined as the relation between an
individual and a group built around some common interest and behaving in a
manner directed or determined by him.” (Schmidt, 1933, page 282, quoted in
Rost, page 48)
1940’s: “Leadership…is the art of influencing…people by persuasion
or example to follow a line of action. It must never be confused with
drivership…which is the art of compelling…people by intimidation or force to
follow a line of action.” (Copeland, 1942)
process (act) of influencing the activities of an organized group in its
efforts towards goal setting and goal achievement.” (Stogdill,
1960’s: “…acts by
persons which influence other persons in a shared direction.” (Seeman,
process in which an individual takes initiative to assist a group to move
towards the production goals that are acceptable to maintain the group, and to
dispose the needs of individuals within the group that compelled them to join
it.” (Boles and Davenport, 1975)
Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus in their
book “Leaders” said that “Leaders lead by pulling rather than pushing; by
inspiring rather than ordering; by creating achievable, though challenging,
expectations and rewarding progress toward them rather than by manipulating; by
enabling people to use their own initiative and experiences rather than by
denying or constraining their experiences and actions. (Bennis, W.,Nanus,
In 1993 Joseph C. Rost defined leadership
for the twenty-first century: “Leadership is an influence relationship among
leaders and followers who intend real changes that reflect their mutual
purposes.” Four essential elements must be present:
The relationship is based on influence.
influence relationship is multidirectional;
influence behaviours are no coercive.
Leaders and followers are the people in this relationship.
followers are active;
must be more than one follower, and there is typically more than one leader in
relationship is inherently unequal because the influence patterns are unequal
The definition given by Rost comprises all the previous attempts to
define leadership, as it includes the elements reflected in the other
definitions. However, most of the scholars considered some elements to be more
important than others, so we have a number of approaches to leadership. We will
describe the major ones in the next chapter.
2.2 Leadership evolution
Our world is changing and these changing surroundings need new
leaders. When the world used to be stable, the tasks of the leaders were to
control and predict. Further, as the world was getting more chaotic, leaders
faced new tasks. This model shows the evolution of leadership:
Figure 1. Source: Richard L. Daft:
Leadership: theory and practice. (1999, p
Different approaches to leadership concentrate on different eras or
types of leaders.
2.3 Trait approach to leadership.
Early efforts to understand leadership success focused on the
leader’s personal traits. In the 1990’s the “great man” theories appeared. They
tried to figure out who is born to lead. They studied the great leaders
of the past such as Caesar, Napoleon, and Richard III. Those days the world was
stable and predictable, the societies were not so complex, the groups were few
and small. The leaders acted on “macro” level and were associated with heroes.
Later researches (1940’s-1950’s) tried to find the universal traits common to
all leaders. There was a sense that some critical leadership traits could be
isolated. There was also a feeling that people with such traits could then be
recruited, selected, trained and installed into leadership positions. In their
studies some traits did appear more frequently than others: technical
skills, friendliness, intelligence, general charisma, drive, task motivation,
application to task, social skills, emotional control, administrative skill,
The problem with the trait approach lies in the fact that almost as
many traits as studies undertaken were identified. Stogdill examined over 100
studies based on the trait approach. (Daft, R., 1999:65) He uncovered that the
importance of a particular trait was often relative to another factor- the
situation. Indeed, when we look at such leaders as Stalin, Hitler, Churchill,
Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Kennedy, Margareth Thatcher,
do they have any traits in common all together? Having failed to identify the
leader’s traits, the researchers understood that leadership is usually a more
2.3 Behaviour approaches
The results of the trait studies were inconclusive. Researchers
changed the focus from the “great men” to small groups and their leaders.
Researchers turned to an examination of leader behaviours. Rather than
concentrating on what leaders are, as the trait approach urged, the behavioural
approach forced looking at what leaders do. This approach (1950’s-60’s) says
that anyone who adopts the appropriate behaviour can be a good leader. (Daft,
R., 1999:69) Behavioural patterns can be learned in contrast with traits that
must be possessed.
The studies of Iowa State University were a precursor to behaviour approach.
They recognised autocratic versus democratic leadership styles.
The most prominent studies were those undertaken by the University of Michigan and by Ohio State University. Interestingly, both studies concluded
that leadership behaviours could be classified into two groups.
Ohio State University University of Michigan
- Initiating Structure - Production
-Consideration - Employee Centered
Likert (the University of Michigan) found that employee-centered
leader behaviour generally tended to be more effective. Blake and Mouton of the
University of Texas went into the same direction and suggested the two similar
dimensions: concern for people and concern for results. But they worked out the
leadership grid and suggested five leadership styles:
Impoverishment Management (minimal degree of
each concern). The less effective leadership.
9.1 Authority-Compliance Management (maximal degree of concern for
results, minimal degree of concern for people)
5.5 Middle-of.the-Road- Management (average degree of both concerns)
1.9 Country Club Management (minimal degree of concern for results,
maximal degree of concern for people)
9.9 Team Management (maximal degree of each concern). This was
considered to be the most effective leadership style.
This approach goes further that trait approach by trying to group
leaders into several categories instead of finding something common to all
leaders. Still, leaders were supposed to have “either-or” style.
2.4. Situational (contingency) approach
Unable to determine which particular behaviour patterns consistently
resulted in effective leadership, researches then attempted to match behaviour
patterns that worked best in specific contexts or situations. The previous
researches studied two dimensions: leaders themselves and their relationships
with followers. The central focus of the new research was situation in which
leadership occurred. The most important point is that the components of
leadership style, subordinate characteristics and situational elements impact
one another. Fiedler’s contingency model, Hersey and Blanchard’s situational
theory, the path-goal theory, and substitutes for leadership each describe that
different situations need different styles of leadership behaviour so that it
was an effective leadership.
According to Fiedler, leaders can determine if the situation is
favourable to their leadership style. Task-oriented leaders tend to do better
in very easy or very difficult situations, while person-oriented leaders do
best in situations of intermediate favourability. Hersey and Blanchard say that
leaders can adjust their task or relationship style to accommodate the readiness
level of their subordinates. The path-goal theory states that leaders can use a
style that either clarifies the path to desired rewards or increases the
rewards so that the followers would display increased effort and motivation.
(Daft, R., 1999:114) We will have a closer look at two of these theories in our
The limits of this paper do not allow us to analyse other theories
as dyadic theory, integrate and alternative approaches. But all these theories
took into consideration the fact that leadership is a complex phenomenon and
its effectiveness depends on many factors.
3. Implementation of the theory in practice.
3.1 Presentation of Quality Arcticus Hotel
Quality Arcticus Hotel is a typical service organisation. It is an
equivalent of a four-star hotel, and a member of a hotel chain Choice Hotels.
Here is an organisation plan of the hotel.
As an action company, it has a committee, consisting of 5 persons
who were chosen by the personnel. In the hotel we can see a vertical power
structure. One can observe three levels of leaders here:
Strategic level – the
hotel manager (administrative director)
Middle level – the
Operative level –
the restaurant chief, the bar chief, the chief-cook, the reception chief, and
the selling manager.
I have chosen three leaders for my research: the hotel manager, the
economy chief and the restaurant chief. I work at this restaurant, so I know
the restaurant chief’s work best out of the operative leaders.
In connection with this paper I am interested in what kind of leader
styles these three persons practice. I consider their work as very effective.
To this point, the hotel has not had serious economical problems or conflicts
with the personnel. I should mention that it is a small hotel, and it can be
considered a family organisation.
Moreover, all the three were not elected to their positions and in reality can
take their leader positions as long as they wish to. Such relations give more
power to the leaders. However, their relationship to the personnel is very
good. Their subordinates call them democratic bosses. I would like to find out
what helps these leaders work effectively and keep such a good reputation. I
am going to use the leader theories that I have talked about in this paper. I
want to find out whether those theories are relevant when explaining the
success of these three leaders.
Now I want to look closer at the tasks of these three leaders. The
hotel manager works with daily leadership and strategic planning. Since it is a
little hotel with few departments, most of the leaders have additional
responsibility. Quality Arcticus Hotel does not have a marketing department and
the hotel leader has marketing as an additional task to his main tasks. This
leader has a number of tasks which he handles alone, e.g. problems outside the
hotel: the marked, competition, promotion. He can take decisions alone, having
consulted the economy chief if it is possible to put his ideas into reality. In
my opinion, this fact that he can solve some problems by himself helps him to
avoid possible conflicts with the subordinates. Actually there are fields where
he does not need to lead a team.
The economy chief takes charge of economy and budget, this is her
main responsibility. Her additional responsibility is the personnel. Her tasks
are more management tasks than leadership, as she works mostly with calculating
and controlling, and this is the work that she handles alone. Still, she also
works with the personnel, deciding who and how much is going to work in
The restaurant chief takes responsibility for the personnel in the
restaurant and for the budget. She also takes charge of the arranging,
marketing and selling of all the products that the restaurant can offer.
3.2 Trait approach in practice
First, I want to find out if these three leaders have some traits
that explain their success. I have interviewed the leaders and asked what
particular traits help them in their work, in their opinion. I have asked their
subordinates as well to describe these persons as chiefs. At last I have tested
the three leaders, using the questionnaire from the book “Leadership” , to find
out if these persons have potential leadership qualities. The test showed that
all the three of them may have such qualities, especially the restaurant chief.
On my question, if they could be leaders of a big concern/company, the economy
chief answered “no”, the restaurant chief answered “yes” and the hotel chief
was not sure. The restaurant chief was very excited of the thought to lead a
big company, which, to my mind, means that she has qualities and abilities
necessary for a leader.
Among the qualities the hotel chief possesses his subordinates
mentioned: democratic, flexible, not so demanding, motivating, honest, social,
result-oriented, fair, friendly, well-organised, purposeful. He himself means
that what helps him in work is an ability to listen to other people and to
foresee the situation.
The economy chief was characterised as fair, polite, well-organised,
nice, understanding, with sense of humour, flexible, democratic, precise,
consequent, hardworking, and motivating. She herself considers the most
important for her success is being social, friendly and co-operative.
The restaurant chief got a variety of characteristics from her
subordinates: flexible, understanding, drive, motivating, demanding, obliging,
stressful, funny, purposeful, open, helpful, optimistic, active, with a sense
of humour, charismatic, absent-minded, messy, enthusiastic, precise,
co-operative, concerned about quality. She herself pointed out such traits as
open, helpful, purposeful, tough, and a bit autocratic.
As we can see all the three leaders possess a number of qualities
that many researchers consider having great value for leaders, such as drive,
honesty, friendliness, and motivating. Still, all the three possess different
qualities, what does not prevent their success. Such traits as messy and
stressful, for example, can be an obstacle in handling situations that demand
responsibility and self-confidence. To my mind, this approach does not go deep
enough to explain the success of the leaders.
3.3 Behaviour approach in
Further, I have tried to find out what kind of behaviour these three
leaders practise. I have tested all of them, using two questionnaires from the
book “Leadership” . I have also interviewed both the leaders and their
One of the approaches, which I have described above, recognises
autocratic versus democratic leadership styles. The hotel chief is a democratic
leader. All his subordinates pointed it out. The characteristics he got from
the personnel, such as flexible, fair, friendly, not so demanding, indicate his
democratic relations with the subordinates. In the interview the hotel chief
explained that although the organisation has a hierarchic structure, in
practice he and his subordinates is one team, working together. When there is a
problem to lose, he is on one line with the other leaders. Everyone has the
right to say what they mean.
One of the tests I have used was designed to assess aggressive,
passive and assertive behaviour. According to the test, the hotel chief’s
behaviour is assertive. This behaviour is considered to be the most effective
for leadership. Assertive people ask for what they believe, and stand up for
their rights in a way that others can accept. The quality of assertiveness
means being straightforward yet open to the needs of others. Assertiveness
strikes the correct balance between being too dominant and too “soft”, which
are not effective ways to influence others.
Another test shows if a person is people-oriented or task-oriented.
The hotel chief is task-oriented according to the test, but only with a one
The economy chief is also rather democratic than autocratic. All her
subordinates named her social characteristics. She delegates authority to
others, encourages participation and relies on her subordinates.
However, the test showed that she practises passive behaviour, which
is not effective for leadership. She prefers conflict avoidance, suppressing
her own needs, being inhibited and submissive.
She is also more people-oriented than task-oriented. She trusts her
colleagues and asks their opinion. For example, is there are too many rooms to
clean, she never insists on cleaning all of them the same day. Satisfied
room-maids are more important for her than 100% done work.
The restaurant chief is both democratic and autocratic. Her
subordinates mentioned her social qualities as well as her concern for work,
e.g. demanding, drive etc. She is a person who always helps her subordinates,
asks for their opinion, in some cases fully delegates authority to the team of
waiters and lets them decide how to complete the tasks. But in some cases, especially
demanding to represent the restaurant at its best, she becomes autocratic and
tells how to do the work. In such cases perfectly-done work is more important
for her than satisfied subordinates. When a new waiter/waitress is being
trained up, she pays much attention to every detail in doing the everyday
tasks, such as laying up the table, talking to the guests and so on. When she
lets her subordinates do the job without her supervision, every worker knows
how to do the tasks so that the chief would like it. It is obvious that she is
more task-oriented than people-oriented. She characterises her relationship
with the subordinates as good, but she is aware of the fact that some persons
are discontent with her pressure and a great deal of work which she expects to
Another test showed her assertive behaviour, which is considered the
most effective for leadership. (Daft..)
3.4 Situational approach in practice
All the three leaders behave in different ways. It is interesting
that the hotel chief, having serious tasks, allows higher degree of democracy
than the restaurant chief. To my mind the difference is the situations they
work in. Both the hotel chief and the economy chief have a number of tasks they
can handle alone and the number of their subordinates they work with on the
other tasks is little. 
The restaurant chief has around 20 waiters under her charge. And there is
almost no task she can do alone without any help. Moreover, she needs to
co-operate with the kitchen. Her working surroundings are more conflictable and
she needs to be firm. I think it is incorrect to say that some behaviour is
more effective than other, without taking into consideration in what situation
the leader work. The leader effectiveness is in other words contingent on the
The situational theory of Hersey and Blanchard focuses on the
characteristics of followers. According to this theory I can say that the
restaurant chief has telling style, as she gives explicit directions about how
tasks should be accomplished. And this is an appropriate style in her situation
if we take into consideration the fact that 50% of the subordinates are not
professional waiters. Half of the waters started to work without any knowledge
about the specificity of the job, many of them work part-time. So, not all the
waiters show high degree of readiness. Letting them decide and giving them
responsibility is not the right thing to do.
On the opposite, the hotel chief and the economy chief work with a
team that has high readiness and shares the goals of the organisation. The
department chiefs can take responsibility for their own task behaviour. The
hotel chief prefers delegating and participating styles of work. The economy
chief has delegating style.
Fiedler takes more factors into consideration than just the
characteristics of the followers. He also means that task structure and the
degree of leader power are important. Here is the table showing different
situations the leaders can work at.
Source: Richard L.
Daft: Leadership: theory and practice. (1999: 97)
Knowing the situation we can say what is more effective for a
leader: being people-oriented or task-oriented.
The leader-member relations are good with all the three leaders in
our case. The task structure is high. There are little ill-defined tasks or
researches, the hotel chief and the economy chief handle such tasks alone. At
the restaurant it can be a challenge to work with new unexpected tasks, here we
have work that sometimes needs creativeness. The task structure at the
restaurant is lower. I would place the restaurant chief in the situation with
The formal position power is strong with all the three leaders.
Although the hotel chief and the economy chief prefer to work on one line with
their subordinates, formally they have power to evaluate, reward or punish.
I can conclude that the hotel and economy chiefs work in a
favourable situation, while the restaurant chief- in an intermediate. In both
cases task-oriented leaders perform better. As I have found out before, the
hotel chief and the restaurant chief are task-oriented leaders, while the
economy chief is more people-oriented. But as she is as popular as a chief and
does her work successfully, I presume she can allow being people-oriented in
her situation as well. The tasks for her subordinates are so clear and routine,
and the relations with her team are so favourable that she does not need focus
In this paper we have tried to analyse different approaches to
leadership and implement them in practice using Quality Arcticus Hotel as a
model. I think that all the three approaches are relevant to some extent. All
the three leaders possess traits that are necessary to succeed in a leading
position. The leaders in my analysis possess different behaviour styles but it
is understandable. If a leader has to handle with tasks demanding high degree
of responsibility from the subordinates he is more task-oriented. To be a hotel
chief is a responsible work, the leader should be more task-oriented than
people-oriented. On the operative level as well there are a lot of daily tasks
which need to be performed with high quality. All the goals that the leaders on
the upper levels set up for the organisations shall be realised on the
operative level. We can judge the work of the hotel by the work of the
departments on the operative level (reception, kitchen, restaurant, bar,
selling department). That is why it is more natural, to my mind, for these
leaders to focus more on the tasks than on their subordinates.
Situational approach takes more factors into consideration and that
is why I think it is a more applicable theory to find out the best style of
leadership. Leadership is a complex phenomenon and it can not been explained
with simple concepts. I do not mean to say that contingency approaches are the
best in explaining success in leadership. There are many theories about this
phenomenon. But out of the three approaches analysed it gives more concrete
answers on the question, why exactly this leader performs well in exactly these
- Yukl, Gary Leadership in organisations,
fifth edition, 2002
- Daft, Richard L. Leadership: theory and
 The hotell manager is married to the economy chief and one of the
operative leaders is their son-in-law.
 The hotel chief normally handles problems with the economy chief
and the five operative leaders. The economy chief has two persons working with
economy under her supervision. Besides she takes charge of the 8 room-maids.