Articles about Leadership Course

Articles about Leadership Course

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Articles about Leadership Course

Leadership and power are closely intertwined to the extent that a leader requires power to influence the followership to behave in a particular manner directed towards the leader’s goals. Although the two concepts are intimately related, they are fundamentally different yet interdependent and critical for underpinning organization theory. Leaders must be able to deploy the different types of power to influence their followers. This is particularly important in organizational settings in which the top executives exert their power over their subordinates to marshal their efforts towards a prescribed and predetermined goal. However, corporate leaders must master the different leadership styles that they can use to influence the workforce. Leaders must possess specific competencies to deploy leadership styles that yield the best results in the various organizational circumstances with diverse followership characteristics. Altogether, successful leaders can marshal the members of their organization using different leadership competencies and styles while leveraging their power to persuade compliance from the members in pursuit of organizational goals. This report focuses on leadership power, competencies, and styles, to explain how effective leaders marshal these qualities to bring success to their organizations.

In addressing this topic, I will first attempt to explain the relationship between leadership and power and how corporate leaders deploy the different types of power in their quest for organizational success. After that, I will single out the concept of leadership competencies and explain how different competencies can be used to exercise and deploy power in an organizational setting. Thereafter, I will also discuss the different leadership styles that leaders can deploy alongside the different types of power to help deliver the corporate vision for their organizations. I will select six peer-reviewed journal articles to demonstrate and support my arguments for each of the three concepts; power, competencies, and styles of leadership. Finally, I will collate the gaps in the literature that will inform my emerging research proposal and other future research in the leadership field.     

Power vs. Leadership

Power and leadership are often used interchangeably and, therefore, confusing to leadership trainees. However, these concepts are distinct, and their differences need to be discerned to understand leadership better. Pfeffer and Fong’s (2005) and Van Dijke (2020) provide some valuable insights that would promote such understanding and direct further research

1st Source

Pfeffer and Fong’s (2005) article is titled ‘building organization theory from first principles: the self-enhancement motive and understanding power and influence’, which addresses the psychological processes related to power and social influence to explain the irregular behavior of individuals under the ambit of leaders. The authors attempt to theorize why individuals behave differently and sometimes tolerate demeaning leadership using the concept of self-enhancement. This article intends to direct organizational research toward determining the interconnectedness between various organizational concepts and theories rather than addressing them as an unrelated list of topics. Consequently, Pfeffer and Fong’s (2005) endeavor to direct organizational theory research towards integrating diverse perspectives, variables, concepts, and theories to promote the unified understanding of power and leadership that transcends beyond conceptual controversies. Therefore, this article is appropriate because it addresses a common research challenge that undermines understanding concepts and theories related to organizational science and stifles inquiry. Also, the article is interesting because it demonstrates how the concept of self-enhancement is used to explain power and influence processes and how individuals can fail or lose power in organizational settings.

Although the article provides extensive explanations about the concepts related to self-enhancement ideal to explain power and influence in an organizational setting, it is methodologically weak. It does not outline how the secondary sources were selected and analyzed or specify the research design used, although it apparently is a qualitative secondary study. Therefore, the quality of the paper is low because its evidence level is V because it reviews the literature and provides opinions from the experts. The concerns raised by its quality include the inability to replicate the study due to the lack of a straightforward methodological procedure and the uncertainty of the quality of the secondary sources because no selection criteria are provided. Nonetheless, the paper outlines several valuable ideas for the emerging research. Pfeffer and Fong’s (2005) suggest that power and influence studies require conceptual model building because the two concepts are explained by various disparate theories that need to be consolidated and integrated to provide a comprehensive understanding of their use in organizational settings.

Leadership Competencies

Leadership competencies are skills that leadership trainees learn, acquire, and practice in real-life situations. The competencies are premised on the belief that leaders can be made and not necessarily born. In other words, leadership skills can be nurtured enough to become competencies when an individual can use them effectively to lead others successfully. Shum et al. (2018) provide insights into leadership competencies applicable in a specific workplace and industry settings, revealing gaps that can inform further research.

1st Source

Shum et al. (2018) conducted a study investigating the relative importance of leadership competencies among different levels of managers in the hospitality industry. In their article titled, ‘a model of hospitality leadership competency for frontline and director level’, Shum et al. (2018) sought to update the existing knowledge about leadership competencies by categorizing them according to those most suited for different levels of leaders, namely those at the frontline and directorship leadership levels in the hospitality industry. This study is appropriate because it advances the existing knowledge of leadership competencies, which identifies the competencies that successful leaders require regardless of their leadership position. Usually, leaders are provided with a set of competencies they should possess regardless of the leadership position. Therefore, this study is interesting because it categorizes leadership competencies based on managerial positions and levels in an organization. It suggests that some leadership competencies are better suited for frontline managers while others are best for managers at the directorship level. In the end, Shum et al. (2018) have purposed this study to advise educators in the hospitality industry on which leadership competencies should be taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels to prepare frontline and director-level managers, respectively.

The study has a sound methodology because Shum et al. (2018) conduct qualitative research by surveying senior managers from diverse hospitality establishments. The survey method is appropriate because it can discern the perceptions of many respondents regarding a topic of interest with relative ease because it is not resource and time-intensive. Besides, a survey is an appropriate exploratory approach to an issue with little information in the literature. In addition, Shum et al. (2018) use snowball sampling to recruit unfamiliar members who belong to a small exclusive group of individuals in a business setting that are often hard to access. This approach is suitable for recruiting senior managers. At the same time, the use of a questionnaire is convenient to them because of its convenience and flexibility for participants that usually have a busy schedule. The only concern the methodology raises is the absence of the study locality because it is not clear where the hospitality establishments are located or their size. Therefore, one cannot include cultural and organizational structure factors to the leadership competencies preferred by the senior managers.

The study has a moderate quality because its evidence is rated at level III, which is assigned to qualitative studies. Therefore, its weakness is in not using an experimental design to investigate the effectiveness of the leadership competencies in real organizational settings, considering that individual managers’ perceptions are not standardized and may differ due to individual differences. However, despite its few weaknesses, this study reveals a gap that can be addressed in the emerging research proposal. The next study should delve into the competency needs among leaders in organizations to better design academic and professional leadership training programs.

Leadership Styles

Leadership styles deploy leadership skills in real-life situations. Although they are influenced significantly by an individual’s personality, leaders can learn different styles and how to use them in specific situations effectively. The diverse workplace has become a focus of research today due to the changing trends in the population and organizations. Therefore, multigenerational studies are critical in developing adaptive leaders for the contemporary workplace. Kraus (2017) and Boyle et al. (2018) focus on multigenerational followership and how leaders can adapt to this organsational reality.

1st Source

Kraus (2017) authored an article,’ comparing generation X and generation Y on their preferred emotional leadership style’, which investigates the differences in leadership style preferences across generations. Kraus, M. (2017) acknowledged that contemporary workplaces are multigenerational, presenting leadership challenges. Therefore, this study is appropriate because it addresses a current and ongoing challenge in modern workplace settings. It seeks to confirm whether different generations have different perspectives about leadership as commonly believed or whether there are any similarities. Therefore, the study aims to confirm or negate the long-held stereotype that individuals from different generations have developed different perspectives and values because of their developmental experiences. In addition, this study is interesting because it focuses on two generations that are often enigmatic and misunderstood, yet their population is increasing in the workplace. Therefore, this study is vital to leaders in organizations with a multigenerational workforce because it equips them with the knowledge on how to address intergenerational issues in the workplace.

The methodology used by Kraus (2017) is robust and appropriate for answering the research question of whether there are any similarities and differences in the preferences of the different emotional leadership styles by generation X and Y workers. Kraus (2017) used a quasi-experimental design for the empirical study. This methodology is appropriate for answering the research question because it assigns a numerical value to the emotional leadership style preferences by quantifying similarities and differences of the different perspectives, and to qualifying these preferences. In this regard, Kraus (2017) sampled 105 participants to respond to an online survey that collected quantitative data. This sample size is appropriate for a cross-sectional study of a workforce segment in a single country.

Consequently, the quality of the study is moderately high because the evidence is rated at level II, considering that Kraus (2017) conducted an original empirical study. Besides, the study report is well structured, outlining the different sections of a research paper. However, its quality is undermined by a few weaknesses. For instance, the sampling technique is unclear, making it difficult to determine how Kraus (2017) ended up with 105 participants. Similarly, the findings are discussed in the conclusion, making it difficult to separate the deductions drawn from the study.

Nevertheless, Kraus (2017) opens up opportunities for further research, which are helpful to the intended emerging research proposal. For instance, the research proposal could dwell on the influence of culture in leadership style preferences of the younger generation of workers, considering that contemporary workplaces are increasingly multicultural diverse. Similarly, the employee preferences for other leadership styles other than emotional leadership deserve investigation, considering that organizational leaders deploy diverse leadership styles for different situations.   

2nd Source

Boyle et al. (2018) authored an article, ‘adapting leadership styles to reflect generational differences in the academy, which focuses on leading multigenerational students in an educational setting. The purpose of this paper is to inspire educators to adapt their leadership style according to generational differences to lead students of all generations. The article is appropriate because it addresses an issue that challenges many educators who are expected to instill leadership skills into multigenerational students in higher education settings. Similarly, this article is interesting because it recognizes the complexities of leading students from different generations and deconstructing the long-held beliefs that students are always young people, much younger than the educators.

The paper does not outline any study methodology. This is because Boyle et al. (2018) authored a commentary based on a theoretical discussion. Similarly, the research type is cannot be discerned. However, the theoretical discussion draws from several credible journal articles and authoritative publications, thus making its claims credible. However, this paper raises several critical concerns, despite being a commentary. Firstly, it lacks a sound theoretical foundation because it invokes very few theories to support the observations and discussion. Secondly, it dwells more on explaining leadership styles and affords minimal attention to how leaders can adapt their leadership styles in practice. Therefore, the paper does not address the issue of leadership style adaption exhaustively, which contributes to its weakness.

The paper is of poor quality because the evidence presented is rated at level V because it presents opinions. Consequently, its weakness emanates from the inability to engage different theories to ground the opinions advanced by Boyle et al. (2018). In addition, although the topic is important, relevant, and timely, it is not directed by a study question to lead the inquiry. Consequently, it is difficult to assess whether Boyle et al. (2018) achieved their aim, because the purpose of the commentary is not explicitly stated. 

Nonetheless, from the emerging knowledge presented by Boyle et al. (2018), the idea presented can contribute to the emerging research proposal. Specifically, the oncoming study should empirically investigate how leaders adapt their leadership styles among multigenerational followers. A carefully designed cross-sectional study targeting an organizational setting would unearth the common practices among such leaders and the adaptive skill deficiencies that need to be addressed.

Summary of Power in Leadership, and Leadership Competencies and Styles

These articles explain that power is exercised by leaders through their leadership competencies and styles. Therefore, leadership competencies and styles are tools employed by leaders to exert their influence over their followers and are used to exercise the power needed to direct and control the followership’s behavior and actions. The adeptness at deploying the appropriate leadership skills and styles is essential when leading multigenerational followers. Therefore, leaders needed to develop leadership skills and style that would help them lead generation X and Y employees effectively. Besides, they needed to adapt their leadership and skills to suit different generations of the followership, considering that workforces comprised of people from three different generations working in the same environment or organization.  

Research Gap and Opportunity

These articles revealed several gaps that need to be addressed in future studies. Firstly, two of the four articles had methodological challenges because they were commentaries lacking in research rigor, indicating that existing leadership studies needed to be methodologically sound to produce credible and valid findings. This is important because most studies addressing leadership power and the skills and competencies needed to exercise power in different settings lacked a high level of evidence. Secondly, although these studies invoked several organizational and leadership theories to support their arguments, there was no evidence on how these theories were deployed in leadership practice. In other words, there was no sufficient evidence indicating that the models and theories of leadership power revealed in these studies had yielded positive outcomes in organizations. Thirdly, no studies have been conducted to discern how leaders adjust their leadership styles to adapt skillfully to followers from different generations and which skills are most appropriate for leading people from different generations. These gaps in the literature and studies considered present opportunities for future studies that can be incorporated into the emerging research proposal.

The research opportunities that can be leveraged in the proposed study are premised on linking theory to practice. In this regard, one focus for the emerging research proposal would be to use a rigorous methodology to confirm the assertions and claims presented in the commentaries. For instance, it would be interesting to investigate how the consolidated models of power and influence are applied in organizational settings and what their efficaciousness is in promoting organizational performance and productivity.  Similarly, empirical studies on effective leadership approaches in multigenerational organizational settings are needed because there lacks evidence on how leaders approach generation X and X employees in the modern workforce, whose population is increasing gradually, replacing the baby boomers. Similarly, there was a need to investigate empirically how these generation cohorts responded to different leadership styles at the workplace.


Leadership knowledge is promoted by considering unique issues and situations found in contemporary social and workplace environments. In this regard, the rising populations of generation X and Y in the workplaces, working alongside baby boomers, present leaders with numerous challenges, which can be addressed through multigenerational studies in leadership. Therefore, the emerging research proposal should focus on addressing this knowledge and practice gap. 


Boyle, C. J., Gonyeau, M., Flowers, S. K., Hritcko, P., Taheri, R., & Prabhu, S. (2018). Adapting leadership styles to reflect generational differences in the academy. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education82(6).

Kraus, M. (2017). Comparing Generation X and Generation Y on their preferred emotional leadership style. Journal of Applied Leadership and Management5, 62-75.

Pfeffer, J., & Fong, C. T. (2005). Building organization theory from first principles: The self-enhancement motive and understanding power and influence. Organization Science16(4), 372-388.

Shum, C., Gatling, A., & Shoemaker, S. (2018). A model of hospitality leadership competency for frontline and director-level managers: Which competencies matter more? International Journal of Hospitality Management74, 57-66.

Van Dijke, M. (2020). Power and leadership. Current Opinion in Psychology33, 6-11.

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