Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

A Perspective on Leadership in Small Businesses: Is the Need for Achievement a Motive in Predicting Success?

Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

A Perspective on Leadership in Small Businesses: Is the Need for Achievement a Motive in Predicting Success?

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Leadership is a term that is often confused with management. In organizations today, there are a number of managers who plan, organize, lead and control the organization to reach the objectives set by the Board of directors of by the top executive management team. However, the term of leadership is always confusing, Are these managers' real leaders or they are just planning budgets and organizing jobs. Do they have the ability to motivate and energize their workers; do they have the ability to align constituencies in their organizations? Do they have the ability to communicate clearly their strategy and achieve goals? This study will test certain aspects of leadership and namely the commitment to achieve standards of excellence, the satisfaction from experiencing success, the satisfaction for being the first to perform a certain task and their ability to solve problems. These aspects will be tested in small organizations in Lebanon to see which of those traits can help leaders achieve company success and how this will affect company success. Leadership as a term includes the perspective of being visionary and having a long term orientation. The 'new leadership' approach takes into consideration vision and long term perspective as the major qualities that leaders should have (Bryman, 1992). It is also named "Contemporary leadership" (Yammarino , 1996). These theories are constructed based on two fundamental approaches: transformational and charismatic leadership. Transformational leadership is of interest to researchers (Barling, Kelloway, & Loughlin, 2002; Peterson, Walumbwa, Byron, & Myrowitz, 2007; Rubin, Munz, & Bommer, 2005, Piccolo, R. and Colquitt, J. 2006, Pillai, R., & Williams, E., 2004). The interest in Charismatic leadership is growing to some researchers (Brown &Trevino, 2006; Den Hartog et al., 2004; Sosik, Potosky, & Jung, 2002).

The business environment with its dynamism and continuous changes, and given the urge to change rapidly has lead to a certain quality of leaders more than those of managers who are really supervisors, so leaders of today need to be visionary and long term oriented. This situation is at the root of the new leadership theories (Bryman, 1992) and contemporary leadership (Yammarino , 1996). There is as well much attention and interest in the followers' power and responsibilities and the delegation of authority (Jung & Sosik, 2002; Kark, Shamir, & Chen, 2003; Masi & Cooke, 2000).The new leadership theories represent a clear advance with respect to the theoretical models of leadership that existed before and that is referred to as transactional leadership (Burns 1978).In transactional leadership, followers are rewarded by their leaders when they achieve the agreed upon objectives, they are monitored for better performance and leaders would correct their actions if they don't achieve the established standards. (Bass, 1999; Bass & Steidlmeier, 1999). Given those theoretical backgrounds, it was demonstrated that leaders described as charismatic, transformational, or visionary have positive effects on their organizations and on their followers (Fiol, Harris, & House, 1999). In family businesses, the situation is different; there has been little study on the effect of transformational leadership on family businesses given the new leadership theories in social psychology. In family businesses the stress is on the existence of beliefs, values, and shared visions as one of the advantages of family firms as compared to nonfamily firms. (Tagiuri and Davis,1996). Family firms enjoy a strong sense of commitment to the mission that they want to pursue and a sense of belonging and identity, that is superior to other firms (Ibrahim & Ellis, 1994). So the taxonomies of organizational culture should be well examined to notice that leadership in family firms is closer to charismatic and transformational than it is to Transactional (Ansoff, 1985; Blunt, 1991; Deal & Kennedy, 1982; Handy, 1986a, 1986b; Harrison, 1972; Ogbonna & Harris, 2000; Sethia & Von Glinow, 1985). …

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