Organizational Behaviour - Chapter 9.docx

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Management (MGH)
Pascal Riendeau

Organizational Behaviour – Chapter 9 – Leadership What is Leadership? • Leadership – The influence that particular individuals exert on the goal achievement of others in an organizational context • Effective leadership exerts influence in a way that achieves organizational goals by enhancing the productivity, innovation, satisfaction, and commitment of the workforce • It’s about motivating people and gaining their commitment • 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 • They can provide an organization with a sustainable competitive advantage by helping their organizations compete in turbulent and unpredictable environments and by exploiting growth opportunities Are Leaders Born? The Trait Theory of Leadership • Trait Theory of Leadership – Leadership depends on the personal qualities or traits of the leader • Leaders were sought in World War I, which led to searching for leadership traits in pop • Traits – Individual characteristics such as physical attributes, intellectual ability, and personality • Traits that have often been found to be related to leadership include: intelligence, energy and drive, self-confidence, dominance, motivation to lead, emotional stability, honesty and integrity, need for achievement, and sociability • Certain traits a linked to leadership and effectiveness including extraversion and conscientiousness • Limitations of the Trait Approach: It is difficult to determine whether traits make the leader or whether the opportunity for leadership produces the traits, there is little information about how to train and develop leaders and no way to diagnose the failures of leadership, it fails to take into account the situation in which leadership occurs, and there can be bias and discrimination when it comes to evaluating a leader’s effectiveness and decisions about promoting people to leadership positions The Behaviour of Leaders • There are two basic kinds of behaviour – 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 his/her role and the roles of followers, stresses standard procedures, schedules the work to be done, and assigns employees to particular tasks • Consequences of consideration and structure: Consideration is more strongly related to follower satisfaction whereas initiating structure is more strongly related to job performance and group performance. The effects often depend on characteristics of the task, the employee, and the setting in which work is performed • Eg. When employees lack knowledge as how to perform a job, consideration becomes less important while initiating structure takes on additional importance • Two additional leader behaviours that have been the focus of research are leader reward behaviour and leader punishment behaviour • Leader Reward Behaviour – Provides employees with compliments, tangible benefits, and deserved special treatment • When such rewards are made contingent on performance, employees should perform at a high level and experience job satisfaction • Leader Punishment Behaviour – Involves the use of reprimands or unfavourable task assignments and the active withholding of raises, promotions, and other rewards • When it is perceived as random and not contingent on employee behaviour, employees react negatively with great dissatisfaction • These behaviours are related to employee attitudes and behaviours because they lead to more positive perceptions of justice and lower role ambiguity Situational Theories of Leadership • Situation refers to the setting in which influence attempts to occur • The basic premise of situational theories of leadership is that the effectiveness of a leadership style is contingent on the setting • There are three situational leadership theories: Fiedler’s contingency theory and cognitive resource theory, House’s Path-Goal Theory, and Vroom and Jago • Path-Goal Theory – Robert House’s theory concerned with the situations under which various leader behaviours (directive, supportive, participative, achievement oriented) are most effective • The most important activities of leaders are those that clarify the paths to various goals of interest (Eg. Promotion) to employees; and in turn, the opportunity to achieve such goals should promote job satisfaction, leader acceptance, and high effort • Thus the effective leader forms a connection between employee goals and organizational goals • To provide job satisfaction and leader acceptance, leader behaviour must be perceived as immediately satisfying or as leading to future satisfaction • To promote employee effort, leaders must make rewards dependent of performance and ensure that employees have a clear picture of how they can achieve these rewards • Path-goal theory is concerned with the following four specific kinds of leader behaviour: Directive behaviour, supportive behaviour, participative behaviour, and achievement-oriented behaviour • Directive behaviour: Leaders schedule work, maintain performance standards and let employees know what is expected of them • Supportive behaviour: Leaders are friendly and approachable • Participative behaviour: Leaders consult with employees about work-related matters and consider their opinions • Achievement-Orientated Behaviour: Leaders encourage employees to exert high effort and strive for a high level of goal accomplishment • The effectiveness of each set of behaviours depends on the situation that the leader encounters • There are two primary classes of situational factors: Employee characteristics and environmental factors • Employee characteristics: Eg. Employees who prefer being told what to do should respond best to a directive leadership style • Environmental factors: Eg. When tasks are challenging but ambiguous, employees should appreciate both directive and participative leadership. • Effective leadership should take advantage of the motivating and satisfying aspects of jobs while offsetting or compensating for those job aspects that demotivate or dissatisfy Participative Leadership: Involving Employees in Decisions • Participative Leadership – Involving employees in making work-related decisions • Minimally, participation involves obtaining employee opinions before making a decision • Participative leadership should not be confused with the abdication of leadership, which is almost always ineffective • Potential advantages of participative leadership: motivation, quality (higher quality decisions), and acceptance (of decisions) • Potential problems of participative leadership: time and energy (making a quick decision), loss of power (for leaders), and lack of receptivity or knowledge (not receptive to participation/cannot contribute effectively to decisions) Vroom and Jago’s Situation Model of Participation • This model attempts to specify in a practical manner when leaders should use participation and to what extent they should use it • Vroom and Jago being with the recognition that there are various degrees of participation that a leader can exhibit • There are five levels of involvement: • AI: you use information available to solve the decision by yourself • AII: you obtain information from employees and then you make the decision • CI: you share the problem with relevant employees individually, then you make a decision which may not reflect the gathered opinions • CII: you share the problem with employees as a group, then you make a decision which may not reflect the gathered opinions • GII: you share the problem with your employees as a group. Together you evaluate solutions and together you attempt to reach a consensus • To find the most effective strategy, the leader must
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