After reading these notes you will learn about:- 1. Meaning and Definition of Leadership 2. Power and Leadership 3. Leadership and Management 4. Leadership Traits 5. Leadership Roles 6. Ways of Classifying Leaders 7. Theories of Leadership 8. Managerial Leadership 9. Contemporary Perspectives on Leadership and a few other Notes.
List of Notes on Leadership in an Organisation
- Project Report on the Meaning and Definition of Leadership
- Project Report on Power and Leadership
- Project Report on Leadership and Management
- Project Report on Leadership Traits
- Project Report on Leadership Roles
- Project Report on the Ways of Classifying Leaders
- Project Report on the Theories of Leadership
- Project Report on Managerial Leadership
- Project Report on the Contemporary Perspectives on Leadership
- Project Report on the Factors Influencing Leadership Effectiveness
- Project Report on the Ohio State Studies on Leadership
- Project Report on the Managerial Grid
- Project Report on the Ideal Leadership Style
- Project Report on the Situation Approaches to Leadership
1. Project Report on the Meaning and Definition of Leadership:
Leadership is projection of personality — that combination of persuasion, compulsion and example — that makes other people do what you want them to do. Industry must find natural leaders, train them in the technique of management and give them an opportunity to lead. – Field Marshall Sir William Slim
A manager develops people. Through the way he manages he makes it easy or difficult for them to develop themselves. He directs people or misdirects them. He brings out what is in them or he stifles them. – Peter Drucker
Leadership is undoubtedly the most widely discussed, written about and researched topics in the area of general management. The process of leading is one of the four management functions. P.F. Drucker has opined that leadership is one of those elusive attributes that separate effective managers from less effective ones.
The leadership process is no doubt complex and situationally specific. This is why it often appears that managers know very little about the process which has practical value.
Definition of Leadership:
It has to be noted at the outset that leadership derives from power and is similar to — yet distinct from — management. We may first suggest a definition of leadership and discuss various issues connected with this strategic aspect of management.
It is not that easy to suggest a useful definition of leadership, because it is connected with three related concepts: power, influence and authority.
Power refers to the potential ability of a manager to affect the behaviour of others and is generally related to the control of valued or scarce resources. The manager is said to be exerting influence when he consciously or unconsciously exercises power to affect the behaviour or attitudes of someone else.
Authority refers to the power created and granted by an organisation. If, for instance, the organisation chart specifies that X is the boss, and Y is the subordinate, X is said to have authority over y.
However, what is most important is that subordinates must acknowledge and accept the authority of their superior for it to be really meaningful. Within the context of the organisation, X also has power and influence. Outside the organisation, he might not have any power or influence over Y at all.
Like management, leadership has been defined in many different ways by many different people. In a narrow sense, leadership is defined as the directing of the activities of immediate subordinates. Chester Barnard (1938) has persuasively argued that an essential role of a manager is to act as a leader and expand the range of acceptance- the range of directives that subordinates will accept readily and enthusiastically.
In a broad sense, managerial leadership encompasses several additional roles, such as developing the organisation’s planning and control systems, designing an organisational structure appropriate for the tasks undertaken and acting as a spokesperson for the organisation.
The central theme running through most of the definitions is that leadership is a process of influencing individual and group activities to set a goal and/or to achieve a goal. In fact, whenever one person influences an individual or group towards accomplishing an objective, leadership occurs. It is a process involving the leader, the led (group or individual) and a particular goal or situation. Needless to say, it is behavioural in nature and involves personal interaction.
Leadership is usually defined as the skillful use of power. Leaders have power which is often used to influence others. They may or may not have authority. Management and leadership may and often do overlap to a considerable extent. So to understand the pros and cons of leadership, we have explained, at the outset, the concept of power and see how it serves as a foundation for leadership.
2. Project Report on Power and Leadership:
We have noted that power is the ability to affect the behaviour of others. In organisational settings, there are usually five kinds of power: legitimate, reward, coercive, referent and expert. Table 12.1 summarises the bases of power. A manager is supposed to have one or more of these five kinds of power.
Kinds of Power:
1. Legitimate Power:
This type of powers granted through the organisational hierarchy. In fact, the power that occupying each position confers is part of the way that position is defined. Thus, legitimate power is the same as authority and, therefore, it is quite obvious that all managers have legitimate power over their subordinates.
2. Reward Power:
This is the power to give or withhold rewards. Rewards that are likely to be under the control of an individual manager include salary increases, bonuses, promotion recommendations, praise, recognition and interesting job assignments.
3. Coercive Power:
This is the power to force compliance via psychological, emotional or physical threat. In a typical organisation, however, the available means of coercion are limited by such things as verbal reprimands, written reprimands, disciplinary layoffs, fines, demotion and termination.
4. Referent Power:
While legitimate, reward and coercive power are relatively concrete and grounded in objective facets of organisation life, represent power is more abstract. Such power derives from identification, imitation or charisma. This means that followers may react favourably because they identify in some way with a leader, who may be like them in personality, background or attitudes.
5. Expert Power:
Such power is derived from information expertise. A manager who knows how to deal with an eccentric but important customer has expert power over anyone who needs that information.
Uses of Power in Leadership:
There are various ways in which a manager can use power. Most of them, however, depend on what kinds of power are available to the manager.
a. Legitimate Request:
The legitimate request is based on legitimate power. This simply involves the manager requesting that the subordinate do something which he is supposed to do. The subordinate complies because the organisation has given the manager the right to make the request. Most day-to-day interactions between the manager and his subordinate are of this type.
b. Instrumental Compliance:
This form of exchange is based primarily on reward power and it bears out the reinforcement theory of motivation. If, for example, a subordinate does something outside the range of his normal duties, as requested by a manager, the subordinate, as a direct result of such compliance, reaps praise and a bonus from the manager.
Next time the subordinate will be eager to do such a job, if asked by the manager, because the former is confident that compliance will be instrumental in his getting more rewards. Hence, the basis of instrumental compliance is clarifying important performance reward relationships.
Essentially, coercion rests on coercive power. A manager makes use of such power by suggesting that the subordinate will be punished, fined or reprimanded if he fails to do something.
d. Rational Persuasion:
Rational persuasion occurs when the manager can convince the subordinate that compliance is in the best interests of the latter. For instance, a manager might suggest that the subordinate should (or should not) accept a transfer because it would (or would not) be good for the subordinate’s career.
Rational power is quite similar to reward power, except that the manager does not control the reward. Elements of expert power are also present in that the manager may be seen as a knowledgeable person.
e. Personal Identification:
A manager who recognises that he has referent power over a subordinate can easily shape the behaviour of that subordinate by engaging in desired behaviours. This implies that the manager consciously becomes a model for the subordinate and exploits personal identification.
f. Inspirational Appeal:
At times, a manager can induce someone to do something because it is consistent with a set of higher ideals or values. For example, a plea for loyalty represents an inspirational appeal. Referent power plays an important role in this context because its determinants the extent to which an inspirational appeal is successful as also because its effectiveness depends at least in part on the persuasive abilities of the leader.
g. Information Distortion:
This is a dubious method of using power. Sometimes, the manager withholds or distorts information to influence the behaviour of subordinates. This use of power is dangerous because if subordinates find out the manager has deliberately misled them, they will lose their confidence and trust in there manager’s leadership.
For example, a manager might, while choosing a new group member, withhold some of the credentials of other qualified applicants so that the desired member is selected.
3. Project Report on Leadership and Management:
People often use the two terms ‘management’ and ‘leadership’ synonymously because it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the two.
As Griffin has put it:
“Basically, management is founded on legitimate, reward and coercive power. Followers comply with orders and directions but are not necessarily committed to them. Leadership may also draw on legitimate, reward or coercive power, but it depends more on referent and expert power. Hence a person may be either a manager or a leader without being the other.”
A close look reveals that in a typical organisation, “a manager may be able to use legitimate requests and coercion to get things done but may be drawing purely on his authority. This person is a manager but might not qualify as a leader. In other situations, some are with no authority at all may be able to use personal identification or inspirational appeal to influence peoples’ behaviour. This individual is a leader but not a manager.”
However, for achieving organisational effectiveness, it is preferable to have managers who are also good leaders. This explains why leadership is so important in management theory and practice. With growth of organisation it becomes necessary to increase the number of people who can assume the role of both managers and leaders.
In short, leadership is the ability of a person to influence others work toward goals and objectives. Management involves leadership, but it encompasses other functions as well such as planning, organising, staffing and controlling.
Managers may or may not be effective in influencing their subordinates towards goal accomplishment. Ideally, all managers should be leaders, but in practice many are not. A manager may be able to influence or direct organisational members, but because of the inability to perform the other management functions, he may not succeed in getting individuals or a group to achieve organisational objectives.
On the contrary, constructive leadership is often found in non-managerial personnel. In the informal organisation informal leaders often influence the behaviour of organisation members.
In short, leading is an important part of management, but it is not the same as management.
4. Project Report on Leadership Traits:
There exist some basic trait or set of traits that differentiate leaders from non-leaders. If we can define those traits, we can easily identify potential leaders. Leadership traits include such things as intelligence, assertiveness, above-average height, good vocabulary, attractiveness, self-confidence, ability to work with others, creativity, communication skills, and similar attributes.
Since such traits vary with situations it is wrong to identify traits as predictors of leadership ability — Napoleon and Gandhiji led millions with their 150 cm (5 ft.) height. Yet, many people still explicitly or implicitly adopt a trait orientation.
As a leader, one works to ensure balance between the goals of the organisation, oneself and one’s group. In the ultimate analysis, the effective leader is one who succeeds in getting others to follow. A leader has to work effectively with many people, including superiors, peers and outside groups. But in working with followers he (she) is the spark that lights the fire and keeps it burning.
5. Project Report on Leadership Roles:
In interacting with employees in the work environment the manager has to play four different leadership roles.
These are discussed below:
Prima facie, as leaders managers have to perform the role of educator by teaching employees not only job skills but also acceptable behaviour and organisational values. Much of such behavioural (practical) education is given through the execution of their own daily work. The work habits, attitudes and behaviour of management leaders serve as a role model to the followers.
Managers are also ultimately responsible for the formal training of their employees. Training is provided for skill formation. Managers may be provided such skills training, either directly or through others. Regardless of who ultimately imparts the training, the manager must be knowledgeable enough about training principles, learning theory and training techniques so as to be able to perform this role.
In his second leadership role of a counselor the manager has to listen, give advice, as also to prevent and solve problems faced by employees. In performing this role managers have to fulfill two expectations of employees: (i) awareness of and concern for the individual employee, and (ii) assistance in solving a problem.
It does not imply that the manager is expected to solve all the problems faced by an employee; all that is implied is that he has to provide help in recognizing the basic problem and identifying or searching out potential solutions.
This role involves a number of functions:
(i) Appraising or evaluating the performance of subordinates;
(ii) Enforcing policies, procedures and regulations;
(iii) Settling disputes and
(iv) Dispensing justice.
The first function necessitates a background knowledge of the standards that are used to measure output.
The second function is directly linked to interpersonal communication and to employee training, it is absolutely essential to tell and show people what limits and guidelines exist and how these apply to their specific situations or work environments. The performance of the third function demands the exercise of tact and concern for resolution of conflicts. The last function requires giving credit and rewards, as also imposing appropriate discipline.
In this role managers have to relay their suggestions, concerns and points of view to higher authorities. “Doing something” about subordinates’ problems may imply that the manager will have to fight for changes to improve procedures, morale and working conditions. To do justice to this role a manager must be willing to represent the view of subordinate, even when he disagrees with it.
6. Project Report on the Ways of Classifying Leaders:
The study of leadership often proceeds in terms of the basic approaches used by leaders: autocratic, democratic or laissez faire.
a. Autocratic or Authoritarian Leaders:
In general autocratic or authoritarian leaders make most decisions themselves. They do not allow their followers to make them. They are usually thought of as ‘Pushers’, like military instructors.
b. Democratic or Participative Leaders:
Such leaders normally consult their followers heavily in the decision process. They largely rely on the involvement of all members of the group in setting the basic objectives of the group, establishing strategies and determining job assignments.
c. Laissez Faire or Free-Rein Leaders:
Basically such leaders are ‘loose’ and permissible. They allow followers to do what they want. And there is often drift from one issue to another as they arise and there is hardly any direction or discipline.
Modern writers on organisation and management, however, categories leaders in a different way. This categorization is based on an examination of their orientation or emphasis in getting the job done. Some leaders emphasize the task; others emphasize followers or subordinates and, others still emphasize both.
d. Task-Oriented or Production-Oriented Leaders:
Such leaders mainly focus on the ‘work’ aspects of getting the job done. The emphasis is on planning, scheduling and processing the work and close control of quality. This approach is also described by the word ‘initiating structure’.
e. People-Oriented or Employee-Oriented Leaders:
Such leaders focus on the welfare and fulfill (sentiments) of followers, have enough confidence in themselves and are obviously accepted by their team members (subordinates or followers).
7. Project Report on the Theories of Leadership:
A. The Trait Theory:
Various theories have been developed to describe, analyse and explain the leadership function. The trait approach was one of the first attempts to explain leader behaviour, or attempts to influence subordinates. This approach focused on certain traits (or characteristics) that supposedly separate leaders from non-leaders. Such traits cause them to rise above their followers.
The basic traits are one’s height, energy, looks, knowledge and intelligence, imagination, self-confidence, integrity, fluency of speech, emotional and mental balance and control, sociability and friendliness, drive, enthusiasm, courage, etc.
The underlying logic of trait theory is that an individual possessing such traits is usually able to influence others. This theory is also known as the ‘Great man’ theory of leadership inasmuch as it assumes that the leader is quite different from the average person in terms of personality traits such as intelligence, preservance and ambition.
Research has indicated that leaders tended to be more intelligent, somewhat taller, more outgoing and more self-confident than others and to have a great need for power. But research has failed to discover specific combinations of traits that would distinguish the leader or potential leader from followers.
The underlying assumption of trait researchers is that leaders are born, not made. But research has failed to show that certain traits can distinguish effective from ineffective leaders. In 1974 Ralph Stogdill found the traits in Table 12.2 to be related to effective leadership.
Edwin Ghiselli has, however, shown that the following traits are important to effective leadership:
1. Supervisory ability, or performing the basic functions of management, especially leading and controlling the work of others.
2. Need for occupational achievement, including seeking responsibility and desiring success.
3. Intelligence, including judgement, reasoning and creative thinking.
4. Decisiveness, or the ability to make decisions and solve problems capably and competently.
5. Self-assurance, or viewing oneself as capable of tackling problems.
6. Self-actualization, or the desire to reach one’s potential.
7. Initiative, or the ability to act independently, develop courses of action not readily apparent to other people and find new or innovative ways of doing things.
Likewise, Bernard Bass (1982) has extensively reviewed the literature on leadership and has shown that 15 or more studies support the following conclusions:
The average person who occupies a position of leadership exceeds the average number of his group in the following respects:
(3) Dependability in exercising responsibilities;
(4) Activity and social participation; and
(5) Socio-economic status.
Furthermore, 10 or more studies support the proposition that “the average person occupying a position of leadership exceeds the average member of the group to some extent in each of the following areas: sociability, initiative, persistence, knowing how to get things done, self-confidence, alertness to and insight into a situation, cooperativeness, popularity, adaptability and verbal facility.”
Limitations of the Approach:
There are some obvious limitations of the trait theory. Firstly, it is very difficult to find out a particular leadership trait in the greatest leaders of the world of all times. In fact, some of them such as Hitler and Lincoln had quite different traits.
Secondly, while all of the traits listed above might be desirable in leaders, none .seems to be absolutely essential. Finally, there are instances in which a leader is successful in one situation but may not be in another.
The trait theory failed to explain what caused effective leadership; thus attention shifted to the behavioural approach which involved studying the behaviour of leaders. Due to lack of success in identifying useful leadership traits, researchers started investigating other variables, especially the behaviour or actions of leaders.
The new hypothesis was that the behaviours of effective leaders were somehow different from that of less effective ones, and the goal was to develop a fuller understanding of leadership behaviours.
The approach is based on the assumption that leaders are not born but developed. This assumption has two important implications. Firstly, by focusing on what leaders do — rather than on what they are — it could be assumed that there is one ‘best’ way to lead. Secondly, although traits are stable (and some of these are inborn) behaviour is learned. In fact, many of the traits listed in Table 12.2 (e.g., numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 22) are not innate. They are learned.
Thus the essence of the behavioural view can be summed up thus: the leadership process must focus not only on the work to be performed but also on the need satisfactions of the work group members.
The most popular behavioural research and theories are:
(1) Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y and
(2) Likert’s four management systems (which focus on the value of leadership).
B. McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y:
A manager approach to leadership is largely, if not entirely, influenced by his philosophy about work and the people performing the work. In this context Douglas McGregor’s thesis deserves special mention. His thesis is that leadership strategies are influenced by a leader’s assumptions about human nature. As a result of his experience as a business consultant, McGregor has made two contrasting sets of assumptions about managers in industry. The first set is known as Theory X.
Assumptions of Theory X:
According to Theory X managers believes the following:
1. The average human being has an inherent dislike for work and will avoid it, if possible.
2. Because of this human characteristic, most people must be coerced, controlled, directed, or threatened with punishment to get them to put forth adequate effort to achieve organisational objectives.
3. The average human being prefers to be directed, wishes to- avoid responsibility, has relatively little ambition and wants security above all.
Assumptions of Theory Y:
According to Theory Y managers believe the following:
1. The expenditure of physical and mental effort in work is as natural as play or rest. The average human being does not inherently dislike work. Depending upon controllable conditions, work may be a source of satisfaction (and will not be avoided if possible).
2. External control and the threat of punishment are not the only means of bringing about effort towards achieving organisational objectives. People will exercise self-direction and self-control to achieve objectives to which they are committed.
3. Commitment to objectives is a function of the reward associated with their achievement.
4. The average human being, under proper conditions, learns not only to accept but to seek responsibility.
5. The capacity to exercise a relatively high-degree of imagination, ingenuity and creativity in the solution of organisational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed in the population.
6. Under the conditions of modern industrial life, the intellectual potentialities of the average human being are only partially utilised.
It is clear that a leader holding Theory X assumptions would prefer an autocratic style, whereas one holding Theory Y assumptions would prefer a more participative style. A manager operating on the basis of Theory X would impose a directive leadership style on the individual or work group he is supervising.
The probable actions of the manager would be (1) coercion, (2) negative motivation and (3) refusal to allow employee decision-making. Theory Y will prepare a leader to work with people as individuals, to involve people in the process of decision-making, to openly encourage people to seek responsibility and to work with people to achieve their goals.
C. Likert’s Michigan Studies:
The Michigan Studies carried out by Rensis Likert and his co-workers in the late 1940s identified two basic forms of leader behaviour:
1. Job-Centered Leader Behavior:
The leader practices close supervision so as to monitor and control performance closely on the basis of legitimate, reward and coercive power. As Griffin put it: “A leader who pays close attention to the work of subordinates, explains what to do and is primarily interested in performance is exhibiting job-centered behaviour”.
2. Employee-Centered Leader Behaviour:
The leader attempts to build effective work groups with high performance goals and pays particular attention the human aspects of subordinates’ problems as the way in which to achieve that. The stress is on group formation and development and on employee growth and participation.
In the language of Griffin:
“A leader who is interested in high performance through the development of a coercive work group and ensuring that employees are basically satisfied with their jobs can be described as employee centered”.
This is the early Michigan view of leader behaviour. The two styles of leader behaviour are presumed to be at the ends of a continuum. This suggests that leaders may be job centered, employee centered, or any combination of the two. But, Likert studied only the two end styles for contrast and suggested that employee-centered behaviour generally tends to be more effective.
Likert found that “supervisors who practised general supervision and were employee centered had higher morale and greater productivity than supervisors who practised close supervision and were more job centered.” In essence, the leadership style of close supervision generally reflects Theory X assumptions about people, whereas general supervision reflects Theory Y assumptions.
Close supervision is based largely on Theory X assumptions; that is, close supervisors do not trust people. They believe in detailed instructions and ‘keeping an eye on things,” often doing the same type of work as the workers they are supervising.
Achievement-oriented employees find it frustrating and demoralizing to work under close supervision, especially for prolonged periods. Consequently, departments in which close supervision is practiced tend to have high turnover of personnel.
Close supervision is not very effective when the work requires any type of initiative or creativity in subordinates. It might work well, however, with new employees or those with low IQs or in the short run in a department where costs have been excessive or where an emergency job must be accomplished.
Likert found that, when asked to give the most important feature of their jobs, leaders practising general supervision stressed human relations and the development of subordinates. Therefore, these supervisors were called employee centered.
This does not mean that these leaders ignored the production or task requirements of their departments.Instead, the leaders emphasized working with and through people in such a way that effective results would naturally follow.
Four main characteristics of mangers using general supervision are:
(1) supervise by results,
(2) emphasize training and development of subordinates through the process of delegation of authority and supervision by results,
(3) spend half or more their tune planning and organising the work of the department and coordinating with other departments and supervisors and
(4) are more accessible to talk over departmental or personal problems of subordinates.
Likert’s four management systems:
We should also note the similarities between Likert’s leadership research and his Systems 1 through 4 organisation design. While job-centered leader behaviour is associated with the System 1 design, employee-centered leader behaviour is more consistent with the System 4 design.
Thus, moving organisations from System 1 to System 4 automatically implies a transition for job-centered to employee-centered leader behaviour. Likert’s greatest contribution was to identify four management systems operating in organisations. He and his team of researchers were strongly convinced that leadership was a casual variable that over time affected end results of factors such as productivity, profits, turnover and absenteeism. The four management systems, arranged along a continuum are shown in Fig.12.1.
Likert developed a Profile on Organisational Characteristics questionnaire that provided descriptive ratings in seven areas: leadership processes, motivational forces, communication, interaction- influence process, decision-making, goal setting and control.
Although only one of the seven areas specifically focuses on leadership, it is a casual variable that affects the others. Likert and his team strongly implied that the closer an organisation is to System 4 (Participative Groups), the more effective it will be in achieving its end results.
A number of studies have since been published documenting successful shifts from Systems 1 and 2 to Systems 3 and 4, with accompanying improvements in performance and satisfaction.
Following is a brief description of these four leadership styles:
System 1: (Exploitative-Authoritative):
Top management primarily uses an autocratic style, makes all the decisions and relies on coercion as the primary motivating force.
System 2: (Benevolent-Authoritative):
Higher level management makes most of the decisions, although some minor implementing decisions may be made at lower levels. A condescending attitude is usually displayed in communicating with subordinates, which results in a subservient attitude towards superiors.
System 3: (Consultative):
Although higher management still reserves the tasks of direction and control, ideas are at least solicited from lower levels. As a result, up-and-down communications are superior to those in Systems 1 and 2. Although there is very little cooperative teamwork, certain delegated specific operating decisions are made at lower levels.
System 4: (Participative):
Under System 4, higher management views its role as that of making sure the best decisions are made through a decentralized participative-group structure. These groups overlap and are coordinated by multiple memberships. There is a high degree of trust, which allows both superiors and subordinates to exercise greater control over the work situation.
Thus a key concept of System 4 is the use by managers of group decision making that System 4 is similar to the type of management found in many Japanese firms. Perhaps the biggest distinction is that in System 4, each individual manger is still held accountable for his or her decisions and executions even though decision making is basically a group process.
The basic assumption of situations models is that appropriate leader behaviour varies from situation to situation. The basic goal of a situation theory, then, is to identify key situational factors and to specify how they interact to determine appropriate leader behaviour.
There are four major situational theories. Before we proceed to discuss these theories, we may refer to an important early model that laid the foundation for subsequent developments. In 1958, Robert Tannenbaum and Warren H. Schmidt proposed a continuum of leadership behaviour in the decision-making process.
Their model resembles the original Michigan framework closely. However, besides purely job-centered behaviour (or, ‘boss-centered’ behaviour), and employee-centered behaviour, they identify several intermediate possibilities a manager might consider.
The range of possibilities, including both end-points, is as follows:
1. The manager makes a decision and announces it to the group. This is the most authoritarian behaviour.
2. The manager makes a decision and “sells” it to the group, this option offers subordinates a small degree of freedom — the freedom to at least try to reject the manager’s decision.
3. The manager presents ideas and invites questions but retains the final word on the decision.
4. The manager presents a tentative decision subject to change.
5. The manager presents a problem, gets suggestions, and then makes the decision.
6. The manager sets relatively narrow limits and then asks the group to make the decision. That is, although the group makes the decision, the decision context is still defined by the manager. ‘
7. The manager sets broad limits and then permits the group to decide within those limits. This option offers subordinates the greatest amount of freedom in that they also define the decision context.
This continuum of behaviour moves from the extreme of having the manager make the decision alone to the other extreme of having the employees make the decision with minimal guidance.
This new concept is illustrated in Fig.12.2. Based on the situation, the manager is left with the option of choosing any of these styles. As one moves from left to right the degree of involvement of the employee gradually increases.
By presenting the concept of leadership continuum, the authors contend that there are several alternative paths a manager can follow in working with people. They arrive at the conclusion that in making this decision managers must consider forces in themselves, in their subordinates and in the situation.
Forces in subordinates include:
(i) Their need for independence,
(ii) Whether they are interested in and have knowledge to tackle the problem, and
(iii) Their expectations with respect to sharing in decision-making.
Forces in the situation include:
(i) The type of organisation,
(ii) The groups effectiveness,
(iii) The pressure of time, and
(iv) The nature of the problem itself.
The basic point is that the successful manager is the one who has a high batting average in assessing the appropriate behaviour for a given situation.
The authors did sound a note of caution at this stage: a leader must communicate clearly to subordinates exactly what degree of involvement they will have in a given situation. Will the workers have to make the decision? Does the supervisor only want to consider subordinates’ inputs before making the final decision? A common mistake often made by Headers is that they tend to ‘fake’ a high degree of employee involvement, already knowing what the decision will be.
Each point on the continuum is influenced by factors relating manager, subordinates and situation. Managerial factors include the manager’s value (system, confidence in subordinates, personal inclinations, and feelings of security. Subordinate factors include the subordinates’ need for independence, readiness to assume responsibility, tolerance for ambiguity, interest in the problem, understanding of goals, knowledge, experience and expectations. Situational factors that affect the decision making include the type of organisation, group effectiveness, the problem itself, and time pressures.
Although the Tannenbaum and Schmidt framework pointed out the importance of situational factors, it may simply be speculative. So, various other theories and models have been presented by researchers from time to time.
D. Contingency Theory:
This theory, developed by Fred. E. Fiedler, begins with a leadership behavioural approach. Fiedler identifies two styles of leadership — task-oriented (comparable to job-centered and initiating-structure behaviour) and relationship-oriented (akin to employee-centered and consideration behaviour).
However, he goes beyond the leadership behaviour approaches by arguing that the style of leader behaviour is a reflection of the leader’s personality and is basically constant for any person. This simple implies that a leader is presumed to be task-oriented or relationship-oriented all of the time.
Fielder measures leader styles by using a controversial questionnaire called the least preferred co-worker (LPC) measure.
According to Fiedler an excellent predictor of one’s personality in a leadership situation is a simple test, the Least Preferred Co-worker (LPC) scale, which measures the degree of leniency with which the leader evaluates his most ineffective subordinate or co-worker. Fiedler was essentially measuring task orientation and employee orientation.
A leader who describes his least preferred co-worker favourably tends to be employee-oriented. A leader who describes his least preferred co-worker in-favourably tends to be task oriented. Fiedler’s test, the LPC scale, measures the leader’s motivation from the standpoint of where he (she) is employee oriented (1, 9) or task oriented (9,1) (see Table 12.3). Since he employed only one scale in his research, a leader could score high on either task orientation or employee orientation, but not both.
E. The Path-Goal Theory:
Both the Ohio State studies of leadership styles and Fiedler’s studies have incorporated a second view of leader effectiveness, called the path-goal theory of leadership. Specifically, these researchers have focused their attention on the leader’s ability to help subordinates identify the paths to attaining on the leader’s, ability to help subordinates identify the paths to personal-cum-organisational objectives.
Perhaps the best known research in this area has been done by Robert J. House (1971) who uses the expectancy theory of motivation to develop his path goal theory leadership. It may be recalled that according to expectancy theory, an individual will be motivated to produce if he perceives that his efforts will result in successful performance, which will, in its turn, lead to desired rewards. In other words, the primary components of expectancy theory included the likelihood of attaining various outcomes and the value associated with those outcomes.
An employee’s motivations are influenced by three specific factors:
(1) The employee’s perceptions of his (her) ability to accomplish a specific task,
(2) The relationship of the rewards to the accomplishment of the task, and
(3) The value of the rewards offered. The path-goal theory predicts that the leader can influence these perceptions of rewards and can clarify what employees have to do to win these rewards.
The path-goal-theory of leadership is basically concerned with the ways in which a leader can influence a subordinate’s motivation, goals and attempts at achievements. The theory suggests that the primary functions of a leader are to make valued or derived rewards available in the work place and to clarify for the subordinate the kinds of behaviour that will lead to goal accomplishment and valued rewards.
This implies that the leader should clarify the paths to goal attainment. Robert J. House and his follower, Terrence R. Mitchell, suggest that a leadership style will be effective or ineffective depending on how the leader influences the perceptions of:
(1) Work goals or rewards of subordinates;
(2) Paths (behaviour) that lead to successful goal accomplishment.
According to them, subordinates are motivated by the goals. Two major propositions of the theory are the following:
1. Leader behaviour is acceptable and satisfying to subordinates to the extent that they view such behaviour as either an immediate source of satisfaction or an instrument for acquiring future satisfaction.
2. Leader behaviour will increase the efforts of subordinates if it links satisfaction of their needs to effective performance and is supportive of their efforts to achieve goal performance.
These propositions instruct the managers to increase the number of outcomes available for effective performance, remove various barriers to the achievement of outcomes and help subordinates to see these outcomes as desirable. In order to enable managers to do all these, the theory provides four kinds of leader behaviour based on the work needed.
These are the following:
1. Directive Leader Behaviour (Task-Oriented):
It involves three aspects of leadership. Letting subordinates know what is expected of them, giving guidance and direction, and scheduling work (similar to initiating-structure and task-oriented behaviour).
2. Supportive Leader Behaviour (Employee-Oriented):
It involves not only matters of interest to employees — their needs and welfare but also creation of a warm, pleasant climate. This means that leaders should be friendly and approachable, show concern for subordinates’ welfare, and treat members as equals (similar to considerate and relationship-oriented behaviour).
3. Participative Leader Behaviour:
It involves consulting subordinates, inviting suggestions and allowing participation of subordinate in decision making. This type of behaviour is likely to evoke response from the subordinates who operates independently and who has necessary ability to render considerable assistance to the manager in the decision making process.
4. Achievement-Oriented Leader Behaviour:
This involves developing a highly challenging situation (climate) for the employment and demanding satisfactory performance in exchange. For this managers have to set challenging goals, expect subordinates to perform at high levels, encourage them and show confidence in subordinates’ abilities.
These leadership behaviours are based on the situational factors.
According to this theory leadership behaviour is influenced by two situational factors:
1. The personal characteristics of subordinates such as ability, self-confidence and needs.
2. The environmental factors which are beyond the control of subordinates such as co-workers, the task assigned and the leader’s exercise of power.
The first factor describes how able the subordinates are and what confidence do they have in performing the job. This factor affects how subordinates view their leader and themselves. The stronger their ability and self-confidence, the less supervision they would like to tolerate from the boss.
The second factor also affects an individual’s performance though not directly. For instance, co-workers who are not co-operating can influence job performance and minimise an employee’s perception of completing the job successfully.
These situational variations not only affect employee performance but also the manager’s behaviour. For instance, an employee having high confidence and ability can be approached with an achievement-oriented style.
Another having the required ability but little confidence can be approached in a supportive manner. The essence of this situation leadership theory is that it is the situation that dictates the style. Managers need to be able to adjust.
Task-Orientation and Employee-Orientation once again:
House shows that a leader can combine task-orientation and employee-orientation. Such a combination is likely to improve employee performance and group morale simultaneously. (Recall that for Fiedler, the exponent of the life-cycle theory, this combination does occur. It is because a leader who scores high on the least preferred co-worker scale is — by definition — task- oriented; if the leader receives a low score, he is employee-oriented).
Two major implications of House’s theory are the following:
1. A style of leadership cannot be evaluated without taking the motivation of subordinates into consideration. In this sense House has combined leadership theory and motivation theory.
2. The leader can simultaneously influence group morale and employee performance; that is he can be both employee-oriented and task-oriented. While House’s theory will be refined and modified as evidence is accumulated, he has constructed an approach that is extremely valuable for both the theory and the practice of management.
F. The Vroom-Yetton Theory Model:
This is the last situational theory (model) of leadership. The basic focus of this theory is on how much participation subordinates should be allowed in various decision-making activities. To be more specific, the model, which is comparatively new, predicts what kinds of situations call for what degree of group participation. The model, then, sets norms or standards for including subordinates in decision-making.
The V-Y model seems to suggest that decision effectiveness is best gauged by the quality of the decision and by decision acceptance. Decision quality is the objective effect of the decision on employee performance. Decision acceptance is the extent to which employees accept and are committed to the decision. The theory attempts to identify the appropriate leadership style for a given set of circumstances, or situations.
The model suggests that in order to maximise decision effectiveness managers should adopt one of five decision-making styles, depending on the situation. As the following Table shows, there are two autocratic styles and AII), two consultative styles (CI and CII) and one group style (GII).
The appropriate style of leadership (Al, All, etc.) depends on the attributes of the problem situation. The leader has to consider these attributes as also the diagnostic questions.
If, for instance, the leader is interested in, say, the importance of the quality of a decision (the first problem attribute) could, ask the diagnostic question:
“Is these a quality requirement such that one solution is more likely to be rational than another?”
The theory uses a decision tree for determining the best leadership style for a problem situation. Fig. 12.8 illustrates how the seven diagnostic questions are asked and where a yes or no answer takes a person along the tree. The person using the decision tree works across it as the questions are answered. In this way, a leader is able to identify the appropriate situation and leadership style.
The leadership-style theory originally provided by Vroom and Yetton has been modified by the work of Arthur Jago. A study by Jago found that managers higher in the management hierarchy tend to use move participative styles than managers lower in the hierarchy.
Another study brought into focus the important point that managers of retail franchises who move closely conformed to the style identified by the Vroom-Yetton decision tree were more successful and had employees who reported higher amounts of job satisfaction. Vroom and his co-workers have used such examples to train leaders in decision-making skills.
G. Tridimensional Leadership Effectiveness Theory:
Quite recently, Paul Hersey and Kenneth H. Blanchard (a co-author of The One Minute Manager) have developed two leadership behaviours, viz., task and relationship. These are comparable to those of the Ohio State studies.
The two authors have defined task behaviour as “the extent to which leaders are likely to organise and define the roles of the followers, explain what must be done, and direct the flow of work”. Likewise, relationship behaviour is defined as “the extent to which leaders are likely to maintain personal relationships with members of their group through being supportive, sensitive and facilitative”.
Since leadership effectiveness depends largely, if not entirely, on how leadership style interrelates with the situation, the effectiveness dimension is added to the task and relationship base. The end result is an integration of the leadership style with the demands of the situation.
As James H. Donnelly has put it:
“When the style of a leader is appropriate in a given situation, it is effective; when the style is inappropriate in a given situation, it is ineffective”.
Since effectiveness is a matter of degree effective and ineffective styles can be represented on a continuum. H and B are an effective scoring range of +1 to +4 and an inefficient scoring range of -1 to -4. Fig. 12.9 illustrates such a tridimensional leader effectiveness model.
To be able to determine a leader’s preferred style, H and B use leaders’ effectiveness and adaptability description (LEAD) questionnaires. Such a questionnaire, originally developed for use in training programmes, contains 12 leadership situations in which respondents are asked to select from four alternatively actions — a high-task / low-relationship behaviour, a high task / high-relation behaviour, a high-relation / low task behaviour and a low-relation / low-task behaviour — the style they believe most closely would describe their own behaviour in the situation.
In this context, let us consider the following example:
The LEAD-self yields a self-perception picture of the leader’s style, style range and style adaptability. A LEAD — other questionnaire is completed by subordinates, supervisors, associates of leaders.
H and B have given specific attention to a leaders’ range, or flexibility. Each leader differs in the ability to vary his style in different situations. Flexible leaders have the potential to be effective in diverse situations. In structured, routine, simple and established work flow situations, leadership flexibility is not really that important.
Organisation theorists are not yet clear about how insightful and valuable the Hersey and Blanchard leader effectiveness model is for managers. However, the leadership training approach of H and B seems to be growing around the world. Many renowned companies like IBM, Xerox Corporation, Shell Oil and Bank of America have used their tridimensional leader — effectiveness model.
Since the model is simple, interesting and relevant and since its presentation is straight-for- ward, managers who use this model develop a sense of learning. However, whether the manager actually learns or is able to apply those principles of flexibility in style as suggested by the model is a matter of empirical research.
H. Life Cycle Theory:
Another situational leadership theory that has attracted considerable attention is Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard’s life cycle theory. The theory draws heavily on Ohio State studies and Willam Reddin’s work. Like Fiedler, Hersey and Blanchard take a situational approach — with one major difference.
They emphasize leaders’ using an adaptive style depending on the diagnosis they make of the situation. They have provided an illustration of the variations in leadership requirements of a manager, variations based on the performance ability of the individual employee. Their model explains the changes in leadership necessary to respond to the organisational maturity of employees.
The life cycle theory is derived from the postulate that a leader’s strategies and behaviour should be situational, based primarily on the maturity or immaturity of followers.
The three major concepts of the theory are the following:
It is the capacity of individuals, or groups, to set high but attainable goals and their willingness and ability to take responsibility. These maturity variables, resulting from education and/or experience, should be considered in relation to a specific task to be accomplished.
2. Task behaviour:
It is defined as the extent to which leaders are likely to organise and define the roles of their followers to explain what activities each is to do and when, where and how tasks are to be performed. It relies on establishing well-defined patterns of organisation, channels of communication and ways of accomplishing jobs.
3. Relationship behaviour:
It deals with inter-personal relations or, more specifically, the personal relationships of the leader with individuals or members of his (her) group. It involves the amount of support provided by the leader and the extent to which the leader engages in inter-personal communication and facilitating behaviour.
Fig.12.10 shows the relationship between the maturity of followers and the leadership style based on task and employee-oriented behaviour of the leader. The style of the leader should change as the maturity of the followers increases.
The figure has to be used as follows: First, one has to determine the maturity level of the members of a group (mature or immature). Then one has to trace a line upward until it intersects the curved line. That intersection determines which of the four basic leadership styles is most effective for that situation. The Q number represents a given quadrant of leadership style.
One may note the different approaches of a manager with an employee in quadrant (new employee with low maturity) and in Q4 (the experienced, senior employee with high maturity).
A key point note is that, in regard to a specific task, leaders may have to modify their strategies and shift back in the maturity cycle when there are changes in circumstances, in other words, the manager works from high direction on the job to low direction as needed.
I. Theory Z Organisations:
In 1981 William Ouchi developed a new theory called Theory Z. He compared Japanese and American industries and arrived at the conclusion that some Japanese corporations can serve as models for American firms. His Theory Z provides a management perspective that incorporates techniques from both Japanese and North American management practices.
Ouchi feels that Japanese industrial success is a result of better management. His research highlights the contrast between Japanese and American organisations. The success of Japanese firms is often attributed to their group orientation. The Japanese corporate culture focuses on trust and intimacy within the group and family.
By contrast, in North America, the basic orientation of corporate culture is toward the individual rights and achievements. These differences in corporate cultures in two societies get reflected in how companies are managed.
Fig.12.11 illustrates differences in the management approaches used in America and Japan. American organisations may be called Type A and Japanese organizations.
Type J. However, it is not at all practical to take a management approach based on the culture of one country and apply it directly to that of another country. Ouchi’s Theory Z is a wonderful blend of American and Japanese characteristics that can be used to revitalize and strengthen corporate cultures in North America.
Fig.12.11 shows that the Type Z organisation uses the Japanese characteristics of long-term employment. Such long-term employment — instead of rapid mobility across firms — implies that employees become familiar with the organisation and are fully committed to and integrated into it.
The Theory Z hybrid is also supposed to adopt the Japanese approach of slow evaluation and promotion for employees. Employees pay high regard to corporate values and become fully integrated into the organisation. In a similar fashion, the highly specialized American convention of a narrow career path is modified to reflect career training in various departments and multiple functions.
In Theory Z organisations, control over employee combines the best of both the worlds — American preference for explicit and precise performance measures and the Japanese approach to control based on social values. The Theory Z hybrid also seeks to encourage the Japanese characteristic of consensus decision making, that is, managers discuss critical decision issues among themselves and with subordinates until there is consensus among members.
On the contrary responsibility for outcomes, however, is based on the American approach of providing responsibilities and rewards for individuals. One final point to note is that Theory Z applies Japanese holistic concern for employees’ total personal lives.
Research work made by Ouchi clearly revealed that some American companies had characteristics similar to those of Japanese companies. These companies were found to be the best managed in the world, viz., IBM, Procter & Gamble, Hewlett-Packard and Eastman Kodak. Such companies were called by Ouchi Theory Z companies.
Case Example 1:
Richard D. Draft has cited the example of Fujitsu Ltd. in this context. It is the largest computer and telecommunications company in Japan. Daft describes the company thus: “It has created a cross- cultural Theory Z approach in its American subsidiary. Mid-level managers work in interactive teams composed of senior mangers, workers and peers. The decision-making approach is consensus and commitment is long term.
Managers are individually responsible for achieving goals, but they are also expected to encourage employee participation and communication. Recreational condominiums in locations such as California’s Lake Tahoe, for example, show a holistic concern for employees’ family and recreational needs. The hybrid management style used in America reinforces the Japanese understanding that employees are the company.”
Case Example 2:
Daft has also cited the example of another excellently managed company, Toyota, in this context. As he put it: “Theory Z combines Japanese and American management techniques. The Japanese approach to employee welfare is illustrated by Toyota, which endeavours to make a positive contribution to the quality of life of employees and their families. Toyota provides employees social clubs and sports facilities. Dormitories and apartments are available to employees at modest rent. Employees and their families have access to the Toyota hospital, as well as Toyota’s resort facilities, throughout Japan”. This concern for the total employee is being adopted by increasing numbers of North American companies in an attempt to improve quality and productivity.
8. Project Report on Managerial Leadership:
So long we have emphasized one narrow definition or role of the leader or manager- directing the activities of immediate subordinates. However, in practice, a manager has to assume many other roles and complete many other activities than mere directing.
In this context Henry Mintzberg (1980) argues that the manager performs three essential types of role in an organisation: interpersonal, informational and decisions. He then divides these three major types of roles in 10 distinct roles, as listed in Fig.12.12.
9. Project Report on the Contemporary Perspectives on Leadership:
Situational theories were the focus of most leadership theory building and were accepted for more than two decades. However, in the last few years, other interesting and potentially useful perspectives began to emerge. One of that seeks to explore the nature and effects of charismatic leadership; another has attempts to investigate the direction of causality between leader behaviour and subordinate responses; and yet another involves the concept of substitutes and neutralisers for leadership.
It may be recalled that charisma is an aspect of referent power. It is defined to be an intangible attribute in the leader’s personality that inspires loyalty and enthusiasm. Rober J. House’s theory of charismatic leadership suggested that “charismatic leaders are self-confident and have strong convictions in their beliefs. Followers who share these feelings, trust and feel affection toward the leader. This means that they readily accept direction from the leader and obey his commands”.
How this occurs is not yet transparent. But empirical findings have clarified the process somewhat. No doubt, personality is a major part of the process. But particular leader behaviouris also very important. What is more interesting is that the pattern of non-verbal communication appears to be critical to achieving charismatic effects. The latest findings seems to suggest that it is possible to train leaders to bring about such effects.
Transformational leadership which deals with changing the whole organisation from one ‘state’ or ‘culture’ to another is related to charismatic leadership. Major changes or transformations of organisations are increasingly part of the modern business scene. Some renewed American companies such as Chrysler, AT&T, IBM and GM have all instituted such change programmes in recent years.
In this context, we may draw a distinction between transactional leaders and transformational leaders. While subordinate focus have an internal, subordinate focus that is not useful in making such programmatic changes, the latter have an internal strategic focus that is vital in such programmes. This unique form of leadership is still in its infancy.
However, given the importance of strategic planning, further research on this type of leadership will undoubtedly be of tremendous importance to our knowledge and understanding of organisational change and leadership processes.
Direction of Causality:
All of the trait approaches, leadership behaviour approaches and situational theories of leadership are based on one common assumption (implicit though): the leader somehow does something that results in some kind of effectiveness.
However, these traditional approaches fail to consider a very important aspect of organisational life — the consequences of a leader’s behaviour and its implications for the future behaviour of that leader. As Charels Greene has pointed out in this context, the attendant suggestion that subordinate behaviour can influence leader behaviour — called the interactive view — is an important part of this argument.
Substitutes for Leadership:
In recent years, a new concept has arisen: the concept of substitutes for leadership in response to the fact that existing leadership models and theories do not account for situations in which leadership is not needed. They simply seek to specify what kind of leader behaviour is appropriate. By contrast, the substitute concepts identify situations in which leader behaviours are neutralised by characteristics of the subordinate, the task and the organisation.
Characteristics of the subordinate that may serve to neutralise leader behaviour include ability, experience, need for independence, professional orientation and indifference toward organisational rewards. For example, employees with a high level of ability and experience may not need to be told what to do. Similarly, a strong need for independence by the subordinate may render leader behaviour ineffective.
Characteristics of the task that may substitute for leadership include routineness, the availability of feedback and intrinsic satisfaction. When the job is routine and simple, the subordinate may not need direction. In an alternative environment, when the task is challenging and otherwise intrinsically satisfying, the subordinate may not need or want social support from a leader.
Finally, organisational characteristics that often serve as substitutes include formalisation, group cohesion, inflexibility and a rigid reward structure. When policies and practices are formal and inflexible, for example, leadership may not be needed. In a like manner, a rigid reward system may rob the leader’s role of reward power, in which case the importance of the role gradually diminishes.
Early research has provided ample support for this concept of substitutes for leadership. Along with the direction of causality, then, the concept of leader substitutes is likely to attract more and more attention in the 21st century.
10. Project Report on the Factors Influencing Leadership Effectiveness:
Leadership has been defined as the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. We have also discussed four different approaches to the study of leadership: trait, behavioural, situational or transformational. The trait and behavioural approaches indicate that effective leadership depends on a number of variables such as intelligence, decisiveness and style.
The transformational approaches emphasize the notion of charisma, a term coined by the German sociologist Max Weber and how it influences followers. Despite considerable ignorance, ambiguity and disagreement about leadership as a role and as process, organisational theorists have identified a few factors that are likely to influence leadership effectiveness.
1. Perceptual Accuracy:
It was McGregor who indicated how perception plays a role in leadership. In his view, managers who perceive employees may miss the opportunity to achieve optional results. Thus, management perceptual accuracy is extremely important in each of the situational models.
2. Background, Experience and Personality of the Leader:
The leader’s background and experience affect the choice of leadership style. A person who has achieved quite some success in being relationship style. In a like manner, a leader who doesn’t trust followers and who has structured the task for years will use an autocratic style.
Quite contrary to Fiedler’s view, leader’s style can be altered for achieving greater effectiveness. However, in practice, it is difficult because most people are rigid.
3. The Background, Maturity and Personality of the Follower:
A leader’s choice of style is also influenced by followers in important ways. This is so because leadership is essentially a mutual- sharing process. For example, a leader with technically proficient followers is best advised to be more participative and less autocratic.
By contrast, inexperienced, newly recruited employees with a minimum of work knowledge may prefer a leader who structures the task and is firm. In such a situation an autocratic or job-oriented leader works the best.
In this context, Hersey and Blanchard stress the role of the follower’s maturity. They define maturity as the ability and willingness of people to assume responsibility for directing their own behaviour. Maturity has two components: job maturity and psychological maturity. While the former is the knowledge, skills and experience to perform without close supervision, the latter is the willingness to do the job.
In this context, J.E. Donnelly rightly comments: ‘The astute leader attempts to determine the background and maturity of followers, which may signal the style that is most appropriate. In any event, the followers must be given serious consideration in making a judgement about which leadership style can achieve the desired results.
4. Superior’s Expectations and Style:
Superiors are comfortable with and prefer a particular leadership style. Research has indicated that a superior who prefers a job-oriented, autocratic approach encourages followers to adopt a similar approach. Initiation of the superior’s example is a powerful force in sharing leadership styles.
Since superiors possess various power bases, their expectations are important. As a general rule, superiors prefer more task-oriented behaviours instead of relationship-oriented behaviours.
5. Task Understanding:
Leaders must be competent enough to assess correctly the tasks their followers are performing. In an unstructured task situation (where goals are not easily defined) directive or autocratic leadership may be quite inappropriate; the employees need guidelines, freedom to act and the necessary resources to be able to accomplish the task properly.
It is absolutely essential for leaders to properly diagnose the tasks of followers so that proper leadership style choices are made. Due to this requirement, a leader must have some technical knowledge of the job and its requirements.
6. Peer Expectations:
Donnelly has also pointed out that a leader’s peers can provide support and encouragement for various leadership behaviours, thus influencing the leader in the future. No doubt, peers are an important source of comparison and information in making leadership style choices and modifications.
Integrating the Influencing Factors:
Fig. 12.13 illustrates that these six important factors can influence leadership effectiveness. Leadership, in its turn, influences these factors. No doubt, leadership effective depends on (or is influenced by) various other factors. But these six seem to be the most important of all.
The emphasis in the above figure is on leader’s ability to diagnose themselves and their total leadership environment. Perhaps, if leadership training programmes are used, they should stress diagnostic skills.
As Donnelley has concluded:
“If leaders are to become skilled at diagnoses and flexible enough to adapt leadership styles to the circumstances at hand, patience is essential. The organisation must be willing to plan and to fund development programmes that are time-consuming.”
11. Project Report on the Ohio State Studies on Leadership:
The need hierarchy and the two-factor of theory of motivation identify a number of individual needs and then attempt to arrange them in some kind of order of importance. Other content views of motivation have focused more on the important needs themselves without being concerned about ordering them. The three needs are for achievement, application and power.
The need for achievement, the best known of the three, reflects the desire to accomplish a goal or task more effectively than in the past. Most of what we know about the need achievement is based on the work of David McCleland of Harvard University. He has developed.
At the same time that Likert was doing research on leadership, a group of researchers at Ohio State conducted surveys on leadership.
On the basis of their extensive questionnaire surveys the Ohio State studies were able to identify two basic leader behaviours or styles:
1. Initiating-Structure Behaviour:
That leader has to organise the work and define for subordinates what each is supposed to do. The leader initiates the structure needed to perform the job for his subordinate, then breaks it down into steps, assigns various steps to each subordinate, and finally pulls everything back together in the end, he is initiating structure.
2. Considerate Behaviour:
The leader shows concern for subordinates and attempts to establish a warm, friendly and supportive climate. A leader who is sensitive to an employee’s feelings and who is legitimately concerned that employees be treated fairly and as human beings properly exhibits considerate behaviour.
The job-centered and employee-centered behaviours identified at Michigan are similar to the initiating-structure and considerate behaviour recognised at Ohio State, but there are significant differences as also. The most obvious difference is that the forms of leader behaviour are not seen by the Ohio State studies as being at opposite ends of a single continuum.
Instead, they are assumed to be independent variables. A leader can exhibit varying levels of initiating structure and at the same time varying levels of consideration. Fig.12.2 shows the Ohio State view of leader behaviour.
In some situations the subordinates prefer a leader who uses a style of high consideration and low structure. In others a different preference is observed. Subordinates indicate a preference for a leader who operates with high structure and high consideration.
These findings indicate that employees usually desire a change of behaviour on the part of the leader as circumstances change. Most researchers, however, feel that the most effective leaders are the ones who use a style of high structure and low consideration.
Early research on these two dimensions (task-orientation and employee-orientation) indicated that as a leader’s consideration increased, employee performance rose. These findings are no doubt logical. However, some contradictory results began to emerge in later research. In some situations an increase in consideration was accompanied by an increase in turnover and absenteeism. In others, as task orientation increased employee-performance declined.
12. Project Report on the Managerial Grid:
In line with the Ohio State Studies, Robert Blake and Jane Mouton developed a distinctive approach to the study of leadership: the managerial grid. They began their analysis by focusing on the two basic aspects of leader behaviour: concern for production (task-orientation) and concern for people (employee-orientation).
By combining the two forms of behaviour the Managerial Grid offers a way to analyse leadership behaviour in organisations. Each of these dimensions was measured on a scale that ranges from one (low) to nine (high).
Fig.12.4 shows a grid with the concern for production on the horizontal axis and concern for employees on the vertical axis;, it puts five basic leadership styles or five distinct management behaviours that result from the interactions.
The first number refers to a leader’s production or task orientation. Thus, in theory, using the 9-point system employed in the grid, 81 different combinations of the concerns could be identified.
1. The manager exhibiting 9,1 (lower grid) behaviour is described as a stern taskmaster, an autocrat. His emphasis is on getting the job done. In other words, he emphasises a high concern for production and efficiency but hardly any concern for employees. This behaviour is focused exclusively on tasks at the expense of relationships.
2. The 1, 9-oriented manager emphasizes a high concern for employees, but a minimum concern for production. The focus is on developing personal relationship, with an emphasis in keeping employees happy and satisfied. Managers of this type tend to avoid the use of pressure in getting work done.
This approach seems to work well with competent people, or with well-defined and proceduralised tasks, or in a situation in which the leader has strong confidence and control.
3. The manager exhibiting 1,1 behaviour has hardly any concern for people or for production. The combination is termed ‘impoverished management’ because it represents a dissatisfied manager with little interest in the position. This type of manager is described as an abdicator.
4. The 5,5 — oriented manager places some emphasis on concern for people and production. No strong commitment is made to either factor. However, this type of manager realizes that people cannot be ignored. At times he (she) will use an implicit bargaining approach (“You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”) to get work accomplished.
5. The 9,9-oriented manger emphasizes a high concern for both production and people and uses a participative, team approach in getting work done. In this position the manager views results as being achieved by ‘us’, through goal setting along with emphasis on individual improvement and commitment(s).
He believes that:
(i) Mutual understanding and
(ii) Agreement regarding the organisation’s goals and the means of attaining them are at the core of work direction. It may be noted that the Managerial Grid like the Michigan and Ohio State framework — implies that there is one generally approximate combination of leader behaviour the 9,9 co-ordinates or maximum concern for both people and production.
A deeper analysis reveals some degree of similarity between the Ohio State Quadrants and the managerial grid. Unlike Likert and other Michigan researchers, who focussed their attention on employee-centered supervisors, Blake and Monton, emphasise that a high concern for both employees and production is the most effective type of leadership behaviour. They have found that in most organisations a 9, 9 (team management) leader, concerned with both people and production, uses the ideal management style.
13. Project Report on the Ideal Leadership Style:
For quite some time there has been considerable debate about whether there is a normative or ideal leadership style. The centre of the debate is whether the ideal style does exist. This style is considered to be one that actively involves people in goal setting through the use of participative management techniques and focuses on people and task.
Empirical research has given considerable support to there being an ideal leadership style incorporating a participative management approach. Likewise earlier research in motivation theory also supported the participative management approach as the ideal. Leading practitioners of management and management consultants felt that these concepts made enormous good sense. Moreover, there are numerous instances in which both performance and attitudes improved when participative management was introduced.
In recent years, there have been several research studies challenging the view-point that there is one ideal leadership style. Essentially, they say that under various conditions the autocratic approach may get better results.
One research study specially challenges the assumption that leaders who are high in both task and interpersonal behaviour will have more satisfied and productive subordinates than those who are not. In another study, the more desirable style seemed to be 1,9 or a leader’s behaviour of low initiating structure and high consideration.
In truth, leadership experience reveals that in some situations an autocratic approach might be the best, in others a participative approach; in some conclusion is that leadership is complex and the most appropriate style depends on several interrelated variables.
The personal behavioural theories have, no doubt, an important role to play in the development of contemporary thinking about leadership. Unfortunately, these theories fell prey to the problem of universalism along the way. So, other approaches to understanding leadership were needed. One such approach is the situational approach to which we may from now.
14. Project Report on the Situation Approaches to Leadership:
According to Fiedler an excellent predictor of one’s personality in a leadership situation is a simple test, the Least Preferred Co-worker (LPC) scale, which measures the degree of leniency with which the leader evaluates his most ineffective subordinate or coworker. Fielder was essentially measuring task orientation and employee orientation.
Each manager or leader is asked to describe the person with whom he (she) is able to work least well, his (her) LPC, by filling in a set of 16 scales anchored at each by a positive-negative adjective. A leader who describes his least preferred co-worker favourably tends to be employee-oriented.
A leader who describes his least preferred co-worker un-favourably tends to be task-oriented. Fiedler’s test, the LPC scale, measures the leader’s motivation from the standpoint of whether he (she) is employee-oriented or task-oriented.
A simple technique, using only three of the above in LPC are:
The leader’s LPC score is then calculated by adding up the numbers below the line checked on each scale.
In these three examples, the higher numbers are associated with the ‘good’ words (helpful, relaxed and interesting), whereas the ‘bad’ words (frustrating, tense and boring) have low point. A high total score is assured of a relationship orientation and a low score a task orientation on the part of the ladder.
Fitting the Components Together:
The model is illustrated in Fig.12.5. The vertical axis measures the group’s or organisation’s performance and the horizontal-axis shows the ‘favourableness’ of the situation – the degree to which the situation provides the leader with influence and control. Here the solid line shows the performance of high LPC leaders, while the broken lines indicate the performance of low LPC leaders.
Since the LPC measure is controversial, researchers disagree on its validity. Even organisation theorists go to the extent of questioning exactly what an LLPC measure reflects and whether the score is an index of behaviour, personality or some other unknown factor.
Favourableness of the Situation:
The underlying assumption of situational models of leadership is that appropriate leader behaviour varies from situation to situation. In this context, Fiedler has argued that the key situational factor is the favourableness of the situation from the leader’s point of view. And this factor, in its turn, is determined by three things: leader-member relations, task structure and position power. These may now be briefly explained.
1. Leader-Member Relations:
Such relations refer to the nature of the relationship between the leader and the work group.
As Griffin has commented:
“If the leader and the group have a high degree of mutual trust, respect and confidence and if they like one another, relations are assumed to be good. If there is little trust, respect or confidence, and if they do not like one another, relations are assumed to be bad. Good relations are assumed to be favourable and bad relations un-favourable.”
2. Task Structure:
It simply refers to the degree to which the task of the group is well defined. As a general rule structure is assumed to be high when the task is routine, easily understood, and unambiguous, and when the group has standard procedures and precedents to rely on.
The converse is true in case of a task with low structure: non-routine, ambiguous and complex with no standard procedures or precedents.
As Griffin puts it:
“High structure is a more favourable position for the leader; low structure is more un-favourable. For example, if task structure is low, the group will not know what to do and the leader will have to play a major role in guiding and directing its activities. If task structure is high, the leader will not have to get so involved and can devote time to other activities.”
3. Position Power:
Such power vests in the leader’s position. As Griffin comments: “If the leader has the power to assign work, reward and punish employees, and recommend them for promotion or demotion, position power is assumed to be strong. If the leader must get job assignments approved by someone else, does not administer rewards and punishment, and has no voice in promotion or demotions, position power is weak.” Thus it follows that, from the leader’s point of view, strong position power is clearly favourable and weak position power is un-favourable.
Favourableness and Leader Style:
Various studies have been conducted linking the favourableness of various situations to leader style and group effectiveness. Fig. 12.6 shows the results of these studies.
The bottom of the figure shows situational factors. We see that good or bad leader-member relations, high or low task structure, and strong or weak position power can be combined to yield 8 unique situations.
For example, good relations, high structure and strong position power (at the far left) are presumed to define the most un-favourable situation; poor relations, low structure and weak power (at the far right) the least favourable situation and other combinations intermediate levels of favourableness.
Above each situation, is shown the form of leader behaviour found to be most strongly associated with effective group performance in that situation. In situations where relations are good, structure is high, and power is strong, we find that a task-oriented leader is most effective.
However, in those situations where relations are good but task structure is low and position power is weak, the prediction is a relationship-oriented leader is most effective. Fielder has observed that a task-oriented leader is supposedly effective when the situation is very un-favourable. The relationship-oriented style is most effective under the intermediate conditions.
Flexibility of Leader Style:
A final aspect of Fiedler’s theory is his view of the inflexibility of leader style. Fiedler argues that, “because leader behaviour is presumed by his theory to be a personality trait, it is essentially fixed and cannot be changed. That is, a leader cannot change his behaviour to fit a particular situation.” Fiedler believes that leaders are either task-oriented or relationship-oriented.
Fiedler has also argued that “when a leader’s style and situation do not match, the situation should be changed to fit the leader’s style. For example, when leader-member relations are good, task structure low and position power weak, the leader style most likely to be affective is relationship oriented. If the leader is task oriented a mismatch exists.” Fiedler argues that, “the leader makes the elements of the situation more congruent by structuring the task (by developing guidelines and procedures, for instance) and increasing power (by requesting additional autonomy or by other means).”
Friedler’s contingency theory is not true for defects. It has been criticised primarily in the ground that it is not supported by empirical evidence. The second criticism is that his findings are subject to other interpretations. Thirdly, the LPC measure lacks validity. Finally, his assumptions about the inflexibility of leader behaviour are unrealistic.
In spite of these criticisms, Friedller’s theory has been held by organisational theorists as are of the first to adopt a situational perspective on leadership. It has enabled practising managers to recognise the strategic importance of situational factor they must contend with.