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Leadership : Theories and Concepts

University: London University

  • Unit No: 8
  • Level: Post Graduate/University
  • Pages: 14 / Words 3457
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: AMLE513
  • Downloads: 602
Question :

Assessment requirements:

  • Critically highlight your own experience of leadership and advice areas for your own development, also develop an Action Plan (1500 words). (LO4 and LO6).
  • Apply leadership theory and concepts in the analysis and examination of the leadership of Jack Ma Founder of Alibaba Group (1500 words). LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5.

Part One

You are required to provide one or two specific experiences of leadership. The experience should be gained where you were an active participant. You need to briefly describe the situation and analyse the leadership process with the help of relevant theory and approaches drawn from the academic literature on leadership.

Part Two

The second part of the project requires you to critically analyse the leadership of Jack Ma founder/CEO of Ali baba Group. You should examine the effectiveness of Jack Mas leadership qualities from the perspectives of the leadership theories, situational and contingency theory, transformational and transactional leadership, distributed leadership, ethical leadership and critical leadership perspectives.

You are also incorporate the ethics of leadership. It is important to identify the Jack Mas leadership style and how it is applicable to Ali baba Group.

You will submit Part One and Part Two in one-word document. You should also require to include one reference list for both at the end of the document. Also, attach your leadership Development Action Plan as an appendix at the end of the document.

Main aims of this module:

To encourage critical reflection and analysation of leadership in organisation.

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

To enable students to reflect on their own preferences and values pertaining to leadership.

To explore the complexities of leadership in context to multi-cultural.

Main themes of the study:

  1. The nature of leadership: social psychological, sociological, historical and political science perspectives.
  2. Leaders and leadership.
  3. Followers and leadership.
  4. Transactional, transformational, transforming and charismatic leadership.
  5. Post-heroic and distributed leadership.
  6. Leadership ‘success’ and ‘failure’.
  7. Cross-cultural leadership.
  8. Leadership and gender.
  9. Bullying and toxic leadership.
  10. Ethics and legitimacy in leadership.

Learning Outcomes:

At the need of this module, students will be able to gain knowledge of:

1.Examine a range of theories of leadership.

2. identify competing positions pertaining to the ethics of leadership.

Thinking skills

3. Critically analyse case studies of organisational leadership.

4. Critically highlight on their own experience of leadership.

Subject-based practical skills

5. Evaluate different styles of leadership and present an understanding of why/how different styles of leadership might be effective.

Skills for life and work (general skills)

6. Discuss the ability to reflect on their own practice in working with others, and how this might be developed.

Answer :
Organization Selected : Jack Ma Founder of Alibaba Group


Leadership is the most important function in the organisation for its management and assists in maximization profitability. In this way, efficiency also developed that helps to achieve organizational goals. In this regard, the leader plays important that is an effective concern in working. The leader also motivates their staff members by providing economic and non-economic rewards to work effectively (Kossek and Buzzanell, 2018). In this consideration, the present report includes the experience of leadership with role and action. Furthermore, it consists of leadership theories and concepts which reflect on a positive experience. In addition to this, it explains the leadership of Jack Ma who is the founder of Alibaba group. Different theories also explained which is related to critical leadership. At last, arguments also explained which can be applied to Jack Ma’s leadership. 


Critically reflect on own experience of leadership and suggest areas for own development with including an action plan

Leadership is the successful process that consists important role which direct, guide and influence behaviour of staff members to accomplish desired results in the organization. Leadership is also an ability which defined subordinated to work very confidential (Boyd, Henning and Hoffman, 2017).

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Great man theory

As per the great man theory, leaders are born with certain traits and abilities that can be leading with intellect, confidence, and communication skills, etc. In this regard, it can be suggested that within a successful organization such as Tesco best leaders are born not made. With my experience, I had an analysis that in the organization leaders are valiant, mythic and ordained to rise effective leadership when different situations arise (Augier and Guo, 2017). This great man adopted at this time which is successfully implemented to develop experience. There are several areas where development is required to implement the skills of staff members which helps to lead effectively. This theory sees among great leaders who are destined by birth who are become confronted and belief in an appropriate situation.

Trait theory

Trait theory is also similar to the great man theory. It is also founded with different characteristics of several leaders for successful and unsuccessful as well. In Tesco, this theory is generally used to predict effective leadership with identified characteristics that are compared with potential leaders that determined with the likelihood to lead effectively (Uhl-Bien and Arena, 2017). There are different kinds of characteristics from several perspectives. As per my experience, they are focused on physiological attributes such as weight, demographics, appearance, etc. These attributes encompass with decisiveness, knowledge, and judgment. In order to considered a successful development program, it can be stated that leaders are focused on analysing physical, social and mental characteristics to gain more understanding. There are several combinations of characteristics are common among leaders (Renz and Herman, R.D. 2016). With this consideration, trait leadership theory applied with a different measurement that is reliable with significant approach. In this aspect, many studies analyzed traits among leaders with different responsibilities. Different characteristics are slightly intelligent and taller. Trait theories effective for leaders so that common personality characteristics and traits.

Behavioral theories

This theory focuses on how leaders perform and behave. For example, Tesco leaders generally dictate needs that need to be done and develop cooperation. Therefore, decision making helps to encourage acceptance and support. This framework generally based on a leader’s behaviour (Sweeney, Clarke and Higgs, 2019). There are different kinds of leaders such as autocratic leaders who make decisions without consulting their teams. This style of leadership considered without team consultancy to gain successful outcomes. In addition to this, Democratic leaders also allow team members to provide input before making any decisions. This style is more important in team agreement so that it can be difficult to manage with different perspectives and ideas (Chrobot-Mason, Johnson and Kinkopf, 2016). I had seen that the organization requires democratic leaders to allow them and provide input before making any decisions. Different members of the organization give their suggestions and ideas in the business which helps to handle every situation in a systematic manner. On the basis of laissez-faire leaders, it can be stated that under the supervision of the manager. This kind of behaviour assists to deal with effective leadership that can impact on performances. Leadership is also appropriate which can be deal with significant advantages (Junk, Mancini and Blume, 2017).

Applying leadership theories at workplace of Tesco

With respect to considered trait theory, effective leadership generally depends on possess and traits which maximise strength of leaders. Leaders of the organisation have to strive and focus with strengths instead of weaknesses. Strengths are also vary from one leader to another. Therefore, strong will also crucial resilient and seeing leaders in difficult times (Montano, Reeske and Hüffmeier, 2017). There is no matter that how challenging and situation which may be challenging situation so that leader is able to find inner strength which helps to carry process successfully and overcomes all challenges. Decisive nature is one of another strength that assess situation and choose one action to make right decisions. They are also learn from their mistakes. There are different kinds of complex situational theories emphasis that focus on several people (Braun, Schyns and Peus, 2016). It means that leaders acknowledge every individual that emphasis on people. As an inclusive leader, it is essential that all people are constantly includes other people in leadership program. In this consideration, delegation of more responsibility to others people which comes in form of leadership. On the basis of different situations, it has been analysis that many studies analysis to cover different tasks and it will be completed with taking different people views in the business (Çelik, Dedeoğlu and Inanir, 2015). 

Action plan






Action plan for developments


Effective team management

Facilitate effective team with management practice

With the help of effective maintaining task and human resources to build trust and ensure staff development so that organisational goals achieved

Poor time management skills

Meet with targets within allocated time

Improvement in planning and build SMART goals

Improvement in personal growth with training

Evaluation of leadership skills with assessment and feedback

Skills development program with leaders (Opoku, Ahmed and Cruickshank, 2015).

Complexity of change process with using unfreezing, change and refreezing

Staff motivation and evaluation of services

Ensure effective motivation for staff with certain practices

It helps and allow staff members for development and achievement. With the help of benchmarking which enhance services provision (Puni, Agyemang and Asamoah, 2016).

Struggles with delegation and role assignment due to fear tasks not achieved.

With improvement delegation skills and maintain trust of team among members in certain practices (Vasilagos, Polychroniou, and Maroudas, 2017).

Ensure personal development so that skills building also support with team members with responsibility and accountability.

Improvement in interpersonal relationship with continuous assessment.

Enhancement workload with given fact in process with assign more roles.

Use of leadership styles for multiple purpose

Main goal in this aspect is to utilise different kinds of leadership styles when practices are necessary

This strength assists to attend different kinds of organisational needs that is depend on certain situation with using situational leadership style.

Struggle within team management create more conflicts.

With the help of developing coping mechanism also create impact which create pressure of conflict which affect team management.

Ensure that formation of team which is stronger in which develop with different stages with using Tuckman.

Improvement in communication skills.

Development of culture openness with honesty among team members.

Multiple leadership styles create time consuming weaknesses that could be demotivate staff members.


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On the basis of the present action plan, it can be stated that leaders successfully operate their functions and operations in the Tesco. With the help of different kinds of leadership styles, it can be said that staff members share their ideas and views which assists to deal with different conditions. Concerned people also fulfil staff member’s needs so that on the basis of different names two categories are also divided to apply conditions.

Use leadership theories and concepts in analysis and evaluate the leadership of Jack Ma Founder of Alibaba Group

Jack Ma is the founder of E-commerce business Alibaba and its deals with the e-payment portal. He is now officially the richest man in China and net worth is more than any other company. Jack Ma is a successful leader who is the founder of Alibaba group. He started a successful business that is internet-based and he wants to make successful globalized traders in different areas of SMEs across the world. Be an authentic leader Ma possesses a strong sense of character that aids to build loyalty and a strong foundation in which business grows. Ma also stated that sense of humour is most important aspect which may be charged. Furthermore, the main leadership of Ma is dealing with see-through customers Eyes. Ma generally runs e-commerce business and got success to view products as per customer’s eyes. This kind of quality assists helps in business to provide best services. Furthermore, he developed a mission to generate a sense of China so that Ma has given benefit from Alibaba’s success as well.

Ma also knew so that it possible to convince each single staff member business partner and investor to maintain trust to listen with trying to deal get success. There common goal uniting them under Ma supervision. This is the company’s goal instead of the leader’s goal so that he tries to hire people with superior qualities. Hiring staff members with super skills make the company successful. All employee are working with the technical quality so that they can easily deal with it positive results will be achieved. Jack Ma is a successful leader in maintaining a clear vision. Ma also believes that success will be achieved to inspire people to work hard to achieve the goal. There are many other leadership qualities and skills that possess by Ma. Use your instinct and focus on the mission to know what business is develop functions for accomplish long term vision. Breathless efforts for accomplishment are most important so that inventing opportunities expand boundaries empowering other people (Demirtas and Akdogan, 2015).

He follow leadership styles that assist to run the organization is successful. He is a democratic leader so that he gives importance to staff member’s ideas. With the help of transformational leadership style, they can empower employees and motivating to accomplish success. As a leader, we have to cultivate visions and goals to improve the company’s outcomes and improve the lives of staff members. With incorporate mission in culture and implement it to promote a better world, it is essential to get success at each stride of the organization (Kossek and Buzzanell, 2018).

Trait theory

Trait theory of leadership is a theory that implied for leaders those are born and due to its belief people possess correct qualities and traits which is suited in successful leadership. In Alibaba group, this theory is identified behavioural characteristics that are most common in leaders. Ma focuses on correct qualities and traits so that this theory include intelligence, self-confidence, determination, and integrity. In the chosen organization trait theory approach study towards human personality (Chrobot-Mason, Johnson and Kinkopf, 2016). Primarily theorists primarily interested in the measurement of traits that can be defined with habitual patterns of behavior, emotions, and thought.

Behavioural theory

Behavioural theory of learning is generally based on different ideas that are acquired to solve a particular situation. Conditioning occurs with maintaining interaction with the environment. Behaviourists generally believe that responses within the environment which stimuli shape and actions. Behavioural seeks with analysing antecedents and consequences that present in each individual’s environment to acquire previous experience. This entry also describes traditions with behavioural perspective (Behavioural Theories of Leadership, 2018). Different classical conditioning, operant conditioning, cognitive mediated behavioural theory demonstrate clinical applications that are derived from it.

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Situational theory

In order to solve issues and problems, managers of Alibaba also use the situational theory that assists to match it with a particular situation. In this regard, leadership style successfully opts and developed that refers when the leader or manager of an organization must adjust style that can be successfully fit the organization at the development level of followers so that the leader is trying to influence easily. When Ma situational leader does not change their approach which takes advantage of a particular situation. The leader simply adapt to a particular situation that considers certain factors. In this regard, organizational structure and culture so that goal will be accomplished. The situational approach to leadership can be successfully studied with the basic premise that can be applied in different situations. It is demanded in different types of leadership. The essence of situational leadership is most effective for all leaders that tailor according to the particular situation. Telling and directing is one of the best advantages of leaders within the organization that helps to makes decisions for informing others (Augier and Guo, 2017). This style of leadership in Ma also referred to as micromanagement as the leader who involved and closely supervise people who are working in the business. It is a very top-down approach and staff members exactly work in a systematic manner. Selling and actions with this style of leadership are some of the important considerations that must be taken in a systematic manner. Day to day activities of the organization is also involved so that decisions requested from the employees before it implied at the workplace. With this style of situational leadership, staff members supervised considered typically works very well with more experience to learn. It involves direct praise to enhance confidence and self-esteem. Participating in and supporting the style of leadership passes several responsibilities for employers. Leaders still provide direction so that decisions can be taken in a systematic manner. Delegating is one of the important functions of a situational leadership style where Ma involved the least amount of staff members. Employees are mainly responsible to choose tasks and directions that can be taken in a systematic manner. The leader may also involve in direction and feedback purposes.

Contingency theory

Contingency the approach in management is generally based on a theory that creates effectiveness that is contingent or dependent upon the application of management behaviors. In other words, the way to manage must be a change that depends on certain circumstances. With consideration of this theory, Ma following motivation and leadership that are two effective examples with determining productivity, turnover and absenteeism. Organizational behavior is one of the important examples of contingency theory that must be taken as an important role in business.

Transformational leadership

Transformational leadership is a style that motivates, inspire and encourage to staff members that innovate and create change to grow and shape for future success within the organization. In this style, there are four elements such as individualized consideration, idealized influence, intellectual stimulation and inspirational motivation. According to this kind of leadership defined as an approach which causes change among individual and system and social. It is ideal which creates valuable to make a positive change for the development of goals among leaders (Kossek and Buzzanell, 2018).

Transactional leadership

Transactional leadership is one of the leadership styles where leaders promote compliance which following by different people. In this aspect, leaders promote compliance by followers by using punishment and rewards. With the help of rewards and punishment system, transactional leaders who are able to motivate for short term targets. In this regard, effectiveness will be increased by the Main positive aspects. He has several characteristics such as extrinsic motivation, reward performances, resistant to change, etc. (Augier and Guo, 2017).

Distributed leadership

Distributed leadership is a conceptual approach that assists to understand to work and takes place among several people in the context of complexity within the business. With the development of leadership programs, in complex organization education research promoted in a systematic manner. Ma develops leadership within the Alibaba group in the context of e-commerce that includes tourism in the business. Therefore, it is important consideration that helps to lead successfully within the organisation. Distributed leadership is primarily concerned with different practices of leadership with specific roles and responsibilities. Collective and extended practices that are related with leadership also build capacity to make change and improvement (Demirtas and Akdogan, 2015).

Ethical leadership

Ethical leadership is one of the important that is directed with respect for ethical beliefs and values to maintain the dignity and rights of other people. It is related to certain concepts that help to deal with trust, fairness, honesty, etc. Ma also following this kind of leadership for being honest and virtuous and play a role as a successful manager of Alibaba group. There are different responsibilities and obligations of a successful manager will be successfully setting as good example. There are different standards and expectations made clearly which lead successfully. Different principles are also followed by Ma to maintain their leadership such as respect, justice, services, honesty, and community. These are core elements of ethical leadership which defined by leaders to respect others and themselves (Augier and Guo, 2017).


Critical leadership

Critical leadership is one of the responsibility of executive leadership within the organisation to ensure that skills successfully developed inappropriate manner. In this aspect, Ma must look to provide clear direction to involve clear vision, purpose, values, mission, competitive advantages, etc. Employees who are work under Ma’s leadership so that clear role and set several responsibilities which assists to look for fulfil desired results within the organization (The Most Critical Leadership skills, 2018).

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From the present report, it can be stated that leadership is one of the important function of every organisation. In this consideration, different kinds of leadership styles must be followed that assists to focus on effective functioning of the business. Furthermore, report summarised different theories such as great man, trait theory, etc. must be successfully followed in systematic manner. In this regard, action plan also must be that will helpful to attain positive outcomes in order to gain significant advantages. Moreover, develop high performances teams at several levels consist by manager of Alibaba Group. On the basis of leadership qualities, leader perform several roles in the business. Therefore, in this report different theories explained such as contingency, behavioural, ethical leadership, distributed leadership, etc.

May you also like to read:-

Leadership and Management Behavior in Tesco


Books and Journals

  • Augier, M. and Guo, J., 2017. The evolutionary nature of innovation and disruptive change: the interrelatedness of technology, leadership and organizations. Technology and Leadership International Perspectives, pp.127-148.
  • Boyd, B., Henning, N. and Hoffman, A.J., 2017. Hybrid organizations: New business models for environmental leadership. Routledge.
  • Braun, S., Schyns, B. and Peus, C., 2016. Conclusion: Leadership lessons from compelling contexts. In Leadership lessons from compelling contexts (pp. 465-479). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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