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Firstly, go to the following link: Has the CEO really changed or is it business as usual?
- Scroll down and listen to the 4-minute video by Professor Ed Schein talking about the main issues within organisations today – the increasing interdependence between bosses and subordinates, and the need for better upward communication and a different style of leadership at the top.
- Read the rest of the article by Paul Levy (Senior Researcher in Innovation Management at University of Brighton) where he discusses CEO behaviour.
- With Professor Schein's thoughts in mind, you should engage in additional reading and research in order to write an essay of 3,000 words that critically discusses the following statement:
'Upward communication and senior leader behaviour – the possibilities and challenges of developing an inclusive, open culture within a multinational enterprise.'
Your answer should draw on and make reference to relevant theory in order to address the following points.
- The way that MNEs are changing and the leadership challenges associated with this (20 marks) – 600 words
- The style/s of leadership more likely to facilitate the open culture that Professor Ed Schein suggests is needed (30 marks) – 900 words
- Other factors within MNEs that may hinder the development of such an open culture (30 marks) – 900 words
- What might happen if more distributed forms of leadership were to emerge (20 marks) – 600 words
With time, the intricate relationship in enterprise-level relationships has changed in a gradual manner. With higher adoption of various complex technologies, organizational structures have become more complex than ever and the structure of industries has turned from labour-oriented to knowledge-oriented. In case of large businesses that employ dozens or hundreds of employees, all of whom are having specialized skill-sets, it is difficult for the CEO or the senior management team to have a complete understanding on expert levels for all aspects of the business or operational efficiency (Javidan & Dastmalchian, 2009). This gradual change in the organizational structure and capabilities of a leader to effectively stay informed for all business decisions does not appear to be practical or feasible. In such an industry environment, it can be argued that the changes in the industry complexities and organizational structure will lead to change in the way leaders position themselves in the business structure and the type of relationship maintained with the employees (Borkowski, 2009).
In the highly complex structure of enterprises, business leaders and senior management have to remain dependent on the employees to a higher extent than before. Without this interdependency, it is difficult to imagine that a leader would have the ability to stay informed about all critical business information or feedback from the sub-ordinates. From this perspective, the need for enhanced upward communication appears to have high importance in contemporary businesses.
This paper presents an examination of the contemporary styles of leadership and their inclination towards a better implementation of upward communication by satisfying the physiological needs of the employees and embracing the employee-leader interdependencies. Aim of this paper is to evaluate whether modern leadership styles adopted in multi-national enterprises (MNEs) is representative of the need for leaders to embrace an open organizational culture, along with the challenges faced in establishing such an organizational culture.
2. Changing leadership styles in MNEs and challenges faced
The industrial world has long been dominated by CEOs and corporate leaders adopting conventional leadership styles such top-down leadership, hierarchical leadership, and autocratic leadership styles. All of these styles primarily assumed that the leader has higher skill, information and quality of vision to make informed decisions for betterment of the business without having to rely on subordinates for critical feedback or opinion (Winkler, 2010). These styles of leadership worked well in the era of labour-oriented industries, but has since become much difficult for leaders to remain independent from input of the subordinates.
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