2.0 leader is a person who influences people
section will review the literature on leadership
style and performance. Conceptual clarification of leaders, leadership and
leadership styles will be examined. Theories of leadership which will form the
theoretical frameworks for this study will also be examined and reviewed.
Empirical studies will also be reviewed.
2.1 CONCEPT OF LEADERS AND
Leaders are the
individuals in the organization who set the tone and culture (Batista-Taran, Shuck, Gutierrez, & Baralt, 2009). A leader is a
person who influences people to achieve a goal or an objective (Yukl, 1994) and every
organization needs a leader, as leaders play a very important role. A capable leader is one who directs and guilds
his followers to achieve the desired goals. A leader is a person who can influence the behaviour
of his followers to achieve the set goals. According to Squires (2001),
leadership is about having followers who have the utmost faith in you and can
conform to what you stand for, thus, it is concerned with the spiritual aspect
of their work.
A leader is a person
who inspires his subordinate through influence and directions, motivating his
followers to perform specific tasks for the accomplishment of the stated
corporate objectives (R.M., T.A., & A.S., 2012). Simply put, the
definition of a leader is “someone who sets the direction
for his people to follow, in an effort to influence them” (Fustin, 2013). Successful leaders need
to understand themselves, their followers and the tasks and procedures that
govern the organization as a whole. A leader needs confidence and strategies
for working competently across a wide range of diverse issues – from creating
learning associations where workers mature and develop as everyday leaders to
managing the conflict inevitable in an organization from fostering the hierarchical
clarity that comes from sound structures and policies to unleashing energy and
creativity through bold visions (Gallos, 2008). Lee and Chuang (2009), clarify
that the excellent leader not only inspires subordinates to perform more
efficiently but also meets the requirements for achieving organizational
goals. Leadership is about social impact
as the leaders influence their followers’ conduct, attitude and motivations.
Leaders play an important role in the attainment of organizational goals.
2.2 THEORIES OF LEADERSHIP
study of leadership is crucial and has been an important part of the narrative
on management and organization conduct from time immemorial. It has fostered many
debates in most professional communities worldwide. Every organization seeks to constantly develop
good leaders, as this will inevitably bring about success. However, the logical
issue with this attempt is that there are countless leadership theories and
styles. There have been a number of theories explaining leadership styles; this
is likely because of the complexity of the concept of the term leadership which
can be viewed from different perspectives. There are different schools of
thought on leadership. Some people believe that leadership is a natural trait,
that leaders are rather born not made while some people believe that leaders are
made and nobody is born a leader. These differing opinions make it difficult
for professionals to agree on which particular theory or style a leader should
adopt to enhance their organizations and also to develop great leaders. Indeed,
as stated in (Schwandt & Marquardt, 2000), “no other role in organizations
has received more interest than that of the leader”. Consequently, several
theories of leadership abound, a few of which are discussed below.
Trait Theory posits that personal characteristics like personality traits,
cognitive skills, and inter-personal skills can determine an individual’s
potential for leadership roles and can distinguish leaders from non-leaders
(Furham, 2005). Thus, the Trait Theory establishes the fact that, leaders are
born and not made, that leadership is unique to certain individuals. As Parry and
Bryman (2006) put it, “nature is more important than nurture”; that is to say,
an individual’s predisposition to leadership (his or her “nature”) has a
greater influence than the environment within which they are raised.
trait theory often identifies a particular attribute an individual possesses
and compares this to the personality or behavioural
characteristics shared by leaders that have come before them. However, the
theory is flawed in the sense that there are people that possess the qualities
of a leader but are not leaders and individuals who possess all the traits as
opposed to individuals who are leaders that have certain singular traits. This
makes it difficult to use trait theories to explain leadership as traits cannot
be accurately measured. (Ackerman & Heggestad, 1997; Judge, Jackson, Shaw,
Scott, & Rich, 2007).
Situational, also known as Contingency, theory of leadership is more concerned
with the context of applied leadership as it relates to the situation at hand
and the followers of the organization. Here, leadership focuses on situational
variables: the leader adjusts their leadership style to correspond to their own
personal characteristics and the situation at hand (Krumm, 2001). Proponents of
this theory are of the belief that for a leader to be effective, they should
know how to adapt their personal characteristics to the situation.
leadership theory holds that great leaders are made not born. This leadership
theory focuses on what actions leaders take and their concern for people and
production processes. The theory states that an individual or person can learn
the art of leadership through teaching
and observations and the success of that leader can be defined in terms of his
action. (Nahrgang, Morgeson, & Ilies, 2009).
a result of the presumed failures and failings of early studies in the Trait
theory, researchers from the 1940s through the 1960s began studying behaviours exhibited by leaders as a means to
separate leaders from non-leaders. The primary difference between studying leadership
behaviours and leadership traits, is that
traits are the attributes one possess, thus trait studies attempted to mould the “great man” who had inborn
characteristics that can supposedly make one a good leader. Behaviors, on the other hand, can be taught and learned
and by being taught these behaviors, managers are trained to develop an effective
leadership style and in turn, the people under them can be trained to be better
leaders (Nahrgang, Morgeson, & Ilies, 2009).
leadership theory is of the opinion that an ideal leadership style, is that which
welcomes the input and contributions from those who are affected by the
decision at hand or are a part of the
team and such inputs are accepted and are put into accounts. These leaders
encourage members of their team to play a role by participating and contributing
and this helps team members feel more relevant and in turn, committed to the
decision-making process. In participative theories, however, the leader retains
the right to allow the contributions. It is otherwise referred to as transactional
leadership is focused more on “exchanges” between leader and follower, it is a
theory which promotes compliance. The followers are rewarded or punished for either
meeting specific objectives or performance criteria or not meeting the required
goals (Jung, 2001). The leader provides rewards and positive reinforcement. Transactional
leadership is more practical in nature because of its emphasis on meeting
specific targets or objectives, thus, it is more practical in nature (Jung,
2001). An effective transactional leader recognizes and rewards followers’
accomplishments in a timely manner. However, subordinates of transactional
leaders are not necessarily expected to think innovatively and may be monitored
on the basis of predetermined criteria. Poor transactional leaders may be less
perceptive to problems within among their followers or within their
organization and thus, less likely to intervene before these problems grow out
of their reach while more successful transactional leaders make fitting moves
in an auspicious manner (Jung, 2001).
transactional leadership style is appropriate in many settings and may support
adherence to practice standards but not necessarily receptiveness to
theories, also known as transformational theories focus on the connections
formed between leaders and followers. Transformational leaders are great
influencers who inspires and motivates employees by helping them know the importance
and the benefits of the task. These leaders are particular about individuals
performing their duties and not entirely focused on the performance of the group
as a whole. Leaders with this style often have high ethical and moral
leadership can be likened to charismatic or visionary leadership.
Transformational leaders are inspirational leaders, who focus on motivating
their followers in ways that go beyond rewards. Transformational leadership
operates especially well in close, personal supervisory relationships, compared
with more distant and impersonal relationships (Howell & Hall-Merenda,
1999), and closer supervision is often more typical in mental health settings.
This close relationship may be typical of a supervisor-supervisee relationship
and is also captured in the notion of “first-level leaders” (Priestland &
Hanig 2005), who are thought to be important because of their proximity to
supervisees in an organizational setting. A transformational leader aims to
expand and their followers’ motivations through the expression of the value and
importance of the leader’s goals (Howell, 1997; Gardner, Avolio, 1998).
Studies on leadership have been ongoing for a long
time, researchers have carried out various studies which are distinguishable to
the present study. One of such studies is one carried out by Koech & Namusonge (2012) on the effects of leadership styles on organizational
performance at state-owned corporations in Kenya. The researcher specifically
sought to discover the degree to which various leadership styles such as laissez-faire,
transactional and transformational on organizational performance at state-owned
corporations in Kenya. A descriptive survey research based on the perceptions
of middle and senior managers in thirty (30) state-owned corporations based in
Mombasa, Kenya was undertaken. A structured, self-completed research
questionnaire was thereafter distributed.
Various factors and three independent
variables were identified and measured. These were transactional; transformational
and laissez-faire leadership styles. The dependent factor was represented by
the degree to which the organization has achieved its business objectives in
the previous financial year. Correlation analysis was employed to discover the
leadership styles that influence organizational performance. The relationship between
the transformational-leadership factors and organizational performance ratings was
recorded as high, whereas the relationship between the transactional-leadership
behaviours and organizational performance
were relatively low. There was no significant correlation between laissez-faire
leadership style and organizational performance.
From the study, recommendations about
laissez-faire leadership styles were made as managers were advised to get
involved in the organization’s affairs
and should give maximum guidance to their subordinates; effective reward &
recognition systems should be formulated and employed by managers. It was
further recommended that managers should: inspire subordinates by providing
meaning and challenging to work; and become a role model to his subordinates by
helping them improve and stimulate subordinate efforts to become more
innovative & creative; and lastly, for the achievement and growth of the
organization, managers should pay greater attention to each of his followers
needs. The study is similar to the present study as it determined the impact of
leadership styles on organizational performance. It, however, differs in that
it was carried out in state-owned cooperation
while the present study is aimed at evaluating the leadership style and
performance in an e-commerce industry.
Another study similar to this present one is
that of Abasilim (2014) which reviewed organizational performance in Nigerian work environment and how it
relates to transformational leadership. It relied on secondary data as its main source of information; however, a review
of available literature for description and analysis of the subject matter were
reviewed and this could serve as the primary method of study. The researcher revealed the important role
leadership style plays in an organizational performance, with particular
reference to transformational leadership style. This, however, depends on the situation and the environment of the organization.
It implied that transformational leadership style will be best appropriate for
ensuring organizational performance in Nigerian work environment.
Consequently, the study recommended that no
particular leadership style is the best and that leaders should adopt a
leadership style that is suitable for the environment and the situation in
order for organizations to improve or ensure optimal organizational
performance. Leaders should attend leadership submits and training schools to
enhance their leadership style and for the benefit of their organizations. It
also recommends that leaders must learn to choose the right leadership style
that matches the tactics they are taking to achieve their objectives and suits
the prevailing situations and the environment
if they must achieve the goals and objectives of their organization as a whole.
The study is different from the present study as it is only a review of
literature while the present study is set to carry out an investigation on the
influence of leadership style and performance on employees’ performance and
satisfaction in Payporte Nigeria limited and this will be conducted using questionnaires and conducting interviews.
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