Leadership : "If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall in the ditch."- Matthew 15:14
Vikas Khandelwal Leadership Introduction : Introduction The study of leadership in organizations is very crucial in the field of OB.
An effective leader is capable of inspiring and motivating even the most inefficient employees to strive towards attaining the goals of the organization.
“Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led”
Warren G.Bennis Definition of Leadership A leader may be defined as a person who establishes vision, sets goals, motivates people and obtains their commitment to achieve the goals and realize the vision
Vikas Khandelwal Distinction between Leadership and Management : Distinction between Leadership and Management Leaders take a personal and active interests in achieving goals whereas managers tend to play a relatively passive role in accomplishing the goals.
Managers need power to be entrusted to them by the organization to deal with people . Leaders have power within themselves and the required drive to lead people and motivate them to work enthusiastically towards achieving goals.
Managers limit their interactions with people to the minimum extent required to carry out their managerial responsibilities. Leaders interact with people frequently and in a more natural way. In the process they inspire people, motivate them and lead them. Traits of Effective Leaders : Traits of Effective Leaders Although there are no specific characteristics that can define the leadership qualities in a person , most researches have shown that there are certain traits that differentiate leaders from non-leaders.
Few Leadership Traits
Desire to lead
Knowledge – process,technology,inductry,etc
Vikas Khandelwal Leadership Skills : Leadership Skills Behavioral expert Robert Katz, had identified that the leaders primarily use three skills – technical, human and conceptual skills.
A technical skill is to have knowledge and be competent and proficient in a specific work or activity. For example, to use excel and know how to implement macros is an advanced technical skill. To drive a 300 Ton truck is also an advanced technical skill. Just like these there are thousands of examples of technical skills in every organization.
A human skill is one that enables you to develop the ability to work with people. These abilities are the ones that we recognize as the ones that helps us to get along with people, to communicate and work with your team, crew or associates. These are the fundamental abilities in every human activity, in order to get the most of the groups you work with.
A conceptual skill is one that enables us to understand and better decide the actions and measures that has to be taken in a particular field of work.
Based on his observations Katz stated that the level of importance of each set of skills (technical, human and conceptual) was directly correlated with the level that the person has in the organization. The next figure displays this relationship. The three skill approach : The three skill approach The higher someone was in the organisation, the less technical skills were required to fill the position, in the same manner more conceptual skills are required. On the other hand, the lower the position in the organisation more technical skills and less conceptual skills were required. A very interesting observation from the diagram is that human skills are always required no matter the level or the position in the organisation. Leadership Theories : Leadership Theories There are three main theories that attempt to explain Leadership.
Personality Trait Theories
According to the trait theories, leaders possess some personality traits that non leaders do not possess at all, or possess only to small extent.
The behavior theories explain the behavior characteristics of the leaders.
Contingency deals with leadership in different situations Trait Theory : Trait Theory Earlier researchers believed that there were certain unique characteristics in people that made them leaders . According to them , a person must possess certain unique personality traits that are essential for effective leadership.
One of the trait theories is the “Great Person “ theory which emphasized that leaders might not be born with the desired leadership traits but can be acquired by learning and experience.
Researchers also tried to study the relationship between physical traits and leadership, but were unsuccessful to establish a valid relationship. Behavior Theories : Behavior Theories The behavioral theorists concentrated on the unique behavioral aspects found in leaders that enabled them to attain effective leadership. Following are the our main behavior theories of leadership
The Ohio State studies
Universities of Michigan studies
The Managerial Grid
Scandinavian studies The Ohio State Studies : The Ohio State Studies In 1945 researchers from various fields conducted studies on leadership at Ohio State university.
The research was based on a questionnaire called ‘Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire’.
They narrowed down to two independent dimensions along which an individual’s leadership behavior could be studied.
Initiating Structure – Individual’s ability to define his own task as well as the subordinates tasks and also accomplish them in time. People who score high in this dimension put pressure on subordinates to meet deadlines and maintain certain level of performance.
Consideration – This refers to the extent to which a leader cares for his subordinate, respects their ideas and feelings and establishes work relations which are characterized by mutual trust and respect.
The studies revealed that the people who scored high on both the dimensions were able to achieve higher performance as well as job satisfaction. University of Michigan studies : University of Michigan studies A research was conducted at the Survey Research Centre at the University of Michigan. The research was conducted on twelve pairs of sections ,each section consisted on one high producing section and one low producing section.
During the study , researchers also interviewed 24 supervisors and 400 workers. And following was observed.
Researchers concluded that leaders with an inclination towards employee-oriented dimension resulted in higher job satisfaction and greater productivity. The Managerial Grid by Robert R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton : The Managerial Grid by Robert R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton The Managerial Grid graphic below is a very simple framework that elegantly defines FIVE basic styles that characterize workplace behaviour and the resulting relationships. The FIVE managerial Grid styles are based on how two fundamental concerns (concern for people and concern for results) are manifested at varying levels whenever people interact. Slide 13: The concept distinguishes 5 different leadership styles, based on the concern for people and the concern for production:
Impoverished style (Low Production / Low People) (1:1)
Description: A delegate-and-disappear management style. A basically lazy approach.
Characteristics: The manager shows a low concern for both people and production. He (or she) avoids to get into trouble. His main concern is not to be held responsible for any mistakes.
Results in: Disorganization, dissatisfaction and disharmony due to lack of effective leadership.
Country Club style (Low Production / High People)(1:9)
Description: One-sided, thoughtful attention to the needs of employees.
Characteristics: The relationship-oriented manager has a high concern for people, but a low concern for production. He pays much attention to the security and comfort of the employees. He hopes that this will increase performance. He is almost incapable of employing the more punitive, coercive and legitimate powers. This inability results from fear that using such powers could jeopardize relationships with the other team members.
Results in: A usually friendly atmosphere, but not necessarily very productive.
Produce or Perish style OR Authoritarian style(High Production / Low People)(9:1)
Description: Authoritarian or compliance leader.
Characteristics: The task-oriented manager is autocratic, has a high concern for production, and a low concern for people. He finds employee needs unimportant and simply a means to an end. He provides his employees with money and expects performance back. There is little or no allowance for cooperation or collaboration. He pressures his employees through rules and punishments to achieve the company goals. Heavily task-oriented people are very strong on schedules. They are intolerant of what they see as dissent (it may just be someone's creativity). Slide 14: Results in: Whilst high output is achievable in the short term, much will be lost through an inevitable high labour turnover.
Middle-of-the-road style (Medium Production / Medium People). (5:5)
Description: The manager tries to balance between the competing goals of the company and the needs of the workers.
Characteristics: The manager gives some concern to both people and production, hoping to achieve acceptable performance. He believes this is the most anyone can do.
Results in: Compromises in which neither the production nor the people needs are fully met.
Team Management style (High Production / High People).(9:9)
Description: The ultimate. The manager pays high concern to both people and production. Motivation is high.
Characteristics: The manager encourages teamwork and commitment among employees. This style emphasizes making employees feel part of the company-family, and involving them in understanding organizational purpose and determining production needs.
Results in: Team environment based on trust and respect, which leads to high satisfaction and motivation and, as a result, high production. Scandinavian Studies : Scandinavian Studies The previous three behavior theories did not take into account the dynamics, or even chaotic environments that influence the modern organizations.
Some Finnish and Swedish theorists began reviewing earlier theories to find new dimensions that could incorporate the dynamics of the environment.
The new dimension found was called as ‘development–oriented behavior’.
According to this dimension leaders were ready to experiment with new ideas and practices and embrace change.
Leaders who were inclined towards this dimension were found to be more efficient by the subordinates. Contingency Theories : Contingency Theories According to the contingency approach of leadership, a single leadership style is not applicable to all situations.
Every leader is to carefully analyze the situation before adopting a style that best suits the requirements of the situations. Below are the 5 contingency models of leadership styles.
Fiedler’s Contingency Model
Hersey and Blanchard’s situational theory
Leader-member exchange theory
Path Goal Theory Fiedler’s Contingency Theory : Fiedler’s Contingency Theory The Fiedler contingency model is a leadership theory of industrial and organizational psychology developed by Fred Fiedler
Fiedler (1967), differentiated situation from contingency. He emphasised the fact that differing roles, traits and behaviours of leaders did not just require an specific understanding of interactions with subordinate, it also required favourable conditions.
Fiedler's model assumes that group performance depends on: Leadership style, described in terms of task motivation and relationship motivation. Fiedler's Contingency Theory for Leadership Fiedler's Contingency Theory for Leadership Fiedler's Contingency Theory for Leadership Fiedler's Contingency Theory for Leadership Slide 18: Situational favourableness, determined by three factors:
1. Leader-member relations - Degree to which a leader is accepted and supported by the group members.
2. Task structure - Extent to which the task is structured and defined, with clear goals and procedures.
3. Position power or the leader’s position - The ability of a leader to control subordinates through reward and punishment.
High levels of these three factors give the most favourable situation, low levels, the least favourable. Relationship-motivated leaders are most effective in moderately favourable situations. Task-motivated leaders are most effective at either end of the scale.Fiedler suggests that it may be easier for leaders to change their situation to achieve effectiveness, rather than change their leadership style. Hersey and Blanchard’s situational theory : Hersey and Blanchard’s situational theory The situational leadership model focuses on the fit of leadership style and followers maturity .
In contrast to Fiedler’s contingency leadership model and its underlying assumption that leadership style is hard to change, the Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership model suggests that successful leaders do adjust their styles.
The situational leadership model views leaders as varying their emphasis on task and relationship behaviors to best deal with different levels of follower maturity.
The two-by-two matrix shown in the figure indicates that four leadership styles are possible.
Telling Style — giving specific task directions and closely supervising work; this is a high-task, low-relationship style.
Selling Style —explaining task directions in a supportive and persuasive way; this is a high-task, high-relationship style.
Participating Style —emphasizing shared ideas and participative decisions on task directions; this is a low-task, high-relationship style.
Delegating Style —allowing the group to take responsibility for task decisions; this is a low-task, low-relationship style. Leader-member exchange theory : Leader-member exchange theory According to this theory, leaders often behave differently with different subordinates. They establish close relationships with a small group of subordinates early in their interactions.
In – Group :Good relation with leaders and high frequency of interactions.
Out-Group: Formal relation with leader and less frequency of interaction compared to in-group.
The theory suggests that the leaders give promotions to the in-group employees quickly and also that employee turnover rate in such groups is low. Leadership-participation model : Leadership-participation model In 1973 Victor Vroom and Philip Yetton came up with the leadership-participation model that tried to establish relation between leadership behavior and the decision making style.
As per them leaders are required to adapt their behavior to suit changes in the situations.
The model proposed a sequential set of rules that could help the managers in taking decisions in different situations.
The model had 12 contingencies also called as ‘problem attributes’ and 5 alternative leadership styles.
The Problem Attributes were categorized into decision-quality and employee acceptance.
decision-quality – cost considerations, information availability, nature of problem structure.
employee acceptance – need for commitment, their prior approval, congruence of their goals Path Goal Theory : Path Goal Theory This theory was developed by Robert House.
Here the leader provides the necessary support and guidance to his followers and help them achieve organizational goals.
Leader defines the individual(or groups) goals and help them achieve them.
As per the theory – Leaders are accepted by the subordinates when
They find that the satisfaction of their needs depend upon their effective performance.
They are provided with guidance ,support, and rewards needed for effective performance.
Robert House suggested 4 types of leadership by this model