Manual Therapy: Definition, Techniques, Practitioners Free Sample

Manual Therapy: Definition

Manual therapy (MT) is the “application of accurately directed and selected set of ‘hands-on’ non-invasive physical therapy techniques with minimal equipment” (Ward, 2015, p. 158). It is a major component of physical therapy and can be employed by various practitioners including “orthopaedists, physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, manipulative therapists, and sports therapists” (Ward, 2015, p. 158). MT may require some active participation of the patient, but typically it is a passively received type of treatment. The term is used to define an extremely wide range of styles and practices. The effects achieved through MT are similarly diverse and include improved tissue and joint range of motion, fluid circulation, tissue repair (including scar tissue), enhanced kinesthetic sense of the patient as well as the alleviation of “tissues, joint, and nerve-related pain and inflammation” (Ward, 2015, p. 161; Starkey, 2013). Apart from that, MT is very likely to have a beneficial impact on the psychological state of the patient (Salvo, 2015).

The primary advantage of MT is its noninvasiveness, but its effects appear limited when compared to invasive therapy (Andicochea, Fulkerson, Taylor, & Portouw, 2015). As a result, MT is often regarded as a complimentary treatment or is complimented by other methods for particular cases. For example, it can be used together with supervised exercise (Kachingwe, Phillips, Sletten, & Plunkett, 2008).

Examples of Manual Therapy Techniques

There are various types (or styles) of MT; for instance, it is easy to distinguish between European massage and Asian bodywork therapy, but both these terms incorporate numerous separate methods and techniques (Starkey, 2013, p. 340; Salvo, 2015, pp. 315-316). Examples of specific techniques that are also often contrasted are the mobilization and manipulation of joints. Mobilization presupposes a treatment with a relatively low speed that allows the movements to be “within the control of the patient” (Ward, 2015, p. 158). As a result, the patient can actively participate in mobilization techniques. The two types of such active participation treatment methods include active assisted movements (for which the patient performs the mobilization actions, and the practitioner guides the joint in the same direction) or resisted ones (for which the practitioner “resists” the movement) (Salvo, 2015). With manipulation, the speed and amplitude of the trusts do not allow the patient to control them; this kind of technique uses the so-called “high-velocity, short- or low-amplitude (HVLT) thrust” (Ward, 2015, p. 158). The mobilization of joints is used to loosen them if they are restricted, which alleviates the pain of restriction; manipulation restores joint motion in a more aggressive manner. Both these types of techniques are used by different MT styles; for example, manipulation is typical for chiropractic and osteopathic practices (Ward, 2015; Starkey, 2013).

Manual Therapy Practitioner

Technically, the specifics of the scope of expertise, practice and treatment claims for different MT practitioners are defined and restricted by the laws of a particular country and state (Huijbregts, 2007). Still, some general aspects can be pointed out.

A practitioner is trained and receives accreditation for a certain type of MT. Specific types of MT, naturally, require specific education. Various therapies based on the usage of electricity, ultrasound, laser, microwaves, injections always require a special certificate. An MT practitioner is not supposed to provide any advice or assistance in non-MT fields of expertise (for example, nutritional counseling or orthopedic disease diagnosis) or fields like surgery, homeopathy, and cosmetology; it is only possible if the therapist is qualified for it. Finally, MT therapists are typically not concerned with genital manipulation (Salvo, 2015).

MT practitioners receive their education through professional programs (that are specific to various practices), and it is typical for them to continue their study in various post-professional courses and training plans. The precise details of this education, as well as accreditation criteria, are also nation-specific; for the US practitioners, for example, the American Physical Therapy Association accreditation process is of importance (Huijbregts, 2007).

Within the particular scope of expertise, the practitioner (a manual therapist) can examine and assess the health state of the patient; collect and document the information about their health history; determine counterindications (if any); create and customize the plan of treatment and provide the necessary consultation; obtain the consent; document the history of treatment; use the techniques the practitioner is qualified for employing together with special equipment the practitioner is qualified for working with; provide recommendations and suggestions within the scope of expertise. If appropriate, it is not prohibited to suggest other health care services and providers (Salvo, 2015).

Successful Manual Therapy: A Case Study

The article by Andicochea et al. (2015) provides a detailed report of a case of a successful MT treatment for chronic low back pain (LBP) that was experienced by a 45-year-old F-5 pilot. The authors point out that this kind of pain is characteristic of the occupation (with various sources stating the incidence rate of up to 83%) and poses a threat to the pilot’s performance (Andicochea et al., 2015, p. 1132). The pilot had a long history of LBP, but three months prior to treatment it reached the level of incidence and acuteness that prevented him from flying. He sought noninvasive therapy and wanted to avoid taking drugs, which made the choice of MT logical. He was diagnosed with “sacral, pelvic, and lumbar dysfunction” (Andicochea et al., 2015, p. 1132). Osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT) was chosen due to its previously proved effectiveness in similar cases; no counterindications were found. After the treatment, the pilot reported 80% reduction in pain (Andicochea et al., 2015, p. 1133).


Andicochea, C., Fulkerson, J., Taylor, B., & Portouw, S. (2015). Manual Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain in an F-5 Pilot. Military Medicine, 180(10), 1132-1135. Web.

Huijbregts, P. (2007). Chiropractic Legal Challenges to the Physical Therapy Scope of Practice: Anybody Else Taking the Ethical High Ground? Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, 15(2), 69-80. Web.

Kachingwe, A. F., Phillips, B., Sletten, E., & Plunkett, S. W. (2008). Comparison of Manual Therapy Techniques with Therapeutic Exercise in the Treatment of Shoulder Impingement: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Clinical Trial. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, 16(4), 238-247.

Salvo, S. (2015). Massage Therapy. London, UK: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Starkey, C. (2013). Therapeutic modalities. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis.

Ward, K. (2015). Routledge Handbook of Sports Therapy, Injury Assessment and Rehabilitation. London, UK: Routledge.

Walmart Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Promotion

This essay sample explores Walmart social responsibility and ethics, their initiatives, and related issues. Check it out if you’re curious about Walmart CSR.

Executive Summary

The Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Company has been known as the provider of comparatively cheap goods and services of a rather impressive quality for years. The company’s motto has always suggested that a very strong emphasis should be placed on the needs of customers; as a result, Wal-Mart has been the focus of modern media’s attention as the promoter of global responsibility.

However, a recent study has revealed that the organization seems to have succumbed to the idea of pushing a set of very rigid rules and restrictions on its staff in order to promote quality and customer satisfaction. The specified issue needs to be addressed immediately so that the organization should not lose its position and clientele.

The above-mentioned alterations should be carried out in a manner that would not prevent the company’s current economic, political, civil and environmental status. Seeing that the company makes a consistent effort in order to maintain politically neutral, as well as support the ideas of green policy and sustainability in the global economy, a shift in priorities towards the needs of the staff may jeopardize Wal-Mart’s current plans regarding the above-mentioned issues.

Therefore, an elaborate approach towards managing the social, economic, environmental and political issues needs to be designed. The above-mentioned alterations can be carried out with the help of a change in the leadership strategy and the promotion of better flexibility for the staff in terms of their choices and workplace decision-making.


Introduction: Walmart CSR

Wal-Mart has always been known as the company that supports the idea of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability, thus, promoting it among not only its staff, but also every stakeholder involved, including other organizations that operate in the global environment. According to Wal-Mart, CSR should not only be implemented in the organizational environment, but also taken to the new level of global responsibility (2013 Global Responsibility Report, 2013).

Current Vision and Value Statements: Helping Save Money

Wal-Mart has always had a very sharp focus on the needs of its customers, and years of development have not altered the specified approach significantly. If anything, the organization’s experience has only added several areas to be addressed in its current mission and vision.

While previously, the focus of Wal-Mart was primarily on the financial aspect of the clients’ wellbeing, the company has recently embraced a wider idea of customer friendly service. To be more exact, the firm has suggested reconsidering the production process to gear it towards green economy, therefore, addressing the health concerns of the stakeholders involved (Grant to support local green economy, 2014).

Current Programs Related to the Three Spheres and the Environment: Zero-Waste-to-Landfill

Wal-Mart has recently deployed a program that allows for reducing the negative impact of the company on the environment. Called Zero-Waste-to-Landfill, the program presupposes that the total amount of waste produced by the organization should be reduced to minimum and that landfills should not be used as the key to maintaining global sustainability and promoting it to other companies.

In addition, the Global Social Compliance Program (GSCP) can be viewed as the company’s attempt at enhancing the concept of “global social responsibility” (2013 Global Responsibility Report, 2013, p. 23) in the realm of contemporary business

Recent Events Related to Current Programs: Expo and the Milestone Meeting

Apart from creating a range of programs that allow for enhancing sustainability within the organization, Wal-Mart has arranged several events related to the programs in question recently. Particularly, the launch of the Wal-Mart Sustainability Expo and the 2015 Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting deserve to be mentioned as the key steps in the right direction.

Indeed, the Expo created the premises for enhancing awareness concerning the issue of sustainability among the key stakeholders, including not only the company’s customers, but also its partners and media. As a result, the event contributed significantly to the promotion of the idea of green economy and sustainability in business: “8 food companies vowed to ensure a #sustainable and #affordable food supply at last week’s #WalmartExpo” (#WalmartExpo, 2015).

Seeing that the event is not only recurrent, but also ongoing, i.e., it is still taking place, as the recent tweets from the organization show ((#WalmartExpo, 2015), it can be assumed that Wal-Mart has managed the promotion of sustainable ideas into the global economic environment quite well.

The 2015 Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting, in its turn, has also had a major impact on the promotion of green economy among the rest of the organizations.

Particularly, Wal-Mart invited the members of the meeting to discuss the issues regarding the enhancement of sustainability, from rather down-to-earth ones, such as the use of battery storage cells (Walmart, 2014, 00:23:46), to more global approaches, such as the idea of serving customers (Walmart, 2014, 00:40:27) and, thus, promoting a safer environment for the latter to live in.

Reported Stakeholder View of Programs and Actions of the Company

Needless to say, most members of the global community are more than enthusiastic about the idea suggested by Wal-Mart. Though not being new, the approach towards improving sustainability rates by reconsidering the waste production and disposal is admittedly efficient. Moreover, the program in question has been supported with several related events, which means that it is going to have a rather impressive longevity and, hopefully, a significant impact.

Wal-Mart’s Current Economic Status

Employee Relations: A Major Dent in the Company’s Policy

At its core, the approach adopted by Wal-Mart towards its staff seems rather reasonable. The company acknowledges the needs of the staff and agrees to meet them, also paying major attention to the issue of diversity in the workplace (Diversity & inclusion, 2015). The specified measures seem quite enough to create the environment, in which positive employee relations could exist.

A recent study, however, has shown that the actual relationships between the company’s managers and employees, though, are far from being stellar. Far from it, a range of employees feel that their rights are consistently being infringed by the organization. The specified phenomenon can be explained by the fact that the company’s focus on the customer satisfaction rates gear the corporate policy towards meeting the clients’ needs for the sake of the needs of the staff.

In lieu of creating the company that would support every single stakeholder and promote sustainability at not only the environmental level, but also at the economic and social one, therefore, suggesting that every single stakeholder will have their demands met, the organization has created the environment, in which the staff literally gives its best in order to enhance the production process without receiving any major incentives.

More importantly, some of the people working for the company mention that Wal-Mart resorts to infringing the rights of some of its staff. The specified characteristics of the organization are clearly a reason for a major concern.

Corporate Culture: Saving Money, Living Better

The corporate culture of the organization is geared towards satisfying all the stakeholders involved, including customers, investors, business partners, etc. Particularly, the organization puts a very strong emphasis on the customer relationships and customer satisfaction.

The people criticizing Wal-Mart’s strategy, however, have pointed out that the specified approach may backfire, affecting the quality of employee treatment at the organization (The good, the bad, and Wal-Mart, 2015). Indeed, a recent study has shown that the rigid regulations at Wal-Mart may affect the treatment of the staff and drive the rules adopted in the company to the point where they become absurd (Yates, 2013).

Investor Relations: ROI, ROA and Constant Currency

The company bases its relationships with investors on the financial relationships. According to Wal-Mart’s concept of interactions with investors, the availability of the information regarding the company’s key financial transactions, as well as the data concerning the income of the company, allows for a better understanding of the reasons behind the organization’s financial operations without altering Wal-Mart’s strategies much (Walmart reports Q1 FY 16 EPS of $1.03, 2015, p. 12).


A recent study has shown that the organization is seeking the ways of improving the relationships with its suppliers (Yanrong, 2013). Particularly, Wal-Mart needs to strengthen its position in China and other Asian states, which makes the company locate homogenous modes of operating within different countries and communicating with suppliers belonging to different cultures (Yanrong, 2013).

Plans, Programs and the Related Issues

At present, it is strongly suggested that Wal-Mart should reconsider its attitude towards its staff. While the customer relationships can be viewed as impeccable at present, the rates of staff dissatisfaction seem to have grown out of proportions, which may affect the sustainability rates within the organization and reduce the quality of its production quite a few notches.

Political Status of the Company and the Associated Concerns

Regulatory Structures

According to the official statement issued by the organization, Wal-Mart has recently reconsidered its regulatory structure.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) approach is currently viewed as the ultimate solution to the firm’s issues, as the specified approach allows for carrying out the “environmentally sound recycling of aerosol cans” (Walmart proposal for the non-hazardous management of consumer product aerosol cans under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 2011) as required by the present-day environmental standards.

Adherence to Government Regulations

Wal-Mart also complies with the standards set by the government. Particularly, the company adheres to the principles listed in TISA. The specified measures are taken with the help of communication with the “elected officials and legislative and regulatory bodies at the federal, state and local level” (Government relations policy (CA-15), 2015).

Nevertheless, one must admit that Wal-Mart is geared towards minimizing the role of government in the process of running the organization. The reasons behind the specified tendency are quite obvious; with no state intrusions into the mode of the company’s operations, Wal-Mart will be relieved of the obligations to meet the needs of the staff fully.

For instance, Wal-Mart clearly attempts at pushing the boundaries of the aforementioned TISA legislation: “Walmart, a member of the Coalition of Services Industries, sees TISA as a way to free itself of local government zoning regulations and restrictions on store size” (Gould, 2014, p. 9).

As a result, the current conflict regarding the employee treatment issues within the company is supposed to die down, according to the company’s assumptions. What Wal-Mart managers do not realize, though, is that the power of modern media is far too big to prevent information leakage from the firm and, thus, spreading rumors regarding rights infringement in the organization.

Relations to Government Entities

According to the principles of Wal-Mart’s operations, being a government entity is one of the requirements for an organization to apply for one of the programs suggested by Wal-Mart. The official statement regarding the subject matter says that “A recognized government entity: state, county, or city agency, including law enforcement or fire departments, that are requesting funds exclusively for public purposes” (Community grant guidelines, 2015) is one of the key requirements for application.

Programs to Implement

Seeing that Wal-Mart needs the support of its stakeholders at present, it is highly suggested that the company should implement the programs that will create premises for cooperation between Wal-Mart and the state government. As a result, a better management of the company’s core processes with the help of sustainable choices will become an opportunity.

Civil Society and Wal-Mart: Analysis

NGOs (non-governmental organizations)

Wal-Mart has long and rather stable relationships with a range of NGOs. Relying on the help thereof in the time of need, Wal-Mart has created a very strong connection with the specified kind of organizations.

As the CEO of the company assures, “Our track record of success, and the strong NGO partnerships for which we are so grateful, give us confidence that we will make the most of those opportunities” (2011 Global responsibility report, 2011, p. 1). It should be born in mind, though, that in the states such as China Wal-Mart walks a very fine line between responsible management and breaking the existing regulations:

Walmart uses supply chain contracting on a large scale from labor conditions to energy and emission requirements, packaging, sustainable Ösheries, or conflict-free diamonds, to name just a few. Industry surveys show that roughly half of companies surveyed impose environmental requirements on their suppliers that exceed regulatory requirements. (Abito, Besanko & Diermeyer, 2014).

Local Communities

The company assures that it has a great passion for serving the local communities and tending to their needs (2011 Global responsibility report, 2011, p. 3).


As it has been stressed above, Wal-Mart focuses on the needs of customers, the satisfaction of the latter being the company’s prime concern.

The World

Because of the recent issues regarding the staff dissatisfaction and the environmental issues, Wal-Mart has gained a rather negative reputation among some members of the global community. Even though Wal-Mart’s current strategy is geared towards sustainability in all domains, the need to redesign its global image still persists.

Plans and Programs

The plans and programs that Wal-Mart has implemented so far regarding the subject matter tie in with the principle of sustainability promoted within the organization quite well. For instance, the recent Direct Farm Program (2011 Global responsibility report, 2011, p. 5) aimed at engaging the Chinese farmers into economic relationships with the company pursued the goals of creating job opportunities for the community, which suffered from high unemployment rates.

Environment and Wal-Mart: Maintaining Sustainable Use of Resources

Local Environmental Impacts

The sustainable use of resources is currently the highlight of the company’s policy. Therefore, the negative effects produced by the organization on the environment are practically driven to zero.

Global Environmental Impacts

Likewise, the company has been striving to reduce its negative environmental impact worldwide. Wal-Mart has reached outstanding results in its environmental sustainability endeavors. According to the recent reports, Wal-Mart’s environmental impact has dropped to 21,000,000 CO2 per annum (Kroll, 2012), which is rather impressive.

However, recent reports display a rather troubling tendency for the company to tamper with environment (Kroll, 2012). Therefore, the sustainability approach adopted by the company needs to be enhanced.

Plans and Programs

Apart from the green programs, which Wal-Mart has already enrolled in, the creation of a new program that could help the company restore its reputation is highly advisable. Specifically, the reconsideration of the use of exhaustible resources needs to be incorporated into the program, as it will help represent Wal-Mart as the company that considers the future use of resources.

Media Campaign: Wal-Mart Announces Its Global Strategy

Objectives: Striving to Reach a Twofold Goal

Seeing that the company’s reputation is quite vulnerable to the external factors because of the recent issue regarding the needs of its employees not being met, it is essential that the new media campaign should be focused on all stakeholders involved, including the staff. The organization, therefore, needs to acknowledge its past mistakes and make it obvious that it is ready to move on.

The key objective of the global strategy, therefore, is to improve Wal-Mart’s current image and at the same time promote sustainability as the key towards an organization’s major internal processes. Hence, the goal of the company can be described as twofold. In order to reach this goal, the following objectives need to be considered: creating a powerful media campaign, reaching the right audience, and convincing people that sustainability must be the basis for global economy, as well as that Wal-Mart is the embodiment of corporate sustainability.

Media and Audience: Targeting the Right People

For the campaign to have a tangible impact on the organization’s wellbeing, it needs to be launched successfully and attract as much attention of potential and current customers, media and investors. The specified denizens of population can be viewed as the key types of audience that Wal-Mart needs to regain its positive reputation. In order to get in good graces of the specified denizens of the population, Wal-Mart will have to make sure that it is capable of meeting the needs thereof.

Implementation: Making the Campaign Possible

The campaign can be carried out the help of the tools such as modern media. The significance of the latter for promoting an organization in the 21st century can hardly be overrated. Although Wal-Mart already has a Facebook page devoted to its current Expo, the organization will have to go further and invite the people visiting the specified page to interact with each other and the representatives of the company.

Conclusion: Making the World a Better Place

Despite the fact that the Wal-Mart Company may have certain problems with the strategy that it adopts for meeting the needs of its staff, the overall sustainability course that Wal-Mart has adopted can be defined as quite positive. A minor change in the above-mentioned employee relationship issue will help the organization improve its sustainability rate and become even more powerful.

Reference List

#WalmartExpo. (2015). Twitter. Web.

2011 Global responsibility report. (2011). Web.

2013 Global Responsibility Report. (2013). Web.

Abito, J. M., Besanko, D. & Diermeyer, D. (2014). Private politics and public interest: NGOs, corporate campaigns, and social welfare. Web.

Community grant guidelines. (2015). Web.

Diversity & inclusion. (2015). Web.

Gould, E. (2014). The really good friends of transnational corporations agreement. Web.

Government relations policy (CA-15). (2015). Web.

Grant to support local green economy. (2014). Web.

Kroll, A. (2012, March/April). Are Walmart’s Chinese factories as bad as Apple’s? Mother Jones. Web.

The good, the bad, and Wal-Mart. (2015). Web.

Walmart. (2014). 2015 Sustainability Milestone webcast. YouTube. Web.

Walmart proposal for the non-hazardous management of consumer product aerosol cans under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. (2011). Web.

Walmart reports Q1 FY 16 EPS of $1.03. (2015). Web.

Yanrong, L. (2013). Strategy adjustment of Walmart China. Management Science and Engineering, 7(4), 88–93.

Yates, C. (2013). A culture of corporate at Wal-Mart. The Washington Post. Web.

Leadership In Organizations: Concepts And Approaches


Leadership plays major social and professional roles in organizations with the support of basic principles. The type of leadership that seeks to follow the set principles triggers individual human resource potential at the workplace.

Leaders also depend on the rest of the workforce in order to deliver their mandate. Hence, a leader is expected to assume the task of protecting the subordinates regarding poor working conditions, fair allocation of tasks, and risks associated with the workplace environment.

The aforementioned situations may cause negative impacts on work efficiency. In this case, leadership must be designed as a condition, an attribute or ability of an individual subject or collective mobilization of other subjects or individuals so that the set goals and objectives of an organization can be met.

Leadership in Organizations

The concept of leadership

The concept of leadership is among the oldest themes in the fields of literature, politics, sociology, history, psychology, and organizational studies. The study of leadership is sometimes controversial because it portrays different epistemological foundations. These differences directly influence the appreciation of the role of a leader in a given team by emphasizing the personal ability of a leader in solving problems (Edwards & Gill, 2012).

In the most popular management literature, leadership is generally considered as an attribute that can be grasped by individuals due to the fact that an administrator needs to create techniques of attaining the goals set by an organization. This design is based on the perception that it is necessary to make some individuals possess the ability to influence others by assisting them in performing certain tasks.

Leadership is the process of influencing an individual or group of individuals to achieve goals in a given situation. Leadership may also be described as a process of inspiring others to work hard and accomplish important tasks. It is also an essential function of management since an administrator needs to understand human motivation when leading people.

As can be seen, these settings have a conception of cause-effect whereby leadership is seen as an instrument of a relationship to achieve organizational goals. This design is well suited to affirm the managerial point of view in popular literature, which indicates that the success of an action depends on the exercise of leadership (Ponzetti, 2014).

There is an assumption that managers should be (or are) leaders or that the main characteristic of a good manager should be the ability to exercise leadership over a workgroup. However, technical training should be undertaken in order to enhance the qualification of a leader. In management training schools, this subject is addressed in a specific discipline. It is also not uncommon to find short courses offering the development of leadership ability.

The trait approach to leadership

There are natural leaders who are well endowed with the ability to influence thousands of individuals to follow their orders so as to achieve certain goals. In an attempt to identify the personal characteristics of leaders, the study of leadership enumerates common features of naturally-able leaders. At first, studies on leadership in social sciences were not different. Some of the key characteristics of natural leadership skills listed by several scholars of leadership theories include:

  • Physical traits, namely energy, appearance, height, and weight.
  • Intellectual traits, such as adaptability, aggressiveness, enthusiasm, and self-confidence.
  • Social traits like cooperation, interpersonal skills, and managerial ability.
  • Traits related to task such as performing random roles, persistence and being initiative (Sinding & Bøllingtoft, 2012)

Therefore, it can be seen that there are several qualities attributed to an ideal leader. The acceptance of a leader in this approach is linked to the acceptance capacity of specific traits (physical, intellectual, social, and the task at hand) that are best accepted by the community (groups, organizations, and society in general). The conceptual difficulty that can be seen in the approach to leadership traits is that it does not consider the heterogeneity of the motivations that each group or community chooses its leader (Edwards & Gill, 2012).

Personal characteristics of a leader do not take into account that each leading person should be placed into a group with different psychosocial dynamics. Cultural factors, values ​​, and forms of internal competition that dominate a group or team of employees in an organization are distinct. For instance, an extroverted leader can be easily accepted in a certain cultural context but resented in another cultural setting.

The behavioral approach of leadership in organizations

The behavioral approach shifts the focus from a leader’s personal characteristics to give more attention to actions. Leaders usually delegate tasks, communicate with fellow workers, and motivate their subordinates. Despite the change in focus, achieving the objectives of an organization remains the main subject of concern in leadership. Hence, issues such as motivation and decision-making are often associated with the input of a leader (Ouimet, 2010).

The latter should be able to master these techniques in order to play his/her roles to the satisfaction of the subordinates. The implication is that management techniques are able to establish the relationship between leaders and followers within an organizational setup. Needless to say, the behavioral approach towards leadership in organizations ought to emphasize a number of key tenets.

Task-oriented leaders care about their jobs. Hence, they tend to pay more attention to the planning and definition of work to be performed. They also seek to establish labor standards so that they can meet the desired goals. Such leaders constantly demand the completion of tasks and often monitor the performance of their subordinates. They are good at meeting deadlines, promoting quality control, and reducing costs (Edwards & Gill, 2012).

Second, People-oriented leaders tend to be concerned with their subordinates. They generally act in a friendly manner and support their followers in performing respective tasks. They are concerned with the well-being of the subordinates. They equally demonstrate confidence, attempt to respect individual feelings of employees, and are sensitive to the needs of their subordinates. Third, a two-dimensional leadership approach entails both task and people-oriented styles.

According to research studies on the behavioral perspective of leadership, task, or people-oriented leadership styles are not polar opposites of each other. Both of these styles may be combined and emphasized simultaneously by a single leader.

The behavioral approach does not take into account what is hidden behind the personal ties that are established within working groups. Relations between members are manipulated, and even when a leader is endowed with a people-oriented leadership style, the subordinates end up constituting means of achieving the organization’s objectives. A leader who tries to behave in a friendly way to earn the trust of the subordinates may fail to express true feelings (Houghton & DiLiello, 2010).

The contingency theories of leadership have been the subject of criticism for a long time. For instance, the approach cannot convincingly explain queries regarding the effectiveness of a leader. In other words, it does not assess when a leader is effective in applying personal characteristics and experiences to solve emerging challenges in an organization.

Of course, this kind of criticism stems from a management view that any leader must be identified by personal ability to achieve an organization’s goals. However, critics also fail to build adequate responses to the criticism implying that it is not a simple question.

Charismatic and transformational leadership styles in organizations

The charismatic leadership theory has gained new momentum owing to continued research studies. This theory suggests that charismatic leaders have “reference power,” and thus, part of this “power” is attributed to the need they have to influence others. Besides, charismatic leaders are endowed with “a vision or a higher level objective (transcendent) that captures the energy and commitment of followers” (Andert, Platt & Alexakis, 2011).

Good leaders help people progress along the desired paths; they eliminate any barriers and give rewards for every positive accomplishment. Thus, transformational and charismatic leaders have great potential to revitalize organizations that are on the verge of collapsing. Such leaders influence followers and provide new and meaningful discoveries and emotions in order to enhance the continuity of their tasks.

One of the main criticisms of the charismatic-transformational leadership approach is its application in situations characterized by periods that require a greater commitment of leaders in routine management.

Transformational-charismatic leaders find their motivations in contexts that require inspiration and energy in order to change a specific situation within an organization. Hence, routine and repetitive work that requires a leader with the ability to motivate the subordinates is threatened by a character that may discourage the subordinates.

Self-leadership in organizations

One of the most recent studies on leadership is referred to as self-leadership. It is inspired by the fact that new forms of work organization demand the productive reorganization of the highly competitive and flexible globalized capital (Edwards & Gill, 2012). The new development requires leaders who are capable of meeting new organizational demands and at the same time, facilitate task performance by followers.

Individuals with self-leadership style are more like a member of a group even though they have the ability to drive self-motivation among other group members. One of the most important elements of self-leadership is an employee’s ability to choose the preferred working environment.

This favors the completion of assigned tasks. Leaders in self-managed environments encourage their followers to practice self-reinforcement, self-observation, and self-evaluation. The leader is charged with the duty of providing employees with conducive working conditions so that they can define their particular objectives in line with the organization’s goals.

On the other hand, the approach of self-leadership can be questioned in terms of its effectiveness in situations whereby a leader is compelled to defend the interests of management positions that do not represent the aspirations of a group. Even if a leader’s authority stems from a delegation located in the chain of an organization, the interests of the organization should always take precedence (Sinding & Bøllingtoft, 2012).

Another key setback of self-leadership is that it has become an elusive democratic discourse. This has occurred because of the need to create a democratic and participatory work environment. There are numerous scenarios in organizations when democratic leadership may not generate desired results. As much self-leadership is a crucial ingredient in the general wellbeing of organizations, the set goals and objectives must still be pursued.

Leadership, power and authority in organizations

To begin with, traditional authority arises when a person or social group follows another individual because the obedience emanates from the habit inherited from previous generations. Tradition is an extrinsic factor in a leader. The traditional authority does not preclude the presence of other key leadership elements, such as personal skills and background training. Second, charismatic authority originates from the personal characteristics of an individual (Edwards & Gill, 2012).

The idea of ​​charisma is associated with personal qualities and organizational position or traditions. In most instances, charisma is the explanatory basis of informal authorities in organizations. Third, the rational-legal or bureaucratic authority is the main basis of authority in the contemporary world. Although the prevalence of modern formal organizations (such as the state, public, and private organizations), this type of authority seeks to treat leadership as an attribute of specific positions that should be legitimately accepted by individuals.

Two other forms of authority have been identified in organizational studies. These include authority by personal relations and technical expertise. The authority for personal relationship is attributed to the relationships established between individuals. Such relations are of a personal nature and related to social ties – friendship, relationships with important people, and so on.

The authority for technical competence is related to the influence on the behavior of others through the superiority of a leader. Followers are influenced since they believe that their leaders have greater skills and knowledge than them (Andert, Platt & Alexakis, 2011).

Leadership and power can only be perceived in their manifestations. However, the concept of leadership should not be confused with that of power. Both concepts relate to each other because they have the same source. Effective leadership in organizations is based on the way a manager uses “power” to influence the behavior of others.

Leadership refers to the style of using power, while power is exercising authority. Therefore, the concept of leadership in organizations should begin from a more specific conceptual definition. Thus, strengthening the concept of power is fundamental when exploring the key tenets of leadership ideals in organizations (Edwards & Gill, 2012).

Leadership and groups in organizations

From the perspective of personal relationships, leadership may never exist without a group that legitimates it. A leader must be shared and accepted by members of a given group. The acceptance of a leader is critical to the success of an organization. However, it is important to note that there are always those who question the legitimacy of leaders, especially when it comes to the decision-making process.

Leaders need to be aware that such situations should not hinder the achievement of the proposed objectives or cause instability within groups at the workplace. Leaders should understand that their roles are linked to resolving administrative conflicts that may arise. In order to manage conflict, a leader must not forget that their interests, personal weaknesses, individual ambivalent feelings, virtues, and defects may influence decision-making.

Therefore, a leader must have a keen sense of self-criticism and sensitivity to accept and re-evaluate the criticism directed towards him or her. Since leaders are still people, they are liable to make mistakes. Therefore, it is natural that some of their decisions and actions may frustrate members of a group (Andert, Platt & Alexakis, 2011). Leaders who are governed by ignorance of their weaknesses may occasion low productivity at the workplace.

When a leader fails to meet the expectations of a team, the leadership style may be questioned. Therefore, a leader should be adequately prepared both professionally and psychologically to play the required roles in order to minimize conflicts at the workplace.


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Edwards, G., & Gill, R. (2012). Transformational leadership across hierarchical levels in UK manufacturing organizations. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 33(1), 25-50.

Houghton, J. D., & DiLiello, T. C. (2010). Leadership development: The key to unlocking individual creativity in organizations. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 31(3), 230-245.

Ouimet, G. (2010). Dynamics of narcissistic leadership in organizations. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 25(7), 713-726.

Ponzetti, J. (2014). Governance in the cloister: Lessons from the rule of Benedict for sustainable leadership in communal organizations. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, 11(3), 25-35.

Sinding, K. & Bøllingtoft, A. (2012). Cases on Management, Leadership and Organizations. Gylling: Narayana Press.

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