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Executive Practical Connection Assignment

It is a priority that you are provided with strong educational programs and courses that allow them to be servant-leaders in their disciplines and communities, linking research with practice and knowledge with ethical decision-making. This assignment is a written assignment where you will demonstrate how this Organ Leader & Decision Making course research has connected and put into practice within their own career.

Provide a reflection of at least 800 words (or 2 pages double spaced) of how the knowledge, skills, or theories of this course (attached textbook FYR) have been applied, or could be applied, in a practical manner to your current work environment in Information Technology. If you are not currently working, share times when you have or could observe these theories and knowledge could be applied to an employment opportunity in your field of study.


Provide a 800 word (or 2 pages double spaced) minimum reflection.

Use of proper APA formatting and citations. If supporting evidence from outside resources is used those must be properly cited.

Share a personal connection that identifies specific knowledge and theories from this course.

Demonstrate a connection to your current work environment. If you are not employed, demonstrate a connection to your desired work environment.

You should not, provide an overview of the assignments assigned in the course. The assignment asks that you reflect how the knowledge and skills obtained through meeting course objectives were applied or could be applied in the workplace.

Organizational Leadership
Organizational Leadership
Edited by
John Bratton
Los Angeles
New Delhi
Washington DC
SAGE Publications Ltd
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SAGE Publications Inc.
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© John Bratton 2020
First published 2020
Editorial Arrangement © John Bratton 2020
Foreword © Paul Gray 2020. Introduction © John Bratton 2020.
Chapter 1 © John Bratton 2020. Chapter 2 © John Bratton,
George Boak 2020. Chapter 3 © Joanne Murphy, John Bratton
2020. Chapter 4 © David Denham, John Bratton 2020. Chapter 5
© Roslyn Larkin, John Burgess, Alan Montague 2020. Chapter 6
© John Bratton 2020. Chapter 7 © John Bratton 2020. Chapter 8
© John Bratton 2020. Chapter 9 © John Bratton 2020. Chapter 10
© Kirsteen Grant 2020. Chapter 11 © Bernadette Scott 2020.
Chapter 12 © Peter Watt, George Boak, Jeff Gold 2020. Chapter
13 © John Bratton, Helen Francis 2020. Chapter 14 © Lois
Farquharson 2020. Chapter 15 © Colin Lindsay 2020. Chapter 16
© Andrew Bratton 2020. Chapter 17 © Markku Sotarauta 2020.
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study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright,
Designs and Patents Act, 1988, this publication may be
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only with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the
case of reprographic reproduction, in accordance with the terms of
licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries
concerning reproduction outside those terms should be sent to the
Library of Congress Control Number: 2019946177
British Library Cataloguing in Publication data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN 978-1-5264-6011-0
ISBN 978-1-5264-6012-7 (pbk)
Editor: Ruth Stitt
Development editor: Laura Walmsley
Assistant editor: Martha Cunneen
Production editor: Sarah Cooke
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The honest man, though e’er sae poor,
Is king o’ men for a’ that!
(Robert Burns)
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go
(African proverb)
Praise for Organizational Leadership
‘Organizational Leadership brings together a number of
leading scholars to provide a comprehensive perspective
on leadership. This text offers an accessible exploration
of different aspects of leadership and the many
challenges and issues facing contemporary leaders. By
analysing and critiquing different leadership theories and
practices, Organizational Leadership encourages
students to take a critical approach to effectively evaluate
how leaders operate.’
Jennifer Robertson, Associate Professor of Human
Resource Management, Western University, Canada
‘A book that covers all facets of leadership, in theory and
in practice, with a critical approach that will benefit
students and practitioners. Its comprehensive coverage
of contemporary and timely leadership themes make it a
valuable resource for effective people management in
today’s diverse and complex workplaces.’
Lori Rilkoff, Human Resources and Safety Director,
City of Kamloops, Canada
Summary of Contents
Your Guide to Using this Book
About the Contributors
List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Videos
Part I Contextualizing Leadership
1. 1 The Nature of Leadership
2. 2 Strategic Management, Innovation and Leadership
3. 3 Power and Leadership
4. 4 Culture and Leadership
5. 5 Ethics and Leadership
Part II Leadership Theories
1. 6 Trait, Behaviour and Contingency Theories of
2. 7 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership
3. 8 Relational and Distributed Theories of Leadership
Part III Managing People and Leadership
1. 9 Human Resource Management and Leadership
2. 10 Talent Management and Leadership
3. 11 Performance Management and Leadership
4. 12 Leadership Development
Part IV Contemporary Leadership
1. 13 Followers, Communication and Leadership
2. 14 Gender and Leadership
3. 15 Leadership in Public Sector Organizations
4. 16 Leading Pro-Environmental Change
5. 17 Leadership for Urban and Regional Innovation
Detailed Contents
Your Guide to Using this Book
In the book you’ll find
On the website you’ll find
For lecturers
About the Contributors
List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Videos
Objectives of this book
A framework for studying leadership
The organization of this book
Part I Contextualizing Leadership
1 The Nature of Leadership
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
Defining leadership
Leadership and management
Mapping the changing study of leadership
Critical leadership studies
The employment relationship
Chapter review questions
Further reading
2 Strategic Management, Innovation and Leadership
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
Strategic management
A framework for studying strategy and leadership
The nature of innovation
The external and internal contexts driving innovation
Leaders’ roles in innovation processes
Evaluation and criticism
Chapter review questions
Further reading
3 Power and Leadership
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
Conceptualizing power
Different perspectives on power
Power and management
Chapter review questions
Further reading
4 Culture and Leadership
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
The nature of national cultures
Understanding organizational culture
Perspectives on organizational culture
Organizational culture, climate and leadership
Evaluation and criticism
Chapter review questions
Further reading
5 Ethics and Leadership
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
The nature of ethical leadership
Philosophical approaches to ethical leadership
Dimensions of ethical leadership
Organizations behaving badly: failures in ethical
Context, the rhetoric and reality
Whistleblowing: is it responsible behaviour?
Millennial leadership, digitization and artificial
Chapter review questions
Further reading
Part II Leadership Theories
6 Trait, Behaviour and Contingency Theories of
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
Leader traits and attributes
Leader behaviour and styles
Contingency theories of leadership
Chapter review questions
Further reading
7 Charismatic and Transformational Leadership
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
The nature of charismatic leadership
Neo-theories of charismatic leadership
Transformational leadership
Critiquing charismatic and transformational
Chapter review questions
Further reading
8 Relational and Distributed Theories of Leadership
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
Classical relational studies
Contemporary theories of relational leadership
Positivist dyadic relational perspectives
Social constructionist group-level relational
The growth of distributed leadership
Practising distributed and shared leadership
Evaluation and criticism
Chapter review questions
Further reading
Part III Managing People and Leadership
9 Human Resource Management and Leadership
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
The nature of human resource management
Scope and functions of human resource
Theorizing human resource management
Human resource management and leadership
Critiquing the human resource management
Chapter review questions
Further reading
10 Talent Management and Leadership
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
The nature of talent and talent management
Leading and managing talent
The influence of ‘talented followership’ on coproducing leadership
Collaborative talent management
Critiquing the talent management debate
Chapter review questions
Further reading
11 Performance Management and Leadership
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
The nature and purpose of performance
Determinants of employee and organizational
Historical milestones in the development of
performance management
The performance management appraisal process
Modelling leadership and performance
Problems of methodology and theory
Criticism of individual performance appraisals
Chapter review questions
Further reading
12 Leadership Development
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
Leader and leadership development in organizations
Reflection and critical thinking for leadership
What capabilities should leaders develop?
Approaches to leaders’ development
Approaches to the development of leadership in
Chapter review questions
Further reading
Part IV Contemporary Leadership
13 Followers, Communication and Leadership
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
The nature of followership
Follower behaviour and personality
Follower behaviour and motivation
Dialogic conversation and leadership
Chapter review questions
Further reading
14 Gender and Leadership
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
The nature of diversity
The glass ceiling, the labyrinth and the glass cliff
Gender pay gap
Women in global leadership
Millennial women and leadership
Future challenges for practices of gender diversity
and inclusion
Supporting women to lead
Chapter review questions
Further reading
15 Leadership in Public Sector Organizations
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
Problematizing public sector leadership
Distinctive challenges associated with public sector
The new public management and the rise of
transformational leadership
Beyond transformational leadership: shared and
distributed leadership
Challenges of distributed leadership in public sector
Leadership and performance in public sector
Chapter review questions
Further reading
16 Leading Pro-Environmental Change
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
The nature of environmental sustainability
Employees’ pro-environmental behaviours and
environmental management systems
Environmental leadership, organizational change
and culture
Creating a sustainable workplace through human
resource practices
Employee voice in environmental sustainability
Critical perspectives on corporate-oriented
Chapter review questions
Further reading
17 Leadership for Urban and Regional Innovation
Chapter outline
Learning outcomes
The nature of place-based leadership for urban and
regional innovation
Regional innovation systems and strategies
Placed-based leadership
Place-based leaders, knowledge producers and
decision makers
Generative leadership – a missing link in
transformative efforts
Criticism and exemplary research for place-based
Chapter review questions
Further reading
Your guide to using this book
Organizational Leadership has been developed with a number of
print and online features to help you succeed in your course.
In the Book You’ll Find:
Leadership in Action boxes
Short case studies demonstrate leadership approaches and
concepts in practice and introduce you to examples from around
the world.
Critical Insight boxes
Contemporary debates and examples are analysed through
different viewpoints and help you to develop your critical thinking
Pause and Reflect boxes
Short activities check your understanding as you progress through
each chapter.
Chapter Review Questions
End-of-chapter questions test your knowledge and help you to
identify areas for revision.
Assignment Tasks
Longer activities at the end of each chapter develop your
research, analytical and problem-solving skills.
Further Reading
Suggested book chapters and journal articles help you to build
your bibliography for assignments.
Case Study
An extended case study in each chapter provides a deeper insight
into how key leadership issues and ideas manifest in practice.
On the Website You’ll Find:
Watch video conversations with leaders sharing insights
into the reality of leadership practice across a diverse range
of organizations. Find out about:
how leaders can incorporate social good into their
business models
leading teams on the front lines in Iraq
challenges and opportunities for women in leadership
fostering a shared organizational culture in a
multinational enterprise
collective leadership in the NHS
and much more!
See the full list of videos on pages XXIX–XXX.
Case Studies
Read SAGE Business Cases to find out about leadership in
practice around the world:
Sydney Brian-Peters: A Case Study in Gender and
Leadership Issues
Transformational Leadership—Steve Jobs
Now What? Now Who? A Mexican Small Family
Business in Transition
Leader–Member Exchange Theory: Barack Obama
The BMW Group’s Journey to Leadership in Sustainable
Development Practice
Further Reading
Access SAGE journal articles to delve deeper into the field
of leadership and prepare for assignments.
Online resources can be accessed at
https://study.sagepub.com/bratton. See inside the front cover of
this book for your access code.
For Lecturers
A selection of tried and tested teaching resources have been
developed to accompany this text and support your course. Visit
https://study.sagepub.com/bratton to set up or use your
instructor login and access:
A video teaching guide with notes and questions to help
you make the most of the video conversations in class.
PowerPoint slides that can be adapted and edited to suit
your own teaching needs.
Testbank questions offering a variety of multiple choice
questions to use with your students.
SAGE business cases to use in class or as material for
All resources have been designed and formatted to upload easily
into your LMS or VLE. Visit https://study.sagepub.com/bratton
for more details.
About the Contributors
John Bratton
holds visiting professorships at both Strathclyde University,
Glasgow, and at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. He
has more than 30 years’ experience of teaching a range of
organizational behaviour, leadership and HRM courses, at
both undergraduate and graduate levels, mainly in the UK
and Canada, but also in Finland and Singapore. His research
interests traverse the sociology of work and management. In
addition to editing this book, John is author of Japanization at
Work: Managerial Studies in the 1990s; co-author of
Workplace Learning: A Critical Introduction (2004); co-author
of Organizational Leadership (with Keith Grint and Debra
Nelson) (2005); co-author of Human Resource Management:
Theory and Practice (with Jeff Gold) (2017), now in its sixth
edition; co-author of Capitalism and Classical Social Theory
(with David Denham) (2019), now in its third edition, and
author of Work and Organizational Behaviour (2020), now in
its fourth edition.
George Boak
is a Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Innovation at York St
John University. He has worked on aspects of individual and
organizational development for 30 years, with managers and
professionals from a wide range of public sector and large
private sector companies in manufacturing, banking and
energy, as well as with smaller companies. He currently
works with experienced managers and professionals on York
Business School’s executive MBA programmes.
John Burgess
is Professor of Human Resource Management at RMIT
University, Melbourne, Australia. His recent research has
included human capacity development in Asia, employment
conditions in the aged care sector, HRM programmes of
multinational enterprises, graduate work readiness and
transitional labour markets.
Andrew Bratton
is a Lecturer in Human Resource Management at Queen
Margaret University, Edinburgh. He previously worked as a
Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate in Business
Process Improvement and Knowledge Management, at the
University of Strathclyde, in a Microsoft technology
consultancy company. His research interests include
innovative and sustainable workplaces, change management
and employee voice. His current research centres on
knowledge management and the application of lean and agile
practices in small and medium-sized enterprises.
David Denham,
prior to his retirement, was Senior Lecturer in Sociology at
Wolverhampton University, where he has subsequently been,
until 2018, Honorary Research Fellow within the Faculty of
Social Sciences. He has taught a wide variety of sociology
courses over a career of 35 years. David has published
articles on the sociology of law, criminology, and the sociology
of sport, and is co-author with Lorraine Wolhunter and Neil
Olley of Victimology: Victimization and Victim’s Rights and coauthor (with John Bratton) of Capitalism and Classical Social
Theory (3rd edn) (2019).
Lois Farquharson
is the Deputy Dean (Education & Professional Practice) in
The Faculty of Management and The Business School at
Bournemouth University. As an experienced leader, she
demonstrates a strong scholarly and practice-based
understanding of delivering effective diversity and inclusion in
dynamic organizational contexts. Her areas of research and
knowledge exchange work are focused on leadership
practice, change management, socio-emotional intelligence
and good practice HRM. She is also a certified facilitator for
the Strengths Deployment Inventory (SDi), the Emotional
Quotient Inventory (EQi) and Appreciative Inquiry (AI).
Helen Francis
is Professor of People and Organization at Edinburgh Napier
Business School and holds honorary professorships at St
Andrews University and at the University of Strathclyde.
Helen started her career in personnel management and
industrial relations. When she moved into academia she
completed a PhD in the role of language and strategic
change. She has played key roles in research, teaching and
commercial developments in public, private and not-for profit
sectors. Helen has published in a wide range of academic
and practitioner journals/textbooks, calling for the pursuit of
more ‘balanced’ HR agendas. She is a Fellow of the
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Jeff Gold
is Professor of Organization Learning at York and Leeds
Business Schools. He is a strong advocate of the need for
actionable knowledge that is rigorously developed but
relevant for practice. He has designed and delivered a wide
range of seminars, programmes and workshops on talent
management and development, change, strategic learning,
futures and foresight, management and leadership
development, with a particular emphasis on participation and
distribution. He has worked closely with organizations such
as Skipton Building Society, Hallmark Cards, the NHS, the
Police Service, Leeds Bradford Boiler Company and a host of
others. He is the co-author of CIPD’s Leadership and
Management Development (with Richard Thorpe and Alan
Mumford), The Gower Handbook of Leadership and
Management Development (with Richard Thorpe and Alan
Mumford), Human Resource Development (with Julie
Beardwell, Paul Iles, Rick Holden and Jim Stewart) and
Human Resource Management (with John Bratton), both
published by Palgrave.
Kirsteen Grant
is Associate Professor of Work and Employment at Edinburgh
Napier University. Kirsteen draws on complementary
backgrounds in organizational practice and academia. She
has worked extensively in areas of organizational,
professional, leadership and talent development. Her
research interests centre on professional, responsible and
precarious work; the changing nature and expectations of
work; leadership; talent management; and workplace skills
utilization. Kirsteen is passionate about bridging the gap
between academic research and professional practice. She is
a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel
and Development (CIPD) and Senior Fellow of the Higher
Education Academy (HEA).
Roslyn Larkin
is a Human Resource Management/Employment Relations
lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Current
research interests include ethical leadership, knowledge
management in clusters, ethical AI across industry and
university graduate destinations.
Colin Lindsay
is Professor of Work and Employment Studies at the
University of Strathclyde, Scotland. He has published more
than 50 books and peer-reviewed articles on public policy and
management and public governance issues. At the University
of Strathclyde, he teaches at undergraduate, postgraduate
and doctoral level on public management and employment
Alan Montague
is Programme Director for the Masters of Human Resource
Management at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Alan’s
research, experience and publications are linked to
skill/vocational shortages, government policies relating to the
links between education and industry, and
employment/education programme policy development.
Leadership and workforce planning, critical commentary on
corporate ethics and the impact of artificial intelligence on
organizations and jobs are the focus of more recent work.
Joanne Murphy
is a Senior Lecturer in Queen’s University Management
School, Belfast, and Academic Director of Queen’s University
William J. Clinton Leadership Institute. Her research focuses
on how public, private and third-sector organizations, situated
in environments of violent conflict, manage and function
during violence and can contribute to building peace. She has
published widely on issues of change, leadership and
extreme contexts. Her new monograph, Managing in Conflict
and Transition, is due for publication in 2020.
Bernadette Scott
is a Senior Lecturer at Glasgow School for Business and
Society (Glasgow Caledonian University). In an academic
career spanning 28 years, she has designed and led many
business programmes at home and overseas and is currently
working with the African Leadership College in Mauritius to
deliver Business Management education. Her PhD looks at
employability and talent management and how these
concepts have an impact on graduates. She is regularly
asked to contribute to global trade publications, and recent
journal outputs have looked at graduate employment and
graduate talent management.
Markku Sotarauta
is Professor of Regional Development Studies in the Faculty
of Management and Business at Tampere University, Finland.
He specializes in leadership, innovation systems and policies,
and institutional entrepreneurship in city and regional
development. Markku has published widely on these issues in
international journals and edited books. His latest publication,
Leadership and the City: Power, Strategy and Networks in the
Making of Knowledge Cities (2018), is published by
Routledge. He has worked with the Finnish Parliament, many
Finnish ministries, Sweden’s Innovation Agency as well as
cities and regions in Finland and in other countries.
Peter Watt
is Senior Lecturer in Management and Organization and
Director of Research at York Business School, York St John
University. His research explores the cultural, philosophical
and theological underpinnings of managerial and
organizational practice and thought.
The initial idea for this book originated from Kirsty Smy, Senior
Commissioning Editor, of SAGE Publications, who suggested I
should develop a proposal. The scope of the book was informed
by discussions with Kirsteen Grant, of Edinburgh Napier
University. The editorial work that ensued was far more
challenging than I had anticipated and I would like to take this
opportunity to acknowledge numerous individuals for their
commitment to the project and help in bringing it to a successful
conclusion. I am indebted to the other chapter authors who have
contributed to this book. Each brought their own research and
perspective of leadership to their chapter. Collectively, I believe
they have helped to produce a distinctive book that offers
undergraduates a readable, context-sensitive, nuanced and
reflexive approach to studying contemporary leadership.
On behalf of all the chapter authors, I would like to thank the
following reviewers for their invaluable feedback:
Linda Alker, Principal Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan
Jane Boeske, Associate Lecturer, University of Southern
Carol Bond, Lecturer, RMIT University
Dave Chesley, Senior Lecturer, Leeds Beckett University
Dean Horsman, Senior Lecturer, Leeds Becket University
Heather Kent, Teaching Fellow, University of Sussex
Frank Meier, PhD Fellow, Copenhagen Business School
Pamella Murray, Senior Lecturer, University of Worcester
Jan Myers, Associate Professor, Newcastle Business School
Emma Roberts, former Associate Head of School (Learning &
Teaching), Leeds Trinity University
Sandra Romenska, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of
School, St Andrews University
Nataliya Rumyantseva, Senior Lecturer, University of
Jon Salkeld, Principal Lecturer and Director of Corporate and
UK Partnerships, Anglia Ruskin University
Norbert Steigenberger, Associate Professor, Jonkoping
Geoff Thomas, Professor, University of Surrey
I would also like to thank all the participants who gave their time
and shared their experience and perspective on leadership during
the production of the book’s leadership videos. These videos will
not only accompany the book but form part of SAGE’s wider
leadership video collection, providing students with a glimpse into
the reality of leadership, beyond the rhetoric often learned in the
lecture hall. Thank you to Adam Foskett, Helen Francis, Peter
Goddard, Paul Gray, Sarah Hawkins, Stephen Moir, Beverley
Petrossian, Paul Stanley, Catherine Thomson, Diane Vincent and
Erinn Woodside. Additionally, I would like to thank Pamela
McCloskey and Carmen Chai for developing the book’s other
online resources.
I am most grateful to the team at SAGE Publications for making
this book possible. In particular, I am beholden to our
Development Editor, Laura Walmsley, for her encouragement and
support over the length of the project, and good advice for
improving the book. I thank, too, the cover designer, Francis
Kenney for working with me to produce such a symbolic and eyecatching cover for the book. I also appreciate Ruth Stitt, Sarah
Cooke and Martha Cunneen.
John Bratton, Edinburgh
List of Figures
0.1 Leadership as an interconnected process 5
1.1 The classic Fayolian management cycle 17
2.1 The three traditional poles of a strategic plan 37
2.2 A framework for linking management strategy and
leadership 38
2.3 Stages of the innovation process 49
4.1 The three levels of organizational culture 86
4.2 Climate as an artefact of organizational culture 88
6.1 A diagrammatic representation of the leadership grid 136
7.1 The augmented effect of transformational leadership 161
8.1 The incremental effect of group size on relationships 173
8.2 A taxonomy of relational theories 176
8.3 The vertical dyad 177
8.4 Relational leadership processes 182
8.5 Practising distributed/shared and team leadership 187
9.1 Kolb’s experiential cycle of learning 203
9.2 A framework for studying key HR policies and practices
9.3 The Harvard model of HRM 209
11.1 The performance management cycle 249
11.2 A framework for determinants of performance
management 251
12.1 Informal and planned leadership development 271
13.1 A two-dimensional taxonomy of follower behaviour 298
13.2 Expectancy theory 305
13.3 Shein’s ‘road map’ of conversation 308
13.4 Balancing advocacy and inquiry 309
16.1 A strategy for creating a sustainable workplace 370
17.1 The relationship between place leaders, other actors
and regional development and innovation 396
List of Tables
1.1 Competing definitions of organizational leadership 14
1.2 Summary of cited distinction between management and
leadership 20
1.3 Development of the main theories of leadership 22
3.1 Traditional and non-traditional conceptualizations of
power 65
5.1 Assessing the ethical behaviour in work organizations
5.2 Classifying ethical behaviour in organizations 111
6.1 Key Attributes Related to Leadership Effectiveness 129
6.2 Path–goal theory in action 140
6.3 Situational leadership in action 142
8.1 The traditional and high-performance team models 185
9.1 The Storey model of HRM 211
9.2 HRM and transformational leadership behaviours 214
11.1 A hierarchical taxonomy of meta and specific
behaviours 258
12.1 Revans’ classic principles of action learning 281
13.1 Howell and Mendez’s three perspectives on
followership 292
13.2 The Big Five personality model 295
13.3 The Myers-Briggs personality model 296
13.4 A classification of motivation theories 301
13.5 Comparison of Maslow’s and Alderfer’s needs theories
13.6 Kantor’s model of structural dynamics 310
13.7 Paradoxical tensions 313
16.1 Different concepts of involvement and participation 376
List of Videos
You can find the following short video conversations online at:
Chapter 1: The Nature of Leadership
with Professor Mats Alvesson, Lund University 12
Chapter 2: Strategic Management, Innovation and
with Paul Stanley, CEO of Global Navigation Solutions 36
Chapter 3: Power and Leadership
with Sara Hawkins, Founder and Director of Projekt 42 58
Chapter 4: Culture and Leadership
with Peter Goddard, CEO of Myrseside Management 80
Chapter 5: Ethics and Leadership
with Professor Mollie Painter, Nottingham Trent University
Chapter 6: Trait, Behaviour and Contingency Theories of
with Erinn Woodside, V.P. of Development at Invisible
Technologies Inc. 126
Chapter 7: Charismatic and Transformational Leadership
with Professor Marianna Fotaki, the University of Warwick
Chapter 8: Relational and Distributed Theories of
with Paul Gray, former CEO of NHS Scotland 172
Chapter 9: HRM and Leadership
with Diane Vincent, former Director of People and
Organisational Development for the Scottish Fire and Rescue
Service 198
Chapter 10: Talent Management and Leadership
with Stephen Moir, Executive Director of Resources for the
City of Edinburgh Council 224
Chapter 11: Performance Management and Leadership
with Stephen Moir, Executive Director of Resources for the
City of Edinburgh Council 246
Chapter 12: Leadership Development
with Beverley Petrossian and Adam Foskett from Skipton
Building Society 268
Chapter 13: Followers, Communications and Leadership
with Professor Helen Francis and Catherine Thomson from
Edinburgh Napier University 290
Chapter 14: Gender and Leadership
with Diane Vincent, former Director of People and
Organisational Development for the Scottish Fire and Rescue
Service 318
Chapter 15: Leadership in Public Sector Organizations
with Paul Gray, former CEO of NHS Scotland 340
Chapter 16: Leading Pro-Environmental Change
with Professor Mollie Painter, Nottingham Trent University
Chapter 17: Leading Urban and Regional Innovation
with Paul Stanley, CEO of Global Navigation Solutions 386
Paul Gray
It is a great privilege to have been asked to provide a foreword to
this book, which tackles a complex subject, in a complex world.
The world in which we live assails our senses – not just the
senses of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell, but also our sense
of balance, our sense of right and wrong, our sense of justice and
equity. And in service of others, leaders can help to make sense
of the world, not just by acute observations and definitions, but
also by offering models and insights which help those around
them to flourish in a context which is volatile, uncertain, complex
and ambiguous – often shortened to VUCA.1
1 Author’s note: the acronym VUCA was by some accounts first
used in 1987, drawing on the leadership theories of Warren
Bennis and Burt Nanus – to describe the volatility, uncertainty,
complexity and ambiguity of conditions and situations. The US
Army War College introduced the concept of VUCA to describe
the multilateral world emerging from the end of the Cold War.
But the definition of the context is insufficient in itself – such a
world is a demanding world. The key lies in responding to these
demands, and more significantly, in enabling others to develop
their capacity to respond effectively in that environment. What
then is the leader’s role in offering a source of stability, and a
means to make progress? My experience suggests that the
answer could lie in values, understanding, connection and agility.
In a demanding context, delivery is crucial – and delivery rooted in
values and a thirst for understanding will be more likely to draw
energy, knowledge and ideas from connections, and to
demonstrate agility in its response.
Such an approach requires acceptance – not mere
acknowledgement – by leaders that they do not have all of the
answers, and that the answers they do have may not be the best
ones. Effective leadership recognizes the central role of followers.
It requires a willingness to engage in dialogue, and in doing so to
embrace diversity, and to accept challenge to received wisdom. It
requires humility – including the ability of the leader to accept a
follower role when they are not the person best placed to lead on
a particular issue. It does not absolve leaders of the responsibility
to take hard decisions, including decisions about how to respond
when an individual or group does not act in accordance with
agreed values.
In a world where connection and collaboration are increasingly
crucial, leaders also need to accept that they are accountable –
and they should be willing to be held to account publicly. But in
being held to account, it is much more compelling to adopt an
assets-based approach. Such an approach says what can be
achieved in a complex context, despite the constraints, by
recognizing, valuing and drawing on all of the connections,
experiences and resources available. The alternative is to adopt a
deficit model, whereby we explain what cannot be achieved
because of the constraints or the complexity. That choice between
assets and deficits is a key leadership decision: an assets-based
approach by its very nature requires collaboration. It also requires
good governance; it requires good delegation; it requires
transparent decision making – there is sometimes a sense that
collective or collaborative leadership disperses or dilutes
accountability, whereas in fact it works best when accountability is
Over my professional career, I have seen a substantial body of
research and commentary focused on the central role of leaders,
and how they engage and influence people. It remains relatively
novel (although it is becoming less so) to see leadership
expressed as a collective endeavour involving leaders and
followers in a shared relationship, with shared values and shared
goals. Organizational Leadership critically examines why, and
how, the focus of leadership studies is shifting towards
followership. In doing so, it explores many aspects and modes of
leadership; it seeks to do so in a way that is well researched,
soundly based and impartial. It acknowledges complexity and is
clear that one size does not fit all. It should prompt the reader to
think about how leadership is exercised to best effect in the
current context, and for that it is to be warmly welcomed.
Paul Gray was Director General Health & Social Care,
and Chief Executive NHS Scotland, from December
2013 to February 2019; he was also a member of the
Scottish Government’s Corporate Board. NHS Scotland
has an annual budget of £13 bn, serves a population of
5.4 million citizens, and employs 160,000 people. From
2009 to 2013, he held a number of other Director
General roles within government.
Paul is also an Honorary Professor at the University of
Glasgow College of Medical, Veterinary and Life
Sciences, a Senior Faculty Member at the Royal College
of Physicians (Edinburgh) Quality Governance
Collaborative, an Advisor to Care Opinion, and a coach
and mentor to a number of senior public sector
Learn more from Paul’s leadership experience by watching his
videos for Chapter 8, Relational and Distributed Theories of
Leadership and Chapter 15, Leadership in Public Sector
Visit https://study.sagepub.com/bratton.
John Bratton
Contemporary management parlance emphasizes that leaders
provide vision, ignite creativity, and nurture and support
innovation. Leaders are engines of change. While preparing this
book, we have observed the political drama in London over
Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) – the Brexit
negotations. In this context, businesses and political pundits
invoke the need for leadership with special urgency as, at the time
of writing, there is no clarity about what Britain’s relationship will
be with the EU, its largest trading partner, after 31 January 2020.
Political leadership, or its absence, is widely acknowledged to be
negatively affecting the economy. As political leaders haggle over
the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU, in a rare demonstration of
unity by Britain’s business lobby and trade unions, the
Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Trades Union
Congress (TUC) warned that the UK faced a ‘national emergency’
(Peel et al., 2019: 1).
Contemporary leadership theory has drawn on an intellectual
heritage from organizational studies, and today leadership is
considered to be one of the more foundational topics in
management education. An obvious question you may ask is,
‘What makes an effective leader?’. Suffice to say, opinion is
divided. There is a substantial body of literature that highlights the
importance of the charisma and ability of an individual leader to
inspire others to fulfil strategic goals. While others posit that
regardless of the quality of the individual leader, vision building,
innovation and change fail without committed and engaged
followers. From this perspective, effective leadership is not
singular but shared, a collective and cooperative phenomenon
that acknowledges the central role followers play in the leadership
process (Northouse, 2019). Leaders and followers together create
the leadership relationship. The process of followership, rather
than having perceived negative connotations, offers more agency
to followers through a combination of direct and indirect forms of
‘voice’ (Emmott, 2015).
Other writers, on the other hand, suggest that leadership can only
be understood in the context of the wider social-cultural,
economic, political and environmental factors which influence, if
not determine, the way leaders act, and that mediating processes
help explain leader–follower behaviours. The discourse on
leadership theory and practice must be considered in the context
of changes in work organizations of significant magnitude
including, but not limited to, trends in work–family patterns,
diversity in organizations, new thinking on human resource
management (HRM), globalization, and the development of
complex inter-organizational and buyer–supplier relationships
(Bendl et al., 2017; Harvey, 2005; Puranam, 2018; Stiglitz, 2017).
Additional to these contextual changes, as a student of leadership
you find yourself confronting humanity’s greatest challenge:
climate change (Klein, 2015). Work organizations are cited to be
amongst the largest contributors to the warming of planet Earth. It
is in this context of the need to lower carbon emissions and
protect the environment, that researchers are showing a growing
interest in pro-environmental leadership. Here pro-environmental
leadership is conceptualized as a process in which leaders
influence others to realize a vision of organizational sustainability
without compromising the ecosystem. The research focus on proenvironmental leadership includes investigating how leaders
influence workplace low-carbon initiatives, the characteristics of
pro-environmental leaders, and the leadership behaviours that
influence followers’ pro-environmental behaviours (Robertson and
Barling, 2015).
It is within work organizations that work is structured, jobs
designed, employees rewarded, and the employment relationship
is fashioned. As the ‘architects of employment’ (Rubery, 2006: 33),
an organization consists of a recurrent set of human relationships
between leaders and followers, including reporting relationships,
patterns of decision making and communication and other
behaviour patterns, both ‘official’ and ‘unofficial’ (Donaldson,
1999). It is ultimately dependent upon goal-directed ‘human
collaboration’, ranging from a leader–follower dyad to leader–
leader relations between multinational corporations. The idea of
interdependence and collaboration suggests that the leadership
process is reliant on a confluence of leaders, followers and
context (Bastardoza and Van Vugt, 2019). This holistic
perspective theorizes that followers are co-producers of
leadership. That is to say, ‘The follower is teacher to the leader’
(Grint, 2005: 105). Effective leadership is therefore conceptualized
not so much as a set of innate personality traits, competencies or
charisma but as the readiness of leaders to engage, listen and
learn from their followers. Thus, in recent years, researchers have
shown more interest in what is known as ‘follower-centric’ models
that see two-way learning embedded in the leader–follower
Conceptualizing leadership as a human process within an
employment relationship illustrates the potential of some HRM
practices to nurture effective followership whereby an employee or
employees accept the influence of leaders to accomplish a
common goal. The premise developed in this book is that a
combination of HRM variables (or ‘clusters’ of HR practices) can
help to mediate the positive effect of leaders’ influence over both
individual-level and group-level outcomes (e.g. follower
commitment, job satisfaction, performance), as well as creativity
and innovation (Shalley et al., 2004). The distinctive feature of
HRM is its assumption that improved performance is achieved
through changing people’s behaviour in the organization (Guest,
1997). Improved individual and group performance hinges on,
amongst other things, shaping follower behaviour through
rewards, performance management, training and a positive
organizational culture. In evaluating the HRM-performance
relation, Purcell and Kinnie (2007) draw attention to the frequently
experienced gap between ‘espoused’ management practices and
their enactment. They observe that ‘HR practice measures may
be acting as proxies for these wider variables of leadership,
culture, and management behaviour’ (2007: 543).
As you will hopefully see through the chapters in Part III, the way
HRM has been conceptualized avers HRM shares common
theoretical concepts and goals with the process of leadership.
Both disciplines predominantly focus on understanding how, and
why, followers behave in the organization, how people are
managed and how leaders can influence, mobilize and leverage
human capability to enhance individual and organizational
In planning this book, I have opted to use an inclusive
conceptualization of effective leadership that pays attention to the
context, therefore we propose leadership in organizations as
influenced by four factors: strategy, power, culture, and ethical
considerations. In addition, while this book includes chapters
examining the attributes, competentences and behaviour of
leaders, it also includes chapters examining the dynamics
between the process of leading and the process of following. It
further probes whether and how leaders might influence
innovation and change and how HRM theory and practice
contribute to our understanding of leadership and followership
processes. The book aims to review and critically evaluate the
theory and practice of leadership and to provide critical insights
into the interlocking dimensions of leadership, organizational
behaviour and people management.
Objectives of this Book
This book provides you with an in-depth examination of leadership
and how it applies to managing people in organizations. The idea
for the book stems from a research project funded by the Alberta
Government, Canada. This research explored leadership through
a series of case studies involving the Calgary Police Service,
PanCanadian Petroleum, Banff Springs Hotel, The Body Shop
(UK) and Volvo (Sweden). These case studies gave insight into
the comparative perspectives on leadership in private and public
sector organizations and within different national cultures.
Organizational Leadership has been written specifically to fulfill
the needs of undergraduate and postgraduate business students
for an accessible, critical and engaging analysis of leadership. In
so doing, it emphasizes the perceived importance of leadership in
managing people and change across different contexts in both
private and public organizations and, largely overlooked, in
promoting innovation, pro-environmental change and urban and
regional development.
Work organizations are multi-level in nature and, in organizational
studies, levels of analysis refer to entities of interest in research
(Klein and Kozlowski, 2000). Organizational Leadership examines
how leaders affect their organization’s performance through two
levels of influence at individual and organizational, and two types
of influence relationships inside and outwith the organization
(Portugal and Yukl, 1994), as well as ‘theory to practice’ by
considering how strategic issues influence relationships and
management practices. At the individual level of influence, leaders
use their social interactions to influence individual employees and
groups of employees. At the organizational level, leaders change
HR practices, structure and culture to indirectly influence
individuals and groups. Turning to the types of influence, leaders
seek to influence and motivate employees inside the organization
(senior colleagues, line managers, other subordinates) and
external bodies (e.g. customers, suppliers, governments) – see
Part IV. The conception of leadership that we advance in the book
is context sensitive, expansive and connected to corporate
strategy; and one that profoundly shapes the employment
You will find this book relies less heavily on US cases and
examples by placing more weight on UK, European, South
African, Far East and Australian material, contexts and leaders.
Moreover, you will find that international issues relevant to
leadership are discussed and analysed in ‘Leadership in Action’
features in order to avoid a Western-centric approach, which will
help UK and non-UK students to relate to and operate ethically in
different contexts and cultures.
This book is desgined to improve your critical thinking skills. It will
not only help you to evaluate leadership theories but also to think
critically about how leaders operate in practice. This is an
extension of Karen Legge’s (2005) memorable ‘rhetorics and
realities’ approach to examining HRM. Each chapter explains and
critiques leadership theories and actual practices, but will include
pedagogical features to encourage students to question, to be
critical and to seek multi-causality when analysing leadership.
Specifically this book will help you to:
demonstrate an awareness of how leadership behaviours and
practices are shaped, if not determined, by the external
business environment and by internal factors in the
critically examine the continuum between classical and
modern theories of leadership, and understand the effect of
leadership on followers, and organizational outcomes. The
critical study of the leadership canon helps students to
understand the connections between theory and practice, and
conflict and cooperation between people in the workplace;
analyse the role of HRM and leadership in promoting
organizational outcomes in the areas of talent management,
performance management and leadership development;
critically examine contemporary leadership theories including
followership, gender and leadership, and the role of
leadership in public sector organizations and in promoting
pro-environment behaviours and urban and regional
A Framework for Studying
The process perspective espoused in this book conceptualizes
leadership, not simply as a position, but as a dynamic relational
phenomenon residing in a specific organizational context. In
consequence, it implies that a leader affects and is affected by
followers and the context. Studying organizational leadership
systematically, therefore, involves a close examination of three
interlocking factors: context, leader and followers (see Figure 0.1).
These, in turn, influence the leadership relationship and can affect
organizational effectiveness. This conceptual framework allows us
to compare, across a consistent set of dimensions, the multitude
of ways researchers and practitioners have defined leadership
and the different approaches that they have brought to the study
of leadership.
Figure 0.1 Leadership as an interconnected
As will be explained, the context part of the model refers to those
external drivers of change – social, technology, economic,
political, legal, ecological (STEPLE) – as well as organizational
design and strategy considerations inside the organization. Time
is context, too – what is effective at one period of time, dealing
with one set of circumstances, may not be effective in another
(Mumford, 2010). Context is not only constantly changing, but also
strongly influences the leader–follower dichotomy and the
asymmetrical power relationship embedded within the
organization and capitalist society. Importantly, the differences in
understandings of leadership may differ depending on
organizational culture and climate and between national cultures.
These, and other studies, challenge the idea of a universal
leadership model, and have implications for leadership practices
and development.
The leader part of the model examines a cluster of lasting themes
found in the literature, specifically what the leader contributes as
an individual to the leadership process. Much of the research
examines the ‘attributes’, behaviours and ‘dynamic’ capabilities
said to be required of leaders. By extension, some writers
recognize the importance of power in the leadership equation and,
importantly, the dynamic nature of the employment relationship.
The followers part of the model refers to those employees leaders
seek to influence. They may be managers or non-managers. In
early leadership literature, followers are studied – if they are
studied at all – as either passive recipients of leaders’ diktats or as
embodiments of individual personalities or as sources of
psychological needs or problems. We eschew this perspective in
favour of a sociological approach which emphasizes how the
three fundamentals of the social world – class, gender and race –
effect, though they do not determine, the character of leader–
follower relations in the contemporary workplace .
The emergent opinion is that followers are a critical component of
the leadership process. Follower-centric theories and the
followership process focus on follower attributes relevant to the
leadership process, including the importance of values, attitudes,
self-identity and leader–follower dynamics. They examine the
active role followers play as co-producers of leadership, with
leader and followers influencing each other through their
behaviours and actions. Leader–follower relations are inherently
cooperative and consensual, or defiant and conflictual (Budd,
2004) and focus attention on the indeterminacy of the employment
contract and the performance of others. The framework put
forward in this book provides an inclusive explanation of the
leadership process; a complex, ongoing relational construct with
others, located within a nexus of interconnected economic and
socio-cultural factors which shape the practice of management
and the employment relationship.
The Organization of This Book
Organizational Leadership is divided into four parts, which of
course are interconnected, and 17 chapters.
Part I explains the closely connected concepts of management
and leadership before contextualizing leadership behaviour and
action by examining the external and internal forces that influence
the behaviour of leaders and followers, power, national culture
and ethics.
Part II reviews and critically analyses a selected number of
traditional and contemporary theories of leadership, including trait,
behaviour, contingency, charisma and transformative, relational
and distributed.
Part III shifts the focus, this time to analyse how the
complementary field of HRM informs and directs the way
leadership and management are practised and how they impact
on employees and organizational performance outcomes.
Part IV turns attention to the followership process and explores
how such factors as individuals’ attributes, levels of competence,
learning and communication styles, gender and race affect the
way people understand and respond to one another in order to act
together. The other chapters look at some contemporary
leadership issues by examining public sector organizations,
leading pro-environmental change and urban and regional
Finally, I would like to thank the other contributors to this book.
Each has brought their own research and perspective of
leadership to their chapter. Collectively, I believe they have helped
to produce a distinctive book that offers the reader a contextsensitive, nuanced and reflexive approach to studying leadership.
John Bratton, Edinburgh
Part I Contextualizing Leadership
1 The Nature of Leadership
John Bratton
‘Anybody who feels called upon to lead is a leader.
Leadership is also difficult. If it were easy, everyone
would do it.’ (Bonang Mohale, 2018: 3)
Chapter Outline
Defining leadership
Leadership and management
Mapping the changing study of leadership
Critical leadership studies
The employment relationship
Learning Outcomes
After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
explain the nature of leadership and the apparent difference
between leadership and management;
explain the essence of classical and contemporary trends in
leadership theories;
discuss how the trends in leadership theories are connected to
changes in global capitalism’s and competing theories of
organizational design;
explain the importance of the employment relationship in the
process of leadership.
To learn more about critical leadership perspectives, don’t forget to
watch the video conversation for this chapter online.
Many of today’s challenges, from catastrophic climate breakdown
– floods, droughts, famine, forced migration – to global inequality,
are complex and the public look to leaders for solutions or for
someone to blame when crises present themselves. Two decades
ago, it was held that dynamic leaders were to be found in the
corporate world. Sir Richard Branson and the late Steve Jobs, for
example, were held up as people possessing vision and the right
personal qualities to be ‘real’ leaders. The public’s largely positive
perception of business leaders changed after the historic 2007–08
global financial crisis (GFC). Post-2008, following a series of
corporate scandals and fraud, and alongside austerity, job
insecurity, falling real wages and global inequality (Milanovic,
2016), the public no longer seem to have confidence in, or high
regard for, corporate leaders (Stewart, 2015).
Despite all this, leadership is still considered to be a defining topic
in management, which is perhaps why there has been so much
written about organizational leadership. Typical media coverage
includes reporting the leadership achievements of Sybil Taylor,
founder of Canadian Steam Whistle Brewing, which in 2011
received the Excellence in Corporate Responsibility Award, the
Minister’s Award for Environmental Excellence, and Canada’s
Greenest Employers. Media interest has also focused on South
African Siza Mzimela, who in 2010 was appointed the first female
Chief Executive Officer of South African Airways. Mzimela served
on the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy board and has been
listed as one of the most powerful women in African business. The
leadership behaviours of Taylor and Mzimela offer a counterpoint
to that exhibited by Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, accused of
verbally berating an Uber employee, or that of Sir Philip Green,
chairperson of Arcadia Group, accused of making inappropriate
sexual comments to female employees. Green’s egregious
leadership also came under intense scrutiny following the collapse
of retailer BHS. Following an inquiry, it was concluded that BHS’s
leaders engaged in ‘wilful or reckless behaviour’ relating to the
company’s £571m pension deficit (Editorial, Financial Times,
2019). Leaders like Travis Kalanick and Philip Green illustrate that
not all those holding top management positions are effective
leaders, and when we face near-constant change in global
business and climate breakdown it’s what sets leaders apart from
In this book, we critically examine the role of leaders in managing
organizational change and people across different settings in forprofit and non-profit organizations and, in an area that is less
frequently studied, in promoting innovation and pro-environmental
change in the context of managerial rationales, constraints and
opportunities. In this chapter, we begin by exploring the ways in
which academics have defined leadership and the difference
between leadership and management. Its purpose is to provide a
map of how theories of leadership have been contested and
changed across space and time. We end the chapter by exploring
the nature and significance of the employment relationship to
understanding leadership.
Defining Leadership
Scholars have collectively searched for the meaning of leadership
since the beginning of western civilization. The first serious
attempt to develop a theory of leadership can be found in Plato’s
The Republic, 2000 years ago (Grint, 1997b). In the 16th century,
Machiavelli’s The Prince attached great importance to the role of
leaders in shaping societal events. Over the centuries, English
history has been replete with examples illustrating the central role
of individual leaders as depicted by the exploits of Lord Nelson at
the Battle of Trafalgar, Lord Kitchener on the Somme, and
Winston Churchill in the Second World War. One important reason
for this enduring interest in leadership is the very common
assumption that ‘great’ leaders profoundly shape events in
The rise of organizational leadership studies follows the growth of
industrial capitalism. In the 20th century, research on leadership
was driven by both the military and manufacturing demands of two
world wars, the development of the capitalist global economy and,
more exactly, the preoccupation of organizations and government
with competitiveness. Over the last half-century, the number of
articles and books published is a measure of the interest in
leadership. The number of articles on leadership published in
English-language management journals increased from 136 in
1970–71, to 168,633 in 2015 (Storey, 2016). In 2003, Amazon
Books UK offered 14,139 books with the word ‘leadership’ in the
title (Grint, 2011: 1). In 2019, using the same database, the
number had mushroomed to over 30,000.
Despite the burgeoning growth of interest in studying leadership,
grappling with its precise meaning can best be characterized as
juggling a bar of wet soap. Indeed, four decades ago, Burns
(1978: 2) observed that ‘the concept of leadership eludes us or
turns up in another form to taunt us again with its slipperiness and
complexity’. Stogdill (1974: 259) famously concluded that there
are ‘almost as many definitions of leadership as there are persons
who have attempted to define the concept.’ As Table 1.1 shows,
researchers around the English-speaking world have
conceptualized leadership as a matter of individual attributes, as
particular behaviour, as a power relation, as a process, and as
combinations of these variables.
Table 1.1 Competing definitions of
organizational leadership
Table 1.1 Competing definitions of organizational leadership
Interaction between specific traits of one person
and other traits of the many, in such a way that
the course of action of the many is changed by
the one (Bogardus, 1934: 3).
Leadership may be defined as the behaviour of
an individual while he [sic] is involved in
directing group activities (Hemphill and Coons,
Behaviour 1957: 7).
Leadership … acts by persons which influence
other persons in a shared direction (Seeman,
1960: 53).
Leadership is a particular type of power
relationship characterized by a group member’s
perception that another group member has the
right to prescribe behaviour patterns for the
former regarding his [sic] activity as a member
of a particular group (Janda, 1960: 358).
Leadership is the reciprocal process of
mobilizing by persons with certain motives and
values, various economic, political, and other
resources, in a context of competition and
conflict, in order to realize goals independently
or mutually held by both leaders and followers
(Burns, 1978: 425).
Leadership is a formal or informal contextually
rooted and goal-influencing process that occurs
between a leader and a follower, groups of
followers, or institutions (Antonakis and Day,
2018: 5).
These representative definitions define the dimensions of
leadership differently, away from ‘leader-centric’ notions of
powerful white men with innate traits to reconsider leadership as a
holistic process underscoring a social relationship between the
leader and followers and relational dynamics. The concept of
influence features in many definitions of leadership. For example,
House et al. (1999: 184) proposes that leadership is ‘the ability of
an individual to influence, motivate and enable others to contribute
toward the effectiveness and success of the organization.’
Leadership involves both direct and indirect forms of influence.
Direct leadership describes how leaders attempts to influence
others they interact with, for example when chairing a meeting or
presenting a report. Indirect leadership describes how leaders
influence employees at lower levels of the organization who do
not interact directly with the leader. For example, a CEO who
supports environmental initiatives can indirectly influence
subordinates’ workplace pro-environmental behaviours. Although
the concept of influence highlights the social relationship between
the leader and the follower, that relationship is not necessarily
characterized by control (Bass, 1990a). This is because of the
indeterminate nature of the employment relationship that makes
motivating and managing individual performance an ongoing
theme of leadership (Bratton, 2020).
The concept of reciprocal process features in most popular
definitions of leadership. Thus, Yukl (2013: 23) defines leadership
as ‘the process of influencing others to understand and agree
about what needs to be done and how to do it, and the process of
facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared
Some critical accounts also view leadership as a dialectical
process, but with a focus on economic power (Clegg and
Dunkerly, 1980). The question ‘What is economic power, and who
has it’? is not academic. It is highly relevant for understanding
leader–follower relations and behaviour. Economic power is the
ability of an individual to influence or control others to do
something they would not otherwise do through the deliberate use
of economic assets, such as payment, financial reward or
promotion leading to higher pay. The economic power wielded by
employers such as film producer Harvey Weinstein is the power to
offer a film contract or payment. It is the offering or the removal of
economic assets that influence or control how people behave or
misbehave in organizations. See ‘Leadership in Action’ below for
an example of economic power.
In reviewing the different ways leadership is defined, several
points are worth emphasizing. First, the meaning of leadership is
contested. The absence of a consensus is partly a language
problem. It is much like the words ‘love’, ‘beauty’ and ‘happiness’
– while each of us intuitively knows what these words mean, they
can have different meanings for different people. Second, the
notion of leadership carries unrelated connotations that create
ambiguity. This is because terms such as ‘authority’ and
‘management’ are used to describe similar social phenomena.
Third, the way leadership is defined and understood is strongly
influenced by an individual’s philosophical and theoretical
standpoint. Thus, broadly, there are those who view leadership
through a psychological prism, as the consequence of a set of
characteristics possessed by a ‘leader’ and an individual agency,
whilst others view leadership through a sociological prism, as a
social process that emerges from the relationship between a
leader and a follower – a dyadic relationship – and group social
Fourth, and related, notions of ‘shared objectives’ and ‘shared
aspiration’ reflect a unitary view of organizations and the role of
leaders therein: seeing the organization as a single entity with one
goal and claiming that individual employees, managers and
organizational interests are one and the same. Applying a critical
eye to these differences, Grint (2005) observes that leadership is
a contested concept because there is disagreement on whether
leadership is derived from personal qualities (i.e. traits), or
whether a leader persuades others through a process (i.e. leader–
follower interaction), or whether leadership is primarily embodied
in the position a leader occupies within the organization.
Despite the widely acknowledged differences in conceptualizing
leadership, we need a definition because how it is defined has
implications for how we study leadership and formal
organizations, and therefore how we understand management in
the context of the global economy. For the purposes of this book,
we use the following definition:
Organizational leadership is a process of influencing
within an employment relationship involving ongoing
human interaction with others wherein those others
consent to achieve a goal.
This definition captures key elements common to many
definitions. First, organizational leadership is a dialectical process
(act) embedded in a context of both cooperation and structural
conflict, which may affect the style of leadership adopted. Process
also implies that a leader affects and is affected by the
‘psychological contract’, a metaphor for a perceived set of
expectations and understandings between employees and
employers, an important concept in people management
(Rousseau, 1995). Second, leadership is an influencing process
occurring both directly and indirectly among others within formal
employment relations. Third, the influence process may involve
only a single leader, such as a CEO, or it may encompass
numerous leaders within the organization. Fourth, it is ultimately
concerned with achieving a particular goal, and goal achievement
will be a measure of its effectiveness.
Leadership and Management
The difference between management and leadership has long
been debated. For many critics, ‘leadership’ is a new label to
describe aspects of management. The mainstream discourse has
long praised leaders for their ability to ‘ignite’ change and ‘excite’
followers. We can grasp the difference between management and
leadership by addressing the questions ‘What do managers do?’
and ‘What do leaders do?’. Both require us to understand the
concept of ‘role’, which is a key idea in sociological theory
because of the social expectations attached to particular social
positions, such as a manager or a doctor in a hospital (Scott and
Marshall, 2015). Sociological analyses can reveal enduring
gender roles, for example. Moreover, individuals have multiple
roles, also known as a role set, which can lead to role conflict. A
role set in an organizational setting is an expected set of activities
or behaviours stemming from the position.
Thinking of multiple roles played by individuals both inside and
outside the workplace, the professor teaching your leadership
course, for example, has numerous roles: as well as a teacher, he
or she is also a researcher, is likely to be an administrator with
responsibility for coordinating a programme within the school, and,
if they have been in academia for a while, may mentor junior
colleagues. As part of this role set, your professor may also
represent colleagues on the governing body of the university or as
a union representative at employer–union meetings. Outside the
university, the same individual may have the role of partner or
spouse or parent, and act as chairperson of a neighbourhood
community group. In the role of union representive or chairperson
of a community group, your professor might well therefore be
practising exemplary leadership by role and challenging the status
quo or leading change.
A manager therefore can undertake a diverse range of roles within
an organization. It is important to note here that more than one
individual can perform a leadership role. That is, leadership can
be shared or distributed within the organization. The opportunity to
perform certain roles will depend on the manager’s position in the
organization’s hierarchy, the nature of the work undertaken and
the level of education of her or his co-workers. For example,
managerial and leadership activities in ‘creative milieus’ and in
‘research-intensive’ environments are unlikely to replicate the
managerial and leadership activities undertaken in a warehouse
employing unskilled manual workers (Sundgren and Styhre,
The role of managers
The role of managers has been the subject of thorough
examination by management theorists and there is no need to
explore them at great length here. In mainstream management
literature, there is agreement that the role of managers is central
to achieving control and direction. Critical studies, on the other
hand, emphasize that managers’ work deals with uncertainties,
resistance and conflicts. The pioneer of ‘scientific management’,
Frederick W. Taylor (1911), documented the role of managers in
terms of analysing and designing work systems that minimize skill
requirements while maximizing management control over the
workforce. These principles have had an enduring influence on
management research and practice throughout the 20th century.
Henri Fayol (1949), a French businessman, identified four key
roles performed by managers: planning, organizing, directing and
controlling. This is sometimes called the ‘PDOC’ tradition (see
Figure 1.1).
Figure 1.1 The classic Fayolian management
For Fayol, planning meant studying the future and drawing up a
plan of action; organizing meant coordinating both the material
and the people aspects of the organization; directing referred to
ensuring that all efforts were focused on a common goal; and
controlling meant that all workplace activities were to be carried
out according to specific rules and orders. The Fayolian
management cycle portrays the role of the manager in a positive
way, and, despite claims that it presents an idealized image of the
manager, surveys of managerial work exhibit striking parallels with
the Fayolian management cycle (Hales, 1986).
Other studies have offered an alternative picture of what
managers do. They include three sets of behaviours:
interpersonal, informational and decisional (Mintzberg, 1989).
There are three different interpersonal roles – figurehead, leader
and liaison – that arise directly from the manager’s formal
authority. The manager’s three informational roles – monitor,
disseminator and spokesperson – flow from the interpersonal
roles. Finally, it is suggested that managers perform four decisionmaking roles, those of entrepreneur, disturbance handler,
resource allocator and negotiator.
Pause and reflect
This classic account of management identifies ‘directing’ as a key
management activity. Do you think all employees would appreciate
being ‘directed’? If not, why?
Managerial work has also been conceptualized as an
interconnected three-dimensional model consisting of activities,
contingencies and processes (Squires, 2001). Activities such as
planning, organizing, directing and controlling are impacted by
internal and external contingencies; for example, internal
corporate strategy and external regulatory factors that impinge on
the manager. This model also incorporates processes, which are
the various means by which managers communicate ideas, gain
acceptance of them and motivate others to implement the ideas
through change. These processes are highly relevant to the
leadership process as they are dependent on cooperative
relationships. Thus, the current wisdom offers a more complex
picture of what managers do that helps us to be aware of the
‘totality of management’ (2001: 482).
Critical studies have challenged the universality of managerial
behaviour, and have emphasized the importance of factoring into
the analysis of management diversity, including gender, race,
sexuality and consideration of the cultural mores that prevail. As
highlighted in the ‘Leadership in Action’ feature below, research
has exposed an alternative, less flattering picture of managerial
behaviour: bullying and sexual harassment. Such abusive
behaviour is caused by a power imbalance and is not the result of
individual deviant behaviour; neither is it a new phenomenon.
Indeed, it is argued that bullying is part of the management
repertoire of ‘getting things done’ through people, and reflects the
significance of a power imbalance.
Leadership in Action: Bullying and harassment as an instrument of
Mainstream leadership scholars curiously have little to say explicity
about economic power and its effect on leader–follower relations.
Leaders have the economic power to persuade others through
economic assets or values. Implicit in the employment relationship is
also the power of fear – the power to initiate discipline or dismissal. A
manager or leader can compel employees to do something by
threatening one’s employment status or livelihood. The power held
by managers and leaders is evident in media and research reports.
Take, for example, the company Sports Direct:
Sports Direct owner, Mike Ashley … ran a warehouse ruled
by fear. Where men too scared to call in sick instead went in
and suffered a stroke. Where ambulances were called out
to deal with births and miscarriages – including a woman
who gave birth in the loos. All this happened at one of the
key sites of the Ashley business. (Chakraborty, 2016)
In the context of meeting performance targets, bullying may be
interpreted as a tool of managerial control, part of a manager’s
repertoire of ‘getting things done’ (Beale and Hoel, 2011). Corporate
executives have also lost their sheen through reports of sexual
harassment. Take, for example, the allegations of sexual impropriety
against film producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017:
An article in the New Yorker alleged that Weinstein, once
the most powerful man in Hollywood, had forced himself on
three women, made aggressive sexual advances towards
the actors Mira Sorvino and Patricia Arquette and groped,
masturbated and exposed himself in front of others. Actors
Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie said Weinstein had
sexually harassed them (Ellis-Petersen, 2017a) …
Weinstein auditioned an 18-year-old Romola Garai, the
actor known for Atonement, wearing only a dressing gown
in an encounter at the Savoy Hotel that the British actor
described as humiliating and ‘an abuse of power’ (EllisPetersen, 2017a) … Léa Seydoux, star of the film Spectre,
alleged that when she first met Weinstein ‘he flirted and
stared at me as if I was a piece of meat … He was using his
power to get sex’ (Ellis-Petersen, 2017c).
Cases of sexual harassment ignite arguments about power. In terms
of leader–follower relations, power is the capacity to exercise control
or influence over others. The exercise of power by powerful men
over vulnerable women is not a Hollywood idiosyncrasy. Nor is
economic power an abstract concept for it impacts the lives of people
within and outside the workplace.
Reflective questions
1. Have you ever experienced or witnessed bullying or sexual
hararassment in an academic setting or in the workplace?
2. Do you agree that bullying and sexual harassment are an
abuse of power? Why or why not?
Chakraborty, A. (2016) ‘Mike Ashley has pocketed millions from
treating people like battery hens’, Guardian, 7 June.
Ellis-Petersen, H. (2017a) ‘Weinstein denies three separate rape
allegations’, Guardian, 11 October, p. 1.
Ellis-Petersen, H. (2017b) ‘Romola Garai: “I felt violated by
Weinstein”’, Guardian, 10 October, p. 1.
Ellis-Petersen, H. (2017c) ‘Weinstein jumped on me. I had to defend
myself’, Guardian, 12 October, p. 1.
To explore this topic further see:
Beale, D. and Hoel, H. (2011) ‘Workplace bullying and the
employment relationship: exploring questions of prevention, control
and context’, Work, Employment and Society, 25 (1): 5–18.
Bratton, J. (2010) ‘Power, politics and conflict’, in J. Bratton, P.
Sawchuck, C. Forshaw, M. Callinan and M. Corbett (eds), Work and
Organizational Behaviour (2nd edn). Basingstoke: Palgrave
Macmillan, pp. 370–96.
Hearn, J. (2012) Theorizing Power. London: Macmillan International.
The role of leaders
Although it is stating the obvious to observe that ‘managing’ and
‘leading’ can potentially coexist in the same individual,
mainstream leadership scholars, since Zaleznik’s (1977) seminal
contribution, have argued that managers and leaders are in effect
different and that leadership and management are different. Table
1.2 summarizes the cited differences between the roles performed
by managers and leaders.
Table 1.2 Summary of cited distinctions
between management and leadership
Table 1.2 Summary of cited distinctions between
management and leadership
Acting as the figurehead
Establishing direction
Liaising with other managers
Communicating direction
Developing subordinates
Encouraging emotion
Empowering others
Handling conflicts
Challenging the status quo
Monitoring information
Motivating and inspiring
Directing subordinates
Modelling the direction
Allocating resources
Building a team
Produces potential
Produces radical change
Source: based on Hales, 1986; Kotter, 2012; and Kouzes and Posner,
Contrasting the role of managers and leaders, five broad areas of
difference have been identified. First, allegedly, leaders establish
direction, align people with that vision, model the direction and
motivate and inspire them to make it happen despite obstacles.
Therefore, it is said that a leader creates a vision as well as the
strategy to achieve the vision. In contrast, the manager’s key role
is to choose the means to implement the vision that the leader
Second, it is contended that leaders operate at a emotional level,
seeking to appeal to followers’ emotions, whereas managers
operate logically and value rationality. Third, it is alleged that
leaders encourage empowerment. That is, they ‘enable others to
act’ (Kouzes and Posner, 1997: 12). In contrast, managers, by the
very nature of their role, encourage compliance. Fourth, it is
contended that leadership is a value-laden activity, whereas
management is not. Studying environmental leadership,
Robertson and Barling (2015), for example, point to the
significance of personal values that extend beyond self-interest in
predicting the actions of pro-environmental leaders.
Fifth, it is argued that leaders have a different attitude towards
organizational change. Leaders are change agents associated
with ‘episodic’ (Weick and Quinn, 1999) or ‘revolutionary’ (Burke,
2014) organizational change, whereas managers opt for more
‘continuous’ or ‘evolutionary’ change that is ongoing, evolving and
cumulative. For Kouzes and Posner (1997: 9), exemplary
leadership entails ‘challenging the process’. Finally, Grint (2005:
15) posits that leadership is the equivalent of vuja dé (never seen
before), whereas management is the equivalent of déjà vu (seen
or experienced before).
Pause and reflect
1. Recall an organization where you have worked or a group of
which you were a member (e.g. a group to complete a module
2. To what extent were you a leader and a follower? Did the leader
change at any time and, if so, why?
3. Do managers where you work or have worked, or group
members exhibit managerial or leadership behaviours? Explain.
It is important to recognize that while a manager is a person who
has a formal title and authority, a leader is a person who has the
ability and opportunity to influence others and may be either a
manager or non-manager. As Bernard Bass (1990a) observed,
not all managers lead and not all leaders manage, and an
employee, without being a formal manager, may be a leader.
Individual managers will vary in terms of their capacity or
inclination to engage in the leadership process. Importantly,
negatively stereotyping managers as administrators or
bureaucrats mired in the status quo neglects empirically-based
evidence that shows successful managers to be good leaders,
and successful leaders to be also good managers (Yukl, 2013).
Mapping the Changing Study of
We have seen that leadership as a field of study has produced a
voluminous amount of literature, both about what it is leaders
should do, and about what leaders actually do. The former
contains theories for leaders, while the latter involves theories of
leadership. Theories for leaders are primarily normative, directed
at providing ‘how to’ prescriptions for improving leadership
effectiveness. Theories of leadership, on the other hand, are
primarily analytical, directed at better understanding leadership
processes, explaining why they vary in different circumstances
and the ‘platforms’ (ship) that leaders create to enable others to
act as leaders (Antonacopulou and Bento, 2016; Ford, 2015).
As we map the major theories of leadership, it is important to
understand that leadership scholars necessarily take their view of
their research, in part, from their academic field of study, from their
view of the world, and the changing context of capitalism in which
other people live and work. Leadership theories over time have,
therefore, been informed by a theoretical inheritance, not only
drawn from psychology and sociology, but also by multiple
theorizing of the contextual forces influencing the management of
organizations. Thus, as with the discourse of organizational theory
(Reed, 1999), the discourse of leadership theory must be
considered as a historically contested arena of concepts and
theories, infused more recently with the belief that free markets
should guide economic activity, sometimes referred to as
‘neoliberalism’, which seeks to gain recognition and acceptance in
the management of organizations.
The sheer diversity of leadership theories can sometimes mean
that recognizable trends or patterns are obscured. To navigate
through the myriad theories, we have divided leadership research
into five major categories: trait, behaviour, contingency,
charisma/transformative and shared/distributed leadership
(Bryman, 1999).
Table 1.3 shows the major leadership schools and the time period
in which the theory attracted most research attention (Antonakis
and Day, 2018). In mapping developments in theory, it is important
to recognize that research focus and preferred leadership
paradigms evidently diverge across time and space. The
trajectory of leadership theory is not linear, but rather follows
endless swings between leader-centric and follower-centric
models often premised on new thinking about work design and
organizational change. Therefore, theories of leadership and
disruptive organizational change are inseparably intertwined
(Parry, 2011).
Table 1.3 Development of the main theories of
Table 1.3 Development of the main theories of leadership
Selective Author(s)
Bogardus (1934); Bird (1940);
Stogdill (1948); Judge et al.
Hemphill and Coons (1957);
Blake and Mouton (1964)
and Situational
Fiedler (1967); Hersey and
Blanchard (1969)
Charisma and
Dansereau et al. (1975); Graen
and Uhl-Bien (1995)
House (1977); Conger and
Kanungo (1998); Antonakis
Burns (1978); Bryman (1992);
Kouzes and Posner (1997)
Selective Author(s)
Greenleaf (1977); Graham
(1991); Eva et al. (2019)
George (2003); Walumbwa et al.
Boyatzis (1982); Mumford et al.
(2000); Sotarauta (2005)
Psychodynamic DeBoard (1978); De Vries (2006)
Kerr and Jermier (1978); Graen
and Uhl-Bien (2005)
Benne and Sheats (1948); Tichy
(1997); Gronn (2002); Bolton
Sims Jr. et al. (2009); Amundsen
and Martinsen (2014
The premise is that as the context of capitalism changed (from
Fordist mass-production to team systems and flexible
specialization), leadership fashion shifted from an active focus on
the leader to the role followers play in the leadership process –
from a leader-centric to a follower-centric focus. However, this
argument for identifible patterns of leadership across time is both
contestable and complicated by researchers invoking
contingencies, external and internal events or circumstances
which are possible but cannot be predicted with certainty (e.g.
disruptive technology) to explain preferred styles of organizational
Reviews of leadership theories have been undertaken by
numerous leadership academics, including Bernard Bass et al.
(2008) and Antonakis et al. (2004), and there is no need to repeat
the findings here. The aim of this section is to provide a road-map
through the literature as a precursor to more detailed coverage in
the theory chapters, noting the shifts in focus, and to identify the
connections to leadership practice discussed in other chapters in
this book.
Leader-centred perspectives
The earliest studies of leadership date back to the ‘Great Man’
theories from 19th-century Victorian Britain. This perspective
focused on iconic leaders – often military figures or politicians –
who allegedly possessed innate qualities shaped by masculine
traditions and Anglo-Saxon values and attitudes. To put it another
way, elitist, sexist, misogynous, xenophobic and racist. An early
leader-centric study identified over 75 traits to distinguish leaders
from non-leaders and successful leaders from failures (e.g.
Stogdill, 1948). This approach is predicated on the belief that
individuals who occupy leadership positions possess superior
qualities or attributes as compared to traits possessed by nonleaders. Leader traits and attributes are looked at in detail in
Chapter 6. We should note that statistical studies that seek to
measure critical human traits, such as intelligence, in order to
predict leadership effectiveness, have given trait theory something
of a renaissance (e.g. Judge et al., 2004).
In the 1970s, scholars shifted attention to leadership
competencies. Like trait theory, these contributions take a leadercentred perspective on leadership. However, unlike the trait
approach, the competencies model views leadership as a set of
developable competencies or skills, which suggests that many
managers and non-managers have the potential for leadership.
Research has focused on defining distinct clusters of
competencies that leaders and managers should possess. Critical
competencies would include decision-making skills, interpersonal
skills (e.g. listening and speaking) and social intelligence (SI),
which is having the ability to understand social dynamics and
situations (see e.g. Mumford et al., 2000; Sotarauta, 2005).
In the 1950s, the early inconclusive research on trait theory
shifted attention to the behavioural styles of leaders. The
leadership behaviour perspective focuses on what leaders do (i.e.
leadership), and in particular on how they behave towards
followers. Research distilled two clusters of leadership
behaviours. One cluster captures task-oriented behaviours (e.g.
assigning work and job redesign activities), referred to as initiating
structure. The other cluster represents people-oriented behaviours
(e.g. showing respect and support for followers), referred to as
consideration. It was posited that the most effective behavioural
style is when leaders exhibit high levels of both task-oriented and
people-oriented behaviours. While research on behavioural
theories of leadership declined in the 1970s, recently leadership
behaviours in organizations to promote low-carbon initatives have
been subjected to considerable empirical scrutiny. Leaders’
supportive behaviours, for example, have been shown to be an
important element of pro-environmental leadership (Robertson
and Barling, 2015).
The late 1990s witnessed the rise of the ‘new leadership’ model,
so-called because the writers viewed leaders as managers of
meaning rather than authorizing influence (Bryman, 1996: 30).
Research shifted to charismatic attributes, and other mental
characteristics of leaders. Individuals celebrated as ‘leaders’
according to this approach are those able to persuade employees
to exert exceptional effort and make personal sacrifices to
accomplish the group’s goal. House’s (1977) theory of charismatic
leadership inspired another leader-centric approach called
transformative leadership (see Chapter 7). Here, individuals
celebrated as ‘leaders’ are those who can make sense of a crisis
and threat, are able to evaluate the strengths and opportunities of
the organization within that environment, and have the capabilities
to formulate, communicate and mobilize support for a compelling
‘vision’ for the organization.
Critical Insight: The constructivist perspective to knowledge making
An important object of Organizational Leadership is to help you
develop critical thinking skills when reading other texts in leadership
and management and related fields. To do this effectively, you need
to be aware that all academic writing should be considered not only
as a source of information and meaning as defined by the author, but
also as a text revealing something about the author’s standpoint on
organizational leadership and power relations in society. Knowledge
should be viewed in the context of power, and consequently the
relationship between writers, readers and texts (including this one)
has to be understood as sites at which different meanings,
interpretations and perspectives take place. Reinharz (1988) posits
that most academic writing reflects a dominant perspective that is
capitalist, racist and androcentric in orientation. To help you prepare
for this journey through the leadership discourse, read Grint (1997b:
1–10) and Charmaz (2000).
Working on your own, or with a group, look through recent academic
journals and select a leadership article:
1. What dominant assumptions underlie the article?
2. To what extent are gender, race and class conflict discussed by
the author?
3. How does the author explain the constructivist perspective to
knowledge making?
4. Explain the notion that the author has been both a producer
and a product of the text.
Contingency and situational perspectives
The contingency or ‘if–then’ approach to understanding leadership
became fashionable in the early 1970s, and is associated with the
seminal work of Field and House (1990). It is based on the idea
that the most effective leadership style depends upon the leader,
the capability of followers, and specific situational factors
determine rational decision making and how a leader behaves.
Effective leadership, it is posited, will depend upon situational
variables such as the characteristics of followers, the nature of the
work to be performed and the external environment. Contingency
theory will be discussed further in Chapter 6. A variant, situational
leadership theory (Hersey and Blanchard, 1969) is probably one
of the best-known contingency models. Understanding the
situational factors in which leadership is embedded is an
important theoretical development for advancing a more holistic
understanding of leadership.
Follower-centric perspectives
In the 1990s, another strand of leadership theory emerged that
swung the pendulum from leader-centric towards a more holistic
follower-centric approach (Shamir et al., 2007). Studies of
‘followership’ fall into three main categories: leader–follower
relations, follower attributes and follower outcomes such as
change, as a result of leadership behaviours (Bligh and Kohles,
2008). The early work on leader–member exchange (LMX)
conceptualized leadership as a reciprocal influence process that is
centred on the dyadic interaction, a relationship of two, which can
develop in leader–follower relationships (Graen and Uhl-Bien,
1995). Moreover, follower-centric theories suggest that employees
are not a passive homogeneous group to be acted on by leaders,
but rather potentially dynamic, each acting in a self-determining
manner within the employment relationship (Brown, 2018).
In the 2000s, the demands for strategic alignment and coherence
in increasingly complex organizational structures gave rise to new
preferred models variously called distributed (e.g. Gronn, 2002a)
and empowered (Amundsen and Martinsen, 2015) leadership.
Empowering leadership, for example, is a process of sharing
power, and allocating autonomy and responsibilities to employees,
work teams, or collectives through a specific set of leader
behaviours for employees to enhance internal motivation and
organizational performance (Cheong et al., 2019). Within the
follower-centric genre, distributed or empowered theories
proposed that gifted leaders ‘lead from behind’ by empowering
workers (Spillane and Diamond, 2007). Distributed leadership also
echoes the notion of ‘leading quietly’ (Mintzberg and Lampel,
1999) and ‘servant leadership’ (Greenleaf, 1977, 1996), observes
Alimo-Metcalfe and Alban-Metcalfe (2005). Distributed leadership
is premised on assumptions about group synergy, learning and
developing followers. Therefore, leadership potentially resides in
every employee who, in one way or another, takes on the role of
leader in a group or team, and is not confined to those with formal
senior leadership roles.
The evident shifts in research interest and preferred forms of
leadership are not random but are linked to the formation of
particular corporate strategies, which are often a response to
perceived and actual changes in organizational design and global
capitalism. Different leadership theories reflect two management
logics. The first is the logic of direct, process-based control, in
which the focus is on efficiency and cost containment. The second
is the logic of indirect behavioural outcomes, in which the focus is
on leaders engaging followers’ intellectual capital, commitment
and cooperation.
In the context of mid-20th century mass production and scientific
management, therefore, leaders acted as repositories of
knowledge and had direct control over production formerly
wielded by craft workers. These conditions provided the impetus
for leader-centric models in the West. That theories of leadership
should give disproportionate prominence to the personality,
priorities and achievements of primarily white upper-class men
reveals as much about cultural mores as they do about their
subject (Salaman, 2016). Fast-forward three decades, and
concerns about Japanese imports and evidence-based research
on the benefits of empowered work teams (Bratton, 1992) see
leadership theories emphasize that emotional processes and
symbolic actions by leaders are as important as rational
processes. The study of ‘followership’ evolved as a strategy to
solve a range of cooperation and coordination problems in work
groups (Bastardoza and Van Vugt, 2019). In the context of work
reorganization based on Japanese management practices, such
as work teams and just-in-time, follower-centric models of
leadership captured the zeitgeist of the 1990s (see Chapter 8).
Image 1.1 1950s mass production provided the
impetus for leader-centric models. Fastforward three decades, and the benefits of
work teams encouaraged follower-centric
styles of leadership.
Competitiveness travails and leadership theory-building are
closely intertwined, serving to reinforce each other. To effectively
evaluate theories of leadership, it is important to understand the
philosophy or ‘worldview’ of the researchers and the assumptions
underpinning their research. Today, in the second decade of the
21st century, there is growing acknowledgment in the literature of
the need to adopt more holistic approaches to understanding
leadership and its relationships with various outcomes of interest.
The charismatic, ideological and pragmatic (CIP) model of
leadership, for example, is based on the varied cognitive
processes of leaders, but it also recognizes the significance of
followers and context (Lovelace et al., 2019). However, there is, in
parallel, a return of leader-centric approaches, because charisma
is ‘too important’ to leave to arbitrary processes or weak
institutions (Antonakis and Day, 2018: 75). That inspirational
leader-centric models are again avant-garde must be seen in the
context of wider social-economic factors: the rise of ‘meritocratic
extremism’ (Piketty, 2014), a popular culture overtly in thrall to
celebrities, and media exposure of high-profile corporate leaders
that projects a fabricated image of charismatics as ‘wealth
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