Talent Management and Leadership

174 views 14 pages ~ 3637 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

Leaders in an organization must direct and guide their followers while also acknowledging their positions as crucial to the establishment's success. There is a healthy link between leaders and followers, as well as a clear distinction between management and leadership (Miner 2015). Leadership can be defined as a person or group of people who are responsible for supporting others through fostering beneficial change, sound decision making, and motivation. Leaders are one of the most important success factors in organizational management. Klenke (2016) explains that an effective leader establishes goals that make him/her lead by exemplar, present clear direction, and delegate the team`s effort against achievement. Motivation and leadership styles vary with individual, it is important for organisation managers to be familiar with and understand different aspects of leadership, particularly how leadership affects workplaces (Craighead & Nemeroff 2002). Nevertheless, the role of followers is just as important since leaders do not exist without followers (Amar & Hlupic 2016, p. 239). In the management agenda of tourism and hospitality organisations, human resources (HR) managers identify that being productive leaders who manage the different expectations and needs of a diverse and multi-generational workforce is the biggest challenge. Regardless of this situation, the views of managers are split regarding the need and the success of attempts in managing such a diverse workforce with the application of various leadership and followership models. Hollander (2013) also states that succession planning and talent management have moved from sixth to the third position in the list of human resource challenges in public organisations. To further discuss and build on previous research, this analysis discusses leadership theories and the relationship between organisation leaders and their followers. It places emphasis on Lewin's Leadership Theory, Hershey and Blanchard's situational theory of leadership, and the Friedman Leadership Model. All these aspects are geared towards establishing concepts in leadership and talent management in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Leadership and Followership

There is a clear operational relationship between leaders and their followers, and the dynamics determining the association is critical to the function of any organisation. Leaders need followers and they cannot function without their dedication and respect. A leader can have many subordinates or followers in the workplace but with the lack of respect, there is no progress. As emphasised by Epitropaki, Kark, Mainemelis & Lord (2017) a leader can have subordinates without a following since like trust, following needs to be earned. It is significant for leaders and followers to have an efficient mode of communication and collaboration for them to establish a good working environment. Leaders need to assist followers in making independent judgments for them to feel that they can adequately contribute to the workplace. A leader should be able to see possibilities in every individual, which helps in determining what it takes to inspire the staff (Van Vugt & Grabo 2015, p. 490).

Apart from the essential relationship between followers and their leaders, there are certain people who can be good followers. An effective follower is attributed with many roles. Followers can be creative and think critically both inside and outside the box. In addition, they can independently manage themselves when situations requiring minimal supervision arise, and they have incredible commitment to their assigned duties. Companies choose to cultivate valuable followers by instituting leaderless environments and training programs (Epitropaki, Kark, Mainemelis & Lord 2017, p. 120). Various researches have been conducted to further develop theories on leadership and followership.

Evidence and Relevance of Research of the Theories of Leadership and Followership

As illustrated in a variety of research, there is a clear division between the role of a leader and that of a follower (Craighead & Nemeroff 2002). The relationship between a leader and a follower can be explained further by observing the leadership and followership theories.

Lewin's Leadership Theory

Day, Fleenor, Atwater, Sturm & McKee (2014) carried out a study on leadership theories and produced an influential study that confirmed the three major leadership styles discussed by Lewin that include authoritarian, democratic and laissez-fair leader. The authors illustrate that autocratic leaders, also known as authoritarian leaders provide workers with clear expectations of their duties, including the time that it should be done, and the means of accomplishing the tasks. Boezeman & Ellemers (2014) assert to these sentiments and argue that authoritarian leaders have the tendency to make decisions independently with little or no input from other members of the staff, specifically, their subordinates. As the authors state, authoritarian form of leadership should only be applied to situations that do not allow enough time for discussions and group decision-making even when the leader is the most learned individual in the team. Thus, the literatures suggest that leaders should make all effort to make their subordinates feel more relevant and become followers with a united goal.

Another study by Engelbrecht, Heine & Mahembe (2015) illustrates that democratic leader’s issue guidance to members of a group as they also actively participate in the discussions and work progress while allowing input from all group members. The authors agree with Lewin's findings, that members of this group may be less productive than those of the authoritarian group, but they have much higher quality contributions. Humphrey, Pollack, & Hawver (2008) also present a study that indicates that participative leadership encourages group participation as leaders retain the final say in regards to decision-making. It is evident that the above researchers emphasise that group members in democratic leadership are more engaged which increases their motivation and creativity. Creative and motivated workers are followers and not just subordinates. Lastly, Garg & Dhar (2016) discuss delegative leaders or laissez-fair leaders who offer no guidance or sometimes little guidance to members of their group as they also leave them to make the ultimate decisions. Humphrey, Pollack, & Hawver (2008) indicate that this form of leadership is practiced by leaders who have followers that can be fully relied on; however, it can lead to poorly defined responsibilities. Zach (2016) indicates that laissez-fair leadership style is effective in situations where all group members have recommendable qualifications.

Hershey and Blanchard's situational theory of leadership

Situational leadership theory introduced by Hersey and Blanchard's (1969) extended the managerial grid approach of Blake and Mouton by incorporating the maturity level of the group as a situational variable. The theory implies that the style of a leader should emphasie relations-oriented or task-oriented behaviors, depending on the ability and willingness of a group in performing a task. Hollander (2013) discusses this idea and mentions that groups mature in a life cycle from unwilling and unable, to willing and unable, to unwilling and able, and finally to willing and able. Respectively, Leroy, Anseel, Gardner & Sels (2015) initiates extensive research on the leadership styles that include task-oriented task, task- and relation-oriented task, relation-oriented task, and a low task- and relation oriented behaviors, which are also known as telling style, selling style, participating style, and a delegating style respectively. However, there are many criticisms regarding this theory due to conceptual ambiguities, lack of an empirical and logical foundation for the maturity life cycle construct of the group as well as little evidence on its empirical validity (Leroy, Anseel, Gardner & Sels 2015, p. 1677-1680). Nevertheless, as observed by Humphrey, Pollack & Hawver (2008) the model is immensely popular in practice and forms the basis of many training programs that enhance leadership skills.

Friedman Leadership Model

Family systems mode of thinking centers on the role of the family as a basic unit. The model signifies a step forward from the previous individualised model of therapy that had a focus on the symptomatic family member, to the behavior and function of people in relational systems (Chemers 2014). The fundamental premise of the model is that every family member has a role to play in the functioning of the other family members. Kezar (2004) indicates that this family system is highly relevant as it can be observed in an organisation where the functioning of each team member plays a major role in the functioning of persons from other groups in the organisation. Unlike in other models, this theory gives much relevance to the issue of leadership presence in a family or organization Lussier & Achua (2015) also stress on this idea and argue that presence is the trail of focus, energy, confidence, bearing, poise, and calmness one leaves wherever they go – an essence, spirit, sentimental impact that develops an organization. Presence of leadership in talent management is a result of emotional maturity, the readiness to take responsibility for one's destiny and emotional being, the decisive variable in a leader`s success (Marianne Tromp & Jan Blomme 2014). Many researchers view Friedman's leadership model as superior because it takes the authority issues of individuals into account, and guides leaders in how to be talent managers as well as continually be a mature and more effective leader (Guenole, Chernyshenko, Stark & Drasgow 2015, p. 439).

As illustrated in the various articles, the leadership style effect in terms of employee engagement and involvement by utilizing talents helps motivate the employees as they also share their varying knowledge at an individual and organisational level to increase effectiveness and initiate a change process. This idea resembles Kezar's (2004) notion that the main role of leadership is facilitating employee involvement and sharing of knowledge to empower an organization. Hence, the research stresses the importance of all organisations to increase management and employee participation as well as promote change awareness and phases for an organisation. All these factors are interrelated for the success of any organisation (Hollander 2013).

Application of Theories of Leadership and Followership

Developing and Retaining Talent

As Swanson (2014) stresses, once human resource managers have identified the most significant talent that leads and implements the strategy of an organisation and have geared the recruitment process to be in line with that, they now need to develop the talent. A talent that is an active part of a management strategy requires leaders and managers at every organisation level to be fully committed to developing it. Senior leaders and the board should ensure talent strategies are aligned to the objectives and strategies of the business. As emphasised in the democratic and laissez-fair leader model of Lewin's Leadership Theory, these leaders should foster a culture in which workforce specialists and human resources are valued for their combined and group contribution and where individuals assume responsibility for the management of their personal growth (Parker, Holesgrove & Pathak 2015, p. 112-128).

As explained by Boella & Goss-Turner (2013) organisations in the tourism and hospitality industry should continue to adhere to Lewin's Leadership model through constantly developing people`s talent identified in the organisations. This enables them to be responsive to change and keep the leadership talent future-focused and agile. Consequently, as leaders move through to senior positions in the organisation, the focus should be less emphasised on their extensive potential and more on their degree of ‘stretch' or ‘fit' in relation to particular leadership roles. Also, by utilizing Hershey and Blanchard's situational theory of leadership model to make use of hospitality and tourism leadership talent, developing leaders focus need to shift from the business know-how and technical functionality to conceptual and strategic thinking and the ability to deal with ambiguity and complexity. Similar to what Hollander (2013) notes, organizations that develop employee talent through the above models of leadership, particularly when focusing on the leaders of the future, include the opportunity to shed the view of the company after experiencing experiential learning, and develop the understanding of individuals on the level challenges of a strategic system. All successful organisations in the hospitality industry should do this when appointing director posts, taking the consultant out of their area of expertise to perfect their leadership skills in an unfamiliar area of hospitality practice. The identification and corresponding development of ‘high potential' talent in the hospitality and tourism industry have always been a central strategic tool (Zach 2016, p. 273). A survey conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership observing the ‘leadership talent pipeline' view established that people that are officially identified to have high potential expect more support, development, and investment; are impressed by their (though some felt anxious and pressured); are more engaged and committed; and assist in developing other forms of talent within the institution (Campbell and Smith 2014). Besides offering constant development to persons with high potential, the organisations need to consider establishing a clear leadership path that describes how the employees will assume the next step, giving them increased performance feedback, especially for enhanced decision-making authority and extended development roles. Kara, Uysal, Sirgy & Lee (2013) also confirms that organizations need to emphasise on developing the leadership skills of staff with high potential.

However, Koyuncu, Burke, Astakhova, Eren & Cetin (2014) who embrace the ideals of Confucianism argue that the relationship between leaders and their followership should be enhanced by ensuring that an organisation develops the talent of all its staff – not just persons identified to have ‘high potential'. This is important and mandatory since if the management of talent is seen to apply only to certain individuals, it would be seen as an authoritarian model of Lewin's Leadership Theory, and thus majority of the staff not identified persons with high potential will certainly loose moral. The collective theories of leadership and followership advocate that we regard the employees of the organisation as the significant lot or the ‘vital many' since they matter, and the company invests in them and cares for them. The performance of any one institute does not rest on the quality or number of individual leaders; this research indicates that where employee relationships at every level are fully developed, the organisation can benefit from commitment, vision, and alignment. Where there is a collective leadership culture, all employees are likely to intervene to guarantee the quality of care, solve problems, promote a responsible working environment, and guarantee safe innovation. It is also important to recognise the diversity of the potential pool of talent and ensure a rigorous process that treats all people as unique individuals rather than as a homogenous group (Boezeman & Ellemers 2014). Moreover, it is advisable to coach leaders on how best they can initiate more effective dialogue about talent, actively discussing it at every organization level. As emphasised by the Friedman Leadership Model, it is critical to consider the role of every one individual. Hence, in talent management, there needs to be a structured development that focuses on the process and strategies as well as value creation (Northouse 2015). For an organization to be viable, it is significant that managers come up with differing strategies that take in innovation, quality improvement and customer need and that there exists the knowledge and skills to achieve them. Additionally, as noted by Gardner (1991) it is essential to focus on the behaviors of employees as well as their intrapersonal and interpersonal activities, and on creating appropriate employee value proposition that will engage talented individuals.

Deployment of Talent

The fundamental principle of a sustainable and productive approach to talent management in the hospitality and tourism industry is to employ people with the right commitments, motivations, and capabilities to help deliver and lead the strategies set by the business (Miska, Hilbe, & Mayer 2014). High-performing organisations need to purposefully and continuously foster this sustainability and ensure that their decisions regarding deployment are aligned with the strategy and vision of their organization. As Bharwani & Jauhari (2013) state most organisations are known to have a high challenge and low-support culture. If emerging and junior leaders are seen as likely leaders and senior managers of the future, it is imperative to consider what their experience is teaching them. The senior leaders and chief executives have an essential role in encouraging managers to share talent across the organisations and assuming linear progression and thinking in silos (Lussier & Achua 2015). Employers can accomplish this by shifting leadership roles and supporting stretch assignments, giving persons who have potential leadership talent the chance to seal gaps in a different system or part of the organization or lead change and innovation. For instance, a head of the department in a tourism company can identify a driver with skills that can enable him to work as a workforce specialist or chief operating officer. Successful exploitation of talent at the workforce is about rethinking your view of the staff and embracing leadership and followership theories that make use of employee`s critical thinking and unique abilities (Chemers 2014). Employees are not assets that need managing in an authoritarian way but rather individuals with options who have decided to invest their time, motivations, and aspirations with your organization and who expect respect as well as a reasonable return on their investment in the form of opportunities and personal growth.

Businesses should consider offering their employees stretch opportunities within the company to allow individuals that feel motivated to work a certain number of days per week in a completely different department or discipline. It will enable them to explore their intellectual flexibility, their transferable skills, and offers a chance to expand their leadership skills (Craighead & Nemeroff 2002). Boards of companies need to be aware of its duties as the main influencer of a talent empowerment and in creating a culture of developing, nurturing and deploying talent (Fairhurst & Connaughton 2014, p. 7-35). The company should also communicate the substance of collective leadership by equipping leaders with the necessary skills to make them feel comfortable and confident when making employment decisions.


Tourism and hospitality organizations use different organisational models of leadership and followership to increase productivity and stay ahead of the competition. This research expounds on the functions of both leaders and followers in enabling the operations of an organisation by building on three theories that include Lewin's Leadership Theory, Hershey and Blanchard's situational theory of leadership, and the Friedman Leadership Model. A follower is not a mindless being who does not think and does whatever is expected of him/her. Effective followers are both necessary and essential to the proper functioning of any firm. This study associates a positive impact of leadership style on talent management within tourism and hospitality organisations on the applicability of the above models. Available research on leadership and followership theories affirm that the best applicability of the models requires leaders and employees at each phase of the model to be one unit for effective performance. All of the studies analysed show that effective leadership that improves followership is the key success factor. The study indicates that employee involvement and leadership style encourage an effective organization change process.


Amar, A. D., & Hlupic, V. (2016). Leadership for knowledge organizations. (European Journal of Innovation Management), 19(2): 239-260.

Bharwani, S., & Jauhari, V. (2013). An exploratory study of competencies required to co-create memorable customer experiences in the hospitality industry. (International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management), 25(6): 823-843.

Boella, M., & Goss-Turner, S. (2013). Human resource management in the hospitality industry: A guide to best practice. UK: Routledge.

Boezeman, E. J., & Ellemers, N. (2014). Volunteer leadership: The role of pride and respect in organizational identification and leadership satisfaction. (Leadership), 10(2): 160-173.

Campbell, M., & Smith, R. (2014). High Potential Talent. Center for Creative Leadership, 30p.

Chemers, M. (2014). An integrative theory of leadership. UK: Psychology Press.

Craighead, W. E., & Nemeroff, C. B. (Eds.). (2002). The Corsini encyclopedia of psychology and behavioral science (Vol. 4). NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Day, D. V., Fleenor, J. W., Atwater, L. E., Sturm, R. E., & McKee, R. A. (2014). Advances in leader and leadership development: A review of 25years of research and theory. (The Leadership Quarterly), 25(1): 63-82.

Engelbrecht, A. S., Heine, G., & Mahembe, B. (2015). The influence of integrity and ethical leadership on trust in the leader. (Management Dynamics: Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists), 24(1): 2-10.

Epitropaki, O., Kark, R., Mainemelis, C., & Lord, R. G. (2017). Leadership and followership identity processes: A multilevel review. (The Leadership Quarterly), 28(1): 104-129.

Fairhurst, G. T., & Connaughton, S. L. (2014). Leadership: A communicative perspective. (Leadership), 10(1): 7-35.

Gardner, J. W. (1991). John W. Gardner on leadership. VA: National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Garg, S., & Dhar, R. L. (2016). Extra-Role Customer Service: The Roles of Leader–Member Exchange (LMX), Affective Commitment, and Psychological Empowerment. (International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration), 17(4): 373-396.

Guenole, N., Chernyshenko, O., Stark, S., & Drasgow, F. (2015). Are predictions based on situational judgement tests precise enough for feedback in leadership development? (European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology), 24(3): 433-443.

Hollander, E. P. (2013). Organizational leadership and followership. Social Psychology at Work Psychology Revivals. (Essays in Honour of Michael Argyle), 69.

Humphrey, R. H., Pollack, J. M., & Hawver, T. (2008). Leading with emotional labor. (Journal of managerial psychology), 23(2): 151-168.

Kara, D., Uysal, M., Sirgy, M. J., & Lee, G. (2013). The effects of leadership style on employee well-being in hospitality. (International Journal of Hospitality Management), 34: 9-18.

Kezar, A. (2004). Philosophy, leadership, and scholarship: Confucian contributions to a leadership debate. (Leadership Review), 4(1): 110-131.

Klenke, K. (Ed.). (2016). Qualitative research in the study of leadership. UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Koyuncu, M., J. Burke, R., Astakhova, M., Eren, D., & Cetin, H. (2014). Servant leadership and perceptions of service quality provided by front-line service workers in hotels in Turkey: achieving competitive advantage. (International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management), 26(7): 1083-1099.

Leroy, H., Anseel, F., Gardner, W. L., & Sels, L. (2015). Authentic leadership, authentic followership, basic need satisfaction, and work role performance: A cross-level study. (Journal of Management), 41(6): 1677-1697.

Lussier, R. N., & Achua, C. F. (2015). Leadership: Theory, application, & skill development. Canada: Nelson Education.

Marianne Tromp, D., & Jan Blomme, R. (2014). Leadership style and negative work-home interference in the hospitality industry. (International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management), 26(1): 85-106.

Miner, J. B. (2015). Organizational behavior 1: Essential theories of motivation and leadership. UK: Routledge.

Miska, C., Hilbe, C., & Mayer, S. (2014). Reconciling different views on responsible leadership: A rationality-based approach. (Journal of Business Ethics), 125(2): 349-360.

Northouse, P. G. (2015). Leadership: Theory and practice. CA: Sage publications.

Parker, D. W., Holesgrove, M., & Pathak, R. (2015). Improving productivity with self-organised teams and agile leadership. (International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management), 64(1): 112-128.

Swanson, D. L. (2014). Images of the Self: Toward a Model of CSR Leadership. In Embedding CSR into Corporate Culture (pp. 13-33). UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Van Vugt, M., & Grabo, A. E. (2015). The many faces of leadership: an evolutionary-psychology approach. (Current Directions in Psychological Science), 24(6): 484-489.

Zach, F. (2016). Collaboration for innovation in tourism organizations: leadership support, innovation formality, and communication. (Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research), 40(3): 271-290.

May 24, 2023

Life Economics Business

Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Business Success
Verified writer

Nixxy is accurate and fun to cooperate with. I have never tried online services before, but Nixxy is worth it alone because she helps you to feel confident as you share your task and ask for help. Amazing service!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro

Similar Categories