In this project, two models or perspectives on leadership are analysed and compared. These two perspectives, have very different influences on how an organisation is structured and functions. The two models belong to the six models of management identified by Bush (‘E849 Study guide, p.32-34’, 1995): the collegial model and the formal model. Bothmodels have very different views regarding management and leadership e.g.: the goals of the organisation, the way the organisation relates to the environment and the structure of the organisation .
The two models are going to be applied to an educational based community centre that will be named ‘The Centre‘. The two models will also explain how they will influence a specific leadership role,in this case, a preschool supervisor position.
Finally, the assumptions and values of the Centre under the two different models will be assessed.
Organisations following a collegial model are organisations with a lateral structure where decisions are made with the participation of all members. The centre will have a team-based structure. As Rhona Sherry explained (E849 Web Activity 1, 19February 2008), ‘the role of leaders in this perspective involves gaining commitment from team members guiding the work. It also requires innovation, creativity and initiative’. These attributes are very important because for example, in the case of Policies and Procedures, they can be used as guidelines but at the same time, two situations are never the same. It has to be bear in mind, that whenworking in an educational or social organisational, different people are involved, and they all are different individuals living different situations. Creativity, initiative and innovation are then very valuable.
Participation is a key factor for an effective leadership. As Drath and Palus (1994), Bruner (1986) and Kegan (1882) suggested, participation is required for leadership because of theprocess of sharing different views of the world. Members of an organisation create a common meaning and interpretation that helps the group work together. This will develop an effective team because ‘..all members are engaged in creating meaning and acting on that meaning’ (Drath and Palus, 1994). The preschool supervisor is a member of two teams: the preschool team and the core team in the Centre.The two are interrelated, and in both is required participation in any aspect of decision making.
In this type of structure, the leader is one more participant in the process of decision-making. The person’s main responsibility would be to help to reach a consensus among all participants. Dew (1995) identifies what is needed in a democratic leadership style, being essential in a collegialleadership model: ‘the ability to lead participative meetings, listening skills, the ability to handle conflict, measurement skills, group-centre decision-making skills, teaching skills, and team building skills.’ (Horner, 1997 P.40).
Some authors have identified limitations and have found imperfections in the collegial model. Hellawel, D. and Handcock, N. (2001) argued that in the process ofdecision-making, not all members of an organisation would be as ‘vocal’ and ‘articulate’. In some cases, only some members would have the confidence to express themselves and they would probably be the ones with more experience within the organisation. This would create a more hierarchical structure with an apparent democratic style.
A formal model of leadership would completely change the dynamics ofthe Centre. First of all, the structure would not be lateral but hierarchical, where decisions come from the top and are passed down. The official leader, is the person who takes decisions and formulates policy. The power is not share as in the collegial model. The formal leader would then decide and the other members of the organisation would follow. It is taken for granted that the decisions are...