Leadership at different levels : A case study at PaperPak Sweden AB

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Företagsekonomi; Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Företagsekonomi; Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Företagsekonomi

Abstract:

The business climate of today demands high flexibility and quick responsiveness from suppliers.

It has become essential for organizations to have effective leaders in all hierarchal

levels, which understand and are able to work under these conditions. As the market requirements

have changed, a new paradigm of leadership has evolved (Bryman, 1992). This

paradigm puts more focus on charisma and how to motivate followers, which is the essential

part of transformational leadership. According to Burns (1978), transformational leadership

is a process between leader and follower rather than exchanges. This leads to the

question of what effective leadership is and if it can be measured in some way. One

method is the use of the Multifactor leadership questionnaire, the MLQ-test, developed by

Bass 1985 from the full range model.

The conducted research for this thesis is done at PaperPak Sweden AB, a manufacturer of

disposable incontinence products located in Aneby, Småland.

The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate if any differences and/or similarities in leadership

can be found between or within the hierarchical levels. The intent with the report is also to

investigate those variances and if they are positive or negative for an organization.

A theoretical framework focusing on leadership has been collected, to enable the fulfillment

of the thesis purpose. This framework will act as support for the analysis of the quantitative

investigation, based on the MLQ-test. From this analysis, the authors have made

conclusions and recommendations. The degree of transformational, transactional and laissez-

faire leadership has been measured for the three leadership levels top, middle and low

management. It could be argued that the top management should show the highest degree

of transformational leadership, and low management the least, due to their positions and

work tasks. The result of the analysis supported that theory to a large extent. However,

lower management showed a significantly higher degree of transformational leadership

than middle management. One explanation could be that middle management lives in a

more stressful situation, working between top and low management, compared to the other

two, which is supported by Grout (1994).

Since the theoretical findings mean that leadership can be learnt and developed, the authors

suggest that organizations always have to follow up and try to develop their leaders and

managers towards higher degrees of transformational leadership. Finally the authors suggest

that further studies of the MLQ-test should investigate the possibilities to include measurements

of the technical side of leadership, since the test currently does not take those

factors into consideration.

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