It is evident that effective leadership management significantly increases the productivity of any company. There are numerous aspects of the concept of organizational leadership, which should be discussed explicitly to acquire the full context of the notion. This paper aims to answer several questions, related to the topics of Yukl’s “Leadership in organizations” textbook.
The chapters under consideration discuss such notions as the nature of leadership and managerial work along with effective leadership behavior. It is argued that effective leadership comprises several broadly defined behavioral patterns (sometimes referred to as meta-categories), and this section aims to discuss the role of the task- and relations-oriented behaviors (Yukl, 2013). Relations-oriented behavior, also labeled as consideration, refers to such aspects as doing personal favors for subordinates, finding time to listen to their problems, and being willing to accept their suggestions (Yukl, 2013). Further, task-oriented behavior, labeled as initiating structure, includes, primarily, maintaining the company’s standards, supervising the subordinates, asking them to follow the instructions correctly, and criticizing insufficient efforts (Yukl, 2013). It is evident from numerous studies that the effectiveness of a leader significantly depends on the employment of relations- and task-oriented behaviors. Concerning the example from the personal experience, it is possible to notice that I was able to increase my subordinate’s productivity by holding weekly progress meetings about his project.
The three-factor taxonomy of broadly defined skills was developed by several researchers in the second half of the 20th century, and it is considered to be among the most effective frameworks for analyzing the effectiveness of an organizational leader (Yukl, 2013). Technical skills significantly contribute to managerial effectiveness since they comprise factual knowledge about the organization’s processes and methods along with the proper use of specialized equipment. Interpersonal skills are referred to a broad aspect of communication, including the understanding of human behavioral patterns, social sensitivity, empathy, ability to establish productive workplace relationships (Yukl, 2013). Thirdly, concerning conceptual skills, it is possible to observe that the ability to logically analyze various situations along with conceptualizing complex relations, problem-solving, and creating new ideas benefit significantly the effectiveness of a manager. It should also be noted that these skills are dependent on such variables as managerial level, type of organization, and the external environment (Yukl, 2013). For example, the higher manager’s position is, the more proficient he should be in conceptual skills, and less in technical. Concerning the personal evaluation, it could be argued that the set of conceptual skills is better employed in my work.
According to Yukl (2013), the manager’s attitude toward his or her subordinates is determined by the perception of an employee as one possessing competencies and loyalty, or the opposite of these characteristics. Therefore, it is proposed to employ the attribution theory, which was developed and elaborated on by numerous researchers in the second half of the 20th century. This theoretical framework states that a manager uses distinct cognitive processes to establish the standards of effective performance and to express an appropriate reaction for the employee’s accordance to the expectations (Yukl, 2013). In practice, one of the most widely used applications of attribution theory is the two-stage attribution model, which is used (1) to establish the causes for poor performance (which could be internal or external to subordinate) and (2) “to select an appropriate response to correct the problem” (for example, it is important to encourage low-skilled workers rather than blaming them) (Yukl, 2013, p. 225). Also, Ngamassi, Ramakrishnan, and Rahman (2016) argue that attribution theory could be efficiently used in the sphere of disaster management to “examine the use of social media … even before the occurrence of any disaster” (p. 5).
Further, it is essential to discuss the notion of a charismatic leader. It should be noted that charismatic leadership has several theoretical interpretations which will be briefly considered. Also, this term is often referred to as transformational leadership; these terms could be used interchangeably (Yukl, 2013). Primarily, the attributional theory of charismatic leadership should be mentioned. It is based on the assumption that “charisma is an attributional phenomenon” (Yukl, 2013, p. 310). It describes the following attributes of a charismatic leader: a novel and appealing vision, emotional appeals to values, self-confidence, self-sacrifices, optimism, and unconventional behavior (Yukl, 2013). Additionally, there are self-concept theory, the theory of charisma as a psychodynamic process, close and distant charisma theory (Yukl, 2013). It is possible to notice that charismatic leaders can cause several problems for a company due to such factors as the inability of their followers to think critically and propose logical suggestions along with the excessive self-confidence that can drive the leader toward danger. It is argued that charismatic leadership is highly beneficial to organizations that experience a period of downturn, hiatus, or stagnation (Gebert, Heinitz, & Buengeler, 2016).
Furthermore, it is possible to discuss the question of developing leadership skills since the continuously changing and evolving business environment of the 21st-century demands a higher level of skills and the acquisition of new competencies (Yukl, 2013). One can assume the leadership training programs to be one of the most widespread and efficient means of enhancing one’s leadership qualities. It is argued that there are several important aspects, influencing the effectiveness of such programs: set and sequenced learning objectives along with the opportunity for participating in practice and providing feedback. Additionally, the benefits of mentoring for developing leaders should be observed. Formal mentoring programs are based on the relationships between a highly experienced manager and his protégé, who is less advanced (Yukl, 2013). Among the benefits of this training model, it is possible to mention the following: the advancement of career growth of a protégé, facilitating adjustment to change, and job satisfaction (Yukl, 2013). Also, there are several aspects of the working conditions that can enhance the development of leadership qualities: support by the boss, the establishment of a learning climate in the company, and new criteria of challenging assignments (Yukl, 2013).
In conclusion, it is essential to give a brief overlook of the mentioned topics and acquire a broader context of the organizational leadership by summarizing the key findings. First of all, it should be noted that the position of a leader could be very stressful due to “relentless and conflicting demands” from numerous subordinates and many constraints, both internal and external, such as standards, rules, requirements, etc. Secondly, it is of immense importance for a leader to determine tasks, relations, and change-oriented behavioral patterns which are the most suitable for the current situation (Yukl, 2013). Thirdly, it is essential to appreciate the role of influence and power as fundamental attributes of any successful leader. Finally, every organizational leader should acquire conceptual, technical, and interpersonal skills. I would like to share the experience of self-development and inspiration, which was retrieved from this class. In my opinion, any student can be influenced similarly by this subject. Also, these lessons were valuable to me because I felt the necessity to acquire knowledge about the development of leadership qualities since they are an essential part of being successful.
Gebert, D., Heinitz, K., & Buengeler, C. (2016). Leaders’ charismatic leadership and followers’ commitment—The moderating dynamics of value erosion at the societal level. The Leadership Quarterly, 27(1), 98-108.
Ngamassi, L., Ramakrishnan, T., & Rahman, S. (2016). Examining the role of social media in disaster management from an attribution theory perspective. Web.
Yukl, G. A. (2013). Leadership in organizations (8th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.