Reflection Paper On Leadership Management Theories

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Question :

La Trobe Business School


Effective leadership is not only valued at an organizational/managerial level, but also to enhance your influence in daily life. This subject examines the key theories and the current trends in responsible leadership across a range of work-place contexts. You will apply these theories to critically analyse contemporary Australian leaders and where possible, to apply these theories to your own work contexts. You will also reflect on your own leadership strengths and development needs in working collaboratively with others to achieve results. The subject requires a combination of working online, as well as attending highly interactive workshops where you will have the opportunity to examine, discuss and solve real-world leadership problems.


1. Critically analyse key leadership theories and approaches and be able to explain verbally and in writing the key elements of these theories, with a particular emphasis on responsible leadership.

2. Examine the effectiveness of contemporary leaders by applying relevant leadership theories, discussing their approach and the challenges in which they lead, and offering solutions for improvement.

3. Demonstrate skills in working collaboratively to research and apply leadership theories, communicate findings in a clear and engaging way, and give constructive and thoughtful feedback to others.

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Answer :


The different management theories mainly help the people in order to understand the different perspective regarding the management concept. In this particular study, the leadership concept of management has been taken into consideration. David Morrison has been chosen as a leader in order to conduct the entire study. The primary aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of different leadership theories over David Morrison. Along with that, the study also provides a brief description regarding the background of David Morrison such as his career and the different controversies with which he was associated. In addition to that, the study also defines the different theories of action that has been taken into consideration by David Morrison. Moreover, the study also provides a detailed description regarding the different challenges that he had to face and the solutions that might be used that time. At the end of the study, it also provides a self-reflection that evaluates my understanding regarding the individual essay.

Background of David Morrison

Lieutenant general David Morrison was born on 24th May in 1956. He was a senior office of Australian Army. Until 2011, he served as the Chief of Australian Army. He has done his studies in St Edmund’s College and in Australian National University. In 1979, he completed his graduation in Arts and joined Australian Army. After that, he graduated from the Officer Cadet School and went into Royal Australian Infantry Corps (Davidson, 2017). During the period of 1987-88, he served as the Australian Instructor in the UK. He has played an important role in order to take the women in the more combat roles in the Australian Army. After being appointed as a chief of army in 2011, he had to deal with many issues that mainly exposed the actual culture of sexual degradation along with the violence and abuse (ABC News. 2017). One of the scandals that he had to deal with was a video from a soldier. The soldier had used the video communication platform in order to broadcast the sexual encounter to his friends, specifically to his female partner. Then the entire process was investigated by Elizabeth Broderick and David Morrison and it resulted in a fact that how women were being treated in Australian Army. Along with that, as Morrison was considered as the Head of other organizational values, therefore he introduced a plan to modernize the Australian Army in 2011 and in December he took a emphatic decision regarding the fact that the women are allowed to serve the army in most combat roles. Because of his great achievements in life, he was named as the Australian of the Year 2016 (Thomas and Thomas, 2017).

Theory of action

If the different leadership theories need s to be taken into consideration, then it can be said that David Morrison was influenced by the Contingency theory of leadership. According to Northouse (2015), this theory mainly specifies the fact that there is no single way of leading the entire team. The leadership aspects should be based on the different situations that signify the fact that there are ample amounts of people who perform at their maximum level. However, it can be said that the contingency theory is the proper extension of the trait theory because of the fact that the human traits are correlated to the different situations through which the leaders exercise their leadership. David Morrison was mainly focused on three different aspects such as courage along with the vision and the resilience. The courage mainly helped him to make the changes. He had made the role of women in Australian Army very prominent. This kind of activity needs an ample amount of courage. Along with that, he also had a clear vision regarding his activities. He had the vision of creating the gender equality in the Australian Army. He mainly wanted to have the same respect for women such as the men. Therefore, he tried to make both the entities equal in terms of preference. In addition to that, he also needed to maintain the organizational culture. According to Antonakis and House (2013), the culture of Army needs to be compatible with the leadership style that should be used. Therefore, David Morrison needed to understand the different aspects of the Army culture and based on that he needed to take the decisions. On the other hand, according to Parris and Peachey (2013), when it comes to the resilience, it signifies the time gap through which the entire activity can be resisted. The decision he took to promote the Australian women in the field of Army, needed to be maintained throughout a long-term period. He was successful to maintain that aspects until his retirement from Army.

Challenges regarding the leadership

Like every management aspect, the concept of leadership also has some sort of challenges (Antonakis and House, 2014). One of the greatest challenges that David Morrison had to face was the fact that it was tough for him to inspire others. Along with that, the lack of motivational factor in the Army was also a cause that he found it tough to inspire others. He mainly needed to make other people satisfy regarding the fact that they are working perfectly and they can become an asset for the Australian Army. In addition to that, developing the team effort also comes under the inspirational elements (Van Wart, 2014). David Morrison had faced challenge regarding the development of others that includes mentoring and monitoring of the army staffs. It was a tough job for him; however, he had resisted the roadblocks that he had faced regarding those situations. He inspired the women to such an extent that it created a sense of self-belief in between the women that they could become an important part of Australian Army.

In order to mitigate the different challenges regarding the leadership, there are different solutions that can be used by the leaders. One of them is the proper development of the own leadership skills of the leader (Tourish, 2014). David Morrison was very motivating towards his followers and therefore people tend to follow his instructions. Along with that, he was never afraid of being failed in his decisions. Therefore, it acted as a positive factor for himself regarding the different challenges that he had to face in his service life. In addition to that, David Morrison had a compelling vision regarding his goals. Therefore, it showed him the proper path through which he was able to mitigate the different challenging factors in his entire career.  


After having a proper glance at David Morrison’s life, I have understood the fact that the leaders are born. They are not made. Along with that, I have also come to know the fact that there are different leadership theories that can affect the performance of the leaders. The leaders need to be very much appropriate in order to maintain one of those theories. In addition to that, the leaders also need to face a certain amount of challenges in their life; however, they should not get collapsed (Dinh et al. 2014). They need to set a standard of motivational activities in front of their followers. Along with that, I have also come to know one important fact that the leaders also need to assess the different situations in order to take the important decisions. Therefore, the decisions sometimes get appropriate enough that it costs positively to the organization (Chemers, 2014). It enhances the sense of positivity in me. Therefore, it helps me to take proper decisions in different situations. Along with that, I have also learned the fact that the challenges can be mitigated by some possible solutions. The different solutions can be used as different conditions. Motivating the team and own can result into the mitigation of the challenges that may arise. Along with that, I also need to have a clear vision regarding the goal that can easily enhance my performance as a leader and make my team working perfectly. In addition to that, I have also learned an important thing that we need to learn from our previous experience. So that we cannot make the same mistake that, we have done earlier.


After summing up the entire study, it can be concluded that the leadership is one of the most important management aspect. People need to evaluate all the different parts of it in order to become a successful leader. David Morrison was a successful leader because of inspiring characteristics and motivating nature. Along with that, it can be also concluded that people never lose hope regarding their dream. He dreamed of creating gender equality in Australian Army and after a long period of journey, he become successful. Therefore, it can be said that the presence of motivational factor can make the people thirsty enough to reach out to their objective. In addition to that, it can also be concluded that the different challenges can lower down the speed of improvement in between the leaders; however, there are some mitigation techniques that can easily overcome the challenges. Therefore, it can be said that people needs to be much aware of the different situations surrounding to them.