Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Situational Leadership

Situational leadership is based on the theory that effective leadership requires an appropriate response based on rational understanding for each unique situation. A situational leadership style is classified as a contingency or behavioral theory that centralizes the leader behavior as either task of people focused. To establish a relationship between a situational leader and follower, key factors such as level of maturity or readiness of the follower need to be accounted for (McCleskey, 2014).

In seeking to comprehend organizational management, researchers have examined and implied that there is no one certain leadership style that works for every type of situation. Situational leadership is a combination of three major features: relational concerns, leader direction, and motivational level of followers. Situational leaders place attention on the functionality of the environment, such as maturity and follower psychological state. By focusing on the members’ well-being, it will create an effective relationship between leader and follower. A situational leader and their follower’s relationship are considered individualized under this type of model. A manager at a work environment needing to adjust for a disabled employee is an example of a situational leader. As a leader, the manager must place a unique situational approach to the needs and functional capabilities between the disabled employee and workplace. The leader should be fluid and adjust toward the needs of the disabled employee. In order to fulfill the needs of a disabled employee, a situational leadership style framework must be implemented. A situational leader will recognize the capacities of a disabled employee and provide a level of comfort, security, and understanding for the employee (Cubero, 2007).

Resources for Understanding Occupational/Organizational Stress

Stafyla, A., Kaltsidou, G., & Spyridis, N. (2013). Gender differences in work stress, related to organizational conflicts and organizational constrains: An empirical research. International Journal Of Economic Sciences & Applied Research, 6(1), 91-101.

The author of this study explains that stress is normal and routine within workplaces. The study was conducted of 231 Greek adults within different workplaces, using a poll research to collect data. The average age of the 231 volunteer Greek adults was 37.5 years. 94 respondents were men, and 137 were women. The study was done to examine ways in which different gender types witness stress. The test employees completed a questionnaire with two different scales of measurement that consisted of 15 questions. The results of the study found that men express stress differently than women. Men express work stress in an organization constraint scale and not just interpersonal. Men are involved in more disagreements and treated with rudeness more often than women. In addition, men have a more difficult time completing work task due to incorrect instructions, inadequate equipment, or lack of information. Based on this information, the author concludes that how organizations function may be the differentiator between genders and how they express stress.

Considering the study was conducted during an economic crisis, it may have been best if the study were not completed within the workplace as there may have been increased fear and stress of a layoff. Another limitation to this study was that there was a lack of questionnaire validation of the American translation into Greek. In addition, the study was not conducted by analyzing workplace satisfaction and workplace stress or by considering work ethic, reward, and whether or not employees were regarded for their efforts. Monitoring the work ethic would help in understanding individual responses to work demands and organization attachments, aspirations, dedications, and expectations. The study failed to include information for understanding the femininity and masculinity type of individuals outside of gender. The study should be examined again in the future considering these setbacks.
The authors’ findings could be beneficial in understanding and reacting to different gender types within organizations. Based on similar stress studies, this study is unique in identifying gender-specific stressors and concerns. The research can be useful in understanding welfare issues and stress prevention. Considering men and women are naturally different in nature, this study was successful in identifying whether or not their differences would affect their stress levels in the workplace. A future study could further analyze gender stress within an organization by including the relationship between workplace satisfaction and stress levels.

 

Mirela, B., & Madalina-Adriana, C. (2011). Organizational stress and its impact on work performance. Annals Of The University Of Oradea, Economic Science Series, 333-337.

This study examines how an economic crisis affects managers and entrepreneurs’ stress levels. The author explains that work related stress is a growing concern, and excessive stress can influence productivity. The study included Romanian managers and entrepreneurs from Bihor County. The research method used was an online questionnaire, which included 75 managers and entrepreneurs. 40% of the respondents were entrepreneurs, and 60% were managers at all levels. In addition, 40% of the respondents were women and 60% were men. Ages ranged between 18 – 64 years with 73% of the respondents being within the 18 – 24 age range. Each participant answered 35 structured questions about stress. The conclusion of the study was that organizational stress is produced by a multitude of outside influences including social status, family, relationships, and personal problems. 85% of the respondents considered work to be the main factor in their stress lives.

The study can be used to develop professional skills of managers and entrepreneurs. By promoting their skills, leaders can be prepared to adapt to new technologies in the organization. The study failed to examine the social status, education, and family matters of the respondents. The study also did not mention the work environment, whether or not the work was fast or slow paced, external stress factors, how the respondents interact with one another, or how the respondents perceived stress and their work task. Knowing this information would show how different situations influence respondent’s perception of stress in their organization.

The authors did consider many factors during their study, and the results were informative in highlighting how common stress is within organizations. Moreover, the results were impressive at presenting the number of respondents who came to the realization that they had no measure of combating their stress. By further demographically segmenting users, the study would show better results that could be filtered by the respondent’s social status and personal stress factors. The study was successful at examining stress from a different perspective of leadership type versus employee outlook. Considering leaders have different stressors than employees, this information can be useful in creating or improving leaders’ health and satisfaction within the workplace.

 

Yong, M., Nasterlack, M., Pluto, R., Lang, S., & Oberlinner, C. (2013). Occupational stress perception and its potential impact on work ability. Work, 46(3), 347-354. doi:10.3233/WOR-121556

The study was conducted to examine perceived employee stress levels with different occupations measured by the Work Ability Index (WAI). The study was done to investigate the impact of stress and workability. The study was completed through a survey questionnaire among 867 volunteer participants in Ludwigshafen, Germany. 653 of the participants completed the 38 close-ended questionnaires, which included questions directed at the individuals perception of safety in the workplace, health status, frequency of stress, job demands, time pressure, and work life balance. The study showed that occupational stress was perceived different within occupational groups. While some participants felt stress from health concerns, others felt stress tension from time pressure, and work life balance. Perceived occupational stress did show to have an impact on WAI.

A concern with the study is that the demographics of the users may have had an influence on the results. Among the 653 workers included in the analysis, 11% were managers, 39% skilled worked and 50% frontline operators. 80% of the managers and professionals were 40 and over in age, and only 20% were women in administration and 10% in management. Combined with additional studies, the results have been inconclusive, and this may be attributed to the employee’s occupational status. The study failed to mention the hours worked by respondents, the social status, lifestyle, or if they had health issues that may influence the results. Considering the study was given to only volunteers, rather than random selection, the results were likely not as effective or reliable.

The authors are experienced leaders and educators with previously published work on a similar organizational stress subject that focuses on occupational stress perception and its impact on employee’s health. The research and study done by the authors did present good material, particularly in examining the respondent’s perception of stress. However, without properly examining the lifestyle, and social status of the respondents, it would be difficult to validate the points within this study. Nonetheless, because of the vast number of respondents, the study was successful with comparing personal pressures, and perception of the respondents to organizational stress.

Innovative Entrepreneurs

The ingredients of an entrepreneur include an appetite for risk and the ability to spot opportunities, and a minimum of red tape and other procedural hurdles (Can startups help turn the tide?, 2012). Hunter (2012) states that the propensity to take financial, family or career risks are often attributed to entrepreneurs. However, while entrepreneurs generally take risk involving business opportunities, innovators are risk takers that continually practice and challenge status quo. Innovators accomplish this by having the ability to successfully connect seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas from different fields (Dyer, Gregersen, & Christensen, 2009). A company must have both entrepreneurs and innovators in order to remain relevant within their industry. While the entrepreneur may know what decisions need to be made, the innovator understands how to make them work for a purpose. Innovation is almost always a total company effort (Why true innovators must behave like entrepreneurs, 2012). A company that does not produce or motivate innovation, will eventually fail to companies that do.

Innovative entrepreneurs are more likely to challenge assumptions. Innovative entrepreneurs have something called creative intelligence, which enables discovery yet differs from other types of intelligence (Dyer, Gregersen, & Christensen, 2009). It is more than the cognitive skill of being right-brained. Innovators engage both sides of the brain as they leverage the five discovery skills to create new ideas.

Entrepreneurship is about being able to discover a business opportunity and innovation is in building the opportunity. Working as a marketing consultant and developer, I have seen hundreds of business startups fail after taking a risk to begin entrepreneurship. They have failed because of their lack in innovation. It’s easy for these entrepreneurs to see the opportunity, but most don’t know how to build it. Hunter (2012) explains it best in that very little innovation is generated by start-up ventures.

Credits

Dyer, J. H., Gregersen, H. B., & Christensen, C. M. (2009). The innovator’s DNA. Harvard Business Review, 87(12), 1–9.

Why true innovators must behave like entrepreneurs [Editorial]. (2012). Marketing Week, 35(31), 10.

Hunter, M. (2012). On some of the misconceptions about entrepreneurship. Economics, Management, and Financial Markets, 7(2), 55–104.

Can startups help turn the tide? (2012). Harvard Business Review, 90(9), 30–31.

The Hill consulting group Group. (2006) Leadership Self Assessment Retrieved from http://www.hillconsultinggroup.org/assets/pdfs/leadership-assessment. pdf

Conclusion of Leadership Theories

My four latest blog post (authentic leadership, situational leadership, servant leadership, leader member exchange) have evaluated the nature of leadership styles and their theories. Servant leadership theory has suggested that servant leaders are leaders who naturally have a desire to serve first and aspire others to lead. Leader-member exchange theories suggest that a mutual exchange between leader and follower can produce loyal and committed relationships. Authentic leadership has promoted the notion that leaders should be self-aware, honest, and transparent. A Situational leader theory suggests that leadership roles vary, and each unique situation needs a unique solution. In order to inspire, innovative, and produce creativity within an organization, leaders should be aware and mindful of their followers’ perception of them. Each of these theories focuses on building trust through a mutually beneficial relationship between leaders and followers.

 

Credits for blogs

Avolio, B., & Gardner, W. (2005). Authentic leadership development: getting to the root of positive forms of leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 16, 315-338. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2005.03.001

Avolio, B. J., Walumbwa, F. O., & Weber, T. J. (2009). Leadership: current theories , research, and future directions. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 421–449.  doi:10.1177/0149206310393520

Cubero, C. G. (2007). Situational leadership and persons with disabilities. Work29(4), 351-356. Retrieved from

Fred O. Walumbwa, Bruce J. Avolio, William L. Gardner, Tara S. Wernsing, and Suzanne J. Peterson. (2008). Authentic Leadership: Development and Validation of a Theory-Based Measure†. Journal of Management. doi:10.1177/0149206307308913

Graeff, C. L. (1997). Evolution of situational leadership theory: A critical review. The Leadership Quarterly, 8(2), 153-170. doi:10.1016/S1048-9843(97)90014-X

Graen, G.B. and Uhl-Bien, M. (1995). Relationship-Based Approach to Leadership: Development and Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory of Leadership over 25 Years: Applying a Multi-Level Multi-Domain Perspective. Leadership Quarterly, 6, 219-247. doi: 10.1016/1048-9843(95)90036-5

Hassanzadeh, J. F. (2014). Leader-member Exchange and Creative Work Involvement: The Importance of Knowledge Sharing. Iranian Journal Of Management Studies7(2), 391-412. Retrieved from http://ijms.ut.ac.ir/

Klenke, K. (2007). Authentic leadership: A self, leader, and spiritual identity perspective. International Journal of Leadership Studies, 3(1), 68-97. Retrieved from http://www.regent.edu

Liden, R.C., Wayne, S.J., Liao, C., & Meuser, J.D. (2014). Servant leadership and serving culture: Influence on individual and unit performance. Academy of Management Journal, 57, 1434-1452. doi:10.5465/amj.2013.0034

McCleskey, J. A. (2014). Situational, Transformational, and Transactional Leadership and Leadership Development. Journal Of Business Studies Quarterly5(4), 117-130. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu

Northouse, P.G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Sendjaya, S., & Sarros, J. C. (2002). Servant leadership: Its origin, development, and application in organizations. Journal of Leadership and Organization Studies, 9(2), 57-64. doi: 10.1177/107179190200900205

Bottom of the Pyramid Markets

The goal of developing and growing bottom of the pyramid (BOP) markets is to create mutual value between businesses and the community. To market within the BOP market, radical innovation is necessary in order to modify products and make them affordable for people of all income levels. The problem with this strategy, however, is that companies often fail to consider the perspective of the poor themselves. Businesses that mainly focus on top of the pyramid (TOP) markets are more likely to fail within the BOP market, as products created for the rich are not suitable to the poor. Consequently, the BOP market requires company’s to create unique business strategies for the BOP market in order to produce effective results.
 
Within the BOP market, companies have to determine new solutions on attracting the consumer and then provide an affordable solution. To get products to the BOP markets, company’s can consider the sachet revolution; a marketing approach used to package items within sachets that make them affordable to the poor. Additionally, companies should partner with local leaders within BOP markets to help with implementing a strategy. Microsoft is a company that generates activities targeted at emerging markets including the BOP market. The company partners with local governments, organizations, educators, and community business leaders to implement software and hardware into employment areas and the education system to help improve lives. Nonetheless, there is no single solution for creating a successful BOP market strategy and achieving success. Technology, global standards, and global scales must all be utilized to help solve the poverty problem. Firms operating in the BOP market have to utilize unique strategies to reach the market and learn how to do more with less.    
 
Income, prices, savings, debt, and credit availability determine economic purchasing power. The economy has strong impacts on consumers and businesses that are geared at particular income-based segments of users. The goal of the marketing firm or marketing consultant is to develop strategies that influence consumer purchases. Consequently, the marketer is responsible for creating strategies that can reach the desired consumer no matter the income level or location. Although the BOP market does create risk and obstacles that may be outside of a marketer’s comfort level, it does not mean that the market should be avoided for an easier, more convenient market. Within a BOP market, firms and marketers need to innovate and create unique strategies and products that reach the market and consumers. Within innovation, markets get ignored and business, and individuals are left at a disadvantage.       
 
Information and communication technology (ICT) can assist with developing bottom of the pyramid (BOP) marketing goals. Company’s can achieve their BOP market goals by creating strong relationships and open communication between local partners within the BOP communities. ICT can contribute to economic development and poverty reduction. ITC assists individuals and companies grow their economy, build opportunity, and increase process efficiency. If people within BOP markets do not have the opportunity to take advantage of new ICT applications, they will be disadvantaged or excluded from participating within global communication. In many parts of the world, ICT contributes to revolutionary changes in businesses and everyday lives of the poor. Providing BOP markets with the opportunity to use technology to communicate with one another and across the globe creates strong social and economical impacts. However, corporations deal with many risks as they attempt to restructure their business strategies, processes, and implementation into BOP markets.   

Creating a professional brand image

Creating a professional image

A good graphic artist will understand that business logos are not just for multi-national corporations. Graphics are for any enterprise that wants to present a professional image and customer recognition for a job (otherwise known as branding).

Your logo works for you on your business cards, stationery for your company, invoices and receipts, your business’ publications, and of course ads. A good business logo design helps your customers remember your business and many people remember images better than they remember the words.

Decision Support Systems

A Decision Support Systems (DDS) assist in reducing time needed in manual searching of information. DSS gives the ability for results to be returned at faster than human speeds. DSS is a flexible interactive IT system designed to assist non-structured decision making problems. Advantages of DSS include, increased productivity, understanding, speed, flexibility, and reduced cost. DSSs are information systems that support decision-making processes. Objective of DSSs is to enhance the effectiveness of decision-makers. Functions that DSS assist with include data storage, retrieval, manipulation, and small calculations. A crucial point of DSS is its ability to react to changes and situations quickly. DSS can be used to assist in solving many different promising diverse alternatives to problems.
 
DSS is when an individual performs decision related task. The goal of DSSs is to assist the decision maker in improving their effectiveness. Enhancing the decision maker’s insights and knowledge does this. Decision-making is dependent upon knowing past, present, and likely future situations. Information systems should have the ability to forecast the future based on probability.
 
Often a DSS will incorporate an expert system (ES). While a DSS requires the decision maker to have knowledge and expertise about the situation, an ES only requires facts and symptoms to provide solutions to problems. In a replacement role, an ES helps with improving efficiency of decision makers. ES tools are used to mainly support and assist with problems and not replace the decision maker. ES is a system that assists with reaching conclusions based on reasoning. These types of systems are useful for diagnostic and prescriptive type problems. In a support role, an ES can be known as an expert advisory. DSS generally has three components: model management, data management, and user interface management. Model management provides information to the decision makers. Data management assists with customer and product information. User interface management helps the decision makers access the information. ES tools, if used to replace human decision makers, have been shown to be just as effective, if not better than a human. Organizations should not rely on ES tools to improve the efficiency of the decision maker. 
 
The marketing firm that I am researching could use DSS to analyze its customer marketing performance and create effective strategies based on that information. Considering the organization uses tracking and monitoring tools to view its customer data, it should use DSS to highlight opportunities for each unique customer. Currently, its customers each have similar goals and processes that are used to generate sales. However, with implementing DSS, it could help in developing unique plans and goals for the customers instead of one universal marketing method. 

Economic and Perceived Value Pricing

Real and Perceived Value
The price of a product is reflected based on the financial needs for growth and operation of the company, in addition to consumers’ perceived value of the product. Businesses have a goal of making a profit, which often requires selling items at a perceived value. Real and perceived values are different ways in which products are valued, which are generally based on economic impacts and competition. In addition, the relevancy to the consumer determines the value of the product. If the product or message is not relevant or does not affect the consumer personally, it will not be as effective as if it did.

Advantages and Disadvantages
Value pricing allows companies to influence consumer purchases by offering lower prices for competitive products. Real value is generally easier to measure than perceived value. Factors that increase the value of real value include the cost of labor, materials, marketing, shipping, and product development. Product distribution, marketing efforts, and brand value determine the products perceived value. For example if two competitors are to sell the exact same item, built exactly the same way, and from the same materials, it is likely that the company with the better brand value reputation can sell the item at a higher price because of the perceived value by the consumer. If the consumer perceives the value of the product high, the consumer will likely show more interest. The consumers’ perception of the company’s customer support, trust, loyalty, and product quality determine the products value.

Services and Products
Value pricing attracts value conscious customers. The actual cost of the product production determines the real values. In addition, the real value depends on the usefulness of the product to the consumer as well as the value of the product components. Perceived value is based on how much money the consumer or business believes the product is worth. It is the marketer’s responsibility to generate a positive perceived value of the company’s products. Whether marketing a service or a product, the results are similar in that both rely on the consumers’ perception of the company’s or individual’s expertise, quality, and reputation. In addition, both products and services have other components necessary to complete certain task. While a product may have additional parts and components, a service technician or company is likely to have to purchase tools, software, and other items necessary to complete the service.

Perceived value for individuals looking to invest into higher education tremendously affects the institutions price. Students and family perceive the value of the institution to be within the quality of the education. Consequently, the higher the perceived value of quality, the higher the cost of tuition. Research, however, has not proven a correlation between institutional cost and actual quality. Perceived value of an institution does correlate a student’s likelihood of enrollment. Perceived value of an education has three main factors, which include, quality, cost, and emotional attachment. Failing to satisfy either of these could jeopardize the student’s enrollment potential, as it will affect the students perceived value.

In marketing, generating excitement can also generate a sale and loyal customer. If a user is excited about a product, they may ignore the cost and quality factor. To enroll students into an institution, the marketing and sales team should seek to expose students to information and experiences that excites them and builds passion for the brand.

Real and perceived value offers many benefits to businesses and consumers. The impact of marketing and social networks real and perceived value in regards to marketing efforts is hard to determine. For instance, LinkedIn is a social network that is said to build business networks and promote expertise. However, it is difficult for a user to determine the real value of a paid account, free account, or whether the service is actually making a difference and producing what its purposed to do.

The LinkedIn site is available in 20 languages, and has 238 million users globally. The Internet-based service is similar to a Rolodex of business contacts. As a user, the platform may be a good place to build a brand, increase online visibility, and grow a professional network. It is the users responsibility to determine what the real value of the LinkedIn platform is based on their needs. Although the real value may be worth the free account, the perceived value could be priceless if the user uses the platform to truly build a network and search for a new career.

If an individual truly believes in the quality and value of a product or service, then the perceived value becomes more valuable than the real value. Online platforms, website, and social networking sites work just as traditional products and services regarding real and perceived value.

Business Crisis Management

Definition of crisis management

A crisis management is the way that a person or business handles an emergency. In a family, this could be a member having to suddenly go to the hospital because of an accident. In a business, a crisis can be anything from a defective product recall or an economic change that causes a drop in sales.

How crisis management relates to business

Within the marketing industry, having the ability to understand and react promptly when crisis arises is crucial for maintaining the businesses market share, trust, and reputation. Not managing a crisis properly can have the potential to damage carefully developed equity, and spoil consumers’ quality perception (Chen, Ganesan, & Liu, 2009).

Personal experience with crisis management

As an online marketer, I run into crisis management issues oftentimes on a weekly basis. Each week I monitor my clients websites ranking through analyzing Yahoo, Bing, and Google search engines for algorithm changes. It’s normal for search engines to change their algorithm and I do advise my clients that their website rank may change drastically if such a change occurs that may affect their website. Once this happens, a site that previously ranked on the first page could drop out of the search engine completed. As this occurs, It usually causes a loss in site traffic and sales. The solution to this is for me to research and analyze the issue, check whether it’s a search engine issue or a website issue and then correct or explain to the client that recovery is impossible.

Summary of About the Crisis Marketing and The Crisis of Marketing

This article focuses on the global economic-financial marketing crisis. According to the article, marketing may be just the solution for many companies to get out of the crisis, but what is sadder is that a lot of them do not realize it (Cornelia & Mihaela, 2011). The article tackles the subject of why marketing is needed within a failing economy and how to successfully implement new strategies to help increase and sustain profit and productivity.

Avoiding negative impacts of a crisis

Research has indicated that a proactive strategy may have positive consequences on consumer perception if the crisis is responded to with a constant, active, and firm response (Chen, Ganesan, & Liu, 2009). The business being affected should respond quickly to the crisis and should focus their attention on building and strengthening consumer trust. During a crisis, marketing strategies should be analyzed and focus on resonating emotionally with the consumer through a human, friendly language (Cornelia & Mihaela, 2011). Without proactively managing the crisis, the risk of negative impact rises.

 

Credits

Cornelia, M., & Mihaela, B. (2011). ABOUT THE CRISIS MARKETING AND THE CRISIS OF MARKETING. Journal Of Academic Research In Economics, 3(3), 311-316.

Chen, Y, Ganesan, S., & Liu, Y. (2009). Does a firm’s product-recall strategy affect its financial value? An examination of strategic alternatives during product-harm crises. Journal of Marketing, 73(6), 214–226.

Content Management Systems CMS

Stay Updated With a CMS

With some websites, having fresh content is mandatory to gain new and repeat clients. With a Content Management System (CMS), you can keep your site updated with the latest news articles, products, and services. You have full control over what you want to put on and take off your site.

Updating:

Your website needs to be easily upgraded with new content on a regular basis. A CMS gives you full control so that you can easily add new updates and blogs to your website without having to call a programmer to do it for you.

Results:

All content can be managed through a simple user interface that allows for quick task completion. The Administration area is easy for all to use, and can involve multiple access levels for various management controls.

With a CMS, you can easily implement and manage:

  • Article publishing
  • Website forums
  • Photo galleries
  • Surveys and polls
  • Projects
  • Interactive event calendars
  • Complex data entry forms
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