Leadership Style in Wildlife Law Enforcement

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2013

27 Pages, Grade: A


Table of Cotents


Individualized Consideration Leadership Style in Wildlife Law Enforcement

Background of Study Area

Wildlife Law Enforcement Strategies

Leadership Perspectives
Leadership Concepts, Theories and Strategies
Transactional, transformational, situational and laissez-fair leadership styles.
Transactional and Transformational Leadership Style Differences
Personality Traits and Leadership Styles
Leadership and Organizational Change
Individual, group and organizational levels of change
Organizational change phases


Results and Discussion
Leadership Style of the Law Enforcement Officer
Individualized Consideration Leadership Style in Reducing Poaching Incidences
Leadership style and anti-poaching strategies.
Leadership style and collaborative conservation strategies.
Leadership style and anti-poaching team building
Leadership Style and Managing Resistance to Change
Individualized Consideration Leadership Style and Leadership Effectiveness




Changes in organization can take place at the individual, group and the whole organizational levels. A change can be micro detailed if the interrelationship that exists between individuals and groups, between groups and the organization and the relationship between organization and other organizations are the focused of the change. This paper relates leadership style of a law enforcement officer in wildlife protected area in Ghana and its impacts on employee performance and poaching incidences. The leadership style of the Officer was found to be transformational leadership with leanings to individualized consideration. A qualitative research approach was used to assess his relational skills that reduced resistance to changes introduced that led to an improvement of the Park’s performance on the national league of protected areas.

Key words: leadership style, organization change, anti-poaching, poaching, conservation

Individualized Consideration Leadership Style in Wildlife Law Enforcement

Organization change has largely been driven by leadership and the type of change depends on the leadership style and the organizational environment. Organization change has been grouped into evolution and revolution depending on the level of change. According to Burke (2011) a minor change in parts of the organization geared towards bringing improvements in the organization operations is evolutionary but if a major shift in the culture and strategy of the organization occurs, it is revolutionary. There had been an evolutionary change in the protected area discussed in this paper. Leadership roles in the protected area have been linked to the kind of changes that has taken place in the past five years.

Ghana has a number of wildlife protected areas which has been established to protect samples of various ecosystems of the country. The total land area of these protected areas is 13,048km2 which is 5.5% of the country’s land area. There are various categories of protected areas in Ghana according to the International Union of Nature Conservation (IUCN) categorization. Pleydell, (2005) gave numbers of protected areas in Ghana as these: National Parks (7), Resource Reserves (5), Wildlife Sanctuaries (4) and Strict Nature Reserve (1). The Wildlife Division management of fauna and flora species is primarily focused in the protected areas as about 90% of the employees are distributed in the various protected areas (Wildlife Development Plan Document 1998). Jachmann (2007) and Pleydell emphasized the importance of law enforcement in maintaining viable populations of wildlife especially in areas where wildlife is an important source of protein. Even though there are four different categories of protected areas, the management practices are similar but the objectives for their establishment are different. Emphasis is laid on protecting wildlife in protected areas, but there is a permit system which allows hunters to hunt outside protected areas and as such hunting is regulated. Other hunting restrictions include prohibitions of hunting methods such as the use of gin traps, species to be hunted, hunting in groups and hunting in the night.

A protected area is usually managed by a Park Manager who may be assisted by one or more Assistant Wildlife Officers depending on the size of the protected area and also law enforcement challenges of the area. One of the Assistant Wildlife Officers serves as an officer in charge of law enforcement even though all other employees work to enhance law enforcement since that is the core mandate (Jachmann, 2007). There are other categories of officers who are designated as Wildlife Rangers and they make up the next lower leadership level. Normally protected areas are divided into ranges and these are manned by the Wildlife Rangers who implement patrol strategies with the law enforcement employees also stationed at patrol camps. Sometimes specialized patrol employees called anti-poaching team acts as a striking force in law enforcement operations.

Background of Study Area

This paper discusses the leadership style of the law enforcement officer of one of the protected areas in Ghana and how his leadership style has led to changes in the protected area law enforcement performance. The protected area is found predominantly in a savannah ecosystem with an almost 95% of the employees being males. Major poaching challenges of the protected area are group hunting, cattle invasion and water poisoning by fringe communities in the dry season ostensibly to fish within the water pools. These poaching activities have been recurring especially group hunting and water pollution in the reserve since the inception of the protected area. Culprits of these poaching activities are mostly from 3 of the fringe communities bordering the protected area.

Getting resources for law enforcement activities within protected areas in Africa has been challenging to most governments and conservationists. Jachmann (2007) noted this and recommended that protected area management in Africa needs a cheap, sustainable and standardized methods to collect data from patrol activities. He further stated that such method should provide a feedback monitoring system to make law enforcement more effective and cost efficient. Protected areas in Ghana have implemented such an adaptive management system since 2005 where illegal activities within all the protected areas together with employee performances and ecological data have been measured and compared among protected areas. The minimum standard employee performance has been pegged at a 15 day patrol per month per staff. It is through discipline and motivation that can lead employees to attain a performance that is higher than the minimum to reduce incidence of poaching.

In an earlier assessment of the protected area by the Wildlife Division, the performance of the protected area was not only below the standard minimum (5.10 man days per month was achieved for 2008) but also it had an attendant high incidences of poaching. Poaching activities reduced and staff performance improved in 2009 even though it was still below the national minimum standard. However, since 2010 the employee performance has been above the national minimum standard and group hunting and water poisoning has ceased even though individual poaching incidences still occurs.

Wildlife Law Enforcement Strategies

There are different forms of patrols and it is the work of the law enforcement officer to draw patrol programs for employees. Types of patrols normally conducted include regular day and night patrols, emergency patrols and long patrols usually lasting more than five days. The law enforcement officer makes sure that the needed logistics for every type of patrol is supplied. He processes poachers arrested to the Ghana Police Service to be sent to court. The law enforcement officer attends court and tries to procure judgment against suspects. The law enforcement officer appraises patrol staff by analyzing patrol data for employee performance. The officer is in charge of collating ecological data during patrols from various camps as well as poaching offences recorded every month.

Following this introduction is a literature review that explains leadership concepts, theories and strategies and how these are linked with organizational change. Leadership types and their relationship with personality traits are presented in the literature review.

Leadership Perspectives

Leadership Concepts, Theories and Strategies

Leading is an activity within organizations or groups that is aimed at bringing a change for the benefit of followers. It is used by influencers to cause a change in followers and it is the most important singular factor for a change in groups (Aldoory and Toth, 2004). Style is generated from the leaders world view. Patriarchal and deterministic leadership (based on ideologies of founders of groups) denotes autocratic style and a social world view leadership style generates participative styles. Aldoory & Toth again stated that the effectiveness of leaders is a situational match and skill is the level of experience of the leader and has nothing inherent about it. But it is how followers understand their leader that will determine success because willingness to work, job satisfaction and performance of workers has been suggested to be influenced by leadership styles. Enden, Cilliers and Deventer, (n.d) supported Aldoory & Toth claims by stating that leadership is influenced by style and skill; however, they believe that leadership success is influenced by inherent abilities, claims supported by trait and great men theories of leadership (Cherry, n.d).

Cherry (n.d) delineated leadership styles theories into eight and below is the list: Great men, trait, contingency and the fourth being situational theory. The rest are behavioral, participative, transactional and the last one transformational. Notwithstanding these divisions, Enden, Cilliers & Deventer, (n.d) boxed leadership style into four- transactional, transformational and laissez-faire leadership. The fourth is a combination of these models called situational leadership. A detailed review of the four leadership categories as given above follows.

Transactional, transformational, situational and laissez-fair leadership styles.

Transactional leadership is the style of leadership that involves exchange between leaders and followers where the leader expects subordinates to complete a task for a reward or to avoid punishment. Transactional leadership controls employees by economic and rational means by using contingent reward procedures to provide both tangible and intangible rewards to followers in return for performance of task. Bono and Judge (2004) called transactional leadership style as management by exception which has both passive and active forms. The active forms involves a deliberate action of monitoring and supervising standards of organizations and providing corrective measures when infractions occur; but for the passive, action is taken only when the errors are serious or reported.

Transformational leadership is when leaders whip up followers desires to achieve task that are beyond them-sharing in the vision of the leader. The transformational leader is characterized by risk taking, organizational change, pro-activeness, problem solving innovativeness and futuristic planning (Enden, Cilliers & Deventer, n.d). Transformational leadership has been operationalized into idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration according to Wu (2010). Details of these have been presented in the next subheading-transformational leadership styles.

Laissez- faire leadership style is the one that allows for passive leadership behavior. The laissez-faire leadership is the shirking of leadership responsibilities to followers and the leader does not take active participation when the need arises (Aldoory & Toth, 2004; Bono & Judge, 2004; Enden, Cilliers & Deventer, n.d). It can be equated to self-management.

Situational leadership also known as contingency leadership indicates that there is no one particular effective method for leadership and actually effectiveness depends on how a situation is managed. Mujtaba & Sungkhawan (2009) mentioned that situational leaders do not only change leadership style due to changes in situations (organization’s environment) but also change depends on whom they are working with

The situational leadership theory has been advocated for as the best leadership style because leaders change their styles to suit situations (Aldoory & Toth, 2004). Perhaps this is also the view of Mujtaba and Sungkhawan (2009) as they put it; the situational model of leadership makes leaders more effective because it allows them to learn and change for better leaders.

The situational leadership style is also acceptable in different cultures, gender and organizational situations. This leadership style can be participative or autocratic depending on the work environment. Leaders may choose task behavior leadership (top down communication with supervision to ensure a task is completed) and relational task (communicate with followers and giving them emotional support) as leadership style depending on the business environment.

Transformational leadership styles.

Bono & Judge (2004) have explained transformational leadership style further with these explanations. Idealized influence style consists of leaders with high moral and ethical standards; they command respect and are held high by their followers. Idealized influence leadership depends on the followers’ desire to respect and share in the leaders’ vision and the leader also approving and supporting the actions of the group.

Inspirational motivation is the leadership style with vision for an idealized future which stimulates followers to strive for higher goals and challenges. Inspirational motivation uses the ability of the leader to create a vision and sharing this with followers by stimulating their emotions into believing that they can achieve the vision. It correlates with idealized influence strongly and are combined to form a charisma. But Choi (2006) cautioned followers about the type of charismatic leader they follow because there are personalized charismatic leadership which is exploitative and socialized one which works for the general good of the organization irrespective of the individual interest and they help followers with high goals to meet their needs.

The intellectual stimulation leadership encourages followers to challenge the status quo and brings innovativeness, critical thinking and creativity among followers. Intellectual stimulation uses followers’ creativity and abilities in changing the status quo.

The individualized consideration recognizes the needs for development of individuals in a group; mentor and coach them to achieve these developments for organizational growth. Individualized consideration acts are related to the leader who believes in the abilities of the followers to identify their future development needs and make strategies for followers to develop themselves-all into meeting the needs of the organization.

Transactional and Transformational Leadership Style Differences

According to Hickman and Johnson (2004) cited in Wu (2010) the major difference between transactional and transformational leadership is based on the Maslow hierarchical needs which state that lower needs are met before higher needs. The lower needs are physiological (safety, belonging and love), and the higher needs are psychological (self-esteem and self-actualization).

Transactional leaders try to meet the basic physiological needs through exchange while transformational leaders meet the basic needs and go beyond to meet the self-esteem and self-actualization needs. Transactional leaders’ communication with followers is passive and is aimed at maintaining the status quo but for transformational leadership; communication with followers is active and transforms followers through mission, intellectual stimulation and inspiration.


Excerpt out of 27 pages


Leadership Style in Wildlife Law Enforcement
Walden University  (Public Administration)
PhD in Local Government and Sustainable Development
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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451 KB
leadership, style, wildlife, enforcement
Quote paper
Nana Owusu-Ansah (Author), 2013, Leadership Style in Wildlife Law Enforcement, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/285409


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