Blog 5: My Version of Leadership

10 weeks’ time is like a blink of an eye. To be honest, M005 is one of my favorite courses as it is so closely related to my life. My father and mother are both self-employed, setting up their own factory in the early days and made a fortune through hardworking. When I was young, I used to see my father struggling in the running of businesses, referring to what should do or what should not. Surprisingly, I somehow totally understand my father after this course. The main reason is because management and leadership sometimes separate and sometimes combine. Through learning, I understand management and leadership are defined in different ways. Mullins (2010) pointed out “management is a set of processes that keep an organization functioning…the processes are about planning, budgeting, staffing, clarifying jobs, measuring performance, and problem-solving when results did not go to plan”. Ratcliffe (2013) illustrated leadership concerns with aligning people to the vision through communication, motivation and inspiration. Yukl (2010) stated leadership refers to the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how to do it.

My version of leadership is just the same as the name of the course – leading while changing. Nothing remains static and you must change to suit different situations. While Mullins (2013) believed leadership is to get things done through other people, leadership & ethics in Week 1 taught us leadership should be normatively appropriate conduct based on the identification of a set of values & beliefs (Rubin et a., 2010: 216-17). Therefore, the style of leadership is critical. We must be aware there is no single ideal leadership style and we should adjust according to different situations. But, the power in our hand is a double-edged sword. Forsyth (2009) warned that leadership it is not demarcated by power over people but a power with people that exists as a reciprocal relationship between a leader and his/her followers. In other words, leaders are expected to bring a positive influence among its followers. (Baumeister et al., 1988)

The person who truly inspired me is Richardo Semler, former CEO of Semco in Brazil. When Richardo was young, he did not do well at school. On the contrary, he has shown entrepreneurial flair in high school by running snack school, showing talent to do business. When his father Aotonio handed him over the whole factory, it was all in a mess. As s refresher in business, Richardo was struggling but to follow this father’s steps, both in management and leadership. However, this is what troubles Richardo that even under tight schedule and strict rules, employees still show low efficiency. Rihcardo could not figure out why it happened as he had spent almost evey minute in the business. With the pressure coming through, Richardo decided to make some change. He knew well changing leadership all in a sudden will face resistance as people may fell uncomfortable and afraid of freedom. (Mullins, 2013) He then took the path of changing management that he set up new channels and product lines. Of course he received resistance but he regarded the resistance from employees to be valuable feedback (Ford and Ford (2009) because it helps to know why the resistance occurred.

After he though through, he went back to the track of changing previous autocratic leadership style into a democratic leadership style by trusting workers, sharing information, encouraging dissent, etc. Richardo continued changing leadership through motivation by empowering employees more authority to decision-making, allowing them to decide for their own. Zigarmi et al. (2011) pointed out to get the bet of your team, team members should know they are doing some meaningful and feel connected with leaders. As a result, employees treat Semco as a second family and chose to face the Brazil crisis with companies even lowering their pay cut.

Why I found the story fascinating is it has taught me how to others. I must make judgment on the situation to see whether or not to make a change. If changes are expect to happen, people should be prioritized as they are the key to business operations. Rather than holding the power in hand, I am willing to share what I know with them to activate their potential. Hopefully everyone under my lead can feel at home and bring out their best performance.



Baumeister, R. F.; Senders, P. S.; Chesner, S. C.; Tice, D. M. (1988). “Who’s in charge here? Group leaders do lend help in emergencies”. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 14: 17–22.

Ford, J., and Ford, L. (2009). Decoding resistance to change. Harvard Business Review, 87(4), 99-103.

Forsyth, D. R. (2009). Group dynamics. Cengage Learning.

Mullins, L. J. (2010). Management and organisational behaviour. Pearson education.

Mullins, L. J. (2013). Management and organisational behaviour. Pearson education.

Ratcliffe, R. (2013). What’s the difference between leadership and management?. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 3 Apr. 2017].

Rubin, R, Dierdorff, E, & Brown, M, 2010, ‘Do Ethical Leaders Get Ahead? Exploring Ethical Leadership and Promotability’, ‘Business Ethics Quarterly, 20, 2, pp. 215-236, Business Souce Complete, EBSCOhost.

Yukl, G. (2010), Leadership in Organizations: Global Edition, 7th Edition, Pearson Higher Education

Zigarmi, D., Houson, D., Witt, D. and Diehl, J. (2011). [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Apr. 2017].


Blog 4: Leadership & Change

I only partly agree with Mullins (2010a) that “change is nothing new and a simple fact of life. Some people actively thrive on new challenges and constant change, while others prefer the comfort of the status quo and strongly resist any change. It is all down to the personality of the individual and there is little management can do about resistance to change”. Apparently change is necessary as the business environment or the inside of the company will remain the same all the time. However, changing is not always welcome by everyone especially when they have been in a familiar environment. So why does change face opponents when it needs to be done? This blog is to get you a deep understanding towards leadership and change.

There are many factors that can trigger change, for example, Mullins (2010b) outlined drivers of changes as below:

  1. Uncertain economic conditions
  2. Globalisation
  3. Government intervention and political interests
  4. Outsourcing and the redefinition of core business
  5. Increased demand for high quality goods, services and customer satisfaction
  6. Fragmentation and distribution of work across people, organisations and locations
  7. Changing demographics and expectations of workforce
  8. Advances in technology
  9. Increasing pace, scale and complexity of organisational change

As a result, it is easier to understand why opponents exist as change will break the habits of people in the organization, making them feel uncomfortable. Also Mullins (2013: 716-7) pointed out people may be afraid about the unknown circumstances when change takes place, worrying the inconvenience or loss of freedoms. People’s resistance can further reach the organizational level that it may has an influence on past business relationships, organizational culture and power. (Mullins, 2013: 717-8)

Although people are against the change within organization, there have been some bad examples of company that refuse to change. For example, in 1990s Netscape became the winner of Internet simple because Bills Gates refused to change the focus of his company; the success of Apple’s smartphones has taught people they can have a better experience without keyboard on the phone. However, is there anything we can get from changes? Or, does change always mean a bad thing? Ford and Ford (2009a) argued that resistance should be regarded to be a valuable resource that the feedback got from resistance can be used to refine the change effort.

In my opinion, rather than ‘little management can do about resistance to change’, there is a lot can be done.

Before any changing attempt, leaders should be aware of the culture company has. Handy (1993) has illustrated four types of organizational culture, which are power culture, role culture, task culture and person culture. Different cultures should have different focus when adopting changes. Caldwell (2003) has established a model for change for different scenarios as below:

Leadership Model Management Model Consultancy Model Team


Senior Managers Middle Managers/ Functional Specialists External/Internal Consultants Teams Across All   Levels
Responsible for: Responsible for: Responsible for: Responsible for:

Delivering strategic / transformational change


Supporting specific parts of change programme

Operating at any required level Working as a composite team to deliver change programme

Leaders also play a significant role in the changing process. Yukl (2010) demonstrated leaders should understand company culture and drivers & phases of changes if the change wants to be successful. Similarly, Ford and Ford (2009b) has emphasized on people’s personality that leaders should try to boost the awareness of people within the organization. This is because people not involved in the planning process must hear the whole story rather than forced to take action blindly.

There have been some reinforcement measures as well. Kotter and Cohen (2002) believed if organization wants to change effectively, people should have a clear view towards vision and strategy and strong commitment towards team credibility and company culture.

A good example of leadership & change is ‘SHELL’S TOUGH LOVE” (Arnold, 2015). Shell was facing an oil reserves crisis in 2014, hurting its share price. The new group chairman believed the corporation had to transform its structure and processes. Therefore, a global standardized processes were identified, which will impact more than 80 Shell operating units as well as losing market share in some countries. However, for the programme to be successfully, the management has determined to get everyone involved. Also Shell has informed major players why the changes take place and the benefits. Finally, Shell went through this crisis successfully.




Arnold, P. (2015). The 5 Greatest Examples of Change Management in Business History. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Apr. 2017].

Caldwell, R. (2003). Models of change agency: a fourfold classification. British Journal of Management, 14(2), 131-142.


Ford, J., and Ford, L. (2009). Decoding resistance to change. Harvard Business Review, 87(4), 99-103.

Handy, C. (1993) Understanding Organizations, London-UK, Penguin Books Ltd, 4th

Kotter, J. P., & Cohen, D. S. (2002). The heart of change: Real-life stories of how people change their organizations. Harvard Business Press.

Mullins, L. J. (2010a). Management and organisational behaviour. Pearson education.

Mullins, L. J. (2010b). Management and organisational behaviour. Pearson education.

Mullins, L. J. (2013). Management and organisational behaviour. Pearson education.

Yukl, G. (2010), Leadership in Organizations: Global Edition, 7th Edition, Pearson Higher Education


Blog 3 – Most effective Leadership & Management Styles & approaches

In numerous articles and papers, we can always see the notion of management and leadership appearing together. I believe management and leadership should be a combined concept rather than separated ones. For leaders, you can never set a goal or strategy without managing employees; for managers, you can never manage effectively without understanding the concept of leadership. Leadership and management have both similarities and differences.

Kent (2005) has identified different roles for managers and leadership. For leaders, they should do the right thing, lead an influence relationship and lead to create changes while for managers, they should do things right, manage authority relationship and try to create stability. Therefore, leaders and managers are playing their role at a different level. In a company, leaders will more focus on the general direction and “big picture” and managers are supposed to concentrate on the details, ensuring the implementation of business decisions. Actually the ‘command and control’ role of managers are straightforward. For example, Moorcroft (2000) established ‘5 Elements of Management” which are forecasting & planning, organizing, commanding & implementing, coordinating and controlling * monitoring. However, Parker and Ritson (2005) criticized that management should go in line with the organizational context rather than simply focusing on ‘command and control’. Drucker (2013) argued management should be able to give others a vision & the capability to perform, highlighting the changing nature of management on encouraged participation. Similarly, Mintzberg (1990) managerial roles should include interpersonal roles, informational roles and decisional roles. In my opinion, management is never about simply getting things done. Rather, management should stand on a higher level by taking the advantage of leadership concept, encouraging people to actively participate with passion, then further getting things done accurately and efficiently.

Since management should combine with leadership in order to get things done efficiently, how many types of leadership are there exactly?

  1. Autocratic Leadership

Leader is always placed in the center with full authority and responsibility. Leader of this type tend to make decision on their own without consulting others, creating a stressful environment with little flexibility. Many people may not like this type of leadership but this does exist, for example, Organization of Donald Trump.

  1. Transformational Leadership

This type of leadership welcomes changes within the organization. People under transformational leadership are more likely to activate their potential as leaders tend to motivate others often. Yukl (2010) pointed out that 4 components of transformational leadership are idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration. Actually, statistics have shown that transformational leadership tends to have more committed and satisfied followers because of leaders’ motivation on followers. (Raza, 2015)

  1. Democratic Leadership

In this leadership, people are more involved in the decision-making process and this is opposite to autocratic leadership. Rather centralizing authority, everyone within the organization can make a difference by sharing their views and thoughts. Also the final decision is made under the agreement of majority of people.

  1. Laissez-Faire Leadership

People under this type leadership are in a loose-end situation without enough supervision but only regular check on their activities. This type of leadership works for people with adequate skills for efficient production and strong self-discipline. However, not everyone can behave properly and laissez-faire may lead to increasing costs and deducted production as a result.

  1. Transactional Leadership

This type of leadership builds a reward system based on the work done. People are allocated with different tasks and they are punished or rewarded based on their performance. Usually managers and employees reach an agreement on the goals and plans and employees receive rewards like bonuses when they reach the goals set by managers.

There is no way to identify a single ideal approach for leadership and management as the situations vary. For example, for off-line stores of BMW, a transactional leadership is usually adopted by measuring employee’ KPI on a day-to-day basis because this is easier for management; for consulting companies like McKinsey & Co, an democratic leadership is more likely to be adopted as the final output must include the wisdom of the majority in order to produce persuasive results.

In conclusion, I totally agree the nature is shirting towards consultative and participative approaches as there is a saying ‘two heads better than one’. Leading and managing for the good of majority can help to implement decision more easily. However, in different situations, there is no single ideal leadership style which means we have to make judgment before making the next move.





Drucker, P. (2013). People and performance. Routledge.

Kent, T. (2005). Leading and managing: it takes two to tango. Management Decision, 43(7/8), 1010-1017.

Mintzberg, H. (1990). The design school: reconsidering the basic premises of strategic management. Strategic management journal, 11(3), 171-195.

Parker, L. and Ritson, P. (2005), Fads, stereotypes and management gurus: Fayol and Follett today. Management Decision, 43(10), 1335-1357.

Raza, A. (2015). 12 Different Types of Leadership Styles. [online] WiseToast. Available at: [Accessed 3 Apr. 2017].

Yukl, G. (2010), Leadership in Organizations: Global Edition, 7th Edition, Pearson Higher Education

Blog 2: The challenge of managing diverse teams

Personally, I do not agree with the statement “Research has consistently shown that diverse teams produce better results, provided they are well led.”

Understanding the statement should start with the definition. Diverse teams can be either teams with people of different nationalities or teams with people based on different locations. Therefore, the reason why diverse team is so difficult to lead obvious that diverse teams are easily to be affected by factors such as time zones, language, holidays, customs and even the technology. (Solomon, 2010a) Furthermore, these factors can influence the decision-making in negative way. For example, teams based in different locations can hardly meet each other face to face, lowering the change to build trust among the teams. Afterwards, lack of trust and confidence will decrease efficiency of decision-making, which will endanger the potential of team production. Actually the definition “well led” is blurry. If “well led” stands for getting people along, how can it be possible when virtual teams have huge difficulty in meeting each other and establishing trust? In fact, Wetlaufer (1994) believed rather than focusing on getting everyone along, it is better for diverse teams to put more attention on how to get team members accomplish things. Also Solomon (2010b) found in a survey that only 49% of people participated believed diverse teams are successful while 38% believed diverse teams are successful only in some aspects. Surprisingly, 36% of people being surveyed did not believe they were in diverse teams. Although opponents exit, there has been some positive evidence as well. For example, Rock, Grant and Grey (2016) identified homogenous teams come up with easier feelings but bad performance while diverse team react faster to different situations with better performance because they tend to feel less comfortable.

Even if the evidence is mixed, there are some models that can help to facilitate a good diverse team. Mullins (2010a) illustrated some common characteristic shown in perfect teams, for example, shared beliefs, common sense of belonging, freedom to express feelings and acceptance of different values. Moreover, Tuckman and Jensen (1977) demonstrated a four-step model to establish effective team-working, which are forming, storming, norming and performing.

Part 2:

Unfortunately, I only partly agree with the statement “the ability to bring together people from different backgrounds, disciplines, cultures, and generations and leverage all they have to offer, therefore, is a must-have for leaders”. On one hand, I believe leader’s ability to bring people together to form a diverse team is a valuable characteristic of leaders. (Hunt, Layton and Prince, 2015) This is because diverse teams are more likely to face tricky issues than homogenous teams as people from with different grounds are easier to get into conflict due to factors like time zones, language, holidays, customs and even the technology. (Solomon, 2010c) No every leader has the ability, patience and courage to solve these issues. On the other hand, I disagree with the term “must-have”. So does Wetlaufer (1994) who believed leaders in diverse teams should focus on get the work done rather than get everyone along. In fact, this is very common for back-stage departments of securities companies. Back-stage departments are responsible for smooth transition and implementation of multiple tasks. While the departmental KPI is evaluated by task accomplishment rate, each task is allocated to specific employee. Therefore, leaders in back-stage department just need to ensure all the allocated tasks are completed timely and accurately. In this example, the departmental leaders should concentrate on “get things done” rather than get every one in the department along well with each other as in peak time there is no time for this due to heavy workload.

But where there is a will, there is a way. Leaders can lead a diverse team effectively by adjusting their roles. According to CIPD (2010), leaders should create a share value towards goals and ways of working. Also effective communication and cooperation are critical for effective team-working. Mullins (2010b) has highlighted some approaches for improvement when team is not working effectively, for example, understanding people’s reaction, evaluating people’s relationships and targeting unknown behaviors.

In conclusion, the evidence of diverse teams to produce better results is mixed as some factors can affect team-working more or less. However, there are some methods that can help to improve the situation. Also leaders play a significant role in facilitating the team-working by align the interest of different parties. But exceptions always occur that in specific situations, leaders’ focus is quite different to each other.




CIPD (2010) Employee outlook: Recovery yet to reach the workplace. Quarterly survey report, Spring 2010. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, London. Available at:

Hunt, V., Layton, D. and Prince, S. (2015). Why diversity matters. [online] McKinsey & Company. Available at: [Accessed 2 Apr. 2017].

Mullins, L. J. (2010a). Management and organisational behaviour. Pearson education.

Mullins, L. J. (2010b). Management and organisational behaviour. Pearson education.

Rock, D., Grant, H. and Grey, J. (2016). Diverse Teams Feel Less Comfortable — and That’s Why They Perform Better. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: [Accessed 2 Apr. 2017].

Solomon, C. (2010a). [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Apr. 2017].

Solomon, C. (2010b). [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Apr. 2017].

Solomon, C. (2010c). [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Apr. 2017].

Wetlaufer, S. (1994). The team that wasn’t. Harvard Business Review, 72(6), 22.

Blog 1: Leadership and Ethics

Part 1:

In my opinion, I cannot agree more with the statement that “Ethical Leadership is defined as “the demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct through personal actions and interpersonal relationships, and the promotion of such conduct to followers through two-way communication, reinforcement and decision-making”.

There is no single definition for ethical leadership. Reilly (2006) pointed out ethical leadership is directed by “respect for ethical beliefs and values and for the dignity and rights of others”. McQueeny (2006) argued ethical leadership is concerned with trust, honesty, consideration, charisma and fairness. Personally, I would argue ethical leadership refers to leading to do the things ethically. In a company, the role of leader sometimes is a live example to their employees and in ancient times, soldiers will regards their general as the example of what they wish to be in the future. What leaders do and how leaders do will make a difference to their followers. Why ethical leadership can affect follower lies in the aspect of values. Mullane (2009a) stated that while ethics stays at the heart of leadership, the comprehension of ethics lies in individual and organizational values. Mullane (2009b) pointed out effective leaders and managers are usually fully aware of their values, moral and ethical system. Interestingly, similar characters can found in leaders. For example, Kouzes and Posner (2007) have found honesty is one of the common characters share by leaders.

The Josephson Institute’s Six Pillars of Character (JOSEPHSON INSTITUTE, 1999) is a good model for understanding how ethical leadership can provide good conduct for followers.

The six pillars are:

  1. Trustworthiness – being reliable and honest, complete promises once made, etc.
  2. Respect – treat people in the way they wish to be, think in other people’s view
  3. Responsibility – being accountable when things go bad, self-control, etc.
  4. Fairness – treat people and things equally, follow rules and regulations, not taking advantage of other
  5. Caring – being kind to people around, not harm people to fulfill self-interests, etc.
  6. Citizenship – do the good for environment, etc.

These six pillars are significant for ethical leadership. On one hand the six dimensions consist of good example of ethical leadership while on the other, they will make a different if taken into consideration during the decision-making process. Considering a situation that decision-making is based on the six dimensions, automatically an ethical environment is created, setting a good example to its followers. “Once an ethical environment is created, employees and management develop trust in one another.”(Mullane, 2009c) Once the trued relationship is built, manager and employees can communicate with more freedom and more efficiently. Therefore, in an ethical environment, employees are more easily to be motivated and encouraged, as they know decisions made by the management are trustworthy and they will be treated wit respect and fairness. In that case, while ethical leadership enable the decision-making to be more effective, it also contributes to the reinforcement of strategy implementation by building a ethical environment.

Part 2:

Personally, I only partly agree with the statement “ethical leader behavior can have important positive effects on both individual and organizational effectiveness”. The reason is because in reality sometimes there is a gap between ethical leadership and doing things exactly in an ethical way. There are numerous bad example around us. For example, Martin Winterkorn, former CEO of Volkswagen is responsible for the unethical installation of software to fool EPA pollution tests. (Hulac, 2015); Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, is accused of misleading the capabilities and effectiveness of her own products. (Dishman, 2015) Mullance (2009d) explained ethical dilemma is the reason why leaders do things in the wrong way when they wish do them right. This is because no every one is choose in the same sequence when significant values are all presented together. Also in real-life business situations, ethical dilemma concerned with multiple stakeholders is making things more complicated. For Martin Winterkorn, we can never say he does not want to run business legally. However, EPA’s strict test on pollution may delay the delivery of specific products. While Martin knows he should not approve the installation of software, he also needs to face the pressure coming from other stakeholders. The decision in this case is painful and eventually he chose the wrong path. This is exactly the ethical dilemma mentioned by Kidder (2015) as “a right versus right dilemma”.

However, positive examples do exist. For example, while Apple is making thousands of dollars worldwide, it still insists on reuse and recycled materials during manufacture and contribute millions of dollars to community every year; Semco is sharing profit within the company and even staff at lower level are treated with fairness and respect.




DISHMAN, L. (2015). The 10 Best And Worst Leaders Of 2015 | Fast Company. [online] Fast Company. Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].

Hulac, B. (2015). Volkswagen Uses Software to Fool EPA Pollution Tests. [online] Scientific American. Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].

JOSEPHSON INSTITUTE. (1999). MAKING ETHICAL DECISIONS. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].

Kidder, R. M. (2005). Moral courage. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Kouzes, J. M. & Posner, B. (2007). The Leadership Challenge. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Maresco, P. and York, C. (n.d.). [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].

McQueeny, E.(2006). Making Ethics Come Alive. Business Communication Quarterly, 69(2), 158-170

Mullane, S. (2009a). [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].

Mullane, S. (2009b). [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].

Mullane, S. (2009c). [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].

Mullane, S. (2009d). [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].

Reilly, E. C. (2006). The future entering: Reflections on and challenges to ethical leadership. Educational Leadership and Administration, 18, 163-173

Study in first week

The first week study in Coventry university London campus was marvelous,new friends and teachers,and the great Majoy MBA global financial services. After graduated from the university of Sussex in UK more than 2 years,but after 2years working in business company in CHINA I found I have deep understanding bout what I learned before. The first week we do not learn many know things because the basic knowledge plays an important role in every subject ,such as SWOT, PESTEL, 7ps in marketing mix, we learnt it in deep way, we use those in the real company it is good for understanding and help in future work the other reap is in the first week I have three presentations which means I have three different small groups ,people from different countries and places ,we change ideas ,share experience and do cooperation. That is also a way to improve ,from the week I found some inadequacy like data handing,time management and organizational adaptability, the time is short but assignment more,I will try my best in the future study to improve myself.