Leadership and Followership

1. The Nature of Leadership

Definition: a social influence process in which leaders influence employees to achieve organizational goals


Key functions of leadership: Strategic decisions about and the establishment of

Discussion 1: why core purposes and visions are so important? Discussion 2: what are the utilities of core value organizational culture? Discussion 3: the advantage and disadvantage of focusing on core capabilities and competencies?

2. Transactional Leadership vs. Charismatic Leadership

Transactional leadership: focuses on the inter-personal transactions between managers and employees

Charismatic (transformational) leadership: the transformation of employee behavior, organizational goals, structures, and processes by emphasizing

Charisma: sacred gifts of power and influence

Examples of charismatic leaders

Discussion: what personal characteristics make certain leaders charismatic?

3. Trait Theories of leadership: theories that sought personality, social, physical, or intellectual traits that differentiated leaders from followers

Basic assumption: leaders are born with certain traits

Examples: Margaret Thatecher, Ronald Regan, Nelson Mandelo, Bill Gates, Colin Powell

Conclusion: some traits increase the likelihood of success as a leader, bot none of the traits guarantee success

Discusison: what are the problems with trait theories of leadership

4. Behavioral Theories of leadership

Basic assumptions:

Central question: what are the best behavioral patterns for effective leadership?

(1). Leadership style

(2) The Ohio State Studies

(3). The Managerial Grid

The Problem with Behavioral Theories of Leadership: the lack of consideration of situational factors (Western universalism)

Discussion: What are the managerial implications of the trait theory and behavioral theory?

5. The Situational Theories
Basic assumptions: the effectiveness of a particular style of leader behavior depends on the situation. As situation change, different styles become appropriate.

Example: Kodak

(1). Fiedler's Contingency Model: the effectiveness of leadership depends on the match between a leader's style of interacting with subordinates and the degree to which the situation gives control and influence to the leader

Leader's styles of interacting with subordinates

Leadership situations:  
Favorable leadership situations: good leader-member relationship, a highly structured task, and a strong position power

Unfavorable leadership situation

Leadership effectiveness: task-oriented leaders are most effective in either very favorable or very unfavorable leadership situations, whereas relationship-oriented leaders are most effective in situations of intermediate favorableness.

The problem with Fiedler's model:

(2). Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Theory

Key assumptions:

Follower readiness: the ability and willingness of a follower to accomplish a specific task.

Four stages/types of follower readiness:

Question: what is the best style for each type of followers?

Leadership styles:

Discussion: Please compare management grid theory with the situational leadership theory?

The problem with all previous models: leaders treat subordinates universally, no power play, no exchange, and no personal connections and favors

(3). Path-Goal Theory of Leadership

Nature: a combination of the Ohio State leadership model and the expectancy theory of motivation
Basic assumptions:

Path-Goal: Help follower to achieve goals and make the reducing roadblocks and pitfalls along the path.

Leader's two basic methods of motivation:

Leadership styles Employee characteristics: Environmental factors: Discussion: the effectiveness of leadership style in contingency situations

Directive leadership: external locus of control, lack of experiences, high needs for clarity, low needs of achievement, unstructured tasks, conflicting work groups

Supportive leadership: highly structured tasks, under bureaucratic and formal authority relationship

Participative leadership: non-routine/unstructured tasks, non-authoritarian personality, internal locus of control

Achievement-oriented leadership: unstructured tasks, needs for achievement

Discussion: compare the similarities and differences between the situational leadership theory and the path-goal theory

(4). Leader-member exchange theory

Basic assumption:

In-group exchange: high mutual trust, high face-to-face interaction, reciprocal influence, a sense of common fate, and favorable resource allocation (informal/high level exchange)

Out-group exchange: low personal trust, low face-to-face interaction, low sense of common fate, and low favor (formal/low level exchange)

Consequences: in-group subordinates have higher performance, lower turnover rates, and greater job satisfaction.

Question: why there is a tendency to distinguish between in-group and out-group?


Discussion: the managerial implications of various contingency theories?

Discussion: National cultures as another contingency