In own ideas into the project. We met


In order to complete a group
project successfully, good leadership is key. It means that the team can
co-operate effectively and create and maintain relationships within the team. When
making our film, my group were rather successful, but there were many reasons
behind this. Motivation is a key part to successful leadership as it determines
how willing team members are to collaborate in order to successfully complete
tasks. Also, the style of leadership must be effective in order to be
successful. It is important that leaders ensure that they do not talk down to
followers who are creative, but at the same time they must give some direction
and be willing to support their team. Finally,

 

The group came up with the idea that technology would be our main talking
point and that automation is a massive factor in affecting the future workforce
and also that technology is affecting young people by making them addicted to
their devices and therefore less sociable.

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One member was seen as the ‘leader’ and we collaborated by accepting
tasks from them and we each did some research on automation and how technology
is affecting the future workforce and therefore inputted our own ideas into the
project. We met on multiple occasions to produce the film and decided to make a
film that we would not visually appear in but we did voiceovers and used
drawings and images to help explain our points. However, we faced a difficult
challenge at some points during the project. One group member failed to attend
multiple meetings or communicate with the rest of the group which made it hard
for the leader to integrate them into the group. This made it difficult to be
productive at times as we were unable to contact the member in order to discuss
their role in the project.

My contribution was rather significant as I included the part in our
script which focuses on the affects that technology is having on the future workforce,
for example making them less sociable and affecting their chances of having a
successful career. After researching
some studies to support this I explained how technology is potentially harming
the way the future workforce will socialise when they’re older, in turn
creating issues for themselves in the future.

The leadership style had a significant impact on helping the group to
achieve our goal which was to produce a descriptive, interesting film.
There
was one main leader who set tasks to the majority of the team which was to find
information on certain aspects relating to automation. By doing this, the leader
included everyone in the project and therefore a team was created where the
leader would listen to any ideas the team inputted. There was a highly
collectivist attitude within the group as each member was integrated into the
work.* This helped significantly as group members weren’t afraid to speak up if
they wanted to make a point and all members brought something original to the
project.

Nearly all of my previous group
experiences, particularly at university, have involved each member coming up
with their own ideas but without an effective leader. For example, for a
presentation I did a while ago, each group member worked on their own piece of
it and no one lead the group by giving direction of which pieces should be
presented when which made it rather difficult for the group to organise the
presentation. However, when making our film, the group had an individual who
would give direction but at the same time include everybody by acknowledging
their input and praising them. This meant that the team was able to produce a
film to a good standard and actually have fun whilst making it. In previous
group projects, I have struggled to enjoy them whereas in this one, I enjoyed
myself as there was a good bond between the team due to the style of leadership
which involved everyone.

Part 2:

There was a mix in our group of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (Stewart, 2017). The fact that we are
all students who want to gain experience and learn, it already suggests that we
would be intrinsically motivated. However, problems for the group arose when
not all members informed the rest of the group whether or not they could attend
meetings, but then nearer to the deadline date the whole group were more eager
to finish the project than when we were first set the task. This would suggest
that some members were extrinsically motivated as they only wanted to complete
the project in order to avoid missing the deadline and to get a good grade,
therefore suggesting the motivation in some members wasn’t purely due to their
interest in the task.

McGregor’s ‘X and Y theory’ (1960)
(Buchanan and Huczynski, 2013) explains how levels
of motivation differ between people. If you fit in the ‘X’ category, you
generally prefer to direct people and the sole aim of work is earning money. If
you fit into ‘Y’, you prefer handing responsibility to other as well as taking
charge and are generally more creative. The ‘leader’ our group generally used a
‘Y’ approach when it came to making the film. Each member was given a certain
degree of responsibility, all of which were quite high as it was decided that
each member would research one part each for the film. We created a film that
had meaningful and interesting research which suggests that this leadership
style made the group motivated and therefore it was successful. I believe that
my view on leadership has changed as before the project I scored fifteen on ‘X and
Y questionnaire’ by McGregor (1960) (Buchanan
and Huczynski, 2013) which suggested I support the ‘X’ theory whereas since
the project I scored thirty-seven which implies that I now favour the ‘Y’
theory, suggesting that I think teamwork is more effective when motivating a
team than giving direct orders and having minimal trust in the team.

 

According to Hersey and Blanchard (1969,
1977, 1988) successful leaders are able to ‘adapt to their style to meet
the demands of the situation in which they operate’ (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2013). A ‘participating’ (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2013) leadership style was used by our
leader as there was a significant amount of ‘supportive behaviour’ (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2013). The leader
would listen to our ideas before giving their own opinion on them. This form of
leadership meant that each team member was responsible in some way as each
person had to contribute to the project. It could also be argued that a certain
element of ‘task behaviour’ (Buchanan and
Huczynski, 2013) was used by the leader also. While each member was
responsible for their own piece of research, the leader tended to give a small
amount of direction towards individuals who were struggling with their
research, by giving suggestions on what topics to research on and whether or
not certain content was useful. This resulted in our group successfully
producing a good quality film and it also meant that the group collaborated well
and there was a strong relationship in the group. The leadership style that was
adopted by our leader allowed the group to have confidence in their work as the
leader would always give their honest opinion on it without telling the team
member what to do, but just giving them guidance on how to potentially improve
it. The fact that the group worked well together towards the end of the project
supports Hersey and Blanchard’s ‘Situational Leadership’ theory (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2013) because
we demonstrated that ‘supportive behaviour’ (Buchanan
and Huczynski, 2013) is an effective form of leadership as our leader
managed to integrate the team by giving responsibility to each member which
lead to success. As a small aspect of ‘task behaviour’ (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2013) was also used, it suggests that
using both behaviours is an effective approach to leadership because it allowed
our group to feel confident in their work but at the same time know that we
were able to ask for support and ideas at any time.

However,
I also believe that the leader was assisted due to the nature of the members’
personalities. Hersey and Blanchard (1969, 1977, 1988) also claim that there are types of followers that
can influence the leadership style and the success of the team itself. These are
‘insecure subordinates’ (Buchanan and
Huczynski, 2013) at one extreme and ‘confident and able followers’ (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2013) at the
other. As our team was made up of students who are all at similar levels in
their degree, it suggested that each member was capable of working on their own
piece of the project without too much guidance which would suggest that we were
all nearer to the ‘confident and able followers’ (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2013) idea and therefore giving the
impression that the leader maybe was not as effective as it seems because the
team members could have played a significant role in the creation of the film. This
idea goes against Hersey and Blanchard’s ‘situational leadership’ theory (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2013) of the
leadership style depending on the context as it supports their contradicting idea
of followers’ attitudes having an impact on the success of a team.

 

 

Part 3:

This project has made me
rethink in many ways when it comes to leadership and being involved in a team.
My previous approach to leadership centred around directing people by giving
out orders and my motivation came from purely wanting to earn money. However,
having seen the leadership style by our group leader I have come to realise
that including all members and giving each person responsibility can be a very
successful method of leadership as was demonstrated by our group. We received a
good grade for our film and I strongly believe that this was down to how the
leader motivated the team by including everyone and showing faith in the whole
group.

Having researched Hersey and
Blanchard’s ‘Situational Leadership’ theory (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2013) I have learnt that meeting in between ‘specific
instructions’ and ‘delegation’ (Buchanan
and Huczynski, 2013) is an effective way to lead a team as it gives the
right balance to team members, meaning they feel neither lost without guidance
nor do they feel overpowered. Our leader lead by doing this which lead to our
team being successful which has allowed me to develop an understanding that leadership
isn’t always about taking full control and giving instructions, but it is about
integrating the team and showing faith in each member while also taking action
when appropriate.

 

 

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