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Management (MGH)

Chapter 9 Leadership What is Leadership? Leadership: The influence that particular individuals exert on the goal achievement of others in an organizational context. Has a strong effect on an organizations strategy, success, and survival. Effective leadership exerts influence in a way that achieves organizational goals by enhancing productivity, innovation, satisfaction, and commitment of the workforce. Strategic Leadership: Leadership that involves the ability to anticipate, envision, maintain flexibility, think strategically, and work with others to initiate changes that will create a viable future for the organization. Can provide an organization with a sustainable competitive advantage by helping it compete in turbulent and unpredictable environments and by exploiting growth opportunities. Formal leaders (e.g., managers, executives) are expected to influence others, and are given specific authority to direct employees. However, the presence of a formal leadership role is no guarantee that there is leadership. Since informal leaders do not have formal authority, they must rely on being well liked or being perceived as highly skilled to exert influence. Are Leaders Born? The Search for Leadership Traits Research on Leadership Traits Traits: Individual characteristics such as physical attributes, intellectual ability, and personality. Traits associated with leadership effectiveness include: intelligence, energy, self- confidence, dominance, motivation to lead, emotional stability, honesty and integrity, and need for achievement. However, connections between these traits and good leaders are not very strong. Three of the big five personality dimensions (agreeableness, extraversion, and openness to experience) are related to leadership behaviours. The relationship between intelligence and leadership is considerably lower than previously thought. Limitations of the Trait Approach It is difficult to determine whether traits make the leader or whether the opportunity for leadership produces the traits. We have little information about how to train and develop leaders and no way to diagnose failures of leadership (what do dominant, intelligent, or tall people do to influence others successfully?) The trait approach to leadership fails to consider the situation in which leadership occurs. Traits alone are not sufficient for successful leadership. Traits are only a precondition for certain actions that a leader must take to be successful (i.e., possessing the appropriate traits for leadership make it more likely that certain actions will be taken and will be successful). The trait approach is mainly concerned with what leaders bring to a group setting. The Behaviour of Leaders Consideration and Initiating Structure Consideration: The extent to which a leader is approachable and shows personal concern and respect for employees. The considerate leader is seen as friendly and egalitarian, expresses appreciation and support, and is protective of group welfare. Initiating Structure: The degree to which a leader concentrates on group goal attainment. The structuring leader clearly defines and organizes hisher role and the roles of followers, stresses standard procedures, schedules the work to be done, and assigns employees to particular tasks. A leader could be high, low, or average in one or both dimensions. The Consequences of Consideration and Structure Consideration and initiating structure both contribute positively to employees motivation, job satisfaction, and leader effectiveness. Consideration tends to be more strongly related to follower satisfaction (leader satisfaction and job satisfaction), motivation, and leader effectiveness.
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