Leadership Essay

1152 words - 5 pages

How does leadership shape organizations and how do organizations shape leadership? Discuss critically by drawing on theory and research, using an example relevant to HR to illustrate your points.
In today’s continuously changing world, the only constant that an organisation would hope to have is the people in it. It is the leaders of an organization that ultimately result in the achievement of its goals. In simple terms, Leadership can be defined as a process or phenomenon wherein one individual successfully attempts to define or outline the reality of the others in an organization (Smircich and Morgan, 1982). The leader’s thought processes, their previous experiences, their understanding ...view middle of the document...

The leader is responsible for the promotion and amendment of this culture in the organization. Leadership can also decide organizational effectiveness, as it is the leaders of the company that set its goals. If effectiveness of company performance is measured by the firm’s ability to meet its goals, then a leader can always ensure effectiveness by setting targets that they themselves can achieve. Success for some leaders might mean good economic performance, while for some it may be measured by employee satisfaction. Thus organizational effectiveness becomes subjective to the leader. The followership theory is another way of looking at how leaders shape organizations. Any initiative taken up by a leader is only as effective as the followers that implement it. Thus, a change in organizational culture would require the mobilization and support of the workforce functioning in it (Blackshear, 2004).

In order to fully comprehend the effect of leaders on organization, the possible types of behavior must be evaluated. One way of classifying leaders by behavior is through Douglas McGreggor’s Theory X and Theory Y, which outline a leader’s perception of what motivates and shapes followers and their actions (Mindtools.com, n.d.). Theory Y is associated with a positive organizational culture because it promotes a relationship between leaders and their followers based on trust. In this scenario, it is assumed that employees are self-motivated, ambitious and enjoy their work and responsibility. Thus, leadership based on Theory Y is associated with positivity and decisions made using its principles are generally seen to have greater compliance from the employees, in the process of organization change. On the other hand, Theory X leaders are of the opinion that employees are unmotivated and dislike work or responsibility. Their approach to management is authoritarian and heavily dependent on supervision. (Blesch, 2015).

The theories mentioned above can also be related to transactional and transformational styles of leadership (Bass and Avolio, 1994). Transactional Leaders are associated with working within the rules and sticking to the norms and policies of the organization. This style is characterized by vast control of employees and a reward and punishment scheme. The role of a transformational leader is to realign the organizational culture of a firm with their new visions and strategy. This is achieved by leaders displaying a certain degree of trust and confidence in subordinates. The leaders then assume the role of mentors or coaches for the employees (Bass, 1990).
The theory X and theory Y model of leadership can be related to the Transformational and Transactional styles of...

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