Kurt Lewin and colleagues studied many leadership styles to determine which one is the most effective and should be employed in the setups. According to the video “Leadership Styles Explained (Kurt Lewin),” leadership technique is “the way one feels most comfortable leading others to achieve the vision” (EPM, 2020, 00:09-00:12). Kurt Lewin went over each form of leadership and how it affects the people who follow it. Lewin researched individuals exposed to many types of leaders, including democratic, authoritarian, and delegation, and the results were assessed. After analyzing the results, Lewin obtained from the experiment, Lewin determined that the most effective leadership style was participative. Lewin proved that autocratic leaders sparked revolutions and that the laissez-faire theory was incomplete because employees might not work successfully.
The influence of Lewin’s leadership theory on today’s collaborative leadership paradigms is enormous. A participative approach recommended by Lewin leads to effective performance in the organization because there will be a healthy relationship between the leaders and the employees. According to Lewin, democratic leadership is “focused on the leader’s team and is characterized by decision-making being shared across the team (EPM, 2020, 04:15-04:19). Many leaders have adopted Lewin’s experiment as the basis for their leadership philosophy. Managers that use the democratic approach provide direction to the group in exchange for their involvement in decision-making, but they retain final authority. They make their team feel like one group, resulting in collective dedication. Lewin emphasized the collaborative leadership models because it was effective. Therefore, Kurt Lewin’s theory has served as the foundation for determining the technique to be employed. Overall, understanding leadership styles is critical for employees and the organization’s overall performance.
Many theories have contributed the most to modern-day collaborative learning models, aside from Kurt Lewin’s. One of such ideologies is person-centered/people-centered or student-centered as known in an educational setting. According to DiBello (2019), stakeholder collaborations in healthcare “range from the patient-centered work of an interprofessional team, to collaborations among different departments within a health care organization, to intersectoral collaborations between health care organizations and community-based organizations” (p. 15). Ospina et al. (2020) provide a map of collective leadership (CL) that expands on previous models, acknowledging that the terrain is developing and becoming progressively hard to navigate. Generally, the authors connect the theory and method to understand the CL processes.
Distributive leadership (DL) is another theory or concept that has contributed the most to modern-day collaborative learning models. DL is used to describe a style that changes the way schools are organized and stretches leadership beyond a single person (Samancioglu et al., 2020). According to the video on “Collaborative Leader Building a Collaborative Team,” collaboration requires drawing on some essential skills, and collaborative leaders work to build these skills in their team (SkillSoft YouTube, 2020, 00:30-00:33). A few key features show how the DL model can draw out expertise. For instance, instead of duty or assignment, leading is viewed as a habit. The interplay between the three aspects of DL, “leaders, followers, and situation”, are critical (Samancioglu et al., 2020, p. 2). Individuals are empowered and given autonomy in DL, which distributes, enabling them to discover their potential. Cooperative learning coexists alongside DL in educational settings since educators are expected to improve their job satisfaction for better results. Therefore, DL ensures that the players, including teachers and administrator/managers, play a vital role in collective learning.
DiBello, K. (2019). Collaborative leadership. AAACN Viewpoint, 41(4), 15-16.
EPM. (2020). Leadership styles explained (Kurt Lewin) [Video]. YouTube.
Ospina, S. M., Foldy, E. G., Fairhurst, G. T., & Jackson, B. (2020). Collective dimensions of leadership: Connecting theory and method. Human Relations, 73(4), 441-463.
Samancioglu, M., Baglibel, M., & Erwin, B. J. (2020). Effects of distributed leadership on teachers’ job satisfaction, organizational commitment and organizational citizenship. Pedagogical Research, 5(2), 1-9.
SkillSoft YouTube. (2020). Collaborative leader building a collaborative team [Video]. YouTube.