BU288 Lecture 15-16 Ch. 9. Leadership Tues.-Thurs. Nov. 6-8. 2012.
• Leadership: influence that individuals exert on the goal achievement of others in an
organizational context effective leadership enhances productivity, innovation, satisfaction,
• Strategic leadership: ability to anticipate, envision, maintain flexibility, think strategically,
and work with others to initiate changes that create a viable future for the organization
o provides sustainable competitive advantage in unpredictable environments by exploring
growth opportunities Open & honest with stakeholders, and focus on the future
• Theoretically, any member can engage in leadership. But in practice, some are in a better
position to be leaders than others (ex: managers) expected to influence others, and are
• informal leadership roles have no formal authority; rely on being well liked or being highly
• *** Traits, behaviours, and situations are important, but a leader needs followers. Followers
must first view the person as a leader, then be motivated to follow that leader. Hence,
leadership effectiveness is measured from the followers’ perspective.
Are Leaders Born? The Search for Leadership Traits
• implicit assumption: those who become leaders and do a good job possess a special set of
• ***physical height has association with leader emergence literally look up to them
• Traits: individual characteristics such as physical attributes, intellectual ability, and
• Research shows that:
o Many traits are not associated with whether people become leaders and how effective
they are. Thinking otherwise (as most people do) can result in racial bias and
o But some traits are associated with leadership. Leaders tend to be higher on
intelligence, energy, self-confidence, dominance, motivation to lead, emotional stability,
honesty/integrity, and need for achievement than average. A high-energy person who
wants to impact others but is also smart and stable enough not to abuse power.
• 3 of the Big Five dimensions of personality (agreeable, extraversion, openness to
experience) are related to leadership behaviours.
• There is a link between intelligence and leadership, but not as strong as people used to
• Firms use personality tests to measure leadership traits when hiring/promoting. Some
o Difficult to determine whether traits make the leader or whether the opportunity for
leadership produces the traits do dominant people become leaders, or do leaders
o Even if dominance, intelligence, or tallness is associated with effective leadership, what
do these people do to be leaders? we have little info about how to train and develop
o Most crucial problem: failure to take into account the situation in which leadership
o Traits alone are not enough for successful leadership. They’re only a precondition.
Possessing the right traits makes it more likely that certain actions will be taken and will
1 BU288 Lecture 15-16 Ch. 9. Leadership Tues.-Thurs. Nov. 6-8. 2012.
Leader Categorization Theory and Racial Bias
• Research shows: there is a good chance of viewing white people as a leader than racial
• Leadership categorization theory: people are more likely to view someone as a leader
and evaluate them as a more effective leader when they possess prototypical characteristics
• A leadership prototype is a standard example or typical leader category that people
develop over time based on a set of beliefs about the behaviours and characteristics of
• *** followers must perceive the person as a leader, or their traits/behaviours won’t matter.
• White and non-white people evaluated leaders as more effective after the leader was
credited with their organization’s success racial bias can undermine non-white leaders’
The Behaviour of Leaders: 2 Basic Kinds
• The trait approach focuses on what leaders bring to a group setting. The limitations of this
approach promote an interest in what leaders do in group settings.
• Is there a leadership style that is more effective than other styles?
• 2 basic kinds of behaviour: a leader can be high/low/average on one or both dimensions
1) Consideration: the extent to which a leader is approachable and shows personal
concern and respect for workers. Seen as friendly and egalitarian, express appreciation
2) Initiating structure: degree to which a leader concentrates on group goal attainment.
The structuring leader clearly defines and organizes his role and the roles of followers,
stresses standard procedures, schedules the work to be done, and assigns workers to
• Both kinds contribute positively to worker motivation, satisfaction, & leader effectiveness.
• Consideration tends to be more related to follower (leader & job) satisfaction, motivation,
and leader effectiveness. Initiating structure is slightly more related to leader job group
• the relative importance of both types vary according to the nature of the leadership situation:
o when the task is intrinsically satisfying, the need for high behaviour in both types are
o when goals/methods of performing the job are clear, consideration promotes worker
satisfaction, while structure promotes dissatisfaction (may seem unnecessary)
o When workers lack knowledge as to how to perform a job or the job has vague goals,
consideration becomes less important and initiating structure becomes more important.
o when workers are under pressure due to deadlines, unclear tasks, or external threat,
initiating structure increases satisfaction and performance (directive leadership)
Leader Reward (LRB) and Punishment Behaviours (LPB)
• Assigned leaders can do other things besides initiate structure and be considerate
• LRB: leader’s use of compliments, tangible benefits, and deserved special treatment
o Contingent LRB is positively related to worker perceptions (trust in boss), attitudes
(satisfaction, commitment), and behaviour (effort, performance)
o Workers know what is expected and know that positive outcomes will occur if they
2 BU288 Lecture 15-16 Ch. 9. Leadership Tues.-Thurs. Nov. 6-8. 2012.
• LPB: use of reprimands or unfavourable task assignments and the active withholding of
o related to more favourable employee perceptions, attitudes, and behaviour, non-
contingent punishment behaviour was related to unfavourable outcomes
• LRB and LPB is leads to better perceptions of justice and lower role ambiguity
SITUATIONAL THEORIES OF LEADERSHIP
• Situation refers to the setting in which influence attempts occur (ex: setting: nature of the
• Premise of situational theories = the effectiveness of a leadership style is contingent on the
• Ex: someone’s top down leadership style may not fit with the organization’s collaborative
FRED FIEDLER’S Contingency Theory
• Contingency theory: states that the association between leadership orientation and group
effectiveness is contingent on how favourable the situation is for exerting influence
• Least preferred co-worker (LPC): current/past co-worker with whom a leader has had a
difficult time accomplishing a task the leader who describes the LPC favourably (high LPC
score) can be considered relationship oriented: despite the difficulty of the LPC, the leader
still finds positive qualities. If the leader has a low LPC score is task oriented: allows the
low-task competence of the LPC to colour his views of the personal qualities of the LPC
High LPC leaders want to maintain interpersonal relations, while low LPC leaders want to
accomplish the task.
• LPC score = attitude toward work relationships, not a measure of the2 types of observed
• Situational Favourableness: contingency part of Contingency Theory that specifies when
an LPC orientation should contribute most to group effectiveness.
• Factors that affect situational favourableness, in order of importance:
1) Leader-member relations: good relations means favourable situation to exert influence.
2) Task structure: highly structured =more influence. Clear goals, procedures, and
performance measures enable the leader to set performance standards and hold
3) Position power: formal authority granted to the leader to order people more =
• We can arrange the combinations of situational factors into 8 octants that form a continuum
of favourability. A task orientation (low LPC) is effective when the situation is very
favourable(workers are ready to be
influenced), or when it is very unfavourable
(to get anything accomplished)
• A relationship orientation (high LPC) is best
with medium favourability situations
because the boss is faced with some
combination of an unclear task or poor
• Research Evidence:
o Fiedler’s explanation for the superior performance of high LPC leaders in the middle
octants is not convincing meaning of LPC sis a mystery because the score may not be
correlated with other personality measures or predictive of specific leader behaviour
3 BU288 Lecture 15-16 Ch. 9. Leadership Tues.-Thurs. Nov. 6-8. 2012.
o Fiedler’s prescription for task leadership in octant II seems contradicted by evidence
FRED FIEDLER’S Cognitive Resource Theory (CRT)
• Cognitive Resource Theory: leadership theory that focuses on the conditions in which a
leader’s cognitive resources (intelligence, expertise, and experience) contribute to effective
• Essence of CRT is that the importance of intelligence for leadership effectiveness depends
1) The directiveness of the leader: intelligence is important when leader is directive
2) Group support for the leader: group support is good for intelligence
3) Stressfulness of the situation: when situation is low-stress, leader intelligence is
important in high-stress situations, a leader’s cognitive resources are impaired, so work
experience is important
• Research agrees with all 3 points above
HOUSE’S Path-Goal Theory
• Path-goal theory: Robert House’s theory concerned with the situations under which various
leader behaviours (directive, supportive, participative, achievement-oriented) are most
• Different from Contingency Theory which relies on ambiguous LPC trait
• House says the most important activities of leaders is to clarify the paths to various
organizational goals to employees. This should promote job satisfaction, leader acceptance,
and high effort
• To provide satisfaction & acceptance, leader behaviour must seem immediately/will be
• To promote employee effort, leaders must make rewards dependent on performance and
ensure that workers know how to achieve these rewards, by providing support through
• 4 types of leader behaviour concerned with this theory; these are dependent on situations
1) Directive: schedule work, let workers know what’s expected see “initiating structure”
2) Supportive behaviour: friendly, concerned with interpersonal relationships see
3) Participative behaviour: consult with workers about work matters, consider their opinions
4) Achievement-oriented behaviour: encourage workers to exert effort and strive for high
level of goal accomplishment. These leaders express confidence that employees can
reach the goals.
• Situational factors: 2 primary classes of situational factors
1) Employee characteristics: nature of the workers affect impact of leader behaviour
o Workers who prefer being told what to do or have low task ability like directive style
o High need achievers work well under achievement-oriented leadership
2) Environmental factors: work environment affects impact of leader behaviour on
o When tasks are challenging and ambiguous (higher organizational levels), workers
like directive & participative leadership; clarify the path to good performance & show
o When tasks are clear and routine (lower organizational levels), workers don’t like
directive and participative leadership. This reduces satisfaction and acceptance of
4 BU288 Lecture 15-16 Ch. 9. Leadership Tues.-Thurs. Nov. 6-8. 2012.
o Frustrating, dissatisfying jobs should increase worker appreciation of supportive
behaviour. Such support should compensate for a disliked job, although it doesn’t
• Research: supportive/considerate behaviour is best in supervising routine, frustrating, or
dissatisfying jobs. Directive/structuring behaviour is best on ambiguous, less-structured jobs.
• Theory seems to be better in predicting worker satisfaction/acceptance than job
PARTICIPATIVE LEADERSHIP: INVOLVING EMPLOYEES IN DECISIONS
• Participative Leadership: involving employees in making work-related decisions
• “involving” is broad because participation is not a fixed or absolute property. It’s a relative
• Minimally, participation involves obtaining worker opinions before making a decision
• Maximally, participation allows workers to make their own decisions within agreed-on limits.
But there’s an upper limit to the freedom because it shouldn’t be abdication of leadership
• Participation on individual basis may be best when setting performance goals for certain
workers, planning worker development, or dealing with problem employees
Potential Advantages of Participative Leadership
• Motivation: Participation may raise intrinsic motivation by enriching jobs, which means
higher task variety & autonomy. Ex: establish goals with them, and let them decide how to
achieve these goals.
• Quality: participation enhances quality in at least 2 ways
1) 2 heads are better than 1: sometimes true. Participation leads to higher-quality
decisions when employees have special knowledge to contribute. (ex: boss’s knowledge
may be outdated)
2) Participation empowers workers to take direct action to solve problems without
checking every detail with the boss. This gives them authority, opportunity, and
motivation to take initiative.
• Acceptance: even when participation doesn’t promote motivation/quality, it can increase
worker acceptance of decisions, especially when issues of fairness are involved. (ex:
vacation pay). Involving workers in decision making can lead to solutions to equal quality
that don’t provoke dissatisfaction. Public commitment and ego involvement probably
contribute to the acceptance of such decisions.
Potential Problems of Participative Leadership
5 BU288 Lecture 15-16 Ch. 9. Leadership Tues.-Thurs. Nov. 6-8. 2012.
• Time and energy: When a quick decision is needed, participation is an inappropriate
• Loss of power: some leaders feel that a participative style reduces their power, so they ask
workers to make trivial decisions. The consequences are near-zero.
• Lack of receptivity or knowledge: workers may not be receptive to participation when the
leader is distrusted, or when a poor labour climate exists. Otherwise, workers may lack the
knowledge to contribute to decisions because they’re unaware of external constraints on
Vroom and Jago’s Situational Model of Participation
• Specifies when leaders should use participation and to what extent they should use it
• For issues involving the entire work group, many behaviours are plausible.
o A = autocratic, C = consultative, G = group; I = individual, II = group is involved.
o AI: solve the problem or make decision yourself, using currently available info
o AII: obtain the necessary info from your workers, then decide the solution yourself. You
may or may not tell your workers what the problem is in getting info from them.
o CI: you share the problem with the relevant workers individually, getting their ideas
without bringing them together as a group. Then you make the decision, which may not
o CII: you share the problem with your workers as a group, obtain their collective ideas,
and make a decision. This decision may or may not reflect your employees’ influence.
o GII: share the problem with your workers as a group, and together generate and
evaluate alternatives and reach an agreement on a solution. You’re a chairperson who
doesn’t try to influence the group, and you’re accepting of any solution that has the
• Leader’s goal should be to make high-quality decisions to which employees will be
adequately committed without undue delay. Hence, he must consider the questions
o QR Quality Requirement: how important is the technical quality of this decision? high,
unless it’s unlikely that a technically bad decision can be made or if all alternatives are
equal in equality
o CR Commitment Requirement: how important is subordinate commitment to the
decision? high if workers are concerned about what’s chosen or if they have to implement
o LI Leader’s Info: do you have sufficient info to make a high-quality decision?
o ST Problem Structure: is the problem well-structured? structured when the leader
understands the current situation, the desired situation, and how to get from one to the
o CP Commitment Probability: if you were to make the decision by yourself, is it
reasonable certain that your subordinates will be committed to the decision?
o GC Goal Congruence: do subordinates share organizational goals in solving the
o CO Subordinate conflict: is conflict among subordinates over preferred solutions likely?
o SI Subordinate Info: do subordinates have sufficient info to make a high-quality decision?
• if time is not a constraint, and if quality/commitment is not threatened, a participative
approach could stimulate employee development
• Research: participation usually means job satisfaction, but for participation to be translated
into higher productivity, certain conditions must exist employees must fee favourable
towards it, be intelligent about the issue, and the task must be complex enough for
participation to be useful.
6 BU288 Lecture 15-16 Ch. 9. Leadership Tues.-Thurs. Nov. 6-8. 2012.
LEADER-MEMBER EXCHANGE THEORY (LMX)
• LMX theory: theory of leadership that focuses on the quality of the relationship that
develops between a leader and an employee unlike other theories that focus on
behaviours and traits
• Each relationship that a leader develops with a worker will be unique, in terms of the quality
of the relationship. Effective