Group Communication and Decision-Making Research Paper

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[. . .] You can be an individual contributor or a "box on the organizational chart" and still act as a leader in your organization because of the communication strategies you apply, or fail to do so. Prepared Mind leadership is not limited by formal roles but is guided by decision making abilities and group communication strategies. In fact, the more we looked at acts of leadership, the more we realized the power, the responsibility and the risk of 'acting outside the narrow confines of your job description' and being mentally prepared to take the necessary decisions based on diverse circumstances. Furthermore, in this era of continuously shifting boundaries and relationships, and shorter job and strategy shelf lives, successful people learn to do just that, for their own good and for the good of their organizations. It's an organizational requirement that you perform your job and perform it well. But leadership is a voluntary act (Welter and Egmon, 2005).

To support this we quote out of the study conducted by Sosik and Dinger (2007) who again assert that "Bass (1985) did not consider intellectual stimulation to be an aspect of charismatic leadership, and his view has been supported in previous research on the factor structure of the MLQ (e.g., Avolio, Bass, & Jung, 1999; Yammarino, Spangler, & Bass, 1993). Likewise, individualized consideration provides a more supportive and developmental leadership function rather than an inspirational function (Bass, 1985) and thus was not examined in the present study. Management-by-exception (active and passive), the two corrective leadership styles in the Full Range Leadership model (Bass & Avolio, 1997), were also excluded from this study because they may promote fear and stifle innovation (Avolio, 1994; Sosik & Dionne, 1997). Such effects on followers are not consistent with the notions of inspiration (Thrash & Elliot, 2003) and charismatic leadership (Shamir et al., 1993)" (as cited in Sosik and Dinger, 2007).

Welter and Egmon (2005) write that it doesn't matter "Whether you hold a position of leadership in the traditional sense or decide that you are someone who will choose to 'step outside the strict confines of their job description', the intent of this book is to help you develop the skills of a Prepared Mind leader" (Welter and Egmon, 2005).

Group Communication and leadership

Good group leadership is built around effective communication between teams. It is an aspect that, like many other aspects in business, requires a combined effort of skills and performances. It takes a conscious effort to improve one's group leadership skills and requires regular implementation of techniques learned before it can be mastered if at all. In the book 'the Prepared Mind of a Leader', the authors identify eight primary tasks of a good leader or group leader which are listed below:

Monitoring

Examining

Analyzing using pure logic

Envisioning

Stimulating by thought-provoking processes

Decision-making

Educating

Facilitating

Contemplation

Enhancing performance (Welter and Egmon, 2005)

It is important to know the comparisons between efficient and inefficient leaders in order to avoid those situations or characteristics. Hence, "the present study also focuses on measuring two types of non-charismatic leadership styles which were examined in the study of Berson et al. (2001) of vision statements. Transactional contingent reward leadership involves using goal setting and contingent rewards to influence followers. Such instrumental behavior clarifies followers' expectations, discusses specifically expected outcomes and performance targets, and uses rewards to reinforce the positive performance of followers. Laissez faire leadership reflects passive leader behaviors such as avoidance of getting involved, making decisions, and dealing in problems (Bass & Avolio, 1997), and represents an appropriate contrast to the more active and effective charismatic and contingent reward leadership styles" (as cited in Sosik and Dinger, 2007).

When talking about the qualities of a good group leader, numerous researchers, like Shamir and his colleagues in their study, assume that the good leaders are always very articulate about who they are as individuals and what they want their organizations to stand for. Such lucid articulation is believed to revolve around other aspects of business as well like the moral, values and principles that he stood up for as a leader and the compromises he won't make on a personal and professional level to attain profits or growth. This articulation when repeated and backed up by practical examples can leave a permanent mark on the employees' decision making as well. Furthermore, communication is the key for an articulate leader in order to not only establish a set of standards for himself but also enforce them through examples on all of his employees as well (Shamir et al., 1994). This is also where self-monitoring from the leader becomes important as well.

"Self-monitoring refers to an individual's ability to regulate the presentation of his or her identity to others (Snyder, 1987). High self-monitors are astute at scanning their environments, more accurately reading social cues, and adapting their behavior, or self-presentation, to appropriately match the particular situation in which they find themselves. Conversely, low self-monitors are less sensitive to cues in their social environment that would help determine socially appropriate behavior and they do not adjust their behavior to match the appropriateness of the situation (Snyder, 1987)" (as cited in Sosik and Dinger, 2007).

In this particular book chosen for analysis, the authors also focus on the aspect of power and its role for a prepared leader. Power or authority is another important aspect for a prepared group leader to have. Power can help a leader to attain any and all organizational aims he had set for the company as well as motivate the team members to do the same. House & Howell (1992) in their study highlight that this particular characteristic is obvious in a socialized and modern leader. On the other hand, it is important to not let the accessibility of power drive an individual to exploit personal gains; this is another aspect what a leader must be prepared to counter if and when it happens (House and Howell, 1992).

A prepared group leader is also meant to instill in his employees the urgency to attain higher standards or what Zhang and Bruning (2011) call the 'need for achievement' (NFA). They assert that "the need for achievement (NFA) construct has a long history in psychology. It generally refers to a stable, learned characteristic in which satisfaction is obtained by striving for and attaining higher levels of excellence (Feldman, 1999). Although NFA was originally conceptualized as a stable personal trait, more recent studies have demonstrated that it can evolve over time, particularly through the acquisition of advanced education, such as an MBA program. One study found that students substantially increased their achievement needs after enrolling in an MBA program (Hansemark, 1998). Prior research also indicates that there is a positive relationship between NFA and entrepreneurship (Johnson, 1990). Research also suggests that angel investors typically have a higher NFA (Duxbury et al., 1996); entrepreneurs with a higher NFA are more likely to be successful (Johnson and Ma, 1995). In some cases, NFA is one of the selection criteria for entering entrepreneurship training programs (Gupta, 1989). There seems to be a consensus on the positive relationship between managerial NFA and successful performance" (as cited in Zhang and Bruning, 2011).

Conclusion

This paper focused on two primary factors important for the leaders, in the modern world, to completely conquer. These two factors are:

Group Communication

Decision making methods

The paper focused on different aspects that can help an individual be a better version of themselves in life as well as work. Some of the aspects that the paper focused on included the decision making patterns of a leader, the communication aspects needed in a team as well as the role of the leader in instigating motivation amongst the employees as well as improving the overall decision making processes. The paper will also took into consideration the views presented in different books written today on the topic at hand, like the Power of Impossible Thinking by Jerry Wind, Colin Crook and Robert Gunther, first published in 2004 as well as the Prepared Mind of a Leader by Bill Welter and Jean Egmon first published in 2005.

The paper highlighted the following aspects:

The reaction and mental response of an individual is more important for a thinker and a prepared leader in order to instigate beneficial results

A charismatic leader can motivate his employees more so then a passive leader

Communication is key, whether mental or verbal, in order to engage a suitable result out of a complicated situation

A good group leader is able to instill and motivate in his employees and team leader the necessity to achieve higher standards in their personal as well as processional lives

References

Avolio, B.J. (1994). The alliance of total quality and the full range of leadership. In B.M. Bass & B.J. Avolio (Eds.), Improving organizational… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Group Communication and Decision-Making.  (2011, March 6).  Retrieved February 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/group-communication-decision-making/9140654

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"Group Communication and Decision-Making."  Essaytown.com.  March 6, 2011.  Accessed February 23, 2019.
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