The problem of the modern leaders is the choice they should make in order to manage the business conflicts. Communication has become the central method of running a business. Leaders must understand what a conflict is and the main stages of conflicts. In most cases, business communication conflicts can be resolved if a leader takes the initiative and does all the necessary actions in order to cope with the issue. The problem of choice of the leadership style doubles due to the absence of the structured and commonly accepted schedule of leadership styles. According to Murray (2010), the leadership styles are visionary, coaching, affiliative, pacesetting, and commanding. Johnson (2014) offers other five styles, namely laissez-faire, autocratic, participative, transactional, and transformational. Each of these classifications deserves attention.
As for the styles aimed at managing the conflicts, Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument offers the most effective conflict solving measures based on leadership styles. Accordingly, accommodating, avoiding, collaborating, competing, and compromising are the five conflict management styles offered by Thomas and Kilmann (2007). According to Holmes and Marra (2004), “effective leaders select from a range of strategies available to challenge, contest or disagree with others, paying careful attention to complex contextual factors, including the type of interaction, the kind of community of practice or workplace culture in which they are operating, and the relative seriousness of the issue involved” (p.439). The problem of identification of the leadership style of a particular leader is based on the necessity to understand which actions one is going to take in various situations. Leadership and conflict management problems are closely interconnected and it is important to understand how this connection may assist leaders in their business.
Identification of the Problem
Conflicts are inevitable in the modern world, especially in the world of business where many people with different points of view have to collaborate (CDR Associates, 2007). The problem of the choice of the leadership style in order to solve the communication conflicts has been the issue in the modern business world. Most of the problems occurring in the working process are connected to the failure to communicate the personal opinion correctly. Shannon-Weaver communication model developed in 1949 states that the process of communication is based on the following elements, information source, transmitter, channel, receiver, destination, and noise (in Chaturvedi & Chaturvedi, 2011). The failure to follow any of the mentioned above elements leads to conflict. Thus, the attempt is made to combine the leadership styles with the communication model with the purpose to develop the best strategy aimed at resolving the communication problem.
The main focus of the study is to explain how the choice of the leadership style influences the decisions people make in order to resolve the business communication conflicts. Overall, each leadership style is the particular choice of the strategies a person selects. This choice influences the decisions one makes and the actions a leader takes. As a result, in case of the conflict appearance the choice of the strategy of actions (the leadership style) influences the measures take for the conflict resolving.
Why it is a Problem?
The problem of the selection of the best leadership style for the resolving of communication problems touches the greater issues, as the inability to solve the business communication problem immediately may lead to the development of the serious conflict with the focus on the business itself. The choice of the leadership style is a very important process, as this choice influences the actions of a person and the strategic choice of the whole company. Depending on the selected leader style, the company performance is going to be run in a particular way. A wrong choice may lead to the increase of the conflicts in the company and as a result the lowering of the company efficiency and reduction of income. All the decisions that are done in the company influence the further company performance. Furthermore, the situation where the conflict has occurred does not play a serious role in the conflict management style selection, as the situation is created by the leaders who have already selected a particular way of behavior. The understanding of the influence of the leadership style on the business communication problem may help the leaders not only plan their actions in particular cases, but will also assist in understanding the reaction and the further development of the situation. The information considered after this research may be helpful in conflict management. Leaders may have a chance to predict the possible conflicts and to understand how not only to resolve them but also to avoid having positively influenced the business.
Research Question (Hypothesis): Three Hypotheses
- Is the choice of the leadership style influence the selection of the future business communication conflict management strategy?
If the choice of the leadership style is important, it will directly influence the selection of the future business communication conflict management strategy.
If the choice of the leadership style is not important, it will not influence the selection of the future business communication conflict management strategy.
- Is the more democratic style of leadership negatively impact the conflict resolving management style due to the absence of the leader in managing a problem?
If a more democratic style of leadership negatively impacts the conflict resolving management style, so this means that there will be no leader in the democratic leadership style.
If a more democratic style of leadership positively impacts the conflict resolving management style, so this means that there will be a great role of a leader in the democratic leadership style.
- Is the context of the situation matter in the leadership style and its influence on the selection of the business communication conflict resolving?
If the context of the situation matters in the leadership style, it will be important in the selection of the business communication conflict resolving.
If the context of the situation matters in the leadership style, it will be not important in the selection of the business communication conflict resolving.
The data gathering and analysis is going to be based on several methods. To check the hypotheses stated in the research, information about the leadership styles and leaders’ actions in case of the conflict should be gathered. The leaders should appear in the conflicting situations to take any actions. Thus, the information will be selected among the leaders in small companies. The minimum 10 companies should be enumerated in different spheres of business. The information will be gathered online. The respondents will have to answer the questions based on their actions in a particular situation. The first questionnaire will be devoted to identification of a leader in different departments of the company. After the leader is identified, he/she will be offered to take a test aimed at understanding his/her leadership style. Also, the leaders should be asked about their personal vision of their styles.
The next questionnaire will be based on the Thomas-Kilman conflict mode instrument with the purpose to see which conflict resolving way is selected. After the information is gathered, the analysis of each interview should be done manually to see who of leaders to which leadership style belongs. Then, information should be analyzed from the point of view of the personal assessment and the Thomas-Kilman conflict mode instrument. The research results should either prove or reject the stated hypotheses.