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Leadership Approach

Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common
goal. The process of encouraging and helping others to work enthusiastically towards objectives.
Alan Keith stated that, "Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to
making something extraordinary happen.
The Essence of Leadership
Leadership refers to ability of one individual to influence others.
The influence is exercised to change the behavior of others.
Change of behavior is caused with an objective of achieving a shared goal.
The person influencing others(leader) possesses a set of qualities or characteristics with
which he or she to influence others
Leadership is a group phenomenon. It involves interaction between two or more people.
Leadership & Management
Management - is a process of planning, organizing, coordinating ,directing, and controlling the
activities of others.
Leadership - is the process of influencing for the purpose of achieving shared goals.
John Kotter distinction:
Involves coping with complexity
Coping with change
Difference Between Managers & Leaders
Short term view
Ask how & when
Accept the status quo
Do things right

Long term view
Ask what & why
Challenge the status quo
Do right things.

Importance of Leadership
Leadership transforms potential into reality.
Leadership is not mere using people and their potential for realizing an organizations
goals. It has the ultimate aim of raising the level of human conduct and ethical aspiration
of both the leader and the led.
The leader should elevate, inspire, and evangelize his followers to higher things in life.
Formal & Informal Leadership

Formal leadership
Occurs when a manager leads by exercising formal authority.
The exercise of formal authority through assigning duties derives, from the
managers official position within the organizations hierarchy of authority.
Any employee who is assigned a managerial position has the opportunity and
responsibility to exercise formal leadership
Informal leadership
Arises when a person without formal authority is influential in directing the
behaviors of others. Although not formally appointed or elected he becomes a
leader through his actions or personal attractions.
Leadership Styles
Autocratic or authoritarian style.Under the autocratic leadership style, all decisionmaking powers are centralized in the leader, as with dictator leaders. They do not
entertain any suggestions or initiatives from subordinates. The autocratic management
has been successful as it provides strong motivation to the manager. It permits quick
decision-making, as only one person decides for the whole group and keeps each decision
to himself until he feels it is needed to be shared with the rest of the group. High degree
of dependency on the leader. May be valuable in some types of business where decisions
need to be made quickly and decisively.
Participative or democratic style. The democratic leadership style favors decision-making
by the group. They can win the cooperation of their group and can motivate them
effectively and positively. The decisions of the democratic leader are not unilateral as
with the autocrat because they arise from consultation with the group members and
participation by them.
Consultative: process of consultation before decisions are taken
Persuasive: Leader takes decision and seeks to persuade others that the decision is
Laissez Faire or free rein style. A free rein leader does not lead, but leaves the group
entirely to itself such a leader allows maximum freedom to subordinates, i.e. They are
given a free hand in deciding their own policies and methods.
Can be very useful in businesses where creative ideas are important
Can be highly motivational, as people have control over their working life
Can make coordination and decision making time-consuming and lacking in
overall direction
Relies on good team work.
Relies on good interpersonal relations.
Leadership Theories
Great Man Theory
Leaders are born and not made. Great leaders will arise when there is a great need.

Early research on leadership was based on the study of people who were already great
leaders. These people were often from the aristocracy, as few from lower classes had the
opportunity to lead. This contributed to the notion that leadership had something to do with
breeding. The idea of the Great Man also strayed into the mythic domain, with notions that in
times of need, a Great Man would arise, almost by magic. This was easy to verify, by pointing to
people such as Eisenhower and Churchill, let alone those further back along the timeline, even to
Jesus, Moses, Mohammed and the Buddah.
The 'great man' theory was originally proposed by Thomas Carlyle. Gender issues were
not on the table when the 'Great Man' theory was proposed. Most leaders were male and the
thought of a Great Woman was generally in areas other than leadership. Most researchers were
also male, and concerns about androcentric bias were a long way from being realized.
It has been said that history is nothing but stories of great men. Certainly, much has this bias,
although there is of course also much about peoples and broader life.
Trait Theory
People are born with inherited traits. Some traits are particularly suited to leadership.
People who make good leaders have the right (or sufficient) combination of traits.
Early research on leadership was based on the psychological focus of the day, which was
of people having inherited characteristics or traits. Attention was thus put on discovering these
traits, often by studying successful leaders, but with the underlying assumption that if other
people could also be found with these traits, then they, too, could also become great leaders.
McCall and Lombardo (1983) researched both success and failure identified four primary
traits by which leaders could succeed or 'derail':
Emotional stability and composure: Calm, confident and predictable, particularly when
under stress.
Admitting error: Owning up to mistakes, rather than putting energy into covering up.
Good interpersonal skills: Able to communicate and persuade others without resort to
negative or coercive tactics.
Intellectual breadth: Able to understand a wide range of areas, rather than having a
narrow (and narrow-minded) area of expertise.
There have been many different studies of leadership traits and they agree only in the
general saintly qualities needed to be a leader. For a long period, inherited traits were sidelined as
learned and situational factors were considered to be far more realistic as reasons for people
acquiring leadership positions. Paradoxically, the research into twins who were separated at birth
along with new sciences such as Behavioral Genetics have shown that far more is inherited than
was previously supposed. Perhaps one day they will find a 'leadership gene'.
Behavioral Theory
Leaders can be made, rather than are born. Successful leadership is based in definable,
learnable behavior.
Behavioral theories of leadership do not seek inborn traits or capabilities. Rather, they
look at what leaders actually do. If success can be defined in terms of describable actions, then it

should be relatively easy for other people to act in the same way. This is easier to teach and learn
then to adopt the more ephemeral 'traits' or 'capabilities'.
Behavioral is a big leap from Trait Theory, in that it assumes that leadership capability
can be learned, rather than being inherent. This opens the floodgates to leadership development,
as opposed to simple psychometric assessment that sorts those with leadership potential from
those who will never have the chance. A behavioral theory is relatively easy to develop, as you
simply assess both leadership success and the actions of leaders. With a large enough study, you
can then correlate statistically significant behaviors with success. You can also identify behaviors
which contribute to failure, thus adding a second layer of understanding.
Contingency Theory
The leader's ability to lead is contingent upon various situational factors, including the
leader's preferred style, the capabilities and behaviors of followers and also various other
situational factors.
Contingency theories are a class of behavioral theory that contends that there is no one
best way of leading and that a leadership style that is effective in some situations may not be
successful in others. An effect of this is that leaders who are very effective at one place and time
may become unsuccessful either when transplanted to another situation or when the factors
around them change. This helps to explain how some leaders who seem for a while to have the
'Midas touch' suddenly appear to go off the boil and make very unsuccessful decisions.
Contingency theory is similar to situational theory in that there is an assumption of no
simple one right way. The main difference is that situational theory tends to focus more on the
behaviors that the leader should adopt, given situational factors (often about follower behavior),
whereas contingency theory takes a broader view that includes contingent factors about leader
capability and other variables within the situation.

Group Behavior Approach

Characteristics- The approach puts special emphasis on groups within an organization and
peoples behavior in these groups. It is the study of social and organizational behavior of people
in groups.
Limitations- The approach generally differs with management concepts, theories and techniques.
A close integration with an organizations structure is needed.
Groups are an integral part of modern organizations. They are present everywhere, from
the shop floor to the highest levels of management. Stephen Robbins defines a group as two or
more individuals, interacting and interdependent, who have come together to achieve particular
Types of Groups

Most individuals belong to various types of groups. These different groups can be broadly
classified in two types.
1. Formal Groups: these groups are consciously created to serve an organizational
objective. The crew of an airline flight is an example of a formal group. Formal groups
can be further divided into different types:
Command group: It is a group determine by the connection between individual
who are a formal part of the organization. For e.g., the marketing department
comprising of the general manager and the other marketing staff.
Task group: A task group is created by the management to accomplish certain
organizational goals. It is specifically created to solve the problem or preform a
defined task.
2. Informal Groups: Informal groups are groups that develop naturally among people,
without any direction from the organization within they operate. They are formed
spontaneously and are based on personal relationships or specific interests. The
different types of informal groups are:
Interest groups: Interest groups consist of person who shares common interests.
They may be job related interest, or such as sports, national politics or religion.
Friendship groups: friendship group consist of individual who come together
because they share one or more common characteristics. They consist of people
with natural affinities for one another.
Stages of Group Development
Every group passes through different stages in its life cycle. According to a popular model, every
group passes through five distinct stages of group development.
a. Forming: In the forming stages the members share personal information and try to know
more about the tasks to be performed.
b. Storming: the members compete for positions of status and control. This is a period of
high emotionality and tension among group members. The storming stage is completed
when the intra group conflicts are resolved and the groups leadership is accepted.
c. Norming: In this stage the group really begins to come together as a coordinated unit.
Members start co-operating with each other and place their competing interest in the
d. Performing: This stage is sometimes called as total integration. During this stage, the
group members work effectively and efficiently towards achieving the group objectives.
e. Adjourning: In this stage the group prepares for disbandment. The groups focus is now
on wrapping up activities rather than achieving high task performance.
Why Do People Join Groups?
People join groups for a variety of different reason. Most people belong to several groups
because different groups provide different benefits. The following are the benefits:

Goal Achievement
Satisfaction of needs.
Shared interest and goals.

Groups Dynamics- Factors Influencing Working of Groups

Each group has its own unique personality. This is because several factors affect the working of
groups. The different factors that influence group dynamics can be classified in to:
External Factors
Group Resources
Group Structure
Group Process
Group Tasks
External Conditions
Work groups dont exist in isolation. They are a part of the larger organization. They are as
organization strategy
authority structures
formal regulations
organizational resources
human resources selection process
performance evaluation and reward system
organizational culture
physical work setting

Group Member Resources

To succeed a group must have members with the right skills and competencies. The resources
that individual members bring to the group have a strong influence on its performance. Abilities
and personality characteristics of group members are two important resources.
a. Abilities: What group members can do it has a strong bearing on group performance.
Intellectual and task relevant ability of group members affects overall group performance.
Personality characteristics: The personality traits of individual group members
strongly influence how they interact with other group members. Characteristics such as
authoritarianism and dominance have a negative impact on groups.

Group Structure
Group structure refers to the pattern of interrelationships between the individuals constituting a
group. The different aspects or variables of group structure are:
a. Formal leadership
b. Roles
c. Norms
d. Status
e. Size
f. Cohesiveness
g. Composition
Group Process
Group process includes the communication patterns used by members for information exchange,
group decision processes, leader behavior, conflicts and the like. One group process that has
generated considerable interest among researchers is the social facilitation effect. Psychologists
have given different explanations for the social facilitation effect.
Some of the prominent explanations are:
a. Drive theory.
b. Evaluation apprehension.
c. Distraction-conflict model.
Group Task
Task may be simple, routine and standardized or they are complex, non-routine, and novel. The
nature of the task moderates the group process and effect group performance and member
satisfaction. For certain kind of tasks, large groups are more suitable while for some tasks
smaller groups are desirable. Greater interaction among group members is required when there is
a high degree of interdependence among the tasks that group members must perform.

Cooperative Social Systems Approach

Characteristics- The approach includes cooperative groups which have a set purpose. It deals
with both interpersonal and group behavioral aspects.
Limitations- This approach overlooks the managerial concepts and is too broad a field for the
study of management.

Decision Theory Approach

Decision theory approach in management is an approach that uses logical concepts to

help managers to formulate decisions. When using this type of approach, one will identify values
and uncertainties while they are trying to make decisions that will affect their business. They will
also use all the facts that are at their disposal. This will include various data. The manager will
want to be as informed on the facts, as well as any pros and cons that come with the decision
before any decision is made.
Simple decisions usually need a simple decision-making process. But difficult decisions
typically involve issues like these:
Uncertainty - Many facts may not be known.
Complexity - You have to consider many interrelated factors.
High-risk consequences - The impact of the decision may be significant.
Alternatives - Each has its own set of uncertainties and consequences.
Interpersonal issues - It can be difficult to predict how other people will react.
With these difficulties in mind, the best way to make a complex decision is to use an effective
A Systematic Approach to Decision Making
A logical and systematic decision-making process helps you address the critical elements that
result in a good decision. By taking an organized approach, you're less likely to miss important
factors, and you can build on the approach to make your decisions better and better.
There are six steps to making an effective decision:
Create a constructive environment.
Generate good alternatives.
Explore these alternatives.
Choose the best alternative.
Check your decision.
Communicate your decision, and take action.
Create a Constructive Environment
Establish the Objective - Define what you want to achieve.
Agree on the process - Know how the decision will be made, including whether it will be
an individual or team based decision.
Involve the right people Stakeholder Analyses is important in making an effective
decision, even if you are making an individual decision.
Allow Opinions to be heard Encourage participants to contribute to the discussions,
debates and analysis without any fear of rejection from the group.
Make sure you are asking the right question Ask yourself whether this is really the true
Use creativity tools from the start The basis of creativity is thinking from a different

Generate Good Alternatives

This step is still critical to making an effective decision. The more good options you
consider the more comprehensive your final decision will be. When you generate alternatives,
you force yourself to dig deeper, and look at the problem from different angles. If you don't have
reasonable alternatives, then there's really not much of a decision to make!
The following are some key tools to make good alternatives.
Brainstorming: It is probably the most popular method of generating ideas.
Reverse Brainstorming: Another approach which works similarly. However , it
starts by asking people to brainstorm how to achieve the opposite outcome from
the one wanted, and then reversing these actions.
The Charette Procedure: It is a systematic process for gathering and developing
ideas from many stakeholders.
Use the Crowford Slip Writing Technique: To generate ideas from a large number
of people.
The Reframing Matrix Technique: It uses 4 Ps (product, planning, potential and
people) as the basis for gathering different perspectives.
Appreciative Inquiry Technique: Forces you to look at the problem based on what
is going right than what is going wrong.
Organizing Ideas Technique
This is very helpful when there are many ideas. Sometimes separate ideas can be combined into
one comprehensive alternative. Use Affinity Diagrams to organize ideas into common themes
and groupings.
Explore the Alternatives
Risk In decision making there is usually some degree of certainty which inevitably
leads to risk.
Risk Analysis- helps you to look at risks objectively. It uses a structured approach for
assessing threats, and for evaluating the probability of events occurring.
Implications Another way to look at options is to consider the potential consequences of
Validation Determine if resources are adequate, if the solution matches your objectives,
whether the decision is likely to work for a long term.
Choose the Best Alternative
After you have evaluated the alternatives, the next step is to choose between them. The following
tools help in making the right choice.
Grid Analysis Is a key tool for this type of evaluation.
Use Paired Compared Analysis To determine the relative importance of various Factors.
Decision Trees Which is useful in choosing between options.

Systems Approach
Just like a human body, an organization is also made of different interdependent systems.
A change in any one of these systems may affect all or some other systems to varying degrees.
This ripple effect influences the effectiveness of the organization. To understand the
interactions and the consequences between the various systems of the organization, the managers
should possess the ability to get a perspective view. The term systems approach is used when
different approaches are used by an organization to deal with various issues.
Systems theory was first applied in the field of science and engineering. It also has found
wide acceptance in the practice of management. A system can be defined as essentially a set or
assemblage of things interconnected or interdependent, so as to form a complex unity. Cars,
computers, television and radio sets are some examples of such systems.
There are two major types of systems. They are as follows:
Closed system
Open system
A closed system has definite boundaries. It operates relatively independently and is not
affected by the environment outside the system. In this case, stand by generator serve as
appropriate examples. With its different systems working together in perfect harmony, the
generator continues to supply power as long as it has sufficient fuel supply without much regard
to the external environment. An open system, as the name implies, is characterized by its
interaction with the external environment. Clearly, an open-system model that includes
interactions between the enterprise and its external environment should describe any business or
other organization.

Figure 3.1 is self-explanatory. An important mechanism helps the system to adapt and
adjust to the changing conditions of its environment. This system is feedback and it helps in
exercising control over its operations. The systems approach of management provides an integral
approach to management. It views management in its totality. It helps in seeing the problems of
the organization in wider perspective. This approach is more useful in managerial decisionmaking.
Based on the systems approach, Talcot Parsons has suggested the following three
meaningful levels in the hierarchy of complex organizations:
The technical level is concerned with the actual production and distribution of products
and services. It also includes activities like research and development, operation research and
accounting. The organizational level coordinates and integrates work performance at the
technical level. It helps in obtaining a continued flow of inputs into the system and maintaining
the markets for the outputs from the system. The institutional level is concerned with relating
activities of the organization to environmental system. It involves relating the organization to the
needs of the environment.