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Analysis and Evaluation of the Leadership of Jack Ma Founder of Alibaba Group

University: Stanford University

  • Unit No: 9
  • Level: High school
  • Pages: 12 / Words 2912
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: AMLE513
  • Downloads: 425
Question :

Leadership in Organizations

Assessment Outline

The project requires you to do following:

  • Briefly recall on your own experience of leadership and recommend areas for your own development, with an Action Plan (1500 words). Considering learning outcome 4 and 6.
  • Apply leadership theory and concepts in the analysis and evaluation of the leadership of Jack Ma Founder of Alibaba Group (1500 words). Considering learning outcomes 1,2,3,5.

Part one

You have been guided to focus on one or two specific experiences of leadership – which can be of either leadership role, or you can analyse leadership in action even if one is not a leader. The experience should also involve (voluntary work, student experience while working in a group, sports, parenting and other leisure activities). Critically explain the situation and analyse the leadership process with relevant theory and concepts from academic literature on leadership. How has the leadership experience helped in one own leadership style and how it is required to be developed? Focus on the attributes that are required to be developed on the basis of experience. Examine the concepts and theory with the help of reflection and make a development plan to provide evidence which may help in improving leadership, for the appendix.

Part two

Briefly examine the leadership of Jack Ma Founder/CEO of Alibaba Group. Address the effectiveness of Jack Mas leadership qualities from the perspectives of the leadership theories. Your essay should involve the following theories; situational and contingency theory, trait and behavioural theories, distributed leadership, transformational and transactional leadership, ethical leadership and critical leadership perspectives.

Briefly analyse on theories of leadership, styles of leadership and critical leadership, and apply these critically to Jack Ma. You should also provide a regard for the ethics of leadership. It is important that you refer to sources relating to Jack Ma’s leadership style and align them to the leadership theories we have explored on the module so that you can form your own argument in relation to how theories of leadership apply to Jack Ma’s leadership.

Main aim(s) of the module:

To promote critical reflection and evaluation of leadership in organisations.

To analyse how leadership can be performed, and with what consequences for those engaging in it and affected by it.

To allow students to reflect on their own preferences and values with regard to leadership.

To evaluate the complexities of leadership in a multi-cultural context.

Main topics of study:

The nature of leadership: social psychological, historical, sociological, and political science perspectives.

  1. Leaders and leadership.
  2. Followers and leadership.
  3. Transactional, transformational, transforming and charismatic leadership.
  4. Post-heroic and distributed leadership.
  5. Leadership ‘success’ and ‘failure’.
  6. Cross-cultural leadership.
  7. Leadership and gender.
  8. Bullying and toxic leadership.
  9. Ethics and legitimacy in leadership.

Learning Outcomes for the module:

At the end of this module, students will be able to:


  1. Examine a variety of theories of leadership.

  2. Explore competing positions regarding the ethics of leadership.

Thinking skills

  1.  Briefly analyse case studies of organisational leadership.
  2. Briefly review on their own experience of leadership (whether as a formal leader or as a participant).

Subject-based practical skills

  1. Examine different styles of leadership and show an understanding of why/how different styles of leadership might be effective.

Skills for life and work (general skills)

  1. Generate the ability to reflect on their own practice in working with others, and how this might be developed.
Answer :
Organization Selected : Alibaba Group


Leadership is the main process of business organisation which is followed by employees to work properly and effectively. Leaders are those person who understand the problems of employees at workplace and suggest them how to work in order to attain the organisational goals and objectives. This is much more than authority and recognition from outside the world. In other words, it is about developing people and helping others to reach their full potential. This is important for business organisation to adopt a effective leadership style which can helps to work properly and effectively by achieving goals (Hoch and et. al., 2018). Employees of business organisation lives close to leaders because it guides people to what to do and how to do for completing task. This report is about leadership in organisation which is categorised in to two parts, first task is reflects in critical reflection on experience of leadership and development areas. And the next task is discusses about uses of different types of leadership theory and concepts which helps to run a business successfully. Moreover in second task the evaluation is about Leadership of Jack Ma who is founder of Alibaba Group.

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Critical reflection on experiences of leadership along with suggestions for improvement areas

As a leader working with a group to complete the project, my experienced states that I delegates task between organisational employees which helped me to manage the role and responsibilities of employees so work could be done effectively. I received a project from my organisation where I was playing a role of leader in which all work and employees needed to managed by me. To work properly there was a need to better communication and listener which helps to listen problem of employees and provide a better solution in order to make profits. After understanding the goal of organisation I started to organise and manage all business meeting and conference which defined what action need to be taken. Employees trust and engagement was important for me to complete the project effectively, so I talked personally to each employees which helped me to know what they are thinking and how their trust can be gain (Аndriukaitiene and et. al., 2017). I shared my knowledge and goal of business organisation with employees that helped to get more ideas and thoughts how it can be attain. While working with employees I realised that my communication skills, leadership skills and listening skills are excellent as I never missed a point of information which was related to my project. While talking with employees I understood that what employees wants and how they can be satisfied. As some employees were favour for my plan and some one not. But it was the critical situation for me to make understand them and get ready to all for working collectively. I planed to provide training to employees for the purpose of accepting challenges and changes effectively. I delegated different types of working activities between employees as per their qualification and experience which gave me good result to complete the goal effectively. With the help of effective team and my skills I was able to combine and synthesis each clump of information which helped to complete the project. During this way, many problems and challenges was identified by me and group which was set calmly and independently to complete the project (Liao, 2017). Me and my team solve the problems by analysing the different ways and leadership style which processed to accomplishment of business objectives.

While performing my leadership roles in business organisation with the number of people and group, different types of problems faced by me that were resistance of some employees in order to accept the changes, modification, new technology, change in process and workplace practices which are important for business organisation to perform well. Some time employees deny to accept such changes due they wants to work traditional way/, so it become difficult for Leader to make understand the employees and get ready to accept all (Lyubovnikova and et. al., 2017). In this situation organisation also face low productivity and low profitability. I was realised that there is need to adopt effective leadership style and theory to accomplish the task as well as project. It has revealed that Democratic leadership style and Transformational leadership style used by me while working with organisation. Firstly I adopted democratic leadership in which I asked for input from my team and group of people by considering their feedback which helped to make right business decision. This helped to complete the project within efficient time and period by attaining the goals and objectives. This was excellent and driven leadership in which I focused on creativity and innovation which was needed to bring within organisation. In this leadership I make feel employees that their voice is heard and contribution matter a lot which is fostering higher level of workplace satisfaction and employee engagement (Lord and et. al., 2017). In this I focused on visionary leadership which was possible to complete only by accepting the democratic leadership. By using this leadership I accepted all changes and provide assistance to employees work efficaciously. In addition to I used transformational leadership which helped to focus on individual interaction with others and maintaining good relationship with all which helped to complete the project. This has been defined that I successfully worked will group of people or team by focusing on extrinsic and intrinsic motivation in order to complete the project.

The role of leadership performed by me in which effective actions and decision taken by me which processed to completion of project within specified period. I felt that organisation is dealing with some critical situation which was low productivity, employee turnover, conflicts among team as well as employees and high attrition rate which was need to solve by making strategic plans (Hoch and Dulebohn, 2017). Then I have decided to opt the strategic leadership and different types of employees legislation which were useful to delivered valuable results and effective directions to employees in order to deal with such situation. Many steps had taken by me such as to solve the low productivity and conflicts between people I shared all information with people that what action they should take and how they can work collectively. I applied employment rules, health as safety rules, training and development and job security legislation which helped to address the situation in better way. Moreover, another situation was employee turn over, and high attrition rate was also serious issue for me that need to address. To addressed this I used strategic leadership style which helped me to understand why employees wanted to quit their job and reason of attrition rate then strategic plan helped me to remove such issue and get good results (Sousa and van Dierendonck, 2017). Handy's culture theory is another way to face the situation properly in which I opted Task culture in which different task divided between employees according to their ability and capabilities to perform task properly. Situation are required to deal with new changes and challenges which improves organisational productivity and profitability. I also observed that employees who were working with me supported me to complete the work and attain the organisational goals. Atmosphere of autonomy was created by me which helped to understand my roles and get assistance how it need to perform. I also used path goal theory which is based on leader's style and behaviour that benefited to employees and work environment for the purpose of achieving goals. In this theory I motivated employees, increased empowerment and satisfy the employees which made them productive member of organisation. Such theory was very helpful for me which helped to increase the productivity and profitability through focusing and create a different path for employees. In this theory I adopted directive path, achievement, participative leaders and supportive leadership style which provides proper assistance to employees and work effectively. In this I satisfied the employee's needs and preference by showing concern for them psychological as well. Moreover, path goal theory helped me to become flexible by changing style as per the situation and condition. Moreover, contingency theory by involving employees characteristics that moderate behaviour and relationship. I clarified the path for employees by understanding the situation and made journey easier by reducing the roadblocks and pitfalls (Lin and et. al., 2017).

Areas for my own development

As per my experienced in working as a leader in group, I have analysed that there are some areas which needs development in leadership. I noticed my weakness while working with employees which need to be develop or improvement. For this context, the suggested area is passions, transparency attribute, management skills and risk taking skills which is required to perform the organisational goals and I felt that I m weak in such areas. As a leader I have learned so many things that to attract the employees there is require proper management and attributes which make happy employees and helps to follow the me. I was feeling weak to manage the work and concentration of employees which need to be develop that can help to work smoothly and easily (Horvat and Filipovic, 2018). Moreover, my attributes of transparency is also required to be develop as I was able to share information with only some people or group which created confusion what they should do. To improving such areas a personal development plan is prepared by me that will help to execute all plans and make project successful in specified time.

Use of leadership concepts as well as theory in analysis and evaluation of leadership.

Leadership is the process of influencing people and get work done from them in order to attain organisational goals and objectives. If leaders are good in an organisation that means productivity and profitability. Jack and Ma is the co founder as well as former chairman of Alibaba Group which is leading organisation, serves different types of products and services to its customers. This is multinational conglomerate holding company which is specializing in e-commerce, retail, technology and internet. Such organisation was founded in April 1999 that provides consumer to consumer (C2C), Business to customer (B2C) and Business to business (B2B) sales through web portals, electronic payment services, cloud computing and shopping search engines. This is world's largest retailer e-commerce organisation that is consider as largest internet and artificial intelligence company which is earning highest revenues. Currently such organisation is expanding in to media industry with rising revenues by triple percentage. In this organisation leaders are playing important role as they understand the goals of organisation and make effectors to accomplish the objectives. Some leadership qualities of leaders in Alibaba Group are as unites people under a single goal, foresight which helped to take the action against competition, hiring people with superior skills, proper guidance to employees, better communication and relationship which helped to run a business successfully and achieve business goals. This organisation has used some leadership theories such as situational leadership theory and contingency theory (Dulebohn and Hoch, 2017).

Situational leadership is effective theory which is used by Alibaba's leader to develop the business by influencing employees. Leader of such organisation states that this is adaptive leadership style which encourages leaders to take stock of its team members to achieve the organisational goals and objectives. By following this leaders develop people and work groups, establish rapport and bring best thing in people which helps to work effectively. Moreover, Contingency leadership theory states effectiveness of leader is contingent in which leaders defined how leadership styles matches to the situation. This theory helps to face the contingent situation which arises while working. By using such theory leader can accept the changes and work properly which helps to complete the task in given time effectively. Such compliances and policies helped leaders to focus on desire of organisation. As per both theories situation are require to analysis before deciding by leader that what is the amount of guidance and direction. Situation is divided in to two behaviour such as task and relationship behaviour (Fehr and et. al., 2017).

Alibaba's leader faced four common and critical competencies that are diagnose, communicate, advance and adapt is required to face the situation and complete the task. For instance, increasing level of collaboration, supporting the employees and motivational level enhance the productivity and profitability. Transactional leadership is used to communicate the vision of organisation with all which helps to bring communicate and vision in order to bring changes in their organisation. Where as transformational leadership is used to find the best employees for their task and plays active role for the purpose of development. These are effective leadership style which are used to make effective work and attain the organisational goals properly. This helps to create value for employees which deliver better results by providing proper assistance to employees. In context to transactional leadership, leaders are focusing on promoting the policies and compliances with current business goals and organisational expect performance (Lopez-Cabrales, Bornay-Barrachina and Diaz-Fernandez, 2017). Moreover, leaders uses rewarding and punishment concept in their work which encourages employees to give their best in order to get rewards. If employees are not performing well then

Ethical leadership refers as a leadership that is used by leaders to direct employees by respect for ethical beliefs and values which helps to maintain a good culture and business environment in organisation. In this leadership the role of leaders as holding everyone to the same standard and making clear expectation. This helps Alibaba's leader to show their talent and attracts employees to complete the project. Moreover , ethical leader shows that respect all people of the team by listening them attentively, being compassionate , value their contributions and being generous after considering their perception. By following ethical leadership organisation can maintain the good behaviour of employees and ethical standard of which helps to perform well in the business organisation. It is not important that leaders are having in formal authority in leadership instead of this they can maintain good relation as a friendship and sharing which can help to work effectively. There are many employees who are following leaders in order to perform well and increase the sale of business organisation. In this organisation, leader provide training and development programme to its employees and also states how they can increase their sale (Eriksson and et. al., 2017).

Path goal theory is also used by leader by understand the situation which they faces that helps to solve the problems by getting support of employees as they have different types of characteristics and skills which helps to improve the sale of business organisation. For example, employees are facing a unclear job responsibility situation for this they applied path goal theory which is suitable and relevant for organisation. In this situation leaders perform their role as team worker, shaper, coordinator and communicator by applying role theory which help to get solution of problem as employees coordinates with all employees ans clarify the role and responsibilities of employees which need to perform by them athat helps to attain the organisational goals and objectives.

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Students also like to read - Individual Leadership Management in Organisation


From the above report it can be concluded that leaders of a business organisation are having several and different responsibilities that helps to to perform their role in different areas effectively. Leaders understand the problem of employees who are working within organisation and provide them optimum solution to remove the problem. Different situation are also faced by leaders while working which need to focus in order to make effective business decision. Democratic leadership style helps to delegate the task between employees, assist them and perform task effectively. Leader is one who maintain the relationship between employees and manager which processes to complete the task in specified time. Moreover, transformational leadership is used to deliver the good results by using strategic plans. In context to Jack Ma, leadership style are inspiring and influential that foster relationship and loyalty foundation to grow the business continuously. Leaders is the concept of organising the people systematically i9n order to accomplish the goals and objectives.


Books and Journal

Hoch, J. E., and et. al., 2018. Do ethical, authentic, and servant leadership explain variance above and beyond transformational leadership? A meta-analysis. Journal of Management. 44(2). pp.501-529.

Аndriukaitiene, R., and et. al., 2017. Theoretical insights into expression of leadership competencies in the process of management. Problems and Perspectives in Management. 15(1-1). pp.220-226.

Liao, C., 2017. Leadership in virtual teams: A multilevel perspective. Human Resource Management Review. 27(4). pp.648-659.

Lyubovnikova, J., and et. al., 2017. How authentic leadership influences team performance: The mediating role of team reflexivity. Journal of Business Ethics. 141(1). pp.59-70.

Lord, R. G., and et. al., 2017. Leadership in applied psychology: Three waves of theory and research. Journal of Applied Psychology. 102(3). p.434.

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