Cathay Pacific Airways Limited is one of the most established airlines in Hong Kong that was founded in 1946 by an American known as Roy C Farrell and Australian Sydney H de Kantzow. The company embarked on operating flights within Singapore, Manila and Shanghai and in subsequent time had expanded to be one of the principal trading organizations in Hong Kong (Narandaran, Hamid & Habibullah ,2016). Nonetheless, the company still had leadership challenges that required improvement. In the 2018 markets, the company experienced plummeting sales and this prompted the organization to reconsider its leadership structure by advocating for shift into a more customer-centric and staff engaging leadership approach.
Contemporary Leadership Styles and approaches
Organizations have since used the more autocratic style of leadership. Though, a marked shift in management styles has been noted in the contemporary society. New and employee-friendly leadership styles are being incorporated in most organizations prompted by the fact that organization development correlates with good organization culture. The more traditional leadership paradigms include the top-down approach and bureaucracy (Judge & Piccolo, 2004).
In the case of top-down approach, power lies in the management. The sole authority is the highest level of the organization that decides on all issues that affect the company. The employees are rarely consulted to offer feedback. The upper management arrive at autonomous conclusions and hand them down to employees who are required to work to attain the goals (Hargreaves & Ainscow,2015). This leadership style has both advantages and disadvantages.
When decisions are made by the upper management, it becomes apparent to the employees on what is expected to accomplish the goals. Moreover, the employees are able to have clear focus on work tasks instead of going for meetings to engage in discussions. In fact, when a leader takes charge, tasks are appropriately assigned and met within the set deadlines. Most organizations that implement this approach are often accomplished especially when they consider how a particular decision is likely to influence employees.
The approach is perceived as dictatorial and a weak leader is prone to encounter opposition from staff which may hamper the organization’s growth.
Bureaucratic leadership style
It entails the application of a system of regulations for management and decision-making to govern an organization. This leadership paradigm is pertinent to companies that do not expect much innovation and creativity from employees (Uhl-Bien & Marion, 2009). Basically, this leadership comprises of four critical elements that comprise; all administrative duties are sub-divided into permanent offices that allow proper governance and accountability, lower levels are answerable to the supervision above them, technical proficiency is essential to effectively manage tasks and an integration of technical rules that manage how work is conducted and behavioral rules that define a manager’s conduct.
Challenges experienced by current leaders in leading in a changing world
Current leaders are experiencing a number of challenges especially concerning the transition from one leadership to another as prompted by the fact that prior leadership paradigms are becoming less effective. The use of authority to operate organizations as was earlier the norm is becoming complicated because the current society voices its opinions, hence when employees in a company are not engaged, they feel left out and result to opposing the management. This hampers the organization’s advancement and poses a challenge to management. Furthermore, the current leaders are supposed to learn to impart themselves with skills required to influence, persuade and convince their followers in order to achieve the organization goals. One of the most prioritized skills among leaders in the 21 century is the ability to effectively communicate with internal and external affiliates of the organization.
Leadership styles need to evolve
Leaders should adopt the situational leadership that incorporates task behavior whereby the leader assigns duties for the employees and offers guidance on how to carry out the tasks, and relationship behavior whereby the leader motivates the staff and listens to their concerns. This leadership style is effective as positional power cannot be exclusively relied upon in the current society. Hersey and Blanchard (1974) dispute the prior leadership theories as less efficient claiming that the exclusive use of power to run an organization will not be effective as it used to.
This model of management is not founded on specific skills but should rather be tailored to suit the leader’s style of management. Fundamentally, this leadership style targets those organizations that want to empower their workforce by valuing their input. Situational leadership is in fact gaining recognition in China with examples of companies such Alibaba adopting this approach. Leaders should integrate the more customer-centric forms of leadership such as transformational leadership that target customer and employee satisfaction that will guarantee an organization’s development (Ang, 2016). Moreover, I also think more women should be empowered to secure leadership roles as their more honest and dedicated to their work. Furthermore, women leaders are more supportive and make great mentors to the younger individuals.
Ang, R. (2016). Vodafone Global Telecommunications: Optimizing Operations. IUP Journal of Operations Management, 15(4), 46.
Judge, T. A., & Piccolo, R. F. (2004). Transformational and transactional leadership: a meta-analytic test of their relative validity. Journal of applied psychology, 89(5), 755.
Hargreaves, A., & Ainscow, M. (2015). The top and bottom of leadership and change. Phi Delta Kappan, 97(3), 42-48.
Narandaran, Y. Y., Hamid, B. A., & Habibullah, M. S. (2016). Financial risk exposures of the airlines industry: Evidence from Cathay Pacific Airways and China Airlines. International Journal of Business and Society, 17(2), 221-244.
Uhl-Bien, M., & Marion, R. (2009). Complexity leadership in bureaucratic forms of organizing: A meso model. The Leadership Quarterly, 20(4), 631-650.