Leadership in Organizations

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Leadership in Organizations


In order for a firm to succeed, its executives must inspire its staff to put up their best effort and achieve their goals. Learn about the official and informal leadership positions that exist in an organization, as well as the kind of leadership behaviors that are most successful in promoting the success of the business. In an organization, leadership is defined as the act of leading others to achieve their goals. Employee behavior may be influenced by the actions of the leader in a number of different ways (Milenkovska, Markovska, & Nikolovski, 2017). In order for a company to succeed, its leaders must communicate a clear vision, encourage employees, guide them through the employment process, and instill a sense of pride in the company’s personnel. Employees must be able to perceive the future status of the organization in order for them to accept it. Finding out what employees want and need, giving them with it, and praising them for a job well done are all methods of motivating people in the workplace. The necessity to clearly define workers’ responsibilities and give them with the resources they will require to accomplish and engage in their jobs as they progress through the process cannot be overstated (Reunanen & Kaitonen, 2017). In order to boost morale, it is critical to bring everyone together behind a single purpose as soon as possible. The ability to provide inspiring and morale-boosting feedback is essential for being a successful boss. The ability to establish goals for their employees and hold them accountable for accomplishing those goals on time and in accordance with the company’s long-term strategic intentions are essential characteristics of effective leaders. The aim of this paper is to review McClanahan (2020) and Baesu (2019) articles on leadership. Leadership theories will be used in strengthening the arguments made with reference to best practices today. Further, the article will look at the personal leadership characteristics and match the findings with organizational behavior theories. Overall, these articles, and the personal assessment agree that a leader’s job is to motivate a group of individuals to do their best and work together toward a shared objective, communicate effectively, predict potential hurdles, and make creative decisions to get around them.

Exploration of Leadership in the Organization

Leadership, in its broadest sense, is a social action that includes exerting influence over other people. Although it is widely acknowledged that systematic leadership development is critical for long-term organizational performance, many companies ignore the concept or approach leadership development in an ad hoc manner. According to Balcerzyk (2020) definition of leadership, it is the process through which an individual chooses a route, influences a group, and steers the group toward a specified goal or purpose. In some respects, leadership is defined by the actions of leaders. Leadership is a way of life rather than a title that is connected to a job. When it comes to leadership, it is about motivating others to carry out the vision, purpose, and values of the organization (Al Khajeh, 2018). Leaders don’t merely instruct their subordinates what to do; they also model behavior.

Great leaders inspire their followers to make decisions that promote the goals and vision of the community, resulting in more wise solutions. Great leaders model this behavior, for example Barack Obama is a leader who transformed the thinking of a majority of Americans in a period where the economy was in turmoil, creating hope for a better tomorrow and inspiring people to act positively. Such transformational leaders are in charge of encouraging and mentoring individuals in their organization (Colbert et al., 2012). Leaders have the role of coaching, teaching, and inspiring in order to establish a community that is completely involved, accountable, and responsible. Leaders encourage buy-in at all levels of the organization and ensure that their community understands the significance of the job they do. The ideal leader is adaptive, proactive, analytical, strategic, culturally sensitive, and skilled at placing the organization in a competitive market.

In order to keep up with the times, leaders must influence their followers’ essential principles and beliefs as well as their attitudes. Examples of the increasingly rapid changes that threaten leadership today include new technology, globalization, and political challenges such as climate change and violence. This will allow the company to be more responsive and versatile in the future. SHRM studies indicate that leadership development is a top concern for HR professionals and executives in the business world (Gandolfi & Stone, 2018). There are several possible benefits to leadership development, but there are also numerous disadvantages. In facilitation of leadership, human resources professionals are typically engaged in the conception, execution, and administration of a leadership development plan, particularly in the process of presenting the business case to senior executives and assessing return on investment (Sethuraman & Suresh, 2014). Naturally, the organization and structure of a company’s leadership development function are influenced by the size of the company in question. The role of human resource managers in a wide range of leadership development activities is becoming increasingly important as firms recognize the importance of building long-term strategies to deal with current and future leadership difficulties.

Evaluation of Articles

Baesu’s (2019) Leadership based on emotional intelligence in modern organizations

According to Baesu (2019), leadership is primarily an expression and display of a management style as well as the personality of those who are in positions of authority. While many different forms of learnable and adjustable behavior are being investigated, it is more difficult to describe and modify the psychological qualities of each individual being studied. Motivation for the study of leadership style stems from the assumption that it has a significant influence on how people collaborate and perform. A major contributing factor, according to Baesu (2019), is the fact that it spreads quickly and is incredibly contagious across the company. The method in which leaders cooperate, the tasks that must be completed, the manner in which they do them, and the manner in which they communicate with both subordinates and superiors are all instances of the connection between leadership style and the direction that must be followed.

To be successful in today’s business climate, Baesu (2019) notes that extraordinary leaders and savvy managers are required, as is visionary leadership and high-quality management, among other qualities. Leaders have crucial emotional responsibilities in today’s firms, and they have the greatest influence over the emotions of their employees. When it comes to highly effective businesses, Baesu (2019) calls for a strong emotional bond to exist between the leadership representatives and their employees. Whether a firm succeeds or fails, the capacity of its leaders to channel emotions in a positive or negative way is critical. Future predictions are something that only the best leaders are capable of doing. Overall, Baesu (2019) extends the argument that a strong personality, being emotionally stable, empathizing with all employees involved in labor operations, being able to bear criticism, being able to help people in advancing their careers, and being trustworthy and steady character traits are all characteristics of successful labor managers.

McClanahan’s (2020) Viva la evolution: Using dual-strategies theory to explain leadership in modern organizations

A wide range of perspectives exist on the characteristics of leaders, social ranking, and power and status. According to dual-strategies theory, social rank is defined by the position a person occupies in a hierarchy, with hierarchy referring to the order in which persons or groups are considered socially in a given situation or circumstance (McClanahan, 2020). First, McClanahan (2020) expresses that it’s crucial to understand that social ranking is determined by a person’s local social group. It is common for people to function as both managers and subordinates in formal organizational hierarchies. For example, in an organization, a manager may have a high social rank with her subordinates but an average or even low social rank with other managers in the company (McClanahan, 2020). Hierarchies can be classified into two types: formal and informal. Formal hierarchies are characterized by a job title, but informal hierarchies are defined by informal deference, which gives a higher prestige on those who hold the same job title than those who do not. This is true even in groupings that do not have a defined structure (McClanahan, 2020). Theories and empirical research have demonstrated that the concepts of power and status are intertwined yet distinct.

When it comes to power in social interactions, asymmetric control of valued resources is a typical approach to describe it (McClanahan, 2020). For example, people’s regard, commitment, and voluntary veneration of a person are more important than their power over that someone’s standing. The definition of leadership is difficult to articulate, but one constant is that it is a complicated, multi-layered process in which an individual guides a group toward a common goal. In social psychology and anthropology studies of hierarchy, it is usual to refer to a person of high social rank as a leader, which may or may not necessarily circle back to leadership.

The dual-strategy theory of social rank investigates the psychological and behavioral strategies used by individuals to obtain and maintain high social status, as well as the repercussions of these strategies at the group level (McClanahan, 2020). Other types of leadership are not valued in this paradigm, despite the fact that hierarchical approaches are. As a result, dominance and prestige are no longer seen to be leadership styles, but rather means of attaining and maintaining power in society (McClanahan, 2020). However, despite the widespread use of the term “strategy,” it is not necessarily the case that these behaviors are deliberate, planned, and Machiavellian in nature. Individuals may employ one of these strategies regardless of their position in the organization’s structure.

Organizational Behavior and Leadership Theories

Leadership theories have been proposed to explain how and why certain individuals get to the top in their respective fields. These suggestions are based on personality qualities and activities that enhance one’s capacity to take the initiative. According to pioneering research in leadership psychology (Nawaz & Khan, 2016), people are born with the ability to take on leadership responsibilities. However, despite the fact that leadership has been studied since the dawn of time, formal leadership theories have only lately been developed. These pioneering positions are now challenged in newer organizational behavior and leadership theories. Some are discussed below.

The Trait Theory of Leadership

In accordance with trait theory, all effective leaders have a certain set of features in common. It was initially proposed that certain people are born with the potential to lead, which led to the establishment of the concept of leadership. Through the course of history, this theory has been developed to demonstrate that many of these leadership characteristics may be learnt by persons who were not born with them. Researchers investigating the characteristic hypothesis are attempting to determine what characteristics constitute a strong leader from a range of perspectives. For example, they include physical characteristics such as weight and height, sociodemographic characteristics such as age and education level along with familial history, and cognition (Colbert et al., 2012), which includes a person’s capacity to make sound judgments. To mention a few of the countless characteristics that make a leader effective include their ability to empathize with others, their honesty, their likeability, their critical thinking, their decision-making, and their assertiveness.

All of these characteristics may be learned and put to good use in the service of others in various situations (Nawaz & Khan, 2016). The interests, abilities, and personality of a person are all important factors in determining their level of success in leadership. According to research, successful leaders have a set of characteristics that may be traced back to the latter half of the twentieth century. Although these characteristics do not indicate a person’s leadership capacity in and of themselves, they are seen as qualifications that give them the ability to lead others. The amount of self-assurance possessed by an individual, as well as his or her intelligence and business acumen, are all regarded crucial attributes.

However, based on the findings by McClanahan (2020), this theory has a number of limitations. First, from the social ranking and dual-strategies explanation that McClanahan (2020) offers, subjective judgment is involved in the determination of who is termed as a strong and successful leader versus the worst ranking. From a social ranking perspective, McClanahan (2020) mentions that there is no consensus on the traits to prioritize in determining an effective leader. Baesu (2019) notes that extraordinary leaders and savvy managers are required, as is visionary leadership and high-quality management, among other qualities. In that perspective, the trait theory is faulted on the way it tries to connect physical traits of an individual to being an effective leader. For example, there should be no relation between attributes such as height or weight and being a good leader. Yet, Baesu (2019) acknowledges the role of emotions in effective leadership, an element that the trait theory focuses on.

The Transactional (Management) Theory

According to transactional leadership theory, leaders are both rewarded and penalized for their actions. When it comes to successful leadership styles, results-oriented and hierarchical are believed to be the most effective. For a transactional leader, the most important things are order and structure. Motivating and leading followers via transactional leadership requires appealing to their self-interest in order to achieve success (McCleskey, 2014). Transactional leaders have official authority and responsibilities within the organization, which gives them the ability to wield considerable power. The primary responsibility of a follower is to adhere to the orders of the leader (Nawaz & Khan, 2016). If employees are rewarded and reprimanded, according to the CEO, this will increase their motivation. In the case of a subordinate who fulfills expectations, the leader will reward him; in the case of a subordinate who fails to follow the leader’s instructions, the leader will punish him. The interaction between the leader and the follower takes place in this situation in order to reach regular performance objectives.

The interactions involve four key dimensions of contingent rewards, active management, passive management, and laissez-faire. Leaders who are transactional link objectives to incentives, develop mutually agreed-upon goals, and offer a variety of incentives for successful performance. Subordinates are given SMART objectives (specifiable measurable, achievable, reasonable, and timely) by their bosses (Sanders, Hopkins, & Geroy, 2003). To avoid mistakes, transactional leaders keep an eye on their subordinates’ work and address any violations from established norms and standards. Only when certain criteria have not been satisfied or performance has fallen short of expectations do transactional leaders step in. As a kind of retaliation for bad performance, punishment can be utilized. Subordinates are given a wide range of options to choose from by the leader. Because the leader abdicates responsibility and avoids making decisions, the group lacks direction.

The transactional leadership approach is in line with Baesu (2019) who advocates for use of emotions to create effective solutions. A fraction of research studies Nawaz & Khan (2016) feel that transactional leadership is insufficient for a leader to reach their greatest potential. Leaders may use it as a starting point for establishing more mature relationships with their followers. They must, however, exercise caution in order not to abuse it. A situation in which status, power, rewards, and political factors take precedence over all other considerations may result as a result of this (McClanahan, 2020). An inordinate emphasis on detail and short-term goals is placed on transactional leadership as well as on conventional processes and norms. Such leaders make little effort to encourage their followers to think outside the box. When the organizational difficulties are simple and well-defined, this leadership style may be useful (Odumeru & Ogbonna, 2013). As a result, these leaders are able to accept or reject ideas that disagree with their long-term plans and goals.

Evaluation of Personal Leadership Characteristics

I scored 178 in the survey from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/survlead.html. While this is a good score on my personal leadership abilities, a few issues were highlighted. The first area of development tis the need to delegate tasks. I will need to improve this to enable me to focus o other areas without having to perform everything. I also found out that I need to be more political to weave around the expectations of organizational politics. I will need to improve these areas in order to be a more all-rounded leader. Despite these weaknesses, I found out that I am good at taking responsibility of actions, listening, I have integrity and can be trusted, and I am well versed with my organization. I will continue to work on my skills and capabilities in order to improve as a leader. I also intend to incorporate the recommendations made by Baesu (2019) on the need for a leader to base their strategy on emotional intelligence so as to fit well and to respond to the issues of the modern organizations.


Without a doubt, a leader’s job is to motivate a group of individuals to do their best and work together toward a shared objective, communicate effectively, predict potential hurdles, and make creative decisions to get around them. These issues have been highlighted by the discussion on organizational behavior and leadership theories as well as the ideas presented by the two articles under review. Baesu (2019) focus on incorporation of emotional intelligence in leadership for the modern organizations is also echoed by McClanahan (2020) dual-strategies theory that looks at power, status, and the distribution of authority. Examples of the increasingly rapid changes that threaten leadership today include new technology, globalization, and political challenges such as climate change and violence. This will allow the company to be more responsive and versatile in the future. Overall, leadership is evolving and so should the theories that leaders use to inform their practice.


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Baesu, C. (2019). Leadership based on emotional intelligence in modern organizations. The USV Annals of Economics and Public Administration, 18(2 (28)), 73-78.

Balcerzyk, D. (2020). Trust as a Leadership Determinant. European Research Studies, 23, 486-497.

Colbert, A. E., Judge, T. A., Choi, D., & Wang, G. (2012). Assessing the trait theory of leadership using self and observer ratings of personality: The mediating role of contributions to group success. The Leadership Quarterly, 23(4), 670-685.

Gandolfi, F., & Stone, S. (2018). Leadership, leadership styles, and servant leadership. Journal of Management Research, 18(4), 261-269.

McClanahan, K. J. (2020). Viva la evolution: Using dual-strategies theory to explain leadership in modern organizations. The Leadership Quarterly, 31(1), 101315.

McCleskey, J. A. (2014). Situational, transformational, and transactional leadership and leadership development. Journal of business studies quarterly, 5(4), 117.

Milenkovska, V., Markovska, M., & Nikolovski, L. (2017). Promotion: Woman leadership and alternative methods for resolving business conflicts and changes in the organization. UTMS Journal of Economics, 8(2), 183-194.

Nawaz, Z. A. K. D. A., & Khan_ PhD, I. (2016). Leadership theories and styles: A literature review. Leadership, 16(1), 1-7.

Odumeru, J. A., & Ogbonna, I. G. (2013). Transformational vs. transactional leadership theories: Evidence in literature. International review of management and business research, 2(2), 355.

Reunanen, T., & Kaitonen, J. (2017). Different roles in leadership styles in modern organization. In Advances in human factors, business management, training and education (pp. 251-262). Springer, Cham.

Sanders, J. E., Hopkins, W. E., & Geroy, G. D. (2003). From transactional to transcendental: Toward an integrated theory of leadership. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 9(4), 21-31.

Sethuraman, K., & Suresh, J. (2014). Effective leadership styles. International Business Research, 7(9), 165.

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