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Psychology in Action

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Three major types of leaders are theorized to emerge from the situational view: autocratic (authoritarian), democratic (participative), and laissez-faire leaders. The functional perspective suggests leaders are produced because they contribute to group needs or functioning. Five important bases of a leader’s power have been identified: legitimate, expert, referent, reward, and coercive. Legitimate power comes with a job title or position. Expert power comes from experience and expertise because of their knowledge in their fields. Referent power is derived from one’s feelings of identification with another and provides direction and leadership. Reward power is the ability to give rewards for complying with desired behavior. Gender and Cultural Diversity : Male/Female Differences in Leadership – While Alice Eagly (1999) and other researchers have found a small, significant difference in leadership styles between genders –males tending to be more task- oriented leaders, other researchers found no significant difference and suggest the differences dwindle as the levels of management are higher. Critical Thinking/Active Learning: Power Versus Influence – Students are given an opportunity to self-evaluate and compare their preference for power and influence on twenty-two statements. B. Worker Motivation – I/O psychologists have developed three theories about what motivates workers: goal-setting theory, equity theory, and expectancy theory. 1.Goal-Setting Theory – Goal-setting theory is strongly supported by research and is the most popular theory of motivation in industrial/organizational psychology. Goal-setting theory proposes that having specific and difficult, but attainable goals, leads to higher performance by focusing attention and action on goal-related behaviors, motivating people to try harder, increasing persistence, and encouraging individuals to search for effective ways to achieve their goals. 2. Equity Theory – Equity theory suggests we are strongly motivated to achieve a sense of balance and we prefer jobs that the perceived input (contributions) match our job output (rewards). When these match we are happy because there is a state of equity. If we perceive an imbalance, then we may adjust our input (by decreasing our efforts or quitting) or we may seek to increase our output (by asking for more pay or compensations). 3. Expectancy Theory – Expectancy theory is the oldest and most popular worker motivation theory and maintains that workers perform according to their expectancy of outcomes, the desirability of those outcomes, and the effort needed to achieve them. C. Job Satisfaction – Job satisfaction is a high priority for I/O psychologists and several important factors are considered including the benefits and personality/job factors.
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