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Leaders use assessment when they make decisions that concern selection, hiring, promotion, and appraisal of employees for organizational development purposes (Pfeffer, Jeffrey, Stutton & Robert, 2015). Assessment approaches utilize simulation tools such as case studies, psychometric tests, and inventories to learn different styles that promote team building. This paper discusses the role of assessment in leadership, its influence on the decision-making process, and the misuse of assessment approaches with the purpose to create effective leadership.
Assessment techniques are designed to provide information about employees’ advantages and disadvantages, and the developmental needs of an organization. Besides, assessment practices offer the leaders an opportunity to know their organization’s strengths and weaknesses for future development. Therefore, the role of assessment in leadership is to provide the objectives for both short term and long term planning by acting as an eye-opener for the managers.
In any institution, leaders use data to make decisions. However, the primary concern is that even though most companies collect data, it does not promote growth and development. This happens because most leaders do not implement solutions obtained from the assessment data. Pfeffer et al. (2015) argue that most companies fail to formulate original strategies for development and staff management. Instead, they choose to copy what other companies do, but the thing is that the same plans are unlikely to be suitable for two different companies. The second challenge is that although data can be readily available, it makes the decision-making process complex. While most leaders believe that having more data will make things easier, in reality, large amounts of information are very confusing and hard to read and analyze efficiently. Therefore, the increased data intake will not solve the daily work challenges in an organization when used ineffectively.
Trying to improve business performance, the leaders may misuse data from time to time. While some of these acts are done on purpose, others are not. This paper will focus on the purposeful misuse of data. There are various ways through which leaders misuse data, for example, overgeneralization of data or facts, and disregarding unfavorable information.
Overgeneralization is an error that occurs when data of previous research is relied on blindly or taken as a fact for the following research (Carter & Baghurst, 2014). For instance, when the previous data established that 100 percent of employees had mobile phones, it will be an overgeneralization when leaders conclude that all employees have mobile phones in the next study without carrying out the investigation. Using overgeneralization, leaders tend to undermine the factual data; this may lead to a failure in the implementation process.
In any assessment procedure, researchers collect both favorable and unfavorable data. Since improper information may present challenges during the implementation stage, leaders tend to discard data that does not favor their strategies (Carter & Baghurst, 2014). Realistic and accurate data should be incorporated into the research and serve as the basis for performance evaluation and planning. This way, organizational leaders will be able to notice and address the underlying challenges.
Leadership practices need to be adjusted when the data report low performances of the employees. For example, to encourage the staff to work harder, a leader might launch a system of rewards and bonuses. When the data reports skills shortage, adjustment of compensation system will help the company to attract and retain the best workers. Besides, when the data shows that the workers do not get along, the leader is to respond with a series of team-building practices, or hire a coach for conflict resolution.
In conclusion, valid and reliable data is based on facts and not beliefs. Making a decision, a leader should be able to view their company from the perspective of the competitors, job seekers, and potential clients. Therefore, data collected during an assessment is to be clear, factual, and demonstrate the business aspects which need to be addressed and adjusted. Managers are to know how to read and use the data.
Carter, D., & Baghurst, T. (2014). The influence of servant leadership on restaurant employee engagement. Journal of Business Ethics, 124(3), 453-464.
Pfeffer, J., & Sutton, R. I. (2006). Profiting management. Strategy & Leadership, 34(2), 35-42.