Leadership – Research Proposal Example

Leadership Development Research Proposal Scope and Rationale of the Project According to Knippenberg and Sitkin p26), leadership development as practiced and theorized has been equated too often with leader development, which has resulted on added focus on persons rather than attending to the collective, political, social, and other contexts of meaning and action. As a result, this has resulted in a misallocation of resources as organizations try to develop capacity for leadership. In this case, Barnes et al. (2013: p753) insist on the importance of distinguishing between leadership and leaders on one hand and leadership development and leader development on another. Indeed, there is limited literature and critical studies in leadership development approaches in spite of heightened interest about in this phenomenon over the past few years. Essentially, leadership development can be defined as leadership process development within the organizational context and the development of individual leaders (Raelin, 2011: p201). On the other hand, leader development is referent to the enhancement of employee and human capital, whereas leadership development is about creating social capital. Therefore, leadership development involves the extension of people’s collective ability to undertake leadership processes and roles effectively and mainly involves helping these people comprehend how to establish and sustain social networks, access resources, and develop commitments (Bucolo et al., 2012: p23).
Men and Stacks (2013: p180) note that leadership development enhances leadership quality and has traditionally focused on the development of individual attitudes and abilities, while also arguing that different personality characteristics and traits may either hinder or help leadership development and effectiveness. In addition, Day et al. (2014: p70) link leadership development the nature and quality of leadership development programs, individual learning characteristics, and genuine support for change in behavior from supervisors. Moreover, personal characteristics like high achievement drive, motivation to learn, and personality traits have been associated with successful leadership development. Lowe et al. (2013: p74) identify these personality traits as self-monitoring, internal locus of control, and openness to experience. Among some of the essential concepts identified in leadership development include experiential learning, self-efficacy, visioning, and attitude, which are critical for roles across different organizations (Hurd, 2014: p236). This paper will seek to investigate different concepts of leadership development, including leadership styles and behaviors, cultural influences in leadership development, the process of selecting and developing potential leaders. In essence, the paper will explore the different aspects involved in the process of leadership development.
Research Question
What are the most important concepts in leadership development that determine the leadership failure in an organization?
2. Methodology
The proposed research study seeks to investigate aspects and concepts of leadership development in organizations. To do this, the study will use a qualitative approach, which involves the exploration of issues, comprehension of phenomena, and making sense of unstructured information and data to draw theories on specific phenomena. The qualitative approach is a good fit for this study because it provides details about personality characteristics and human behavior, which are essential in understanding leadership and leadership development (DeRue et al., 2011: p18). Further, the study will use a descriptive research design in seeking to solve the research problem. Descriptive research is also a good fit for this study because it provides information regarding a phenomenon’s current status, while describing what exists in relation to the conditions or variables of leadership and leadership development. Moreover, the rich data provided by descriptive research is an equally rich source of important recommendations in practice about phenomena, such as about how to develop leadership. Descriptive research is also important for this study due to its capacity ton increase knowledge about what happens in organizations in relation to leadership development, in turn providing the basis for crafting a theory on leadership development (Hoch & Kozlowski, 2014: p390).
The study will use two main methods to collect descriptive data for this study, which are qualitative interviews and review of previous research. The study will interview (n=5) executives of small and medium enterprises in the locality, seeking to collect information on their reflections upon and experience of working as organizational leaders, the learning that has occurred, transferring of this learning to the organization and its employees, and the presence of leadership development programs. Conducting interviews is advantageous for the study because it allows for collection detailed data on personal perceptions and opinions, which are important for understanding the important aspects of leadership that organizations seek to, develop. In using review of previous research, the study will seek to explore various studies conducted on leadership development with the aim of distilling the concepts considered most important to leadership development in organizations. Some of the previous research to be analyzed includes studies on leadership, leadership development, and organizational leadership.
3. Data Collection
Primary Sources
Interviews with several executives of local SMEs
Direct observation of employees in the workplace as they interact with supervisors and managers
Secondary Information
Literature on literature styles and behavior
Literature on cultural influences on leadership styles
Literature on the development of potential leaders in organizations
4. Aspects of MBA syllabus used
5. Proposed Chapter Headings
1. Introduction
2. Literature Review
3. Background of the Study
4. Methodology
5. Results and Findings
6. Discussion
7. Conclusion
8. Appendices
Barnes, B., H. Humphreys, J., D. Oyler, J., S. Pane Haden, S., & M. Novicevic, M. (2013). Transcending the power of hierarchy to facilitate shared leadership. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 34(8), 741-762
Bucolo, S., Wrigley, C., & Matthews, J. (2012). Gaps in Organizational Leadership: Linking Strategic and Operational Activities through Design‐Led Propositions. Design Management Journal, 7(1), 18-28
Day, D. V., Fleenor, J. W., Atwater, L. E., Sturm, R. E., & McKee, R. A. (2014). Advances in leader and leadership development: A review of 25years of research and theory. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(1), 63-82
DeRue, D. S., Nahrgang, J. D., Wellman, N. E. D., & Humphrey, S. E. (2011). Trait and behavioral theories of leadership: An integration and meta‐analytic test of their relative validity. Personnel Psychology, 64(1), 7-52
Hoch, J. E., & Kozlowski, S. W. (2014). Leading virtual teams: Hierarchical leadership, structural supports, and shared team leadership. Journal of applied psychology, 99(3), 390
Hurd, A. (2014). Internal Organizational Leadership and Professional Development. Leadership in Recreation and Leisure Services, 3(2), 236
Lowe, K. B., Avolio, B. J., & Dumdum, U. R. (2013). Don’t You Love It When A Plan Comes Together? Update on Meta—Analytic Findings for Transformational and Transactional Leadership. Transformational and Charismatic Leadership: the Road Ahead, 5(1), 71-75
Men, L. R., & Stacks, D. W. (2013). The impact of leadership style and employee empowerment on perceived organizational reputation. Journal of Communication Management, 17(2), 171-192
Raelin, J. (2011). From leadership-as-practice to leaderful practice. Leadership, 7(2), 195-211
Knippenberg, D., & Sitkin, S. (2013). A critical assessment of charismatic–transformational leadership research: Back to the drawing board? The Academy of Management Annals, 7 (1), 1–60