Performance Management: Leadership Development Program Design

Every organization, despite its unique distinguishing peculiarities, functions according to the commonly known rules and laws of a group of people where each member possesses his or her functions and can act in a particular, prescribed way. Thus, it historically turned out that there should be leaders and followers; under other conditions no organization would be able to function successfully and to act in an aligned and systematic way. However, even with the emergence of a clear organizational pyramidal or hierarchical structure in which leaders are posed at the top of each successive level within an organization, there is still much work to be done in the company to make this scheme work the way the company’s founders would like it to.

The matter is that besides prescribed tasks the employees are entitled to fulfill according to the positions they take in a company, there is a wide set of secondary, voluntary functions that may be taken over by them on their initiative and significantly increase their performance indicators.

Thus, the innovative objectives are stipulated for the leadership staff of each company – to find the set of ways that would enhance the workers’ commitment to the joint business and to make them engaged in the work of the company deeper. Only this way, strengthening not only the prescribed task performance, but the voluntary organizational citizenship performance as well, any manager will be able to raise the performance of his or her particular department to a considerably high level and will achieve unification and long-term devotion of employees to the business they are currently working in.

As it comes from the world business practice, it is rather easy to enhance prescribed task performance through an authoritative or leader-member exchange strategy (Northouse, 2009). Through the command relationships prescribed by the hierarchy in the company the employee will clearly understand his or her functions and will know about the obligations to perform these functions. However, to keep track of the successful completion of the prescribed tasks and to ensure the employee commitment to the joint business it is suitable to apply the LMX Theory – it provides effective communication and exchange between the leader and the members of the group and ensures the effective, close relations between him or her and the team he or she manages.

Designing inter-and intra-group relations according to this theory, the leader establishes a set of agreements with the members of the team, attributing each of their different levels of power and making some of them closer to him or her. Through the set of communication channels and relationships established within the group by the leader, it is possible for him or her to control the group on the whole and to get to the inner circle without violating the natural boundaries of the group (Northouse, 2009, p. 147).

Speaking about the OCB enhancement, it is more possible to do this with the help of charismatic or authentic leadership models (Robbins and Judge, 2008). The reason for such choice is that the charismatic leader possesses a practically unlimited influence on the members of the team, and the authentic leader is the one to who the employees trust because of the strong compliance with the norms of ethics and morality (Robbins and Judge, 2008, p. 422).

To achieve these goals, it is surely necessary to take a bunch of elements into consideration. First, the system of performance measurement and appraisal has to be thoroughly worked out because of the long-term period of the project – those employees who will feel no feedback in the OCB they conduct will soon lose their motivation and will not respond to the incentives of management, no matter how skillfully they will be designed. Besides, it is essential to choose the leadership model to which the staff will respond more actively and properly, according to the set of stipulated goals.

With this purpose, it is important to have a look at several alternatives that are currently researched in the sphere of enhancing OCB in organizational employees, as well as cultural peculiarities of the staff in which the strategy will be implemented, as at times the culture may play the key role in the strategy’s success. As noted by Snape et al. (1998) who studied the differences in approaches to cultural groups in the process of performance appraisal, there turned out to be many differences such as preferences of group vs. individual appraisal, objective-setting and personal development vs. directive appraisal, the common perception of appraisal utility, etc. (pp. 841-842).

As it has already been mentioned, it is of crucial importance to design an effective leadership development program that would be aimed at enhancement of both types of employer performance and would have the evaluation tools that would help to understand the true efficiency of the program through certain assessment methods. To create the program, it is first of all necessary to understand what inner motives make employees get engaged in OCB and how strongly they affect their activities.

The initial stage is detecting the group of employees at who the leadership development program will be directed – whether they are working full-time at the company or are temporarily engaged to accomplish a certain single task. According to the opinion of Blatt (2008), there are substantial differences between the motivation of permanent workers and temporary ones. Permanent workers are deeply engaged in the inner functioning of the organization and their motivation to be engaged in extra-curriculum activities is in social exchange, organizational identification, impression management, and positive relationships (p. 850).

Through a set of these motivations, the managerial staff achieves the creation of a positive, constructive climate in the staff and involves its members in close, long-term communication that adds to the overall motivation for the OCB.

The situation is completely different with temporary workers as they are not deeply committed and engaged in the organization, but their performance and appraisal are also important for the overall success of the company. Their driving forces for engagement in the OCB, in the opinion of Blatt (2008) are “their perceived norms of professional behavior for their occupation” and the “experience of positive regard with and among their co-workers” (p. 849). Looking at such considerable difference in OCB perception an effective leader has to design the motivation system in such a way so that it would take into consideration both the incentives of temporary and permanent workers so that it would surely work effectively and help the manager achieve the set goals.

In the process of enhancement of OCB, it is also vital to understand the approach that should be taken to the formation of incentives; according to the opinion of Kleingeld et al. (2004), the most efficient approach is participation in the system design (p. 834). This is important because of the major system elements comprising performance indicators, goals, and feedback. Feedback is impossible without employee participation, so the tell-and-sell strategy failed to provide similarly high-performance indicators and the participation model should be given priority (Kleingeld et al., 2004, p. 835).

Performance management and evaluation system is also an important tool for implementation because, first of all, performance management offers a set of indisputable advantages to the leader: motivation to perform is increased, self-esteem is increased and managers get an insight about subordinates (Aguinis, 2008, p. 4). In addition, a ProMES (productivity measurement and enhancement system) offered by Kleingeld et al. (2004) is a powerful instrument in consideration of all performance-related indicators that obtain crucial importance in personnel management and performance evaluation.


Aguinis, H. (2008). Performance Management (2nd ed.). Prentice Hall.

Blatt, R. (2008). Organizational Citizenship Behavior of Temporary Knowledge Employees. Organization Studies, No.29, pp. 849-866.

Kleingeld, A., Van Tuijl, H., & Algera, J.A. (2004). Participation in the design of performance management system: a quasi-experimental field study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, No.25, pp. 831-851.

Northouse, P.G. (2009). Leadership: Theory and Practice. SAGE.

Robbins, S.P., & Judge, T.A. (2008). Organizational Behavior (13th ed.). Prentice Hall.

Snape, E., Thompson, D., Ka-Ching, F.Y., & Redman, T. (1998). Performance appraisal and culture: practice and attitudes in Hong Kong and Great Britain. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 9(5), pp. 841-861.

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