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Leadership In The  Workplace
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  • 1. Leadership in the Workplace
  • 2. Objectives:
    • To define what is meant by leadership
    • To examine the different styles of leaders in terms of their focus and nature
    • To discuss the concept and measurement of leader effectiveness
    • To apply the issues surrounding leader, leadership style and effectiveness of leaders to own experiences
  • 3. Your experience of ‘good leadership’!
    • Think of someone who has held a position of leadership over you & whom you have been happy to work for
    • What made them able to lead?
    • What made them able to organise a group effectively?
    • What made you happy in the group?
    • What made you want to co-operate with the leader?
  • 4. Key issues of leadership in work:
    • What sort of leader can keep a group together?
    • What sort of leader can make the group productive?
    • What sort of leader can maintain a good deal of job satisfaction among the group members?
  • 5. Definition of leadership:
    • “ as the process (act) of influencing the activities of an organized group in its efforts towards goal setting and goal achievement”
    • (Stogdill, 1950: pg 3)
    • “ (the) process by which one person directs group members toward the attainment of specific goals”
    • Moghaddan (1998; pg 455)
  • 6. Leadership style - focus :
    • Many different models of leadership style but common to all is the assumption that leadership behaviour can be described in two main ways in relation to their focus:
    • Task-oriented
    • Relationship-oriented
  • 7. Task-oriented focus:
    • Manage task accomplishment
    • Leader defines clearly & closely what subordinates should be doing, how they should be doing it & actively schedules work for them
  • 8. Relationship-oriented focus:
    • Managing the interpersonal relations of group members
    • Demonstrating concern for subordinates as people
    • Responding to subordinate needs
    • Promoting team spirit & cohesion
  • 9. Alternative terms for leadership style:
    • ‘ initiating structure’ versus ‘consideration’ (Fleishman, 1953)
    • ‘ production oriented’ versus ‘people-oriented ’ (Blake & Mouton, 1964)
    • ‘ production centred’ versus ‘employee-centred’ (Likert, 1967)
    • ‘ task emphasis versus relations emphasis’ (Fiedler, 1967)
    • ‘ performance concern’ versus ‘maintenance concern’ (Misumi, 1985)
  • 10.
    • Reflecting back on your experiences of ‘good leadership’.
    • Was the person you were happy to work for ‘task-oriented’ or ‘people-oriented’?
    • Do you think a good leader can be both?
  • 11. Can a leader be both?
    • Some researchers say no! Eg: Fiedler (1967) in his concept of least preferred co worker
    • Most agree it is more reasonable to see task & relationship orientations as independent dimensions (Bass, 1990; Stogdill, 1974)
    • There is evidence to suggest that leaders change their style to suit situation demands (Barrow, 1976)
  • 12. Nature of leader’s influence:
    • Democratic – discuss possible projects; involve employees in decisions about tasks; give and explain feedback
    • Autocratic – issue orders & tell employees what to do; do not invite opinions; sometimes praise or blame but no explanation of feedback
    • Laissez-faire – leave employees to themselves after giving initial instructions; offer assistance only when asked; no praise or blame given
  • 13.
    • Reflecting back on your experiences of ‘good leadership’.
    • Did the person you were happy to work for have a autocratic, democratic or laissez faire nature?
    • Do you experience any problems with categorising your ‘good leader’ in this way?
  • 14. Interaction of focus & nature of leadership style:
    • If a leader is autocratic & task-oriented, how would they act towards their subordinates?
    • If a leader is autocratic & relationship-oriented, how would they act towards their subordinates?
  • 15. Interaction of focus & nature of leadership style:
    • If a leader is democratic & task-oriented, how would they act towards their subordinates?
    • If a leader is democratic & relationship-oriented, how would they act towards their subordinates?
  • 16. Theories of leadership:
    • Dispositional theories – Is a leader born, not made?
    • ‘ great man theories’, trait theories, behaviour theories
    • Situational theories – given the right circumstances anyone is a potential leader?
    • Central figure in communication networks
    • Contingency theories – good leader outcome is dependent on a number of factors
  • 17. Leader characteristics :
    • Early work suggested that leaders tended to be higher than non-leaders on:
    • Intelligence
    • Dominance/need for power
    • Self-confidence
    • Energy/persistence
    • Knowledge of the task
    • (Stogdill, 1974)
  • 18. Leader characteristics :
    • Current research focuses on characteristics such as:
    • Sociability
    • Need for power
    • Need for achievement
    • Style (as discussed earlier)
    • Nature (as discussed earlier)
    • Charisma (more details to follow next session)
  • 19. Situational & Contingency approaches:
    • Consideration of the wider context in which the leader operates
    • Some situations demand one kind of behaviour from leaders, while other situations require other behaviours
    • ‘ Contingent’ upon the situation
    • Read up on Fiedler’s Least Preferred Co-worker (LPC) contingency theory!!
  • 20. Example:
    • Emergency occurs:
    • BOMB SCARE !
    • Do we really want a leader high in consideration? (at this moment how do you feel about being caught up in a building which has a bomb in it?)
    • Or someone who tells us quickly where to go, and what to do? (high in structure)
  • 21. Leader effectiveness:
    • What is an ‘effective’ leader?
    • How do we measure effectiveness?
    • Do we ask subordinates? Problems with this?
    • Do we ask superiors? Problems with this?
    • Do we ask leaders themselves? Problems with this?
  • 22. Research on measuring leader effectiveness:
    • Use objective measures like productivity and/or quality of output (Hunt et al, 1978)
    • Measures of group outcomes (quality of output, number of correct answers or both (Murinham & Leung, 1976)
    • Most measures of effectiveness are self-report – problems with this?
  • 23. Transactional Transformational
    • Leader believes leadership achieved via exchange (transaction).
    • Leader assumes people will only follow if there is something in it for them
    • Leaders get followers to achieve beyond their expectations by using charisma, inspiration, setting clear, optimistic & apparently attainable goals.
    • Leader takes into account individual strengths & encourages free-thinking & team spirit above personal concerns
  • 24. Next week:
    • Transformational Leadership: implications for leaders and their followers!