Critical Analysis Assignment Help
Discuss any identifiable bias or motive that may have coloured the author's approach or influencedthe formulation of the conclusions. Applications or relevant knowledge from other sources may be used in this discussion provided they are completely referenced. Original and thoughtful comment well substantiated will be highly regarded. Good presentation, structured organisation of the content and clarity of writing are basic expectations for a satisfactory report.
This critical analysis is based on the article by Arthur G Bedeian called "The Dean's Disease: How the Darker Side of Power Manifests Itself in the Office of Dean."In the article, the author presented his views on how the dean's disease manifests in the leaders and its process and critical factors followed by some preventive measures were also outlined. In this critical analysis report the views of the author has been reviewed and assessed by identifying the logics as well as limitations behind the arguments presented by the author in the article.
The main postulates of the article suggests that some categories of deans become overwhelmed with their own importance unknowingly. Further, the author argued that when such deans realize their power it tends to corrupt them and "absolute power corrupts absolutely." He further suggested that deans are often more interested in managing a high public profile compared to understanding or discussing the logic behind their decisions (Bediean, 2002). Those who wants to stay in the favor of dean would not question the decisions. In this article, the author argued that after taking the roles and responsibilities of the office, deans tend to cross over to the dark side and become drunk in their power of the office almost immediately and they develop a sense of superiority, which makes it difficult to communicate with them (Bediean, 2002). Moreover, the author suggested that the dean soon because of the resources under their control displays such behavior and it manifests itself as the dean exercising their coercive and reward power. Deans when use verbal abuse, threats, confrontation and punitive action display the use of their coercive power and the faculty perceive such behavior as personal bias, dishonesty and arbitrariness. Contrastingly deans when display reward power through increase in salary, promotions, positive teaching assignments use reward power and in such cases sycophants seek personal gain through flattery (Bediean, 2002).
However, Cantrell, (2016)criticized such suggestions by Bedeian by suggesting that Bedeian neglected certain facts as well. In Cantrell's opinion as soon as the dean assumes their role of the office, the behavior of the faculty is altered as well. The entire faculty divides itself in two groups one of which seek the favor of the dean by approaching the person for salary hikes and the other shuns the dean and the other group. In such a situation, the deans reach a mental condition where he or she laments that these very faculty members used to be his or her friends and from that point,the change begins. Cantrell's criticism is well placed as it describes the outside elements that potentially influence the transformation process while these outside influences were entirely neglected by Bedeian' work. The author solely focused on the intrinsic and personal characteristics of the people that potentially influence the disease and its onset after an applicant assumes the official roles of a dean and its office.
The author further suggested that the flattery by one-group results in the deans beginning to believe that they are special and highly intelligent as other tell them and thus they develop an overinflatedsense of self, however for being so the applicant must possess the intrinsic character that love and lusts for the power. Moreover, the author further suggested that having control of the resources, the deans tend to assume the morality consistent with their power and thirst of power and thus their change the existing rules and new rules emerge as a result of the attempt of extending their own power. While this may be true Bedeian neglected the influence of faculty members in this transformation when they seek favor through flattery or they shun the dean deny his or her authority. After recognizing the dark side of the Dean's disease, the author tried to suggest some preventive measures in his work. He suggested that surveying the applicants for the post following the Kets de Vries (1979) work, is good idea where the applicants can be surveyed for displaying any symptom of the disease and they may typically display identifiable personality traits. However, if the explanation by Cantrell is held true that the faculty is equally responsible for the transformation, this method might not be effective at all because irrespective of the presence or absence of the personality traits as characterized by Kets de Vries (1979), the transformation can happen influenced by such external factors. The next suggestion was going over the past record of the applicants because these may show abuse of power in the past. This may be effective as a person who has a record of abusing the power they held is likely to abuse such absolute power that comes with the office and the post. However, absence of such a record may not be indicative of the person never likely to be drunk with power when they held it. The author also suggested that deans could thwart the dean's disease through establishing moral values such as highest values of integrity, fairness, honesty, and selflessness and in absence of such moral values, the person can be deemed unfit for the job. This is acceptable because a person having such moral values as less likely to be influenced by the power of resources. Moreover, the author also suggested that promoting a culture where disagreement for faculty members on any matter is permitted and welcomedis also a good measure for challenging the disease process. This is also true logically because in such a case a dean is already appreciative of cumulative decision-making and welcomes criticism instead of fearing it and accepts that he or she is not the most intelligent of all and that better ideas can sprout from different sources. In other words, rather than relying heavily in authoritarian leadership style which is exclusively speaking of self and unitary control over all resources and measures, democratic leadership style should favored by people assuming the role of the dean's office because it supports inclusive decision making and communication culture within an organization. Hence, the reward power should not be used through pay rise, bonuses, or favorable treatment to a particular person but through accepting other people's views as equally valuable and important (Clements, 2012). Lastly, reviewing Bedeian's work on dean's disease the it became apparent that dean's disease is an actual psychological condition that manifests itself when a person comes in the presence of power or holds absolute power at their disposal. However, whether a person's personal characteristic features is entirely responsible for the onset of the disease or the influence of external surrounding environment and the behavior of other people is also responsible significantly remains a question yet to be answered.
In conclusion, to the critical review it can be concluded that a person in the position of absolute power holds absolute responsibility, which does not provide them the luxury of making mistakes. Therefore, the failings of the dean in their roles and responsibilities is not entirely attributed to moral failings but can also be a result of immense pressure exerted by the responsibilities as well as the lack of support that their encounter. Working on the moral dimensions as well as leadership styles may help thwart the onset of the disease practically.
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