Identifying leadership styles for managing employees at a Durban architectural firm.
Architectural firms have owners who are rarely trained in management and how to manage employees. Managing an architectural firm requires the managers of the firm to have effective leadership styles for managing creative employees. This study proposed to identify what leadership styles managers should practice and how these leadership styles impact employees. The results of the study are intended to contribute to the development of managers into successful leaders. The aim of the study was to advance knowledge and assess the impact and importance of leadership in architectural firms. Managers and employees in architectural firms will benefit from the study. The theoretical areas that were used in the study included various leadership theories, traits, behavioural theories, contingency theories, and motivation theories. The objectives of the study were to indicate what leadership style works best in an architectural firm; to assess if creative employees of an architectural firm should be led differently; to find out what motivates employees at an architectural firm; and to study the effect of leadership styles on creative employees’ job satisfaction. The qualitative research approach was used, with in-depth, semi-structured interviews being conducted with 14 current/former employees and two managers from a Durban-based architectural firm. Judgmental sampling was employed and thematic analysis and interpretation was used to analyse the data. The results of the study revealed that the managers use an informal, consultative leadership style that encourages employees to contribute and make decisions. The findings identified that the managers can implement a distributed, participative, and team leadership style. The findings also indicated that the respondents are intrinsically motivated by enjoyment of their architectural work and it was found that the respondents get job satisfaction from their passion for architecture.
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