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Leadership, Teambuilding, and Communication

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Leadership, Teambuilding, and Communication

Leadership, Teambuilding, and Communication

BUS 322

December 14, 2012


This paper is about how leadership, teambuilding, and communication can affect an organization. The organization that was researched for this paper is The College Board. This paper also shows how to be a good leader and implement the right leadership style for the organization. There are different types of interpersonal forms of power and it is important to outline what type to use in each organization. This also shows the conflicts that arise when being in a team setting and how to overcome them with different conflict management styles. There are communication barriers that can arise in an organization and this shows how overcome those barriers. This paper is showing the different things that come up in an organization and tries to make the best recommendations for The College Board to manage it the right way.

Leadership theories and forms of power

Leadership has many different theories from the traditional and contemporary to the emerging theory. According to Nelson and Quick (2013) "Leadership in organizations is the process of guiding and directing the behavior of people in the work environment." (p. 193) The behavioral theory is a traditional theory that identifies people with leadership styles. The three behavioral styles are autocratic, democratic, and laissaz-faire. Autocratic style of leadership is when a manager has absolute power or authority over their employees. The autocratic leader may use coercion or intimidation to achieve their goals. Some military leaders might use the autocratic style of leadership. Democratic leaders collaborate with employees and encourage employees to cooperate. The democratic leadership style allows followers to discuss any factors that will influence certain decisions. Followers have a better understanding of why and how decisions are made. If followers feel that their opinions matter then they are more likely to commit to the final decision even if they may not agree with it. Laissez-faire leadership style is one that has no real authority in managing followers. Managers basically let employees do what they want and this usually causes chaos in the workplace. The laissez-faire leader has no real control over what goes on around them. The contemporary theory uses the leadership grid to identify what type of manager a person is. It is basically has two sides to the grid on one side it identifies the concern for people doing the work and concern for results. This grid was developed to show nine degrees of (concern for people) and (concern for results) a 1 shows low level and a 9 shows a high level of concern. There are five management behavior styles identified by the grid. Charting each person's position on the grid makes it possible to show which leadership style they possess. The emerging leadership theories are the leader-member exchange (LMX) and inspirational leadership. The LMX theory shows two different groups that exist within an organization the in-group and the out-groups. The in-groups tend to identify with the leader because they have similar characteristics as the leader. The out-groups are just what it sounds like, they are the outsiders. The leaders of the in-group tend to leave the people of the out-group out and favor the in-group people. In the Inspirational leadership the followers are looking to the leader for inspiration on doing well on tasks.

There are five different forms of interpersonal power to examine. The five different forms of power that managers use are reward, coercive, legitimate, referent, and expert. Reward power is power that allows managers to reward employees for certain desired behaviors. Managers use this form of power when they want to influence an employ to perform better. They offer certain rewards like bonuses, salary increases, and promotions. There are also other rewards that are not tangible that can also increase performance such as verbal approval, praise, and encouragement. It is important for managers to have a clear set of behaviors that will gain the reward. Coercive power is on the other end of the spectrum in comparison to reward power. This power is used as a way to punish an employee in order to get the desired behavior. Employees usually do what is required of them out of fear of what may happen if they do not comply. Managers may withhold pay raises and promotions or verbally abuse employees. Legitimate power is the authority that a leader has due to their position in an organization. A leader is only different from a follower because they have more responsibility then the follower. Referent power happens when the followers look at the leader as someone who has the qualities that they respect and would like to have. Followers feel like they can relate to the leader and that they have their best interest in mind. Expert power is when a person is capable of influencing others in the organization by having some expert knowledge in their field. These leaders are considered subject matter experts and the followers respect their opinions and recommendations.

Profile of the ideal leader

The ideal leader for College Board would be someone who possesses a democratic leadership style and has both referent and expert power. According to Ulrich and Smallwood (2009) "Companies with strong leadership brands create deep pipelines of skilled managers and executives and often enjoy a distinct competitive edge." (p.32) The College Board has many different areas that they work with and they need to be able to have that open communication and collaboration with their employees. Technology is growing at a rapid pace and the College Board needs to have people that can have an input and know that their ideas matter. According to The College Board Online (2008) The College Board is responsible for creating the SATs, advance placement tests, and college level tests. As technology grows so will the ways that they administer tests and grade the tests. They need to have an open dialogue with employees to incorporate new ideas. The ideal leader also needs to have referent and expert power in order to be respected and taken seriously as a leader. The leader needs to have the followers feel like their needs are met. The leaders need to care about the followers in order to make them feel like they want to work for them. The leader also needs to be taken seriously by being an expert in that particular field. The followers will do what is expected of them if they know they can trust the leader to tell them



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