Organizational Behavior Ted Mock
Leadership is the influence that particular individuals exert on the goal achievement of
others in an organizational context. It is influence in a way that achieves organizational
goals by enhancing productivity, innovation, satisfaction and commitment of the
Formal leadership positions are “expected” to influence others and are given the
authority to direct others
However, the presence of a “formal leadership role” does not guarantee that there is
Are leaders born or made? (nature / nurture argument)
Traits (nature) – Is there a special set of traits that are required to be an effective
Traits are personal characteristics of the individual including physical characteristics,
intellectual abilities and personality
The following traits have been shown to be associated with effective leadership:
• Motivation to lead
• Emotional stability
• Need for achievement
• Height (tallness)
The following Big Five characteristics are also associated with leadership:
• Openness to experience
In addition, effective leaders usually demonstrate a high level of EI
Limitations of the trait approach Organizational Behavior Ted Mock
Causality – do dominant people become good leaders or do good leaders adopt a
dominant approach when they become leaders?
Traits may be necessary pre-condition but do not guarantee success as a leader
The trait approach does not explain what leaders must do to be effective. Therefore,
the trait approach is of little value in coaching and developing leaders.
Task Leader – a leader whose main concern is accomplishing the task by organizing
others, planning strategy, and dividing labour. A task leader demonstrates task
orientation and directive behavior.
Social-emotional Leader – a leader who is primarily concerned with reducing tension,
patching up disagreements, settling arguments and maintaining morale. A social-
emotional leader demonstrates employee orientation and supportive behavior.
The combination of these two effects lead to the following diagram:
1. Country Club Management 1. Team Management
2. SUPPORTING 2. COACHING
1. Impoverished 1. Authority/Obedience Management
Management 2. DIRECTING
This diagram can be used in two ways:
• As a guide to how effective your leadership style is. Your general attitude to the
leadership of the group will fall into one of these categories.
• As a guide to how best to lead different individuals using different styles to make
the most efficient use of both their, and your, time and talents.
Analyzing Your Style
How do you lead your group? What is your attitude to both them and the task at hand?
• Impoverished Management (low concern for the task, low concern for
people). This style is characterized by minimal effort on your part, just enough to
get the job done and maintain the group structure.
"I'll just let them get on with it, I'm sure they'll do fine, they don't really want me
interfering anyway" Organizational Behavior Ted Mock
• Country Club Management (low concern for the task, high concern for
people). You take good care of your group, ensuring a comfortable, friendly
atmosphere. You hope this will lead to the work getting done.
"It stands to reason, if they're happy they'll work harder and the work will take
care of itself."
• Authority/Obedience Management (high concern for task, low concern for
people). You are probably a bit of a task master. The most important thing is the
work. You lead from behind by driving the group in front of you.
"We're here to work, the work needs to be done. If they're working hard enough
they won't have time to feel unhappy, they're not here to enjoy themselves."
• Team Management (high concern for task, high concern for people). You see
the completion of the task and the well being of the group as interdependent
through a common stake in the organization's future. This leads to relationships
built on trust and respect, and work accomplishment from committed employees.
"We're in this together. We need to support and help each other to get this job
The requirement for directive behavior vs. supportive behavior will vary according to the
situation – the nature of the task, skill level of employee, level of urgency and so on.
This will be discussed more under “contingency management”
Roles of Leaders
Consideration and initiating structure – you will see a close link between these concepts
and concern for people/concern for task that was just discussed.
Consideration – the extent to which a leader is approachable and shows personal
concern and respect for employees. A considerate leader is seen as friendly,
egalitarian (treats others as equals), expresses appreciation and support and is
protective of group welfare. This quality role is related to the social-emotional function
of leadership where the leader shows employee orientation and supportive behaviors
Initiating structure – the leader defines and organizes his/her role, the roles of followers,
stresses standard procedures, schedules work and assigns tasks. This role is related to
task orientation and directive behavior.
Research shows that both consideration and structure positively contribute to employee
motivation, job satisfaction and leader effectiveness.
Consideration is more strongly related to follower satisfaction, motivation and leader
effectiveness. Organizational Behavior Ted Mock
Initiating structure is more closely related to job performance and group performance
The relative importance of consideration vs. initiating structure varies according to the
nature of leadership situation
Initiating structure is most appropriate when there are deadlines, unclear tasks or an
Consideration is most appropriate when tasks are very clear and employees have the
When tasks are clear, employees have skills and the work is intrinsically motivating,
there is a low need for both consideration and initiating structure
Leader reward and punishment behaviors
Both rewards and punishments can be associated with positive employee outcomes
such as trust, job satisfaction and motivation provided they are seen as contingent upon
employee performance and behavior. However, if rewards and punishments are viewed
as capricious, they will lead to negative employee outcomes.
Situational Theories of Leadership
Fiedler’s Contingency Theory
This is a controversial and somewhat confusing theory of leadership that has limit
Fiedler classifies leaders into High LPC’s and Low LPC’s
An LPC means “least preferred co-worker”
A manager rates his/her least preferred coworker (subordinate) on an 18 item scale of
likeability. Some managers will rate their least preferred coworker higher than other
mangers. These mangers are called High LPC managers. A high LPC manager will
find positive attributes in his/her worst employee.
A manager who rates his/her least preferred coworker very low on the 18 item scale is
called a Low LPC manager. These managers find few, if any, positive qualities in their
least preferred coworker.
Fiedler argues that the manger’s LPC score reveals a personality trait that reflects the
leader’s motivational structure. Organizational Behavior Ted Mock
High LPC managers tend to maintain good interpersonal relations
Low LPC managers are motivated to accomplish the task
However, the LPC score is not a measure of consideration or initiating structure
Fiedler suggests that some situations are more “favourable” for the exercise of
leadership and that the type of leadership that is most effective varies with the situation
(which is why this is called Fiedler’s Contingency Theory)
The situation is most favourable for leadership when:
• Leader-member relations are good
• The task is structured
• The leader has a strong power position
The model in Exhibit 9.2 suggests the conditions under which each leadership style is
House’s Path-Goal Theory
The most important activities of leaders are those that clarify the paths to the v