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Leadership Is Not Dead: The Importance Of Leadership In Guiding Their Organizations To Success - Term Paper Example

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Leaders are under fire, as scholars examined their relevance in organizations that have flat organizational designs and empowering organizational cultures. Some scholars believe that leaders are fundamental to organizational effectiveness (Hillman et al., 2005)…
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Leadership Is Not Dead: The Importance Of Leadership In Guiding Their Organizations To Success
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Download file to see previous pages Traditional theories of leadership underscored the value of leadership traits that help leaders influence and guide their followers to collective endeavors, and ultimately, to organizational success (Allan et al., 2006, p.43). Social power theories, however, insist that leaders are important in relation to their ability to influence their followers (Allan et al., 2006, p.43). Without sufficient social power, they cannot contribute to organizational success. Transformational and transactional leadership theories convey different views and means of leadership, though they essentially agree that leadership strongly shape organizational outcomes (Allan et al., 2006, p.43). Despite these theories on leadership, other scholars question the relevance of leadership in networked and flatter organizations (Kellerman, 2007, p.86). For them, leadership is contested terrain that may be losing importance, especially for knowledge-intensive industries and economies (Kellerman, 2007, p.86; Pfeffer, 1977). Leadership is seen as not the only means to organizational ends. Leadership is important, nonetheless, because leaders are the people who have the training, skills, influence, and knowledge to make important decisions for their organizations or groups....
Effective leaders, however, should be chosen and promoted using empirical criteria that support theories on leadership and the practical needs of their organizations. Other scholars believed that leaders are irrelevant to modern organizations with motivated employees. Pfeffer (1977) questioned the importance of leaders for organizations in his seminal article, “The Ambiguity of Leadership.” He noted that leaders get the credit or the axe for the success or failures of their organizations, respectively, and are believed to be indispensable to organizational life. He argued, however, that leaders are not that critical to organizational success, because of the following reasons: the ambiguity in defining and measuring the concept; leaders have little power to attain excellent results; and their environments severely delimit their actions. Furthermore, Pfeffer (1977) lamented that the selection criteria of leaders are not empirical. Organizations sometimes use selection criteria that either diverge with actual managerial practices, or use criteria that do not have objectivity and validity in choosing the right leaders. Many leaders get selected and promoted because of social connections, for instance. Then again, Pfeffer (1977) also found leadership competence as hard to define and measure. For him, empirical studies showed anyway that administrative action has little effect on organizational outcomes (Pfeffer, 1977, p.107). Another scholar explored the impact of changing environment on the roles of leadership. In “What Every Leader Needs to Know about Followers,” Kellerman (2007) stressed that followers have increasingly maximized the “level playing field” that equal civil ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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