To attain organizational goals effectively and efficiently, strategic leadership is demanded. Leadership incorporates a focused control/management of an organization and its subjects (Sagawa & Jospin 2009, p. 9). In this context, effective leadership remains relevant and applicable in numerous organizations. Concurrently, this includes the Colombian Navy Academy. Ideally, leadership strategies assumed by an organization might influence its organizational culture, employee motivation, work schedules, productivity, and general competitiveness (Marquardt & Berger 2000, p. 16). It is important to understand that leadership management remains an inherent and prominent provision in the military context. Effective leadership always propels competitive performance.
Military leadership entails the act of manipulating devotees to achieve organizational missions and objectives through the provision of purpose, direction, and motivation (Horn 2008, p. 12). Command (a critical military function) refers to a legally exercised authority by individuals mandated to do so. Generally, the ‘command chain’ is the most important organizational strategy within the military setting. It refers to the series of commanders within the organization (Stroup 2004). This role is normally conducted besides taking care of the personnel and property that lies within the concerned responsibility domain. Military duties are always specified, directed, or implied.
For junior officers, active performance, indulgence in the administration, and effective service delivery largely depend on the type of leadership within their unit (Laver 2008, p. 78). Thus, investigation of an appropriate and effective leadership model for specific military organizations is critical. This is a critical provision when considered in various aspects. Leadership also influences the practice and adherence to basic professional ethics. In the military, these ethics may include loyalty to one’s status, authority, and a specific unit with the military. Additionally, there are ethical issues related to duty, selfless service, and devotion (Taylor, Rosenbach & Rosenbach 2009, p. 121). Effective leadership would promote critical ethics necessary for effective performance amongst military officers.
Courage, sincerity, and competency include some of the vital traits and qualities encouraged among the serving officers through strategic leadership (Horn 2008, p. 32). Commitment also refers to a powerful personal trait that is likely to influence the performance of navy officers. Ideally, in executing leadership roles, senior military officers ought to identify expectations targeted from their units. This is crucial when considered in diverse contexts. A strength and weakness analysis of the followers is also critical to aid the design of a winding mechanism. An effective leadership approach enhances the basic indicators of unit effectiveness, which may broadly encompass self-esteem, discipline, proficiency, and pride (Gupta 2009). Employees and other stakeholders feel motivated to perform efficiently and innovatively when under effective and transformational leadership. Leadership is influenced and consequently manipulates the individuals themselves. Therefore, it is apparent to deduce that the performance of all organizational stakeholders depends on the kind of leadership eminent within the management structure or system (Bryman 1993, p. 45).
Therefore, effective organizational leadership arises from management principles. The importance of effective organizational leadership within military settings remains remarkable. Specifically, leadership involves transformative initiative. It entails shifting priorities about employees and other followers through proper and collective vision articulation (Patch 2012). Supervisory and management roles include some of the critical undertakings within leadership systems. Even within the army, the commandants have to practice delegation, command, and consequent supervisory roles amongst their followers. This is appropriate within all military undertakings, either administrative or within the battlefields (Steingart 2008, p. 71). It is historically notable that leadership and scientific administration emanated from the army during the ancient military wars. Observably, it took great and effective military leadership skills and approaches for a particular army to win major battles and render their enemies defenseless (Laver 2008, p. 118).
Presently, the major leadership skills applicable in the ancient military settings and war undertakings are still applied and practiced largely within most organizations. In defining organizational leadership, there are basic characteristics that must be noted. For example, the direction and a specific organizational tone remain the most significant recipe. It relates to strategic planning, centered on very explicit and attainable goals. Performance management within a specific organization also remains a critical leadership undertaking or consideration (Gamage 2006, p. 23). As an organization transforms, its performance must be similarly examined. This is a critical consideration when scrutinized closely. The basic principle here is that an organization has to be persistently supervised and pitfalls identified. The third observation within organizational leadership is the aspect of change.
Steering an organization from a given status quo to a steady and productive dynamism is a vital leadership provision. Consequently, this necessitates the persistent transformation of obligations and responsibilities in organizations. Organizational leadership relies on the structural-functionalist leadership model (Cohen 2010, p. 34). Within this model, bureaucracy plays a central role. Presently, modern communities appreciate systemization, bureaucratization, and standardization. Perhaps, this elucidates the significance of leadership within organizations. As evident even in the army, charisma is more important than institutional, familiarity, and competence. An organization operating smoothly can process issues and challenges with minimal inconveniences (Griffin & Moorehead 2012, p. 67). The importance of an effective leadership approach within military settings or organizations cannot be underscored.
Remarkable studies have been conducted to investigate the importance of behavior in the influence of leadership outcomes and performances. In doing such surveys within organizations, employee engagement in the determination of character traits of leaders and their significant influences in organizational performance have been tested. From such investigations, diverse leadership styles have emerged. Amongst some of these leadership styles include participatory, transformational, transactional, autocratic as well as democratic leadership. Contingency theoretical models have presented leadership about contextual elements (Northouse 2010, p. 70). These might include the kind of duty being performed, the unique traits of the followers as well as the influences from the outdoor environments. Alternatively, other previous investigations have focused on ascertaining if particular leader traits would prove effective in all conditions.
Analytically, this initiative depends on deep contrast about the universalistic leadership models (Priest & Gass 2005, p. 111). There are minute trials to analyze leadership from a wider perspective; collecting diverse variables into a remarkably comprehensive model. Notable academicians and empiricists have identified varied elements that include situations, traits, strength, and other interceding variables. This has been basically to help in the comprehension and examination of leadership. Some integrative models are specially developed to address military leadership (Northouse 2010, p. 123). The chart below represents an integrative model applicable to military leadership. From Tim & Wooley (nd.)
Notably, the contingency model depends on an assumption that dissimilar trait patterns are effective in diverse situations (Storlie, 2010, p. 76). Additionally, the model entails that no one character is particularly optimal for all situations. In the aspect of leadership styles within the integrative model for the military, various styles may be drawn. For instance, some of the basic leadership styles include transactional, transformational as well as charismatic leadership (Lamberti & Fortunati 2009, p. 122). Other potential leadership approaches defined under the integrative model may include quiet, primal, servant as well as autocratic leadership. Most past investigations into the leadership subject have favored the trait strategy.
It is critical to note that conflicts in the past centuries potentiated remarkable leaders such as Napoleon and Mac Arthur among others (Kolenda, Mccaffrey & Ulmer 2001, p. 134). However, the significant point to note here is that these leaders clearly depicted unique and diverse leadership styles. The need to conduct more research on the concept of leadership and its applicability within diverse organizational settings is critical. Moreover, the present globalization impacts seem to have potentiated notable transformations within organizations such as the navy academy (Anderson 2008, p. 91). Therefore the focus of this proposed study to investigate the appropriate and effective leadership approaches within the Colombian Navy Academy largely remains in context.
The Research Questions
Finding an appropriate and effective leadership approach for the Colombian Navy Academy is the basic research question for this study. However, it is notable that there are other three fundamental sub-questions that this investigation potentially aims to address. These critical research questions include the following:
- What are the leadership requirements for navy officers to be adequately prepared within their military units for them to be competent to combat imminent threats of Colombia?
- What are the leadership requirements that the staff (within the navy academy) needs to produce the preferred effective leadership?
- What are the unique attributes and traits associated with this kind of preferred effective leadership approach?
The Research Methods
The research methods generally, deal with the synthesis of strategies, paradigms as well as philosophies that are likely or observably underlying a specific research duty. Observably, there exists an increasing intricacy and sophistication within the leadership-focused research (Parry & Meindl 2002, p. 65). Consequently, the appropriate methodology has to be adapted. There exist two wide methodological strategies. These are the quantitative as well as the qualitative approaches. Despite their differences, there is a third approach termed the mixed approach.
The mixed approach remains preferable to most investigators across all fields of study. It can provide superior depths of specific outcomes (Walliman 2006, p. 25). Additionally, this approach supports the triangulation system, which involves the use of multiple or an array of data collection and management tools to enhance the accuracy and precision of the results to be analyzed and discussed during the research. To prosecute the investigation by offering appropriate answers to the outlined research questions, the mixed approach will be applied. The research will, therefore, entail the application of both the qualitative as well as quantitative approaches. This methodology will be particularly compliant with the skewed nature of this investigative research to be conducted as outlined within the title (Shamoo & Resnik 2009, p. 11).
Most leadership researchers have stressed the need to provide particular attention to the aims, objectives, and research questions during any study. Therefore, the option for the mixed approach (as a methodology for the proposed research) was derived based on major aims and objectives eminent in this dissertation. Quantitative studies are founded on the concept of positivism. Under this concept, the common approaches entail the application of hypothesis tests and structural equation modeling (Klenke 2008, p. 42). Other approaches that will be applied in this positivism strategy include the application of structured as well as unstructured surveys. However, in consideration of the qualitative research, the underlying principles are premised on the phenomenology paradigm. Under this approach, the methodologies that will be applied to enhance the mixed concept include semi-structured interviews and focus groups.
On personal observations, the application of case scenarios and historical examinations, and analysis will be potentially important in the survey. The historical analysis under the phenomenological approach will involve the review of relevant and appropriate data sources. Literature reviews will be conducted on the available online print media materials such as published journals, magazines, internet articles as well as the application of Google books and related resources (Walliman 2006, p. 43). This initiative will be achieved through the application of random engine searches of related topics and resources available on the internet. Sampling remains a very noble undertaking in empirical research or studies. The proposed study recognizes the importance of sampling.
This proposed research will utilize both primary and secondary sources of data in an attempt to address the outlined objectives and research questions. Therefore, it is vital to note that within such contexts, there is no need to address the theoretical projects. This is because their application is limited in this study.
As depicted in the methodology, it is obvious that the proposed research would involve a lot of complexities. Notably, there are various instances where the researcher is likely to face obstacles. The inclusion and exclusion criterion for the research is most likely to cause a potential challenge given the various strata, units, and cadres within the academy. Therefore, the researcher has to develop a logical and understandable approach to tackling the issues around the enrolment of participants in the research (Shamoo & Resnik 2009, pp. 15). Some qualitative approaches such as observations might not particularly be applicable during the data gathering stage or phase. For this case, it is vital to recognize that the application of other qualitative as well s quantitative approaches including structured questionnaires, interviews, focus groups as well as key informant interviews will be applied (Klenke 2008, p. 112). The additional use of the existing literature from internet sources, articles, and journals will help enhance the triangulation process. Since this is a military organization, it is obvious that several bureaucratic processes are likely to detrimentally influence the research outcome.
The inception of the study process, particularly during the data collection stages, might be marred by diverse restrictions emanating from various management and military regulations. However, to tackle this challenge, the researcher will ensure that there is a comprehensive initial entry permit and an introductory letter that will enhance the research process and be more acceptable within the navy academy. Shyness to disclose certain information by junior officers or trainees to be enrolled in the study is likely to be incurred (Walliman 2006, p. 90). This is because of the eminent military restrictions as well as regulations that might hinder the process. Additionally, the junior officers might be reluctant to provide certain information regarding their perceptions and opinions on the type of leadership they are managed under. The researcher is, therefore, more likely to integrate more persuasive interviewing methods. In addition, the application of probing skills during interviews will enhance the data extraction methods as well as its quality and reliance (Shamoo & Resnik 2009, p. 35).
Inadequate legal and ethical provisions during research might compromise the process and its outcomes. Issues regarding ethics and informed consent must be considered and addressed appropriately within the study. The basic objectives of the research will be explained to the participants while highlighting to them the importance of the research and their participation benefits (Klenke 2008, p. 142). There will also be an adequate assurance of confidentiality for the participants. All the participants must be assured their confidentiality to freely and willingly participate and corporate in giving or disclosing the required information.
Other difficulties that might arise in the course of the study include financial constraints that may emanate from the intensive operations and paperwork involved in the study (Larsen 2010, p. 114). Logistical issues and training of the research assistants also include potential challenges that must be adequately addressed to ensure proper results. To address these imminent challenges, the investigator will seek and advocate for external funding from possible and potential donors. In accomplishing this task, the researcher will have to draft a funding proposal for the research, requesting funds from key stakeholders and donors within the area.
As an investigative study, the proposed research discerns an effective leadership approach appropriate in the Colombian Navy Academy. Most organizations establish and nurture their leaders with exceptional attributes and traits. Similarly, nearly all the public and private sectors recognize the importance of investing in proper and effective leadership. Concurrently, this situation is similar and relevant to the Colombian Navy Academy. The proposed research is meant to identify effective leadership provisions necessary for the navy academy. Additionally, it aims to answer critical questions concerning the desired leadership type, superiority, and traits notable among the navy officers irrespective of their ranks. The research relies on the triangulation approach since it seeks to utilize both qualitative and quantitative strategies. Concurrently, the research will observe other critical legal and ethical concerns. Generally, it is noteworthy to indicate that the study will assume an explorative approach with definite sampling to address the mentioned objectives and research questions.
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