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Lecture 7 Leadership. BBA 352 Organizational Behavior Department of Business Administration S.Chan [email protected] http://home.chuhai.hk/~charmaine/. 17- 0.

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Lecture 7


BBA 352Organizational Behavior

Department of Business Administration


[email protected]://home.chuhai.hk/~charmaine/


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Virgin GroupRichard Branson, British entrepreneur, a great leader characterized as fun loving, sensitive to the needs to others, hard working, innovative, charismatic, enthusiastic, energetic, decisive and risk taking.

Chapter learning objectives

Chapter Learning Objectives

  • After studying this chapter, you should be able to:

    • Define leadership

    • Summarize the conclusions of trait theories.

    • Identify the central tenets and main limitations of behavioral theories.

    • Assess contingency theories of leadership by their level of support.

    • Contrast the interactive theories (path-goal and leader-member exchange).

    • Identify the situational variables in the leader-participation model.

    • Show how U.S. managers might need to adjust their leadership approaches in Brazil, France, Egypt, and China.

What is leadership

What Is Leadership?

  • Leadership

    • The ability to influence a group, both formally and informally toward the achievement of a vision or set of goals

Leadership Theories1.Trait Theories2.Behavioral Theories3.Contingency Theories4.Leader-Member Exchange Theory

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Theories that consider personal qualities and characteristics that differentiate leaders from non-leaderse.g. Thatcher confident, iron willed, determined, decisive- Common description: Charismatic, enthusiastic and courageous, ambition and energy- Leadership Traits: extraversion, conscientiousness and openness and EI proved to be strongly related to leader effectiveness - Leaders who are extraverted (who like being around people and are able to assert themselves), conscientious (who are disciplined and keep commitment they make), open (who are creative and flexible), emotional intelligent (EI, caring others needs, listening & empathetic) are common traits of good leaders-Traits can predict leadership, but they are better at predicting leader emergence than effectiveness.

1. Trait Theories

Behavioral theories of leadership

Behavioral Theories of Leadership

  • Theories proposing that specific behaviors differentiate leaders from non-leaders

  • Differences between theories of leadership:

    • Trait theory: leadership is inherent, so we must identify the leader based on his or her traits

    • Behavioral theory: leadership is a skill set and can be taught to anyone, so we must identify the proper behaviors to teach potential leaders

Important behavioral studies

Important Behavioral Studies

  • Ohio State University 1940s

    • Found two key dimensions of leader behavior:

      • Initiating structure – the defining and structuring of roles, e.g behavior that attempts to organize work, work relationship, goals.

      • Consideration – job relationships that reflect trust and respect, eg leaders help employees with personal problems, friendly and approachable, treat employees equal, etc.

      • Both are important

  • University of Michigan

    • Also found two key dimensions of leader behavior:

      • Employee-oriented – emphasizes interpersonal relationships and is the most powerful dimension

      • Production-oriented – emphasizes the technical aspects of the job

    • The dimensions of the two studies are very similar

Contingency theories

Contingency Theories

  • While trait and behavior theories do help us understand leadership, an important component is missing: the environment in which the leader exists

  • Contingency Theory deals with this additional aspect of leadership effectiveness studies

  • THREE key theories:

    1. Fiedler’s Model

    2. Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Theory

    3. Path Theory

1 fiedler contingency model

1. Fiedler Contingency Model

  • The theory that effective groups depend on a proper match between a leader’s style of interacting with subordinates and the degree to which the situation gives control and influence to the leader

    • Assumes that leadership style (based on orientation revealed in Least Preferred Coworker-LPC questionnaire) is fixed

  • Considers Three Situational Factors:

    • Leader-member relations: degree of confidence and trust and respect subordinates have in the leader

    • Task structure: degree of structure in the jobs

    • Position power: leader’s ability to hire, fire, and reward eg give salary increase

  • For effective leadership: must change to a leader who fits the situation or change the situational variables to fit the current leader

Assessment of fiedler s model

Assessment of Fiedler’s Model

  • Positives:

    • Considerable evidence supports the model, especially if the original eight situations are grouped into three

  • Problems:

    • The logic behind the LPC scale is not well understood

    • LPC scores are not stable

    • Contingency variables are complex and hard to determine

Fiedler s cognitive resource theory

Fiedler’s Cognitive Resource Theory

  • A refinement of Fiedler’s original model:

    • Focuses on stress as the enemy of rationality and creator of unfavorable conditions

    • A leader’s intelligence and experience influence his or her reaction to that stress

  • Research is supporting the theory.

Hersey blanchard s situational leadership

Hersey & Blanchard’s Situational Leadership

  • A model that focuses on follower “readiness”

    • Followers can accept or reject the leader

    • Effectiveness depends on the followers’ response to the leader’s actions

    • “Readiness” is the extent to which people have the ability and willingness to accomplish a specific task

Hersey blanchard s situational leadership1

Hersey & Blanchard’s Situational Leadership

Four READINESS stages of employees

Not able and not willing to do

Not able but willing to do

Able but not willing to do

Able and willing to do

Hersey blanchard s situational leadership2

Hersey & Blanchard’s Situational Leadership

Four Leadership style

Telling (高任務-低人際關係): what, how, when, where to do

Selling (高任務-高人際關係): directive + supportive

Participating (低任務-高人際關係): facilitating + communicating

Delegating (低任務-低人際關係): little direction or support

A paternal model:

As the child matures, the adult releases more and more control over the situation

As the workers become more ready, the leader becomes more laissez-faire

House s path goal theory

House’s Path-Goal Theory

  • Builds from the Ohio State studies and the expectancy theory of motivation

  • The Theory:

    • Leaders provide followers with information, support, and resources to help them achieve their goals

    • Leaders help clarify the “path” to the worker’s goals

    • Leaders can display multiple leadership types

  • Four types of leaders:

    • Directive: focuses on the work to be done

    • Supportive: focuses on the well-being of the worker

    • Participative: consults with employees in decision-making

    • Achievement-Oriented: sets challenging goals

Path goal model

Path-Goal Model

  • Two classes of contingency variables:

    • Environmental are outside of employee control

    • Subordinate factors are internal to employee

  • Mixed support in the research findings

Leader member exchange lmx theory

Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory

  • A response to the failing of contingency theories to account for followers and heterogeneous leadership approaches to individual workers

  • LMX Premise:

    • Because of time pressures, leaders form a special relationship with a small group of followers: the “in-group”

    • This in-group is trusted and gets more time and attention from the leader (more “exchanges”)

    • All other followers are in the “out-group” and get less of the leader’s attention and tend to have formal relationships with the leader (fewer “exchanges”)

    • Leaders pick group members early in the relationship

Lmx model

LMX Model

  • How groups are assigned is unclear

    • Follower characteristics determine group membership

  • Leaders control by keeping favorites close

  • Research has been generally supportive

Global implications

Global Implications

  • These leadership theories are primarily studied in English-speaking countries

  • GLOBE does have some country-specific insights

    • Brazilian teams prefer leaders who are high in consideration, participative, and have high LPC scores

    • French workers want a leader who is high on initiating structure and task-oriented

    • Egyptian employees value team-oriented, participative leadership, while keeping a high-power distance

    • Chinese workers may favor a moderately participative style

  • Leaders should take culture into account

Summary and managerial implications

Summary and Managerial Implications

  • Leadership is central to understanding group behavior as the leader provides the direction

  • Extroversion, conscientiousness, and openness all show consistent relationships to leadership

  • Behavioral approaches have narrowed leadership down into two usable dimensions

  • Need to take into account the situational variables, especially the impact of followers

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