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Focusing on leadership and change Introduction In this assignment we will focus on you, your relationship to leadership and change in your work context and the management ideas that have influenced those topics. Rather than testing how carefully you have read the module materials, this assignment asks you to reflect on your experience of leadership and potential for initiating and leading change. You will be asked to think deeply, considering whether any of the new ideas you have read about in the module change the way you think about what is possible to do. As in all assignments in B204, we also ask you to inquire into your work context with a view to getting a better idea about what is going on. Task Write a report to your tutor in which you: 1.Tell a story from your own experience, describing a situation where you think that someone exhibited leadership. In the story a.identify a definition of a leader or of leadership and demonstrate how it was exhibited in your chosen situation b.compare and contrast the definition you identified in a. with an alternative definition that you have read about during your B204 studies. (1000 words) 2.Discuss one or more opportunities you have to initiate and lead some change within your work context. To what extent are the models and frameworks you have read about likely to help you initiate change? How might you use ideas about power in organisations that you have encountered in B204 to help you increase your potential to initiate change? (1000 words) Guidance •In Part 1 look at the order of the tasks we ask of you. First, tell a story of an occasion where you saw some leadership, then identify in that story a definition of a leader. •Of course, your story may not fit exactly with theories and definitions in academic writing (life rarely does!) So you will need to think and write carefully, comparing a couple of definitions and explaining why you think one is more relevant to your story. •Sometimes in management studies we ask you to ‘apply a theory’. Part 2 of this report asks you to do something different. It asks you to talk about an opportunity you have to lead a change initiative. Remember this need not be a large, organisation-wide change. This will require you to reflect on the situation in your work context, your own position there and your potential to collaborate with others. Not everyone studying B204 will have access to the sources of power identified by Bertram Raven (see Week 8). It is tempting to think ‘I can’t do anything’, but other work on power offers a different slant on the topic. For example, Hardy’s work (Week 8) shows how formal power might be counteracted by other forms of power. During your inquiries, while scoping your EBI, you might have identified colleagues and superiors who might be able to help you (increase your power?). Draw on examples such as these to help see how power can both enable you to move forward and also constrain you. •Hardy’s concept of ‘system power’ suggests that there might be times when we constrain ourselves unnecessarily, thinking certain actions aren’t allowed. Perhaps some of the ideas you have read about recently could help you to think in fresh ways about your potential? •This TMA asks you to reflect deeply about what you see going on around you in your work context. It asks you to think about how you might develop your own thinking in ways that will help you make things happen!
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