Environmental Scan


“Information professionals are designers. We build information systems, services, spaces, and objects that we hope will help users find, use, create, and share information.” Bowler et al. (2011, p.723)

It is important to understand a systems users’ information behaviour when designing usable systems. User centred design is one such technique that incorporates the potential user in the design process. One such approach is to incorporate social bookmarking/tagging. The ultimate goal is to have a retrieval system that adapts to user behaviour rather than expecting the user to adapt to the system. Social tagging has two broad implications for user-centred design: it provides users with a flexible and personalized organization/access tool and it offers a venue for collecting empirical data on how users categorize and name information resources.

Common Themes

For a digital Library to be effective it has to be user friendly and easy to use. A well designed retrieval system that incorporates some common standards should be able to achieve this.

•Social Tagging and Digital Library Collections
Bookmarking.Net via Facebook outlined that in order to instruct Google what to display, you need to specify Google-compatible Meta tags, and update your HTML schema. This can be applied to any platform.

•Social Tagging as a Flexible Mechanism for Organizing Information for Users
As a result of a community tagging resources, the collection of tags defined by them creates a tag-based organization which can be referred to as a folksonomy. A folksonomy is basically known as weighted set of tags, and may refer to a whole collection/site. Blog post by arkaitz on http://blog.zubiaga.org/

•Social Tagging as a Way to Understand Users
When it comes to annotation tools not only can users add comments and highlighting to articles and eBooks, but they can then log-in to their account and pull off all of these notes into one central document. The device can also be used to see which sections of text other users are focusing on. BMJ Group Blogs.

Challenges & Barriers

As with any design process there are always hurdles to overcome. Designing a retrieval system has always been an area of considerable difficulty. The interpretation of tagging between humans and machines may create new problems if essential questions about how social tagging corresponds to online communications, what objects the tags refer to, who the interpreters are, and why they are engaged are not explored systematically.

•A common problem with tagging is that words such as web are overused and therefore become both pointless and lost in a sea of countless search returns. Likewise specific tags like acronyms may only make sense or can even be interpreted differently, among their particular communities of users. Thirdly polysemy is a term has two or more similar meanings

•Confusion in social tagging occurs due to the interpretations of what tags are meant to represent. The difficulty lies in the interpretation between the technical and social dimensions. “Tags, as a form of descriptive and visible metadata need a conceptual framework so that they can be constructed, presented, and processed systematically” Huang, A. W. C., & Chuang, T. R. (2009, p.347).

•Another issue is that many social tagging systems come with a function that provides users with tags supplied by other users to suggest a tag for the resource. This in turn restricts the user in their ability to describe the resource uniquely or even at all differently. This defeats the purpose of the tagging system.

Reoccurring in Online Discussions

Attaining Best Results

Several themes were ever present throughout the environmental scan that would be of relevance to a digital library. Firstly social bookmarking is seen by many as a tool to expand yourself, your business or even a digital library and as such there are many organisations vying for people to use their tools in order to benefit from using social bookmarking effectively. With Twitters hash tag function it is easy to follow what tweets have tagged social book marking.

Daily Ponder wrote on April 6th wrote:

“The Advantages of Search Engine Submission http://freesearchenginesubmit.org #Socialbookmarking”

SanFranciscoMobile ‏wrote on the March 31st:

“#SocialBookmarking is hot! Watch these videos and learn how to master #Social Book Marking! http://bit.ly/XTc3fT”
Throughout blogs and discussions people are championing different sites that cater for peoples information needs in the best possible manner. “erikchoi” posted on infoseeking.org on the April 14th:
“Pinterest is a sort of newer version of image bookmarking system in which people are allowed to create and manage images based on his/her personal interests.”

Information Behaviour

One of the main difficulties is to understand the intuition behind how people carry out searches so that you know what tags will gain you most exposure. Joanne Ptolomey wrote on her twitter:

“Exploring social tagging in relation to curating health information. Looking for examples.”

With the general consensus being whatever seems the most logical fit. The socialmaximiser blog states you should not use automated tools which do not care a thing for quality. Social bookmarking is effective only if you submit to most relevant categories, using proper tags, titles and descriptions. This underlies the importance to give careful consideration as to what tags to use and to try and think what other people will search for.

Available Software

There is clearly money to be made from perfecting the perfect tool that returns the best search results. Tools seek to make content more accessible, practical and valuable through an automated generation of semantic metadata, the incorporation of user-defined metadata and to incorporate the capabilities of user-contributed tags. However this is an extremely difficult practice, as is shown in the next two examples. Chrisjhorn wrote on his blog March 2nd:

“OpenCalais’s behaviour is clearly unstable and unpredictable. I’ve little doubt that OpenCalais will continue to improve: as I noted above, it is already a very good tool, albeit at this time largely limited to the English language.”

Another possible software choice is Sophia which StevenArch explained:

“Sophia uses algorithms based on semiotics to identify and categorize documents. Per se, it does not have any knowledge about any specific natural language, and so instead analyses the patterns of words and constructs appearing in the documents which it is given.”

While there were many other areas discussed pertaining social tagging online, these were three that stood out and can be easily applicable to any digital library that wants to look at this issue. This tied in conjunction with the previous sections, common themes as well as challenges and barriers lays out a much clearer picture for the area of social tagging as a method of information retrieval.

Issues for a Digital Library

The overriding issue to incorporate this method is its overall functionality. Can digital libraries make it efficient and also a worthwhile endeavour? In terms of ARTstor there are certain issues that need to be given adequate attention if they were to incorporate social tagging in an information retrieval capacity. Firstly a key issue concerns the impact of social tags to the subject indexing process of an information organization. Who is going to oversee the implementation and monitor whether it is working or not, adjust it appropriately so the best results are achieved and importantly make sense of it all. These are all time consuming restraints that must be given careful consideration and the financial aspect must not be forgotten.

As Kakali and Papatheodorou (2010) outline that a relevant issue concerns the process of the social tags exploitation. It is crucial to come up with a system that takes in to consideration the frequency and the criteria of the tag assessment process. They continue to explain that one method to carry this out would be to refine the inserted tags by searching, in predefined time periods, and in turn to identify overlapping terms and keep in the folksonomy only the non-overlapping tags, while the overlapping to be inserted in the local authority file. This of course is not straight forward and issues potentially arising are extremely apparent to see especially when taking in to consideration that libraries have a limited number of personnel. One can imagine for example ArtSTOR which would need to incorporate this new system by having even more tags to be catalogued.

Kohl (2010) explains ARTstor has some noticeable weaknesses that include the inability of the user to browse by artist; the lack of suggestions for possible misspellings; and the lack of bibliographic resources for further research. On top of this, it would be beneficial if each classification in the Browse function was further subdivided by material. While most likely due to issues of copyright, the collection had limited coverage of modern and contemporary art. It is clear to see that this coupled with the fact there is a lack of image and subject descriptors that this could be improved with community social tagging.

As unearthed in the environmental scan the issue of users tagging in a manner that is useful can also be problematic. Kakali (2010) & Farooq et al. (2007) go in to some detail on this matter. One important component to social tagging being a successful tool is to incorporate a system that suggests tags by other users. One system suggested is CiteULike which combats this, it allows users when tagging items to conveniently select and reuse tags from their personal collections. Cataloguers have expressed their reservation about the tags being inserted by less qualified users such as undergraduate students and external users. It was stated that if faculty and post-graduate students tagged items a better end result would be achieved. Nevertheless a possibility is to buy LibraryThing’s tags or to encourage the users to enrich the local folksonomy.

Note: ARTstor received a three year grant by The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) of $413,378 to support a project investigating and evaluating ways of improving library and museum searching and social tagging in 2011 and it will be interesting to see the results once available. The issues raised here will no doubt be considered carefully when trying to implement a successful system.


Academic Papers

1.Bowler, L., Koshman, S., Oh, J. S., He, D., Callery, B. G., Bowker, G., & Cox, R. J. (2011). Issues in user-centered design in LIS. [Electronic Version] Library Trends, 59 (4) 721-752.

2.Buchanan, G. & Masoodian, M. & Cunningham, S. J. (Eds.). (2008). Digital Libraries: Universal and Ubiquitous Access of Information. New York: Springer.

3.Farooq, U., Song, Y., Carroll, J. M., & Giles, C. L. (2007). Social bookmarking for scholarly digital libraries. [Electronic Version] Internet Computing, IEEE, 11(6), 29-35.

4.Huang, A. W. C., & Chuang, T. R. (2009). Social tagging, online communication, and Peircean semiotics: a conceptual framework. [Electronic Version] Journal of Information Science, 35 (3) 340-357.

5.Kakali, C. & Papatheodorou, C. (2010). Could Social Tags Enrich the Library Subject Index? In Libraries In the Digital Age, Zadar, Croatia, May 24-28, 2010. [Conference Paper]

6.Kohl, K. (2010) ARTstor: An Image-Oriented Digital Library. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation) Louisiana State University, Louisiana.


1.Author N/A (2013, March 10). Social Maximiser: Professional Social Bookmarking Service. Retrieved from: http://blog.socialmaximizer.com/category/social-bookmarking.

2.Bower, C. (2013, January 13) Key trends in the information-seeking behaviour of researchers. BMJ Web Development Blog [Web log post] Retrieved from

3.Choi, E. (2013, March 3) erikchoi’s blog [Web log post] Retrieved from http://www.infoseeking.org/blog.

4.Corbett, J. (2013, March 22). How Social Bookmarking can lead to the Semantic Web [Web log post]. Retrieved from: http://eirepreneur.blogs.com/eirepreneur/2006/03/how_social_book.html.

5.Horn, C. 2013, April 10). Chrisjhorn’s blog: Musing on the Software Industry and Other Things [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://chrisjhorn.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/semantic-tagging-opencalais-and-sophia.

6.Hoyle, E. (2013, February 28). The Many Faces of Social Tagging. [Web log post]. Retrieved from: http://blog.viadeo.com/en/2011/09/28/the-many-faces-of-social-tagging.


1.@alistapart (2013, April 10) Since 1998, the design magazine for people who make websites. [Twitter Page] Retrieved from https://twitter.com/alistapart.

2.@BookmarkingNet (2013, March 2) Social-Bookmarking.Net is a web 2.0 network where you can submit news, bookmarks, images, profiles, blogs and videos. [Twitter Page] Retrieved from https://twitter.com/BookmarkingNet.

3.@chibbie (2013, February 22) Exploring social tagging in relation to curating health information. Looking for examples. Pls RT. #hcsmeu #libraries #hcsmca #nhssm [Twitter Post] Retrieved from https://twitter.com/chibbie/status/263632957422571521.

4.@harrybr (2013, February 2) Is User-centered Design Broken – or is It Just Us? [Twitter Post] Retrieved from https://twitter.com/harrybr/status/298746718940442624.

5.#socialbookmarking (2013, March 14) [Twitter Search] Retrieved from https://twitter.com/search?q=%23socialbookmarking.


1.Author N/A (2013, March 2) Information Today, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.infotoday.com.

2.Social Bookmarking (2013, February 27) Social Bookmarking is a page provides you with the latest news and information about seo. [Facebook page] Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/websitesocialbookmarking?fref=ts.


Environmental Scan

For this artefact I have chosen a project I am currently finishing off at the moment. We were asked to carry out an Environmental Scan over a period of at least 5 weeks pertaining to issues a digital library could face. I really struggled with coming up with an idea due to this subject not being my favourite. My idea actually stemmed from a reading I did for this class concerning user centred design. The entire notion intrigues of including the user in the design process and just how often they are not. I decided to look at social tagging as an information retrieval system to be adapted by digital libraries and am really proud of my research on the topic.

The hardest part of this project was the research aspect. Usually I deal with journal articles but for this we had to maintain an active eye over the likes of forums and blog posts, twitter and Facebook. This wasn’t easy as you can imagine there are not that many people talking about the subject at hand. It really forced me to scavenge around and find snippets of info and follow leads and end up in places I never initially intended. I would say I’m very good in normal circumstances of putting together research for a paper but this was an entirely different approach. I didn’t have a clue really what went in to incorporating such a system at all and it’s all too easy to think if someone tags something it will be easier to find in a search. To understand this topic I had to go much deeper and beyond my comfort zone in to an entirely new area. The aspect of learning it from peoples opinions in real time was fascinating and in truth it gave me a far better understanding then I could ever have amalgamated from reading endless journal articles.

In order to move forward it would be silly to think this is the best approach because of course I read some articles and they hold so much knowledge that they are vital. Also a lot of projects don’t lend themselves to this approach but if I could even adapt parts of it I think future endeavours will reap the benefits. It is important to keep an open mind and know knowledge can lie anywhere you just have to dig and be willing to look in places you may have previously thought were not of any use.

Group work: Community Repositories

This artefact deals with the group work I did for this actual class. The topic dealt with was Community Repositories an interesting area of research on its own but one I have come across in my capstone for the maritime museum which will take up most of summer. Before being assigned this project, I didnt know much about digital repositories in general or community repositories in particular at all. This meant a lot of research was needed in order to be able to teach the topic to my classmates. Seeing firsthand the practical issue involved in collecting, storing, digitising and disseminating makes the subject more real, and sometimes that can be useful when studying. It was an interesting subject to research, and with web 2.0 and current innovations it is set to expand exponentially in the future.

I think everybody in college would agree with me that group work gets a collective groan when its announced at the start of the semester. There are many reasons for this but mainly people prefer to work alone. While saying that everyone also understands the importance of it and its “real world” practicalities. From a personal point of view I feel I work well in groups. I am not disruptive and I get on with the task at hand and will do whatever work is assigned to me. One quip I’ve heard this year is that I am too introverted and tend to take a back seat in the discussion process. There are two reasons for this, firstly this year I have found myself working on subject matter I genuinely have no interest in and secondly but more importantly I like to try and figure people out. This doesn’t always pay off in college because groups are thrown together and the work is all done over a short period of time but it is extremely useful when working with people for prolonged periods. Knowing when to be quiet and when to speak up, knowing when to push on or when to take a step back and let everyone have their own space.

Dealing with different personalities is difficult, it pains me sometimes when others go about a task in a fashion I would describe as anarchy. I have had some horror stories this year with people. This particular project however I was blessed. I have worked with two of the group before so knew exactly how it was going to work and I couldn’t laud enough compliments on the other two. I have an open mind going in to group work though and once you figure people out it doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. Too often people are worrying about their individual grade being brought down by group work and instantly decide they will take over which doesnt yield the best results at all. I’m glad to say I can see the bigger picture and that while sometimes a grade will be lower thats not the real point of the exercise. Its something I know I need a lot more practice on and I do need to voice my opinion more often but I’m never shy from expressing an opinion.

Portfolio for Digital Media

The second artefact I choose was my Portfolio for Digital Media which I had to create last semester. This incorporated a wide variety of skills some old and some new. It also was my first experience blogging on word press and involved a blog post each week about the new skills I was learning. The main part of this project was to pick a subject topic and go about taking photographs using different aspects such as aperture, depth of field and shutter speed. The theme I went with was domesticity because at the time being new to photography I felt I had the most control over this particular environment. While I don’t plan on being a photographer, what I did take from this was learning a completely new skill and how I went about doing so. This was the really interesting aspect of doing this particular assignment because I could apply this approach to anything that was new to me and there has been a lot this year.

I’m the first to admit I was no expert with the camera and I didn’t want to go out of my depth and take pictures of vivid landscapes because I felt my new found knowledge would get lost and muddled away and I would end up with eight images of essentially the same picture just a different location each time. I was quite pleased overall with how my images turned out and I think they complement each other very well. If I was to be completely honest I would have liked to be more involved with a less controlled environment as there are limitations to staying inside but as I mentioned I think the benefits countered this to deliver my final project.

This really threw me in at the deep end and I had to accept that it was going to be difficult. I am not always going to be in my comfort zone and I am going to have to struggle with certain things especially when there are no short cuts to be taken. It’s not always easy to take yourself out of your comfort zone and sometimes you have to be pushed. There have been since this project a lot of times when I have felt lost and couldn’t see any viable way of getting through projects or different assignments. However after completing projects such as this that I had to get in the right mindset to just keep going. To apply the new skills I have picked up from all areas even when they didn’t seem to complement each other. Everything is a building block and I am continually learning and continuing to improve my skill set and as an individual.

Literature Review

The artefact I have chosen is my Literature Review I did in my research methods class on the topic of Leadership in Organisations & How it Impacts on Employee Performance. I had struggled for quite some time in selecting a topic that I thought was both interesting and would also fit a lit review so it is somewhat hard to backtrack and figure out where exactly I got this idea. It has aspects I had touched upon in different classes and its an area I wanted to understand further. The point of the assessment was to demonstrate an abiltiy to identify and assess the work already done on the topic.

Its a topic I probably first discovered in secondary school in business class and before starting the project I still maintained the same mindset that it was a very black and white topic. In my old business books it clearly separates managers into three separate styles (authentic, directive and transactional) and everyone adheres to one. What I found, which probably shouldn’t be a surprise was this isn’t the case. Managers tend to have a blend of all three and it depends on the environment that they are in which style will come more to the forefront. Managers in general weigh up their options and try to get the best from their employees by applying whatever methods they think will harness the best results. Of course there are managers who just fall into one of the three categories but that tends to not end well one way or another, whether that’s for an unsuccessful manager/organisation or if its an unhappy working environment and as an extension unhappy employees.

In terms of how this altered my mindset, It gave me a fresh perspective on how people act when in a managerial capacity. If I think back to any job I have had or even team I have played on it is interesting to look at from a different perspective. Also moving forward should I find myself in a managerial capacity I would like to believe that I will be far more aware of my environment in terms of how I act. This falls in line in what I have been learning about reflecting on different topics and how they can apply to my past but also what I’m currently doing and hope to do in the future.

Literature Review

Leadership in Organisations & How it Impacts on Employee Performance

1.) Topic

The point of this research is to compare and contrast the three styles of leadership in determining employee performance. There are three distinct styles of management authentic, directive and transactional. There are many arguments for and against choosing one of these styles for running an organisation. Research into these methods indicates that the relationship between leadership styles and employee performances have a direct effect. Managers are aware that employees are the lynchpin of any organisation and in being so make the critical difference between success and failure. It is therefore critically important how organisations motivate and involve employees in order to attain a high level of commitment from them as the resulting factor will determine how well the organisation performs. Hence it is critically important to achieve a leadership style which is beneficial to the organisation in order to be successful.

2.) Bibliography

1. Chiaburu, S. D., Diaz, I., Pitts, E. V. (2011) “Social and economic exchanges with the organization: do leader behaviours matter?” (Electronic Version) Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 32 Issue: 5, pp. 442 – 461

2. Tjosvold, D., Moy, W. J. (1998) “Managing employees in China from Hong Kong: interaction, relationships and productivity as antecedents to motivation.” (Electronic Version) Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 19 Issue: 3 pp. 147-156.

3. Obiwuru, C. T., Okwu, T. A., Akpa, O. V., Nwankwere, A. I. (Oct 1 2011) Effects of leadership style on organisational performance: A survey of selected small scale enterprises in Ikosi-Ketu council development area of Lagos state, Nigeria. (Electronic Version) Australian Journal of Business & Management Research, Vol. 1, Issue: 7, pp. 100-111

4. Chaudhry, Q. A., Husnain, J. (Apr 01, 2012) Impact of Transactional and Laissez Faire Leadership Style on Motivation. (Electronic Version) International Journal of Business & Social Science, Vol. 3, Issue: 7, pp. 258-264

5. Hersey, P., Blanchard, H. K., Natemeyer, E. W. (Dec 1979) Situational Leadership, Perception, and the Impact of Power (Electronic Version) Group Organization Management, Vol. 4 Issue: 4, pp. 418-428

6. Pološki, N. (2001) Basic requirements for the successful implementation of the “feminine leadership” style in Croatian enterprises. (Electronic Version) Management Journal of Contemporary Management Issues, Vol. 6, No.1-2. pp. 119-131

7. Eagly, H. A., Johannesen-Schmidt, C. M. (2001). The Leadership Styles of Women and Men. (Electronic Version) Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 57, Issue 4, pp. 781–797

8. Bass, B. M. (1990). From transactional to transformational leadership: Learning to share the vision. (Electronic Version) Organisational Dynamics, Vol. 18 Issue 3, pp. 19-31

9. Peterson, S. R., (May 1997) A directive leadership style in group decision making can be both virtue and vice: Evidence from elite and experimental groups. (Electronic Version) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 72 Issue 5, pp. 1107-1121

10. Gardner, L. W., Schermerhorn, R. J. (2004) Performance Gains Through Positive Organizational Behaviour and Authentic Leadership Organizational Dynamics. (Electronic Journal) Organisational Gains, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 270–281,

Chiaburu, S. D., Diaz, I., Pitts, E. V. (2011) “Social and economic exchanges with the organization: do leader behaviours matter?” (Electronic Version) Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 32 Issue: 5, pp. 442 – 461

• Source Type: Research paper published in the Leadership and Organisational Development journal

• Discovery Strategy: I used key terms to narrow the search down such as leadership style, management style, authentic, directive or transactional. Once an appropriate journal (Leadership and Organisational Development journal) was found the next step was to find articles that were relative to this area of research.

• Search Tool/Resource: UCD library, eJournals

• Useful For: The findings would be good indicators to any organisation looking for leaders who match up to employee behaviours. Another reason these findings could be beneficial would be for training purposes, specifically authentic leaders. If organisations were to implement training courses in order to find leaders from within the findings in this research lend themselves to this scenario also.

• Argument: The purpose of the paper is to investigate the extent to which leadership styles affected employee performance as well as how committed they were to the firm. Using the three styles of leadership authentic, directive and transactional the paper wanted to indicate a distinct difference in terms of how employees interacted with their organisations. This was done on two fronts, social exchanges and secondly economic exchanges.

• Evidence: The results of the paper fall in line with other articles I discovered. The more open a leader is to employees, empowers them to perform better whereas if they are treated as a just another cog in the process they react badly and performance drops. This was highlighted in the results of the paper where transitional leadership was a negative predictor for economic exchange.

• Methodology: data was collected from 165 employees within the USA through questionnaires in different organisations using a scale of 1 strongly disagree to 7 strongly agree. It was then subjected to statistical analysis in accordance with several proposed hypotheses.

• Explain the credibility and reliability and expertise of the author: Dr. Chiaburu is the Assistant Management Professor in Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and teaches and conducts research in the area of organizational behaviour and human resources. Dr. Chiaburu received his education at Pennsylvania State University (PhD), Case Western Reserve University (MBA), Petrosani University (BSc). Dr. Chiaburu has received many rewards such as received the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) Excellence in Research-to-Practice Award (Practitioner Category) in 2004 as well as having work published in journals such as the one mentioned but also Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of International Business Studies.

• A brief description of the intended audience: The intended audience in my opinion would be fellow academics who are looking to continue research in this field. While the results reached are useful it is stated that further research is needed. A lot of the paper is steeped in statistical analysis so someone with a background in this field would be best suited to analyse it. While I stated who this paper would be useful for it would have to be interrupted by someone with prior knowledge in the field to fully understand the breakdown of the results.


The way in which I would go about doing the literature review is to present the evidence that I have found by breaking it down into the different leadership styles. In doing so readers could see for themselves what way the research is pointing. It is important in understanding how these work and then how they can be applied to the results found. Subtopics of motivation, satisfaction, commitment and job performance are useful when discussing the different styles. An area that I found was lacking was the negative side of the different styles. Quite often the research culminated in one being better than another rather than directly criticising a style. How I came to terms with this is there is always a situation that relies on one of the styles so a negative side isn’t necessarily needed. The important point is to figure out which style suits a specific organisation. This I feel is reflected in my outline

Authentic Leadership

Authentic leaders work hard to create an environment of honesty and meaningfulness. Where employees feel empowered and that their voice can be heard. In doing so they hope the organisation will reap the benefits in job performance. All the research points to this being the case as outlined below
An open environment can increase motivation which directly relates to performance as outlined in Tjosvold, D., Moy, W. J. (1998) which indicates the strengths of this style
This evidence is further tested by Chiaburu, S. D., Diaz, I., Pitts, E. V. (2011) by stating authentic leadership directly promotes job satisfaction and commitment to an organisation.
An interesting twist on this research is the work done by Pološki, N. (2001) on “feminine leadership” which she states shares many characteristics with an authentic leadership and makes the case why women should be employed because of this.

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leaders are seen as controlling in a supervising capacity. Motivation is elicited through rewards as well as punishment.
Transactional leaders tend to stick to a specific framework to get things done. Chaudhry, Q. A., Husnain, J. (Apr 01, 2012) found that in Pakistani banks this to be a good motivator however I would disagree and argue these findings are due to economical reasons.
Research in this area has stated transactional leadership should be transformed to transformational (authentic) Bernard M. Bass, M. B. (1990)
A perfect prelude to Bernard M. Bass (1990) is Obiwuru, C. T., Okwu, T. A., Akpa, O. V., Nwankwere, A. I. (Oct 1 2011) where transactional and transformational leadership styles are compared and contrasted in small scale enterprises.

Directive Leadership

Directive Leadership takes the form of telling employees what to do, and how to do it. Employees are expected to follow strict guidelines and meet deadlines. Put eloquently by Chiaburu, S. D., Diaz, I., Pitts, E. V. (2011) that employees feel like hired hands.
Peterson, S. R. (2001) shows there are two sides to it and there are certain organisations that a directive style would be more suitably for. Manufacturing sector relies on specific jobs executed on time where innovation is not needed and a strong leadership is desired by employees.


In order to fully understand the differences it is important to put them in prospective. Each article dealt with organisations that varied in both business sector and in a geographical sense. This in turn gave a greater understanding of how they differ and may be more suited to one organisation over another.
Co-operation and competition for motivation is a key aspect of leadership. Tjosvold, D., Moy, W. J. (1998) deal with a scenario where mangers come from one culture and background and have to work with employees of another where co-operation is integral to success.

Situational Leadership is the concept that people adapt to the environment they are in. If a situation is perceived to require a certain type of leader (authentic, directive and transactional) then people change to fit the requirements. Power Paul Hersey Kenneth H. Blanchard Walter E (1979)
The studies done on not only how leadership styles differ but also how they differ in men and woman gives a greater insight into what works and doesn’t work. This slightly different angle can give a clearer picture on implementation as alluded to by Eagly, H. A., Johannesen-Schmidt, C. M. (2001)


While there is a clear case to be made for each style there is clear tendency to lean towards an authentic style. This is because employees want to feel valued and that they have a voice. Employees react better when the situation isn’t to leave your brain at the door on the way in.

Gardner, L. W., Schermerhorn, R. J. (2004) critically appraises authentic leadership in line with what is found Eagly, H. A., Johannesen-Schmidt, C. M. (2001) and Chiaburu, S. D., Diaz, I., Pitts, E. V. (2011).
Motivation is something organisations struggle with daily and finding the best leadership style to keep employees motivated through job satisfaction is essential.


Over the course of the research it has become quite apparent how rigid this line of thinking is. Every organisation can be analysed and a conclusion made that they employ leaders that fall under one of these categories. However regarding a gap in the research I came across was the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership. This style of leadership deals with the adaptive side of people. It’s quite an old theory however it is rarely referenced in any articles I came across. This could be down to a number of factors but if I was to continue research into this area it would follow this line of thought.