Blog 2: Contemporary Leadership and Their Influence on Today’s World

The terminology ‘Leadership’ can be used in multiple context hence must be explained carefully with specific reference to each sector (Bess et al, 2001. P1). A leader is a person who has control over others and everything to get a task done (Yukl, 1994. P3). Just as observed in the previous blog, the leader is responsible for both the organization’s external and internal affairs.

Who are contemporary leaders?

A comparison between Contemporary and traditional leaders.
© (Researchgate.net, 2019).

Based on their approaches towards work, leaders are commonly classified into Autocrats, Laissez-faire & Democratic leaders.

Classification of leadership style
© (redshoemovement.com, 2019).

While Autocrats don’t let subordinates to participate in decision or strategy making, democratic leaders encourage the participation of subordinates in the process and between these two extremities lie the laissez-faire, transformational, transactional leaders (Eagly and Schmidt 2003, P3).

Sex & Leadership:

Contemporary researches look into the differences in leadership styles between men & women and claim that women have superior leadership skills and are more transformational in nature. They also conclude that women are more effective leaders than men and the raise in double standards would give them a further advantage. (Eagly and Schmidt 2003, P 19).

Contradicting to these results, American Celebrity-media executive, Oprah Winfrey is the only black female to make it to Fortune’s most powerful women in corporate America. Also 2018 saw a dip in the number of female CEOs from 32 to 24(Connley, 2018). This proves that there’s fundamentally something wrong with culture in relation to leadership.


Oprah Winfrey. © (aarp.org, 2015).

Leadership and Culture:

Culture has a greater impact on the skills of a leader, for instance, it can decide the access of individuals from diverse ethnicity to leadership roles or shape the behavior of leaders who are a member of a particular culture, race or religion, either by birth or by choice. The importance of gender and race on leadership escalated dramatically across the globe when a black man of mixed race contested against a white woman in the 2008 American Presidential election. In 2009, America had a 23% of women, 4% of African American, 4% of Asian and 5% Hispanic Chief executives of all organizations despite being dominated by the whites (US. Bureau of Labor Staistics, 2009).

The relational theory and contingency theory which deals with the relationship between the quality of leader-subordinate relationship and the contexts & situations of exercising leadership, respectively can radiate diversity issues in terms of culture of leaders (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995) (Ayman, 2004; Vroom & jago, 2007).

The application of relational theory and contingency theory, together, on today’s leadership environment answers the question why black, Islamic, white & woman organizational executives dominate the African, Middle-East, Western & developed countries, respectively. This could help in deducting a pattern in leadership across the globe. However without deep examinations all these are hypothetical claims (own statement).

Azim Premji, Chairman Wipro Ltd, India.
© (livemint.com,2016).

Global Impact of contemporary leaders:

The results of a study on the effect of organizational culture and leadership style on job satisfaction and organizational commitment in Australia & Hong Kong showed a promising positive link between the former and the later (Lok & Crawford 2003 P15). The same has been evidently seen in Ricardo’s case study, discussed in the previous blog.

The ‘potential’ impact of contemporary leaders in a global scale, based on Lok & Crawford’s findings, can be explored by equationally relating leader efficiency to the Gross Domestic Product & Gross National Happiness through job satisfaction and the changes, in driving forces, for achieving goals, of both the organization and its subordinates.

My inference: The Most Effective form of leadership:

As for the issue with culture affecting leadership efficiency, I believe that communication is the key to build relationship within organization. Communication and healthy relationship between both the leader and the subordinates as well as subordinates among themselves is very essential for an organization.

I’ve been told by a friend that there’s no particular right thing in a Business Administration and that every act, decision & theory is strongly debatable. I’ve also been told by a lecturer that getting to the top is challenging but to remain on top is a more challenging task. These words made me think deep. It made me question “what kind of a leadership style is the ‘right one’ to reach and to remain at the top?”

A graph on survey by the IBE, Hays on challenges for leadership.
© (experteer.com,2015).

My deduction was this: There’s no one particular style that will take a leader through every business situation. Every different situation calls for a different style of leadership. A leader who is dynamic in his approach to make a fusion of or switch between autocratic, democratic & laissez-faire approaches; shrewd enough to identify which approach would best suffice the ongoing situation and in possession of an efficient subordinate team will see through most things. He shall be a situational leader.

References:

  1. Anon, (2019). Traditional Leaders Vs Collaborative Leaders. [online] Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Traditional-vs-Collaborative-Leaders-Source-B-Team-Virgin-Unite-2015-24-P-a-g-e_fig2_293530298 [Accessed 1 Apr. 2019].
  2. Ayman.R. (2004) Situational and contingency approaches to leadership, in J. Antonakis, A. T. Cianciolo, & R. J. Sternberg (Eds.), The nature of leadership (pp.148-170). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  3. Bess, J. and Goldman, P. (2001). Leadership ambiguity in universities and k-12 schools and the limits of contemporary leadership theory. [online] Psycholosphere.com. Available at: https://www.psycholosphere.com/Leadership%20ambiguity%20in%20universities%20and%20K-12%20.%20.%20.%20leadership%20theory%20by%20Bess%20&%20Goldman.pdf [Accessed 14 Feb. 2019].
  4. Connley, C. (2018). Oprah Winfrey is the only black CEO on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list—and it speaks volumes. online CNBC. Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/26/fortunes-annual-most-powerful-women-includes-one-woman-of-color.html [Accessed 14 Feb. 2019].
  5. Eagly, A. and Chin, J. (2014). Diversity and Leadership in a Changing World. [online] researchgate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jean_Chin2/publication/42637962_Diversity_and_Leadership_in_a_Changing_World/links/00b49521cad41441d7000000/Diversity-and-Leadership-in-a-Changing-World.pdf [Accessed 14 Feb. 2019].
  6. experteer.com. (2015). Challenges for leadership.

Available at: https://us.experteer.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/Key-requirements-for-management-jobs-in-2015.png [Accessed 1 Apr. 2019].

7. Graen, Gb., & Uhi Bien, M. (1995) Relationship- based approach to leadership: Development of leader-member exchange (LMX) theory of leadersip over 25 yearas: Applying a multi-level multi-domain perspective. Leadership Quarterly. 6, 219-247. Doi:10.1016/1048-9843(95)90036-5

8. livemint.com. (2016). Wipro’s Azim Premji tops list of Indian philanthropists again. [online] Available at: https://www.livemint.com/Companies/0q003JvZUGE8pCyNYc9ueO/Wipros-Azim-Premji-tops-list-of-Indian-philanthropists-agai.html [Accessed 1 Apr. 2019].

9. Lok, P. and Crawford, J. (2014). The effect of organisational culture and leadership style on job satisfaction and organisational commitment. [online] ResearchGate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/John_Crawford3/publication/243973468_The_effect_of_organisational_culture_and_leadership_style_on_job_satisfaction_and_organisational_commitment/links/0c9605215ab4ca6238000000/The-effect-of-organisational-culture-and-leadership-style-on-job-satisfaction-and-organisational-commitment.pdf [Accessed 14 Feb. 2019].

10. RED SHOE MOVEMENT. (2019). Leadership Style Quiz: Discover What’s Yours!. [online] Available at: https://redshoemovement.com/leadership-style-quiz/ [Accessed 1 Apr. 2019].

11. U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2009, January). Household data annual averages: Employed persons by detailed occupation, sex, race and Hispanic or latino ethnicity. Available at: http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.pdf [Accessed 14 Feb. 2019].

12. Vroom. V. H., & Jago, A. G. (2007). The role of the situation in leadership. American Psychologist, 62, 17-24. Doi:10.1037/0003006C.62.1.17

13. Walls, B. (2019). Oprah Winfrey Talks Spirituality, New Show ‘Belief’ – Interview. [online] AARP.org. Available at: https://www.aarp.org/entertainment/style-trends/info-2015/oprah-winfrey-belief-series.html [Accessed 1 Apr. 2019].

14. Yukl, G. (1998). Leadership in Organizations (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall

10 thoughts on “Blog 2: Contemporary Leadership and Their Influence on Today’s World”

  1. Excellent analysis Poorna. If you were the leader of a multilateral organisation and was told that one of your company vehicles crushed and entire family 👪 while in duty. What approach would you apply within your organisation and how would you face an enraged society,who demand your employee’s head?

    Like

    1. Wow. That’s a lot violent question but it shouldn’t go unanswered. In the happening of such an unfortunate event, I will definitely express my sympathies & prayer for the family. I will stand up to do the right thing: to handover the employee and the vehicle to appropriate authority to ensure there’s no further disrupt among the public.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What you’re suggesting is again impossible. One leader cannot anticipate everything to happen and prepare. Situational leadership is more of a scale to leaders.

    Like

    1. No person can anticipate everything that’s to happen but situational leadership are just more open to adaptability that they aim to solve organization’s issue the best possible way

      Like

  3. That graph ‘challenges for leadership’ says 55% leaders have delegating issues while 37% issues choosing style. I think we have more situational leadership in the present. Why do you think organizations fail?

    Like

    1. There are organizations and there are leaders. There’s something called individualism (for leaders) and core competencies (for organizations) these are key factors that influence performances.

      Like

  4. That’s a detailed work defining traditional and modern leadership styles, analysing leadership across sex and culture. This work cannot be disagreed to

    Like

    1. Thank you. I think efficient leadership and a good organizational culture should not be disagreed to (atleast by the majority) to be successful. Thanks for agreeing again 😉

      Like

  5. you did a detailed analysis with leadership across different culture and sexes what do you think is the solution for the leadership hinderances?

    Like

    1. Leadership will definitely have hindrances. It doesn’t matter what style you choose, what culture your organization belongs to or what sex your leader orients. One more thing I’d like to add is that leadership analysed across sex doesn’t see LGBTQ+. That area needs more research to for a better understanding of culture, leadership & LGBTQ+’s life.

      Like

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