Leadership: Leadership and Team Effectiveness Essay

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Pages: 13

CHAPTER 10
This chapter focused on leadership and the closely related topic of influence processes. The study of leadership has been approached from trait, behavioral, and contingency per- spectives. Although most modern theories of leadership can be considered contingency

theories, the trait and behavioral approaches are by no means dead; they still offer some insight into leadership processes. * Fiedler’s Contingency Theory proposes that the effectiveness of a leader hinges on the match between situational favorability and whether the leader is task or relationship oriented. This theory has received only mixed support, but it has generated a con- siderable body of leadership research. It also served as the impetus for other contingency- based leadership theories in subsequent years. * Path–Goal Theory also proposes that leader effectiveness depends on the leader– situation match. It differs from Fiedler’s theory, however, in the manner in which effectiveness is defined, and in proposing that leaders are able to adapt different forms of leadership behaviors to different situations. Although Path–Goal Theory still awaits more empirical scrutiny, it serves as a useful guide to the understanding of leadership and may have considerable practical benefits as well. * The Vroom–Yetton–Jago model of leadership is focused on one aspect of leadership behavior: decision making. This theory is somewhat different from the others in that it is largely prescriptive in nature; that is, it provides managers with guidelines for decision making. Support for this model has been strong when managers have been asked to recall decisions, but results have been more equivocal when other sources of data are used. * The Leader–Member Exchange (LMX) Theory proposes that leaders develop a unique relationship with each of their sub- ordinates that is largely based on social exchange. This theory represents a vast departure from previous theories that were based on the rather naı ̈ve assumption that leaders treat all subordinates the same. Re- search on LMX Theory has yielded very interesting findings on both the determi- nants and the consequences of differences in exchange relationship quality. Further work, however, appears to be needed to define the dimensions of the exchange rela- tionship and to broaden the scope of LMX research. Some recent research has used LMX processes to explain how transforma- tional leaders produce superior performance in their subordinates. The most recent heavily researched theory of leadership described was Trans- formational and Transactional Leadership. To some extent, this approach represents a return to the trait approach that dominated leadership research in the early twentieth century. * Transformational leaders not only lead others but inspire them as well. These individuals also are capable of facilitating meaningful change in organizations. Re- search in this area has been largely descrip- tive. * Transactional leaders emphasize the contingencies necessary for employees to receive rewards and keep track of employee behaviors to deliver contingencies. Recent meta-analyses show that both transforma- tional and transactional leaderships are related to employee performance, and that the two forms of leadership are actually pos- itively related. We briefly introduced a recent theory of authentic leadership that empha- sizes leaders acting in ways consistent with their self-concept and showing moral char- acter. Future research is necessary to assess this approach. Power and influence are at the core of leadership; therefore, both topics were cov- ered in conjunction with leadership theories. Research has shown that leaders typically have multiple bases from which to exert power, and, in some cases, these bases may be situationally specific. Influence tactics represent the various…