Leadership in Organizations Essay

Pages: 5 (1531 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Leadership


There are several types of variables in Yukl's multiple linkage model of leadership. These are managerial behaviors, intervening variables, criterion variables and situational variables. There are six intervening variables -- subordinate effort, role clarity and task skills, organization of work, cohesiveness and cooperation, resources and support services, and external coordination. These intervening variables enable the work group to complete its tasks. The importance of each particular variable to the function of the group is dependent on the task at hand.

In Yukl's model, situational variables have three different influences on managing. The situational variables constrain managerial behavior and moderate its effects; they influence the intervening variables; and they determine the relative importance of the intervening variables. Through these influences, the situational variables have a heavy influence over managerial action. Examples of situational variables include motivation systems, remuneration systems, work structure and rewards, recruitment and training, competitive strategy of the firm and the technology available to the work group. Each of these variables is essentially in place prior to the managerial action, and therefore these variables are often independent of both managerial behavior and the intervening variables.

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The situational and intervening variables act as flow-throughs between managerial behaviors and outcomes. Not only are managerial behaviors influenced by the situation variables, but they are also influenced by the choice of intervening behaviors that the manager makes for the particular task. The more a manager's actions work in concert with the intervening variables, the more effective will be the group.

The basic linkage between the variables, therefore, is that the situational variables are typically in place prior to the decision (though they themselves are the result of managerial decisions). These situational variables will influence the managerial behavior and the intervening variables. The manager utilizes the intervening variables to different degrees, depending on the situation.

Essay on Leadership in Organizations Assignment

One strength of Yukl's model is that it is more thorough than other, similar models. For example, it incorporates a wider range of situational and intervening variables that can affect the outcomes of managerial decision making. Yukl's model was also a pioneer in the study of leadership in a group dynamic. However, the model also some weaknesses. On one hand, its complexity makes it difficult to test. On the other hand, the model has significant room for expansion. The model does not test the impact of multiple leader behaviors, in particular those that may conflict with one another. The actions of managers are treated in general terms, rather than specific, which means that the model is a framework for understanding leadership rather than a tool by which specific actions can be tested. There is also little consideration of the linkages between different situational variables, which can be a significant influence on organizational performance if the situation variables are not congruent with one another.

Question 1. There are six categories of deficiency listed by Yukl. The first is that subordinates are apathetic or discouraged. This happened once at a company that was a union environment -- labor management relations were particularly sour. The managerial response to this was to appeal to the sense of vision that the company had for its future. The employees were asked to buy in to this vision in order to improve the company. This failed, in part because the union discouraged working harder until the employees were given a direct share in profits. The issue was never resolved.

The second deficiency is subordinates being confused about their work. At one point, a superior of mine undertook some hiring for my department in my absence. I was bequeathed a number of new employees, none of whom had much sense of direction. I set about finding work for them, and integrating them into teams with clear roles. The employees were successfully integrated.

The third deficiency is a disorganized group. The old group strategies had become obsolete and groups were in a state of inertia. New group strategies had to be drawn in order to give each work team a renewed sense of purpose and clear task definitions.

The fourth deficiency is a low level of coordination among members of a group. This situation came about as a result of a poor mix of team members -- primarily personality clash. I worked to resolve the conflicts and re-orient the combative employees towards team goals through a change in the rewards and motivation system. The work group was able to function well for a time, but old habits returned and the composition of the team was changed.

The fifth deficiency is a group having inadequate resources to do the work. This happened frequently at the union shop. In this case, rationing of supplies had been undertaken, but the problem was unsustainable as management sought to contain costs. This required going to higher levels of management, and the union leadership, in order to negotiate higher purchasing budgets to ensure maximum productivity and safety of the workforce.

The sixth deficiency is that external coordination is weak. In one company, different divisions had far less interaction than similar units at our main competitor, and it put us at a competitive disadvantage. In this situation, communication linkages needed to be created to keep the different units informed and to seek opinions on matters that affected multiple groups. When this occurred, intergroup function improved significantly and we were able to close the competitive gap.

Question 3. There are several reasons why the organizational change process can be difficult. Employees resist change for a number of reasons, including the belief that the change was not necessary, is not feasible, has a high cost, represents a loss of status and power, or a number of other reasons (Yukl). For a leader to effectively implement change in an organization, steps must be taken to address these concerns before they cause the morale of the organization to deteriorate. Change is difficult for leaders in situations where they encounter either strong resistance or multiple types of resistance. Overcoming that resistance is key to the change process.

There are five steps to creating a functional change team. The first step in creating a functional change team is to identify those employees whose support is essential to the process. These employees must be a part of the team because of their influence over the elements and groups that are to be changed. The second step is to build a broad coalition for this change -- a functional change team must include elements from across the organization so that each part of the organization is actively involved in the change process. The third step is to build within the change team a task force for the most complex tasks, especially those that involve changes to formal structures. The fourth step is to ensure that the change team is comprised of individuals that have demonstrated a commitment to the vision and to the change process. Behavioral integrity -- consistency in views and actions -- is essential during the change process because for many managers a high level of consistency is difficult during times of change (Simons, 1999). The fifth step is to build a team capable of empowering their respective divisions. This final step is critical because the team is only going to guide the process -- the actual implementation will be conducted by functional managers across the entire organization.

If the team is to be a virtual team, a few changes will need to be made. Virtual teams function differently from non-virtual teams in several respects (Bell & Kozlowski, 2002). There is a limited amount of interpersonal interaction, which limits the amount of coordination leadership can have (Bergiel, et al., 2008). For a virtual team, it is imperative then that team selection include only those members of the highest standard. Interaction should also be facilitated using camera technology, to simulate face-to-face… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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