Managing, Leading and Stewardship
Before enrolling for this subject, I assumed that managing is all about controlling and monitoring activities and ensuring that the team members execute assigned tasks as per the instructions of instructions and decisions of the team leader. On the hand, leading entails the activities that outline strategies and a common goal of the firm and getting inspiration to achieve that common goal. That leading depends on the leader’s strategic vision. While stewardship involves not having knowledge and experience about managing and leading.
I expect the subject of Managing, Leading and Stewardship to teach me about managing and leadership concepts to help me climb the ladder of the leadership successfully. Climbing the leadership ladder entails job promotion, and it stands in for the career and life success which everyone desires. When I just read the name of the subject, I felt that I would be able to learn enough about how to tackle employee disagreements, inspire them, and lead them effectively. What I’m not sure about this subject is definitions and difference of managing, leading and stewardship, and it usually confuses me. I do hope I will be able to learn about existing differences in managing, leading, and stewardship deeply. Learning that will help me confirm my assumptions about managing, leading and stewardship. Before, enrolling this subject, I had gathered much experience in the management field by meeting various directors and managers with distinct personalities and knowledge from different companies. The experience I acquired enabled me to enrol for the subject.
As a newly promoted supervisor with only one and a half years of experience, the promotion plunged me into many challenges. The challenges that I experienced in my career included feeling pressured due to the change in my role to the managerial position. Senior employees had many misconceptions about my supervisory skills and experience, and it a challenge for me when I was promoted. In this case, I felt so pressured that I couldn’t even lead my team members. Additionally, when I had different opinions in regards to the views or strategies of the senior employees, I find them not caring about my ideas. It was, therefore, difficult to deliver my thoughts and for sure they had backups to reject my ideas. Therefore I hope the subject will help me sort such cases.
Moreover, as a recently promoted young manager, I was happy to be promoted of course, but, the issue of regional balance was pressuring me. Regional discrimination was not my appetite at all when it comes to developing employees. In our organisation, I understood that those employees from the same region with the director of the company have the upper hand when it comes to promotion in our organisation. So when I was promoted, several questions were pressuring my mind if I could accept the offer and stay in the same company or leave it and seek new job opportunities. Due to such pressures, I needed, therefore, to know what it means when it comes managing, leading and stewardship in the organisation, and I hope I will learn from this subject.
Furthermore, in the past years, the economy of China aggressively increased; hence the sales volume of our company increased. But recently, the economy has been decreasing, and it negatively reduced our sales volume, which created disagreements between the marketing and the sales department. Since I was working in the sales department as the supervisor, I didn’t know much about the marketing department. Surprisingly I did not know how to communicate with the marketing department staff to solve the issue. I hope the subject will help me understand how to tackle such a problem in our company. I hope at the end of the subject; I will be able to communicate and hold consultative meetings with my employees. The subject of Managing, Leading and Stewardship to me seems to be the foundation of the ability to work efficiently, leading and management skills, and thus I hope at the end of the subject I will have acquired them.
As a supervisor in the sales department, we had to go for overtime as a means of boosting our sales. However, the company must pay employees for working overtime as part of complying with the government directive. But, they were not paid since the organisation was focusing much on the profits. Additionally, working overtime subjected the employees more too harsh working conditions and raised the issue of safety of the employees. Despite such poor working conditions, and no pay for overtime, employees would not complain since they would be replaced immediately to prevent production interference as the company was focusing on boosting its sales volume. Such situations made me confused about how I can successfully manage and lead my team and how to ethically increase the efficiency of my employees to meet the needed sales volume. Therefore I expect this subject to help me tackle such situations efficiently and effectively for the benefit of us all that is the organisation and the employees.
Additionally, I need to learn about the origin of managing, leading and stewardship. The originality of managing, leading and stewardship and its definitions will help me amalgamate know-how in regards to leadership and the management. I also hope to understand the management power and politics. Lastly, I do hope I will appreciate some of the theories found in the subject as well as its applications and assumptions. The critical areas related to managing, leading and stewardship that are of my concern are the key differences between managing, leading and stewardship. Also understand the application of theories of managing, leading and stewardship.
At this stage of my studies, I have learnt about the theories of managing, leading and stewardship. Also, I have learnt about their definitions and differences. My earlier assumptions that I had in my mind before I enrolled for the subject have now been confirmed. But in some ways, it has been challenged. My initial assumptions about the subject clicked with those in the class resources. The class discussions, lectures, and reading have deepened my understanding about managing, leading and stewardship. The book of Ann Cunliffe and J.T Luhman (2012) have helped me increased my knowledge of the crucial concepts of the organisational theories and how they are influencing the management of the organisation. The book has made me consider the importance of understanding the organisational theories as to the foundation of managing, leading and stewardship. It has also helped me recognise that importance of experience in the corporate management practice. The book of Ann Cunliffe (2014) has helped me learn about legitimacy as the fundamental principle in organisational management. It has made me consider the significance of legitimacy in corporate management practices.
When the organisation supports and conform to the values, expectations, and social norms, legitimacy is awarded to such organisation (Cunliffe 2014, p. 88). Therefore, the organisation needs to support the rights of their employees. When employees work in a hazardous environment, their health is jeopardised; thus, as a decent leader, I believe it is our responsibility to ensure that their employees are working in a safe environment. Cunliffe (2014, p. 131) notes that employees need to be provided with a better working environment. Employees need to be protected from any form of harassment and violence. I now believe that the leader should be responsible for taking care of the employees’ health and safety apart from making profits for the company. In this case, the book has enriched my management perspectives.
According to Cunliffe (2014, p. 90), legitimacy can be derived both locally and globally. To earn legitimacy, the organisation should not push their employees to work overtime without any payment. In my supervisory role, I had been driving my team to work overtime to achieve the sales target of the company. But, now I believe that it is not morally right to push them as it is a means of overloading them and would possibly rise to disapproval and unsatisfaction of my management thus legitimacy will not be earned. In future, therefore, l will strive to ensure my employee’s welfare are well taken care of within my scope of authority in the organisation. There is also a need for paying much attention to the working environment of the employees by creating an enjoyable and relaxed working environment. Now, I do believe that focusing on the safe working environment in the organisation; helps boosts the productivity of the employees. Also, it increases work effectiveness in the organisation and reduces employees’ disagreements since it improves work discipline. Therefore, the class resource has enriched my management approach.
According to Cunliffe and Luhman (2012, p. 42), stewardship is concerned with moral responsibility and legacy benefitting the higher good of employees and the organisation and when a person does so it is because of a higher level of satisfaction. The stewardship theory has supported the concerns of stewardship. According to Davis et al. (1997, p. 20), people are naturally inspired to work for companies to realise assigned duties and responsibilities. It also argues that people are not individualistic; instead, they are pro-organisational towards the achievement of societal, group or organisational goals. It also depicts followers as trustworthy and collectivist. Stewardship theory has helped me to understand different behaviours of the management in the organisation. I now understand that as a leader, I should weigh different perspectives to arrive at the optimal decision that benefits all that is my followers and the organisation. Also, I should arrive at a management solution that promotes collectiveness and trust in the organisation since my followers will act on what I will decide. Doing so boost the moral and personal responsibility of my followers. Such resources have enriched my understanding of what stewardship theory is all about in the field of management.
According to Hernandez (2008, p. 121), stewardship promotes personal responsibility of the followers for the benefit of the society and the organisation. Building moral courage and institutional trust foster stewardship in the organisation. Therefore, I now do understand that, as the leader, promoting stewardship behaviour in our organisation helps build moral courage and personal responsibility among our employees hence boosting employee ethical practices. Leaders also need to inspire their followers to execute assigned duties effectively and efficiently. In this case, I understand the importance of stewardship in management.
According to Messick and Bazerman (1996, p. 9), today’s business management is challenged with ethical requirements. The business executives are challenged by the trade-off between ethics and profits of the company, which may result in poor decision making by disregarding other people’s welfare and interests. Also, the manager’s beliefs may affect the managerial decision-making process. Messick and Bazerman provided moral guidance to the organisational executives on how to identify unethical situations and enhance them in making quality ethical decisions. Through this book, I now understand what stewardship is that is making decisions that take care of the welfare and interests of others apart from taking care of the organisational benefits. It has enriched my understanding of what is needed when it comes to making better and informed management decisions in the organisation while tackling its challenges.
After this subject, I can look back and think of my assumptions about managing, leading and stewardship and now I can see a higher level of insight of how these concepts interweave. I see my journey towards management roles in the company has been shaped significantly through different thoughts and ideas and management theories we discussed in the class, what I read and watched, and also through class lectures.
One of the business management issues currently is about the female employees taking the managerial roles which were presumed to be the roles of the male employees. During the class and group discussions, many of classmates suggested different thoughts and ideas on the issue of management discrimination and the parts of female employees. An example of such cases is that a female management team presumed that more and more companies in Australia would give an upper hand to female employees when it comes to job opportunities and promotions. The reason is that females have the upper hand when it comes to administrative positions, accounting, and human resources in such companies. Additionally, compared to male executives, female executives are much more logical as well as they can easily communicate with the employees. Before my class attendance, I was ignorant about the roles and ability of female executives and employees in an organisation. But now I feel enriched as far as female employees managerial roles are concerned. After such class discussions, I think the management team of the company should focus more on female employees and ensure gender balance is maintained. From my job experience, 70 percent of employees in the sales department were male because it involved many business trips, and the job was stressful. Due to the nature of the sales position, a large number of tasks were assigned to the male employees. Now, I have gained a more in-depth understanding on the importance of female employees in the business management; therefore, in the future, I will pay more attention to female employees, and I will give them more opportunities which include business trips. Additionally, the human resource department should now consider providing equal opportunities for female employees.
When I think of business management, I think of power and politics, and this was one of my tensions in the past, and I needed to explore more about it. In my job experience in China, it was clear that leadership of the company was all about power and politics since those employees coming from the same region with the director had the upper hand in terms of job employment and promotions since they had power in the organisation. In this case, many employees were bribing to get promoted. But now, through class discussions, lectures, and reading, I have gained a deeper understanding of what is all about management power and politics.
According to Taylor (2004, p. 7), when the organisation is systematically ruled such that it cooperate efficiently, no one can be able to compete with such an organisation. Through this book, therefore, I have understood that the leader who has the power to rule the organisation have better ability and understanding of managing and organising their organisation than other ordinary employees. Also, I now know that the organisation need to have capable employees, and they can understand the demands of their positions such that they can work effectively and efficiently. In the recruitment process, the organisation should assess the skills of the applicants and allocate them with the positions in which they well compatible. When it comes to position promotions, the employees should be well monitored in terms of their capabilities and leadership skills to enhance fairness in the promotion process. In this case, the organisation will be systematically ruled through well-written policies and procedures, and thus, the organisation will develop smoothly and gain its competitive advantage. Through such an understanding of leadership in the organisation, in the future, I would propose the company to set up a monitoring and evaluation department, which will operate independently and assess the performance of the employees annually. Additionally, the recruitment and dismissal process in the organisation should be discussed openly rather than the autonomous decision made by the Board of Directors in the organisation.
Moreover, when it comes to the management, moral principles of the leader comes in hand. Taking care of other people’s interests and welfare is a significant concern of a steward leader. According to Hernandez (2008, p. 122), a steward leadership possess good morals principles since it means a leader works harmoniously with their followers and towards a common goal. Therefore steward should balance the trade-off between making profits and taking care of the interests of the society to act morally and ethically. In this case, it has enriched my understanding of the importance of steward leadership in business management.
During my free time, while studying this subject, I watched a film titled “The Wave.” The film was released in 2008, and it is all about National Socialism in school. It depicts management theories of how people are managed. It shows the students following a teacher within two weeks of top authority. Despite the film showing various incidences of extreme power, bureaucracy, and politics, it helped me to appreciate the importance of using symbols and labels to represent the culture of the organisation and its shared values. In the past, I used to think that the organisational culture is just its formal protocols. But, now I understand the importance of shared values and sense of belonging in the organisation as I believe it makes the organisation more effective. In the future, I will ensure my employees are inspired towards that.
My Action-Guiding Principles
As I climb the ladder of leadership as a steward leader, I will consider the interests and welfare of others while making managerial decisions since it is the moral responsibility of the steward leader. In the past, I was too focused on the organisational profit motive. But now I know how to balance the profit motive of the company and the welfare of the people. I want to make quality ethical decisions to boost the ethical practices of my organisation and its sustainability. I now know how what it means to be managed and how to manage my employees. In the sales department, I will ensure that I represent their welfare and interests to the management to enhance the working standards. I want to closely work with my employees in the future by strengthening transparent communication and leadership as it boosts productivity. I will ensure the employees’ demands are well represented in the management, and each one is treated fairly in terms of promotions and work assignment.
Furthermore establishing a close working relationship with my employees enhances teamwork and collaborative working environment, which I believe it boosts productivity and effectiveness in the organisation. Therefore, I will ensure that I work closely with my employees, and I will always hold consultative meetings to discuss pertinent issues in the organisation. Doing that will enhance openness and trust between the management and the employees of the organisation since it enhances information sharing. I believe it is the best way of leading and managing the organisation since the challenges that we will face as the organisation will be solved quickly.
Cunliffe, A.L. and Luhman, J.T., 2012. Key concepts in organisation theory. Sage.
Cunliffe, A.L., 2014. A very short, fairly interesting and reasonably cheap book about management. Sage.
Davis, J.H., Schoorman, F.D. and Donaldson, L., 1997. Toward a stewardship theory of management. Academy of Management review, 22(1), pp.20-47.
Hernandez, M., 2008. Promoting stewardship behavior in organisations: A leadership model. Journal of business ethics, 80(1), pp.121-128.
Messick, D.M. and Bazerman, M.H., 1996. Ethical leadership and the psychology of decision making. MIT Sloan Management Review, 37(2), p.9.
Taylor, F.W., 2004. Scientific management. Routledge.