LEADERSHIP Chapter 6
Some leaders are visionaries • Others use their position of power • Others persuade us to do what they want
Basics of leadership • What is leadership • Relationship between leaders and followers • How leaders are chosen or emerge • Personality theory • Behavioural theory • Leadership effectiveness • Contingency Theories • 1 .Fiedler’s contingency theory • 2.Normative theory • 3-Path-goal theory • Gender differences
leadershipYukl (1994) “the process through which one member of a group (its leader) influences other group members towards the attainment of group goals.” • Leadership is about how a person exerts social influence. • The leader is a member of a group and to be effective must be recognised and accepted as the leader (otherwise the leader will have to use power, if he has it) • Leadership is about the attainment of group goals. The goals of the leader should coincide with the goals of the group.
Leadership as powerFrench and Raven (1956) updated by Raven (1993) description example • Reward power Ability of the leader to provide what others want or remove what they dislike • Referent power • A leader is respected and looked up to by other members. The leader emphasises the identity of the group and provides a sense of common identity • Manager in an organisation has the power to promote a worker and/or give higher salary • The leader is a role model. The power is maintained as long as the person is respected
Informational power • The leader may have privileged access to information s/he uses in a logical argument to persuade the other members • Legitimate power • The other members accept the rules and norms of the leader and consider the leader as properly occupying the position. • The Chief executive of an organisation knows more about, for ex., a take-over bid • Army generals • Heads of Government who are democratically elected. Legitimate power disappears when the person no longer occupies the position
Expert power • The leader has a high level of knowledge and is recognised as having a superior ability in a specialised area • Coercive power • the leader has the ability to threaten and/or punish the group members.If they do not conform to the leader’s wishes. • A professor of psychology • A foot-ball player • Use of this power often results in group members obeying the leader, especially where the punishment may involve death or imprisonment.
Power and leadership • These types of power can be used by the same leader at different times. EXAMPLES?
LEADERS AND FOLLOWERS • Leaders exist if they have followers • Looking at leadership as social influence and the use leaders make of different types of power fails to capture the reciprocal influence that followers have on leaders. • Lee (1991) claims that effective followers are essential for effective leaders (enthusiastic, committed and self-reliant) • Senge (1990) asserts that organisations who are able to respond to change and to learn about the needs of their customers have leaders empowering the workers. Workers feel that they are part of the decision-making process.
Four categories of followersLee (1991) • YES Followers • Active toward leader and job /Low on critical thinking • Sheep • Passive toward leader and job/low on critical thinking • Alienated followers • Passive towards leader and job/High on critical thinking • Effective followers • Active toward leader and job/High on critical thinking
Choosing a leader • Leaders achieve their position by a variety of means. • In democratic countries leaders receive the support of the people from the votes cast. • Dictators may achieve their position through a military coup. • Some leaders inherit their position (the Queen and the hereditary peers in Britain). • In many organisation leaders (such as the C.E.O) are appointed on the basis of their ability, experience and visionary qualities.
Personality and leadership EXERCISE! • Think about two people you regard as great leaders. • Write a short description of each.
Personality and leadership Psychologists have tried to find those personalities traits or characteristics that set great leaders apart from other people GREAT PERSONALITY THEORY
Personality and leadership • two assumptions: • 1. a small number of personality traits are associated with great leaders • 2. that such characteristics are inherited and not learned through socialisation and experience • Empirical evidence has failed to provide support to either claims, but especially the idea that leaders possess certain special personality traits.
For example, Dean Simonton (1987, 2001) gathered information about one hundred personal attributes of all U.S. presidents, such as their family backgrounds, educational experiences, occupations, and personalities. • Only three of these variables—height, family size, and the number of books a president published before taking office—correlated with how effective the presidents were in office. • Tall presidents, those from small families, and those who have published books are most likely to become effective leaders, as rated by historians. • The other ninety-seven characteristics, including personality traits, were not related to leadership effectiveness at all.
Personality and leadership • Mann (1959) conducted a review of over 100 studies which had attempted to correlate different personality traits with leadership. • Only weak evidence was found for leaders possessing the traits of intelligence, extraversion, dominance and sensitivity to other. • It was found that leaders tend to be slightly taller than average. (we choose the leader that fits our stereotype “size matters) “Eagly and Karau , (1991). • Mullen et al. (1989) suggest that only two traits seem to offer correlation with leadership: intelligence and talkativeness. (the act of talking makes a person prominent in a group. Mullen et al.(1989)
Five reasons why this approach failed • No central personality traits clearly correlate with leadership • The trait approach does not take account of the situation or the context where the leader is operating. • The idea that a group possesses just one leader is often incorrect. • The focus on the person rather than on the situation may be an example of the fundamental attribution error (Ross, 1977) “too much emphasis on personality factor and too little on situation”. (e.g. Only a minority of the population are personally acquainted with the Prime Minister) • The great person theory cannot predict in advance who will become a leader.
Characteristics of successful leaders(Kirkpatrick and Locke (1991) There has been a recent revival of interest in the “trait approach”. Drawing upon both traditional personality traits but also characteristics representing knowledge and experience, K&L suggest 8 characteristics of successful leaders. • Drive: desire to succeed • Honesty and integrity : trustworthiness, reliability. • Leadership motivation: desire to achieve shared outcomes. • Self-confidence: trust in leadership ability • Cognitive ability: ability to deal with complex information. • Knowledge of the business • Creativity : original, visionary thinking • Flexibility: ability to respond and adapt to change.
Behavioural theory of leadership • Another way in which psychologists can remain focussed on the individual is to look at the actual behaviour performed by leaders. This approach has been much more productive over time and remains of contemporary importance. • It Implies that leaders can be trained – focus on the way of doing things. • 60 years ago Hemphill (1950) conducted a ground-breaking study in which a large number of people rated the behaviour of leaders on a thousand different aspects. • Statistical analysis revealed two main behavioural dimensions: group-centred and directive behaviours.
Behavioural styles • Group centred or “consideration” behaviours are those shown by a leader considering interpersonal relationships in the group, developing a sense of trust between group members and looking after the emotional well-being of the group. • By contrast, directive behaviours or “initiating structure” are more related to the task the group faces and include allocating tasks to the group members, ensuring norms and rules are upheld, ensuring performance measures.
Behavioural styles • Stogdill (1974)characterised these two behavioural styles as two independent dimensions with each along a high-low continuum. • It might seem that if a leader is high on one dimension then the s/he will be low on the other dimension. • But the two are not mutually excluding dimensions. • A leader con be high, moderate or low on both dimensions. Is there a combination that is better for effective leadership?
Behavioural styles • Blake and Mouton (1985) found that leaders who are high on both dimensions, or can be trained to be so, lead teams to high level of performance. • Bales and Slater (1955) discovered similar behavioural styles to initiating structure and consideration the task leader and the socio-emotional leader. • In contrast to Stogdill they claimed that different people occupied these leadership roles. • While there may be disagreement over whether one leader can or cannot occupy these two roles, these two leadership styles do seem fundamental, and have been found to apply in many different contexts and in different cultures (Bass, 1990).
Behavioural styles • Lippet and White (1943) had a different approach in their highly influential and classic study. • These researchers investigated the effects of three leadership styles – autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire – on group productivity, group atmosphere and how well group members liked their leader. • The research was conducted using adult leaders with schoolboys working on tasks such as making models from bars of soap.
Behavioural style Autocratic leader • Gives order, primarily task-oriented, aloof from group members • Democratic leader • Asks for suggestions, discusses and interacts with group members • Laissez-faire leader • Leaves group to make own decisions, not directive, does not intervene • Not well liked by group members, dependent group atmosphere, high productivity when present. • Liked by group members, positive and friendly group atmosphere, good productivity when leader present or absent. • Not well liked by g.m., friendly group atmosphere, poor productivity with leader present and absent.
Types of Leadership Style • Autocratic: • Leader makes decisions without reference to anyone else • High degree of dependency on the leader • Can create de-motivation and alienation of staff • May be valuable in some types of business where decisions need to be made quickly and decisively
Types of Leadership Style Democratic: • Encourages decision making from different perspectives – leadership may be emphasised throughout the organisation • Consultative: process of consultation before decisions are taken • Persuasive: Leader takes decision and seeks to persuade others that the decision is correct
Types of Leadership Style • Democratic: • May help motivation and involvement • Workers feel ownership of the firm and its ideas • Improves the sharing of ideas and experiences within the business • Can delay decision making
Types of Leadership Style • Laissez-Faire: • ‘Let it be’ – the leadership responsibilities are shared by all • Can be very useful in businesses where creative ideas are important • Can be highly motivational, as people have control over their working life • Can make coordination and decision making time-consuming and lacking in overall direction • Relies on good team work • Relies on good interpersonal relations
Fiedler’s contingency theory • Fiedler’s (1965, 1971, 1981) contingency theory of leadership draws on Bales’ finding that small group often have two leaders. • In order to predict leadership effectiveness Fiedler stated that an assessment of the situational favourableness had to be made. For Fiedler, leadership effectiveness is contingent, or depends upon, the behavioural styles and whether the situation is favourable or unfavourable. • Fiedler developed what has come to be a well known measure of leadership style through the Least Preferred Co-worker (LPC) scale.
LPC scale The LPC scale asks a leader to think about a person whom s/he found it difficult to work with. The scale uses 16 bipolar adjectives with an 8 point scale.
LPC scale • Leaders who generally show positive attitude to their LPC are categorised as socio-emotional leaders, while those who show a negative attitude to their LPC are task-oriented leaders. • Scores can range from 8 to 48 with a low score indicating a socio-emotional leader and a high score a task oriented leader.
Fiedler’s contingency theory • To assess the situation, Fiedler used three indicators: • Leader-follower relationships. Categorised as good or poor. • The task structure- whether the task set the group was clear and unambiguous or not. Categorised as high or low. • Position of power of the leader- whether or not the leader has authority over the other members in the group. Categorised as strong or weak.
Since these three situational factors are categorised as a dichotomy eight different situations are described as a result and an overall assessment of situation favourableness (favourable, moderate or unfavourable) is made. • Finally Fiedler predicted that task oriented leaders would be most effective in highly favourable situations (I, II and III) and unfavourable situations (VII and VIII), while socio-emotional leaders would be effective in moderately favourable situations (IV, V, VI)
The logic behind it is: • That unfavourable situations require a leader to give guidance and direction. • In highly favourable situations relationship between GM are good, the task is clear, thus allowing the task oriented leader to concentrate and successfully achieve the group goals. • Moderately favourable situations require a leader to support GM in order to improve interpersonal relationships so that the group can then move on to deal with the group task. Fiedler found that leader-follower relationships are the most important situational factors in moderately favourable situations.
30 years of research on Fiedler’s theory • Strube and Carcia (1981) conducted a meta analytic review of over 170 studies and generally found strong support for the theory. • Peter et al. (1985) reviewed both laboratory and field studies and found much less support for the theory from the latter group.
Criticism of Fiedler’s contingency theory • LPC scale is not a stable measure • As leader become more experienced they may change their leadership style. • The three components of situational favourableness are quite difficult to assess. • Field studies have provided less support to the theory. The theory has given great insight into leadership effectiveness. More research in “real-life”settings is needed to refine the LPC scale and better asses situational favourableness is needed.
Normative theory • One of the key tasks faced by any leader is that of decision-making, and when working with a small group of people one matter that Fielder’s theory is silent about concerns the extent to which the followers should participate in decision making. • Should the leader be autocratic and make decisions without consultation and involvement of other GM? • Should the leader reach a decision through participation and consensus? • This is at the heart of Vroom and Yelton’s (1973) normative theoryof leadership.
They suggest three basic styles of leadership decision-making 1.Autocratic Leader makes decisions unilaterally and without follower participation or involvement 2 Consultative Leader consults with GM and the makes decision unilaterally 3.Group decision- leader consults and seeks view of other GM and reaches decision by consensus
Vroom &Yelton • Leadership effectiveness is contingent upon two main situational factors: • 1- the extent to which a high-quality decision is required • 2- the extent to which it is important that the other group members accept the decision that is made.
IF • It is important that a very high quality decision is made • The leader does not have enough information upon which to base the decision • It is important that the GM accept and are committed to the decision what decision-making style is best? • Consultative or group decision • If There is limited time? • consultative
IF • The leader believes for good reasons that the other group members do not have the knowledge or the experience to make the right decision • And the group will act on the decision made? • Autocratic style • The model is normative because V&Y provide a set of rules to guide leaders in deciding which style of leader-participation should be adopted. Vroom and Jago (1978) have updated the model. • It is so complex that a computer programme is necessary to work out the best decision-making style. It is very attractive in organisations.
Normative theory Strengths Weaknesses • It takes account of followers or other group members • Suggest that a leader is able to change his or her style of decision-making to suit different circumstances • Heilman et al. (1984) found that managers preferred a participative style even when the model recommended an autocratic one. • Followers prefer a participative style of leadership almost always when the leaders are using an autocratic style • In high conflict situations leaders may revert to autocratic style against the model.
Path-goal theory • House and Baetz(1979) suggested that the leader’s role is to ensure that the group progresses along the appropriate path to achieve its goals. • Leaders may adopt one of four styles while at the same time taking account of two contingency or situational factors: 1 the characteristics of followers and 2 the environment in which the group is working
The four leadership styles are • 1. Directive • The leader provides clear guidance, lets followers know what is expected from them, and produces work schedule, • 2. Supportive • The leader establishes good relationships with followers and shows concern for their needs. • 3. Participative • The leader consults with followers and encourages them to be involved in decision-making • 4. Achievement-oriented • The leader sets challenging goals and seeks improvement in followers performance.
IF • The task is unstructured the best leadership style is? • Directive • The followers are highly skilled and experienced the most effective style is? • Supportive • Followers who have a high need for affiliation (to be with others and get on with them) will do best with • Supportive or participative style of leadership
Path-goal theory • Good empirical support (Schriesham and De Nisi, 1981, Wofford and Liska, 1993) • It focuses on the role of followers.