Course structure & overview • News • Introduction • What is leadership? • Impact of leadership • What is a theory & what gives it utility? • Manager-leader differences • Evolution of leadership theories • Next week: great person, trait, autocratic-democratic, normative
Objectives • To identify the factors contributing to the emergence, maintenance, deterioration, and transformation of various styles of leadership. • To describe the strengths, limitations, contingencies, and developmental plan for your preferred style of leadership. • To identify the requisite skills for exercising effective leadership. • To know the prominent concepts and themes of major theories and theorists of leadership. • To critically evaluate the utility of leadership theories and practices. • To use leadership theories to analyze case examples
Impact of Leadership • Five leadership practices (LPI) are related to affective commitment (emotional identification & desire to stay) (Dunn, 1999). • Leadership is related to job satisfaction, productivity, & organizational commitment (McNeese-Smith, 1991). • Charismatic/transformational/visionary leadership at the top increases employee commitment, willingness to sacrifice in the interests of the mission (Waldman et al., 2001) • Charismatic leaders are more influential in uncertain environments, and is more related to performance than transactional leadership • Leadership & executive success accounts for 45-60% of the variability in productivity in general and 51% of variance in profit margins • Performance of the organization is attributed to leadership regardless of his/her involvement (Meindl & Erlich) • Poor leadership can hurt (e.g., Martha Stewart)
But not everyone agrees that leadership is the best thing since sliced bread… “leadership has been the subject of an extraordinary amojnt of dogmatically stated nonsense” (Barnard, 1948) “Four decades of research on leadership have produced a bewildering mass of findings…The endless accumulations of empirical data has not produced an integrated understanding of leadership” “The popularity of leadership research has not been equaled by its relevance” (Kets de Vries, 1994) “What most leaders seem to have in common is the ability to awaken primitive emotions in their followers,,,(they) are masters at manipulating certain symbols” (Kets de Vries & Miller) (Stogdill, 1978)
Leadership Substitutes • Highly cohesive & trained teams • Intrinsic work satisfaction • Technology & expert systems • Professional norms & standards Substitute for leadership & leadership functions The arguments against leadership • Leadership irrelevance • Too many factors outside the leader’s control influence the business (Pfeffer) • High-level leaders control only a few resources directly • Firms usually choose leaders who are compatible with the firm • Leaders are a product of the organizational culture • Chaos & complexity theory: there are so many interdependent feedback systems in an organization it is impossible to attribute cause to leadership Moderate view Leader Constraint Theory (McClelland et al, 1972) • While leaders are constrained in their actions, there remains much room for influence
Patterns of Management Practices Organizational culture Learning Organization Group relations training Chaos Theory Teamwork Corporate Ethics Leadership ethics Theory X MBO Quality Circles Envisioning Kaizen
How to evaluate a theory • Parsimony– simplest, reasonable answer • Operationality– terms defined by operations & measurements • Generativity/Heuristic– generates hypotheses, stimulates questions • Power– accounts for events with increasing accuracy & utility (nominal, descriptive, predictive, control) • Falsifiability– can be tested and rejected • Importance– relevant events • Internal consistency– concepts logically related and consistent with one another • Scope– definable focus for application • Organization– explains relationship among concepts • Empirical support– data/studies that support it • Measurement– level of measurement & instrumentation
Good & Poor Leaders: What’s the difference? • Make two columns: one of “good” leaders, the other “poor” leaders • List several examples of each • Identify the principles of what makes a leader good or poor
Leader Constraint Theory (McClelland et al, 1972) McClelland used the TAT to identify power needs, then examined projective stories from leaders containing the word “not.” Low scorers on activity inhibition were often occupied with personal dominance and winning at others’ expense’ high scorers more often expressed good for others, humanity, or some moral cause.
Leaders with high need for power and have high activity inhibition, are more effective leaders because they manifest their need for power in socially appropriate ways while also meeting their role demands for influence
What’s your personal leadership theory? • What is “leadership”? • How does it occur? • What difference does it make in an organization? • Can it be developed/trained? How?