2.0 Every organization needs a leader, as leaders

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2.0 Every organization needs a leader, as leaders

 

2.0
INTRODUCTION

This
section will review literatures on leadership style and performance. Conceptual
clarification of leaders, leadership and leadership styles will be examined.
Theories of leadership which will form the theoretical frameworks for this study
will also be examined and reviewed. Empirical studies will also be reviewed.

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2.1 CONCEPT OF LEADERS AND
LEADERSHIP

Leaders are the
individuals in the organization who set the tone and culture (Batista-Taran, Shuck, Gutierrez, & Baralt, 2009). A leader is a
person who influences people to achieve a goal or an objective (Yukl 1994 in
Belonio 2011). Every organization needs a leader, as leaders play a very
important role. A leader is like a captain of a ship, a pilot of an airline,
etc.  A capable leader is he who directs
and guilds his followers to achieve the desired goals. A leader is a person who
can influences the behavior of his followers to achieve the set goals. According
to Squires (2001), leadership is about having followers who deeply believe in
you and can conform to what you stand for, thus, it is concerned with the
spiritual aspect of their work.

 

A leader is a person
who inspires his subordinate through influence and directions, motivating others
to perform specific tasks for efficient performance towards the accomplishment
of the stated corporate objectives (R.M., T.A., & A.S., 2012). Simply interpreted,
the definition of a leader as someone who sets direction for his people to
follow, in an effort to influences them (Fustin, 2013). Successful leaders need to understand themselves,
their followers and the entire organization, tasks and procedures governing the
organization. A leader needs confidence and strategies for working competently
across a wide range of diverse issues – from creating learning associations
where workers mature and develop as everyday leaders to managing the conflict
inevitable in an organization from fostering the hierarchical clarity that
comes from sound structures and policies to unleashing energy and creativity
through bold visions (Gallos, 2008). Lee and Chuang (2009), clarify that the
excellent leader not only inspires subordinates to perform more efficiently but
also meets the requirements for achieving organizational goals.  Leadership is about social impact as the
leaders influence their followers’ conduct, attitude and motivations. Leaders
play an important role in the attainment of organizational goals.

 

2.2 THEORIES OF LEADERSHIP

The
study of leadership is crucial and has been an important part of the literature
on management and organization conduct from time immemorial. It has fostered many
debates in most professional communities worldwide.  Every organization seeks to constantly develop
good leaders, as this will inevitably bring about success. However, the logical
issue with this attempt is that there are countless leadership theories and
styles. There have been a number of theories explaining leadership styles; this
is likely because of the complexity of the concept of the term leadership which
can be viewed from different perspectives. While some people are of the opinion
that leadership is a natural trait therefore, they believe that leaders are
rather born not made. Some people believe that leaders are made and nobody is
born a leader. These various options make it almost impossible for professionals
to agree on which particular theory or style a leader should adopt to enhance
their organizations and also to develop great leaders. Indeed, as stated in (Schwandt
& Marquardt, 2000), “no other role in organizations has received more
interest than that of the leader”. Consequently, several theories of leadership
abound, a few of which are discussed below.

2.2.1
Trait Theories:

The
Traits Theory posits that personal characteristics like personality traits,
cognitive skills, interpersonal skills can determine an individual’s potential
for leadership roles and can distinguish leaders from non-leaders. (Furham,
2005).

 

Thus,
the Traits Theory establishes the fact that, leaders are born and not made,
that leadership is unique to certain individuals. As Parry and Bryman (2006) put
it, “nature is more important than nurture”; that is to say, an individual’s
predisposition to leadership (his or her “nature”) has a greater influence than
the context. This approach is essentially captured by Stogdill’s (1948) and
Mann’s (1959) work (Avolio, Sosik, Jung, & Berson, 2003).

 

The
trait theory often identifies a particular attribute an individual possesses
and compares this to the personality or behavioral characteristics shared by
leaders that have come before. If leadership is about particular traits as
major features of leaders, then how do we explain people who possess those
qualities but are not leaders? Can one person possess all traits seen in
leaders?  These questions are what makes
it difficult to use trait theories to explain leadership as traits cannot be
measured. (Ackerman & Heggestad, 1997; Judge, Jackson, Shaw, Scott, &
Rich, 2007).

 

2.2.2
Situational Theories:

The
Contingency/Situational theory of leadership is more concerned with the context
of applied leadership as it portends to the situation at hand and also, the
followers of the organization. Here, leadership focuses on situational
variables: the leader adjusts their leadership style to correspond to his or
her own personal characteristics and the current situation at hand (Krumm,
2001). Proponents of this theory, are of the belief that for a leader to be
effective, they should know how to adapt their personal characteristics to the situation.
Different models, such as the Path-Goal Theory (1971), Fiedler’s Contingency
Theory (1967), Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Theory (1984), and
the Vroom and Yetton’s Decision-Making Model (1973) were drawn from this
theory.

 

2.2.3
Behavioral Theories:

Behavioral
leadership theory holds that great leaders are made not born. This leadership
theory focuses on what actions leaders take, hence, it focuses on the actions
of leaders- their concern for people and production processes. The theory
states that an individual or persons can learn the act of leadership through
teaching and observations and the success of that leader can be defined in
terms of his action. (Nahrgang, Morgeson, & Ilies, 2009).

As
a result of the presumed failures and failings of early trait studies,
researchers from the 1940s through the 1960s began studying behaviors exhibited
by leaders as a means to separate leaders from non-leaders. The primary
difference between studying leadership behaviors and traits is that traits are
the attributes one possess, thus trait studies attempted to mold the “great
man” who had inborn characteristics that can supposedly make one a good leader.
Behaviors on the other hand, can be taught and learned and by being taught
these behaviors, managers are trained to develop an effective leadership style
and in turn, the people under them can be trained to be better leaders: the
focus is on what should be trained (Nahrgang, Morgeson, & Ilies, 2009).

 

2.2.4
Participative Theories:

Participative
leadership theory is of the opinion, that an ideal leadership style, is that which
welcomes the input and contributions from those who are affected by the
decision at hand, or are a part of the team and such inputs are accepted and
are put into accounts. These leaders encourage members of their team to play a
role by participating and contributing and this helps team members feel more
relevant and in turn, committed to the decision-making process. In
participative theories, however, the leader retains the right to allow the contributions.
It is otherwise referred to as transactional leadership.

 

Transactional
leadership is focused more on “exchanges” between leader and follower, it is a
theory which promotes compliance. The followers are rewarded or punished for either
meeting specific objectives or performance criteria or not meeting the required
goals (Jung, 2001). The leader provides rewards and positive reinforcement. Transactional
leadership is more practical in nature because of its emphasis on meeting
specific targets or objectives, thus, it is more practical in nature (Jung,
2001). An effective transactional leader recognizes and rewards followers’
accomplishments in a timely manner. However, subordinates of transactional
leaders are not necessarily expected to think innovatively and may be monitored
on the basis of predetermined criteria. Poor transactional leaders may be less
perceptive to problems within among their followers or within their
organization and thus, less likely to intervene before these problems grow out
of their reach while more successful transactional leaders make fitting moves
in an auspicious manner (Jung, 2001).

A
transactional leadership style is appropriate in many settings and may support
adherence to practice standards but not necessarily receptiveness to
development.

 

Relationship
Theories:

Relationship
theories, also known as transformational theories focus on the connections
formed between leaders and followers. Transformational leaders are great
influencers who inspires and motivates employees by helping them know the importance
and the benefits of the task. These leaders are particular about individuals
performing their duties and not entirely focused on the performance of the group
as a whole. Leaders with this style often have high ethical and moral
standards.

 

Transformational
leadership can be likened to charismatic or visionary leadership.
Transformational leaders are inspirational leaders, who focus on motivating
their followers in ways that go beyond rewards. Transformational leadership
operates especially well in close, personal supervisory relationships, compared
with more distant and impersonal relationships (Howell & Hall-Merenda,
1999), and closer supervision is often more typical in mental health settings.
This close relationship may be typical of a supervisor-supervisee relationship
and is also captured in the notion of “first-level leaders” (Priestland &
Hanig 2005), who are thought to be important because of their proximity to
supervisees in an organizational setting. A transformational leader aims to
expand and their followers’ motivations through the expression of the value and
importance of the leader’s goals (Howell, 1997; Gardner, Avolio, 1998).

 

 

2.3
EMPIRICAL FRAMEWORK

Studies on leadership have been ongoing for a long
time, researchers have carried out various studies which are distinguishable to
the present study. One of such studies is one carried out by Koech & Namusonge (2012) on the effects of leadership styles on organizational
performance at state-owned corporations in Kenya. The researcher specifically
sought to discover the degree to which various leadership styles such as laissez-faire,
transactional and transformational on organizational performance at state-owned
corporations in Kenya. A descriptive survey research based on the perceptions
of middle and senior managers in thirty (30) state-owned corporations based in
Mombasa, Kenya was undertaken. A structured, self-completed research
questionnaire was thereafter distributed.

 

Various factors and three independent
variables were identified and measured. These were transactional; transformational
and laissez-faire leadership styles. The dependent factor was represented by
the degree to which the organization has achieved its business objectives in
the previous financial year. Correlation analysis was employed to discover the
leadership styles that influence organizational performance. The relationship between
the transformational-leadership factors and organizational performance ratings was
recorded as high, whereas the relationship between the transactional-leadership
behaviors and organizational performance were relatively low. There was no
significant correlation between laissez-faire leadership style and organizational
performance.

 

From the study, recommendations about
laissez-faire leadership styles were made as managers were advised to get
involved in the organizations affairs and should give maximum guidance to their
subordinates; effective reward & recognition systems should be formulated
and employed by managers. It was further recommended that managers should:
inspire subordinates by providing meaning and challenging to work; and become a
role model to his subordinates by helping them improve and stimulate subordinate
efforts to become more innovative & creative; and lastly, for the achievement
and growth of the organization, managers should pay greater attention to each
of his followers needs. The study is similar to the present study as it
determined the impact of leadership styles on organizational performance. It
however differs in that it was carried out in state owned cooperation while the
present study is aimed at evaluating the leadership style and performance in an
ecommerce industry.

 

Another study similar to this present one is
that of Abasilim (2014) which reviewed organizational performance in Nigerian work environment and how it
relates with transformational leadership. 
It relied on secondary
data as its main source of information; however, a review of available
literature for description and analysis of the subject matter were reviewed and
this could serve as the primary method of study.  The researcher revealed the important role
leadership style plays in an organizational performance, with particular
reference to transformational leadership style. This however, depends on the
situation and the environment of the organization. It implied that
transformational leadership style will be best appropriate for ensuring organizational
performance in Nigerian work environment.

 

 Consequently, the study recommended that no
particular leadership style is the best and that leaders should adopt a
leadership style that is suitable for the environment and the situation in
order for organizations to improve or ensure optimal organizational
performance. Leaders should attend leadership submits and training schools to
enhance their leadership style and for the benefit of their organizations. It
also recommends that leaders must learn to choose the right leadership style
that matches the tactics they are taking to achieve their objectives and suits
the prevailing situations and environment if they must achieve the goals and
objectives of their organization as a whole. The study is different from the
present study as it is only a review of literature while the present study is
set to carry out an investigation on the influence of leadership style and
performance on employees performance and satisfaction in Payporte Nigeria
limited and this will be conducted using questionnaires, and conducting
interviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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