Leadership is the ability to get people to do what you want them to do, because they want to do it. It stands for the relation between an individual and the group around some common interest and behaving in a manner directed by him or her.
Thus, leadership is a personal quality through which the leader motivates, directs and guides the activities of the personnel of his/her group.
Almost similar views have been expressed by C. I. Barnard when he says that leadership refers to the quality of the behaviour of the individuals whereby they guide people on their activities in an organised effort.
“Leadership is the relationship in which one person, the leader, influences others to work together willingly on related tasks to attain that which the leader desires.” —Professor George Terry.
Learn about:- 1. Introduction to Leadership 2. Definitions of Leadership 3. Concept 4. Features 5. Importance 6. Types 7. Managerial Grid 8. Theories 9. Effective Measures.
Leadership: Introduction, Definitions, Features, Importance, Concept, Theories, Types, Managerial Grid and Effective Measures
- Introduction to Leadership
- Definitions of Leadership
- Concept of Leadership
- Features of Leadership
- Importance of Leadership
- Types of Leadership
- Managerial Grid of Leadership
- Theories of Leadership
- Effective Measures of Leadership
Leadership – Introduction
Mr. George Bernard Shaw once said, Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. It is appropriate to recall Mr. Michael Porter as to what he writes, in his famous book the competitive advantage of nations, Firms will not ultimately succeed unless they base their strategies on improvement and innovation, a willingness to compete and a realistic understanding of their national environment and how to improve it.
The view that globalisation eliminates the importance of the home base rests on false premises, as does the alluring strategy of avoiding competition. It goes without saying that leadership is the most crucial aspect of change management. Without leadership, an organisation will be a victim of change rather than a master of change.
Organisations anywhere in the world including India simply cannot function in isolation and cannot afford to be immune to changes in the business environment. Changes are in every sphere of human life and the system believes. These are economic, sociological, socio-cultural, technological, and ecological and so on.
Trade liberalization and globalisation of economies has transformed global economic order which Mr. Kenichi Omhae calls as “the borderless world.” It means that national borders have effectively disappeared and, along with them, the economic logic that made them. Accordingly, organisations in an open environment should be able to responds to the changes in the market by innovative strategies, new products, and processes.
The rapid pace of technological changes have given rise to improvements in products and service. For continuous innovation and up gradation, Indian organisations will have no option but to invest heavily in R&D programs as the competition is not only rival brands but with the powerful brands of transnational’s.
The information technology explosion has created new opportunities and challenges for the business organisations. The major challenge is that of managing and utilising the wealth of information.
Mr. A. Howard says “in the postindustrial information age, the balance of work has tipped from hand to head, from brain to brawn. Workers do not joint do not run the machines and push papers, they control information. Information is displacing capital as the internet gives access to global information, but to take advantage of it, information technology managers have to develop their adaptive capabilities and be change oriented.”
This can be possible if the leaders can facilitate the flow information, ideas, expertise across functional areas and encourage team work.
The internal working of an organisation is deeply impacted by socio- cultural factors as people bring along with them cultural diversities to the organisation. These differences have both positive and negative reflexes.
Diversity can bring in better and sounder decision making, higher levels of creativity and innovation and increased job performance. Negative results can be turned into positive when an organisation has leadership with a global vision and mind that value diversity and multi-cultural teams work.
In the past, the emphasis was on exploitation of natural resources that brought about industrial revolution. However, it also resulted in ecological degradation that has been posing a permanent threat to the very existence of mankind. Now the shift is ecological awareness and stupendous efforts to maintain ecological balance.
Back to the past, the emphasis was on making profits to sustain competitiveness. Now business is turning towards social welfare and wellbeing alongside the earning of reasonable rewards for the efforts.
Corporate governance and ethical issues are the part of overall business strategy. There is an increasing demand for greater accountability from business and government organisations to blend profitability with social responsibility thus orienting towards value based management.
To “lead” is to guide, direct, supervise, integrate and energise the efforts of other towards a common goal. It also means to excel, to be in advance, to stand out. A leader is one who influences the behaviour of others in any organized activity.
Leadership is the ability to get people to do what you want them to do, because they want to do it. It stands for the relation between an individual and the group around some common interest and behaving in a manner directed by him or her.
Leadership – Definitions: Given by Theo Haimann, Koontz and O’Donnell, Ordway Tead, Keith Davis and George Terry
It is difficult to define leadership in exact terms. Literally, the term ‘leadership’ has come from the word ‘lead’. The verb ‘to lead’ has two meanings—’to excel or to be in advance’ and ‘to guide, govern and command others or to lead an organisation’. The first meaning hints at certain qualities of leaders, while it is the second meaning of leadership that is followed in business management.
Now, let us examine how the term leadership has been defined and explained by management experts. According to Koontz and O’Donnell, leadership may be defined as the ability to exert interpersonal influence by means of communication towards the achievement of goals.
Thus, leadership is a personal quality through which the leader motivates, directs and guides the activities of the personnel of his/her group. Almost similar views have been expressed by C. I. Barnard when he says that leadership refers to the quality of the behaviour of the individuals whereby they guide people on their activities in an organised effort.
In the same way, Theo Haimann has also said, ‘Leadership can be defined as the process by which an executive imaginatively directs, guides and influences the work of others in choosing and attaining specified goals by mediating between the individual and the organisation in such a manner that both will obtain maximum satisfaction’.
Ordway Tead has also remarked that leadership is the name of that combination of qualities by the possession of which one is able to get something done by others, chiefly because through his/her influence, they become willing to do it. In the same way, Terry has defined leadership as the ability of influencing people to strive willingly for mutual objectives.
Livingston regards it as the ability to awaken in others the desire to follow a common objective. Keith Davis has also pointed out that it is ‘the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards its goals’.
Bittel has also remarked, ‘It is the knack of getting other people to follow you and to do willingly the things that you want them to do’. According to Hodge, leadership is ‘the ability to shape the attitude and behaviour of others, whether in formal or informal situations’.
Thus, it is clear from these definitions that leadership is the process of influencing the behaviour, activities and efforts of an individual or a group for achieving common goals. A business manager is the leader of his/her subordinates.
Based on these definitions, certain characteristics of leadership may be specifically referred to as follows:
1. Group of followers – Without followers, leadership cannot be imagined. It does not exist in the vacuum. It is only on the followers or a group that a leader can assert his/her authority. A manager has a defined group of his/her subordinates as followers.
2. Influencing behaviour – Leadership envisages the idea of influence. As McFarland observes, the very essence of the leadership role in business is found in the context to which an executive can influence the behaviour of the fellow executives along the lines he/she himself/herself desires. The influence is exercised for the attainment of certain common goals.
3. Reciprocal relationship – Leadership is not domination. It is a mutual relationship based on reciprocity of the leaders and the led. A leader does not only influence his/her group but is also, at the same time, influenced by it.
4. Common goals – Leadership is the activity of influencing people to make efforts for the attainment of certain common goals. It is the leader who defines the common goals, makes them understood by all and reconciles the common objectives within the individual’s ambitions and interest.
“Leadership is the relationship in which one person, the leader, influences others to work together willingly on related tasks to attain that which the leader desires.” —Professor George Terry
‘”Leadership is the ability of a manager to induce subordinates to work with confidence and zeal.” —Professors H. Koontz and O. Donnell
In short, leadership is to do much with the art of changing the behavioural pattern of others in the pursuit of common goals. A leader is like a monitor of an orchestra, as an integral part of it. Leader integrates, guides, supervises and inspires the group members towards the predetermined goals.
Leadership – Concept
“Leader” is one who guides and directs other people. He interprets the objectives of the group and guides it towards their accomplishment. Because he has others subordinate to him and subject to his command, the leader must give their efforts a direction and purpose. Managers at all levels must perform the function of leadership to lead the subordinates towards a definite direction.
In fact, leadership is an essential element of managing for influencing people to achieve mutually compatible goals. That is, leadership is the process of influencing the behaviour of others to work willingly and enthusiastically for achieving predetermined goals.
It is a psychological process of influencing followers or subordinates and providing guidance to them. It is always related to a situation which means leader may be effective in one situation while ineffective in others. To be effective, a leader should change his leadership style depending upon the requirement of the situation.
Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objective enthusiastically. It involves the way a manager behaves in his man to man relationship. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards goals. In leading, a manager integrates the needs of the people with the welfare of his organisation. He recognises that people have their own desires, but at the same time he knows that cooperation and efficiency are necessary for survival and growth of the organisation.
Some views of leadership are as follow:
Leadership is influencing people to follow in the achievement of a common goal. – Harold and Cyril O’ Donnell
Leadership is the process by which a manager imaginatively directs, guides, and influences the work of others in choosing and attaining specified goals by mediating between the individual and the organisation in such a manner that both will obtain the maximum satisfaction. – Haimann
Leadership can be defined as the ability to cause others to follow willingly, usually in initiating change. The ability to cause others to follow for a common goal is one sure way of recognizing leadership. Leaders initiate change either by making decisions or by encouraging others to make them. – Robert Dubing
Leadership in the activity of influencing people to strive willingly for groups objectives. -George R. Terry
Leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an individual or a group in efforts towards goal achievement in a given situation. From this definition of leadership, it follows that the leadership process is a function of the leader, the follower, and other situational variable.
Leadership is an influence process the dynamics of which are a function of the personal characteristics of the leader and followers, and of the nature of the specific situations. – Max D. Richard and Paul S. Greenlaw
The common thread on these definitions is that leadership is a process whereby one individual exerts influence over others in a particular situation.
Therefore, some certain characteristic of leadership may be as follows:
1. It is personal quality of a person.
2. The leader tries to influence his followers.
3. It exercises in a particular situation.
4. It requires followers and situation both.
5. It is goal oriented activity.
6. It provides a definite direction to his followers.
Leadership is an elusive concept because it often means different things to different people.
McCormick and Ilgen have considered three viewpoints in this regard which are as follows:
To some, leadership resides in a ‘position’ within the organisation. Most of the behaviour is seen as coming out from the power, authority and other aspects delegated to the position. Thus, according to this point of view, a position is a set of prescribed behaviours for the person assigned to it. In other words, a person assigned to a particular position is supposed to behave in a manner expected of him/her.
The second viewpoint concentrates on a ‘person’. It lays emphasis on the leaders ‘personal characteristics’. People having abilities, positive value interests and personality variables prove to be better leaders.
The third view of leadership focuses on the ‘process’ by which leaders lead, that is, what the leaders do to lead. Leaders are supposed to influence others’ behaviour and thus achieve group goals by seeking the willing cooperation and commitment of their subordinates. Influencing is not just exercising the routine power of the role or position.
It is rather some degree of influence that can be attributed to the individual in the leadership position. In this way, the process of orientation towards leadership combines the ‘position’ and the ‘person’ by recognising that the major component of what is called leadership is the leader’s ability to influence his/her subordinates.
Similarly, the influence process is obviously affected by the situation which is primarily composed of properties of the leader’s position.
Leadership – 12 Main Features
A few remarkable features of leadership can be derived from the following points:
1. Influencing process – Leadership is an influencing and inspiring process. The leader directs the behaviour of his subordinates (or followers) towards the attainment of organizational goals. Effectiveness of leadership depends on how much influence a leader can exert over his followers.
2. Coexistence with the followers – Leadership presupposes the existence of followers. Leader requires leading and guiding his followers. The leader has no existence without followers. The leader exercises his authority (or power) to influence the working behaviour of his followers.
3. Reciprocal relationship – The reciprocal relationship between a leader and his followers is one of the important characteristics of leadership. This relationship is created on account of regular interaction between them. Since a leader influences his followers, the followers may exercise some influence on the leader.
4. Cooperation of followers – Leadership presupposes the existence of followers. A leader guides and directs his followers. He convinces his followers about the goals and policies of the group. He leads in all activities to win over the confidence and cooperation of his followers. The essence of leadership is followership.
5. Achieving common goals – A leader motivates the followers to work for achieving common goals. He explains these goals to his followers clearly, so as to get their maximum cooperation for attaining predetermined objectives. Leadership can exist only when the leader and the followers strive for common goals. Effective leadership makes his followers to act willingly to achieve the organizational goal.
6. Situation bound – Any leadership is highly situational. The effectiveness of a leader is greatly influenced by situational variables. A particular style of leadership may be successful in one situation but may fail in another situation. The leader has to modify his approach and style of functioning according to the demands of the situation.
7. Acquainting Feelings of the Followers – The leader should be well-acquainted with the feelings and the problems of his followers. The leader should always keep watch over the means of satisfying the social and individual needs of the followers. Therefore, leadership is a shared function. A good leader shares ideas, opinions, experience, etc., with his followers.
8. Authority (or Power) Based Process – Leadership is an authority (or power) based process. A leader needs adequate power to influence the behaviour of his followers and their performance. Normally, a leader derives his power from the formal authority chain exists in the organization.
9. Self-Awareness and Exemplary Conduct – The action and conduct of a leader have great influence on the behavioural pattern of his followers. In fact, leadership depends on strategic competence and individual attributes. It is essential for a leader to become conscious about his own conduct and behaviour. It is the duty of a leader to set good example of his own behavioural pattern. This may serve as an inspiring lesson among his subordinates. He should guide and stimulate his subordinates to great deeds.
10. Dynamic Process – Leadership is a dynamic and ever-changing process. No particular style of leadership is effective in all situations. An effective leader must have the adaptability to changing situations and must exercise his leadership accordingly. Leadership styles do change under different circumstances. The effectiveness of leadership depends heavily on the situational variables.
11. Continuous Process – Leadership is a continuous (or on-going) process. It involves regular interaction between the leader and his followers. An effective leader is one who not only secures a desired form of behaviour from his subordinates, but also creates a sense of satisfaction among them on a continuous basis. A leader continuously makes efforts to influence behaviour of his subordinates through two-way communication process.
12. Assumption of Responsibility – It is necessary for a leader to accept full responsibility in the exercise of authority over his followers. The effective leader is one who is capable of satisfying personal needs, wants, and interests of his followers. Assumption of responsibility should work for redressing all grievances of the followers and preparing the necessary ground for team-work.
Leadership – Importance: Inspires Employees, Secures Co-Operation, Creates Confidence and Provides Good Working Climate
1. Inspires Employees:
A leader creates a strong urge in employees for higher performance. He lifts a man’s vision to higher sights. By showing the proper way to do a job, a leader helps employees to give their best to the organization. As pointed out by Terry, ‘leadership triggers a person’s will-to-do and transforms lukewarm desires for achievement into burning passions for successful accomplishment’.
2. Secures Co-Operation:
A dynamic leader breathes life into the group. He influences the behaviour of employees in such a way that they readily work for organizational objectives. He makes them realize that by translating plans into action, they can earn adequate rewards. He, thus, inculcates a sense of collectivism in the employees and forces them to work as a team.
Leadership is essential to group action. Without sound leadership, co-operative action is impossible. Leadership provides character to the group and paves the way for integrated efforts at various levels.
3. Creates Confidence:
Employees often suffer from emotional disequilibrium in organizations. They get frustrated because of their inability to do certain jobs to secure promotions, to sharpen their skills, to get along with people, etc. A leader comes in here, renders wise counsel and tries to remove barriers (real or imaginary) and instills confidence in employees.
He creates a wholesome attitude among employees for successful work accomplishment. He transforms potential into reality. He makes them realize their potential by showing the right way, by clearing the hurdles.
4. Provides Good Working Climate:
A good leader provides healthy work climate where individuals can work toward group goals happily. He initiates necessary changes, unifies efforts of employees. By making a judicious use of time and money, he mobilizes and utilizes the resources in the service of an organization. He addresses himself to the important problems, initiates timely action and brings order out of chaos.
He provides an adequate reward structure to improve the performance of employees. He gives them enough authority to do things well, and invites their participation in organizational matters. He provides imagination, foresight, enthusiasm and initiative to employees.
Leadership – Top 13 Types: Intellectual, Creative, Persuasive, Institutional, Democratic, Autocratic, Bureaucratic, Diplomatic, Expert, Quarter Back and a Few Others
To Lead-leadership are three interrelated terms. A leader is a person who leads and leadership is the nomenclature of the quality to lead as well as a function to be performed while leading. Hence leader and leadership are so intermingled that it is not possible to separate them from each other. The only difference is that a leader is a human and leadership is an abstract quality. But, since leader is a human, so many factors psychological, social, intellectual, environmental status etc. work on him.
These factors qualify him to be a certain type of leader. As seen above leadership is the performance of a leader. Naturally, the type to which he belongs, affects his performance. Thus leadership is to be classified by considering all these aspects. The type of leader is directly and positively correlated with his performance i.e. leadership.
Experts like Alfred and Beatty, Chris Argyris and Personnel research board of Ohio University have given their own classification. There are some common categories, and some are more distinctly classified categories i.e. type.
If all these categories types are taken and read with reference to one another leadership can be classified as follows:
Types of leaders i.e. leadership:
10. Quarter back
Type # 1. The Intellectual:
The leader possessing specialised intellectual authority and having in-depth knowledge and technical competence is known as intellectual leader. For instance, financial advisor, Marketing advisor, legal advisor.
Type # 2. The Creative:
A creative leader is one who encourages and welcomes new ideas from his followers and vice-versa. For this he uses the technique of “Circular response” Because of this he can easily point out the best of his followers and can keep proper control on them for the attainment of enterprise goals. A creative leader gives opportunity to his followers to do some creative work for the enterprise.
Type # 3. The Persuasive:
A Persuasive leader is one who by his personality and behaviour attracts many followers. The followers have faith and confidence in the persuasive leader. Therefore the followers are always ready to do anything told to them by the leader. This, in turn, helps the persuasive leader to get the things done by and through his followers.
Type # 4. The Institutional:
An institutional leader is one who become a leader because of his position in the institution. For instance, president or the chairman of the institution, principal of an educational institution, director or the chief executive of a company, secretary of an institution. The leadership is bestowed upon him by the position held by him in the organisation.
Type # 5. The Democratic:
A democratic leader is one who does not lead but is led by his followers. Democratic leader respects and adopts opinion of majority of his followers. Moreover many times he delegates most of his powers to the followers. Democratic leader is very honest and loyal to his followers.
Type # 6. The Autocratic:
An autocratic leader is one who dominates or keeps command over his followers. He is not ready to listen to any follower. He believes that followers should obey his orders only. He gets the things done from followers through fear, threat, coercion, punishment, command. He keeps all the powers and authority with him. He is never interested to delegate to the subordinates. He believes in strict discipline and obedience by others.
Type # 7. The Bureaucrat:
A bureaucrat leader is one who likes to stick to routine, who appeases is superiors and avoids his subordinates.
Type # 8. The Diplomat:
A diplomat leader is one who is opportunist and whenever gets a chance to exploit the people, he would exploit them. He does not trust his subordinates.
Type # 9. The Expert:
An expert leader is one who possesses specialised knowledge in a particular field. He is concerned with his specialised knowledge. He disrespects his subordinates and treats them as fellow workers. He is always proud of his specialisation and treats others as inferior.
Type # 10. The Quarter Back:
A leader who realises the contribution of his subordinates in attainment of organisational goals in known as quarter back leader. Such a leader likes to be identified with his subordinates even by displeasing his superiors. Many times the business organisations themselves, go for such group leaders.
Type # 11. Directive:
This type of leader always gives directions to his followers i.e. subordinates. He wants them to work according to his instruction. No one is an allowed to deviate from his instructions. He further judges the performance and announces rewards to workers having better performance and punishments to workers having below satisfactory performance. That is why he is called initiator of awards and punishments.
Such leaders think themselves to be far more superior to the subordinates. Naturally dissatisfaction prevails in subordinates with the effect that employee morale goes lower. Such leadership mar the developmental opportunities of the subordinates.
Type # 12. Permissive:
A leader who initiates action himself towards any job performance is known as permissive leader. He has high degree of tolerance. Naturally such leaders are very sensitive towards the feeling of others. He is generally successful in getting the work done with a satisfactory result. But the only demerit of such types may be mentioned as-no chance to the subordinates to develop them as leader.
Type # 13. The Participative:
The participative leader helps subordinates to develop their own initiative to take their own decisions and formulate their own methods and procedures for their work. He also helps them to recognise their own demands and wants. He, therefore, is able to win their co-operation for achieving his objectives.
Thus leadership is a process of influencing others to act in a way that will accomplish the objectives of the leader or the organisation. This process involves interpersonal influence in a specific situation towards the attainment of a specific goal. Therefore it is rightly said by someone that a leader is a person who stands out in influencing the activities of a group, making progress towards achieving the goals.
He plays multidimensional role such as group task role, group building and maintenance role and individual role. In group task role there are variety of roles played by him, for example as initiator, coordinator, orienteer, evaluator-critic, energizer, procedural technician, recorder etc. In group building and maintenance he plays role of encourager, harmonizer, compromiser, gatekeeper and expeditor, standard setter, group observer and commentator follower etc.
In individual role lie plays the aggressor, blocker, recognition seeker, special helper, pleader etc. All successful organisations have one common attribute i.e. leadership. Leadership has become an inevitable aspect in business/industry during the past few decades.
Leadership – Managerial Grid
The leadership behaviour in any situation can be a mix of two dimensions- concern for people and concern for task. Some business leaders are highly people-oriented while some are hard taskmasters. In between the two styles there are many permutations and combinations possible. Robert R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton have developed Managerial Grid to show different styles of management practised by businesses.
These are shown in the figure given below:
i. Country Club Management 1, 9:
The 1, 9 leadership style is in the top left corner. Here the minimum concern (1) for production is coupled with the maximum concern (9) for people. Primary attention is given to promoting good feelings among colleagues and friends.
ii. Team Management 9, 9:
Production and people concerns are integrated at a high level in the upper right corner representing the 9, 9 style of managing. This is the team approach and seeks to gain results of high quality and quantity through participation, involvement, commitment and conflict resolution.
iii. Organisation Management 5, 5:
The 5, 5 style is in the centre. This is the middle of the road theory or the ‘go along to get along’ assumptions which are revealed in conformity to the status quo.
iv. Impoverised Management 1, 1:
The minimum concern for production and people is represented by 1, 1 in the lower left corner. The 1, 1 oriented manager does only the minimum required to continue in the organisation.
v. Authority Obedience 9, 1:
In lower right hand corner of the grid the maximum concern (9) for production is combined with the minimum concern (1) for people. A manager acting under these assumptions concentrates on maximising production by exercising power and authority and achieving control over people through compliance. This is a 9, 1 orientation.
An arc between 9, 1 and 1, 9 connects a high concern for production with a high concern for people in an additive way. Compliance of the manager’s directions by subordinates is praised and noncompliance brings forth criticism and reprimand.
This approach is present wherever two or more grid styles are used, depending on the person being dealt with. There are several different patterns 1, 9 of integrating oneself with important people, 5, 5 ways of doing favours to oblige people, etc.
The use of deception is to cover up or hide one’s true intentions from view in order to achieve something believed unattainable if one’s true grid style were evident. The ‘front’ is usually a 9, 9 orientation to hide 9, 1 paternalism or opportunism.
Blake and Mouton have analysed the leadership styles of some eminent American industrialists on the basis of the grid technique developed by them. Alfred P. Sloan of General Motors, a true organisational genius of the 20th century, according to them, managed in 9, 9 style, while Henry Ford, a great entrepreneur of his time, had paternalistic orientation.
At the outset, Ford was the stronger of the two giants, but General Motors overtook Ford during the aegis of Sloan, which shows the superiority of 9, 9 style. Henry Ford II, who believed in ‘never explain, never complain’, managed in 9, 1 style. Shapiro of DuPont had 5, 5 style while Geneen managed ITT in a style approaching 9, 1.
Robert K. Murray and Tim H. Blessings have used grid technique to analyse leadership styles of 14 twentieth century American presidents. The 9, 9 grid style is assigned to T Roosevelt, F. Roosevelt and ‘Truman, 1, 9 to Taft and Harding, 1, 1 to Coolidge and 5, 5 to Eisenhower. Wilson and Carter had a paternalistic approach while Nixon’s leadership included facadist strategies. Kennedy and Johnson were placed in the grid style opportunism. Murray and Blessings’ analysis confirm the view that it is the individual who makes the office rather than the other way round.
Leadership effectiveness is associated with the grid style that an individual adopts. The human resource managers can use the grid technique to train people to be more effective in their jobs. They can do so by developing six process elements in trainees: initiative, enquiry, advocacy, conflict resolution, decision-making and critique.
The Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid, also known as the Leadership Grid (1985) uses two axis: “Concern for people” is plotted using the vertical axis and the “Concern for task or results” is plotted along the horizontal axis. They both have a range of 0 to 9. These two dimensions can be drawn as a graph or grid. Most people fall somewhere near the middle of the two axis—Middle of the Road. But, by going to the extremes, that is, people who score on the far end of the scales, we are greeted with four types of leaders-
i. Authoritarian — strong on tasks, weak on people skills.
ii. Country Club — strong on people skills, weak on tasks.
iii. Impoverished — weak on tasks, weak on people skills.
iv. Team Leader — strong on tasks, strong on people skills.
The goal is to be at least in the Middle of the Road but preferably a Team Leader — that is, to score at least between a 5, 5 to 9, 9. In addition, a good leader operates at the extreme ends of the two scales, depending upon the situation.
i. Authoritarian Leader (High Task, Low Relationship):
Leaders who get this rating are task oriented and behave in an autocratic manner. They want results at any cost. They schedule work and expect people to carry it out without any questions. Subordinates must concentrate on the assigned duties and deliver results.
ii. Country Club Leader (Low Task, High Relationship):
These leaders predominantly use reward power to maintain discipline and to encourage the team to accomplish its goals. Conversely, they are 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.
iii. Impoverished Leader (Low Task, Low Relationship):
These leaders use a “delegate and disappear” management style. Since they are not committed to either task accomplishment or maintenance; they essentially allow their team to do whatever it wishes and prefer to detach themselves from the team process by allowing the team to suffer from a series of power struggles.
iv. Team Leader (High Task, High Relationship):
These leaders lead by positive example and endeavor to foster a team environment in that all team members can reach their highest potential, both as team members and as people. They encourage the team to reach team goals as effectively as possible, while also working tirelessly to strengthen the bonds among the various members. They normally form and lead some of the most productive teams.
The most desirable place for a leader to be along the two axes at most times would be a 9 on task and a 9 on people — the Team Leader. However, other approaches might also work at times. Certain situations might call for one of the other three to be used at times. One can play the role of an impoverished leader to instill confidence in subordinates. Authoritarian leaders, likewise, can force subordinates to be more disciplined. To deliver effective results, leaders should carefully study the situation and the forces affecting it.
Grid approach is attractive, instructive and has a commonsense appeal. The grid helps managers to identify their own leadership styles. It serves as a useful framework for the leaders to use in assessing their styles before undertaking a rigorous training programme that is created to move them to the 9, 9 style. The evidence from other sources such as Fiedler, does not square with the notion that the best leaders invariably tend toward an intense concern for both people and work.
In fact, Bernadin and Alvares point out “a 9, 9 orientation applied to the organisation as a whole will foster a kind of corporate Darwinism”. Though the grid programme is popular among practitioners, it is highly controversial among the theorists and researchers because of its lack of empirical evidence.
Leadership – 4 Important Theories: Trait, Behavioural, Situational and Systems Theories
Researchers on leadership have made efforts to find out answer of the question- what makes a leader effective- his traits, behaviour, type of followers, or situation. This phenomenon has led to emergence of a number of leadership theories- trait theory, behavioural theory, situational theory, and systems theory.
Let us discuss these theories:
Theory # 1. Trait Theory:
Trait theory suggests that an individual who has traits relevant to leadership emerges as an effective leader. A trait is a distinguishable and relatively enduring quality of an individual that affects his behaviour.
Researchers have concluded that for being successful, a leader should have the following traits (qualities):
i. Physical Features- Physical features include height, weight, appearance, etc. These are in-born features and positive features of a leader attract others. Another in-born feature is one’s intelligence. A successful leader has more than average intelligence.
ii. Knowledge- Leader should have intimate knowledge of his field so that when he discusses about his field, he discusses it with some kind of authenticity. This influences others.
iii. Self Confidence- In order to develop confidence in his followers, the leader himself should have confidence so that he believes that he can get things done.
iv. Decisiveness- Often, a leader has to face conflicting situations because of ambiguity present in the situations. Therefore, the leader has to analyze the situations rationally and take a stand on which he should remain firm.
v. Integrity- A leader should have high level of integrity. Integrity refers to honesty and transparency in getting things done. Leader’s integrity makes him a role model whose behaviour is followed by others.
vi. Objectivity- Leader should have objectivity in taking any action. Objectivity implies that what the leader does should be based on facts and information and not on his own biases.
vii. Initiative- Leader should have initiative so that he initiates the actions which his followers may follow. He should take his actions on proactive basis that is, taking actions in advance of likely changes in the environment rather than reacting to changes taken place.
viii. Emotional Stability- A leader should have high level of emotional stability: stability in behaviour, refraining from anger, consistency in action, and well-adjusted. He should not become emotionally upset if things go wrong and should face ups and downs of his working life with maturity.
ix. Empathy- A successful leader has empathy which involves observing the things or situations from others’ points of view. Because of empathy, he knows what makes the other fellows think as they do, even though he does not necessarily agree with others’ thoughts.
x. Communication Skills- Leader gets things done by his followers through communication. Therefore, he should have communication skills, more particularly persuasive communication skills,
xi. Social Skills- Leader should have social skills so that he can understand others well in terms of their strengths and weaknesses to get the maximum out of them.
xii. Motivation Skills- Motivation skills of leader involve understanding his followers’ needs and how these can be satisfied in the most desirable way.
Implications of the Theory:
This theory has two very important implications. First, the theory emphasizes that a leader requires some qualities to be effective. Second, many of these qualities may be developed in individuals through training and development programmes. However, the theory suffers from two sets of limitations. First, there is lack of generalization of qualities which are relevant for all situations. The leadership qualities discussed above are prominent ones but not exhaustive. Second, behaviour of followers is not influenced exclusively by the leadership qualities.
There are other factors which affect their behaviour and leadership qualities constitute only one factor. This is the reason that many leaders who were quite successful earlier failed in the changed situation.
Theory # 2. Behavioural Theory:
Behavioural theory of leadership emphasizes that strong leadership is the result of effective role behaviour. Leadership is shown by a person’s acts more than by his traits. Researchers exploring leadership role have come to the conclusion that to operate effectively, groups need someone to perform two major functions- task-related functions and group maintenance functions.
Task-related functions (or problem solving functions) relate to providing solutions to the problems faced by the groups in performing jobs. Group maintenance functions (or social functions) relate to actions of mediating disputes and ensuring that individuals are treated as valued by the group. An individual who is able to perform both these roles successfully would be an effective leader. In an organization, leadership behaviour may be either functional or dysfunctional. Functional behaviour influences followers positively while dysfunctional behaviour influences them negatively.
Behavioural theory of leadership has some important implications for managers. They may adopt the behaviour which appears to be functional and discard the behaviour which appears to be dysfunctional. Thus, this theory helps managers to adopt suitable leadership styles in influencing their followers.
However, this theory suffers from two basic limitations. First, a particular behaviour may be functional at a point of time but it may be dysfunctional at another point of time. Thus, the time element will be a decider of the effectiveness of the behaviour and not the behaviour itself.
Second, effectiveness of leadership behaviour depends on various factors which are not confined in the leader but are external to him like nature of followers (subordinates) and the situations under which the leader’s behaviour takes place. These factors have not been given adequate consideration.
Theory # 3. Situational Theory:
Situational theory (also known as contingency theory) suggests that the leadership effectiveness depends on leader’s behaviour and situation in which leadership is exercised (known as situational factors).
Leader’s behaviour is affected by two variables:
i. Leader’s characteristics and
ii. His hierarchical position in the organization.
i. Leader’s Characteristics:
An individual’s behaviour is influenced by his characteristics like his ability, personality, attitudes, interest, motivation, and physical characteristics. All these factors are internal to the leader,
ii. Leader’s Hierarchical Position:
Leader’s hierarchical position in the organization is important because persons at different levels face different kind of problems which affect the degree of participation between the superior and his subordinates in arriving at decisions to solve the problems.
Managers at higher levels are more concerned with long-run complex problems which require more participation in decision making. Managers at lower levels are more concerned with short-run problems involving routine operations which may not require high level of participation. The degree of this participation affects the leader’s behaviour.
Besides the leader’s related factors, leadership effectiveness is affected by situational factors as these factors affect the leader’s behaviour. To the extent, a leader matches the requirement of these factors, his leadership will be effective.
Various situational factors may be grouped into four categories:
a. Subordinates’ characteristics,
b. Leader’s situation,
c. Group factors, and
d. Organizational factors.
a. Subordinates’ Characteristics- Subordinates’ personal characteristics like their ability, personality, attitudes, interest, motivation, and physical characteristics affect their behaviour.
b. Leader’s Situation- The leader’s situation in respect to his subordinates depends on two variables- leader’s position power and leader-subordinate relation. Leader’s position power helps or hinders in influencing others – high-position power simplifies the leader’s task of influencing others while low-position power makes the leader’s task more difficult. Leader- subordinate relation indicates the extent to which the leader will satisfy subordinates’ needs and the extent to which they will contribute to leader’s success. If leader-subordinate relation is good, leader is likely to be effective. In the alternative case, he will be ineffective.
c. Group Factors – Various group factors like task design, group composition, group norms, group cohesiveness, and peer-group relationship affect leadership effectiveness and performance. If these factors are favourable, the leader will be effective.
d. Organizational Factors- Organizational factors like organizational climate and organizational culture affect leadership effectiveness. If these are conducive, the leader will be effective.
Implications of the Theory:
Situational theory has wide implications for managers in the sense that it offers clues why a manager who is successful in one situation, fails when there is change in the situation. Therefore, the managers may do better by adopting management practices including leadership which match with the situational variables. In fact, the systems and contingency approach has become the way of thinking in management and leadership is no exception.
This theory appears to be good on the surface but becomes quite complex in practice because of the presence of numerous contingent factors. However, managers can overcome this problem by diagnosing these factors suitably. This is not necessarily provided by the theory but experience has its role.
Theory # 4. Systems Theory:
Systems theory of leadership suggests that leadership is an emergent phenomenon in the form of integrative leadership out of interactions of a leader and his followers within the contextual variables lying within an organization and outside it. Two subsystems of an organization — technical and social — interact closely and shape employee behaviour. Since the organization continuously interacts with its environment, it makes suitable changes in its working to meet environmental requirements. As a result, the organization changes its technical subsystem — tasks, organization structure, rules, etc.
These changes affect social subsystem, including pattern of interaction between a leader and his followers, both at formal and informal levels. As a result, four types of leadership patterns emerge in the organizations in stages- formal, emergent, shared, and integrative. Influence of formal leadership is based on authority of the position held by an individual.
Influence of emergent leadership is based on the skills and knowledge of an individual and his acceptance by the group. Influence of shared leadership is based on individual accountability and self-control, for example, a self- managing team. Influence in integrative leadership is based on interdependence of group members and control is through collective self-regulation.
Implications of the Theory:
Systems theory of leadership has opened a new thinking in analyzing leadership as it takes a holistic approach. However, this theory is not very popular because of two reasons. First, this theory is still in evolutionary stage and many variables which affect leadership have not been identified precisely. This problem may be overcome with passage of time. Second, this theory is quite complex because of involvement of numerous variables. But, then, overcoming complexity is the real art of managing.
Leadership – Effective Measures
Within the present changing business and social environment, the persons who have the leading capacity, perform several integrated and complicated tasks. Though according to different capacities and thereby by way of different styles, the leaders are being able to determine and introduce the ethical norms.
But the role and behaviour of leaders are full of challenging, so it is needful to make better perfections within their capabilities and styles in this context. Here, some of the perspective and effective measures are being analysed for the upliftment of leadership qualities and styles.
They are given here:
1. Personality Development:
It has the foremost part and signifying aspects to develop the efficiency and quality for better leadership style.
In personality development, the aspects which may be included in it are given here:
i. There is a need of full confidence of skill, knowledge, abilities and efficiency among persons,
ii. Becoming more effective with new ideas, incentives, perspective viewpoints that can change things for the better,
iii. They may develop their mental and physical qualities and efficiency by way of knowledge, education and training programmes,
iv. They may create and develop equity, justice, loyalty, responsiveness, devotion, self-confidence, rational behaviour, creativity and other morale behaviour etc.,
v. They may analyse the favourable and non favourable environmental points and find out new ways and means for better opportunities towards more effective leadership styles.
2. Organisational Behaviour:
According to Robbins – “Organisational behaviour is concerned with the study of what people do in organisation and how that behaviour effects the performance of the organisation.”
Organisational behaviour is the part of behavioural science and it develop various concurrent means to make perspective leadership styles such as:
i. To ascertain the role and behaviour of ‘individual’, ‘group’, ‘work structure’ and environmental factors, so that they may divert to achieve the organisational goals.
ii. To analyse and find out the personal differences among different persons and try to remove them by way of work recognition, job satisfaction, work allotment, balancing of rights and duties with different human approach aspects.
iii. There is a need to give more preference to group interest rather than individual interest so that team spirit and group feelings may be developed,
iv. There is a need to follow the concepts and techniques of the behavioural science so that by way of policy formation, behavioural and perspective ways, the effective leadership styles may be developed,
v. There is a need to formulate the informal and formal organisational relations in the concern for effective practices of leadership styles.
Motivation means a process of stimulating people to action to accomplish desired goals. Here, the managers or a person who has the leading capacity have to provide work recognition, interaction of interest, team spirit, informal relations, recognise the skill and knowledge as well as human relations aspects.
Besides they may follow group discussions, praise and honour, seminars and conferences, promotional facilities as well as opportunities for advancements etc. All these motivational devices are needful for better managerial capabilities as well as for better leadership styles.
In order to create and develop the leadership styles properly, the aspects pertaining to sociability are needful as given here:
i. It is needful to give practical form of managerial attitudes, behaviour and practices so that social consciousness and awareness may be developed,
ii. It is required to follow the constructive and optimistic approaches towards social concepts, assumptions and viewpoints,
iii. It is required to fulfill the social responsibilities of managers towards different partners of society so that perspective ways of leadership style may be developed,
iv. All the organisational activities must be oriented towards making a balancing role of environmental aspects towards social welfare and social development.
5. Work Environment:
The managers who are more concerned with some leading capacity are required to establish proper working environment at internal as well as external premises of the concern.
i. Managers may create and develop feelings of responsive and enthusiasm among employees towards the goals and missions of the organisation.
ii. They may find out and develop better occupational, professional and working opportunities for employees.
iii. They provide all the technical and other facilities to employees.
iv. They may develop better work culture based on behavioural aspects of organisation.