Choosing an appropriate leadership style

By now it is apparent that leadership is a product of many forces that act and interact simultaneously. Every manager must achieve some degree of integration of these varying and complex forces, otherwise he will be unable to carry out the managerial job effectively. Leadership comes from a complex relationship between (1) the leader, (2) the led, (3) the organization and (4) social values economic and political conditions.

The model, known as the integrated leadership model consisting of four variables which can be depicted graphically leadership is made up of four variables surrounding it. The first is the leader which includes such things as that person’s values, confidence of the leader in group members, and general circumstances preferred. Proceeding clockwise the second variable is the followers along with the forces included. Likewise variable 3 organization and 4 social values, economic and political conditions are indicated on the illustration along with the representations forces of each.

When the extent and influence of technology, 3c, have a strong influence on leadership, when the nature of work is highly technological, the employees’ involvement in the work is limited. This is because the work is programmed in detail; little is left for the member of the group to decide. In contrast, work dealing with research projects new products development and managerial policies is not predetermined. The influence and the type of leadership given to employees doing such work differ from those when the tasks are highly structured. Certainly of tasks, 3d, is also important. When the exact work pattern is known, an active and controlling leader is usually effective. In contrast, when the task is uncertain, a permissive and passive type of leadership appears effective.

Variable 4, social values, economic and political conditions takes into account the influence of external environmental factors on the leadership style practiced. In addition, factors on the leadership style practiced. In addition, factors like education of the followers, standard of living, change in market, modification of taxes also bring about changes in the style of effective leadership.

The main issue here is the extent of the managers’ ability to choose among different leadership styles in different situation. If the managers are flexible in leadership style or if they can be trained to vary their style, then presumably they will be effective in a variety of leadership situations. On the other hand, if they are inflexible, they will perform effectively only in the situations best suited to their style of leadership. Thus, it is possible that individuals can learn how to diagnose a situation and after their style, at least to some extent, to make their leadership more effective.

The manager should be aware should be aware of the variety of leadership styles available and he should use his own observations to learn about leadership in actual situations. Finally, he should also experiment with different approaches and learn through analysis of the results. The leadership behaviors will be learned on the job as they interact with their subordinates and their tasks.

Leadership ad Ethics:

Many a times leadership is confronted with two general types of propositions: those of a factual nature and those of an ethical nature. Factual proposition, which accurately describes the world we observe, can be tested and proved to be true or false. On the other hand, an ethical proposition which asserts that one course of action is better than another, can only be asserted to be good or bad. Ethical matters pertain to what conditions ought to be.

The problem is that there is no way to prove the ultimate values. The while system depends on the person’s assumptions as to what is good; for example a person may think that being happy is the ultimate good whereas another may feel being rich is the ultimate good.

One approach considers certain values and holds good under all circumstances. It is true that killing is wrong, but it cannot be termed as wrong and unlawful in all the situations. Opposing this view point is another, generally refereed to as situational ethics. Under this approach, the question of whether an action is right or wrong depends upon the total situation in which the action occurs. For example, a person killing another person would be wrong under the first view point. But killing in self defense is not capital punishment or killing for what is right would not be considered wrong. The same principle applies to leadership styles. A particular leadership style under one set of circumstances and in one environment would be right, whereas the same action under another set of circumstances and in another environment would be wrong. The leader may also find a conflict between the ethics and the interest of the group. Many a time he may have to compromise on, either of the two.

A primary source of leadership values is religion. They may be based on the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Christian, or any other religion. With religion we find differing values.

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