Leadership and Group Behavior Relationship

Introduction

The major role of a team leader is to manage and develop an orchestrate team. The behavior adopted in a team is shaped by the leadership strategy upheld in an organization; it is further influenced by the relationship that exists between the leader and team members. The relationship between leaders and their subordinate is complex and deeply vested in human psychological development (Parker, 2009). Human beings have different personalities that interpolate environments differently, the kind of behavior, values, and attitude that one upholds is influenced by inborn and external traits. According to operant learning theory, human behavior can be molded through positive or negative reinforcements. Response to leadership behavior and respect to organization’s values is influenced by the leadership approach in an organization (Lewis, 2004). This paper discusses the Relationship between leadership and group behavior.

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In team management, group leaders are seen as the role models and the action they take reinforces a certain behavior within their groups Group leaders are seen as the direction heads and the group’s behavior shaper, they are supposed to have clear vision of the group and have a set pathway that the group will develop through. In modern business arenas, there are considerable effects of leadership observed in different situations; the success of Apple Inc, in the competitive electronic industry has been attributed to Steve Jobs leadership traits. The approach by the leader has boosted a behavior of innovativeness in the company; the approach by the leader is that when an employee develops something, then he is rewarded and recognized with the success.

The approach by Steve Jobs has is has reinforced the innovation within the company. The success of Starbucks Coffee Company in the hospitality business has been attributed to the leadership style adopted in the institution; the managers ensure they have developed healthy team spirits that have boosted ethical behavior within the company. the company have been successful in making environmental conservation as one of the organizational behavior that have lead to high respect for the business and customer loyalty (Newstrom & Scannell, 1998).

Formal and Informal Leadership

Formal groups have some set goals and objectives to attain in an organization; some examples of formal teams include human resources management team and project management teams. They have a head that is given the role of controlling evens within the group, the powers of the leaders are given by the appointing authority; the formal leaders is the reference point by the top management and expected to know all the dynamics that are happening in the team that he is leading. Depending with the size of the team, he may have the power to be operating with the help of line leaders who are answerable to him/her. Through when appointment is taking place, he should be vetted for leadership character traits; it is not always that he is a charisma leader (Bass & Bass, 2008).

The quality of leadership whether formal or informal determines s the motivation and creation of positive relationship to the success of the company, though the top management may not have employed information leadership, managers need to learn and understand the influence that they have on the group behavior. Alongside formal groups, some informal group results not from deliberate management making but they exist by the virtue that human beings are beings and tend to live in groups. Mutually shared interests among members of informal groups hold the groups together; some examples of informal teams are social welfare groups, security, knowledge acquisition and groups to purporting to liberate the organization.

Informal leaders have a major influence on the direction, the change adoption speed and the attitude that a team has, when they are empowered, they make leaders of influence and those that can be trusted with group dynamic changes. Sometimes it is important to have programs that focus on changing the directions of informal leaders since when their direction has been changed, and then the entire team is likely to follow. In change management programs, change can only be implemented when the group can move towards a certain destiny (Wheelen & Hunger, 1998).

In group dynamic and operations, it is where leaders emerge; they are people who are seen doing some important roles and are able to influence the direction taken by the group. Leaders influence the group flexibility and performance they have the role of pioneering the relationship and team spirit that a certain group adopts. Within the groups whether informal or formal behavior develops, behavior is an element of group conformity and group culture, when a certain group adopts a form of behavior, the behavior is generally acceptable. In the efforts of conforming to the group, whether formal or informal, then team members need to conform to the unseen behavior and culture of the team. The behavior development within formal and informal teams thus become an important element in the determination of group behavior, the leaders, formal or informal have the custodian role of the culture thus their role is crucial in group behavior development (Hughes, Ginnett & Curphy, 2009).

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Literature on Leadership

Leadership can be defined as a science of managing and developing business strategies to be followed in an organization: the success of an organization depends on the quality of leaders; managerial decisions are the driving force of an organization. Within teams, leaders have the role of setting the pace and direction that the team will follow, when leaders take a path that is not effective, and then the operation of the entire team is likely to fall. Leaders have their main as pioneering, mentoring, shaping, driving, focusing and guiding teams to the attainment of organizational goals and objectives. They also have the role of mentoring, developing, establishing and tapping of talents within the group (Kotlyar & Karakowsky, 2006).

The Concept of “Without Leaders There Are No Followers”

For a group to quality to be called a group, there are two very important aspects that must be present, the people and the leaders. When there are people, the followers, and they have no leadership, then the entire group lacks the sense of direction. The attainment of goals and objectives within a group setting is determined by the direction set by the leaders, if the leaders are not there then the individual group member is likely to go in his own direction with the aim of satisfying his/her personal goals. The business definition of group identifies that a team has a sense of direction where it follows; a move to a certain direction that the firm forges; the recognition of team spirit also forms part of the definition.

BASS, 1990, recognized the value of teamwork in groups and said when a company adopts the policy of teamwork, then corporate goals and objectives are attained effectively; there is a higher likelihood that the organization will fulfill its corporate goals and objectives. With team spirit, employees are highly motivated and willing to use their experience and intellectualism for the benefit of the organization (Crother-Laurin, 2006). The success of an organization is dependent on the quality, timeliness, efficiency and acceptability of decisions made by its leaders. The quality of decisions made by managers is reflected in the organizational overall performance. Businesses are drastically changing their tactics in their efforts to remain competitive; leaders have the responsibility of leading the way to success and changes in the organization.

Follower Behavior

Leaders are seen as the role models and the people that forge a direction to be followed by their team; under the followership concept, leaders are given the role of being the pioneers and in the forefront then command for follower values and trust, and develop effective characteristics of effective followership.

In time of change, transformational leadership model is of great importance, the leader must be seen as the changing agent and works to develop an effective change strategy. The transformation can only be attained when there is emotional intelligence and good cohesion within the team; the way teams adopt to change can be interpolated as a behavior that they have to adopt, it of great importance to have an effective change process, since change is inevitable.

In a transformation leadership, four major attributes are of importance to a leader, they are:

Idealized influence

The leader has the role of being the changing agent who develops a sense of identity, self-respect and influences a high ethical behavior within the team; to attain this influence, a leader needs to be of high moral standing and understands the direction that he want the team go precisely.

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Intellectual stimulation

The leaders encourage the growth of one’s talents, innovativeness and invention; this is done by creating environments of high career development

Individual consideration

As much as leaders have the role of seeing the success of an entire group, they should realize that groups are made of people with different issues, they should have an ear to listen to different people

Inspirational motivation

Leaders have the role articulating a common vision within the team and see the attainment of the direction set (Pielstick, 1998).

A Contingency Model Of Leadership: Fielder’s Lpc

According to the theory by Fred Fiedler, 1922, there is no on single model of leadership however leadership adopted in an organization is a factor of situational contingency; the theory explains that leadership style and situational favorableness determine the approach that leaders have at different situations. According to the theory, leaders have the role of creating a group behavior and determining the trends and dynamics at particular situations. The theory suggests that in creation of group dynamics and spirit, there is no ideal leader however; low-LPC (task-oriented) and high-LPC (relationship-oriented) leaders can be of importance in different situations depending with the task. The theory identifies three main situations that call for a different approach in leadership, they are leader-member Relations, task structure, and leader position power, how well every situation is used determines the success of group development dynamics.

For example in the case of emergencies, or situations that need urgent decisions, it is of no point for the leader to consult team players on the way forward; he should adopt a Task-oriented leadership approach. Alternatively, in change management, leaders can be more successful if they adopt leader-member Relations approach.

The theory has some assumptions that form its weakness, the first weakness of the theory is lack of flexibility; it assumes that there are clear-cut situations in the world, however the world is made of combination of issues and different leadership traits and approaches are required.

Another assumption of the theory is the leader-situation match / mismatch; it assumes that certain situation calls traits of leadership that can be found in different individuals, the theory thus assumes that leaders are rigid and the style they adopt can be flexible. The situation of the matter is that leaders have high rate of flexibility and can handle different situations requiring different leadership approaches (Lewis, 2004)

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Delegation and Empowerment

In-group management, effective leaders adopt the spirit of delegation, delegation can b redefined as a strategic approach of diving role and empowering subordinates to do certain tasks that were done by those higher in the authority. Within teams, team leaders need to develop the talents, skills and grow the leadership skills within the group, the most effective way of growing team members is through strategic delegations. When members are given a major role to play, they feel appreciated and they get motivated, it also grows the spirit of teamwork.

When it comes to empowerments, it follows the same approach with delegation however, empowerment is more concerned about making decisions which the team member could not have made initially; note than in delegation, the team leader is still responsible of the outcome of the delegated role since he has offered directions to be followed. In empowerment, the staff empowered is given the full control of a project and is held accountable of the outcomes.

When empowering and delegation, it is important to consider some aspects, Nature of work delegated the level of criticality of the work, the experience, the attitude and behavior as well as the reliability of subordinate. Delegation calls for the mentorship character of the leader to come out and take control, the results from a delegation and an empowerment exercise should be measurable.

When a team has an effective delegation, mentorship and empowerment strategy, the behavior that the team adopts include good communication within the group, high cohesion and positive attitude within the group as well as having a group spirit. Delegation and empowerments are leadership motivational approaches that lead to a team with positive behavior towards the success of the team (Margerison, 2002).

Conclusion

Group leaders have the role of developing orchestrate teams, they play a crucial role in developing behavior within their teams; their decisions and the way they exercise their leadership power determines the success of the team. Leaders have to play two main roles; as team players and strategist.

In transition periods, leaders play a crucial role translating the organization from one setting to another, they need to motivate and manage change strategy. To develop an orchestrate team; leaders need to delegate, empower and develop good communication channels within their team. Leader’s behavior, attitude, perception and decisiveness have direct impact on the work environment and work outcomes; the success of an organization is dependent on the quality, timeliness, efficiency and acceptability of decisions made by its leaders.

References

Bass,B., & Bass, R.(2008). The Bass handbook of leadership: theory, research, and managerial applications. Boston: Simon and Schuster.

Crother-Laurin, C. (2006). Effective Teams: A Symptom of Healthy Leadership. The Journal for Quality and Participation, 29(3), 4.

Hughes, R.L., Ginnett, R.C., & Curphy, G.J. (2009). Leadership: Enhancing the lessons of experience. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Kotlyar, I., & Karakowsky, L. (2006). Leading Conflict? Linkages Between Leader Behaviors and Group Conflict. Small Group Research,(37) 4, 377-403.

Lewis, P. (2004). Team-Based Project Management. Washington: Beard Books.

Margerison, C. (2002). Team leadership. Gale: Cengage Learning.

Newstrom, J.W., & Scannell, E. E.(1998). The big book of team building games: Trust building activities, team spirit exercises, and other fun things to do. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Parker, G. (2009).Team Leadership: 20 Proven Tools for Success. New Jersey: Human Resource Development Press.

Pielstick, C.D. (1998). The transforming leader: A meta-ethnographic analysis. Community College Review, 26(3), 15-34.

Wheelen, L.,& Hunger, J.(1998). Strategic Management and Business Policy: Entering 21st Century Global Society. Massachusetts: Addison Wesley.

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