Leader shipPower, influence and leadership in organisations
Power and influence Power is an important ingredient in the process of influencing others Many of the behaviours that can be observed in organisations are concerned with the acquisition, retention and application of power. Power is more important to some than to others, but none of us relish being wholly powerless • E.g. McClelland’s ‘Need for power’ Current emphasis on ‘empowering’ people Kanter – “It is powerlessness which corrupts, not power.”
Power and influencePower is the capacity to influence others to do whatthey might not otherwise do.Power involves dependencyThe level of dependency and thus the strength of thepower, will be determined by:- Non-Importance Scarcity substitutability
Power and influenceExamples of Power anddependency I mportance Scarcity Non-substitutabilitity Importance of the Labour market Job not requiredPower to hire job as a source of conditions – as a source of& fire income availability of income (e.g. just other equivalent or won lotto!!) better jobs Information Alternative The task for whichControl of needed to sources of the the information isinformation accomplish a critical information needed can be particular task are available replaced by an alternative action based on other information
Sources and Bases of powerWhere do you get What tactics can youpower from? use to influence others?Sources of power: Bases of power:-Position -Coercion-Personal qualities -Reward-Expertise -Persuasion-Control of information -Knowledge
Common power ‘tactics’ used inorganisations Reason Friendliness Coalition Bargaining Assertiveness Appeal to higher authority Sanction
Power and influence Power related behaviour is often ‘political’ e.g. Behaviours outside ones formally specified job role / status Behaviours that influence, or attempt to influence the distribution of advantages and disadvantages in an organisation • E.g. protecting &/or developing bases of power • Information resources • alliances / friendships / obligations
Examples of ‘political’behaviours in organisations Maintaining networks of contacts Creating obligations in others to call on later Establishing ones own credibility or possibly discrediting others Such behaviours are a normal aspect of human behaviour and are often constructive • E.g. Lobbying for support of an innovative development. Such ‘political’ behaviour need not be approached as a ‘zero sum’ game.
Leadership: Two dimensions ofinterest What determines or influences effective leadership? • Leadership as a dependent variable Howdoes leadership influence the behaviour of others? • Leadership as an independent variable
Leadership: The main theoreticalapproaches Trait Theory Behavioural Theory Contingency Theory
Leadership: Trait Theory By studying great leaders from the past we can develop a profile of the characteristics needed to be an effective leader. Problems with this approach?
Leadership: Behavioural Theory Behavioural theories took the view that it was the behaviour, not the personal characteristics, of leaders that determines leadership effectiveness. The major studies / theories include • Ohio State studies – • Initiating structure • Consideration • Michigan studies • Employee or production centred • Blake-Mouton Leadership Grid Problems with behavioural approaches?
The Blake-Mouton Leadership Grid 9 Country- club Team management managementConcern Middle of the road managementforpeople Impoverished Task management management 0 0 9 Concern for production
Leadership: Contingencytheories Contingency theories assume that there is not one best style of leadership. Leadership effectiveness will be determined by situational factors. Major contingency theories of leadership include: • Fiedler’s Contingency theory • House’s Path-Goal theory • Hersey & Blanchard’s Situational Leadership theory • Vroom & Yetton’s Leader-Participation theory
Fiedler’s Contingency theoryTask orientedleadership moreeffectiveRelationship orientedleadership moreeffective High control Moderate control Low controlLeader-member Good Good Good Good Poor Poor Poor PoorrelationsTask structure High High Low Low High High Low LowPosition power Strong Weak Strong Weak Strong Weak Strong Weak
House’s Path-Goal theory Draws on expectancy theory The leader’s task is to clarify goals and ‘clear’ the path to achievement of these goals Contingency factors • Situational factors • Task structure • Formal authority system • Work group structure • Subordinate factors • Locus of control • Experience • Perceived ability Leader Behaviours • Directive • Supportive • Participative • Achievement-oriented
Hersey & Blanchard’s Situational theory High Participatin Selling gRelationshipbehaviour Low Telling Delegating Low High Task behaviourSubordinate Able and Able but Unable Unablematurity willing unwilling but willing & unwilling
Vroom & Yetton Leader-Participationmodel Linked leader behaviour with participation in decision making. Leader decision styles • Autocratic no discussion • Autocratic, but with some discussion • Consultative – leader consults with subordinates individually before making decision • Consultative – leader consults with subordinates as a group before making decision • Group makes decision Decision style depends on: • Decision quality required • Adequacy of information available • Degree of structure in problem • Importance of acceptance • Likelihood of acceptance • Degree to which subordinates share goals • Likelihood of consensus amongst subordinates
Leadership issues Defining leadership Managers and leaders Does leadership make a difference Substitutes for leadership Leadership – a process
Defining leadership What do we mean by leadership? Can we measure it? Canwe demonstrate the causal links between leadership and organisational outcomes?
Managers and leadersManager Leader Transactional Transformational Required Discretionary
Does leadership make adifference?(From Pfeffer – The Ambiguity of Leadership) Definitional problems Potential cloning of leaders Leaders discretion often constrained Leadership as an explanation of social causality
Substitutes for leadership Substitutes for leadership may include • Knowledge, skills and motivation of subordinates • Structure and nature of tasks / decisions • Quality of information and communication systems • Reward systems What aspect of leadership are these factors most likely to substitute?
Leadership – A process? We tend to consider leadership in terms of the attributes or behaviour of those designated (formally or informally) as leaders. Perhaps we should also consider leadership as a process in which all those in the group or organisation are involved. This may be particularly relevant given the increasing emphasis on the ‘empowering’ of employees and the development of ‘self-managing’ teams.
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