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Nowadays, many companies worldwide and their leaders face one and the same problem that is an increasing scrutiny of current and prospective employees, investors, and customers. It is not enough to have a plan and knowledge in order to become a successful leader. The problem is the necessity to comprehend leadership brand equity and clarify if it is positive it may influence economic performance. Many current leaders have already faced the importance of employer brand.
However, not all of them understand that leadership brand has to be of the same or even higher importance. HR workers have access to numerous perspectives, and organizations should apply different options to stay beneficial, competitive, and successful. Unfortunately, leaders do not see how their employees can be developed in terms of their organizations. The article discusses the main problem of modern management that is the misunderstanding or even neglect of leadership brand equity.
In the article under analysis, there is no clear hypothesis or statement that has to be proved and discussed. However, after reading the first two pages, it becomes clear that the authors want to answer two simple but crucial to the field of management questions that may be interpreted as two strong hypotheses for research. First, there is a thought that not having a recognizable employer brand can be good enough for an organization. Second, there is an idea that having a positive leadership brand may influence the economic performance of an organization considerably. These two statements help to formulate one certain hypothesis that there is a strong correlation a leadership brand and organizational performance that may be discussed through giving clear definitions, examples, and explanations of the leadership brand and equity.
Need for the Study
Modern HR participants, leaders, and employees have various ideas to be used to improve their organizational performance, cooperation, and results demonstrated by companies. There is a need for the study introduced in the article because HR leaders may hold a unique position with the help of which they can provide people with clear guides and suggestions on how to build a strong equity. Besides, the article and the study that the authors develop help to identify how crucial the role of an HR leader can be for the company and its employees. It is difficult for many even the most talented and professional leaders to have a positive reputation, and this article aims at describing how to manage the work of leaders, avoid economic complications, and achieve organizational success using the resources available.
The method of this article deserves attention because it takes certain time and efforts to achieve its development. As soon as the problem is identified, and the research questions are introduced, it is expected to realize what steps should be taken to find out the required answers. The authors of the article suggest using Oliver Wyman’s research and the findings of the Economist Intelligence Unit that were carried during the period between 2008 and 2009.
There were 153 leaders who represented their companies with more than $1 billion + revenue in 43 countries. Leadership reputation was the first question to be asked because that factor could increase economic performance. 20 in-depth interviews were investigated in research to clarify the ranks and other peculiar features of their of HR work. Besides, a case study of Marks & Spencer was analyzed in terms of its main HR practices.
Summary of Literature Review
The peculiar feature of this article is that the authors do not find it necessary to elaborate as many scholar sources as possible. In fact, there are two sources properly referenced in the article: both of them are the articles found online. The main part of the article includes the discussions of the authors about what they know about leadership brand and economic challenges companies may face when they are challenged to find out their equities. To prove the positions, the authors of the article also use the opinions of different leaders, who believe in the power of their work and contributions. The well-known leader whose opinion is considered in the article is James Schiro, CEO of Zurich Financial Services.
In the article, there is no literature review section because the authors want to develop their own thoughts and demonstrate their own opinions about leadership brand equity and values. It was mentioned that to cover the leadership brand equity topic, it is possible to use the information taken from chat rooms, blogs, forums, and other social media services. However, the practical tools available for modern HR leaders are identified and developed without the help of certain credible sources.
The case study of the UK retailer Marks & Spencer is also used to explain how one HR group can develop an organizational brand and recognize the company’s assets using the available material. Marks & Spencer is not the worst example of a company with a strong and effective leader. The evaluations of Oliver Wyman Leadership Development proved that the chosen UK retailer succeeded in leading its employees with the help of the brand framework developed.
Study’s Assumptions, Limitations, and Future Research
In the chosen article, the authors succeed in developing a concept of leadership brand equity. The offered investigation and the examples taken from the M&S Company prove the importance of reputation and brands in companies. Besides, solid leadership was proved as the main part of the sustainable economic success. However, leadership and brand equity may be used to meet many other goals, including tipping the balance in regards to the success of a company and the improvement of HR functions. Taking into consideration the main limitations of the article that are the choice of one company for the analysis only and the use of two sources in the reference list, the suggestions for future research should include the expansion of the research boundaries and the use of new academic sources with the help of which new aspects and concepts can be discovered.
In general, the findings of the article help to clarify what can strengthen organizations and what steps should be taken by leaders in regards to their employees, investors, and customers. There are certain obstacles that may be defined while building a leadership brand, including problematic sponsorship, buy-in details, and embodiment of brand peculiarities. However, in the article, the solution is properly developed and explained.
Leadership brand equity, company’s reputation, leaders’ activities, and collaboration among employees define the level of organizational performance and influence the economic situation in a positive way. Leadership is characterized by clear attributes and requirements, and leaders have to recognize them at the initial stages of their work in order to achieve success, recognition, and build a positive reputation. The authors set the goals and meet them at the end of the article creating a solid background for future research.
Critique on the Article
The article “Leadership brand equity: HR leaders’ role in driving economic value” was written by Virginia McLaughlin and Christina Mott for Strategic HR Review in 2010. In the abstract that is given before the article, it is possible to find out the main purpose of the work, the methods used to answer the question, and the general facts about the findings, implications, and value. Taking into consideration the material used for the creation of the article, the need for the study in the chosen field, and the contributions made by the authors, the article can be defined as a good source of information with its evident strong and weak points that have to be identified and discussed.
On the one hand, the reader of the article cannot neglect certain shortages of the article. First, there are two sources only used to support the content of the article. The authors do not find it necessary to provide statistics or numerous facts to prove the chosen position and develop a strong definition of the terms. This article is defined as a research paper. However, the minimal number of sources disproves this fact and put the whole work under a question.
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No research is observed, but authors’ discussions are present. The second point that weakens the article is the inability to comprehend how the authors came to certain conclusions. Though there are several clear explanations and examples, the reader may be confused by the questions that appear while reading the paper. Finally, the authors fail to underline the importance of future research. This requirement is important in research papers. It is hard for the reader to comprehend how to use the results discussed in the paper.
On the other hand, there are several positive aspects that make the article interesting and valuable source of information. If the article was not positioned as a research paper, this source could be defined as a properly developed article or reflective essay. The authors succeed in creating main research questions to the article and introducing the topic as an integral part of a discussion. There is one more positive aspect of the article that is its structure. There are more than ten sections of the article, and each of them has its title and purpose. It is easy for the reader to understand the authors’ intentions and find the answer to the question.
Besides, there is a list of the questions any leader of an organization can answer to clarify if company’s reputation is appropriate, and what the current state of organization’s leadership brand is. The authors of the article admit that leaders have to give true and definite answers in order to create a picture and identify current leadership reputation and brand. Sometimes, leaders are neither ready to nor aware of the steps that should be taken to change the situation in a company and achieve positive economic results. HR leaders can build good reputation and brand, and this article introduces one of the possible answers on how to achieve it.
Regarding the strong and weak aspects of the article, this source may be used to improve reader’s knowledge of leadership, company’s reputation, and brands that have to be developed within an organization. In general, the article can be used for different purposes. Still, the main recommendation that can be given is the attention to additional outside sources to prove the chosen position or the developed statement.