Friday, October 11, 2019

Organizational Behavior and Design Essay

Leadership exists in both formal and informal fashion. Formal leadership is defined by Byrnes (2003, p. 160) as ‘leadership by a manager who has been granted the formal authority or right to command’. Formal authority in this sense means those elements that automatically come with leadership – perhaps a title, an office, a budget, the right to make decisions, a set of subordinates, a reporting relationship, and so on. Formal leaders are appointed or elected to lead the group by virtue of such characteristics as their position in the organization and their interest or expertise in relation to the group’s focus. A formal leader is one who possesses organizational authority to direct and control the activities of subordinates. The individual issues orders and instructions to his subordinates by virtue of his formal authority within the organization. The formal leader is responsible and accountable to those who have elected him in a formal way. At the managerial or executive level, this paper asserts that formal leadership is not always necessary; at least, the execution of formal authority by the leader must constantly depend on the situation. The main reason behind this assertion is that formal leadership strategies that carry out perceived improvements do not always generate a common vision among leadership groups. Nor does formal leadership always establish or follow guidelines for carrying out improvements. For instance, Durk Jager, former Procter & Gamble (P&G) CEO, has many traits of a good manager and may have managed P&G well during his time but he was not seen by those whom he managed as being the leader. This example just implies that formal authority is not the sole basis of leadership in part because leadership relationships are based on additional resources other than authority, like expertise and interpersonal skills. The formal leader cannot depend solely on the use of formal authority because subordinates seldom put maximum effort under the pressure of authority. Being a successful businessperson or manager does not make a person a good leader. Just because someone is assigned a formal leadership role does not guarantee that the person will be the only leader of the group, or will become effective in the said role, as evidenced in the aforementioned example. A top level manager like Jager that has considerable authority but lacked leadership qualities is likely to be less effective than a supervisor with little authority but a high degree of qualities. People in formal leadership positions may wield force or authority using only their position and the resources and power that come with it, but never get the cooperation that people who exercise both formal and informal leadership at the same time. Informal leadership can be valuable assets to an organization’s formal leadership, and they can use their influence to work with the goals of the organization. In this light, giving managers formal authority is less important than ensuring that their expertise, creativity, initiative and interpersonal skills infuse organizational improvement efforts. Further, while most open-minded formal leaders believe in their own importance, seeing themselves as central to the health of the organization, they do not always regard it as essential that they review either their role or organizational convictions. Furthermore, strictly formal organizations can seldom define all the possible variations of responsibility and personal interaction to be expected of all members in all situations. Nevertheless, organizations appear to be founded upon a basic system of stable expectations regarding differential responsibilities and relationships among the members. This is not a one-way process. That is, it is not the organization alone which sets up role expectations for its members. The members set up expectations for each other and for the organization as a whole. Moreover, while group members can agree upon which members hold the position of leader, the inconsistencies between such agreement and the attempts to evaluate leadership in terms of group productivity is evidently due to a low correlation between actually influential behavior and formal leadership status. In conclusion, it would be highly beneficial for an organization if members think of leadership as a behavior, not a formal role, as it will extend the capability for leadership behaviors to all organizational members and call for a change in how the organization approaches leadership development, which then should focus beyond managers or future managers to include all organizational members. Such a conception of leadership does not require that the functions of leadership be vested in one person. Any person who influences the group is playing a leader’s role and in this sense several individuals may be viewed as leaders at different times. In this paper, it is accepted that leadership may shift among group members depending upon the situations confronted by the group. Formal leaders, then, are office holders elected to play the most influential roles most of the time. The informal or effective leaders are the individuals who in fact do play the most influential roles most of the time. Those in formal leadership positions may have final authority, but others, within their own more constrained domains, will still need to draw on virtually the same set of leader attributes. These other’ leaders support the organizational leadership and extend the reach of those in formal leadership positions. Their leadership is manifest through their ability to work effectively with others, derive consensus, take initiative, question, and propose. These forms of participation in leadership are rarely considered as leadership per se, especially from traditional (i. . , narrow) perspectives. Rather than viewing leadership as the province of a few elites that have formal leadership role designations, an alternative perspective of this paper views leadership as an outcome of effective social structures and processes. It is the aggregate ability to create shared work that is meaningful to people and to add value to an organization. From this latter perspective, everyone can and should participate in both formal and informal leadership.

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