Organizations are the central entities of the business world, comprising multiple people pursuing a collective goal while being linked to an external environment. Both academics and practitioners have kept up a continuing interest in advancing their understanding of organizations. This is the first of two volumes dedicated to the state of the art of theories and practices of organizations. It is the outcome of contributions by alumni and alumnae of the ESB Business School at Reutlingen University. This second volume provides an overview of key modern leadership and coaching themes, as well as on organizational interventions.
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This is the second of two volumes dedicated to the state of research and practice in organizations. It is a joint effort of graduates of the Master’s in International Management at ESB Business School at Reutlingen University in Germany. While the first volume is dedicated to understanding the organization, this volume focuses on leading and changing organizations. It does so by highlighting current knowledge and the need for further research in three contemporary areas of organizational leadership: modern leadership approaches, coaching practices and organizational interventions.
Dedicated to recent or re-emerging aspects leadership, the first section looks at the role of authenticity, charisma and humility in business leadership. Leaders’ charisma has been studied with continuing interest, resulting in frameworks and contributions that link charismatic leadership to followers’ and organizational performance. While many authors emphasize the positive nature of that link, others disagree, which lendsto the need forsomefurther research. In the absence of a universally accepted definition, authentic leadership and its effect on business performance have been subject to debate. Like authentic leadership, humble leadership has played an important role recently inleadershippractice and research, while suffering fromthe absence ofa universally accepted definition. Furthermore, humility in leaders can be viewed from different angles including cognitive, motivational and appearance-related perspectives.Thus the contribution on humble leadership highlights empirical effortsthat drawon a wide range of methodological approaches.
The second section of this volume is dedicated to coaching in business, a practice that has progressed to an overwhelming presence in the corporate world. However, this popularity has not lead to according efforts in research. In fact, the literature on leadership coaching is dominated by practitioner articles that focus on best practices. The contribution on leadership coaching presented in this section presents a review of underrepresented empirical works and derives important research gaps to be filled. A further contribution in this section looks at the related topic of executive coaching andits impact on organizations, where the reviewed literature witnesses, among others,theneed for accurate measurement of results.Team coaching concludes the second section of this volume.
The third and last section of this book takes on concepts and instruments relevant for organizational change. The interest in the process of planned change has created the professional role of the change agent. While research on this role arguably spans half a century, some underexplored areas are highlighted and suggestions for future research made. A domain almost neglected in research, it seems, is organizational consulting. While this subject has been influenced by more established areas, such as organizational development, many unexplored areas can be identified. By contrast, organisational learning has enjoyed academic attention and debates dating back to the 1960s. The contribution on organizational learning, and the related notion of the learning organization, provides a structured literature review and turns the attention to the concept’s breadth and ambiguity. Turnaround management, the systematic and rapid implementation of a range of measures to correct a seriously unprofitable situation, concludes the section on organizational interventions. Research on this practice-inspired topic is screened and discussed with emphasis on root causes of decline, the turnaround process and promising management approaches.
Overall, this volume brings together ten contemporary topics relevant for leading and changing today’s organizations, while showing to what extent research efforts have achieved to supply substantiated knowledge and guidance.
Melanie Schmid, Timea Havar-Simonovich
Abstract.Theconceptof an authentic leader is not new and has been explored throughout history. However, based on the holistic discussion of authentic leadership it can be concluded that there is no universally accepted approach towards a definition of authentic leadership and – more importantly – how to achieve authentic leadership. Therefore,the topicofauthentic leadership is controversially discussed, asoutlined in this article.Based on this review the approach of centering authentic leadership on authenticity and identification seems most plausible. Nonetheless, many authors in the research literature also emphasize the coherence ofidentification, authenticity, emotions, trust and values.Inlinking authentic leadership to positive organizational behavior,some researchers believe that a better performance can be achieved in an organization if leadership is based on authenticity and trust.
Keywords:Authentic leadership, leadership, leadership theory, authenticity, international management, trust, motivation, theoretical leadership frameworks, positive organizational behavior
For the past decades, scholars havesometimestried to develop the perfect leadership model (George et al., 2007). However, until now no best practice model has been developed. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in his interview with Ignatius (2010) about the mastering of the company’s crisis with regards to a good leader:
“You have to be honest and authentic and not hide. I think the leader today has to demonstrate both transparency and vulnerability, and with that comes truthfulness and humility and obviouslytheability to instill confidence in people, and not through some top-down hierarchical approach (p. 5).”
Theideaof an authentic leader is not new and has been explored throughout history (Kruse 2013).Butonly after the publishing of Bill George’s bookAuthentic Leadershipin 2003, the topic hasdrawn theincreasedattention ofresearchers(George et al. 2007). Therefore,the aim of thisarticleis to examine the research conducted on Authentic Leadership (AL) after 2003 in a holistic approach, to highlight some advancement in the field and potential disagreements among scholars.
Firstly,AL is defined and frameworks are introduced,as can be seen in Figure 1.Secondly, major literature published on AL after 2003 is clustered into different approaches theoretical strands.Thirdly,critical voices and potential challenges towards AL are highlighted and future study fields and research gaps arepresented.Finally,a critical review and an outlook finalize this article on AL.
Figure1: Structure of this article on AL
In the following chapter, a first approach to defining AL is made and subsequently major frameworks and models are introduced.
Until now researchers could not agreeon a singledefinition of AL. Ilies et al. (2005) have defined authentic leaders as individuals who are
“deeplyaware of their values and beliefs, they are self-confident, genuine, reliable and trustworthy, and they focus on building followers' strengths, broadening their thinking and creating a positive and engaging organizational context(p. 374).”
Shamir & Eilam (2005), who support the idea of AL emerging from the person’s life story, based their definition on the individual’s self-concept and self-awareness. The authors state that the person’s self-knowledge is derived fromthelife story because it can provide the leadership with an underlying meaning and identity (Kegan 1983). Avolio et al. (2004) also believe that individuals can develop ALthrough self-awareness. However, the authors build AL on positive organizational behavior (POB), development of trust and identification. To draw a conclusion based on the different approaches as will be highlighted in chapter 3, there is no universal definition on AL.[?]
In 2005, Gardner et al. (2005) established an AL development model,whichwasbased on the theoretical foundation of identity research,as illustrated inFigure2(Hoyle et al. 1999; Leary & Tangney 2003).
Figure2: The Conceptual Framework forAuthenticLeader and Follower Development (Source: Gardner et al. 2005)
Consistent with Shamir & Eilam (2005), the authors view the leader’s life story as the antecedent of AL development. In accordance withthe views ofLuthans & Avolio (2003), Gardner et al. (2005) regard self-awareness as the foundation of AL. Eagly (2005) complements this approach and argues that good leaders must not only act on their values butalso strive forthe agreement and sharing of the leader’s values bythefollowers. Only under these circumstances can a leader create identification, which increases the organization’s success because,in accordance with Gardner et al. (2005), leadership resides in leader’s actions as well as in the follower’s reactions. Eagly (2005) claims in her research that for outsider groups in general,and female leaders in particular,it is more challenging to gaina high level of leader-instilled identification than for men.
Ilies et al. (2005) developed a further model (seeFigure 3), which complements previous concepts and processes (Avolio & Gardner 2005; Gardner et al. 2005; Luthans & Avolio 2003; May et al. 2003). The authorsproposethat future research should focus also more on the effects of follower’s eudemonic well-being.
Figure3:The Influence of ALonthe Eudemonic Well-Being (Source: Ilies et al. 2005)
In this chapter, the existing research literature is clustered in different approaches towards AL. This also includes criticism, challenges andresearch gaps.
On the basis of the research papers of the authors Gardner et al. (2011), Novicevic et al. (2006), Avolio & Gardner (2005) and Avolio et al. (2009), this review distinguishes between different aspects of AL. The main researchcontributions,whichformthe basis of this review,are listed inAppendix1. However, due to thebroad range of topicswithin the AL theory, the clusteringof literature offered inthisarticleincludesa mere selection of influentialapproaches and does not claimanycompleteness.
With regards to the previously outlined frameworks of AL, it is important tonotethat many of these frameworks have identified authenticity and identity as the foundation of AL. As Luthans & Avolio (2003)express, one of the leader’s main challenges is the identification of the followers’ strengths and to develop thesetoyieldan optimalorganizational outcome. Avolio et al. (2004) believe that the influence of AL on the followers’ behavior is more powerful when they identify with their leader and share common goals (Snyder et al. 2000; Avolio et al. 2004). Furthermore,it is critical to develop trust between leaders and followers in order to enhance the identification with the leader and thus the overall performance within theorganization (Avolio et al. 2004; Dirks & Ferrin 2002; Novicevic et al. 2005). Evidence for thisviewwas provided in empirical studies conducted by Opatokun et al. (2013) and Erkutlu & Chafra (2013). Another perspective on authenticity is provided by Sparrowe (2005),who believes that AL is based on the narrative self andwhobases his concept on the framework of Ricoeur (1992).
Harvey et al. (2006) have developedyetanother model,which bases AL on attributions and suggeststhat by creating awareness in leaders for factors that might produce wrong attributions, the performance of the leader and the organization in general can be enhanced as can be seen inFigure4. In his study, Fields (2007) observed that behaviors, which are inconsistent with the followers’ view of ideal leadership, have a negative impact on the leader’s authenticity and integrity. Moreover, as Cha & Edmondson (2006)highlight, explicit statementsof the leadermightmakethe follower’s expectat that their leader will behave in a way that is not only consistent withthe leader’svalues,butalso with aspectsbeyondthe leader’s explicit statements..This approach towards AL’s attribution theory is supported by empirical studies of Peus et al. (2012) and Nichols & Erakovich (2013).
Figure4:Attribution Model of AL (Source: Harvey et al. 2006)
In addition to authenticity and identity, many scholars regard affective processes asafoundation of AL. In 2009, Gardner et al. (2009) developed a leadership model of emotional displays,as illustrated inFigure 5.
Figure5:Leader Emotional Labor and Authenticity Model(Source: Gardner et al. 2009)
The model suggests that if the leader shows emotions, this can have a high impact onthefollowers. However, the authors describe theleader’sdilemma of actingin an authentic waywhileat the same time to expressinga wide range of emotions depending onaspecific context.HereGardner et al. (2009)point to someevidencesuggestingthat leaders who are not necessarily authenticmay very wellbe perceived ashighlyeffective, as long as they show a high level of emotional intelligence. Avolio et al. (2004) support thisviewandstressthat authentic leaders are more likely to create positive feelings and identification among followers when showing emotions.In fact, Michie & Gooty (2005) suggest that positive emotions motivate leaders to act according to their own values (Macik-Frey et al. 2009; Yagil & Medler-Liraz 2014).
Turningto ethics, scholars disagree on whether ethical principles should be included in the AL theory as a basic element or not. Walumbwa et al. (2008), for example,have included the moral perspective as afoundationalelement in their AL theory and Ladkin & Taylor (2010) have associated AL with moral leadership in their papers, too(Ambrose et al. 2008). With regards to the ethical approach of AL, Zhu et al. (2011) developed a theoretical model, which illustrates the impact of AL on the followers’ ethical decision-making (seeFigure6). This model is also empirically supported by studies from Hannah et al. (2011) and May et al. (2003) whoassociateAL positively to the follower’s display of moral courage.
Figure6:The Impact of AL on Follower's Ethical Decision-Making Model(Source: Zhu et al. 2011)
Another ALdirectionemphasizesAL’s impact on happiness and well-being. Jensen & Luthans (2006) havebuilt onotherALmodels of(Avolio et al. 2004; Avolio & Luthans 2006; Luthans & Avolio 2003) in their study and their results showapositive impact of AL on the follower’s attitudesandlevel ofhappiness.Quite a few authors, includingGardner et al. (2005), Ilies et al.(2005), Shamir & Eilam (2005), Gardner et al. (2009), Macik-Frey et al. (2009), Walumbwa et al.(2010) and Wong & Cummings (2009) all regard the well-being and engagement of the leaderwiththe followersas important outcomes.The empirical study of Walumbwa et al. (2010)providesfurtherevidence for this relationship (Gardner et al. 2005; Ilies et al. 2005; Shamir & Eilam 2005). Alok & Israel’s (2012) study showsthat AL canpositively impactthefollowers’ work commitment when followersfeel thattheir leaders personally express the organizational mission. Inlinewith Gardner et al. (2005), this studyconcludesthat authentic leaders can create a more caring, engaged and development-oriented culture in organizations (Leroy et al. 2012; Toor & Ofori 2009; Nielsen et al. 2013).
Yammarino et al. (2008) have integrated AL and positive organizational behavior (POB) in their framework and believe that by developing AL, the organization’s behavior is positively influenced, thereby enhancing theoutcome of the organization (see Figure 7).In fact, the authors regard AL as the connection between POB and the overall performance of the organization.
Figure7:Positive Organizational BehaviorandAL(Yammarino et al. 2008)
In support of this framework, it should not go unmentionedthat the framework of Luthans & Avolio (2003) originally also included POB. Furthermore,Avolio & Gardner (2005) agree in their research paper that there is asignificantrelationship between AL and POB even though they regard the two to be distinctive from each other. In addition, Jensen & Luthans (2006), Macik-Frey et al. (2009), Wong & Cummings (2009) and Yammarino et al. (2008) all regard POB as an important foundation of AL. Walumbwa et al. (2010)found out in their empirical study that AL behavior was “positively related to supervisor-rated organizational citizenship behavior and work engagement, controlling for ideal power distance, company type, and followers’ demographics such as age and sex” (p. 901).The authorsfurthersuggest that the follower’s identification with the leader is critical for his performance (Hmieleski et al. 2012; Peterson et al. 2012; Hsiung 2012; Rego et al. 2014; Müceldili et al. 2013; model of Jones & Crompton 2009).
A few authors also focus their AL research on the influence of transformational leadership (TL) theories on AL. Luthans & Avolio (2003),for example,regard the influence of TL on AL as rather high. Avolio & Gardner (2005) view AL as the foundation, which can combine aspects of charismatic, spiritual and transformational leadership. In addition Walumbwa et al. (2008)claim in their empirical work thatAL is influenced by more measures than transformational and ethical leadership.
Diddams & Chang (2012) point out that so far little research has been done on what role weaknesses play in AL. The authors argue that weaknesses are not a separate characteristic and should therefore be included in current AL development models and measurements (Walumbwa et al. 2008). Following this critique, Costas & Taheri (2012)feelthat due to the fact that AL emphasizes positive emotionsonly, little room is left for ‘negative’ emotions (Ford & Harding 2011). Algera & Lips-Wiersma (2012)put forwardthat ALprovokesunrealistic anticipations by not acknowledging the natural existence of inauthenticity in organizations. In addition, theybelieve that it is impractical to build AL on commonly shared values and goals,since in many organizations these are likely to be divergent (Algera & Lips-Wiersma 2012; Hewlin 2003).Moreover,Algera & Lips-Wiersma (2012) propound that AL can create false moral confidence in leaders and followers by creating the assumption that authenticity automatically leads to an ethical behavior.Finally, Endrissat et al. (2007) believe that authentic leaders are constantly faced witha realchallenge of fulfilling the tasks and at the same time maintaining personal relationships (Harter 2002).
So far the majority of research conducted on AL is conceptual. Therefore Gardner et al. (2011) suggest that in the future more theory generatingresearch should be done. Nichols & Erakovich (2013)identifiedgaps between theoretical work and empirical evidence and suggest that more empirical investigations with representative samplesshould be undertaken. Furthermore,specific measurements of AL need to be developed to provide evidence for the established AL theories (Avolio et al. 2009). In addition, Nichols & Erakovich (2013) constituted a need for more clarity in how AL is regarded across different cultures and situations and whether it can be seen as a universally applicable theoretical construct or not.Also,attention to authentic followership and AL development should be emphasized more (Gardner et al. 2011).
This article has outlineddifferent approaches towards AL.In summary,it can be stated that there is nouniversal agreement onhow AL is defined and thus how to obtain it.Consequently,AL remains subject to controversial discussionsand it will be interesting to see how the research field will develop in the future. So far,it can be stated that,based on the amount of published research papers, the approach of centering AL on authenticity and identification seems mostcommon. However, due to the fact that authenticity, identification, trust, emotions and values are allrelateddomains, it is not surprising that many scholars also emphasizethem,too.In particular,the link between AL and POB is close and one could arguethatmany scholars in the end believe that authenticity can be a driver for better corporate performance.
Appendix 1:Clusteringof Major Literature on AL
(Luthans & Avolio, 2003); (May etal.,2003); (Avolio et al., 2004); (Avolio & Gardner, 2005); (Ilies et al., 2005); (Shamir & Eilam, 2005);
(Avolio & Luthans, 2006); (Walumbwa etal.,2008)
Authenticity & Identity
(Leary & Tangney, 2003);(Luthans & Avolio, 2003);(Avolio et al., 2004);(Gardner et al., 2005);(Ilies et al., 2005);(Shamir & Eilam, 2005);(Sparrowe, 2005)
Attribution Theory, Theories of Social & Leader Perception
(Harvey et al., 2006);(Fields, 2007)
Affective Processes & Ethical and Value-Based Leadership
(Avolio & Gardner, 2005); (Michie & Gooty, 2005); (Ambrose et al., 2008); (Gardner et al., 2009); (Walumbwa et al., 2010); (Ladkin & Taylor, 2010)
Well-Being, Vital Engagement
(Gardner et al., 2005); (Ilies et al., 2005); (Shamir & Eilam, 2005); (Gardner et al., 2009); (Macik-Frey et al., 2009); (Wong & Cummings, 2009); (Walumbwa et al., 2010)
Positive Organizational Behavior
(Luthans, 2002); (Luthans & Avolio, 2003); (Avolio & Gardner, 2005);
(Jensen & Luthans, 2006);(Yammarino et al., 2008);(Macik-Frey et al., 2009);(Wong & Cummings, 2009)
Theories of Charismatic, Transformational, Visionary Leadership
(Luthans & Avolio, 2003); (Avolio & Gardner, 2005); (Walumbwa etal.,2008)
Algera, P. M. & Lips-Wiersma, M., 2012.Radical Authentic Leadership: Co-creating the conditions under which all members of the organization can be authentic.The Leadership Quarterly,Volume 23, pp. 118-131.
Alok, K. & Israel, D., 2012.Authentic Leadership & Work Engagement.The Indian Journal of Industrial Relations,47(3), pp. 498-510.
Ambrose, M. L., Arnaud, A. & Schminke, M., 2008.Individual Moral Development and Ethical Climate: The Influence of Person–Organization Fit on Job Attitudes.Journal of Business Ethics,Volume 77, p. 323–333.
Avolio, B. J. & Gardner, W. L., 2005.Authentic leadership development: Getting to the root of positive forms of leadership.The Leadership Quarterly,Volume 16, p. 315–338.
Avolio, B. J. etal.,2004.Unlocking the mask: A look at the process by which authentic leaders’ impact follower attitudes and behaviors.The Leadership Quarterly,Volume 15, p. 801–823.
Avolio, B. J. & Luthans, F., 2006.The High Impact Leader: Moments Matter in Accelerating Authentic Leadership Development.New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Avolio, B. J., Walumbwa, F. O. & Weber, T. J., 2009.Leadership: Current Theories, Research, and Future Directions.Annual Review of Psychology,Volume 60, pp. 421-449.
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