LEADEARSHIP AND POWER IN ORGANIZATIONS BY WANENO CHARLES OMONDI PRESENTED ON 23 RD APRIL 2009 FACILITATED BY: DR. MARGARET GACHURU. INTRODUCTION. What is leadership? A dynamic process of influencing others to achieve organisational goals. It is more than personality or appointment
What is leadership?
A dynamic process of influencing others to achieve organisational goals.
It is more than personality or appointment
Oxford English Dictionary defines it as..‘to cause to go with one…..to provide guidance’
Leaders set direction and people follow them.
It is about inspiring individuals to give their best towards achieving expected results.
Leader directs group towards goals
The biggest difference between these two concepts is the
way in which they motivate people to work or follow them
Zalenzik describes the differences as follows
TYPES OF LEADERS
The key leadership variables.
The key variables are:
Taken together these variables form the total leadership
situation, and the art of leadership is to find the best
balance between them in the light of the total situation.
These variables are represented in the diagram below.
Barton (1998) in his book, states that most people accept the influence
of leaders because they have power.
What is power? Power is the capacity to affect the behavior of others.
Ledgers rely on types of power which include;
Legitimate power - this stems from a position’s placement in the managerial hierarchy and the authority vested in the position.
Reward power – is based on the capacity to control and provide valued reward to others,such as pay rises, bonuses,etc.
Coercive power – this depends on the ability to punish others when they do not engage in desired behaviors,e.g criticisms, reprimands, suspensions, warning letters that go to a person’s office file,,etc
Expert power – it is based on the possession of expertise that is valued by others.
Information power – this result from access to and control over the distribution of important information about organizational operations and future plans.
Referent power – results from being admired, personally identified with or liked by others.
Armstrong and Stephens (2006) categorize essential
Leadership roles into three.They have to;
Define tasks – make it clear what the group has to do.
Achieve the task – they ensure that the groups’ purpose is fulfilled
Maintain effective relationships – between themselves and the members of the group, and between the people within the group.
John Adair cited in ‘A handbook for management and leadership’ lists
the following generic qualities as those that good leaders should have;
Enthusiasm – to get things done which they can communicate to other people.
Confidence – belief in themselves which again people can sense
Toughness – resilient, tenacious, and demanding high standards, seeking respect but not necessarily popularity.
Integrity – being true to oneself, personal wholeness, soundness and honesty, which inspire trust.
Warmth – in personal relationships, caring for people and being considerate
Humility - willingness to listen and take the blame; not being arrogant and overbearing.
LEADERSHIP AND EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Emotional intelligence is defined as the capacity for recognizing our
own feelings and that of others, for motivating ourselves, for managing
emotions well in ourselves as well as others.
An emotionally intelligent person understands his or her own strengths
and weaknesses and knows that it is more productive to manage
emotions rather than be led by them.
Some of the components of emotional intelligence identified by
Goleman as cited in ‘A handbook for management and leadership’ are:
Self-awareness – the ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions and drives as well as their effect on others.
Self-regulation – the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods and regulate own behavior coupled with a propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence.
Leadership & Emotional Intelligence (Cont’d)
Motivation – a passion to work for reasons that go beyond money and status and a propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence.
Empathy – the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people and skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions.
Social skills – proficiency in managing relationships and building networks to get the desired result from others and reach personal goals and the ability to find common ground and build rapport.
THEORIES OF LEADERSHIP
Ideas about leadership in management range from the 'ideal' approaches of the Scientific Managers and the Human Relations School to the pragmatic, or adaptive, approaches of the Contingency theorists.
The theories which have been put forward are generally classified under:
The earliest studies that were undertaken into leadership focused their attention on the qualities required for effective leaders.
It has proved an impossible task to identify the particular traits or characteristics that separate leaders from non-leaders. Of those traits which do appear more frequently, intelligence, energy and Resourcefulness are perhaps the most representative.
One may ask the meaning of trait? Traits are distinctive internal
qualities or characteristics of an individual. For example,
Physical characteristics – such as height, weight, appearance, energy
Personality characteristics – dominance, extroversion, originality
Skills and abilities – intelligence, knowledge, technical competence
Social factors – interpersonal skills, sociability, and socioeconomic position
This is an interest in leadership as an aspect of behaviour at work,
rather than of personal characteristics . Examples include;
D. McGregor's Theory X manager - tough, autocratic and supporting tight controls with punishment-reward systems - the authoritarian. The contrasting style is that the Theory Y manager - benevolent, participative and believing in self-controls – the democrat.
Rensis Likert's four management systems:
System 1: the exploitive-authoritative system, which is the epitome of the authoritarian style.
System 2: the benevolent-authoritative system, which is basically a paternalistic style.
System 3: the consultative system, which moves towards greater democracy and teamwork.
System 4: the participative-group system, which is the ultimate democratic style.
Tannenbaum and Schmidt's model of a continuum of leadership styles, ranging from authoritarian behaviour at one end to democratic behaviour at the other.
Style theories (Cont’d)
Examples of approaches utilizing two of the leadership variables
people and tasks – are as follows:
Michigan studies; These studies, first reported in 1950s, analyzed a number of variables between managers of high-productivity groups and managers of low-productivity groups. The object was to see if any significant differences could be identified, thus providing some clues to leadership behaviour.
Ohio studies; studies were conducted during the 1950s. They were concerned with describing leadership behaviour. Consideration described behaviour that was essentially relationships-oriented or considerate of employees' feelings. Initiating structure referred to behaviour concerned with the organization of the work processes including communication channels, allocating tasks etc.
Style theories (Cont’d)
The 3-D Theory; This adds considerably to the flexibility of leadership styles by including the factor of effectiveness in the dimensions.
Harvard studies; Harvard researchers identified two distinct groups of leaders; task leaders and socio-emotional leaders, who were mutually exclusive.
A person could not be a task leader and a socio-emotional leader as well.
The task leader showed a concern for the structuring of activities, whereas the socio-emotional leader showed concern for supportive relationships.
The Harvard results suggested that the two dimensions were mutually exclusive.
Leadership and the Organizational Life Cycle
The view of organizations as having life cycles, or predictable stages provides some guidance about when either transactional or transformational leadership is likely to be most appropriate.
When an organization is at its entrepreneurial or beginning stage, transformational leadership is particularly instrumental in creating a vision that allows the organization to be born and take a few steps.
At the collectivity stage, additional workers begin to join the initial core group and transactional leadership becomes an important aid in handling the accelerating growth.
By the formalization and control stage, organizational growth requires even greater emphasis on transactional leadership to maintain direction and control.
By the elaboration of the structure stage, excessive formalization and control often reduce innovation to a low level, so heavy emphasis on transformational leadership is again needed
Function or action-centred leadership
It is based on the theory that leadership is more a question of
appropriate behaviour than of personality or of being in the right
place at the right time.
Group performance is contingent upon the leader adopting an
appropriate style in the light of the relative favourableness of the
According to Fiedler, the three most important variables in
determining the relative favourableness of the situation are:
Degree of structure in task and
Power and authority of the position.
Contracting firms – Contractors practice a dictatorial type of leadership where, they make rules which must be followed by the employed casual or formal labourers. This is mainly due to tight aspects of building projects which must be met such as, doing a project within the required time, budget, quality and scope. Lack of enforcement of these rules may make a project lag behind in the mentioned areas, making it not viable in the end.
Professional firms – These include architectural, quantity surveying and engineering firms. There exist many of such firms in Kenya, with majority belonging to individuals and a few, consisting of many employees.
Our observation is that in very big firms, both autocratic and democratic styles of leadership are used depending with the situation.
In some firms, the practice of sole proprietorship is common, which at times bars organisations from diversifying as only one person is in charge of making all decisions,
Application of leadership in Kenya (Cont’d)
Professional bodies and clubs – examples include BORAQS, ERB,
AAK, IQSK, IEK, etc. They show their leadership by regulating the
codes of conduct and ethics of their various professionals in the
industry. This ensures that all clients get professional services as
required and hence, value for their money.
The Government – The Kenyan government is practicing leadership
by setting up programs that ensure the transfer of technology to the
younger generation through apprenticeship training e.g. the 19 number
stalled projects in Kenya which the government has fairly distributed to
various consultants and construction firms with an aim of transfer of
Application of leadership in Kenya (Cont’d)
Institutions of higher learning – in our universities and colleges,
the lecturers usually act as symbol of leadership to the students.
Students tend to follow what they say, since they have a lot of
knowledge power that can be of help to the pupils.
Lecturers do influence the behaviours and attitudes of students
through the talks they have with them and this can either make a
student to choose the right path or not to.
They also act as role models to many pupils who at a young age are
never sure of which direction to take. They can influence the students
to give back to the society the knowledge they have received in their
Application of leadership in Kenya (Cont’d)
Other examples of leadership have been seen through;
Practicing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Some
construction companies in Kenya are increasingly practicing CSR.A
good example is the Bamburi Cement Factory which rehabilitated it’s
the wasteland quarries at the Coast into a marvellous ecosystem called
ISO Certification: Very few Kenyan construction companies are ISO
certified. They include Gibb Africa and Wanjohi Consultants which are
engineering firms. This great step will encourage other firms to strive
for ISO certification hence improving the quality of service delivery in
the construction industry.
Here in Kenya, we have continuously experienced discrimination when
it comes to women being in top leadership. Recently, parents and
stakeholders of a school in Teso refused their children to go school,
reasons being, they did not want the new headmistress to take position
in the school, just because she was a woman!
The government has however, recognised the need for women to also
being given a chance in government positions by declaring that during
recruitment, 30% should be women. The question is whether this has
been implemented effectively.
In Kenya, we have a very bad ethical culture, which has
continuously been seen in or leaders.
Most of them are corrupt in their dealings and lack accountability in
This has really affected development in our country, since, as a
common citizen, it is known that for you to have something done, you
must bribe someone to do it for you. This behaviour is rampant in
government offices especially, and until our leaders change, we still
have along way to go.
Most of our leaders preach water and rink wine. They do not lead by
example, since the same things that they condemn, are the same
things that they are engaged in. leaders should behave well, at all
times both in public and in private. This is the only true mark of a great
tasks to be done, goals to be met and
inspire people to do these voluntarily without
more, than the tasks.
want their goals to be met.