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Article 1.

Leadership for Extraordinary Performance This article compares the styles of leadership and how they affect organizational performance in different cultures. The three leadership styles most often used are the transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire (or avoiding) leadership. Transformational leadership style produced significantly better results in organizational performance. The five behaviors that are exhibited by this type of leadership include visioning, inspiring, stimulating, coaching, and team building. These types of leaders are; promoted more often, produce more innovative products, reduces job stress, and has units that perform more effectively. Transactional leaders use a system of rewards and punishment. This style of leadership was found to only meet performance expectations. Laissez-Faire is a leadership style that focuses on being uninvolved with the employees and giving them more control. This style of leadership also produces lower performance within the organization. The cross cultural study found that transformational leaders produced exceptional results as compared to other leadership styles. Boehnke, K., Bontis, N., DiStefano, A. C., & DiStefano, J. J. (1997). Leadership for extraordinary performance. Business Quarterly, 61(4), 56.

Article 2. Competitive Advantage and Internal Organizational Assessment This article discusses how organizational assessments, both internal and external, can create a competitive advantage. Organizational assessment is the analysis of financial, human resource, information systems, and marketing strengths and weaknesses. The article breaks down the process of creating a competitive advantage into four stages. The first stage of the process is surveying for potential strengths and weaknesses. This would be what areas of the business that need improvement and the areas that performs well. The second stage is to categorize the strengths and weaknesses as strategic resources or capabilities. The resources to consider will be human capital, land, or location of the business. Capabilities would include the use of technological systems and operational skills. The third stage is investigating the source of competitive advantage. Cost and uniqueness are two important ways to create value for the customer and maintain an advantage. Finally, stage four is evaluating the competitive advantage. This may include infrastructure, technology, logistics, and marketing. To have success, we must pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses, understand how to benefit from opportunities, and react to changing threats facing the organization. Duncan, W. J., Ginter, P. M., & Swayne, L. E. (1998). Competitive advantage and internal organizational assessment. Academy of Management Executive, 12(3), 6-16.

Article 3. What Makes a Leader? Daniel Goleman is responsible for introducing the term emotional intelligence and how it affects leaders within an organization. He explains that the traditional qualities of leadership are not sufficient to be a truly effective leader. Emotional intelligence includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Self-Awareness includes the understanding of emotions, strengths, weaknesses, needs, and drive of themselves. Self-Regulation is controlling the impulses that drive our emotions. Motivation is an embedded desire to achieve beyond expectations. Empathy is taking employees feelings into consideration when making decisions. Social skill involves the ability to manage relationships and move people in right direction.

From the research, he found that the most effective leaders all have the qualities associated with emotional intelligence. Goleman studied 188 global companies to examine the characteristics of leadership in relation to performance. He found that cognitive skills and intellect was important, but emotional intelligence proved to be twice as important for most jobs. He also found that higher leadership positions showed a higher level of emotional intelligence. Goleman, D. (2004). What makes a leader? Harvard Business Review, 82(1), 82-91 Article 4. Three cultures of management: The key to organizational learning Edgar Schein provides insight on the different cultures that shape an organization, and how the different views can obstruct learning inside the company. He points out the cultures and sub-cultures all have valid points in their views, but struggle with aligning the three cultures effectively to understand one another. The operator culture is based on communication and teamwork, with an understanding that you must use your own skills as necessary if the operations are complex. Their belief is that all the functions must work together to be successful. The engineering culture on the other hand is based on the assumption that its ideal to have no human operators at all, varying drastically from the operator cultures need for teamwork. The third culture, executive culture, is more aligned with the engineering culture, in the sense that they also perceive people as un-necessary, or as a financial burden to the company.

In conclusion, there are significant challenges in organizational learning. Each culture must have an understanding of themselves, and other organizational cultures to communicate effectively and efficiently. Schein, E. H. (1996). Three cultures of management: The key to organizational learning. Sloan Management Review, 38(1), 9-20. Article 5. The balanced scorecard--measures that drive performance This article discusses the areas of performance measurement and how we can benefit from focusing on four topics. The author gave a good example of which an airline pilot monitors the gauges on the airplane. Managers should do the same and monitor the important areas of the business, which would be the operational and financial measures. This would be a generic explanation of the balanced score card. The balanced scorecard gives the leadership of an organization four areas of measurement to consider. The first area is the customers perspective, which is how customers view the company. Lead time, quality, and cost can all affect the customers perspective. The second area for measurement would be the internal business perspective. This is identifying the processes, decisions and actions that will affect the customers expectations. Some factors that affect customer satisfaction are cycle time, employee skills, and productivity. These processes need to have clear target goals set and measure in place for each critical area. The third area of the balanced scorecard to consider is the innovation and learning perspective. With the increase in competition from domestic and global companies, the ability to change and keep improving will be part of a successful organization. This might include the ability to expand with new products, entering new markets, and creating more value for the customer. The financial perspective is the fourth area of the balanced scorecard. Financial goals often deal with profitability, growth and shareholder value. Some financial experts believe this to be a poor method for evaluating performance. They believe the financial performance is the result of operational actions and that the results are from doing well with fundamentals. The important part of the financial perspective is related to how improvements will increase market share, reduce operating expenses, and increased operating margins. The balanced scorecard can lead to improved decision making and problem solving for senior managers and the organization. . Kaplan, R. S., & Norton, D. P. (1992). The balanced scorecard--measures that drive performance. Harvard Business Review, 70(1), 71-79.