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BUS 500 Leadership Theory: Leadership Practices in Woolworths Assessment 3 Answer

Unit:
Leadership Theory
Unit Code:
BUS 500
Type of Assessment:
Assessment 3 – Leadership Paper
Unit Learning Outcomes addressed:
a) Analyse and explain historical trends in the concept of leadership
b) Analyse and explain how leadership overlaps with, yet can be distinguished from, management.
c) Demonstrate an ability to synthesise and apply knowledge and understanding of contemporary theories and practices of leadership to the analysis of case study and research data.
d) Demonstrate a critical understanding of how leadership theory informs contemporary leadership practice across a spectrum of organisational contexts.
e) Demonstrate a critical understanding of the differences between leadership influence and coercion, and other forms of power and authority.
f) Integrate biblical frameworks into a contemporary understanding of leadership theories.
g) Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the types of leadership styles and behaviours adopted by self and others, and their efficacy.
Criteria for Assessment:
• Range and relevance of research undertaken
• Depth and breadth of issues covered with respect to the selected organisation
• Demonstrated level of understanding of issues, insights, including insights acquired into leadership within the selected organisation
• Professional recommendations that reflect advanced knowledge of Leadership theory and its application
Assessment Task:
Each individual student will research and write a paper with analysis of leadership practices and associated issues within a selected organisation (word count: 2,500 words).
Submission Date:
Week 13  
Total Mark & Weighting:
40 marks | 40%
Students are advised that any submissions past the due date without an approved extension or without approved extenuating circumstances incurs a 5% penalty per calendar day,
calculated from the total mark e.g. a task marked out of 35 will incur a 1.75 mark penalty per calendar day.

 

 Assessment Description:  

Each individual student will research and write a paper with analysis of leadership practices and associated issues within a selected organisation, aimed at synthesizing the learning experience of the unit. The paper will cover the following: 

• General overview of the organisation’s activities

• A general overview of the leadership practice within the selected organisation including leadership styles, any leadership challenges identified and leadership development activities in the organisation

• Analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the identified leadership practices in the organisation. This should include an analysis that the leadership practice has had on the overall organisational strategy or how the identified leadership practices have affected the performance of the organisation 

• Basing on the issues identified and supporting theory, make recommendations for the organisation (focus on how the leadership practices can be optimised for maximum organisational impact).

Answer

Assessment 3 – Leadership Paper

Introduction 

Leadership is defined as the procedure by which executives guide, influence and direct work and behaviour of others to accomplish a particular objective or goals in the existing situation. In such a context, this report aims to analyse leadership practices and related issue within the chosen retail organization Woolworths. The report includes a general overview of the organizational activities, leadership practices, challenges and style identified in Woolworth. The leadership improvement activities, weakness and strength of recognized leadership practices related to the organization will be discussed. Moreover, the way leadership practices influence organizational performance will also be explained in details, along with making a recommendation for the chosen organization related to supporting theories discussed for better organizational impact. Leadership theory will be studied to discover elements that contribute towards effective leadership. 

A general overview of the organisation's activities 

The selected organization here is the Woolworths Group, which is one of the leading Australian organizations with extensive retailing interest throughout New Zealand and Australia. The company was founded in the year 1924 by Percy Christmas and now headquartered in Australia’s New South Wales location. In Australia, the company is the largest operator in the supermarket, Liquor, general merchandise, Hotels and Woolworth’s online divisions. The company’s retail products include fresh food, grocery, beverages and other (Woolworthsgroup 2019).  In the success of the organization, the leaders have played an important role to encompass capability to lead the entire company and workers effectively. In accordance with the supermarket broadly dependent on food products, thus the health of consumers becomes an important concern of Woolworths. In this regard, leadership skills are needed to make the right decision focusing on people's health. The company consist of 43% of the market share in Australia (Woolworthsgroup 2019). The company under Woolworths Group is a broad group of New Zealand and Australian retail businesses, which influence several sectors across society. In order to achieve a better market share, the respective company need better leadership practices and actions to encourage the workforce to achieve organizational goals effectively. In context to past few years, the company encountered issues related to poor leadership skills to return to sustainable sales rates. In order to provide a better experience to the large customer base, Woolworths has signs of progress against their key priorities with integrating new purpose, core-value activated and their ways of the work process.  The company has transformed Australian Food through continued development in consumer scores involving Veg & Fruits as well as working effectively to deliver continuous better shopping experience (Woolworthsgroup 2019). In the changing business environment that influence ways of doing business in the marketplace, leaders of the company need to be capable to facilitate fast, adaptive and actionable decisions that thrive organizational performance in a competitive market. Therefore, it is important that a good leader wins customers loyalty and higher shares in the retailing marketplace. 

A general overview of the leadership practice within the selected organisation including leadership styles, any leadership challenges identified and leadership development activities in the organisation 

In the marketplace of intense rivalry, the rapid rate of technological and social changes, effective leadership plays an important role in implementing healthier business culture. A business is more likely to be successful that have positive business culture, where staffs are more personalized and positive leading higher organizational productivity. In Woolworths, leadership relate to function significantly at every management level. The leadership is exercised through counselling and guidance of junior or subordinates during the execution of any plans. Woolworth's store functions in a complex marketplace with resource restrictions, unpredictable customers and rising competing demands for services. The world has changed. In order to not just survive, but also thrive in the fast-paced, volatile, competitive market, the company require being adaptive, unencumbered by process, formality and bureaucracy to fulfil the rising demands in all business areas. In such adaptation, it let the leader of Woolworths shift their focus from controlling the system to developing and supporting its people. With an aim to better perform in Australia as well as global market, leadership practices in Woolworths involve consistently seeking competitive reliability by supporting, encouraging and creating appropriate attitudes and behaviour within the workforce (Woolworthsgroup 2019). The leadership actions facilitate improving the collective and individual notion of responsibility and control by promoting the perception that supermarket stores do regard safety and product quality to make a difference. At present Woolworths has noted to appoint latest leadership team under managing director Dan Murphy. The team under managing director focused on working harder at re-implementing sales momentum while strengthening key foundational segment to serve better in shifting customer needs (Young 2019). The company has an extended history of achievement with higher customer loyalty; however fast market changes need business to transform Dan’s for sustainable long-duration growth. Under latest leadership practices, Alex who is expertise in the leading project that delivers an effective increase in customer experience and also be initiating proved track records for responding to marketplace disruption and altering customer preferences (Young 2019). The company by these changes aims to place its best talent to lead their biggest businesses. The leaders would be responsible for driving to the growth strategies that are in line with the wider ambition to interconnect all with supermarket or retailing experience consumers love.  

Once a productive leadership practice is implemented, it requires to be kept flourishing, and this draws attention towards significant leadership style. The leader needs to confirm that subordinates and other labour force are well supported and clearly directed to represent core values of the business. In terms of leadership style, Woolworths has an autocratic approach that defines leadership groups making every business decision and dictate it to the employee that is the conventional leadership approach (Woolworthsgroup 2019). It is observed that leaders that empower and inspire have the capability to influence the workforce's actions. Iqbal, Anwar and Haider (2015) stated autocratic leadership is characterized by individual rule over every decision and less input from group members. Such leadership style includes authoritarian and absolute control over groups. In Woolworths, the autocratic leadership style as brought several benefits, where staffs have less hesitation in business practices and subordinate's expectations, as well as roles, are clearly defined. It is noticed that in an organization irrespective of the sector in which it operates, leaders consistently encounter challenges of inspiring others, retaining internal stakeholders and improving managerial effectiveness. The leadership challenge of developing related skills like strategic thinking, prioritization, time-management, speedy work and decision making for effective jobs in Woolworths has resulted in poor sales performance that impacted the share price. The company felt shrink far from stores, suffering talent drain to rivals. They lack in poorer bench strength because of sub-standard improvement strategies along with control and command culture. The leadership actions face a hard time in significant ability related to staffing roles that were influenced by squeeze and was being tested. The challenges were riding out existing storm whilst re-implementing retail sector organization to the position of growth and strength to challenge the marketplace again. There was a challenge was guiding change and effectively leading team. In this regard, Dan Collins has been reached by Woolworths to help in assisting store operation with important tools needed to sustain current organization climate and afar (Dancollins 2019). In context to leadership development in the organization, Dan has provided workshops nationally to leadership teams to support them totally appreciate accountability and enhance vital skills required in leading team to accomplish winning culture. The Enterprise-wide Leadership program for training that established throughout for state departments of executive and human resource concentrates on building habits, which address behaviour and attitudes at the individual level (Dancollins 2019). Such activities aim to culminate the impact of productive culture across the overall organization. Similarly, part of the coaching model has been initiated to meet independently with leaders to concentrate on individual development around the company's Leadership Principle. In order to create and sustain a winning culture in the selected organization, leaders are encouraged to equip themselves for a rough course ahead. 

Analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the identified leadership practices in the organisation. Analysis leadership practice had on the overall organisational strategy or how the identified leadership practices have affected the performance of the organisation 

Leadership is a Greek word meaning path-maker. Solomon, Costea and  Nita (2016) opined that leadership differ from the managerial role, where manager supervises and assess risk but, leader promote change as well as motivate. In regard to leadership practices in Woolworths, it makes it important for leaders to concern about innovation and creativity, leading positive changes and looking to challenge and push boundaries. It has been observed that in the chosen company, leadership practices account to certain weaknesses, where leaders often engage in underestimation. The current hype on the organization's ongoing difficulty, culminate that leaders often jump straight to their ideas without planning (Woolworthsgroup 2019). This has led loss in organizational productivity, where profit pool had decreased, and the supermarket chain has issues with fixing pricing perception. This might continue to hurt Woolworth’s organizational performance; however only start to rectify at time pricing concerns are addressed. Additionally, other leadership practices recognized in the organization also relate the weakness in restoring the culture of customer centricity. The leaders are more involved in knowing a culture than listening culture (Chambers and Homewood 2019). In such, autocratic leadership style has added drawback of discouraging group inputs. The autocratic leaders in the organization observed to be poor in creative solution making, which hurts groups from performing. Moreover, as an autocratic leader does not facilitate input from team individuals, follower started to feel stifled and dissatisfied. The CEO of the Woolworths acknowledges their mistakes and take the initiative to mix them (Chambers and Homewood 2019). The whole senior leadership group took responsibility for ineffective results and to improve organizational effectiveness inculcated listening culture than knowing the culture. In this regard, organizational performance has noted to improve gradually, were listening to store employee leader’s group initiate things they might do better, listening to the supplier to develop partnership and listening to the customer to offer values. This cultural modification has been fundamental as well as confirms that programs and strategies that are established are helpful to achieve organizational productivity (Chambers and Homewood 2019). 

In the company, the leadership strengths account to the significant inspiration by leaders who are passionate about their values and ideas. In regard to Alex, that has the responsibility to drive forwards Dan's strategy for organizational effectiveness, and positive enthusiasm has helped to bring other individuals abroad and encourage them to follow (Young 2019). The leadership practices associated with re-implementing sales momentum and strengthening significant foundational areas to serve customer demands, one of leadership strength relate to barnstormer. It has been observed that in Woolworth’s, leaders have initiated to seek new methods to better thrive in the competitive market. In order words, they thought and innovated outside the box that involved approaching older issues from a new angle. It facilitates leaders to build the latest idea lay out a strong foundation of winning culture that helps to accomplish a competitive advantage. The team under respective leadership concentrate daily on continuing to develop offer and customer’s shopping experiences. Such leadership practices have somewhat strengthened organizational performance in terms of E2E processes that is simpler for the store and build convenient, personalised as well as connected shopping experience (Woolworthsgroup 2019). The progress alongside key priorities like accelerated innovation and creating differentiation in every business supported the company's performance to increase in terms of increased sales rate and satisfying customer demands. In context Dan’s Enterprise-wide Training Program of leadership related to leadership practices, it has successfully strengthened the leadership development and top client's management, leading improved organizational effectiveness in the competitive market. Moreover, forthright feedback has allowed the hard discussion to occur, dealing with the reality of rough environment through open and honest communication. Such leadership practice has enabled ways for fair assessment to me made and in-return deal with challenges and barrier that Woolworths is facing. It has led significant direction ahead in awareness and capability to reply adequately to changes needed and challenges encountered to deal with market competition effectively. Additionally, as short-term organizational improvement engagement between management and respective teams has increased. The leaders have developed effectiveness to inspire behaviour or attitudes surrounding accountability (Dancollins 2019). All this, in return, has positively influenced the working culture of the company with concerns like ways to have skilled coaching discussion, where performances are often non-negotiable. 

Basing on the issues identified and supporting the theory, make recommendations for the organisation  

In respect to identified leadership issues in Woolworths, it is deduced that leader encounters challenges of leading subordinates and guiding change. The leadership practices lack in significant capability to develop better leadership skills and the existence of ‘knowing culture' has hampered the organization’s competitiveness in the Australian market. In order to strengthen the leadership approach and mitigate poor leadership practices for maximizing organizational impact, consideration of leadership theory like situational leadership and behavioural theory might be significant. It is recommended that leaders in Woolworths strategically utilising situational leadership can correspond their leadership with respect to changing the situation by examining variables like follower's nature, the priority of the task and its type. The situational leadership propose that no single leadership approach is best; instead, it depends on the problems and situation at hand (Thompson and Glasø 2015). For Woolworths's leader, situational leadership would provide all the relevance, where subordinates and leadership group work together effectively across functions. It would help to optimize organizational performance, where leaders act as coaches and mentors for their subordinate. The subordinates learn to do things that are exactly required. As one of the issued identified in respect to the selected organization relates to re-establishing retail, in such leaders are recommended to maintain motivation and involvement of subordinate as well as team members. The Behavioural leadership theory would be a help to gauge the attitude of the individual at the time of guiding change like the implementation of new organizational culture that Woolworths has initiated. The Behavioural Leadership has been developed by systematically studying behaviours of a leader and special effects of them on the environment and workforce (Muthimi and Kilika 2018). In respect to the leaders in the chosen company for optimizing positive organizational impacts, it is recommended that they need three main skills to lead followers: conceptual, technical and human skills. The technical skills would refer to a leader's knowledge of technique and process, where human skills would mean they are capable of communicating strategies with another person in the workplace. Moreover, conceptual skills would be helpful to come up with innovative ideas for operating the organization smoothly, even in the competitive marketplace.

Conclusion 

In regard to the above study, it is concluded that leaders play an important role in leading an organization successfully. It has been found that in the era of frequently changing the business environment, Woolworths golden time of competitive sales growth, capital management, and margin expansion is coming to end that puts more stress in company’s shares. The organizational growth has slowed due to rising demands of customers and inefficiency in leadership practices. In order to mitigate such, the company has led to leadership changes. The new leader Alex Freudmann, has the responsibility to lead Dan's strategies that encourage equipping leaders for hard times. The weaknesses and strength of recognized leadership depicted that leadership exercised through support, counselling, the culture of listening and building idea laid on the strong foundation are effective to optimize company impact and deal with challenges. The two of the leadership theory recommended if considered by Woolworths’s leaders have the potential to strengthen their awareness on ways to inspire behaviour adjoining accountability and create a winning culture. The leaders noted to align personal goals with an organizational purpose to lead followers in the attainment of organizational success.

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