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Chapter 13

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Psychology 2660A/B
Natalie J Allen

Chapter 13: Leadership  Leadership is a tripod: a leader/leaders, followers, and the common goal they want to achieve Major topics in leadership research  Positional power o Positional power – the higher the position in the organizational hierarchy, the more power the position has o Legitimate power – the formal power given to a position o Leadership is inherence in an organizational position based on the concept of power o Minimizes individual differences o Emphasizes people’s use of positional power  The leader o Emphasizes differences among personal traits and behaviours o Focuses on leader characteristics/behaviour & their influence on others  The led o Characteristics of the followers (the led) o Emphasizes that leadership is construed more in terms of who is led o Study: some people are easier for leaders to work with than others o Example: a high school science teacher  Attributes of the led (the students) as indexed by their intelligence, motivation, number, interpersonal harmony, and background would be examined as factors affecting the behaviour of the leader (the teacher)  The influence process o Examines the relationship between the leaders and the led as they influence each other o What is the influence process o Several methods of influence…  Coercion – modifying behaviour by force  Manipulation – controlled distortion of reality  Authority – agents appeal to a mutual decision giving them the right to influence  Persuasion – displaying judgment in a way that those exposed to it accept its value o Study on two types of leader behaviour:  Instrumental leader – clarifies the group’s goals  Supportive leader – friendly and considerate of others’ need  Results show that small groups are most influenced by a supportive leader & larger groups most by an instrumental leader  The situation o Focus is on the situation or context in which leader-group relationships occur o Study on two types of leadership situations: one favourable / one unfavourable  In the favourable situation, leaders emphasized interpersonal relations & were supportive of the group members  In the unfavourable situation, the leaders became more task oriented and more concerned with goal accomplishment than with interpersonal relations o Different situations evoke different styles of leadership behaviours  Leader emergence vs leader effectiveness o Leader emergence is concerned with the process that results in someone being regarded as the leader of a group  What causes leaders to emerge within a group; what characteristics of the leader & thr group from which the leader emerges  Effective leaders identified as possessing certain characteristics  Formal emergence = a person is designated to be the leader; informal = a person evolves as the leader of a group without having been so designated  Study showed no difference in the proportion of men & women who emerged as leaders  However, group members with masculine gender role characteristic emerged as leaders more than those with feminine gender role characteristics o Leader effectiveness is concerned with the performance of the leader  Study found that individuals who emerged as leaders were characterized as having high general mental ability, conscientiousness, extraversion, and emotional stability  Effective leaders identified as successful in task completion, group acceptance  Overview o Table 13.1 – Research topics & assorted issues in leadership research (Summary) Theoretical approaches to leadership  The trait approach o The trait approach – a conception that leadership is best understood in terms of traits or dispositions held by an individual that are accountable for the observed leadership o Effective leaders are described as possessing characteristics (traits) that are associated with leadership talents  Decisive, dynamic, outgoing, strong, bold, persuasive, tall, good-looing, poised, articulate, confident, and authoritative; “natural leader”  Presence of all those doesn’t guarantee success though o Certain traits are more (or less) important for success depending upon the leadership situation o Three motives or needs that drive the behaviour of leaders  Need for power  Need for achievement  Need for affiliation o Multiple correlation coefficient of 0.48 between the 5 personality factors & success as a leader  Strongest for extraversion & conscientiousness o Three basic categories of skills:  Technical skills – knowledge of work operations, procedures and equipment, and markets, clients, and competitors  Conceptual skills – ability to analyze complex events and perceive trends, recognize changes, and identify problems  Interpersonal skills – understanding of interpersonal and group processes; ability to maintain cooperative relationships with people; persuasive ability  The behavioural approach o The behavioural approach – a conception that leadership is best understood in terms of the actions taken by an individual in the conduct of leading a group o Attempted to establish the symptoms of leadership o Study found two critical leadership factors: 1. Initiation of structure – addresses the means by which leaders provide direction or structure to get workers to accomplish tasks 2. Consideration – addresses how the leader interacts on a personal level with workers maintain cooperative relationships with people; persuasive ability o Leader behaviour description questionnaire (LBDQ) – used to asses leaders based on those 2 factors o Initiation of structure was highly correlated with leader effectiveness o Consideration was predictive of workers being satisfied with their leader o Two leader behaviours associated with effective leadership:  Monitoring the employees’ work & providing clarification on ambiguous issues  The power and influence approach o The power and influence approach – a conception that leadership is best understood by the use of the power and influence exercised by a person with a group o Asserts that leadership is an exercise of power by one person (leader) over other people (subordinates) o Power and leader effectiveness  Five types of power: 1. Reward power – capacity of an organization to offer positive incentives for desirable behaviour 2. Coercive power – punish an employee for undesirable behaviour 3. Legitimate power – employee believes the organization’s power over him or her is legitimate 4. Expert power – employee believes that some other individual has expertise in a given area and that he or she should defer to the expert’s judgment 5. Referent power – one employee might admire another, want to be like that person, and want to be approved of by him/her (the admired one = referent)  Three distinct outcomes:  Commitment – individual (the target) enthusiastically accepts a request from another individual (the agent) and makes a great effort to carry out the request effectively  Compliance – target is willing to do what the agent asks but is apathetic rather than enthusiastic about it and makes only a minimal effort  Resistance – target is opposed to the request, rather than merely indifferent about it, and actively tries to avoid carrying it out  University administrators use referent and expert power more than legitimate, reward, or coercive power to influence professors  Power grows through accumulation of multiple resources over the span of a career  For women: path to power contains many impediments and barriers that create an obstacle course  For men: contains fewer obstacles that derive from their gender and may actually have sources of support unavailable to their female counterparts o Leader-member exchange theory  Leader-member exchange theory – based on the nature of the relationship between a leader and group members he or she leads  Theory postulates that leaders differentiate their subordinates in terms of:  Their competence and skill  The extent to which they can be trusted  Their motivation to assume greater responsibility within the unit  In-group mem
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