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Leadership in Hospitality Industry


In the  beginning  of  this  report  it  would  be  essential  to  say  what
leadership  is  and  its  history.  According  to  James  MacGregor   Burns,
“leadership is one of the most observed and least  understood  phenomena  on
earth”  (http://www.emeraldinsight.com).
The study of leadership has been important to humans since the dawn  of  the
civilization.  The  concepts  of  leadership,  leader,  and   follower   are
represented in Egyptian hieroglyphics written 5000 years  ago.  Between  400
and 300BC the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle wrote about  leadership
and  the   requirements,   characteristics,   and   education   of   leaders
Leadership is central to the human  condition  (Wren,  1995)  and  has  been
found to be important  to  all  societies,  although  specific  patterns  of
behavior    vary    over     time     and     across     cultures     (Bass,
Although we can see that leadership is being an ancient notion there was  no
evidence of existence of the word leadership in the English  language  until
the yearly nineteenth century. According to Bass (1990), the  appearance  of
the concept of leadership in  political,  sociological,  and  organizational
writings was usually  accompanied  by  a  unique  and  ambiguous  definition
(http://www.emeraldinsight.com). Bryman  (1992)  defines  leadership  as  “a
social process  in  which  leaders  influence  followers  to  achieve  group
goals”. Although leadership described in many cases as a  process,  most  of
the theories and researches look at the person to understand the  nature  of

History of leadership

Leadership can be defined by three phases:
         . Leader’s traits
         . Leader’s behaviors; and
         . Leader’s qualities
From the turn  of  the  twentieth  century  through  the  1940s,  leadership
research focused on identifying traits that distinguish  leaders  from  non-
leaders (http://www.emeraldinsight.com). As example we  can  see  Stogdill’s
review of the leader trait research.
This research was based on the idea that leaders were born,  not  made,  and
the key to success was simply in identifying those people who were  born  to
be great leaders  (http://www.emeraldinsight.com).  Nevertheless  a  lot  of
work was done to identify the trait,  the  research  failed  to  identify  a
universal set of traits that differentiated effective leaders.
In the early 1950s a second major thrust appeared.  This  thrust  looked  at
leader behaviors in an attempt to determine what successful leaders do,  not
how    they    look    to    others     (Halpin     and     Winer,     1957)
Two primary, independent factors were identified by these studies:
    . Consideration; and
    . Initiation structures.
“The impact of this work was in part the  notion  that  leadership  was  not
necessarily an inborn trait, but instead effective leadership methods  could
be taught to employees” (Saal and Knight, 1988). A lot of progress was  made
in identifying what behaviors differentiated leaders from followers so  that
the behaviors could be taught (http://www.emeraldinsight.com).
Another impact of this work has to do with the  broadening  of  management’s
focus to include both people-oriented activities  along  with  task-oriented
activities (http://www.emeraldinsight.com). These studies helped  categorize
leaders based on their behavior.
Another approach dealt with the interaction  between  the  leader’s  traits,
the leader’s behaviors,  and  the  situation  in  which  the  leader  exists
Contingency theories make the assumption that the effects of one variable
on leadership are contingent on other variables. In other words, meaning
that leadership could be different in every situation. Although he found
that certain leadership styles were more effective in certain situations,
the contingency approach was more theoretical.
Culture as well plays an important role in  leadership  research.  According
to Schein, 1985, culture related issues must be clearly identified in  order
for leaders to be successful. It is important to  notice  that  one  of  the
aspects of the culture is change. Therefore, leaders must be able  to  adapt
to the change in order to be more successful. Also some  words  have  to  be
said about culture management as another  important  aspect  of  leadership.
“Culture  management  deals  with  the  ability  of  leaders  to  know   and
understand what the organizational culture is,  modifying  that  culture  to
meet  the  needs  of   the   organization   as   it   progresses”   (Horner,
http://www.emeraldinsight.com). Therefore, it is obvious that  leaders  need
to work within the culture to be most successful.

Leadership and motivation

The study of motivation is extremely important as  all  the  above  theories
depend on it. This study “suggests that leadership is less  a  specific  set
of behaviors than  it  is  creating  an  environment  in  which  people  are
motivated to produce and in the direction of the  leader.  By  creating  the
right environment, one  in  which  people  want  to  be  involved  and  feel
committed  to  their  work,  leaders  are  able  influence  and  direct  the
activities  of  others”  (Horner,  http://www.emeraldinsight.com).  Herzberg
(1964) differentiated between  elements  in  the  work  place  that  led  to
employee satisfaction and elements that  led  to  employee  dissatisfaction.
These elements can be thought as motivators as employees  are  motivated  to
achieve them. For example, Herzberg labeled  hygiene  factors  as  they  are
necessary    to    keep    employees    from    dissatisfaction     (Horner,
Moreover, there are some need theories that people have  needs  for  certain
results. One of  these  theories  is  Maslow’s  hierarchy  of  needs,  which
suggests that some needs are more basic  than  the  others  and  people  are
motivated   to   satisfy   them   (Horner,   http://www.emeraldinsight.com).
Certainly, work satisfy some of these  needs,  but  some  people  have  more
advanced needs and it is essential to know whether leaders  can  develop  an
environment that will satisfy those  needs.  One  more  theory  by  Alderfer
(1969) suggests that there are only three  needs  that  can  be.  They  are:
existence needs, relatedness needs, and growth needs. His theory  was  based
on the thought that people can move up and down the  hierarchy  and  can  be
motivated by many needs at any one time.
Let’s look  now  at  another  need  theory,  which  called  Murray’s  (1938)
manifest needs theory. His view about people’s needs what that  that  people
can experience a variety of needs, such as need for achievement or need  for
power and that is not necessary that everyone would have the same needs.
There are also  some  additional  motivation  theories  such  as  expectancy
theory, equity theory, goal setting, and reinforcement.  Each  of  this  has
implications for the approach leaders can take  to  dealing  with  followers
(Horner, http://www.emeraldinsight.com). The reason why motivation  theories
are added to leadership issue  is  that  because  of  the  emphasis  on  the
followers themselves and what causes them to act,  instead  of  focusing  on
the leaders.
 Therefore, “leadership is not only the process and activity of  the  person
who is in leadership position, but also  encompasses  the  environment  this
leader creates and how this leader responds to the surroundings, as well  as
the particular skills and activities  of  the  people  being  led”  (Horner,

The transformational-transactional leadership

 “Transactional leadership stems from more traditional view of  workers  and
organizations, and it involves the position  power  of  the  leader  to  use
followers for task completion” (Burns, 1978). “Transformational  leadership,
however, searches for ways to help motivate followers by satisfying  higher-
order needs and more fully engaging them in the process of the work”  (Bass,
“Transformational leaders can  initiate  and  cope  with  change,  and  they
create something new out  of  old.  They  build  strong  relationships  with
others while  supporting  and  encouraging  each  individual’s  development”
(Horner, http://www.emeraldinsight.com).
A very interesting theory of “Super Leadership is offered by Manz  and  Sims
(1991). They challenge the traditional paradigm of leadership as one  person
doing something to  other  people  (Manz  and  Sims,  1991).  Instead,  they
suggest, “the most appropriate leader is one who can  lead  others  to  lead
themselves” (Manz and Sims, 1991, p.18). They suggest  that  leaders  become
great by unleashing the potential and abilities of  followers,  consequently
having the knowledge of many people instead of relying solely on  their  own
skills and abilities (Horner, http://www.emeraldinsight.com).
To understand better what is transforming leadership lets look at it  as  at
the “body”, which consists of the heart,  and  head  and  hands.  There  are
three aspects of leadership: supervisory, strategic and inspirational.  They
are going to be discussed more detailed further down.
The heart
“The  most   universally   encountered   aspect   of   leadership   is   the
“inspirational” leadership of the heart. The essential,  distinguishing  the
feature of inspirational leadership is that it never resorts to the  use  of
coercive power or authority” (Nicholls,  http://www.emeraldinsight.com).  To
energize enthusiastic followers, inspirational leaders create  a  compelling
“vision”, which changes peoples view  at  the  world  around  them.  Another
change that “vision” creates is that people change way they  relate  to  one
There are two ways of affecting people minds by creating a  “vision”.  First
one is that it clarifies understanding,  and  the  second  one  is  that  it
encourages alignment. So we can see that  by  its  impact  on  the  people’s
personal beliefs, the leader’s vision builds the  psychological  ground  for
common action
 (Nicholls, http://www.emeraldinsight.com).
Nichols defines it as “that activity which  stimulates  purposeful  activity
in others by changing the way they look at the world around them and  relate
one another”.
The head
A strategic leadership can be called a “nominal” head of  the  organization.
The leader’s responsibility in this kind of leadership is  the  creation  of
an effective organization (Nicholls, http://www.emeraldinsight.com).
There are two  principal  components  of  the  strategic  leadership:  path-
finding and culture-building. First relates an organization to the  business
environment and the second  one  helps  to  people  into  membership  of  an
organization. The role of the organizational leadership is to identify  what
organization it will be and where it is going. A  very  important  thing  to
say is that managers must look beyond the routine daily operations in  order
“to  find  a  better  way”  (Nicholls,  http://www.emeraldinsight.com).   In
strategic  leadership  managers  must  use  their   head   to   ensure   the
effectiveness of the organization.
The hands
A supervisory leadership is the job of the mangers hands. Every  manager  is
familiar with this kind of leadership in his or  her  particular  situation.
In other they are familiar with the job that has to be done and  the  people
that will do that job.


The concept of charisma comes to us from Romans. Also in the  New  Testament
it refers to gift from the  Holy  Spirit.  Max  Weber  used  this  term  for
theological use. He viewed charisma as “a pure form of  authority  based  on
of the gift of diving grace” (Weber, 1968).
Contemporary  conceptualization  of  charismatic  leadership   have   become
inclusive  of  more  leaders  as  the  concept   changed   over   the   time
“The concept of charisma has fertilized the study of  leadership.  The  term
has taken on a number of different, but  over  planning  meanings:  leaders’
magical qualities; emotional bond between leader and led etc.” (Paul et  al,
A lot of theories of charismatic leadership  appeared.  These  theories  did
not emphasise the role of charisma, instead they take  a  look  at  leader’s
vision and values. For example, “Berlew (1974) suggested  that  leaders  who
attempt to  bring  change  in  organizations  were  similar  to  charismatic
leaders      trying      to      effect      changes       in       society”
House (1977) defined charismatic leadership as “a  leader  who  has  a  high
degree of charismatic effects on followers. According  to  House,  followers
of charismatic leader become more self-confident  and  can  set  and  accept
higher goals.
All of the contemporary charismatic  leadership  theories  include  elements
related to a leader’s emphasis on a purpose, vision, or mission  (House  and
Shamir, 1993).

Gender differences in leadership styles

Over the past two decades there is a debate about whether  female  and  male
managers have different leadership styles.
Though the early 1990s  the  research  showed  that  there  were  no  gender
differences in leadership styles. Even though a lot  of  researches  support
the view that there are no gender differences  in  leadership  styles,  some
differences were identified. Those  differences  were  identified  based  on
self-reported data collected from a sample of male  and  female  accountants
(Burke et al, http://www.emeraldinsight.com).
According  to  Powel  (1993),  intuitive  reasoning   suggest   that   early
socialization patterns develop different qualities in  women  and  men  that
would  likely  result  in  variations  in  leadership  styles.  The  earlier
research found a lack  of  for  the  notion  that  women  utilize  different
leadership   styles   than   do   men   (Bass,   1981)   (Burke    et    al,

Hospitality Leadership
“A major influence on effective performance in the hospitality  industry  is
the  nature  of  the  manager-subordinate  relationship.  This  entails  the
process of leadership and the choice of an appropriate style  of  managerial
behaviour” (Mullins, 1998, p.397).
A good manager should have solid character  traits,  leadership  skills  and
good management ethics. The  good  question  is:  “What  is  the  difference
between managing and leading?”

 One leadership teacher defined it as follows:
|MANAGER                 |LEADER                 |
|Administers             |Innovates              |
|Is a copy               |Is an original         |
|Maintains               |Develops               |
|Focuses on              |Focuses on people      |
|system+structure        |Inspires trust         |
|Relies on control       |Has a long-range       |
|Has a short-range view  |perspective            |
|Asks how and when       |Asks what and why      |
|Has an eye on the bottom|Has an eye on the      |
|line                    |horizon                |
|Initiates               |Originates             |
|Accepts status quo      |Challenges it          |
|Does things right       |Does the right thing   |

In the beginning of development of the hospitality industry, when a  lot  of
the hospitality organizations were family owned, leadership  was  associated
with ownership. However, with a growth of hospitality organizations, a  more
broadly based approach to the appointment and development  of  leaders  were
needed.  According  to  Walker,  “the  real  key  to   leadership   involves
developing appropriate personality characteristics and the talents of  other
members of the organization” (Mullins, 1998, p. 403).
Moreover, “Walker identifies some of the most important  indicators  of  the
appropriate temperament for leadership:
    . Self-control (leaders should be above average  in  their  ability  to
      exercise self-control).
    . Sense of value (respect the intangible, spiritual side of life).
    . Drive (a strong drive is an advantage in any assignment).
    . Moodiness (the manager should be optimistic, cheerful  and  generally
      capable of maintaining morale and team spirit).
    . Sensitivity (the one who is sensitive to himself is sensitive and  to
      others, so have a high potential to managerial success).
    . Defence of ideas (managers should be willing and able to support  and
      defend their own ideas).
    . Self-awareness (the person needing less  recognition  for  individual
      contribution is more successful for managerial success).
    . Balance (the ability to defend their ideas and a low degree of  self-
      consciousness, coupled with a high degree  of  sensitivity  to  other
      people) (Mullins, 1998, p.403).
According  to  Mullins,  a  number  of  recent  articles  showed  that  the
hospitality industry had occurred a dramatic change and that the importance
and benefits of transformational leadership are more obvious.
“A lot of researches show that demographic  style  of  leadership  is  more
likely to produce effective performance from  work  groups.  Also  a  human
relations,  people  oriented  approach  is  more  likely  to  lead  to  job
satisfaction and group cohesiveness” (Mullins, 1998, p.424).
However, it is not always that demographic ways of leadership are the best.
Sometimes,  it  happens  that  autocratic  style  of  leadership  is   more
“There is no one  best  style  of  leadership  which  will  result  in  the
maintenance of morale among the group members and  high  work  performance.
There are many variables, which underlie the  effectiveness  of  managerial
leadership in the hospitality industry, including:
    . The type and nature of establishment, its goals and  objectives,  and
      the organizational culture and climate
    . The characteristic of the manager, personality, attitudes, abilities,
      value system and personal credibility
    . The characteristics of subordinates, their  needs  and  expectations,
      motivation  and  commitment,  and  their  knowledge,  confidence  and
    . The basis of the leadership relationship and the type  of  power  and
    . The relationships between  the  manager  and  the  group,  and  among
      members of the group
    . The type of problem and nature of the manager’s decisions
    . The nature of the tasks to be achieved, the extend to which they  are
      structured or routine, the technology and work organization
    . The organization structure and systems of management
    . The nature and influence of the external environment” (Mullins, 1998,


In this work a lot of theories of leadership were covered. Despite  it,  the
leadership issue still remains not  well  understood.  Leaders  have  to  be
aware of the times, because they are changing faster than  we  can  imagine.
Leaders’  knowledge  and  practice  must  accommodate  themselves  to  these
changes    if    they    do    not    want     to     be     left     behind

References and Bibliography


   MULLINS J. LAURIE (1998). Managing people in the Hospitality industry.
   3rd edition. British Library Cataloguing in Publication data.

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     8. http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~ha100c-

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