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Q. Characteristics of the Situation “When you’ve exhausted all possibilities, remember this: You haven’t!” ~Robert H. Schuller Chapter 11.

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Presentation on theme: "Q. Characteristics of the Situation “When you’ve exhausted all possibilities, remember this: You haven’t!” ~Robert H. Schuller Chapter 11."— Presentation transcript:

1 Q

2 Characteristics of the Situation “When you’ve exhausted all possibilities, remember this: You haven’t!” ~Robert H. Schuller Chapter 11

3 Background The appropriateness of a leader’s behavior with a group of followers often makes sense only when you look at the situational context in which the behavior occurs. The situation, not someone’s traits or abilities, plays the most important role in determining who emerges as a leader. Great leaders typically emerged during economic crisis, social upheavals, or revolutions; great leaders were generally not associated with periods of relative calm or quiet. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 11-3

4 Situational Factors That Affect Leaders’ Behaviors In role theory, a leader’s behavior depends on a leader’s perceptions of several critical aspects of the situation: Rules and regulations governing the job Role expectations of subordinates, peers, and superiors The nature of the task Feedback about subordinates’ performance Multiple-influence model Microvariables Macrovariables Situational levels McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 11-4

5 From the Industrial Age to the Information Age In the new information age many of the fundamental assumptions of the industrial age are becoming obsolete. Changes in the ways companies operate: Cross functions Links to customers and suppliers Customer segmentation Global scale Innovation Knowledge workers McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 11-5

6 The Congruence Model McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Figure 11-2

7 The Work – Job Characteristics Skill variety refers to the degree to which a job involves performing a variety of different activities or skills. Task identity refers to the degree to which a situation or task requires completion of a whole unit of work from beginning to end with a visible outcome. Task significance is the degree to which a job substantially impacts others’ lives. Autonomy is the degree to which a job provides an individual with some control over what he does and how he does it. Feedback refers to the degree to which a person accomplishing a task receives information about performance from performing the task itself. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 11-7

8 The Work – Task Structure Individuals with higher tolerance for stress may handle ambiguous and unstructured tasks more easily than people with low tolerance for stress. Subordinates need help when: A task is unstructured. They do not know what the desired outcome looks like. They do not know how to achieve the outcome. Reducing the degree of ambiguity inherent in an unstructured situation is a leadership behavior usually appreciated by followers. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 11-8

9 The Work – Task Interdependence Task interdependence concerns the degree to which tasks require coordination and synchronization in order for work groups or teams to accomplish desired goals. Tasks with high levels of interdependence place a premium on leaders’ organizing and planning, directing, and communication skills. Like task structure and skill variety, task interdependence can also dictate which leader behaviors will be effective in a particular situation. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 11-9

10 The People Leaders should look at the followers in terms of: Skills Knowledge Experience Expectations Needs Preferences In a rapidly changing environment, diversity allows the species to sense and adapt more quickly. Diversity is essential to quality and survival in a rapidly changing world. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

11 The Formal Organization – Level of Authority Level of authority concerns one’s hierarchical level in an organization. The types of behaviors most critical to leadership effectiveness can change substantially as one moves up an organizational ladder. Leaders at high organizational levels often perform a greater variety of activities and are more apt to use participation and delegation. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

12 The Formal Organization – Organizational Structure Organizational structure refers to the way an organization’s activities are coordinated and controlled, and represents another level of the situation in which leaders and followers must operate. Complexity is made up of: Horizontal complexity Vertical complexity Spatial complexity Formalization describes the degree of standardization in an organization. Centralization refers to the diffusion of decision making throughout an organization. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

13 Organizational Design - Functional Design McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Figure 11-3

14 Organizational Design – Product Design McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Figure 11-4

15 Organizational Design – Matrix Design McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Figure 11-5

16 Organizational Design – Lateral Interdependence Lateral interdependence concerns the degree of coordination or synchronization required between organizational units in order to accomplish work-group or organizational goals. As lateral interdependence increases, leaders usually spend more time building and maintaining contacts in other work units or on public relations activities. Leaders are more likely to use rational persuasion as an influence tactic when the level of lateral interdependence is high. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

17 The Informal Organization Organizational culture is a system of shared backgrounds, norms, values, or beliefs among members of a group. Organizational climate concerns members’ subjective reactions about the organization. Leaders can change culture by attending to or ignoring particular issues, problems, or projects. Leaders can modify culture through their reactions to crisis, by rewarding new or different kinds of behavior, or by eliminating previous punishments or negative consequences for certain behaviors. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

18 Environmental Characteristics Environmental characteristics concern situational factors outside the task or organization that still affect the leadership process. These factors include: Technological forces Economic forces Political forces Social forces Legal forces These factors often create anxiety, and therefore cause an increase in employees’ security needs. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

19 Technology and Uncertainty In environments of low technological complexity, workers play a large role and are able to modify their behavior depending on the situation. Different kinds of organizational structures or designs are best suited for different technological environments. The degree of environmental uncertainty affects optimal organizational design. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

20 Crisis Some researchers believe that crises play such an important part in charismatic leadership that certain leaders will purposely create crises in order to be perceived as being charismatic. During crises, followers are more likely to look to leaders to identify the problem as well as develop and implement a solution. Leaders are less apt to use participation or consultation during crises. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

21 Situational Engineering A leader or follower can become more effective by identifying problem areas and restructuring the situation so that these problems become easier to overcome. By asking questions and listening effectively, leaders may be able to redesign work using the suggestions from Hackman and Oldham’s job characteristics model or Herzberg’s two-factor theory to improve followers’ satisfaction and productivity levels. The most important point regarding situational engineering is to get leaders and followers to understand that the situation is not set in concrete, and to think about how they can change the situation for everyone to be more satisfied and productive. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

22 Summary In terms of work factors, leaders need to be aware of how task interdependence, task structure, and job characteristics can affect both their own and their followers’ behaviors, and how they might change these factors in order to improve followers’ satisfaction and performance. Research has also shown that organizational factors, such as lateral interdependence, structure, design, and culture, play major roles in determining why certain communication problems and conflicts might exist, how work is accomplished, and why some people may be more satisfied in the organization than others. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

23 Summary (continued) The informal organization or the organizational culture can have a profound impact on the way both leaders and followers behave. Factors in the environment, such as legal, political, or economic forces, can also affect leaders’ and followers’ behaviors. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


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