FOLLOWERSHIP AS A MANAGEMENT STYLE.
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Analysis of the concept of "followership" as containing both leader and follower elements.... More...
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Analysis of the concept of "followership" as containing both leader and follower elements. The path-goal theory of management as an organizational model. Concept of situational leadership in which manager both leads and guides. Difference between a successful manager & an effective manager. Details of the followership theory of leadership & its current importance to companies.
ADOPTION OF FOLLOWERSHIP AS A MANAGEMENT STYLE Background Hersey, Blanchard and Johnson (1996) write a great deal about the concept of “followership” in which the terms “leader” and “follower” are not diametrically opposed concepts, but both exist as points along a continuum, and that the roles shift as the situation develops. In a way, this confirms the old Confucian analect that “As a teacher, by your students you are taught.” Some management schools, discussing the concept of situational leadership make use of an organizational model called “path-goal.” The path-goal theory of management suggests that it is the manager's primary task to both lead and guide, helping the workers achieve goals through the clear establishment of what is expected
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P., Snoek, J. But this need not be the case. (1997, July-Sept.). (1997. The answers were almost unanimous in citing the fact thattechnology (computers, Internets, Intranets) will change the traditionalroles of leadership, particularly the role of the CEO. Much of this theorizing is based on the Myers-Briggs TypeIndicator. This may take covert orovert forms. . Energetically supporting a leader also buildstrust. These groups can be formally or informally organized. 35. As explained by Stewart, "The directive leader lets subordinates knowwhat is expected of them...the supportive leader is friendly and showsconcern for the needs...the participative leader consults withsubordinates...the achievement oriented leader sets challenging goals"(Stewart, 1993, 112). Barnatt was suggesting theall-too-real situation that the only certainty in the business world oftoday is uncertainty. However, in today's business world, such an attitude, withits emphasis on blindly following a leader into battle, is perhaps dated. It is common practice that management shortcuts individualresistance with destructive personality explanations, instead of checkingfor underlying reasons for resisting behavior. In fact, with thetrend to "flattened organizations," more and more managers are losing the"cushion" that was inherent in the more structured organizations. (1964). Applying the theories proposed by Stewart that there is a differencebetween a successful manager and an effective manager adds a new dimensionto this path-goal theory. Agroup of electronic specialists for example may resist the plan of beingsplit up into work teams where they have work side by side with mechanicalpersonnel. Consensus within agroup implies that all within the group agree with a particular point.While many management theorists claim that consensus exists within thepsychological community on the research paradigm for the foreseeablefuture. "Through the years, management has beendescribed...[as] planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating andcontrolling" (Stewart, 1993, 23). . Instead, the organization will look like astar: the leader is a bargaining agent for the whole (Perey, 1996, 61). In general, the followership theory of leadership believes in theseelements:* Focus on the inter-personal transactions between managers and employees* The use of contingent reward to motivate people* The adherence and maintenance of existing goals, norms, and routines* Charismatic (transformational) leadership: the transformation ofemployee behavior, organizational goals, structures, and processes byemphasizing --- * Symbolic leader behavior * Visionary and inspirational messages * Nonverbal communication * Appeal to ideological/religious values * Display of confidence in self and followers* Leader expectations for follower self-sacrifice and for performancebeyond the call of duty The Current Situation Internal group resistance describes group behavior within theorganization. (1996, April), In the year 2 2 , will all CEOs be techno-nerds? An effective follower is supportive, notpassive! D., & Rosenthal,R. It benefits the organization iffollowers stay alert for ways to support the leader better and reduce thestress the leader is under. Itis sometimes seen as leading to internal individual resistance and can beused negatively to describe people behavior in the organization as notaccepting the project contents and/or management. .to help employees contribute to aprofitable business than to teach them what a profitable business means tothem and to their specific areas (Harris, 1996, 46). .[leading to]the `virtual organization' - of an extremely loose web of individuals,capital and technologies which may operate in amalgamation as the ultimateflexible organizational form" (Barnatt, 1997). Chaleff, Ira (1996, April), Effective Followership, ExecutiveExcellence, 16. Part of thisstatement involves body language in terms of how confidently you carryyourself, how you walk, and your general manner. Harris, J. And one of the major changes taking place is the new view toward"followership" leadership styles. With this large group of stakeholders, it is next toimpossible to adopt any other management position besides that of being a"leader/follower" Future Implications "The desire for ever-increasing flexibility in business operationsremains as prominent as it did in the early- to mid-198 s. Successful organizations in 2 2 will dispersecontrol. Stewart, G.B. Hersey and colleaguesalmost address this point on page 341.When you first encounter a prospective follower, before you say your firstword you have already made a statement about yourself. ADOPTION OF FOLLOWERSHIP AS A MANAGEMENT STYLE Background Hersey, Blanchard and Johnson (1996) write a great deal about theconcept of "followership" in which the terms "leader" and "follower" arenot diametrically opposed concepts, but both exist as points along acontinuum, and that the roles shift as the situation develops. As anyone who has anything to do withbusiness knows there are profound changes taking place right now" (Page 1). It is tempting to view the business world as a battleground, and manytheorists still bend to this belief. Perey, C. L., Wolfe, D. Chapter 1, "Welcome to the New Business World" starts off with aquote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Bad times have a scientific value . (Chaleff, 1996, 16).One valid benefit that "followership" brings to a company is that itcreates a system of open-book management, which, as the name implies, meansopening the financial and operational statements to all employees. . Workforce, 767:11. Chief Executive, 61. Psychologically, people will have to get used to a dynamicallymixed world: top down, bottom up, side to side" (Perey, 1996, 61). A. Hersey and colleagues address part of this theory in their book(1996) as part of their S1, S2, S3,S4 analysis. One book that deals extensively with the "followership" concept isManaging in the next Millenium, a unique collection of candid, first-handinsights, based on exclusive interviews with the world's top managementcommentators, thinkers and doers coordinated and written by MichaelJohnson. (1993). Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, in his book Business at the Speedof Thought, points out that one of the most powerful phrases a good managercan use is "I don't know." Where once such a statement would be consideredalmost certain professional death, today it acknowledges the "fact thatbecause of the intricate complexity of most businesses, especially thosethat are involved in electronic commerce, managers are increasinglychallenged to play a pivotal role in guarding, guiding and communicating aglobal corporate culture in the 21st century"(Schell & Marmer-Solomon,1997). Dell Computers, America Online-- adopt a policy of teaching everyone how to read the company' s financialstatements and learn how their function contributes to the company'sprofits. In 1996, Perey conducted a survey of CEO's, asking them what theypredicted would be the impact of technology's impact on the corporation ofthe future. The tolerance in the culture for a seniorexecutive expressing vulnerability is low. Hersey, Paul; Blanchard, Kenneth H.; Johnson, Dewey E. In healthyorganizations, both leaders and followers serve a common purpose.Ultimately, a follower doesn't draw power or authority from a leader, butfrom the organization's purpose and from the commitment and skills he orshe brings to that purpose. Many oftoday's most successful companies -- Yahoo! The quest for value: A guide for seniormanagers. This leads to the question of whether a leader who chooses to adopt a"following" philosophy might be considered as weak. New York: Wiley. Further, this rapid change has calledfor a new type of manager who can manage both people and technology withequal skill. Organizational stress: Studies in role conflict andambiguity. Stewart also suggests that this hascreated a schism between "effective" managers (those that get the job done)and "successful" managers (those who get promoted quickly). "Span-of-control concepts, where one person manages a group ofothers, will become obsolete. They consider their status superior to the mechanics status.In a situation like this, if the leader has to manage both of these groups,the "follower" equation would always be in flux. Johnson's book is designed for managers in a hurry, who don'thave time to wade through needless words to get to the meat of an issue.To create these fact-filled pages, Johnson conducted one-on-one interviewswith the top theorists, faxed precise questions to others, and to broadenthe scope of the book, "included extracts from keynote presentations atManagement Centre Europe's three most important conferences: theInternational Human Resources Conference; the Global Conference onMarketing; and the Top Management Forum" (Johnson, 1995, xiv). Virtual organization in the smallbusiness sector, International Small Business Journal, 15:4 36. Nov.). Leading isn't strong and good, andfollowing weak and bad; leadership and followership are two sides of thesame process. (1996),Management of Organizational Behavior, Upper Saddle River NJ: PrenticeHall. Schell, M.S.; Marmer-Solomon, C. That analysis is partiallybased on the Myers-Briggs' standard model which involved the assumptions ofa) a four-dimension model, b) bimodal distribution of scores on eachdimension, c) sixteen independent types, and, d) the concept of a primaryfunction determined by Judger/Perceiver preference. Global culture:Who's the gatekeeper? New York, NY: HarperCollins, Publishers Inc. References Barnatt, C. Leaders can empower followers,and followers can empower themselves! Chaleff (1996) addresses the criticismthat most "leaders" hate thinking of themselves as followers.In our culture being a follower connotes weakness, passivity ormindlessness. "In fifteen years time it will be 2 1 - a decade into a newmillenium, the twenty-first century. The more genuine concern we show for our leader's welfare, the morewe stand up for our leader, the stronger our position will be when we needto stand up to our leader (Chaleff, 1996, 16). M., Quinn, R. The leader of tomorrow will be one who will be able to lead orfollow, whenever either one is the most suitable strategy for the moment.As Hersey and colleagues point out "The consequences for society of theimbalance between the development of technical and the development ofsocial skills have been disastrous" (Hersey et al, 1996, 5). Followership, then, is a challenge to the concept of consensus thatrequires universal agreement, as in a unanimous vote. Grooming, neatness, hairstyle andother personal features also enter into the equation (Hersey et al, 341). I don't believe that followers arepassive; I contend that followers don't exist to serve leaders. One can't exist without the other. Such a downsizing trend in world industry (along with the growth ofmulti-national corporations) has created a new reliance on work teams. The twin forces of global competition and technological achievementshave propelled organizations, their managers and their workforces into anunparalleled transformation process. "Now, we work in a "command and-control" world, where some are incontrol, and others follow. You can lead in many ways,and you can follow in many ways. .Welearn geology the morning after an earthquake" (Page 1.) This quoteestablishes quite clearly the "no-nonsense" tone of the book, which readsmore like a Cliff's Notes rather than a book assigned for a managementclass. (1996, April 1) The partnership facade Management Review,85: 45-49. In summary, those who want to change an organization and its behaviorshould be able to change people and that implies that learning to follow,when necessary, is the only way to lead others. Tom Malone, who is co-director of the Inventing the Organizations ofthe 21st Century Research Initiative, Sloan School of Management, was oneof the respondents and stated this belief, which is a clear and concisestatement of the importance of followership. Traditional management,often based on the concept of "divide and rule," sought its direction fromthe military model. Part of it involves theclothing you wear and your accessories. The demands for performance atthe top are often brutal. Kahn, R. "There is no better way . This concept of followership is often overlooked by seniormanagement, when viewing and analyzing the behaviors of lower managers. Another reason why followership is an important management trait todevelop is that so many companies are decentralizing, and moving thedecision levels lower and lower down the hierarchy. Concerning this concept, Chaleff has this to say.Leaders are usually under great pressure. One of the most successful managementbooks ever written, for instance, is the ancient Chinese text by Sun Tzu onthe Art of War. The past decade has witnessed a rapid convergence of views regardingthe structure of the concepts of management style and leadershippersonality. The idea of leadership constituencies dates back to at least 1958,and is based on the idea that the leader/manager has multiple obligationsto various groups that include subordinates, superiors, fellow managers,stockholders and other financial stakeholders, and the local and globalcommunity (Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, Snoek, & Rosenthal, 1964; Schell & Marmer-Solomon, 1997). Themost obvious transformation has taken place within the managerial field,where new organizational structures are challenging managers to developinnovative constituency relationships. In a way,this confirms the old Confucian analect that "As a teacher, by yourstudents you are taught." Some management schools, discussing the conceptof situational leadership make use of an organizational model called "path-goal." The path-goal theory of management suggests that it is the manager'sprimary task to both lead and guide, helping the workers achieve goalsthrough the clear establishment of what is expected of them. Theforce for this change in the organizational structure that is driven bytechnology has the effect of boosting power and knowledge higher and higherup the corporation.
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