Supportive Leadership


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Supportive Leadership Behavior:

Supportive Leadership Behavior

Types of Supportive Leadership Behavior:

Types of Supportive Leadership Behavior

Being friendly, informative, and encouraging:

Being friendly, informative, and encouraging

Being considerate and understanding:

Being considerate and understanding

“Showing concern for followers needs”:

“ Showing concern for followers needs ”

“Being sympathetic to other’s problems”:

“ Being sympathetic to other’s problems ”

“Helping followers develop abilities and careers”:

“ Helping followers develop abilities and careers ”

Why Supportive Leadership is Effective?:

Why Supportive Leadership is Effective ?

# 1:

# 1 They satisfy people’s needs to be liked and appreciated by others, to be respected as capable and valuable, and to be continually improving; and

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“ Supportiveness helps keep a group together by promoting cohesion among members and keeping individuals from becoming alienated ” #2

Can Supportive Behavior ever be Ineffective ?:

Can Supportive Behavior ever be Ineffective ? Yes! A short story A leader must be careful how supportive behavior is used and tailor the approach to the needs and concerns of followers.

How to Be Supportive: Skills and Power Bases:

How to Be Supportive: Skills and Power Bases Skills, Traits, and Sources of Power Technical and professional competence Reward Power Referent Power Expert Power Communication Skills Interpersonal Skills

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Communication skills as supportive leader behavior tool: Interpersonal Skills as supportive leader behavior tool : Through positive, friendly interpersonal relations, leader supports followers, cooperates with them, develops trust with them, and assists them. Provides social support when followers are upset or under pressure. Shows appreciation and takes interest in followers’ lives. Sociable leaders enjoy spending time on a regular basis with each follower. Maintain positive cheerful disposition, said to be easy to get along with, show consideration and trust towards others . Expertise as supportive leader behavior tool: Must have expertise to provide training and development. Supportive resource in solving problems Provide useful feedback on performance Increases leader’s confidence and willingness to support followers.

How to Be Supportive: Skills and Power Bases:

Skills, Traits, and Sources of Power Technical and professional competence Reward Power Referent Power Expert Power Communication Skills Interpersonal Skills How to Be Supportive: Skills and Power Bases

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In addition to developing specific skills, supportive leaders also work at developing three different power bases from which they can effectively apply their leadership skills: expert, referent, and reward Expert power helps leaders support followers by providing knowledge , skill and ability in performing important tasks and solving problems. The more important the follower’s problem, the greater the likelihood the leader will have to rely on expert power. Effective leaders use expert power to support followers by providing needed knowledge, being available as a source of technical advice, helping individuals solve job problems, providing explanations of processes, and referring followers to needed sources of information or assistance . Leaders whose personality, accomplishments, and integrity cause followers to admire and identify with them acquire referent power. When leaders have referent power, followers attribute favorable motives to the leaders, they want their leaders’ approval, and they interpret small, insignificant behaviors by the leader as supportive (e.g. smile, or other friendly gesture ). Reward power can be used to provide needed resources, a better work schedule, a larger expense account, or advice to for followers. Therefore supportive leaders should work toward acquiring reward power.

Communication Skill:

Effectively convey their ideas and feelings, listen actively, and elicit ideas and feelings from their followers. Be responsive to followers’ task-related problems, complaints, and personal problems. To indicate how much followers are valued . Communication Skill

Where are Supportive Behaviors Likely to be Employed?:

Where are Supportive Behaviors Likely to be Employed? When superior is supportive Organizational mission Human services Work with volunteers High involvement, high commitment cultures

Supportive Behaviors Around the World:

Supportive Behaviors Around the World Britain - sharing of information and welcoming follower suggestions Japan & Hong Kong - interactions with group in and out of work U.S. - Open door policies, management by walking around

Who Should Receive Supportive Behavior?:

Who Should R eceive S upportive Behavior? Propositions: a) The leader should show the most concern, be most considerate, and provide the greatest encouragement for the best performers because positive behavior should be reinforced. b) Interpersonal support should be provided to followers as needed regardless of performance.

Impact of Supportive Leadership:

Impact of Supportive Leadership Follower Benefits: Satisfaction with work, job & supervisor Increased commitment Reduced stress Increased self-confidence Increased performance

Impact of Supportive Leadership:

Increased cooperation Increased productivity Organizational Benefits: Increased cohesiveness & harmony Lower turnover, absenteeism, lateness, grievances Impact of Supportive Leadership

Situations Where Supportiveness may or may not be Effective:

Situations Where Supportiveness may or may not be Effective 1) Followers are under high stress while trying to complete a dangerous task. 2) Followers are new to the job and are unsure of their abilities and positions. 3) Followers are small group of counselors in a student services dept. of a state university. 4) Followers are very opinionated and stubborn in their point of view.

Situations Where Supportiveness may or may not be Effective:

5) Followers are a large group (over 30) who work at widely varying tasks at different locations. 6) Tasks require creativity and new learning with much competition and possible conflict with other groups. 7) Work involves designing & testing computer programs. Personnel is highly trained and competent and obtain a great deal of satisfaction from their work Situations Where Supportiveness may or may not be Effective

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Favorable environments: 1,2,3, & 6. They reflect a need for supportiveness that can enhance or increase leadership effectiveness. Decrease or neutralize: 4 & 5. Indicate followers who may resist or are immune to the positive effects of supportiveness. When supportive behaviors are present, they will likely produce little or no impact in follower reactions. May be subject to other types of influence. Replacement of followers’ need for supportiveness: Environment 7. When workers find tasks especially satisfying and basis for high follower commitment and performance, little supportiveness from leader is necessary.

Situational Factors that Increase Effectiveness of Supportive Leadership:

Situational Factors that Increase Effectiveness of Supportive Leadership Situational Factors Task Characteristics Dissatisfying Stressful Highly structured Requires creativity Requires learning Follower Characteristics Low self-confidence Low self-esteem Insecurity Expectation that leader will be supportive High growth needs Organizational and Group Characteristics External Conflict Newly formed group Cohesive group with shared beliefs in leader Formal plans, goals, and procedures Mission emphasizing human services Authoritarian superior

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Task Influences: Showing confidence in workers, treating them with empathy relieves stress and allows works to be more effective. Organizational and group influences: External Group conflicts - workers appreciate leader reassurance. Also newly formed groups highly influenced by supportive leader when he/she helps define goals and role definitions. These people need more support and attention than other groups. A cohesive group has a high degree of solidarity, unity, and felt closeness among the members, and supportive leadership often pays off well in increased productivity as well as worker attitudes. Group norms can influence outcome here--if favorable to leader, works for, if not favorable will work against and decrease the positive effects of a leader’s supportive behavior. Followers in bureaucratic organizations respond well to supportive behaviors. Apparently seen as rare caring human rather than organizational machine. Follower Characteristic Influences: Followers w/above characteristics see supportive leader as considerate and understanding as a source of comfort and encouragement and therefore show positive reactions to this behavior. Leaders who are supportive in individuals reaching their goals is well received.

Situational Factors that Decrease Effectiveness :

Situational Factors that Decrease Effectiveness Factors that Decrease Effectiveness Large Group High Level Job Dogmatic Followers Broad Task Scope

Situational Factors that Replace the Need for Supportive Leadership:

Situational Factors that Replace the Need for Supportive Leadership Situational Factors Feedback from Task Rapid Specific Accurate Intrinsically satisfying task Interesting Gratifying Meaningful High importance placed on organizational rewards Pay Raises Promotions

Leadership Process Model for Supportive Leadership:

Leadership Process Model for Supportive Leadership Leader Supportiveness Enhancers of Supportiveness Follower Psychological Reactions Follower Behavioral Outcomes Neutralizers of Supportiveness Replacements for Supportiveness

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This is a pictorial of the model of supportive leader behavior. Starting at the top, supportive leader behaviors are shown to influence follower/group psychological reactions, which in turn affect the followers’ behavioral outcomes. Situational factors that can increase or decrease the effectiveness of supportive behavior are shown on each side and their impact comes to play when they interact with the supportive behavior. The arrows from the leader supportiveness box to situational factor boxes indicate that the leader sometimes can manipulate situations to improve followers’ reactions indirectly and thereby replace the need to provide supportive behaviors.

Leader Supportiveness:

Leader Supportiveness Concerned , trusting, and respectful of followers Considerate understanding attitude Friendly, encouraging, communicative Fostering follower development

Enhancers of Supportiveness:

Enhancers of Supportiveness Dissatisfying or stressful job Low follower self-confidence, insecurity, or self esteem Follower expectations of high growth needs Structured work tasks Complex creative task External group conflict New or cohesive group Organizational mission Authoritarian superior

Neutralizers of Supportiveness:

Neutralizers of Supportiveness Dogmatic followers Large group Broad task scope High job level

Follower Psychological Reactions:

Satisfaction of esteem and acceptance of need Satisfaction with work and supervisor Overall job satisfaction Organizational commitment Lower perceived stress and burnout Group harmony and cohesion Follower Psychological Reactions

Follower Behavioral Outcomes:

Follower Behavioral Outcomes Lower Turnover, tardiness, absenteeism, and grievance rates Increased individual and group performance

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