Q. After reading about leadership styles in your text and viewing the video on What it Takes to be a Great Leaderrespond to the following question:
How can transactional and transformational leadership be used in combination to achieve desired results in the workplace?
Video – https://www.ted.com/talks/roselinde_torres_what_it_takes_to_be_a_great_leader?language=en
Name of Textbook – Organizational Behavior: Emerging Knowledge. Global Reality, McShane and Von Glinow, 2021 9thth Edition
Leadership in Organizational Settings Learning Objectives After studying this chapter, you should be able to:
LO 12-1Define leadership and shared leadership.
LO 12-2Describe the four elements of transformational leadership and explain why they are important for organizational change.
LO 12-3Compare managerial leadership with transformational leadership, and describe the features of task-oriented, people- oriented, and servant leadership.
LO 12-4Discuss the elements of path–goal theory and leadership substitutes theory.
LO 12-5Describe the two components of the implicit leadership perspective.
LO 12-6Identify eight personal attributes associated with effective leaders and describe authentic leadership.
LO 12-7Discuss cultural and gender similarities and differences in leadership.
Startup company Dayforce had developed world-class workforce management software (employee scheduling, forecasting, etc.) but lacked an established market presence. Founder and CEO David Ossip saw an opportunity to partner with Minneapolis-based Ceridian, a well- established global organization in payroll systems that needed new products and services. Ceridian acquired Dayforce one year after the partnership began, and Ossip was installed as CEO of the overall company less than one year after the acquisition.
When Ossip first arrived at Ceridian’s offices, he realized the company needed a leader-led transformation. “My take-home after a hard look at Ceridian was that the organization had to reinvent its culture in order to drive proper employee engagement, in turn improving our customer engagement scores and market share,” Ossip recalls. Employees weren’t enthusiastic about Ceridian’s future and lacked trust in its senior managers, most of whom were sequestered far away on the executive floor. Page 445
Ossip developed a more appealing vision for Ceridian’s employees. “Our worldwide focus became something more than just paying people correctly,” Ossip explains. “At Ceridian, our brand promise is ‘Makes Work Life Better’— we believe that our solutions and our people make work life better for employees everywhere, in any role within their organization.” Ossip travelled
to Ceridian’s offices worldwide to discuss and demonstrate his personal commitment to the company’s new vision and values. “Essentially it came down to a lot of communication, a lot of town halls, and a lot of interaction with everyone inside Ceridian, and that’s what I did.”
Ossip disbanded the executive floor and introduced a coaching program to help managers communicate the company’s vision more effectively to employees. A new team of executives was carefully selected who believed in the company’s vision and values. As a result, employee trust improved because management’s words and actions matched the firm’s vision and values.
“When employees are able to see their leadership live by the values that guide them, it helps to establish a sense of organizational trust and credibility,” says Ossip, who recently had the highest employee ratings of any business leader on Glassdoor. This view is echoed by Ceridian employees.Page 446 “Having worked in other companies prior to Ceridian, I can only appreciate the leadership team that is consistently walking the talk, seeking feedback and doing something with the feedback,” says one Ceridian employee.1
Christ Young/The New York Times/Redux Pictures Ceridian Chairman and CEO David Ossip is one of the highest-rated leaders due to his inspiring vision, effective communication, and role modeling of desired behavior at the cloud-based human capital management company.
The transformation of Ceridian illustrates how David Ossip and other leaders make a difference in an organization’s survival and success. This opening case study also highlights specific leadership topics, such as vision, role modeling, and the leader’s personal attributes of leadership integrity and self-
concept. Leadership is one of the most researched and discussed topics in the field of organizational behavior.2 Google returns a whopping 1.4 billion web pages where leadership is mentioned. Google Scholar lists 337,000 journal articles and books with leader or leadership in the title. Every year over the past five years, Amazon has added an average of 2,500 English language books with leadership in the title.
The topic of leadership receives so much attention because we are captivated by the ability of some individuals to influence and motivate beyond expectations a large collective of people. This chapter explores leadership from four perspectives: transformational, managerial, implicit, and personal attributes.3 Although some of these perspectives are currently more popular than others, each helps us to more fully understand the complex issue of leadership. The final section of this chapter looks at cross-cultural and gender issues in organizational leadership. But first, we learn about the meaning of leadership as well as shared leadership.
What Is Leadership?
Several years ago, dozens of leadership experts from around the world reached a consensus that leadership is about influencing, motivating, and enabling others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members.4 This definition has two key components. First, leaders motivate others through persuasion and other influence tactics. They use their communication skills, rewards, and other resources to energize the collective toward the achievement of challenging objectives. Second, leaders are enablers. They allocate resources, alter work relationships, minimize external disruptions, and establish other work environment changes that make it easier for employees to achieve organizational objectives. leadership influencing, motivating, and enabling others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members
SHARED LEADERSHIP Airbus Industrie employs more than 130,000 people from 130 nationalities. The European aerospace company has thousands of managers and executives, yet has adopted the view that every employee should assume a leadership role no matter what position they hold. In fact, the company’s recently launched Airbus Leadership University in Toulouse, France, ultimately serves all employees because “Airbus firmly believes that everyone is a leader!”5
global connections 12.1 EllisDon: The Leaderful Construction Company
At EllisDon Corporation, leaders aren’t just people in management jobs. The Canadian construction services giant believes that leadership extends to every employee in the organization.
“Everyone is a leader, everyone is accountable to each other, and everyone is involved in the success of the company as a whole,” says EllisDon CEO Geoff Smith. “It’s a leadership philosophy throughout our company.”
EllisDon supports shared leadership by setting objectives and then giving employees a high degree of autonomy to achieve them. “Get good people, give them the authority, give them the support, and then get out of their way so you create leaders around you,” Smith advises.a
Courtesy of EllisDon Corporation
Although Airbus Industrie employs many people in formal leadership positions, the aerospace firm recognizes that leadership is ultimately a set of roles that everyone performs. In other words, leaders are not specific positions in the organizational hierarchy. Companies are far more effective when everyone assumes leadership responsibilities in various ways and at various times.
This emerging view is called shared leadership.6 Shared leadership is based on the idea that the formal leader cannot—and should not—try to perform all leadership tasks. Instead, employees lead one another as the occasion arises. Shared leadership exists when an employee persuades
coworkers to try out a new work activity or introduce new technology.7 It exists when employees help one another through social support or organizational citizenship behaviors. Shared leadership also exists when employees keep one another focused on the task and deadlines. As the late Sergio Marchionne, former CEO of Fiat Chrysler, proclaimed several years ago: “We’ve abandoned the Great Man model of leadership that long characterized Fiat and have created a culture where everyone is expected to lead.”8 shared leadership the view that leadership is a role, not a position assigned to one person; consequently, people within the team and organization lead each other
Shared leadership typically supplements formal leadership; that is, employees lead along with the formal manager, rather than replace the manager. However, W. L. Gore & Associates, Semco SA, Valve Corporation, Morning Star Company, and a few other unique companies rely almost completely on shared leadership because they don’t have any formal managers on the organizational chart.9 In fact, when Gore employees are asked “Are you a leader?” in annual surveys, more than 50 percent of them answer yes.
Shared leadership flourishes in organizations where the formal leaders are willing to delegate power and encourage employees to take initiative and risks without fear of failure (i.e., a learning orientation culture). Shared leadership also calls for a collaborative rather than internally competitive culture because employees take on shared leadership roles when coworkers support them for their initiative. Furthermore, shared leadership lacks formal authority, so it operates best when employees learn to influence others through their enthusiasm, logical analysis, and involvement of coworkers in their idea or vision.
Transformational Leadership Perspective
Most leadership concepts and practices can be organized into four perspectives: transformational, managerial, implicit, and personal attributes. By far the most popular of these perspectives today—and arguably the most important in the domain of leadership—is Page 448 transformational leadership. Transformational leadership views leaders as change agents. They move the organization or work unit in a new direction that will provide better opportunities and alignment with the external environment. transformational leadership
a leadership perspective that explains how leaders change teams or organizations by creating, communicating, and modeling a vision for the organization or work unit and inspiring employees to strive for that vision
There are several models of transformational leadership, but four elements are common throughout most of them and represent the core concepts of this leadership perspective (see Exhibit 12.1).10 Transformational leaders create, communicate, and model a shared vision for the team or organization. They encourage experimentation so employees discover a better path to the future. Through these and other activities, transformational leaders also build commitment in followers to strive for that vision. EXHIBIT 12.1Elements of Transformational Leadership
DEVELOP AND COMMUNICATE A STRATEGIC VISION The heart of transformational leadership is a strategic vision.11 A vision is a positive image or model of the future that energizes and unifies employees.12 Sometimes this vision is created by the leader; at other times, it is formed by employees or other stakeholders and then adopted and championed by the formal leader.
The opening case study to this chapter described how David Ossip has led Ceridian’s success through a vision of making work life better for employees
everywhere, rather than the more prosaic image of selling payroll and employee scheduling software as a service. William Rogers, CEO of British radio station group UKRD, emphasizes that one of the key features of successful leaders is their “clarity of vision, so people can say: ‘I know where we’re going, what this journey is about, what our noble cause is.’ For us, it’s not just running a radio group and commercial success—it’s about changing people’s lives, impacting on communities.”13
An effective strategic vision has several identifiable features.14 It describes an aspirational future with a higher purpose. This purpose is associated with personal values that directly or indirectly fulfill the needs of multiple stakeholders. A values-based vision is particularly meaningful and appealing to employees, which motivates them to strive for that ideal.
A strategic vision also engages employees because it is a distant goal that is both challenging and abstract. A vision of the future is challenging because it requires substantial change, such as new work practices and belief systems. It is necessarily abstract for two reasons. One reason is that the vision hasn’t yet been experienced (at least, not in this company or industry), so it isn’t possible to detail exactly what the vision looks like. The other reason is that an abstract description enables the vision to remain stable over time, yet is sufficiently flexible to accommodate operational adjustments in a shifting external Page 449environment. As such, a vision describes a broad noble cause related to fulfilling the needs of one or more stakeholder groups.
global connections 12.2 Strategic Visions of a Serial Transformational Leaderb
By any measure, Keith Krach is a transformational leader. The serial entrepreneur cofounded or led several technology firms, including digital procurement services company Ariba (now owned by SAP) and most recently electronic signature company DocuSign. For each business, Krach developed and communicated an inspirational vision of a future that did not previously exist.
At Ariba, Krach described a vision “to lead the electronic trade revolution, to build a great, sustaining organization into the next century.” At DocuSign, he inspired employees with a noble mission to “change the way business is done,” and ultimately “simplify and improve people’s lives.” Krach explains that a strategic vision is critical to an organization’s success because for employees to “spring out of the bed in the morning, they need to know that they’re making a difference.”
“A single vision is one more than most people will ever produce,” says Mitch Daniels, President of Purdue University and former Governor of Indiana. “Keith
Krach is working on the most recent of a long string of them. And unlike so many visionaries, he never fails to make his new conceptions real, and powerfully successful.”
Rick Smith, CEO of Equifax, echoes Daniels’ comments about Krach as a transformational leader. “Keith is a passionate leader known to attract top talent, build high performance teams, and inspire a shared vision focused around customer success.”
Another feature of an effective vision is that it is unifying. It is a superordinate objective that bonds employees together and aligns their personal values with the organization’s values. In fact, a successful vision is really a shared vision because employees collectively define themselves by this aspirational image of the future as part of their identification with the organization.
Communicating the Vision The effectiveness of a strategic vision depends on how leaders convey it to followers and other stakeholders.15 Transformational leaders generate meaning and motivation in followers by relying on symbols, metaphors, stories, and other vehicles that transcend plain language.16 Metaphors and related communication tools “frame” the vision, meaning that they guide or construct the listener’s mental model of the situation.
For example, to transform DaVita into the most customer-focused dialysis treatment group (now the largest in the United States), leaders referred to the company as a village and employees (called teammates) are citizens of that village who “cross the bridge,” meaning that they make a commitment to the
community. “The words we use, while simple in nature, are packed with meaning,” explains a DaVita executive.17
Borrowing images from other experiences creates a richer understanding of the abstract vision. These communication tools also generate desired emotions, which motivate people to pursue the vision. For instance, when McDonald’s faced the daunting challenge of opening the company’s first restaurants in Russia (back when it was the USSR), CEO George Cohen frequently reminded his team members that they were establishing “hamburger diplomacy.”18
Transformational leaders also communicate the vision with humility, sincerity, and a level of passion that reflects their personal belief in the vision and optimism that employees can succeed. They support teamwork and increase self-efficacy by referring to the team’s strengths and potential. By focusing on shared experiences and the central role of employees Page 450 in achieving the vision, transformational leaders suppress leader–follower differences, deflect attention from themselves, and avoid any image of superiority over the team.19
MODEL THE VISION Transformational leaders not only talk about a vision; they enact it. They “walk the talk” by stepping outside the executive suite and doing things that symbolize the vision.20 Leaders model the vision through significant events such as visiting customers, moving their offices closer to (or further from) employees, and holding ceremonies to symbolize significant change. However, they also enact the vision by ensuring that routine daily activities—meeting agendas, dress codes, executive schedules—are consistent with the vision and its underlying values.
Modeling the vision is important because it legitimizes and demonstrates what the vision looks like in practice. It also builds employee trust in the leader. The greater the consistency between the leader’s words and actions, the more employees will believe in and be willing to follow the leader. As Ceridian CEO David Ossip, profiled at the beginning of this chapter, explains, “When employees are able to see their leadership live by the values that guide them, it helps to establish a sense of organizational trust and credibility.”
Mike Perlis, vice chairman of Forbes Media, also emphasizes that leaders need to enact the vision. “Great leaders walk the talk,” says Perlis. “They lead by example. There isn’t anything they ask people to do they’re not willing to do themselves.”21 Consistent with these comments, surveys report that “leading by example” is the most important attribute of effective leaders and is one of the most important characteristics of a company’s culture.22
ENCOURAGE EXPERIMENTATION Transformational leadership is about change, and central to any change is discovering new behaviors and practices that are better aligned with the
desired vision. Transformational leaders support this journey by encouraging employees to question current practices and to experiment with new ways that are potentially more consistent with the vision’s future state.23 In other words, transformational leaders support a learning orientation (see Chapter 7). They want employees to continuously question current practices, actively try out new ideas and work processes, and view reasonable mistakes as a natural part of the learning process.24 learning orientation a set of beliefs and norms in which people are encouraged to question past practices, learn new ideas, experiment putting ideas into practice, and view mistakes as part of the learning process
BUILD COMMITMENT TOWARD THE VISION Transforming a vision into reality requires employee commitment, and transformational leaders build this commitment in several ways.25 Their words, symbols, and stories build a contagious enthusiasm that energizes people to adopt the vision as their own. Leaders demonstrate a can-do attitude by enacting and behaving consistently with their vision. This persistence and consistency reflect an image of honesty, trust, and integrity. By encouraging experimentation, leaders involve employees in the change process so it is a collective activity. Leaders also build commitment through rewards, recognition, and celebrations as they pass milestones along the road to the desired vision.
SELF-ASSESSMENT 12.1:What Are Your Transformational Leadership Tendencies?
Transformational leadership is about leading change toward a better future. This popular leadership perspective includes several dimensions, representing specific sets of behaviors. You can discover your level of transformational leadership on each dimension by locating this self-assessment in Connect if it is assigned by your instructor. Page 451
global connections 12.3 Did Charismatic Leadership Cause Steinhoff’s Downfall?c
Board members of Steinhoff International Holdings anxiously waited for CEO Markus Jooste to arrive from Europe with documents supporting the company’s unaudited and overdue financial reports. Instead, after hours of delay, Jooste sent a text message saying that he was quitting, seeking legal
counsel, and wouldn’t attend the board meeting at all. The South African–based company’s stock value plummeted by 90 percent with news of its accounting “irregularities.” A recent forensic accounting report confirmed the worst: a small group of Steinhoff executives, “led by a senior management executive,” had engaged in extensive accounting fraud involving more than (USD) $7 billion over the previous decade.
Steinhoff’s collapse has been attributed to several factors, including overpriced acquisitions, a dual reporting structure, and a board that failed to provide sufficient oversight of management. Another frequently mentioned explanation, however, is that Markus Jooste was a charismatic leader who mesmerized Steinhoff’s board, executives, and many external stakeholders. Jooste has been portrayed as a “superhuman businessman,” a “ruthlessly ambitious” retail star with “extraordinary dealmaking talent” and “unshakeable confidence.” These characteristics were reinforced through his “bold” acquisitions, including Poundland (United Kingdom), Mattress Firm (United States), Freedom (Australia), and Conforama (France).
Jooste cultivated a small cadre of “fiercely loyal insiders who enjoyed social and financial privileges through their close association with Jooste.” He was called the “don” of the “Stellenbosch mafia,” referring to his tendency to hire executives educated at his alma mater, Stellenbosch University. One South African professor stated that Jooste’s “leadership style fostered an institutional culture of uncritical subservience and self-censorship” and that “only those subordinates who obsequiously defer to him benefit from his extensive patronage.”
Roger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images
Jooste’s apparent charisma was even blamed for the board’s poor oversight of management. Steinhoff’s chairman, who has since resigned, claimed that the accounting fraud “came like a bolt out of the blue.” Yet German authorities had been investigating Steinhoff’s accounting practices for almost two years and an
investment firm (Portsea) had written a scathing report about self-dealing and potentially illegal financial transfers at the company. A well-known investment analyst summed up the Steinhoff saga with this warning: “You cannot in this day and age have a board full of stooges that rubber-stamp what a charismatic CEO wants to get away with.”
TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND CHARISMA Are transformational leaders also charismatic leaders? Some leadership experts believe that charisma is an essential part of transformational leadership. However, the balance of evidence suggests that charismatic leadership is different from transformational leadership.26 Charisma is a personal trait or relational quality that provides referent power over followers, whereas transformational leadership is a set of behaviors that engage followers toward a better future.27
Furthermore, transformational leadership motivates followers through behaviors that persuade and earn trust, whereas charismatic leadership motivates followers directly through the leader’s inherent referent power. For instance, communicating an inspiring vision is a transformational leadership behavior that motivates followers to strive for that vision. This motivational effect exists separate from the leader’s charismatic appeal. If the leader is highly charismatic, however, his or her charisma will amplify follower motivation.
Being charismatic is not inherently good or bad, but several research studies have concluded that charismatic leadership can have negative consequences.28 One concern is that charismatic leadership tends to produce dependent followers because, by definition, followers want to be associated with people who have charisma. Transformational leadership Page 452has the opposite effect; it builds follower empowerment, which tends to reduce dependence on the leader.
Another concern is that leaders who possess the gift of charisma may become intoxicated by this power, which leads to a greater focus on self- interest than on the common good. “Charisma becomes the undoing of leaders,” Peter Drucker warned many years ago. “It makes them inflexible, convinced of their own infallibility, unable to change.”29The late management guru witnessed the destructive effects of charismatic political leaders in Europe a century ago and foresaw that this personal or relational characteristic would create similar problems for organizations. The main point here is that transformational leaders are not necessarily charismatic, and charismatic leaders are not necessarily transformational.
EVALUATING THE TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE Transformational leaders do make a difference.30 Subordinates are more satisfied and have higher affective organizational commitment under transformational leaders. They also perform their jobs better, engage in more organizational citizenship behaviors, and make better or more creative
decisions. One study of bank branches reported that organizational commitment and financial performance increased when the branch manager completed a transformational leadership training program.31
Transformational leadership is currently the most popular leadership perspective, but it faces a number of challenges.32 One problem is that some models engage in circular logic. They define and measure transformational leadership by its effects on employees (e.g., inspire employees), then (not surprisingly) report that this leadership is effective because it inspires employees. Instead, transformational leadership needs to be defined purely as a set of behaviors that people use to lead others through the change process. A second concern is that some transformational leadership theories combine leader behaviors with the personal characteristics of leaders. For instance, transformational leaders are described as visionary, imaginative, sensitive, and thoughtful, yet these are personal characteristics that likely predict transformational leadership behaviors.33
A third concern is that transformational leadership is usually described as a universal concept, that is, it should be applied in all situations. Only a few studies have investigated whether this form of leadership is more valuable in some situations than others.34 For instance, transformational leadership is probably more appropriate when organizations need to continuously adapt to a rapidly changing external environment than when the environment is stable. Preliminary evidence suggests that the transformational leadership perspective is relevant across cultures. However, there may be specific elements of transformational leadership, such as the way visions are communicated and modeled, that are more appropriate in North America than in other cultures.
Managerial Leadership Perspective
Leaders don’t spend all (or even most) of their time transforming the organization or work unit. They also engage in managerial leadership—daily activities that support and guide the performance and well-being of individual employees and the work unit toward current objectives and practices. Leadership experts recognize that leading (transformational leadership) differs from managing (managerial leadership).35 Although the distinction between these two perspectives remains somewhat fuzzy, each cluster has a reasonably clear set of activities and strong research foundation.
One distinction between these two perspectives is that managerial leadership assumes the organization’s (or department’s) objectives are stable
and aligned with the external environment.36 It focuses on continuously developing or maintaining the effectiveness of employees and work units toward those established objectives and practices. In contrast, transformational leadership assumes the organization is misaligned with its environment Page 453and therefore needs to change its direction. This distinction is captured in the often-cited statement: “Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing.”37 Managers “do things right” by enabling employees to perform established goals more effectively. Leaders “do the right thing” by changing the organization or work unit so its objectives are aligned more closely with the external environment. managerial leadership a leadership perspective stating that effective leaders help employees improve their performance and well-being toward current objectives and practices
By applying managerial leadership, Pamela Dyson (front in photo) has significantly improved operational performance and client satisfaction among information technology staff, previously at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and now at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “She’s as good a manager as I’ve seen in IT in my career,” says a senior SEC executive. “She really knows how to manage and listen to people. . . . If she sees a problem, she’ll go and talk to somebody. . . . She’s hands on in the way that helps the organization.”d
Source: Photo by Jose Saenz A second distinction is that managerial leadership is more micro-focused
and concrete, because it relates to the specific performance and well-being objectives of individual employees and the immediate work unit. Transformational leadership is more macro-focused and abstract. It is directed toward an imprecise strategic vision for an entire organization, department, or team.
INTERDEPENDENCE OF MANAGERIAL AND TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP Although transformational and managerial leadership are discussed as two leadership perspectives, they are more appropriately described
as interdependent perspectives.38 In other words, transformational leadership and managerial leadership depend on each other. Transformational leadership identifies, communicates, and builds commitment to a better future for the organization or work unit. But these transformational leadership behaviors are not enough for organizational success. That success also requires managerial leadership to translate the abstract vision into more specific operational behaviors and practices, and to continuously improve employee performance and well-being in the pursuit of that future ideal. Managerial leadership also depends on transformational leadership to set the right direction. Otherwise, managers might produce operational excellence toward goals that are misaligned with the organization’s long-term survival.
Incumbents of senior executive positions typically engage in more transformational leadership behavior than do people in manager positions further down the hierarchy. This greater emphasis on transformational leadership at higher levels likely occurs because senior leaders are more responsible for the organization’s alignment with its environment and because they have more discretion to enable macro-level change. However, managerial and transformational leadership are not embodied in different people or positions in the organization. Every manager needs to apply both transformational and managerial leadership behaviors to varying degrees. Even frontline nonmanagement employees who engage in shared leadership may be managerial (helping coworkers through a difficult project) or transformational (championing more customer-friendly norms in the work unit).
TASK-ORIENTED AND PEOPLE-ORIENTED LEADERSHIP Managerial leadership research began in the 1940s when several universities launched intensive investigations to answer the question “What behaviors make leaders effective?” They studied first-line supervisors by asking subordinates to rate their bosses on many behaviors. These independent research teams essentially identified the same two clusters of leadership behavior from literally thousands of items (Exhibit 12.2).39 EXHIBIT 12.2Task- and People-Oriented Leadership Styles
One cluster, called task-oriented leadership, includes behaviors that define
and structure work roles. Task-oriented leadership assigns employees to specific tasks, sets goals and deadlines, clarifies work duties and procedures, defines work procedures, and plans work activities. The other cluster represents people-oriented leadership. This cluster includes behaviors such as listening to employees’ ideas, creating a pleasant physical work environment, showing interest in staff, appreciating employees for their contributions, and showing consideration of employee needs. Page 454 These early managerial leadership studies tried to find out whether effective managers are more task-oriented or more people-oriented. This proved to be a difficult question to answer because each style has its advantages and disadvantages. In fact, recent evidence suggests that effective leaders rely on both styles, but in different circumstances.40 When leaders use people-oriented leadership behavior, their employees tend to have more positive attitudes as well as lower absenteeism, grievances, stress, and turnover. When leaders use task-oriented leadership behavior, their employees tend to have higher job performance. Not surprisingly, employees generally prefer people-oriented bosses and they form negative attitudes toward bosses who are mostly task- oriented. However, task-oriented leadership is also appreciated to some degree. For example, college students value task-oriented instructors because those instructors provide clear expectations and well-prepared lectures that abide by the course objectives.41
SELF-ASSESSMENT 12.2:What Is Your Preferred Managerial Leadership Style?
Managerial leadership refers to behaviors that improve employee performance and well-being in the current situation. These objectives require a variety of managerial leadership styles in different situations. You can discover your level
on the two most commonly studied dimensions of managerial leadership by locating this self-assessment in Connect if it is assigned by your instructor.
SERVANT LEADERSHIP Servant leadership is mostly an extension or variation of people-oriented leadership because it defines leadership as serving others. In particular, servant leaders assist others in their need fulfillment, personal development, and growth.42 Servant leaders ask “How can I help you?” rather than expecting employees to serve them. Servant leaders have been described as selfless, egalitarian, humble, nurturing, empathetic, and ethical coaches. The main objective of servant leadership is to help followers and other stakeholders fulfill their needs and potential, particularly “to become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants.”43 This description captures three key features of servant leadership:44 servant leadership the view that leaders serve followers, rather than vice versa; leaders help employees fulfill their needs and are coaches, stewards, and facilitators of employee development
• Natural desire or “calling” to serve others. Servant leaders have a deep commitment to help others in their personal growth for that purpose alone. This commitment is not merely an instrument to achieve company objectives. It is a selfless desire to support others that goes beyond the leader’s role obligation.Page 455
• Humble, egalitarian, accepting relationship with followers. Servant leaders do not view leadership as a position of power. Rather, they serve without drawing attention to themselves, without evoking superior status, and without being judgmental about others or defensive of criticisms received.
• Ethical decisions and behavior. Servant leaders display sensitivity to and enactment of moral values. They are not swayed by deviant social pressures or expectations. Servant leaders maintain moral integrity by relying on personal values to anchor their decisions and behavior. In this respect, servant leadership relies heavily on authentic leadership, which we discuss later in this chapter.
Dallas-based TDIndustries is one of America’s largest mechanical contractors and facility service companies. It is also one of the earliest companies (since the 1970s) to embrace servant leadership. “Leadership at TDIndustries is all about servant leadership,” declares CEO Harold MacDowell, who was recently named one of the world’s most admired CEOs. “In the servant leadership model, leaders are first a servant of those they lead. They are a teacher, a source of information and knowledge, and a role model.” MacDowell explains that servant leadership includes “providing for [employees], eliminating roadblocks, helping them grow. When you do that, the organization grows and the leader’s job is just much easier.”e
Source: TDIndustries Servant leadership was introduced several decades ago and has had a
steady following over the years, particularly among practitioners and religious leaders. Scholarly interest in this topic has bloomed quite recently, but the concept still faces a number of conceptual hurdles.45 Although servant leadership writers generally agree on the three features we described earlier, many have included other characteristics that lack agreement and might confound the concept with its predictors and outcomes. Still, the notion that leaders should be servants has considerable currency and for many centuries has been embedded in the principles of major religions. One recent study also found that companies have higher performance (return on assets) when their chief executive officer exhibits servant leadership behaviors.46
Path–Goal and Leadership Substitute Theories PATH–GOAL LEADERSHIP THEORY
The earliest managerial leadership studies not only identified the task-oriented and people- oriented leadership styles; they also concluded that the best leadership style depends on the situation.47 This “it depends” view is more consistent with the contingency anchor of organizational behavior discussed in Chapter 1. In other words, the most appropriate leadership style depends on
the characteristics of the employees, work setting, the leader–follower relationship, and other factors.
Path–goal leadership theory is the dominant model that applies this contingency approach to managerial leadership. This theory states that effective leaders choose one or more leadership styles to influence employee expectations (their preferred path) regarding achievement of desired results (their work-related goals), as well as their perceived satisfaction with those results (outcome valences). Leaders clarify the link between employee behaviors and outcomes, influence the valence of those outcomes, provide a work environment to facilitate goal accomplishment, and so forth.48 Notice from this description that path–goal theory builds on the expectancy theory of motivation (Chapter 5) and its underlying formula of rational decision making (Chapter 7).49 path–goal leadership theory a leadership theory stating that effective leaders choose the most appropriate leadership style(s), depending on the employee and situation, to influence employee expectations about desired results and their positive outcomes
Path–Goal Leadership Styles Exhibit 12.3 presents the path–goal theory of leadership. This model specifically highlights four leadership styles and several contingency factors leading to three indicators of leader effectiveness. The four leadership styles are:50 EXHIBIT 12.3Path–Goal Leadership Theory
• Directive. Directive leadership is the same as task-oriented leadership, described earlier. This leadership style consists of clarifying behaviors that provide a psychological structure for subordinates. It includes clarifying performance Page 456goals, the means to reach those goals,
and the standards against which performance will be judged. Directive leadership also includes judicious use of rewards and disciplinary actions.
• Supportive. Supportive leadership is the same as people-oriented leadership, described earlier. This style provides psychological support for subordinates. The leader is friendly and approachable; makes the work more pleasant; treats employees with equal respect; and shows concern for the status, needs, and well-being of employees.
• Participative. Participative leadership behaviors encourage and facilitate employee involvement in decisions beyond their normal work activities. The leader consults with his or her staff, asks for their suggestions, and carefully reflects on employee views before making a decision. Participative leadership relates to involving employees in decisions (see Chapter 7).
• Achievement-oriented. This leadership style emphasizes behaviors that encourage employees to reach their peak performance. The leader sets challenging goals, expects employees to perform at their highest level, continuously seeks improvement in employee performance, and shows a high degree of confidence that employees will assume responsibility and accomplish challenging goals. Achievement-oriented leadership applies goal-setting theory as well as positive expectations in self- fulfilling prophecy.
Path–Goal Theory Contingencies As a contingency theory, path–goal theory states that each of the four leadership styles will be more effective in some situations than in others. The theory also contends that effective leaders are capable of selecting the most appropriate behavioral style (or styles) for each situation. Leaders often use two or more styles at the same time, if these styles are appropriate for the circumstances. The model specifies two sets of situational variables: (1) employee characteristics and (2) characteristics of the employee’s work environment. Several employee and workplace contingencies have been studied, but the following four have received the most attention:51
• Skill and experience. A combination of directive and supportive leadership is best for employees who are (or perceive themselves to be) inexperienced and unskilled.52 Directive leadership gives subordinates information about how to accomplish the task, whereas supportive leadership helps them cope with the uncertainties of unfamiliar work situations. Directive leadership is detrimental when employees are skilled and experienced because it introduces too much supervisory control.Page 457
• Locus of control. People with an internal locus of control believe that they have control over their work environment (see Chapter 3). Consequently, these employees prefer participative and achievement-
oriented leadership styles and may become frustrated with a directive style. In contrast, people with an external locus of control believe that their performance is due more to luck and fate, so they tend to be more satisfied with directive and supportive leadership.
• Task structure. Leaders should adopt the directive style when the task is nonroutine because this style reduces the role ambiguity that tends to occur in complex work situations (particularly for inexperienced employees).53 The directive style is ineffective when employees have routine and simple tasks because the manager’s guidance serves no purpose and may be viewed as unnecessarily close control. Employees in highly routine and simple jobs may require supportive leadership to help them cope with the tedious nature of the work and lack of control over the pace of work. Participative leadership is preferred for employees performing nonroutine tasks because the lack of rules and procedures gives them more discretion to achieve challenging goals. The participative style is ineffective for employees in routine tasks because they lack discretion over their work.
• Team dynamics. Cohesive teams with performance-oriented norms act as a substitute for most leader interventions. High team cohesion substitutes for supportive leadership, whereas performance-oriented team norms substitute for directive and possibly achievement-oriented leadership. Thus, when team cohesion is low, leaders should use a supportive style. Leaders should apply a directive style to counteract team norms that oppose the team’s formal objectives. For example, the team leader may need to exert authority if team members have developed a norm to “take it easy” rather than get a project completed on time.
Employees identify a variety of managerial leadership styles when asked to describe their favorite boss. The reason for this variety is that people have unique needs and situations, which require different managerial behaviors. A young
employee at a pharmaceutical company in London, United Kingdom, praises his boss’s supportive style. “She has this magical ability to lead with empathy, compassion and transparency.” An experienced community education services worker in Minnesota appreciates participative leadership. “Is he perfect? No. But he listens to others’ opinions and always considers them.” A financial services professional in Illinois says his manager is someone “you would walk on coals for” because of his balance of achievement and supportive leadership. “He pushed you but always had your best interest at heart and wanted you to succeed.” And a school teacher in Michigan is happy that his current boss doesn’t apply too much directive leadership, but instead “trusts that I am a veteran professional and does not micromanage.”f
Evaluating Path–Goal Theory Path–goal theory has received more research support than other managerial leadership models. In fact, one study reported that path–goal theory explains more about effective leadership than does the transformational leadership model.54 This stronger effect is likely because managers typically spend more of their time engaging in managerial rather than transformational leadership.55
Support for the path–goal model is far from ideal, however. A few contingencies (e.g., task structure) have limited research support. Other contingencies and leadership styles in the path–goal leadership model haven’t been investigated at all.56 Another concern is that as path–goal theory expands, the model may become too complex for practical use. Few people would be able to remember all the contingencies and the appropriate leadership styles for those contingencies.
Another limitation of path–goal theory is its assumption that effective leaders can fluidly adapt their behavior and managerial styles to the immediate situation. In reality, it takes considerable effort to choose and enact different styles to match the situation. Leaders typically prefer one style that is most consistent with their personality and values. Some experts even suggest that leadership styles are hardwired.57 In spite of these limitations, path–goal theory remains a relatively robust theory of managerial leadership.
LEADERSHIP SUBSTITUTES THEORY Path–goal leadership theory recommends using different styles for managing employees in various situations. In contrast, leadership substitutes theory suggests that the situation either limits the leader’s ability to influence subordinates or renders a particular leadership style unnecessary. Leadership experts have proposed and, for some variables, found evidence of specific conditions that substitute for task-oriented or people-oriented leadership (see Exhibit 12.4). leadership substitutes theory a theory identifying conditions that either limit a leader’s ability to influence subordinates or make a particular leadership style unnecessary
EXHIBIT 12.4Potential Leadership Substitutes
Based on ideas in S. Kerr and J.M. Jermier, “Substitutes for Leadership: Their Meaning and Measurement,” Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 22 (December 1978): 375–403; P.M. Podsakoff and S B. MacKenzie, “Kerr and Jermier’s Substitutes for Leadership Model: Background, Empirical Assessment, and Suggestions for Future Research,” Leadership Quarterly 8 (1997): 117–32. Page 458
Task-oriented leadership may be less important as employees increase their skill and experience. This proposition is consistent with path–goal leadership theory, which states that directive leadership is unnecessary—and may be detrimental—when employees are skilled or experienced.58 The task- oriented leadership style also may be redundant or have less value when performance-based reward systems keep employees directed toward organizational goals, when the work is intrinsically motivating, and when the employee applies self-leadership practices (see Chapter 6).
Under some conditions, teams likely substitute for task-oriented leadership.59 Specifically, team norms that support organizational goals motivate team members to encourage (or pressure) coworkers to perform their tasks and possibly even to apply achievement-oriented performance expectations.60 Coworkers also engage in organizational citizenship behaviors by instructing less-experienced employees, thereby requiring less task- oriented leadership from the formal manager.
Some conditions may reduce the need for people-oriented leadership. This style is likely less valuable from the formal leader when other forms of social support are available (such as supportive team members), when the work itself is enjoyable, and when the employee applies effective coping strategies to minimize stress. Skilled and experienced employees also have higher self- efficacy, which results in less stressful work and therefore less need for people- oriented leadership interaction from the boss.
The leadership substitutes model has intuitive appeal, but the evidence so far is mixed. Some studies show that a few substitutes do replace the need for task- or people-oriented leadership, but others do not. The difficulties of statistically testing for leadership substitutes may account for some problems, but a few writers contend that the limited support is evidence that formal leadership plays a critical role regardless of the situation.61 At this point, we can
conclude that leadership substitutes might reduce the need for managerial leadership behaviors, but they do not completely replace managers in these situations.
Implicit Leadership Perspective
Research on transformational and managerial leadership has found that leaders do “make a difference”; that is, leaders significantly influence the performance of their departments and organizations. However, a third leadership perspective, called implicit leadership theory, explains that followers’ perceptions also play a role in a leader’s effectiveness. The implicit leadership perspective has two components: leader prototypes and the romance of leadership.62 Page 459 implicit leadership theory a theory stating that people evaluate a leader’s effectiveness in terms of how well that person fits preconceived beliefs about the features and behaviors of effective leaders (leadership prototypes) and that people tend to inflate the influence of leaders on organizational events
PROTOTYPES OF EFFECTIVE LEADERS One aspect of implicit leadership theory states that everyone has leadership prototypes—preconceived beliefs about the features and behaviors of effective leaders.63 These prototypes, which develop through socialization within the family and society, shape the follower’s expectations and acceptance of others as leaders. These expectations and affirmations influence the employee’s willingness to be a follower. Leadership prototypes not only support a person’s role as leader; they also influence our perception of the leader’s effectiveness. In other words, leaders are often perceived as more effective when they look and act consistently with observers’ prototype of a leader.64
This prototype comparison process occurs because people want to trust their leader before they are willing to serve as followers. However, the leader’s actual effectiveness usually isn’t known for several months or possibly years, so comparing the leader against a prototype is a quick (although faulty) way of estimating the leader’s future success.
THE ROMANCE OF LEADERSHIP Along with relying on implicit prototypes of effective leaders, followers tend to inflate the perceived influence of leaders on the organization’s success. This
“romance of leadership” effect exists because people in most cultures want to believe that leaders make a difference.
SELF-ASSESSMENT 12.3:Do Leaders Make a Difference?
People have different views about the extent to which leaders influence the organization’s success. Those with a high romance of leadership attribute the causes of organizational events much more to its leaders and much less to the economy, competition, and other factors beyond the leader’s short-term control. You can discover your Romance of Leadership score by locating this self-assessment in Connect if it is assigned by your instructor. There are two basic reasons why people overestimate the leader’s influence on organizational outcomes.65 First, leadership is a useful way for us to simplify life events. It is easier to explain organizational successes and failures in terms of the leader’s ability than by analyzing a complex array of other forces. Second, there is a strong tendency in the United States and other Western cultures to believe that life events are generated more by people than by uncontrollable natural forces.66 This illusion of control is satisfied by believing that events result from the rational actions of leaders. In other words, employees feel better believing that leaders make a difference, so they actively look for evidence that this is so.
One way that followers inflate their perceptions of the leader’s success is through fundamental attribution error (see Chapter 3). Leaders are often given credit for the company’s success because employees do Page 460not readily see the external forces that also influence these events. Leaders reinforce this belief by taking credit for these organizational successes.67 “The people at Semco don’t look and act like me,” explains Ricardo Semler, well-known author, speaker, CEO of Semco Partners, and founder of the Lumiar Schools in Brazil. “They are not yes-men by any means. . . . [Yet] they credit me with successes that are not my own, and they don’t debit me my mistakes.”68 The Leadership Report Cardg
The implicit leadership perspective provides valuable advice to improve
leadership acceptance. It highlights the fact that leadership is a perception of followers as much as the actual behaviors and formal roles of people calling themselves leaders. Potential leaders must be sensitive to this fact, understand what followers expect, and act accordingly. Individuals who do not naturally fit leadership prototypes need to provide more direct evidence of their effectiveness as leaders.
Personal Attributes Perspective of Leadership
Since the beginning of recorded civilization, people have been interested in the personal characteristics that distinguish great leaders from the rest of us.69 One groundbreaking review in the late 1940s concluded that no consistent list of leadership traits could be distilled from previous research. This conclusion was revised a decade later, suggesting that a few traits are associated with effective leaders.70 These nonsignificant findings caused many scholars to give up their search for the personal characteristics of effective leaders.
EIGHT IMPORTANT LEADERSHIP ATTRIBUTES Over the past two decades, leadership experts have returned to the notion that effective leaders possess specific personal attributes. Many leadership studies long ago were apparently plagued by methodological problems, lack of theoretical foundation, and inconsistent definitions of leadership. Recent
studies have mostly corrected these problems, with the result that several attributes are consistently identified with effective leadership or leader emergence. Eight important leadership attributes (not in any particular order) are personality, self-concept, leadership motivation, drive, integrity, knowledge of the business, cognitive and practical intelligence, and emotional intelligence (see Exhibit 12.5).71 EXHIBIT 12.5Personal Attributes of Effective Leaders
Personality Most of the Big Five personality dimensions (see Chapter 2) are associated with effective leadership.72 However, the strongest predictors are high levels of extraversion (outgoing, talkative, sociable, and assertive) and conscientiousness (careful, dependable, and self-disciplined). With high extraversion, effective leaders are comfortable having an influential role in social settings. With higher conscientiousness, effective leaders set higher goals for themselves (and others), are organized, and have a strong sense of duty to fulfill work obligations.
Self-Concept Successful leaders have a complex, internally consistent, and clear self-concept as a leader (see Chapter 3). This “leader identity” also includes a positive self-evaluation, including high self-esteem, self-efficacy, and internal locus of control.73 Many people in leadership positions default to daily managerial leadership and define themselves as managers. Effective leaders, on the other hand, view themselves as both transformational and managerial, and are confident with both of these self-views.74 Leadership Motivation Effective leaders are motivated to lead others. They have a strong need for socialized power, meaning that they want power to lead others in accomplishing organizational objectives and similar good deeds. This contrasts with a need for personalized power, which is the desire to have power for personal gain or for the thrill one might experience from wielding power over others (see Chapter 5).75 Leadership Page 461motivation is also necessary
because, even in organizations where managers support one another, they are in contests for positions further up the hierarchy. Effective leaders thrive rather than wither in the face of this competition.76
Drive Related to their high conscientiousness, extraversion, and positive self- evaluation, successful leaders have a moderately high need for achievement (see Chapter 5). This drive represents the inner motivation that leaders possess to pursue their goals and encourage others to move forward with theirs. Drive inspires inquisitiveness, an action orientation, and measured boldness to take the organization or team into uncharted waters.
Integrity Integrity involves having strong moral principles, which supports the tendency to be truthful and to be consistent in words and deeds. Leaders have a high moral capacity to judge dilemmas using sound values and to act accordingly. Notice that integrity is ultimately based on the leader’s values, which provide an anchor for consistency. Several large-scale studies have reported that integrity and honesty are the most important characteristics of effective leaders.77
Knowledge of the Business Effective leaders understand the business environment in which they operate, including subtle indications of emerging trends. Knowledge of the business also includes a good understanding of how their organization works effectively.
Cognitive and Practical Intelligence Leaders have above-average cognitive ability to process enormous amounts of information. Leaders aren’t necessarily geniuses; rather, they have a superior ability to analyze a variety of complex alternatives and opportunities. Furthermore, leaders have practical intelligence. This means that they can think through the relevance and application of ideas in real-world settings. Practical intelligence is particularly evident where problems are poorly defined, information is missing, and more than one solution may be plausible.78 Page 462
global connections 12.4 Transformational Leader Carolyn McCall Identifies Important Leadership Attributesh
Carolyn McCall says she is not a turnaround expert. Yet the chief executive of ITV, the United Kingdom’s largest commercial television company, has demonstrated her turnaround skills on more occasions than most leaders. Discount airline easyJet rebounded under her guidance as CEO, and Guardian
Media Group also prospered when she led that company in earlier years. McCall is now transforming ITV from a traditional linear broadcaster to the emerging video-on-demand model.
Along with having an inspiring vision, McCall says that successful leaders require several personal attributes. One of these is integrity. “A reputation takes years to build and you can lose it in two seconds,” warns McCall, who recently received the British honor of Damehood (the female equivalent of knighthood). “I would rather tell people the truth, even if it’s really hard, than avoid the problem.”
In addition, McCall observes that effective leaders have the drive to continue under adversity. “You’ll get hammered at points in your career and you have to have the resilience to keep going and believe in what you’re doing.” A third leadership attribute that McCall emphasizes is the need to understand and manage emotions. “Emotional intelligence is important for leadership,” she says. “For me, it’s about being able to relate to other people and to show you want to nurture that relationship.”
Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
McCall also recognizes the importance of knowing yourself and being yourself in leadership roles. “You need to be comfortable with yourself to be confident,” she says, warning that “if you change yourself to adapt to that, it’s even harder.” However, McCall distinguishes pretending to be someone else from adapting your leadership style to the situation. “Of course in different situations you have to have different behaviors. You sometimes have to be a lot more assertive in meetings, but that’s a change of tone, not character.”
Emotional Intelligence Effective leaders have a high level of emotional intelligence. They are able to recognize and regulate emotions in themselves and in other people (see Chapter 4).79 For example, effective leaders can tell
when their conversations are having the intended emotional effect on employees. They are also able to recognize and change their own emotional state to suit the situation, such as feeling optimistic and determined in spite of recent business setbacks.
AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP A few paragraphs ago, we said that successful leaders have a complex, internally consistent, and clear self-concept as a leader, and that they have a strong positive self-evaluation. These characteristics lay the foundation for authentic leadership, which refers to how well leaders are aware of, feel comfortable with, and act consistently with their values, personality, and self- concept.80 Authenticity is mainly about knowing yourself and being yourself (see Exhibit 12.6). Leaders learn more about their personality, values, thoughts, and habits by reflecting on various situations and personal experiences. They also improve this self-awareness by receiving feedback from trusted people inside and outside the organization. Both self-reflection and receptivity to feedback require high levels of emotional intelligence. authentic leadership the view that effective leaders need to be aware of, feel comfortable with, and act consistently with their values, personality, and self-concept
EXHIBIT 12.6Authentic Leadership
As people learn more about themselves, they gain a greater understanding
of their inner purpose which, in turn, generates a long-term passion for achieving something Page 463worthwhile for the organization or society. Some leadership experts suggest that this inner purpose emerges from a life story, typically initiated by a transformative event or experience earlier in life.81
Authentic leadership is more than self-awareness; it also involves behaving in ways that are consistent with that self-concept rather than pretending to be someone else. It is difficult enough to lead others as your natural self; to lead others while pretending to be someone else is nearly impossible. To be themselves, great leaders regulate their decisions and behavior in several ways. First, they develop their own style and, where appropriate, move into positions
where that style is most effective. Although effective leaders adapt their behavior to the situation to some extent, they invariably understand and rely on decision methods and interpersonal styles that feel most comfortable to them.
Second, effective leaders continually think about and consistently apply their stable hierarchy of personal values to those decisions and behaviors. Leaders face many pressures and temptations, such as achieving short-term stock price targets at the cost of long-term profitability. Experts note that authentic leaders demonstrate self-discipline by remaining anchored to their values. Third, leaders maintain consistency around their self-concept by having a strong, positive core self-evaluation. They have high self-esteem and self- efficacy as well as an internal locus of control (Chapter 3).
LEADERSHIP ATTRIBUTES PERSPECTIVE LIMITATIONS AND PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS Personality, experience, self-concept, and other personal characteristics potentially contribute to a leader’s effectiveness. Still, the leadership attributes perspective has a few limitations.82 First, it assumes that all effective leaders have the same personal characteristics that are equally important in all situations. This is probably a false assumption; leadership is far too complex to have a universal list of traits that apply to every condition. Some attributes might not be important all the time. Second, alternative combinations of attributes may be equally successful; two people with different sets of personal characteristics might be equally good leaders. Third, the attributes perspective views leadership as something within a person, yet experts emphasize that leadership is relational. People are effective leaders because of their favorable relationships with followers, not just because they possess specific personal characteristics.83
Also remember from our discussion earlier in this chapter that, in the short term, followers tend to define others as effective or ineffective leaders based on their personal characteristics rather than whether the leader actually makes a difference to the organization’s success. People who exhibit self-confidence, extraversion, and other traits are called leaders because they fit the widely held prototype of an effective leader. Alternatively, if someone is successful, observers might assign several nonobservable personal characteristics to him or her, such as intelligence, confidence, and drive. In short, the link between personal characteristics and effective leadership is muddied by several perceptual distortions. Page 464
debating point SHOULD LEADERS REALLY BE AUTHENTIC ALL THE TIME? According to popular business books and several scholarly articles, authentic leadership is one of the core attributes of effective leaders. Authentic leaders know themselves and act in accordance with that self-concept. They live their personal values and find a leadership style that best matches their personality. Furthermore, authentic leaders have a sense of purpose, often developed through a crisis or similar “crucible” event in their lives.
It makes sense that leaders should be authentic. After all, as singer Liza Minnelli has often said: “I would rather be a first-rate version of myself than a second-rate version of anybody else.”i In other words, leaders are better at acting out their natural beliefs and tendencies than by acting like someone else. Furthermore, authenticity results in consistency, which is a foundation of trust. So, by being authentic, leaders are more likely to be trusted by followers.j
But should leaders always be themselves and act consistently with their beliefs and personality? Not necessarily, according to a few experts. The concept of authentic leadership seems to be at odds with well-established research that people are evaluated as more effective leaders when they have a high rather than low self-monitoring personality.k
High “self-monitors” quickly understand their social environment and easily adapt their behavior to that environment. In other words, high self- monitors change their behavior to suit what others expect from them. In contrast, low self-monitors behave consistently with their personality and self- concept. They do not change their beliefs, style, or behaviors across social contexts. On the contrary, they feel much more content with high congruence between who they are and what they do, even when their natural style does not fit the situation.
Employees prefer an adaptive (i.e., high self-monitoring) leader because they have preconceived prototypes of how leaders should act (implicit leadership theory, which we discussed earlier in this chapter).l Authentic leaders are more likely to violate those prototypical expectations and, consequently, be viewed as less leaderlike. The message from this is that leadership is a role that its incumbents are required to perform rather than to completely “act naturally.” Ironically, while applauding the virtues of authentic leadership, the late leadership expert Warren Bennis acknowledged that “leadership is a performance art.” His point was that leaders are best when they act naturally in that role, but the reality of any performance is that people can never fully be themselves.m
Furthermore, while being yourself is authentic, it may convey the image of being inflexible and insensitive.n This problem was apparent to a management professor and consultant when recently working with a client. The executive’s staff followed a work process that was comfortable to the executive but not to many of her employees. When asked to consider adopting a process that was easier for her staff, the executive replied: “Look. This is just how I work.” The executive was authentic, but the inflexibility undermined employee performance and morale.o
One important final point: The personal attributes perspective of leadership does not necessarily imply that leadership is a talent acquired at birth. On the contrary, attributes indicate only leadership potential, not leadership performance. People with these characteristics become effective leaders only after they have developed and mastered the necessary leadership behaviors through experience. However, even those with fewer leadership attributes may become very effective leaders by more fully developing their potential.
Cross-Cultural and Gender Issues in Leadership
Along with the four perspectives of leadership presented throughout this chapter, cultural values and practices affect what leaders do. Culture shapes the leader’s values and norms, which influence his or her decisions and actions. Cultural values also shape the expectations that followers have of their leaders. An executive who acts inconsistently with cultural expectations is more likely to be perceived as an ineffective leader. Furthermore, leaders who deviate from those values may experience various forms of influence to get them to conform to the leadership norms and expectations of the society. Thus, differences in leadership practices across cultures are partly explained by implicit leadership theory, which was described earlier in this chapter. Page 465
A major global research project over the past two decades has found that some features of leadership are universal and some differ across cultures.84 One leadership category, called charismatic visionary, is a universally recognized concept and middle managers around the world believe it is characteristic of effective leaders. Charismatic visionary represents a cluster of concepts including visionary, inspirational, performance orientation, integrity, and decisiveness.85 In contrast, participative leadership is perceived as
characteristic of effective leadership in low power distance cultures but less so in high power distance cultures.86 In summary, some features of leadership are universal and some differ across cultures.
GENDER AND LEADERSHIP Studies in work settings have generally found that male and female leaders do not differ in their levels of task-oriented or people-oriented leadership. The main explanation is that real-world jobs require similar behavior from male and female job incumbents.87 However, women do adopt a participative leadership style more readily than their male counterparts. One possible reason is that, compared to boys, girls are often raised to be more egalitarian and less status-oriented, which is consistent with being participative. There is also some evidence that, compared to men, women have somewhat better interpersonal skills, and this translates into their relatively greater use of the participative leadership style. A third explanation is that employees are motivated by their own gender stereotypes to expect female leaders to be more participative. Thus, female leaders comply with follower expectations to some extent.
Several studies report that women are rated higher than men on the emerging leadership qualities of coaching, teamwork, and empowering employees.88 Yet studies also find that women are evaluated negatively when they try to apply the full range of leadership styles, particularly more directive and autocratic approaches. Thus, ironically, women may be well suited to contemporary leadership roles, yet they often continue to face limitations of leadership through the gender stereotypes and prototypes of leaders that are held by followers.89Overall, both male and female leaders must be sensitive to the fact that followers have expectations about how leaders should act, and leaders who deviate from those expectations likely receive less favorable evaluations.
chapter summary LO 12-1 Define leadership and shared leadership. Leadership is defined as the ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute to the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members. Leaders use influence to motivate followers and arrange the work environment so they do the job more effectively. Shared leadership views leadership as a role rather than a formal position, so employees throughout the organization act informally as leaders as the occasion arises. These situations include serving as champions for specific ideas or changes, as well as filling leadership roles where it is needed.
LO 12-2 Describe the four elements of transformational leadership and explain why they are important for organizational change.
Transformational leadership begins with a strategic vision, which is a positive representation of a future state that energizes and unifies employees. A vision is values-based, a distant goal, abstract, and meaningful to employees. Transformational leaders effectively communicate the vision by framing it around values, showing sincerity and passion toward the vision, and using symbols, metaphors, and other vehicles that create richer meaning for the vision. Transformational leaders model the vision (walk the talk) and encourage employees to experiment with new behaviors and practices that are potentially more consistent with the visionary future state. They also build employee commitment to the vision through the preceding activities, as well as by celebrating milestones to the vision. Transformational leaders are not necessarily charismatic, and charismatic leaders do not necessarily apply transformational leadership behaviors. LO 12-3 Compare managerial leadership with transformational
leadership, and describe the features of task-oriented, people-oriented, and servant leadership.
Managerial leadership includes the daily activities that support and guide the performance and well-being of individual employees and the work unit to achieve current objectives and practices. Transformational and managerial leadership are dependent on each other, but they differ in their assumptions of stability versus change and their micro versus macro focus. Page 466
Task-oriented behaviors include assigning employees to specific tasks, clarifying their work duties and procedures, ensuring they follow company rules, and pushing them to reach their performance capacity. People-oriented behaviors include showing mutual trust and respect for subordinates, demonstrating a genuine concern for their needs, and having a desire to look out for their welfare.
Servant leadership defines leadership as serving others to support their need fulfillment and personal development and growth. Servant leaders have a natural desire or “calling” to serve others. They maintain a relationship with others that is humble, egalitarian, and accepting. Servant leaders also anchor their decisions and actions in ethical principles and practices. LO 12-4 Discuss the elements of path–goal theory and leadership
substitutes theory. The path–goal theory of leadership takes the view that effective managerial leadership involves diagnosing the situation and using the most appropriate style for it. The core model identifies four leadership styles—directive,
supportive, participative, and achievement-oriented—and several contingencies related to the characteristics of the employee and of the situation. Leadership substitutes theory identifies contingencies that either limit the leader’s ability to influence subordinates or make a particular leadership style unnecessary. LO 12-5 Describe the two components of the implicit leadership
perspective. According to the implicit leadership perspective, people have leadership prototypes, which they use to evaluate the leader’s effectiveness. Furthermore, people form a romance of leadership; they want to believe that leaders make a difference, so they engage in fundamental attribution error and other perceptual distortions to support this belief in the leader’s impact. LO 12-6 Identify eight personal attributes associated with effective
leaders and describe authentic leadership. The personal attributes perspective identifies the characteristics of effective leaders. Recent writing suggests that leaders have specific personality characteristics, positive self-concept, drive, integrity, leadership motivation, knowledge of the business, cognitive and practical intelligence, and emotional intelligence. Authentic leadership refers to how well leaders are aware of, feel comfortable with, and act consistently with their self-concept. This concept consists mainly of two parts: self-awareness and engaging in behavior that is consistent with one’s self-concept. LO 12-7 Discuss cultural and gender similarities and differences in
leadership. Cultural values influence the leader’s personal values, which in turn influence his or her leadership practices. Women generally do not differ from men in the degree of people-oriented or task-oriented leadership. However, female leaders more often adopt a participative style. Research also suggests that people evaluate female leaders on the basis of gender stereotypes, which may result in higher or lower ratings.