Leadership and Organizational Change in A Competitive Environment

By Banutu-Gomez, Michael Ba; Banutu-Gomez, Shandra M. T. | Business Renaissance Quarterly, Summer 2007 | Go to article overview

Leadership and Organizational Change in A Competitive Environment


Banutu-Gomez, Michael Ba, Banutu-Gomez, Shandra M. T., Business Renaissance Quarterly


Abstract

This paper deals with leadership and organizational change in a competitive environment. It addresses challenges faced by today's global organizational leaders and what is needed of them. The paper will discuss seven important differences that organizational leaders need to succeed in the future: 1) a flat and teamoriented organization, 2) the nature of leadership, 2) leadership and organizational philosophy, 3) the best leaders teach leadership, 4) leadership and organization culture, 5) leadership evaluation and practices, 6) leaders alienating followers, and 7) leadership and teamwork in a change process. Furthermore, the researchers will address the issues of resistance to change and provide ways on how to overcome it. The paper will explain why it is necessary for leaders to continuously evaluate their practices. Also, the researchers will highlight the issue of leaders alienating followers and what can be done to bring them on board. Finally, the researchers concludes by providing the importance of reconciling different points of view and constantly obtaining commitment to successfully implement positive change and creating a team-oriented organization that is needed in a sustainable change process.

Introduction: Leadership

True leaders always have a vision. They know where they want to go and how to get there. According to Burns (1978), leaders provide change and movement in an organization. They do so by providing a vision for change (Bennis 6t Nanus, 1997). In order to be effective, leaders must have a clear sense of goals in order to guide their institutions in new directions (Bums). They need the capacity to stand back from everyday activities and see the processes of change over the long term.

Leaders value others' skills and experiences and build teams that make use of them. They courageously accept responsibility for problems and are able to clearly communicate the mission, goals and objectives of the organization. Great leaders are willing to challenge the status quo while trusting and empowering their people. Not only do leaders use obstacles to create a positive future, they are willing to set an example of sacrifice for the good of the next generation.

The leader's internal, external, and relational context of behavior connects with the followers' own sense of internal motivation. The leader's behaviors provide a model for internally motivated people. Such individuals sense the leader's encouragement as he or she listens to them, respects them, assists in their development, and shares power with them (Davidhizer & Shearer, 1997). Leaders elevate the interests of people (Bass, 1990) and serve as the missing ingredient in moving toward more participative systems (Collins, Ross, & Ross, 1989). Such leaders attract internally motivated people, inspire them with a mission, and initiate new ways of thinking (Keller, 1995). The result is new influence on the culture of the organization.

The primary task of leadership is to establish and maintain /nt/macy-the concept of caring-because disciplined unselfishness comes about only through close social relationships. This is significant because it shows how much leaders care about their employees. This also helps sustain a trusting relationship between leaders and employees. What's more, trust is a primary attribute associated with leadership and when this trust is broken it can have serious adverse effects on employee performance. Hence, the leader must work hard to build identification-based trust in any change process, which can be done by the leader creating a positive environment that nurtures an emotional connection among employees. This is important because it allows one employee to act as an agent for the other, and substitute for that employee in interpersonal transactions. This further enhances a united team during a change process. Traditional sources of intimacy-the family, the club, the neighborhood, and life-long friendships- are all presently threatened by modern lifestyles in today's global world. …

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