Chapter I: introducton Essay

Chapter i: introducton

Summary
Though there is a plethora of literature on leadership, it is almost certain that the pile will only increase with time. The main reason behind this is the dynamism of the subject, as the society itself is dynamic and keeps on changing on the time. Accordingly leadership too has to match with it. It is for such a state of affairs, the leadership as a subject has all along remained a valued phenomenon that is very complex.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

However, at the end of the day, leadership is all about leading people to the best possible destination within shortest possible time and minimum possible fuss – from this perspective, one gets the clue that leadership is a process that needs to apply the wisdom of the past with the presence of mind. This book too, holds the same view, where it takes the issues of the followers two, as they form just the other half of the subject and thus it attempts to address the issues that can bug either the leaders or the followers, as it rightly holds the view that both leaders and the followers should be understood in relation to each other.

However, the dynamism of the subject would again bounce back, the moment one would check the journey of the leadership literature – where the researchers kept on focusing on the elements that were considered important under the social situation, and their findings kept on proving inadequate to cater another period of time. As for example, early researchers dissected human traits and presented their concept package of leadership by saying that certain people in our society have special inborn qualities that make them leaders, which, from the modern perspective, is a mere restriction of leadership position among those who are considered to be possess such qualities. This book too corroborates this view and suggests that leadership is a process that can be learned and anyone is welcome to learn, qualify and lead the society or a section of it.

This aspect of leadership brings its two facets into discussion and they are assigned and emergent leadership, where the former is based on formal title or position in an organization and the later results from independent endeavors through acquiring support from the followers. However, leadership as a process applies to both of these two.

Another important component involved with leadership is the concept of power, which again has two facets like position and personal. While position power nestles in the branch of assigned leadership with its forces like legitimate, reward and coercive power, followers contribute to the personal power of the leaders that contain forces like referent and expert power. However, in both the cases leaders bear the responsibility to treat power as a shared resource to ensure that they are not power wielders. This structural assessment of leadership therefore, keeps no room for coercion, which is another process wants to bring change in the followers by threats and punishments, because then the desired outcome no longer remains a common goal for both the followers and the change agents.

Leadership differs from the concept of management too – as management solely deals with the grammar of running an organization and leadership deals with smoothening and enhancing the quality of that process. However, two schools of thought explain this issue in their own ways, where one school observes that management is all about creating order and stability, where leadership works as an agent of adaptation and constructive change, the other school opines that managers’ roles are limited within creating and maintaining order, where they are mostly reactive and emotionally detached from the scene, leaders are mostly proactive and emotionally attached to the proceedings. This type of comparison resembles that of the functions of brain and heart; as both of them are no less influential in the process of decision-making and both are capable of overlapping the other according to their degree of influence under a given context.

Viewing leadership from such a structural perspective no doubt makes it a bit complex, and thus this book goes on to reveal the wonders of it on the basis of various research literature and by describing selected approaches to leadership, while assessing how they can be used to improve leadership in real situations.

Lessons at a glance

·         Leadership is all about attaining a common goal with followers in best possible manner.

·         Leadership is a dynamic and complex process

·         It is open to anyone who can learn and practice it successfully

·         Structurally there are two kinds of leadership – Assigned and Emergent leadership.

·         Assigned leadership uses positional power and Emergent leadership uses personal power.

·         Concept of coercion towards attaining change is away from the concept of leadership.

·         Leaders have the responsibility to prove their status.

·         If Management is considered to be the brain of an organization, leadership will be its heart, where both will be capable of leading the decision making process under appropriate situations.

Knowledge gained from Chapter I

It clears the basic picture about leadership at the outset.

CHAPTER II: TRAIT APPROACH
Summary
Driven by the belief that it takes a special package of inborn traits to become leaders, researchers went all out to gather all possible traits of the leaders and that trend went on till mid-20th century, when new studies observed that leadership traits are influenced by situations. As a result, researchers concentrated on the impact of various situations on both the leaders and the followers. However currently the trait researchers are as if coming of age with renewed interest on the critical traits of the leaders.

Trait research has helped in leadership research to a great extent, as it has identified the traits that prove to embedded with leadership, like intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity and sociability. Alongside, it also identified a strong connection between leadership and the package of traits known as five-factor personality mode, where the trait of Extraversion tops the list of traits followed by conscientiousness, openness, low neuroticism, and agreeableness. More recent research on the connection between emotional intelligence and leadership suggests that the leaders, who are sensitive to their emotions and to the impact of their emotions on others, may be more effective leaders.

Trait approach deals with the traits exhibited by the leaders and who has what set of traits. It is a tool for the organizations to assess and determine the appropriate place for an individual in the organization, besides its ability to serve as a mirror to the managers who want to fine-tune their leadership qualities.

Trait approach is useful on many accounts, such as it accommodates the concept that leaders are above than common people and provides researched observation to substantiate that concept, besides presenting a detailed insight on the making of a leader and benchmarking it through its time tested findings.

However, it is understood that leadership being a dynamic subject, can never limit itself within a fixed number or type of traits, as new situations would always influence the leaders to resort to new traits or to modify the known ones – and here the limitation of trait theory is felt – that it doesn’t view the traits under the context of situational impact, and thus remains content by providing a broad-based list, where some of its elements may not be considered as prerequisites of leader-making process under a special situation, or might not even have the elements which can be instrumental under such situations.

Another vital void limits this approach to a great extent that it doesn’t count the efficacy of the traits in the performance of the leaders – obtaining certain qualities is one thing and achieving good results by using them is another – and thus this approach looks like only a fragment of the whole that covers the entire leadership process. Understandably, this approach cannot be used as a full-proof instrument in any leadership training and development program.

Lessons at a glance

·         Trait theory can be described as “Leaders are born, not made” theory.

·         It focuses on the traits exhibited by the leaders and bundles them together as the distinguishing elements between leaders and commoners.

·         It provides useful insights on leaders’ behavioral processes.

·         However it doesn’t count the impact of situations, which greatly influences leadership behavior.

·         It also fails to determine the elements that can make a bad leader or a good leader, as it doesn’t opt for value-based assessment.

·         In the process it ends up only with the indications about leadership qualities in people.

Knowledge gained from Chapter II

Trait theory points at certain traits which are must-have-s for the leader – and that way it helps the leader-making process, but that far and no further, because situations would always be dynamic and one cannot solely rest upon the fixed traits to meet the demands of the new situations.

CHAPTER III: SKILLS APPROACH
While the trait approach failed to determine the “ideal” qualities of leadership, “Skills Approach” tries to do that by focusing on the competencies of the leaders and earlier researchers like Katz (1955) or in the recent times Mumford and his colleagues have significant contributions in formulating skills model of leadership.

In his “Three-skill approach”, Katz observed that three personal skills have great bearing on the efficacy of leadership, and they are, technical, human and conceptual skills. Each of these skills can be most important at one or the other levels of management – as for example, technical or human skills can be of prime importance at the production levels, while conceptual skill can be the first requirement at the planning level. Understandably, leaders in either level would be able to provide their best, if they possess the requisite skills of their level.

However, there can be levels like middle managerial level, where the manager has to have all three skills to meet the demands of all levels.

Understandably, this model is leadership-centric and solely deals with the elements that can enhance the abilities of the leaders. Anyone can learn the skills, and from that perspective, this model too admits that leadership is available to anyone who can learn and master certain set of skills and effectively utilize them towards achieving the desired outcome. Besides this, skills approach provides an organized roadmap for enhancing leadership qualities and facilitates the researchers to formulate complex plans for exploring leadership process. Understandably, this approach provides a structure for leadership education and development programs that involve creative problem solving, conflict resolution, listening, and teamwork.

There are chinks in the armors of skill model too, as it overlaps the boundaries of leadership and it is weak in predictive value, as it cannot clearly define how the power of skill can lead to effective leadership performance. Its another weak link lies in the fact that it tries to bypass the individual traits of humans to distinguish itself from trait theory, and in the process it fails to exploit the traits like cognitive abilities, motivation and personality, as someone possessing these qualities may not get much scope to bloom under the strict regimen of skills approach.

Skills approach is developed from the military perspective and thus there is doubt about its success in the civilian set up and especially in business organizations.

Lessons at a glance
·         Skills approach prioritizes practicing skills to achieve leadership and divides the skill set into three segments like technical, human and conceptual.

·         It earmarks the zones of practicing each of such skills.

·         It offers leadership to anyone who qualifies through skills and presents a structured way to attain and practice skills.

·         To distinguish itself from trait theory, it bypasses the inherent human traits and thus fails to exploit them.

·         This is largely a military approach towards developing leaders through regimented training of skills.

·         It overlaps the concept of leadership.

·         It is yet to prove its efficacy amid general business and social situations.

Knowledge gained from Chapter III

It would have been best if had the regimented approach to skills accommodated the inherent leadership traits in persons. But that was not to be, as that would have hit its framework, because this approach prefers specific training for the people at specific levels. However, in personal capacity, this approach can be applied to sharpen one’s own qualities.

CHAPTER IV: STYLE APPROACH
Style approach distinguishes itself from both trait and skill approaches to leadership by focusing more on the actions of the leaders than focusing on the leaders as individuals. It views leadership under the context of two primary types of behaviors like task behaviors and relationship behaviors and focuses on how the leaders combine these two types to influence others.

This approach has its origin in three different types of research, viz., Ohio State University studies, the University of Michigan studies, and the work of Blake and Mouton on the Managerial Grid.

Researchers at Ohio State formulated a Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ) to identify “initiation of structure” and “consideration” as the prime elements of leadership behaviors. The Michigan studies too arrived at similar findings, though they named it “production orientation” and “employee orientation”. Scores of other researches based on the above studies to find the best way for leaders to combine task and relationship behaviors, with a goal of discovering a universal set of leadership behaviors that would be able to bring out the best of leadership under any circumstance. However, this endeavor is yet to come full circle as researchers are still away from discovering an all-weather style of leadership.

Blake and Mouton developed a practical model for training managers, where the leadership behavior is described through a grid with two axes like concern for results and concern for people that fetches five possible leadership styles like authority-compliance (9, 1), country club management (1,9), impoverished management (1,1), middle-of-the-road management (5,5) and team management (9,9).

Undoubtedly, style approach has extended the scope of leadership research by picking up the behaviors of the leaders instead of their traits, besides attempting to be practical by substantiating its premise by studies and observations. Apart from these two positive sides, this approach highlights the two basic dimensions of leadership behavior like task and relationship and provides an extended conceptual map that definitely aids in understanding our own leadership behaviors.

On the flip side, it doesn’t associate leadership behavior with intangible yet important outcomes like job satisfaction or state of morale and may be for these reasons it is yet to provide an all-weather effective leadership and fails to establish the idea that most effective leadership style would always be a high-high style. Thus style approach, till now, only provides a good framework to assess leadership in general and serves a reminder to the leaders that their impact on others can be traced through its grid.

Lessons at a glance
·         Style approach focuses on leadership behaviors under the contexts of task and relationship and tries to present a tangible state of leadership style.

·         It aims to discover an all-weather effective leadership.

·         It ends up by producing patterns of leadership behavior.

·         It aids to the understanding of leadership behavior.

·         It fails to distinguished intangible outcomes of leadership behaviors, like job satisfaction or enhanced state of morale.

Knowledge gained from Chapter IV

Style approach can be helpful to determine the practiced leadership behavior. If its findings can be linked with the intangible yet important outcomes, then a better understanding of leadership behavior and clues towards its efficacy can be obtained.

CHAPTER FIVE: SITUATIONAL APPROACH

Situational approach classifies leadership into four styles, like Directing, Coaching, Supporting and Delegating leadership. Understandably, this concept refers to a flexible leadership, which can adopt different leadership styles in appropriation to the situation. This approach has been accepted as a standard tool for training leaders because of its practicality and viability reflected in its clear guidelines towards enhancing the effectiveness of leadership. Alongside, this approach admits that there cannot be an all-weather effective leadership and instead emphasizes on flexibility of the leadership style to meet the demand of the situation.

However, its critics observe that it does not have a backup of proven research and thus is prone to ambiguity when it is asked to conceptualize certain aspects of leadership, besides being unclear on how subordinates move from low development levels to high development levels. They also question about the validity of the basic prescriptions for matching leadership styles to subordinates’ development levels besides pointing out that this model does not address how demographic characteristics affect employees’ preferences for leadership besides not providing guidelines for utilizing it in group settings.

Lessons at a glance

·         Blanchard and Hersey took the amount of direction and support as the guiding force of this leadership approach where they stand like below:

1.      Directing: Leader, after analyzing the situation, determines and defines the roles and tasks of the followers, and monitors the outcome. This adopts one-way communication between the leader and the followers.

2.      Coaching: Leaders does all as above, but adds some more to it by allowing the followers to air their ideas and suggestions before making the decision all by him/herself.

3.      Supporting: Leader passes on day-to-day decisions to the follower, though taking part in the decision-making, though allowing the followers to control the proceedings.

4.      Delegating: Leader becomes a party to the proceedings, further releasing control to the follower/s, such as to let them decide when they need to involve the leader.

·        This model depends much on the quality followers rather than the leader, where the followers would believe that “success is not achieved totally by leadership alone” (Yaverbaum, 2004). As Blanchard and Hersey pointed out, here the leader’s style of functioning should be in appropriation with the ability and commitment of the follower. They created two primary models to merge into one:

LEADERSHIP STYLE

Supporting

(S3)
Coaching

(S2)
Delegating

(S4)
Directing

(S1)

D4
High Competence

High Commitment
Followers are experienced and confident with their ability to perform better – Even may be more equipped than the leader
D3
High Competence

Variable Commitment
Though equipped yet lacking in confidence or in motivation to deliver as deserved.
D2
Some Competence

Low Commitment
The follower’s skill level requires help, support and guidance – follower is somewhat willing to learn.
D1
Low Competence

Low Commitment
Lacks both skills and will to learn, no motivation or confidence is observed
DEVELOPMENT LEVEL

(Based on Famous Models, 1999)

The two models, representing leadership style (S1-S4) and development level (D1-D4) provides anyone to act according to the situation. As for example, if a Leader asks a follower belonging to Category D4 and adopts S1 style (Directing), then it would be a mismatch, as it would be the same if leader adopts S4 pattern in the dealing with a follower belonging to D1. On the contrary, if the leader adopts S4 to D4 or S1 to D1, the outcome would be the best out of the situation.

Knowledge gained from Chapter V

This model has the scope of elevating a follower from D1 to D4, and subsequently be in the position of a leader him/herself.

CHAPTER VI: CONTINGENCY THEORY
This theory works on the ways to match the leadership style with the demands of a situation. For that matter it measures leadership style in a scale named Least Preferred Coworker (LPC), which points at the people who are highly task-motivated (low LPCs), those who are socio-independent (middle LPCs) and those who are relationship motivated (high LPCs). It assesses three variables towards measuring the situations, and they are, leader-member relations, task structure, and position power. Cumulative essence of these three serves as the determiner of the best possible leadership style under a given circumstance.

Accordingly it suggests that low LPCs would be successful in extremes and high LPCs would be successful in moderately favorable situations. This is the first theory to signify the impact of situations on leaders. In its way towards predicting leadership effectiveness, it recognizes the fact that leaders cannot be effective in all situations, besides providing useful leadership data.

On the other hand, it doesn’t substantiate the connection between styles and situations, and it confines its assessment within the LPC scale. While it suggests tweaking leadership style to match the demands of the situation, it abstains from suggesting any way to tweak the situation through the power of the leadership. In any case, this model too contributes greatly towards understanding the leadership process.

Lessons at a glance

·         This theory can be instrumental if situations can be read beforehand.

·         It provides scope to raise the effectiveness of the leadership through LPCs

·         It limits its assessment within LPCs

·         It operates within a fixed premise like situations rule and a leader has to match with it.

Knowledge gained from Chapter VI

This approach is not suitable for the leaders who want to win over situations instead of catering to its demand.

CHAPTER VII: PATH-GOAL THEORY
This theory explains how the leaders can motivate the followers to be more productive and self-satisfied with their performance. This is a contingency approach as it deals with the leader-follower relationship to bring out the best possible outcome. However, its basic principles stem from expectancy theory that sets the precondition of employee motivation like creating an ambience where the employees would feel competent, be paid justifiably and be assured of reward in recognition to their better performance. This approach makes leader responsible to establish such an ambience besides directing, guiding and coaching them towards achieving the common as well as individual goals associated with organizational endeavor.

Accordingly this theory identifies a set of predictions regarding leadership style, like predicting directive leadership’s efficacy when the task looks ambiguous or adopting achievement oriented leadership when the task is challenging.

This approach is strong on three grounds – first it provides a theoretical framework to comprehend how any of the four styles of leadership can rise to the occasion, second, it embeds motivation principles of expectancy theory which has a great role in the proceedings, and third, it presents a practical model of leadership approach towards guiding the followers.

However, critics identify four areas as its weak spots – one, it deals with too many interrelated sets of assumptions, which makes it difficult to apply in a prefixed organizational setting. Second, this theory is not yet fully validated by researched evidence. Third, it cannot clearly depict how the leaders can affect the motivation levels of the subordinates, and fourth, it is mostly leader-centric and thus leans towards transactional pattern, thereby missing out the potential benefits from the subordinate involvement in the leadership process.

Lessons at a glance

1.      It highlights the importance of motivating the subordinates to make them more productive.

2.      It highlights the significance of creating a favorable workplace condition for the employees.

3.      It presents a theoretical framework to comprehend four styles of leadership.

4.      It utilizes motivation principles.

5.      It provides guidelines on leader-employee relationship.

Knowledge gained from Chapter VII

This approach can be effective if the organizational setting is conducive and leaders can gather more knowledge on the motivation principles.

CHAPTER VIII: LEADER-MEMBER EXCHANGE THEORY

Leader-Member Exchange theory (LMX theory), a new avatar of “Vertical Dyad Linkage Theory” of 30 years back, now tries to find the clues of effective leadership by probing the leader-member relationship.

The earlier version of this theory viewed leaders’ relationship to the entire work unit as a series of vertical dyads of two types, like in-group and out-group, where the precondition of becoming a member of the in-group required better relationship with the leaders with extra level of loyalty. On the other hand, leaders’ relationship with out-group members required no extra effort from either side. This theory supported the idea of providing more benefits to the in-group members as against normal course of benefits to the out-group members, besides advocating for giving some power to the in-group members.

Later, this approach in its form of LMX theory focused on the effect of leader-member relationship on the organizational performance and evidenced that high-quality leader-member exchanges produce positive outcomes like less employee turnover, greater organizational commitment and more promotions, etc. In all, researchers observed that good quality of such exchange can make followers motivated to accomplish more and to serve the organization with extra zeal.

More current endeavor of this theory involves leadership making where it advocates that leaders should develop high-quality exchanges with all of their subordinates and make it work in such a way that they and their followers reach to the partner phase after successfully completing the preceding phases like stranger phase and acquaintance phase. This approach considers partnership phase as a condition that contains high degree of mutual trust, respect, and obligation, besides better prospects for the employees and the organization.

The positive points of LMX lies in the facts like it adopts a clear policy of taking a group of employee as extended arm of the leadership to achieve the desired outcome, it makes the leader-member relationship as its axis of operation, and it signifies the role of effective communication. Moreover, it is backed by evidence of organizations gaining out of this approach.

The negative factors of this theory involve ethical considerations and bad-quality leader-member relationship. In the first case, it is always debatable whether it is ethical to create a privilege group of employees from the rest, or what if the members become more interested to influence the leaders in ways other than performance. In the second case, the bad quality of both leadership and the members can bring downfall to this theory. Besides these, this theory also fails to provide a concrete guideline on forming such relationships and avoiding the pitfalls associated with it, thereby failing to explain the complexities of this approach.

Lessons at a glance

·         This approach focuses on the selective relationship between leaders and members.

·         It aims to garner benefits by creating more hands and eyes of the leaders.

·         It aims to reach an ideal state of partnership that would be based on mutual trust and respect and obligation.

·         It can be effective when the focuses of both leadership and members remain confined on a common goal of producing the best for the company.

·         It can evoke the sense of deprivation among those who cannot make it to that coveted band of employees.

·         It can raise the question of fairness and justice.

·         It can cause a downfall if the leader-member exchange is based on personal interest.

Knowledge gained from Chapter VIII

LMX theory advocates for a satellite group for the leader/s who would primarily transact with the members of this group to ensure better performance of the employees, where it would empower these members over the rest of the employees. It can work well if all parties are tied to a common cause, otherwise it may cause just the opposite.

CHAPTER IX: TRANSFORMATIONAL THEORY
The concept of transformational leadership has its foundations in the writings of Burns (1978), his disciple Bass (1985), while it became further consolidated by the works of Kouzes and Posner (1987). Using Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), this approach can be assessed.

This approach is unique on many accounts, like emphasizing the importance of the followers in the leadership process and going beyond the conventional transactional pattern, besides incorporating morals and values to create a long-standing benefit for whoever associated with the organization. It aims to transform the followers on all three planes of their existence, like workplace, society and spiritual plane.

However, this approach too is not free from criticism that it doesn’t have required conceptual clarity and can be plagued by the leaders’ intention to be a “hero” or that it is a newer version of trait approach. However, transformational leadership has more values and qualities packed into it.

Lessons at a glance
·         Transformational theory is based on the spiritual and moral values.

·         It gives due recognition to the role of the members.

·         It aims to boost the productivity by transforming the members’ approach towards life.

·         It attempts to cover all spheres of the members, like workplace, society and spiritual sphere.

·         It is criticized for not being able to provide a clear, structured concept.

·         There is a possibility of leaders wrongly perceiving the concept.

Knowledge gained from Chapter IX

This approach covers more area than all of the above. Yet, its efficacy is mostly dependent on the quality of the leaders, or it might take more time to transform the members, and achieve the desired outcome. However, this approach aims to imbibe virtues that are ever helpful to all, and thus no one can ignore its universal appeal.

CHAPTER X: TEAM LEADERSHIP
This approach stems out of the need to focus more on team performance, where it weighs the factors that can be instrumental in achieving the collective goal in best possible manner. This approach suggests the leadership to monitor and diagnose the group activities and taking appropriate measures to ensure a smooth operation.

Accordingly it formulates a strategic decision model that would reveal the compulsive decisions of the team leaders in their attempts to enhance the group performance. In the process it decides the line of action – that whether monitoring or action taking would be appropriate, or where the intervention is required. It probes the issue in the light of the feedback of both the leaders and the members against questionnaires, before deciding on the best possible way to achieve best possible result.

This approach is a practical attempt to solve the issues regarding effectively leading the organization in a collective manner, where the members share the responsibility of leadership. Another impressive feature of this leadership is that it provides guidance in selecting leaders and team members through its diagnostic and action-taking techniques. Overall this approach presents a cognitive model of understanding organizations behavior.

Lessons at a glance
·         This approach is the outcome of the desire to successfully meet the challenge of enhancing team performance.

·         It brings down leadership to the earth by collective actions.

·         It tries to solve the situation through using questionnaires.

·         Its two operational techniques like diagnosis and action helps in selecting leaders and members.

·         It presents a cognitive model of understanding team behavior.

Knowledge gained from Chapter X

This model will be more effective in smaller organizations or among units of a bigger organization. However, there should be a core committee to decide on issues, otherwise there is always the chance to become confused with random divergent views.

CHAPTER XI: PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH

This approach assesses the personalities of both the leaders and the members by using the interpretations of the yardsticks presented by the psychoanalysts like Freud and Jung (Macoby, 2003) or MBTI. Accordingly, it identifies the nature of the humans with the help of researched suggestions and consequently determines their roles on the basis of their personality types.

This approach encourages both the leaders and the followers to know their own personality types besides the people they deal with, as it aims to derive better results from both leaders and the followers by understanding their own behavior and feedbacks they receive, as this approach facilitates them to review and rectify their personalities.

The advantage of this approach lies in the fact that it emphasizes the relationship between leader and follower, besides generating self-awareness, which can encourage both leaders and the members to introspect and erase any negative intention. Otherwise there is the chance of getting exposed before others in course of this process.

Problems associated with this approach involve incomplete nature of the suggestions and measuring tools used in this approach, as most of the suggestions are the inferences drawn on the people of poor mental health, or there is flaw in the methods of assessing ego states or personality types. Moreover, its philosophy of assuming the existence of unconscious motives and reactions and relying on emotional states opposes the ideal of the rational and objective leader. This approach cannot be used as a training tool, because it’s not something that can be learned and applied in leadership practice.

Lessons at a glance

·         This approach views the leadership issue on personality traits.

·         It assesses personalities by using researched models of psychoanalysis.

·         Through this process it determines the roles of humans in an organization.

·         It aims to reduce the degree of manipulation and control by the leader.

·         It aims to reveal the personality to the person him/herself to encourage introspection and modify.

·         Its tools are not universally tested and some are inadequate.

·         Its tenet opposes the ideal of rational and objective leader.

Knowledge gained from Chapter XI

This is a different kind of approach and based on incomplete suggestions and tools, and it cannot serve fully due its limitations like confining within the theoretical framework of psychology.

CHAPTER XII: WOMEN AND LEADERSHIP

The investigations on gender differences since 1970 observe that there are certain differences between men and women leaders, like women are more likely to favor democratic and transformational styles and they feel a little difficulty to lead a masculine domain, though they feel at ease in feminine domains. Women are also found to be greater users of effective transformational and contingent reward behaviors.

Women are less in numbers in this sphere, and the invisible barrier responsible for that is called glass ceiling. However, the explanations of glass ceiling vary with one another, while no empirical support back them, like the arguments like women are less educated than men, or men have steely nerves, have nothing to do with the fact that women can be equally effective in leadership.

A good many approaches have surfaced to break the proverbial glass ceiling. Change in the organizational culture or increases in the career development for women or mentoring opportunities are gradually enabling women to lead from the front, and in this air of change, women are supposed to do better with their inherent qualities like natural warmth and transformational behavioral traits.

Lessons learned

·         Women leaders are more likely to use transformational or contingency approach in their leadership.

·         They may feel discomfort to lead a male domain.

·         They are less in numbers due to the invisible barriers like glass ceiling.

·         The arguments that undermine their possibility to be effective leaders have no empirical evidence and thus baseless.

·         Modern times is gradually breaking that glass ceiling.

Knowledge gained from Chapter XII

Males have the tendency to reign in the sphere of leadership. Yet, once positioned, women can prove to be the better leaders as they are endowed with certain qualities that helps them to adopt higher leadership models like transformational approach more easily.

CHAPTER XIII: CULTURE AND LEADERSHIP

Globalization has brought in the concept of multicultural organizations with it, and accordingly it created the need for leaders who possess greater understanding of cultural differences and who are competent in cross-cultural communications and practice.

Elements like ethnocentrism and prejudice are the two barriers before the leader to achieve excellence in multi-cultural communication, where ethnocentrism evolves out of the inherent human tendency of regarding one’s own group as the best in the world and prejudice vitiates the judgment with its fixed attitudes towards particular groups.

There is a plethora of research work on identifying various dimensions of culture in the last 30 years, where Hofstede’s (1980, 2001) tops the list. It identifies five major dimensions like power-distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism-collectivism, masculinity-femininity, and long-term- short-term orientation. Improvising Hofstede’s work, House and his colleagues (2004) explained additional dimensions of culture like in-group collectivism, institutional collectivism, future orientation, assertiveness, performance orientation, and humane orientation.

Apart from that, the GLOBE studies too offer important findings on culture and leadership, where it uses the views of 17,000 managers from 62 different countries on this issue. This study also identifies six global leadership behaviors that can serve as a tool to know the views of different cultural groups regarding leadership.

One of the outcomes of GLOBE study is the listing of leadership qualities that are universally accepted either as positive or negative. Accordingly the universally acclaimed positive attributes of leadership comprises of elements like integrity, charisma and interpersonal skill. On the other hand people across the globe are found to be against the leaders who are autocratic, asocial, malevolent, and self-centered.

The findings of this project serve as eye-opener to the global view of leadership, though the GLOBE study itself doesn’t provide clues to form a single theory to ascertain the ways by which culture relates to leadership, or its definitions are not clear regarding core cultural dimensions. Otherwise, it serves as a treasure of information that can surely help leaders to rise above any pride and prejudice to embrace multiculturalism.

Lessons learned

·         In this era of globalization, one essential component of leadership is the ability to effectively adopt multiculturalism.

·         To adopt the above, leaders have to be free from ethnocentrism and prejudice.

·         They need to study various cultures and gather views of various groups of the world regarding leadership.

·         There is a good amount of literature available on this, of which Hofstede’s work and GLOBE study can be instrumental.

·         These studies provide additional clues like globally accepted or rejected leadership qualities and traits.

·         However, it is difficult to derive a theory on the formation of relationship between culture and leadership.

Knowledge gained from Chapter XIV

Multiculturalism is the order of the day and leadership cannot do without adopting it, for that matter, acquiring knowledge on this subject and applying the same on workplace is the way out.

CHAPTER XIV: LEADERSHIP ETHICS

In spite of its prolonged existence in the society, very little theoretical research is available on this issue. Western philosophers divide it into two parts like “conduct” and “character”. Theories about conduct emphasize the consequences of leader behavior, from teleological perspective and speak about rules that govern their behavior from deontological perspective.

On the other hand, virtue-based theories focus on the character of the leaders, where they value the qualities like courage, honesty, fairness and fidelity.

Together such approaches highlight the fact that ethics plays a pivotal role in the leadership process, as it can greatly help leaders to stay away from misusing their power towards fulfilling their own desire and to stay focused on the benevolence of the followers. From another perspective, leadership too can set the trend of ethics, as followers usually emulate the acts of the leaders. This view highlights the responsibility of the leaders to create an ethical ambience in their organizations, and to sensitize the members about its importance to keep the organization up and running.

Lessons learned

·         Western philosophers dealt ethics in two parts viz., “conduct” and “character”.

·         Ethics is an integral part of leadership.

·         It saves leaders from misusing powers.

·         Leadership behavior can set the trend of ethics in organizations.

·         Leaders have the responsibility of sensitizing their followers about the value of ethics in life.

Knowledge gained from Chapter XV

Ethics as a subject deserves to be internalized by consistent practice.

Ends

;