Master of Science in Administration (MSA) Program Course Title: Submitted to: Submitted by: Email: Course Location:Online Submission Date: Research Project Title: THE IMPORTANCE OF POSITIVE LEADERSHIP AND ITS EFFECTS ON ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORSHIP: I certify that I am the author of this paper and that any assistance I receive in its preparation is fully acknowledged and disclosed in this paper. I have also cited any sources from which I used data, ideas, or works, either quoted directly or paraphrased.
I also certify that this paper was prepared by me specifically for this course. Student’s Signature: Instructor’s Comments: MSA610 Literature Review Introduction John Quincy Adams once said “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”. Positive leadership is a critical area for an organization and its behavior. A good leader or leadership team can take a mediocre organization and transform it into something great. They help improve the way of life for some organizations.
There are three important aspects to consider when discussing good leadership and its effects on organizational behavior: the importance of leadership, the elements of a great leader, and the effects of good leadership within an organization. The first area, the importance of leadership defines what role a leader may play within an organization. Next, there are several fundamentals that a leader must possess or demonstrate in order to be considered a good leader. This is discussed in the second sub-topic.
Lastly, the effects that a good leader can have on a organization can be long-lasting and widespread, depending on the size of the organization. Examples of two outcomes are provided. Presentation of the Literature The Importance of Leadership Leadership, for our purposes, is “operant behavior of one person that effects a change in the context of the operant behavior of one or more other persons and thereby changes or maintains the other persons’ operant behavior (Effective Leadership in superior-subordinate dyads: theory and data, 2005).
To practice leadership requires that a person focus on their leadership skills, their knowledge, and their attitude. Leadership skills are the abilities that someone has developed through their training and education perhaps. Leadership knowledge can be described as what one knows about the practice of leadership. Leadership attitude comes from who a person is, in total the everything that makes someone who they are in their beliefs, emotions and values. Leaders provide a vision and help employees turn the vision into reality.
Good leaders believe in open, honest communication and care about the welfare of the employees. According to John Kumle, good leaders “believe that people are important, and come first before things, goals and visions” (Kumle & Kelly, 2006). Leaders have a great deal of impact on organizational behavior, and the organization as a whole. One study defined Organizational Citizenship Behavior as a type of discretionary job performance in which employees go beyond formal job descriptions and engage in helping behaviors aimed at individuals or the overall organization.
Employees are not typically rewarded for engaging in OCB, nor are they punished (Melschnake & Cochran, 1993). This study found that leadership was a better predictor than job satisfaction when it came to OCB. These results suggested that job satisfaction is not a direct cause or antecedent of either dimension of OCB, but that it may be correlated with OCB only because both job satisfaction and OCB are common effects of leadership (Melschnake & Cochran, 1993). In yet another study, it was determined that leadership is just one facet of the development of professionals in the workplace.
Robert Quinn, a professor of management and organizations at the University of Michigan says that “many people have a one-dimensional paradigm of what it looks like to organize and lead. But, if you have awareness whatsoever, you know that this is insufficient, and if you follow that one system fanatically, it will break down. A positive organizational approach is really a matter of being able to integrate the competing demands that make up an organization” (Pace, 2010).
According to this same study, individuals can either function as a “positive” energizer, or a “negative” energizer. Positive energizers leave others feeling inspired, motivated, and full of vitality, while negative energizers tend to deplete the strength and enthusiasm of their peers (Pace, 2010). Based on this, strong interpersonal relationships can be formed, and the efficiency of work being done can all be affected by leaders who exude positive energy. The Elements of a Great Leader An effective leader can be determined using a number of elements.
Top companies tend to make key leadership talent accountable for their own development and strengthening the company’s leadership and its culture (Gandossy & Guarnieri, 2008). Areas such as how well a leader can deliver results through others, establish a “can-do” attitude, and how they go about achieving these results are key elements. Employment engagement is another important element of a good leader. Feedback from the leaders’ teams on their competency, style, commitment to the company and the team are important.
If work climate issues surface, leaders are expected to address them with action plans, log their process throughout the year, and utilize best practices for building commitment (Gandossy & Guarnieri, 2008). As mentioned in the previous section, leadership can be characterized by skills, knowledge and attitude. However, effective leaders need to be vulnerable and open to forgiveness, in order to build a good relationship with their employees. Leaders must be able to forgive themselves. This may be the hardest task of all, because all of us are haunted by the mistakes we have made. Our ability to lead is directly proportional to our ability to forgive ourselves and risk failure again” (Grant, 2008). The ability of a leader to forgive themselves eliminates the feelings of anger, hurt, shame, and guilt and releases burdens that have created the incapacity to love others. When leaders realize this, their hearts move away from hardness caused by resentment. The leader’s behavior changes to accepting other’s imperfections when they accept their own imperfections (Grant, 2008). Character is also a key source of leadership power.
According to Terry Bacon of Leadership Excellence, being seen as a person of character enhances your capacity to lead and influence others for three reasons: 1) they trust your intentions; 2) they are more confident in your leadership, and 3) they see you as a person worth emulating. Even if they disagree with you, they know you are an honorable advocate (Bacon, 2009). Character is a crucial power source for those who are in a position of responsibility, whether the person is an executive, manager or professional.
Bacon also states that leaders who rate highest in character are perceived to be much more effective at building rapport and trust, showing genuine interest in others, supporting and encouraging others, building consensus, being sensitive to others’ feelings and needs, having insight into what others value, building close relationships and resolving conflicts and disagreements among others. In any case, leaders with strong character are much more influential with people and organizations (Bacon, 2009). Effects on the Organization
When a company has a true commitment to leadership, it becomes integrated with business planning and woven into the culture of the organization (Gandossy & Guarnieri, 2008). Leadership by the CEO and their executive team is typically cited as the number one driver of effective corporate citizenship by firms (Morgan, Ryu, & Mirvis, 2009). Even though there is no firm agreement on what constitutes “best practice” by a leader, there are several benefits of putting in place an effective leader or leadership team.
These benefits include a heightened credibility of financial reporting, operational benefits such as clarity on roles within the organization, cost reductions from improved coordination, and insight into emerging social, commercial and environmental issues. Benefits like a decreased risk of litigation (by consumer or employee), increased credibility with regulatory agencies and solid contractual agreements also exist (Morgan, Ryu, & Mirvis, 2009). An excellent example of an effective leader and the benefits to an organization’s behavior can be taken from Nike.
In 2004, Nike formed a committee to monitor activities within their company, called the Corporate Responsibility Leadership Team. This team consists of executive representation from Nike Brand, communications, operations, the general counsel and corporate responsibility. The leadership team aims to integrate policies such as corporate responsibility into the business by setting strategies, monitoring progress towards specific goals and objectives, and by continually reviewing the organizational approach to managing the corporation (Morgan, Ryu, & Mirvis, 2009).
One success of this team was The Considered line, launched in 2005, and produces less waste, eliminates the use of toxic substances and reduces Nike’s overall impact on the environment. Nike has over one hundred fifty employees working on this team. Such an approach allows for information flow across boundaries and for the enterprise to conduct a thoroughgoing review of its performance (Morgan, Ryu, & Mirvis, 2009). A second example of effective leadership and how it affects organizational behavior is from a Canadian oil company.
When a new president was named, he faced a company whose morale was at an all-time low, with employees who were frustrated and unhappy. They had already faced layoffs with the previous president who was trying to build efficiency through headcount reduction, but had not produced the desired results (Joiner, 2009). The new president began to implement new strategies and resulted in a smaller, more focused organization with a “people strategy. ” As the months went on, he and his team kept on-going communications going through several strategy implementations, and kept the employees up-to-date on their performance.
This president’s participative leadership approach not only led to innovative strategies, it also developed the commitment, trust and alignment necessary to implement them realistically and effectively. As a result, during his first three years as president, annual earnings went from $9 million to $40 million, and cash expenses were reduced by $40 million a year (Joiner, 2009). Because of his leadership strategies, this president helped a once struggling corporation become one of the top retailers in its marketplace.
In 2008, a study was performed to determine if there was a difference between social workers’ expectations and perceptions of their supervisor’s behavior, and whether or not that difference made an impact on job satisfaction. The study found that as this difference increased, job satisfaction decreased. As part of the study, the researchers determined that leadership implies follower-ship (Organizational leadership and its impact on social workers’ job satisfaction: a national study, 2008).
A constructive relationship between the leader and employee can positively impact the employee regarding productivity, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment (Organizational leadership and its impact on social workers’ job satisfaction: a national study, 2008). Summary of the Literature In closing, positive and effective leadership is a must for any organization. An effective leader is an important part of an organization because it has been proven that job satisfaction is related to leadership that an employee is exposed to.
Good leaders open the channels of communication, and develop relationships with their employees, resulting in better productivity. There are many elements that an effective leader must possess, but a few include character, knowledge, attitude, and the ability to forgive. A leader must be able to forgive himself in order to be an effective leader, because that allows him to forgive his employees if a mistake is made. Character makes you who are. If a leader has demonstrated character, they are more apt to developing a good reputation within their organization. Finally, recall the example of the oil company president.
The more communicating he did with his company, the more effective his new strategies were. By doing this, he increased his company’s value significantly. The effects of a good leader within an organization are twofold: the leader becomes respected, and the employees and organization are happier. Research shows that the more impact a leader has an organization, the more successful that organization is. References Bacon, T. (2009, November). Character Power. Leadership Excellence, 26(11), 18. Retrieved February 26, 2010 from ABI/INFORM Global (Document ID: 1906542801).
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