Introduction to Organizational Behavior


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Pages : 484; Paperback;
210 X 275 mm approx.

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Pages : 271; Paperback;
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Introduction to Organizational Behavior, Management Textbook, Workbook

Leadership : Chapter 11

There is no agreement among management theorists on the definition of leadership. Though most of them do agree that leadership involves influencing others, the disagreement arises on the issue of how this takes place. Another issue of contention among experts is whether managing and leading are equivalent. According to some experts, managers and leaders are different. Managers generally devote their time to developing plans, organizational structures and controlling deviations from the plans.

Leaders focus on developing a vision for the future, communicating the vision to people, integrating the efforts of their followers, helping them overcome hurdles and developing their abilities to realize the vision. Managers derive their power from their position in the organization. Leaders do not need any formal authority but derive power from people who follow them because of their abilities. Leadership is the ability to influence people and drive them toward the achievement of goals.

The research on leadership has led to the development of three types of theories - Trait, behavioral and contingency theories. According to trait theories, some traits such as extroversion, aggressiveness, self-confidence, honesty and integrity and intelligence differentiate leaders form non-leaders. According to the behavioristic school, successful leadership depends more on appropriate behavior and skills, and less on personality traits. The three broad types of skills used by leaders, as identified by Robert Katz, are technical, human and conceptual skills.

Four different behavioral theories - the Ohio State Studies, the University of Michigan Studies, the Managerial Grid and the Scandinavian Studies - sought to identify the different behaviors adopted by leaders. The Ohio State Studies concluded that leaders who score high on the dimensions of initiating structure (task orientation) and consideration (concern for people) achieve superior subordinate performance and satisfaction, compared to those who score low on either one of them or both.

The Michigan Studies found that an employee-centered style of leadership is more effective than a production-centered style of leadership. The Managerial Grid proposed by Blake and Mouton suggested that leaders who have equal concern for people and production are most effective.

The Scandinavian studies resulted in the emergence of a new dimension called 'development-oriented' behavior. According to these studies, leaders who embrace change and encourage new ideas and practices are successful. The contingency theories deal with the situational aspects of leadership styles.

Some of the well known contingency theories are Fiedler's contingency model, Hersey and Blanchard's situational theory, Leader-Member exchange theory, Leader Participation model and the Path-Goal theory. Fiedler's model suggests that the leader should choose his style of leadership depending on the favorability or unfavorability of the overall situation.

Hersey and Blanchard's situational theory states that the most critical factor that influences the selection of a leader's style is the maturity level of his subordinates. The Leader-Member exchange theory suggests that leaders try and establish a special relationship with a small group of subordinates; this small group would constitute an in-group, with all the rest of subordinates being in an out-group. The in-group members get more attention from the leader and enjoy special privileges.

The Leader participation approach provides a sequential set of rules that can be followed for identifying the type of situation and determining the amount of participation that should be demanded from subordinates for decision making. According to the Path-Goal theory, the leader should guide his followers in achieving the organizational goals, and also establish individual and group goals that are compatible with the broad organizational goals.

Chapter 11 : Overview

Definition of Leadership
Traits of Effective Leaders
Leadership Behaviors Vs Traits
Leadership Skills

Leadership Theories
Trait Theories
Behavioral Theories
Contingency Approaches to Leadership