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The Students Media Board (SMB) is an organization that directs various units important to achieving success of the Washington State University Vancouver media outlets. The organization oversees three student-operated media groups: the KOUG radio, the VanCougar bi-monthly newsletter, and the Salmon Creek Journal (an annual literary arts journal. As an organization, SMB demonstrates various traits in terms of organizational factors. Every organization is characterized by a leadership model. Leadership involves influencing the staff to take part in achieving the organizational objectives.

There are different theories explaining leadership styles, which include; first is the trait theory. This theory holds that there are personality characteristics that distinguish leaders from the followers. There is a mental demonstration of the characteristics and mode of conduct shown by the leaders. Looking at SMB, it is led by an Executive Board that is made up of a team of four volunteer students and the Students Involvement Manager. The main function of the leadership board is to coordinate efforts and expand media resources.

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The second leadership theory is behavioral style. This theory requires that a leader should create mutual respect and trust among followers and also initiate an organizational structure that organizes and defines what team members are expected to do. A leader’s behavior should be systematically molded and improved, since there is no single ultimate leadership style, thus it is important to determine when to exhibit certain traits. Thirdly is the situational theory, which argues that a leader’s style should be consistent with the situation at the moment.

It refers to how well the leader is in charge and can manage the work environment at hand. Situational theory can take three dimensions: leader-member relations where the leader has the support and trust of the team; work structure; and position power of the leader, which includes the extent to which the leader can sanction, compel and reward the work team. Hershey and Blanchard propose that efficient leadership behavior is influenced by the alertness of the followers, the ability to complete a given duty. Another model is the path-goal theory which defines how leader’s effectiveness is impacted by the interaction between directive, supportive, participative and results-oriented styles. There are contingency factors that affect the aptness of a leader’s behavior.

The SMB board is in charge of implementing problem solutions from the top authority. There is transactional leadership which aims to clarify the employee’s tasks and provide reward according to achievement. This model of leadership can be distinguished from transformational leadership, which focuses on changing employee’s attitudes to pursue the organization’s objectives over self interest. Transformational leadership involves increasing intrinsic motivation and objective pursuit, idealizing influence, individualizing consideration, and by intellectual stimulation. Good leaders are expected to be both transformational and transactional so as to impact on the team dynamics and team-level results, while employees are more transactional than transformational.

There is the leader-member exchange model, which assumes that the quality of relations between the leaders and the employees is more vital than the traits of either the leaders or followers. Leaders are encouraged to create high performance expectations of their direct reports but not to enable homogeneous work conditions. Just like any other organization, SMB has an objective which is to provide educational opportunities to the campus media teams and their development. Due to its organizational structure created by the leadership, SMB is able to achieve new and lucrative inventions that one cannot be achieved individually.

Another role of the leadership team of SMB is to introduce and train new recruits in the organization to achieve success of their goals and pursue a person’s need for affiliation.

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