Provisional Statement of Leadership and Self-Evaluation
believe all high-performance companies are lead and managed by principles,
It is not enough for managers and leaders simply to engage in these functional activities, critical as they are for an organization to fulfill its purpose and strategy. In addition, if managers and leaders are to engage in ethical practice, they must take a hard look at themselves—their antecedents and theories of practice (Sergiovanni, 1986)—to discern how these factors influence and shape organizational outcomes, for better or worse. Based upon this self-critical reflection, ethical practice then requires managers and leaders to engage in the substantive self-change that is necessary precursor to ethical maturity and organizational change (McWhinney, 1992). The purpose of Exercise #3 introduces students to these two challenges.
To foster self-critical
reflection and to teach how learning about how one manages and leads is the
substantive heart of ethical practice, students will formulate
a provisional definition of management and leadership and write a
APPROACHING EXERCISE #3
The first activity involves formulating a provisional definition of management and leadership in light of the materials the students developed in Exercises #1 & #2. Students should also use their reflections concerning the readings, class discussions, other books and scholarly materials (including the MPA 8002 homepage and materials from other courses), as well as the materials contained in this project to add insight and intellectual depth to the product of this activity. This statement serves to integrate all of the course-related materials with one's beliefs, values, aspirations, and professional experience.
Students should then follow-up this provisional definition with a second statement, the retrospective analysis conveying what the project (Exercises #1 and #2) has challenged them to think about personally and professionally, especially in light of the provisional definition of management and leadership just explicated. Because the direction of this analysis is retrospective, this statement should describe what this project has been about, what it has achieved in terms of learning about management, leadership, and organizations as well as the degree to which the project was (or was not) helpful for integrating theory, practice, and self-reflection. In this section, students might also consider what they might have done differently or how they would envision themselves conducting an organizational analysis differently in the future, knowing what they now know. This statement, then, is also prospective—focusing on the future—where students identify how they would approach management, leadership, and organizational change, given what they now know retrospectively. Students should keep in mind that this section is a self-evaluation concerning one's learning not a course or professor evaluation (which will come later).
WRITING EXERCISE #3
In terms of writing Exercise #3, students should explicate a well-crafted and thoughtful provisional definition of management and leadership as well as a retrospective analysis of one's course-related learning.
The provisional definition should consist of no more than four pages (written in third person) and the retrospective analysis should consist of no more than four pages (written in first person). Each statement should be concise, avoiding the stylistic errors identified in Exercises #1 & #2, and must comply with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Lastly: the goal of Exercise #3 is to integrate all that one has learned about organization theory and management and leadership practice—and especially ethical leadership practice—in confronting and dealing with the issue causing organizational dysfunction.
Exercise #3 accounts for 30% of the course project grade.
Exercise #3 is built upon the assumption that the real "stuff" of management and leadership includes self-critical reflection wherein managers and leaders evaluate their antecedents and theories of practice in an effort to mature in those important roles (Sergiovanni, 1986). By engaging in reflective practice and learning about their strengths and limitations as well as their character (Aristotle, 1958), managers and leaders not only can model a virtuous character to other members of their organizations. In addition, and more importantly, these managers and leaders can negotiate a pathway through organizational change (McWhinney, Weber, Smith & Novokowsky, 1997) that makes it possible to transform ordinary "work" into a personal "craft" (Arendt, 1998) as the efforts expended by managers and leaders mirror the wealth of virtue present in their character. This is ethical practice and offers the hope as well as a way to transform functional organizations and rote work into human communities whose members are engaged in a shared purpose (Barnard, 1968; Vaill, 1986). Managers and leaders, then, free their followers to use their idiosyncratic powers of creativity to fulfill important organizational purposes and strategies by setting goals, tactics, and projects which respond to and correct organizational dysfunction.