Even though the concept of leadership is easy to identify in practice, it is difficult to give a precise explanation of the scientific term. Leadership is both the formal and informal process that has a particular goal and takes place between a leader and a follower or a group (Antonakis and Day 5). A leader consolidates and coordinates followers in order to achieve the desired goal or solve a complex problem. Relating to organizations, a leader is a person who influences a group of people in order to motivate them for the joint implementation of management decisions to achieve certain goals.
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Introduction to Organizational Development
Change is an ever-present feature that has become a constant in organizational life. Organizational development is the planned process of evolving possibilities of an organization and promoting its growth through the utilization of behavioral techniques and methods (Burke and Noumair 12). The tools usually incorporated in organizational development include the change in policies and corporate strategies, leadership, and job redesign.
Organizational development is a common practice usually implemented by companies to achieve long-term success and sustainability. Organizations consider organizational development when there is a need to make a systematic change in the attitudes and values of the personnel. The first step is to diagnose a company by interviewing workers and groups and analyzing the data. The second step is to report the gathered information to the personnel (Burke and Noumair 9). The third step involves discussing the issues and thinking about solutions based on behavioral science interventions; the final step is the implementation of the changes.
Creating and maintaining a sustainable organization requires not only understanding the role of leadership but also incorporating leadership strategies in order to boost the performance of employees. Leadership may promote organizational development interventions by connecting the team to a new mission, managing unforeseen issues, and maintaining trust and accountability. The given report discusses the leadership role of CEO Ms. Suzanne Al Anani in the organizational development of Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP). Literature analysis has been conducted in order to research the contribution of leadership to organizational development.
Introduction to DAEP
DAEP is the entity responsible for the design, master planning, infrastructure, and construction of Dubai’s aviation sector. Being a leading engineering organization, DAEP is heading the development of Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport (“Developing the Aviation Capital of the World” par.1). Over the last 20 years, the number of passengers of Dubai’s airports has become ten times bigger due to the dedication of the DAEP staff. The company spearheaded the elaboration of the CUC 6 district cooling system and the construction of a fully automated cargo facility. Also, the organization was engaged in the construction of terminal 3, Concourse 2, and Concourse 3 with a total area of 1,7 million square meters (“Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects” par. 2).
Among recent spectacular projects masterfully implemented by DAEP, one may mention Concourse D that enabled to increase of Dubai’s airport annual capacity to 90 million passengers. DAEP works closely with its stakeholders, which promotes the dynamic development and continued excellence of Dubai’s aviation sector.
In April 2016, DAEP was awarded first place in the “Best Improvement in Organizational Performance Results” category as part of the Dubai Government’s Excellence Program. In May 2016, DAEP was awarded two quality awards in two categories, “Airport Project of the Year” and “Mega Project of the Year” for the Dubai International Airport Concourse D project. In December 2016, DAEP was presented with the “Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award 15th Cycle 2016 for the Gold Category” for effective implementation of administrative practices and procedures. In October 2018, DAEP was awarded “The Sword of Honour 2018” and “The Globe of Honour 2018” for exceptional achievement in health and safety and environmental fields. DAEP focuses on Dubai Quality Award (EFQM) as the main excellence model.
Introduction to Suzanne Al Anani
Ms. Suzanne Al Anani has been working as a chief executive officer (CEO) of DAEP for more than 18 years. One of her key responsibilities as a CEO is to lead Dubai’s strategy to become the largest aviation hub in the world. Suzanne Al Anani oversees DAEP managing all the aspects of its work associated with design, planning, and construction. In April 2017, the CEO was given a certificate of appreciation by DAEP Chairman His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum (“Special Recognition by Our Chairman HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum” par. 1). Ms. Suzanne Al Anani has much experience in spearheading great airport projects, which led to major expansions at Dubai’s airports.
Research objectives provide an accurate description of what is expected to be achieved by a study.
- To assess the importance of organizational development in relation to the organization’s performance
- To determine the role of leadership in organizational development
- To identify how leadership may reinforce successful organizational development
- To identify key competencies which a leader should have in order to drive a successful organizational development.
The research questions indicated below form a fundamental core of the given research. Since the study is aimed at assessing the role of leadership in successful organizational development, the following research questions should be answered:
- What kind of knowledge, skills, talent, and competencies are required from a leader to bring a substantial organizational change?
- To what extent has the organizational change implemented by Ms. Suzanne Al Anani proven to increase the performance of DAEP?
Significance of Research
Nowadays, organizations are evolving and changing rapidly. In order to develop effective strategies, they need to embrace change and growth. The success of any business is reliant upon how the business’s purpose fits into a constantly changing environment (Băeşu and Bejinaru 146). Organizational development makes use of methods and techniques of behavioral science in order to define how an enterprise’s resources can be best deployed for optimal organizational effectiveness (Brunning 10). It is the leader’s job to create a change readiness climate within an organization (Băeşu and Bejinaru 146). The readiness of the personnel to embrace change is crucial for successful organizational development. Leaders have to choose or recreate the right means to prepare, implement and sustain change (Băeşu and Bejinaru 146).
The level of personal development of the CEO may have a critical role in defining the success of organizational change efforts and the ability of an organization to evolve in a complex business environment. Studying the leadership role of Ms. Suzanne Al Anani in the successful organizational development of DAEP is important for understanding which leadership skills contribute to the successful work of an organization.
McCleskey argues there is no common definition of leadership, as “it depends on the interest of the researcher and the type of problem or situation being studied” (118). According to McCleskey, there are situational, transformational, and transactional conceptions of leadership (120). Situational leadership is associated with a rational understanding of the situation and reasonable response to it (McCleskey 120).
Transformational leadership requires a leader to raise the level of followers’ awareness of the importance of goals and objectives, as well as methods to achieve them (McCleskey 120). Transactional leadership is associated with the exchange between a leader and a group of followers. Such an exchange allows a leader to effectively reach the established goals, avoid unwanted risks, and improve the overall efficiency of an organization. Followers, in turn, benefit from this conception of leadership by fulfilling their own interests and minimizing workplace anxiety.
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Leadership and Organization
A leader is a person who has both power and authority to rule an organization regardless of ability; this person provides leadership in delivering tasks and taking responsibilities (Ayub et al. 503). According to Ayub et al., “leadership is the ability to influence, motivate, and enable employees to contribute towards the effectiveness and success of an organization” (503). According to Mendenhall et al., leadership is associated with a strong drive for responsibility and completion of tasks, originality in problem-solving, readiness to absorb interpersonal stress, and ability to influence the behavior of others.
Eberly et al. developed an integrative process model of leadership linking the source of leadership and its mechanisms with leadership event cycles (441). According to this model, effective leadership is associated with leaders supporting the empowerment of their subordinates.
According to Northouse, “leadership is a process whereby individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal” (7). Northouse proposes to view leadership as a personality trait, as an ability, as a skill, as a behavior, as a relationship, and as a process (2-8). According to the trait approach, a leader is a person who has a number of certain characteristics which correlate to leadership emergence. According to the behavior approach, the repertoire of a person’s behaviors may predict leadership effectiveness.
Leadership may also be conceptualized as a natural ability to have the potential to influence people. When viewing leadership as a skill, one may say that it is a “competency developed to accomplish a task effectively” (Northouse 5). According to the relationship approach, leadership is centered on the relationship between subordinates and leaders rather than on the unique personality traits of a leader. According to the process approach, leadership is a process by which a person influences others to achieve a particular goal.
Role of Leadership in Organizational Development
Technological advancements and high expectations of customers make organizations reassess and reevaluate how they work. Organizational change has become a demand of the day, which organizations have to implement to survive. Effective leadership in organizations is important for the achievement of organizational objectives. According to Bolman and Deal, the challenges which modern organizations face require the objective perspective of managers and “brilliant flashes of vision that wise leadership provides” (8). According to Besharov and Smith, the paradoxical changes which today’s organizations face have become more complex and strategic (364).
Leadership plays a central role when it comes to implementing organizational change (Băeşu and Bejinaru 147). There are several arguments in favor of this statement, one of which is that a leader induces subordinates to pursue an organization’s objectives. Initiation and coordination of organizational change always require well-developed leadership skills (Băeşu and Bejinaru 147). This may be explained by the fact that people immediately resist change. That is why it is important to decrease emotional reactivity to the situation and stimulate subordinates to move into the change mode.
An effective leader can “manage employee resistance and mold their behavior towards the implementation of successful changes” (Băeşu and Bejinaru 148). There are several broad competency areas of leadership that are key to successful organizational change implementation. Băeşu and Bejinaru claim that leaders are responsible for creating structural change, engaging others in the change process, implementing and sustaining change, and stimulating people to find their own motivation in organizational development (148). It is a leader’s responsibility to adapt the organization, in particular, human resources, to a changing environment. Planning leadership alongside organizational development is crucial for a successful organization. Leaders have to elaborate strategies and procedures that support the objectives and priorities of an organization to create a positive environment for employees to work in.
The aim of the research is to determine the role of leadership in successful organizational development. The given research methodology is of particular importance since it contains the specific techniques and procedures which will be used in order to answer the research questions and make a conclusion. The selected leadership role model for the research is the CEO of DAEP, who is Ms. Suzanne Al Anani.
In order to answer the research questions, a quantitative research method will be used, which entails gathering quantifiable data with the subsequent analysis. The mathematical framework will be incorporated in order to conduct a thorough analysis of the results. Quantitative research is generally considered to be logical, objective, and investigational in nature, as the results obtained are often unbiased and statistical. A primary quantitative research method will be used in the given study.
The research strategy for the study has been established by adopting the way in which the research questions may be answered. A research strategy is a coherent step-by-step plan of action that enables to conduct of systematic research to achieve comprehensive results. Establishing concrete and measurable research objectives and research questions is crucial for the adoption of a successful and effective research strategy.
Apart from that, it is necessary to use credible sources for the collection of data. For the study given, a survey will be used as a research strategy. A survey is a document with a list of questions used for collecting data from a certain group of respondents in order to answer the research questions. For the study, the survey will be conducted online; the target group is DAEP employees. 100 DAEP workers are expected to participate in the questionnaire with a set of Likert scale questions which will be available on the DAEP website.
The given study will determine the leadership role in relation to organizational development, as well as which competencies a leader should have in order to drive a successful change. Ms. Suzanne Al Anani, who is the CEO of DAEP, is considered to be the leader model for the study. The research method which will be used to answer the research questions is a quantitative one; the research strategy is an online questionnaire survey of DAEP employees.
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Băeşu, Camelia, and Ruxandra Bejinaru. “Leadership Approaches Regarding the Organizational Change.” The USV Annals of Economics and Public Administration, vol. 13, no. 2(18), 2013, pp. 146-152.
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Eberly, Marion B., et al. “An Integrative Process Model of Leadership: Examining Loci, Mechanisms, and Event Cycles.” American Psychologist, vol. 68, no. 6, 2013, pp. 427–443. Web.
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“Special Recognition by Our Chairman HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum.” Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects. 2018. Web.