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Organizational Leadership - Essay Example

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In his paper 'Organisational Leadership and Shame' (2000), Hunt raises a very interesting issue of the implications of shame and 'shame anxiety' on the phenomenon of organizational leadership and management practices. Particularly, Hunt cites Heifitz (1994) in suggesting that 'One of the critical tasks of leadership is to help the organisation face the truth about itself'…
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Organizational Leadership
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Organizational Leadership

Download file to see previous pages... This argument further leads us to the role of emotions in leading the organizations and how leadership, coping with the emotions, can carve out success for the organization on the competitive arena. This also important because of the fact that following shame and other emotions, leadership can effectively help organizations to the face the reality not about themselves but of their competition too. The argument regarding the shame within the organizational context is also important in the sense that shame has the tendency to motivate organizations to hide their vulnerabilities therefore making them weaker by avoiding truth about themselves. A good leader therefore needs to have the guts and the courage to face reality about the present circumstances of the organization which he or she is leading.
The role of emotions and shame within the context of leadership therefore encompasses many different variables such as the role of the leader in organization and the personality of the leader and how the leadership can help achieve the realization for the organization to face the reality about itself. In order to explore the question of where does the leadership come from, it is necessary to understand the actual meaning and structure of leadership.
In psychology the phenomenon of leadership has traditionally been associated with in-group dynamics of social interactions. In any group, regardless of its size, members differ in their degree of social influence over one another: " the person who exerts the most influence on the rest of the group thus affecting group beliefs and behaviour is usually addressed as leader" (Hollander, 1985: 14).
This definition of leadership allows the reader to grasp the essence of leadership, but it is only one of the numerous of definitions that have been proposed in the literature. Thus, the second edition of The Handbook of Leadership by Bass lists more than 130 definitions of leadership (Bass, 1985: 12). Absence of agreement amongst the scholars is partially due to different methods employed to explore the phenomenon, partially due to the different objectives pursued by scholars who define leadership, and partially due to the variations in theoretical approaches. Thus, Bass (1985) specifies 13 major approaches: leadership as the focus of group processes, as personality attribute, as the art of inducing compliance, as an exercise of influence, as a particular kind of act or behaviour, as a form of persuasion, as a power relationship, as an instrument of goal achievement, as an emerging effect of group interaction ('leadership exists when it is acknowledged or conferred by other members of the group), as a differentiated role, as the initiation or maintenance of role structure, or as some combination of all these approaches (pp. 6-10).
One of the earliest approaches to understanding leadership was to search for personality traits that caused some people and not others to become leaders. As a result, early definitions (beginning and first half of the 20th century) tended to view leadership as an innate personal quality of the leader, in line with such highly individual qualities as sense of humour, persistence, or piety.
Following this tradition, researchers specified certain traits that made leaders. Some of these were ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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