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Research Proposal: Is Character Relevant To Leadership (Research Proposal Sample)


This was a research proposal on the question; Is character relevant to leadership?


< Lecturer’s Name and Course Number>
The research topic is character in leadership. The character of a leader becomes vivid when one looks beneath their face and personality. Character refers to the moral and mental traits possessed by an individual. It can be described as the moral traits that compel an individual to do the right thing, even when under pressure or temptations to do the contrary (Wright and Quick 2011, p. 980).
Research question: Is character relevant to leadership?
This research aims at showing whether character should be a qualification for leadership. It is important to investigate this question since it will provide a framework for employers to refer to when looking for leaders. This research will show to which extent the character of an individual displays their leadership abilities.
Literature description.
The three journal articles that are important for this research are The role of character in ethical leadership research, The Character to Lead: A Closer Look at Character in Leadership, and Character centered leadership: Muhammad (p) as an ethical role model for CEOs. A large number of businesses failures or crisis arise from lack of character in leadership. Character cannot be described specifically, but this research will examine whether character can be measured. It will show how multidimensional character is and its importance to leaders. Character in Leadership encompasses nine dimensions and three factors (Beekun 2012, p.1005). The three factors are personal integrity and ethics, organizational integrity and ethics, and humility, gratitude, and forgiveness. Every individual has character, but there is a need to develop and nurture it so that it can be of importance (Crossan 2012, p. 290). Previous research indicates that character does not get much attention when it comes to choosing leaders. This research aims at explaining why character should matter in the selection of leaders.
In finding of the sources, I employed database searching. Searching for the relevance of character in leadership resulted in the source Character-centered leadership. I also searched for a journal that explained well the need of having character in a leader. That resulted to the source; the role of character in leadership. I then researched instances where character in leadership have been employed, and that is how I came up with the third source. These sources cover the research questions from major angles. They will show how character have been used or ignored in real life situations, and that will help in determining whether character should be a major issue to consider when looking for a leader. The first source, the role of character in ethical leadership, is an international journal of political, social, and behavioral science. The second journal, the character to lead, is a human resource and organizational behavior journal. The third source, The Character to Lead: A Closer Look at Character in Leadership, is a consulting psychology journal. All the three sources are academic journals. They all seek to explain, clarify, and extend the topic of character and leadership.
Research Approaches
An inductive approach to this research would mean first collecting information that is relevant to the topic, the relevance of character in leadership. After collecting the data I will feel enough, I will then study it. The aim of this study will be to look for a pattern in the data that will aid in the development of an explanation or theory to this patterns. This data will include observations I make, past experiences, and data from other people about the topic. By using this approach, there will be no specific theory in mind, rather, that is what I will be trying to find out. In this case, it will involve collecting data from journals and other articles about how people perceive character. It will involve focusing on the topic of character in leadership, find out how individuals treat the topic, analyze the collected data, and then come up with a theory or general point of focus (Heit and Rotello 2010, p. 805).
Although time-consuming, an inductive approach to this research will have some advantages. This approach will be of help considering how incomplete the information at hand is. Since there is no data that can be considered as complete in this case, an inductive approach will be of help since it will involve analyzing the available data and drawing a conclusion from there. This approach is also advantageous in the sense that it will entail thorough research and collection of diverse data, hence leaving meaningful and memorable lessons. This approach will also be helpful since it will add the available data range and experience too (Wright and Quick 2011, p. 983).
A deductive approach to this research shall involve having a theory in mind already, then trying to justify that theory. I will find a compelling theory then test it using the collected data. This will entail developing a theory about the relevance of character in leadership, then try to prove that theory. After finding a theory to focus on, I shall then narrow down to a more specific hypothesis that is testable. The hypothesis shall be tested after collection of observations to address it. One objective of this research is to prove that character should be considered when choosing leaders. The hypothesis is if organizations or business consider character when looking for leaders, it will decrease the possibilities of business failure or crisis.
Making character a priority in the choosing and developing of leaders will see to it that business leaders restore faith in people about leadership. Anyone can be a leader, but not everyone can make a good leader. Character is the part of an individual that determines what they will do and the decisions they will make. Being a leader entails having morals, determination, and ethics (Quick and Wright 2011, p. 985). It does not only involve the academic qualifications of an individual. Many leaders today are employed because of their academic status, and their character is usually ignored. This can be destructive to businesses or companies since by the time it is realized that a certain leader lacks character; it might be too late (Heit and Rotello 2010, p. 805). This hypothesis is testable. This will involve the collection of data from various organizations on how they chose the leaders. The collected data will then be analyzed to find out whether they consider character when searching for the leaders. The testing shall also involve collecting data from companies or organizations showing their performance. The data will then be analyzed to investigate how successful the companies are. After collecting and analyzing the data, I will tabulate the results. This will involve weighing the results of the first research against the results of the second research. This will help in determining which companies reported more chances of success, and whether character was a leadership requirement for them.
I would choose a deductive approach over an inductive one. A deductive approach is straight to the point hence time saving. In an inductive approach, one needs time to first collect all the available data on the given topic, some of which can prove irrelevant later on (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson 2012). This means an inductive approach can lead to unnecessary wastage of time. Even more time is consumed in the analysis phase. In this approach, this phase would more time consuming since it would involve careful analyzing of the data, ...
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