Leadership - Chapter 9

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Western University
Management and Organizational Studies
Management and Organizational Studies 2181A/B
Victoria Digby

Leadership – Chapter 9 What is Leadership?  The influence that particular individuals exert on the goal achievement of others in an organizational context  Effective leadership achieves organizational goals by enhancing productivity, innovation, satisfaction, and commitment of the workforce  Strategic leadership: 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 Are Leaders Born? The Search for Leadership Traits Research on Leadership Traits  Traits are personal characteristics of the individual, including physical characteristics, intellectual ability, and personality  Research shows that some traits are associated with leadership – intelligence, energy, self-confidence, dominance, motivation to lead, emotional stability, honesty and integrity, and need for achievement  Three of the “Big Five” dimensions of personality (agreeableness, extraversion, and openness to experience) are related to leadership behaviours  RESEARCH FOCUS: Leader Categorization Theory and Racial Bias ➢ Leadership categorization theory explains that people are more likely to view somebody as a leader and to evaluate them as a more effective leader when they posses prototypical characteristics of leadership ➢ Being white = prototypical characteristic of the business leader Limitations of the Trait Approach  Difficult to determine whether the traits make the leader or whether the opportunity for leadership produces the traits  Few clues as to what “dominant” or “intelligent” people DO to influence others successfully  Most crucial problem of the trait approach is its failure to take into account the situation in which leadership occurs 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  Initiating structure = the degree to which a leader concentrates on group goal attainment The Consequences of Consideration and Initiating Structure  Consideration is more strongly related to leader satisfaction/effectiveness and job satisfaction whereas initiating structure is more strongly related to leader job performance and group performance  Importance of consideration and initiating structure varies according to the situation: ➢ When employee are under a high degree of pressure = initiating structure increases satisfaction and performance ➢ When the task is intrinsically satisfying = need for high consideration is reduced ➢ When goals/methods of performing a task are clear = consideration will promote employee satisfaction ➢ When employees lack knowledge = initiating structure is better Leader Reward and Punishment Behaviours  Leader reward behaviour: the leader’s use of compliments, tangible benefits, and deserved special treatment  Leader punishment behaviour: the leader’s use of reprimands or unfavourable task assignments and the active withholding of rewards  KEY to effective reward and punishment is that it be administered contingent on employee behaviour and performance – if it is, BOTH rewards and punishments will be lead to more favourable employee perceptions (e.g., trust in supervisor ), attitudes (e.g., job satisfaction, organizational commitment), behaviours (effort, performance, OCB), and lower role ambiguity Situational Theories of Leadership Fieldler’s Contingency Theory and Cognitive Resource Theory  Association between leadership orientation and group effectiveness is contingent upon (depends on) the extent to which the situation is favourable for the exertion of influence  Leadership orientation is measured by having leaders describe their Lead Preferred Co-Worker (LPC) – a current/past co-worker with whom a leader has had a difficult time accomplishing a task ➢ Person that describes the LPC favourably (high LPC) = relationship oriented ➢ Person that describes the LPC unfavourably (low LPC) = task oriented ➢ Although similar to consideration/initiating structure, LPC score is an attitude, not a behaviour  Situational Favourableness – specifies when a particular LPC orientation should contribute to group effectiveness. Factors that affect situation favourableness: 1. Leader-member relations 2. Task structure 3. Position power ➢ Situation is most favourable for leadership when leader-member relations are good, the task is structured, and the leader has strong position power ➢ Situation is least favourable when leader-member relations are poor, the task is unstructured, and the leader has weak position power ➢ Task oriented leaders (low LPC) = most effective when the leadership situation is very favourable OR very unfavourable ➢ Relationship oriented leaders (high LPC) = most effective in conditions of medium favourabilty  Cognitive Resource Theory (CRT) ➢ Revised contingency theory ➢ Focuses on the conditions in which a leader’s cognitive resources (intelligence, expertise and experience) contribute to effective leadership ➢ Leader intelligence is most important when the leader is directive, the group supports the leader, and the situation is low-stress (leader can think clearly) ➢ Experience predicts performance in high-stress situations, while intelligence predicts performance in low-stress situations House’s Path-Goal Theory  The Theory ➢ The most important activities of leaders are those that clarify the paths to various goals of interest to employees ➢ An effective leader forms a connection between employee goals and organizational goals ➢ In order to provide job satisfaction and leader acceptance, leader behaviour must be perceived as immediately satisfying or leading to future satisfaction ➢ To promote employee effort, leaders must make rewards dependent on performance and ensure that employees have a clear understanding of how they can achieve these rewards ➢ To do this, leaders may have to utilize directive, supportive, participative, or achievement-oriented behaviour ➢ The path-goal theory is concerned with the situations under which various leader behaviours are most effective  Leader Behaviour ➢ Directive behaviour – essentially identical to initiating structure ➢ Supportive behaviour – essential identical to consideration ➢ Participative behavior – consult w/ employees about their opinions on work-related matters ➢ Achievement-oriented behaviour – encourage employees to exert high effort and strive for a high level of goal accomplishment  Situational Factors ➢ Impact of leader behaviour on employee satisfaction, effort, and acceptance of the leader depends on the nature of employees (e.g., high need achievers, those who have low task abilities) and the work environment (e.g., clear and routine tasks vs. challenging and ambiguous, frustrating or dissatisfying jobs) ➢ Supportive/considerate behaviour = most effective in supervising routine, frustrating, or dissatisfying jobs ➢ Directive or structuring behaviour = most effective on ambiguous, less-structured jobs LEADER BEHAVIOUR  SITUATONAL FACTORS  EMPLOYEE OUTCOMES - Directive - Employee characteristic - Job satisfaction - Supportive - Environmental factors - Acceptance of leader - Achievement-oriented - Effort - Participative Participative Leadership: Involving Employees in Decisions  Participation is not a fixed or absolute property but a relative concept  As the “area of freedom” on the part of the employees increases, the leader is behaving in a more participative manner  PL should not be confused with the abdication of leadership, which is ineffective  PL can involve individual employees of the entire group of employees  Potential Advantages of Participative Leadership ➢ Motivation – enriching jobs by increasing task variety and autonomy which will in turn make employee jobs more intrinsically motivating ➢ Quality – “two heads are better than one” ➢ Acceptance – when employees help make decisions, they a
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