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Vodafone Leadership Style In UK Market

Question

Task:
Debate motion: ‘Changes in workplace and leadership practices have been designed to deliver a more loyal, flexible and diverse workforce; which will help to meet current and future business challenges.’

Answer

Overview:
The proposed study is based on the Vodafone leadership style. Leadership is the exercise to lead a group of people within the organisation or community for directing, guiding and influencing the behaviour of the people for accomplishing the specified goals in the given condition (Cashman, 2017). So leadership since time immemorial has been influential in motivating the people and his followers to attain the business goals. In the dynamic business scenario, change is inevitable as there are supposedly changes in business and leadership practices across the industry say in the UK market. In such a scenario, leadership is known to take well care of the workers by providing them with statutory benefits to enhance their productivity.

What is the role of Vodafone leadership style in countering challenges in the changing business scope?
In the business scenario of Vodafone the leaders often face sorts of challenges to amend the work scenario for betterment of the workforce. It is done to provide the sorts of statutory benefits like earned leave, paternity and maternity leaves and social security among others (Mohelska & Sokolova, 2015). The issue in Vodafone leadership style is a thriving one as with the impending change, the organisational leadership is also supposed to undergo a change in terms of mission and vision of Vodafone. This is on purview to adjust as per the new scenario say to provide a better work environment to the employees.

The Vodafone leadership style undertakes the following measures in countering the organisational challenges –

  • The leader in Vodafone being proactive waits for the right scope to implement the appropriate strategy or else the team would lose faith on him (Al-Ali, et al., 2017).
  • The leader has to be creative in his approach of solving the organisational crisis at Vodafone so that neither of the party gets offended leading to a cohesive situation.
  • It would not be helpful for the leader to turn a blind eye on the sorts of conflict within the organisation rather acknowledge them and strive for an effective solution.
  • It would be effective for the leaders to introduce sorts of benefits categorised as social security benefits like earned leaves, maternity benefits and other statutory benefits (Katou, 2015).
  • Listening to demand of the followers to abide an equality and non-discriminatory spree in the organisational structure of Vodafone for a better outcome.
  • The leaders need to keep a track of the happenings around and asks for an honest feedback which would lead to a better understanding of the ongoing situation and act on the same.
  • The leaders need to go through the strategies and planning periodically to make modifications as per the changes effected in Vodafone leadership style (Bligh, et al., 2018).
  • It would be helpful for the leaders to have like-minded, rational persons around him who could share the duties and even correct him on several occasions while implementing the business strategies.
  • It would be better for the leaders to have discussion sessions with individuals and groups to find out best plausible situations to have the appropriate resolutions (Northouse, 2018).

Effectiveness of leaders during changing scenarios:
The UK market seems to be versatile with a series of changes taking place in the organisational front. The issues like the Brexit and the most recent global pandemic of coronavirus or COVID-19 striking the normal lives of the people. The Vodafone leadership style in UK is facing a series of hoodwinks and the lower productivity in growth and intense competition among the talents within the limited scene are troublesome. There are matters that need to be given due importance by the business leaders like the aspects of digitisation, globalisation and changing expectation of the targeted consumers leading to complicated strategic decisions. In a recent study, it is found that only a mere 11% of the British staff could relate to their work psychologically (Bligh, et al., 2018). So the leaders could very well sense that the due changes in workplace are likely to cast a shadow on the motivational aspects of the employees. If such changes are not communicated well to them, it could create a catastrophe in terms of organisational productivity affecting the UK economy as well.

Vodafone leadership style

There are high speculations in the market that owing to Brexit, the renowned financial institutions like HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Santander and others could shift their base to a suitable business location in the European mainland. London which was considered to be the financial capital of the west is set to lose its charm. It implies that most of the Londoners associated with such institutions like Lloyds or HSBC need to move their base as per the organisational requirements or put down their papers (Cashman, 2017). Such sort of harsh measures might not go well with the staff especially the middle-aged and senior staff against the young talented pool. So the leaders chalked out certain distinctive avenues to be handled for bringing a change in the organisational scenario of business, such as –

Vodafone leadership style

Trust

Trust seems to be the foundation stone between the leaders and his followers and the aspect of trust is necessary for a particular team to deliver its best. The successful team are able to lay down their trust on the leaders which is absent in the struggling teams (Ryan, 2013). For instance, Tesco has been able to build up an effective trust level with its staff which is definitely a helpful move to accept the plausible changes in the workplace scenario.

Compassion

The aspect of trust could only be installed among the employees provided the leaders nurture the best interest to attain the common goal. A compassionate leader is highly likely to succeed in the process by sharing his compassion to the needs and requirement of the staff (Anderson & Sun, 2017). For instance, Vodafone is regarded highly for its diversity and inclusion strategy delivering equal opportunity to its female staff as well as those belonging to the LGBT community. The compassionate attitude of Vodafone leadership style could be understood from the fact that in 2019, it was awarded the ‘Top Employer Award’ in the working mothers’ category.

Stability

The employers want to work in a stable team and the aspect of stability could only be provided by its managers. Events like Brexit and lower productivity growth externally had already done the damages and it is up to the Vodafone leadership style to boost up the morale of the staff (Renz, 2016). Organisations like Lloyds run a number of activities like the apprenticeship program guiding and training the incumbents to prove their worth to the job, thereby adding stability to their career.

Hope

A leader is the one to whom the staff would look up as their saviour in times of crisis say on account of the impending crisis such as Brexit or the existing threat of COVID-19 (Mohelska & Sokolova, 2015). Change is the only continuous thing in the planet, so the leaders would be those facilitating changes to the organisational staff in a favourable manner. Accordingly, organisations like Santander work progressively by training and mentoring the staff to embrace the impending changes in the financial sector (Lewis, et al., 2017). Such sort of facilities develop a progressive mind-set of the staff to work for mutual betterment leading to a higher level of organisational productivity.

Santander is not new to accepting changes rather it has gained an expertise on it. Back in 2008, the organisation decided to unify the conventional financial organisations like Abbey National, Alliance and Leicester, and Bradford and Bingley. The organisational leadership decided to transform the entire banking set-up from a heritage institution to the sophisticated, systems-oriented banking model to strengthen the brand Santander (Al-Ali, et al., 2017). It is the capability of the then CEO, Antonio Horta-Osorio to communicate the change uniquely as a revolution to its staff rather an evolutionary need. So in this way the Vodafone leadership style has been able to make the staff understand of the gigantic changes to survive the market amidst intense competition in the UK market (Lewis, et al., 2017). It is an ideal example wherein the leader has gained the trust of his fellow subordinates, be compassionate to their needs, add stability by providing suitable training and raising the hope to be the market leader.

Role of Vodafone leadership style in development and retention of talents –

Vodafone leadership style

  1. Democratic leadership

The democratic leader in Vodafone makes way for providing the employees with statutory benefits like social security, worker’s compensation, paid leaves and others (Donate & de Pablo, 2015). But this sort of arrangement could be expensive for Vodafone as the worker’s demand might go up substantially.

  1. Autocratic leadership

The autocratic Vodafone leadership style is rarely effective as the leader himself takes the decision and does not provide any scope for worker’s benefit (Northouse, 2018). But in the contemporary business scenario like Santander the leadership approach would be ineffective as it does not pay any attention to the existing business conditions rather decisions perceived from a singular angle.

  1. Laissez-Faire leadership

The laissez-faire leadership approach seems to be effective in a start-up set-up as the organisation does not have any particular rules and regulations giving due liberty to the staff but with limited benefits as opposed to established concerns. Again this sort of Vodafone leadership style in the business scenario of UK would be expensive in terms as the decision makers owing to their inexperience and inability to handle the critical aspects of the growing business and their demands (Ryan, 2013).

  1. Strategic leadership

The strategic leadership is commonly effective in the Vodafone as the leaders perceive the situation form a multiple angle source taking consideration of the prevailing business scenario and convenience of the staff (Bligh, et al., 2018). In this case, the leaders give due stress on the party’s benefit might compromise with the organisational benefit affecting its performance. The leaders take up measures like providing the fair wages and desired perquisites like maternity leave, paternity leave and casual leaves to motivate them and extract better productivity.

  1. Transformational leadership

The transformational Vodafone leadership style happens to be effective at certain points by bringing a change in Vodafone by introducing the worker’s benefit gradually (Katou, 2015). Vodafone leadership style is useful but the continuous changing spree might leave the staff disillusioned with the organisational goal and might be disappointing on their part.

  1. Transactional leadership

Transactional leadership is sometimes effective for Vodafone as the managers reward the staff for delivering a good performance for motivating them and extracting a suitable organisational output (Northouse, 2018). But mere rewarding them does not guarantee of abiding the organisational mission fulfilling their organisational responsibilities.

  1. Bureaucratic leadership

In the contemporary business scenario as in bureaucratic Vodafone leadership style is rarely effective as the leaders abide by the organisational rules and regulations rather the real-life business scenario (Al-Ali, et al., 2017). This sort of Vodafone leadership style might tend to organisational conflict and not being able to find effective organisational solution to the impending issues.

Summary:
The study show that in the changing business circumstances of UK it would be effective for the businesses to abide to the thriving scenario and choose a suitable Vodafone leadership style. The contemporary business scenario demands a competent Vodafone leadership style which could abide by the changes brought in like the democratic or strategic leadership approach. These leadership approaches would be able to understand the demand of the staff and provide them the right environment to work as a team. The passage of time has made the Vodafone leadership style aware of the sorts of changes required for the treatment of the workforce. The diversity and inclusion strategy of Vodafone leadership style to open communication system and effective training facilities of Santander has helped to bridge the gap between them and elevate the productivity level. So the aspects of trust, compassion, stability and hope are very significant to enable the leaders for accommodating the workplace changes suitable to the workforce.

Pro-forma template:

Points (arguments for X)

Counterpoints (anticipated response from those arguing Y)

Reply to response

Theoretical underpinning

Supporting evidence

(Reference)

 

Leadership is to facilitate a change in the organisational scenario of Vodafone

Vodafone leadership style provides direction to the organisational mission and vision not only about changes in Vodafone

Change management is an important element in Vodafone and to facilitate the same, the leadership needs to play a significant part

Leaders’ responsibility

Al-Ali, A., Singh, S., Al-Nahyan, M. & Sohal, A., 2017. Change management through leadership: the mediating role of organizational culture. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 25(4), pp. 723-739.

 

The leaders need to tackle the sorts of business challenges like the external issues, internal issues and changing leadership roles

The leaders were too much engaged in countering challenges rather than giving effort to some constructive matters in the business scope of Vodafone

Sorting out the conflicts like misunderstanding and challenges apparently is a constructive task that the leaders undertake

Leaders’ responsibility

Cashman, K., 2017. Leadership From The Inside Out: Eight Pathways To Mastery. [Online]
Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevincashman/2017/10/08/leadership-from-the-inside-out-eight-pathways-to-mastery/#10edbad3549c

 

A leader has to be proactive

It is not always the leaders to take the first step

If the leader does not takes the first step his leadership would be in doubts

Characteristics of leaders

Donate, M. & de Pablo, J., 2015. The role of knowledge-oriented leadership in knowledge management practices and innovation. Journal of Business Research, 68(2), pp. 360-370.

 

Creativity in solutions

Most appropriate to exercise those options for Vodafone leadership style

It would be helpful for the business for the leader to have the solutions and exercise those

Characteristics of leaders

Bligh, M. C., Kohles, J. C. & Yan, Q., 2018. Leading and Learning to Change: The Role of Leadership Style and Mindset in Error Learning and Organizational Change. Journal of Change Management, 18(2), pp. 116-141.

 

Avoid conflicting scenarios in Vodafone

Better not to turn a blind eye on issues like maternity leaves, casual leaves, equality in wages

It is effective to face the situation boldly

Characteristics of leaders

Mohelska, H. & Sokolova, M., 2015. Organisational culture and leadership–joint vessels?. Procedia-Social and behavioral sciences, 171(3), pp. 1011-1016.

 

To listen to the followers

Strive for organisational cohesion in Vodafone by creating a fair platform

The leaders need to balance the scenario with utmost care for a stable business

Characteristics of leaders

Katou, A., 2015. Transformational leadership and organisational performance: Three serially mediating mechanisms. Employee Relations, 37(3), pp. 329-353.

 

Ned to have feedback on themselves

Better to have feedback of the staff working under him

The mechanism of 360-degree feedback would be useful to gain the overall feedback and act upon same

Characteristics of leaders

Northouse, P., 2018. Leadership: Theory and practice. 8th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publications.

 

Periodic review of strategies

Make frequent changes in strategies as the contemporary business scenario demands

The strategies are to be modified as the business situation demands

Characteristics of leaders

Al-Ali, A., Singh, S., Al-Nahyan, M. & Sohal, A., 2017. Change management through leadership: the mediating role of organizational culture. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 25(4), pp. 723-739.

 

Need like-minded persons around him

There should be rational persons

Both rational and like-minded persons are required sharing the same vision for organisational development and correcting the managers in case of any discrepancy

Characteristics of leaders

Ryan, J., 2013. Global leadership challenges. [Online]
Available at: https://www.business-standard.com/article/management/global-leadership-challenges-113122200583_1.html

 

Leaders need to act on their own

He needs to undergo discussion with the stakeholders

A healthy discussion would be required to reach to an effective decision

Characteristics of leaders

Bligh, M. C., Kohles, J. C. & Yan, Q., 2018. Leading and Learning to Change: The Role of Leadership Style and Mindset in Error Learning and Organizational Change. Journal of Change Management, 18(2), pp. 116-141.

 

Democratic leadership is useful as it takes relevance of each of the members’ perception

It is a time-consuming and ineffective exercise as everyone does not possess that capability in the scope of Vodafone

The Vodafone leadership style would make the final call but it is better to have everyone’s view

Democratic leadership

Cashman, K., 2017. Leadership From The Inside Out: Eight Pathways To Mastery. [Online]
Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevincashman/2017/10/08/leadership-from-the-inside-out-eight-pathways-to-mastery/#10edbad3549c

 

Autocratic leaders themselves take decision

Does not pay attention to other’s viewpoint

Ineffective for Vodafone leadership style

Autocratic leadership

Northouse, P., 2018. Leadership: Theory and practice. 8th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publications.

 

Laissez-faire leadership gives due scope for the managers to make decision

But such liberty could be expensive to Vodafone

It is effective for certain scenarios like that of start-ups, not for Vodafone

Laissez-faire leadership

Donate, M. & de Pablo, J., 2015. The role of knowledge-oriented leadership in knowledge management practices and innovation. Journal of Business Research, 68(2), pp. 360-370.

 

Strategic leadership in Vodafone takes relevance of the different strategic point before arriving to a decision

The decision making process tends to be quite complicated

Taking relevance of the contemporary business scenarios, this sort of Vodafone leadership style would be helpful for the company

Strategic leadership

Mohelska, H. & Sokolova, M., 2015. Organisational culture and leadership–joint vessels?. Procedia-Social and behavioral sciences, 171(3), pp. 1011-1016.

 

Transformational leaders advocate changes gradually

The approach might not go well with the employees in Vodafone

In a changing business scenario the approach of the transformational leaders are to bring in effect the change gradually to enable the staff to adapt to the situation

Transformational leadership

Katou, A., 2015. Transformational leadership and organisational performance: Three serially mediating mechanisms. Employee Relations, 37(3), pp. 329-353.

 

References
Al-Ali, A., Singh, S., Al-Nahyan, M. & Sohal, A., 2017. Change management through leadership: the mediating role of organizational culture. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 25(4), pp. 723-739.

Anderson, M. & Sun, P., 2017. Reviewing leadership styles: Overlaps and the need for a new 'full-range' theory. Vodafone leadership style International Journal of Management Reviews, 19(1), pp. 76-96.

Bligh, M. C., Kohles, J. C. & Yan, Q., 2018. Leading and Learning to Change: The Role of Leadership Style and Mindset in Error Learning and Organizational Change. Journal of Change Management, 18(2), pp. 116-141.

Cashman, K., 2017. Leadership From The Inside Out: Eight Pathways To Mastery. [Online]
Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevincashman/2017/10/08/leadership-from-the-inside-out-eight-pathways-to-mastery/#10edbad3549c

Donate, M. & de Pablo, J., 2015. The role of knowledge-oriented leadership in knowledge management practices and innovation. Journal of Business Research, 68(2), pp. 360-370.

Katou, A., 2015. Transformational leadership and organisational performance: Three serially mediating mechanisms. Employee Relations, 37(3), pp. 329-353.

Lewis, E., Boston, D. & Peterson, S., 2017. A global perspective of transformational leadership and organizational development. Journal of Research Initiatives, 2(3), p. 5.

Mohelska, H. & Sokolova, M., 2015. Organisational culture and leadership–joint vessels?. Procedia-Social and behavioral sciences, 171(3), pp. 1011-1016.

Northouse, P., 2018. Leadership: Theory and practice. 8th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publications.

Renz, D., 2016. The Jossey-Bass handbook of nonprofit leadership and management. Vodafone leadership style London: John Wiley & Sons.

Ryan, J., 2013. Global leadership challenges. [Online]
Available at: https://www.business-standard.com/article/management/global-leadership-challenges-113122200583_1.html

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