Sequence: Understand and Applying Styles of Leadership

Sequence Information
Sequence: Understand and Applying Styles of Leadership
Description:
This lesson is appropriate for an undergraduate course that includes a unit or units in leadership. It was originally designed for a group dynamics class cross-listed between psychology and communication, but it also has wide application for business, arts and sciences courses, and the health professions. Students prepare for the Team-Based Learning module by reading a textbook chapter, a brief article, watching a video, listening to a podcast, and taking leadership assessments. The module provides a 10-question iRAT and tRAT, as well as an application exercise that presents scenarios and requires students to choose among the leadership styles with simultaneous reporting. We have them, as a team, explain their rationale for each response with diagrams, bullets, or text on flip chart paper and applied to the theories.

Author: Prof. Lauren Vicker - St. John Fisher College

Learning Objectives

1. Students will develop a basic understanding of leadership styles.
2. Students will become familiar with classic leadership instruments that reflect significant theories.
3. Students will be able to apply principles of leadership to simulated real-life scenarios.
4. Students will develop teamwork skills in choosing responses and then make a case for their answers.



Abstract

This module is appropriate for an undergraduate course that includes a unit or units in leadership. It was originally designed for a group dynamics class cross-listed between psychology and communication, but it also has wide application for business, arts and sciences courses, and the health professions. Students prepare for the Team-Based Learning module by reading a textbook chapter, a brief article, watching a video, listening to a podcast, and taking leadership assessments. The module provides a 10-question iRAT and tRAT, as well as an application exercise that presents scenarios and requires students to choose among the leadership styles with simultaneous reporting. We have them, as a team, explain their rationale for each response with diagrams, bullets, or text on flip chart paper and applied to the theories.


Facilitator's guide:

There is a vast amount of information about leadership. In this featured resource, we start by having students complete a series of leadership assessments to help them understand the historical progression of leadership. We only have them take the assessment tools for homework (these can be easily converted to a survey processing system when teaching in an online environment). We conduct a mini lecture about leadership theories. Then, we stop and let them score the relevant assessment during the mini-lecture. We provide information about the following four assessment tools in this featured resource: The Great Man assessment. This measure is the only one of the four that is not a true assessment. The characteristics on the assessment tool are those that are derived from the theory. However, the measure was created by one of the authors (Franz) to make the point about assessing the “Great Man” theories. Thus, it is not reliable nor valid, but is a great tool to spark classroom discussions
about how to use them. The measure is self-assessed by adding up the circled scores. People with higher scores have (according to the debunked Great Man theories) would have better leadership skills.

LBDQ. The Leader-Behavior Description Questionnaire. We use a modified version of the LBDQ with only 20 items (10 for initiating structure and 10 for consideration). This one is also easy to self- score. Students add up the points for the first ten items (those related to initiating structure) and then do the same for the next ten items. If they are higher in one area, it shows their typical preferred behavior. The next one we have them take is Fiedler’s Least Preferred Coworker (LPC) scale. Like the previous two, this one is easy to self- score, and the scoring and interpretation instructions are in the URL we provided.

Finally, we have them take the Hersey and Blanchard Situational Leadership scale. The original is protected by copyrights, so we have instead provided a link to a publicly accessible adaptation of the scale and a corresponding link with the scoring information.

At this point, we begin the formal TBL process by administering the iRAT and tRAT. Because this course was delivered face-to-face, we used hard copies for the iRAT and scratch offs for the tRAT. In an online class environment, these would need to be adjusted according to the course management system available to the faculty.

After the class has completed the tRAT, we deliver a mini-lecture that discusses the many theories, starting with the “Great Man” theories and going through functional and transformational leadership theories. We have provided our PowerPoint slides for these. At each of the relevant areas (Great Man, LBDQ, LPC, and SLM), we stop the lecture briefly and ask students to score their assessment tools. Then, we lead a short discussion about what that assessment tool tells them as well as what it lacks, leading to the discussion of a more current theory (that’s typically coming soon on the min-lecture slides)


After the mini lecture, we move to the four application exercises.

Our rationale for the four scenario answers is as follows:

The best answer is B. Participating/Facilitating/Supporting. The employees have considerable training and the scenario states that you know they have the skills to do the job. Thus they are high in competence. However, they are new in their role and lack the confidence they need and are insecure. The best answer is C. Selling/Coaching. The scenario states that the employees don’t yet know the job duties well. Thus, they lack some of the necessary competencies. However, they also feel comfortable in this environment and have the confidence and motivation to succeed.

The best answer is B. Transformational. The leader has no direct, formal power over the people. Thus, they have to work through influence tools to motivate and energize the followers.

The best answer is A. Transactional. The leader has direct power and needs to get the food out at the counter or drive-through window quickly. The employees are motivated by the pay they receive rather than the promise of a future career. (Note: transformational leadership skills will also help here too!)
As often happens in application exercises, our students sometimes gave a rationale that was reasonable and supported a different choice alternative.
We use voting across groups to begin the discussion, but have students post their rationale and potential relevant leadership behaviors to improve the discussion.
Although we have used voting to spark discussion for these application exercises, you could also use a gallery walk, which may work better in an online environment.


Desired Outcomes
1. Our students developed a basic understanding about different ways of understanding leadership styles: This was accomplished through the readings and class lecture on progression of views of leadership. Our experience has shown that most students know about Democratic, Autocratic, and Laissez-Faire leadership, but not much beyond that. This experience expanded their views of leadership.

2. Students became familiar with classic leadership instruments that reflect significant theories. By taking leadership assessments, students not only became familiar with the instruments, but they also became more self-aware as they described their own leadership behaviors.

3. Students demonstrated the ability to apply principles of leadership to simulated real-life scenarios. By having to make a choice and defend it in each scenario, they demonstrated understanding of styles of leadership that are situational so they see leadership as a dynamic part of teamwork and not a one-size- fits-all phenomenon.

4. Students developed their teamwork skills in choosing responses and defending answers. They worked as a team to illustrate their choices and chart how each of the scenarios required a different style of leadership. By charting elements of their discussions, they were required to defend their choices in a visual form. As with all TBL experiences, students gained additional skill in self and peer evaluations.


Further details at TBLC Resource Bank (https://teambasedlearning.site-ym.com/page/resouce_portal) .

Keywords: Leadership

Delivery Mode: online, in class, hybrid

Resources: Readings, application exercise, RATs

Outline of Activities: Team-Based Learning pedagogy.

Author view:

Audience: College - University
Subjects: Business Psychology Sociology
Language: English
LAMS Version: 4.6
License: Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike
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Authored By:   Chelsea Bullock
Date: 26 December 2021 11:33 PM
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