Analysis of the Influence of Leadership on Organizational Effectiveness Including the Use of Power and Politics
The kind of approach that a leader embraces is critical in the sense that it can have an overwhelming influence on the productivity levels of employees and the effectiveness in the rest of the organization. The effectiveness of an organization is a factor that strongly relies on the manner in which each manager leads each department in performing duties that can contribute to the overall victory of the entire organization. It is because of this reason that this author would like to present an analysis of the influence of leadership on organizational effectiveness including the use of power and politics. Leadership has never been a quality or an assignment that fits anyone. It is among the most incessantly debated terminologies that usually provoke a range of individually-based opinions. It encompasses description of personal and business behaviors, position characteristics, and personality attributes (Anderson, 2011). Irrespective of the arena – be it politics, religion, sports, or business, a leader has the capacity to make decisions that can influence the effectiveness of an organization. This is because the manner in which a leader interacts with employees, delegates responsibilities, and makes decisions can have tremendous effects on the entire organization.
According to Anderson (2011), leaders have the responsibility to create plans, solicit the required resources, make equitable allocation of those resources, and make necessary corrections in order to avoid errors. Therefore, good leadership is a recipe for an effective organization. Styles of leadership and even the manner in which leaders behave have a strong connection to the manner in which organizational effectiveness will be perceived, and the performance of the organization in the long run. In most cases, employees put a lot of trust and faith in the capabilities of their leaders. In this regard, they expect leaders to in influence the effectiveness of the organization through a convincing vision regarding the direction that organization requires taking. Managers through their leadership should demonstrate consistency in pursuing organizational objectives so that achievement of success can become realistic. Leadership, through clear, succinct communication, has the ability to convey ideas regarding organizational direction. The research findings of Gibson and Konopaske (2011)indicate that a competent leader with the capacity to stay the course, with a strong sense of personal efficiency can have significant effects on the confidence of all other employees.in most cases, such confidence reflects in the general sense, which an organization endures and succeeds.
Leadership in various organizations has the mandate to design behaviors that raise the consciousness of the followers about the values and objectives of the organization. Therefore, inspirational motivation as well as idealized influence behavior lay a lot of emphasis on motivating followers to make strives that exceed their individual or personal interests for the sake of organizational effectiveness (Gibson & Konopaske, 2011). This is made possible because leaders are usually charismatic and their actions are centered on sense of mission, beliefs and values of the organization. People in positions of leadership are powerful and confident, and mostly concerned with higher order ethics and ideals. Such leaders consider the opinions of their followers and they communicate to them about the achievability of the organization’s vision. It is worth noting that inspirational leadership and idealized influence is reflected through a leader envisioning an appealing future for the organization and articulating a plan that can enable the entire organization to reach it. Leaders influence the effectiveness of the organization through showing confidence and determination, setting high performance standards, and setting examples that can be emulated. In a situation where followers identify with this kind of transformational leadership, they tend to display more creativity and innovativeness that results from intellectual stimulation. According to Lawler and Worley (2011), getting followers to do the right thing at the right time can have tremendous influence on the general effectiveness of the organization. In most cases, transformational leadership has had greater influence on organizational effectiveness more than any other model of leadership such as transactional leadership. In transformational leadership, the leader encourages followers to exceed to their immediate personal interests by instilling individualized influence, intellectual stimulation, inspiration, or idealized influence. This, in turn, promotes the followers’ ideals and their levels of maturity influencing them to become focused on self-actualization, achievement, and the general well-being of the community and the organization.
Leaders can, also, influence organizational effectiveness through transactional leadership. This model of leadership entails relationship exchange between followers and their leader in which the focus is meeting and achieving individualized interests. Some researchers such as Lawler and Worley (2011)have made assertions regarding the similarity between this model and contingent reward where, through participation or direction, leaders clarify to their followers the kinds of things that they should do or efforts they require making in order to earn rewards. However, for leadership to have considerable influence on organizational effectiveness, leadership itself requires having a desirable degree of effectiveness. Although there are varying definitions of leadership effectiveness, the point of interest lies in the resulting outcome that may entail various things such as achievement of organization objectives, group or employee performance level, employee preparedness, employee growth, and employee survival. It also entails employee satisfaction with leadership, employee potential to handle crises, the employee psychological well-being, and their commitment to the objectives of the organization (Anderson, 2011). There are various measures that are used in determining leadership effectiveness; however, the most common one is the magnitude to which the organization successfully undertakes its duty and achieves its objectives. Usually, the most available objective measure of goal attainment or performance include sales increase, profit margin, profit growth, return on investment, market share, etc. In comparing between the two models of leadership, transformational leaders are more likely to have more influence on organizational effectiveness than transactional leaders.
It is significant to note that any leader at any level in the leadership rank can have significant influence on the general creativity and performance in an organization. Transformational leadership; for instance, can enable an atmosphere where leaders affect the extent to which executives and professionals are emotionally committed and engaged to their responsibilities (Anderson, 2011). Leaders make decisions regarding the kind and amount of resources, and tangible support of ideas that individuals and teams should be given. Leaders perform an essential role by establishing a free environment that enables employees to feel safe to make their points of view. Through this approach, leaders can establish trust that can sustain a culture of high performance. However, in the event that leadership does not support a free environment for employees to make suggestions, the levels of performance will go down and have negative influence on the effectiveness of the organization. Leadership influences organizational effectiveness by affecting the manner in which conflicts are resolved and managed (Thompson, 2011). It is normal for conflicts to happen in any kind of a management setting; however, lack of appropriate strategies for resolving them can lead to non-existence of a high performance climate. Leadership can encourage team members and other individuals to participate in lively debates and discussions regarding challenges, problems and opportunities. Whenever such team members and individuals come up with more alternatives, leadership becomes well positioned to make progressive decisions that can positively influence the effectiveness of the organization.
Power has always been the main interest of most people at the place of work especially when they get into leadership positions. In fact positions of authority provide an opportunity that managers need in order to have control over resources, information, and people. In order to increase organizational effectiveness, leaders appreciate the significance of enhancing their own power at personal levels. According to the findings of Buchanan and Badham (2012), controlling and directing people by basing on the elements of authority that relate to their positions does not work effectively. Besides, in the contemporary workplace, employees do not actively obey and accept managers who constantly issue a stream of orders simply for carrying the perception of boss. Effective leaders can easily gain the power they need in order to influence organizational effectiveness. Most leaders who upgrade their expertize levels within the organization tend to increase their personal power. In other words, when leaders enhance their accomplishments and make subordinates know about them, it enables them to create a desirable organizational standard that subordinates can respect. As subordinates gain more respect for the leader because of the impressive record of success, his/he personal power also increases. Whenever the leader fails to recognize the significance of development and personal power, subordinates become resistant to direction or change.
Therefore, power is significant for enabling leaders to effectively accomplish their organizational tasks without much reference to their job title. In this manner, such leaders can easily instill confidence, inspire creativity, and mobilize resources at the organization (Buchanan & Badham, 2012). Empowering managers or leaders is a significant approach of holding them accountable. Enabling the right people to access power can generate the greatest influence with respect to organizational objectives and effectiveness. Leaders who make effective use of power can easily persuade followers to accept solutions that can lead to achieving organizational goals and thereby enhancing its effectiveness. In the political arena, competence entails keen mindfulness of power, remarkable skills for utilizing power bases and sources in an effective manner, proper use of information, and formation of effective organizational alliances. It is, also, significant to note that politics, whether positive or negative, has significant influence on organizational effectiveness. According to Gibson and Konopaske (2011), effective leadership action demands a manager to embrace power that is essentially political in nature. The positive sense of organizational politics is that employees who adapt to workplace politics in a successful manner become more productive than those who fear participation. Organizations that nurture a political culture that is simple for employees to comprehend tend to encourage productivity that generally influences their effectiveness. Therefore, it is significant for an organization to create clear chains of commands and policies that can easily be accessed by employees and provide answers to any issues that they may have. This will enable them to spend more time fulfilling their responsibilities at work.
It is, also, significant to note that organizations that embrace negative organizational politics through creating climates of conflicts and negativity tend to suffer in the long run. In a situation where employees feel encouraged being part of unethical or dishonest behavior and where favoritism triumphs work quality, an organization experiences reduced productivity that, in turn, negatively influences its effectiveness (Buchanan & Badham, 2012). Leadership decisions have a mandate to create an improved level of understanding among employees. Such decisions require developing a relationship that is based on interest between managers and subordinates (employees), and should, also, accommodate negotiation skills, which are necessary for survival in a political environment. Organizational politics is essential for correcting certain dysfunctions and deficiencies. In order to realize improvements in organizational effectiveness, the strongest members in the organization should be brought into authoritative positions in a manner that promotes comprehensive discussion that covers issues essential for creating necessary changes in the organization.
In conclusion, the effectiveness of an organization is a factor that strongly relies on the manner in which each manager leads each department in performing duties that can contribute to the overall victory of the entire organization. Leadership, through clear, succinct communication, has the ability to convey ideas regarding organizational direction. Leaders influence the effectiveness of the organization through showing confidence and determination, setting high performance standards, and setting examples that can be emulated. Leadership is essential for enabling an atmosphere where leaders affect the extent to which executives and professionals are emotionally committed and engaged to their responsibilities. With respect to power, positions of authority provide an opportunity that managers need in order to have control over resources, information, and people. Effective leadership action demands a manager to embrace power that is essentially political in nature.