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Unformatted text preview: CHAPTER NINE - Leadership I. What is Leadership? • Leadership is the influence that particular individuals exert on the goal achievement of others in an organizational context. • Effective leadership exerts influence in a way that achieves organizational goals by enhancing the productivity, innovation, satisfaction, and commitment of the workforce • Although any organizational member can influence other members, individuals with titles such as manager, executive supervisor, and department head are in assigned leadership roles and are expected to exert formal leadership and influence others. • Leadership goes beyond the formal level and individuals can emerge as informal leaders II. Are Leaders Born? The Search for Leadership Traits (Trait Theory) • Throughout history (example WW1), social observers have been fascinated by obvious examples of successful interpersonal influence. • The implicit assumption is that those who become leaders and do a good job of it possess a special set of traits that distinguish them from the masses of followers. Trait theories of leadership, however, did not receive serious scientific attention until the 1900s. A. Research on Leadership Traits • During World War I, the US military began to search for those traits, which would help in identifying future officers. • Traits are individual characteristics such as physical characteristics, intellectual ability, and personality. • While many traits are not related to leadership, research shows some traits are associated with leadership although the connections are not very strong. • In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the study of leadership traits, and a number of studies have shown that certain traits are closely linked to leadership including emotional intelligence and several of the “ Big Five ” personality dimensions (agreeableness, extraversion, and openness to experience). However, the usefulness of these findings and the trait approach is questionable • Intelligence is related to leadership, but not as strongly as previously thought • Effective leaders tend to be high on emotional intelligence B. Limitations of the Trait Approach • There are several reasons why the trait approach is not the best means of understanding and improving leadership: 1. First, it is difficult to determine if traits make the leader or if opportunity for leadership produces the traits. 2. Second, we have few clues about what leaders actually do to influence others successfully. 3. Third, the most crucial problem of the trait approach to leadership is its failure to take into account the situation in which leadership occurs. account the situation in which leadership occurs....
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2011 for the course MOS 2180 taught by Professor Lindaeligh during the Spring '09 term at UWO.
- Spring '09