Academic journal article Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

Development of a Firm Level Strategic Shared Leadership Scale

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

Development of a Firm Level Strategic Shared Leadership Scale

Article excerpt

Shared Leadership

In shared leadership, two or more individual leaders lead a team, group or an organization (Carson, Tesluk & Marrone, 2007). In modern times, some have advocated that it is always better that two or more individuals lead an organization rather than one individual's leading (O'Tool, Galbraith & Lawler III, 2002). This would help as the presence of more than one leader individual complement each other at cognitive and social organizational skills level but also at an emotive level (Mehra et al., 2006). Presently the rapid changes in macro-economic conditions in the context of Indian business organizations require the concept of shared leadership to be considered upon at the strategic level of organizations. The authors termed the concept as strategic shared leadership (SSL). At strategic level, organizational leaders decide on its vision, direction and commitment of substantial resources and the nature of its being. Strategic decision making (Lee-Davies, Kakabadse & Kakabadse, 2007) involves high stakes. In modern times, the information pool relevant for a firm has become varied, complex and immense. Two or more individuals can better absorb the information, deliberate amongst themselves and then decide on the best course of action. In shared decision making process, information is exchanged amongst leaders with increased intensity and frequency iteratively (Lee-Davies, Kakabadse & Kakabadse, 2007). Researchers indicated that the concept of SSL requires more attention from future researchers (Carson, Tesluk & Marrone, 2007; Fitzsimons, James & Denyer, 2011; Bhattacharyya & Jha, 2013).

Literature Review

Discussion on shared leadership was initiated in the modern literature by Gibb (1954) when he talked about the concept of distributed leadership. Gronn (2002) proposed that leadership could actually be conceptualized in a continuum with focus and distribution occupying the two extremes namely autocratic to shared leadership functions and influence. The construct of influence in leadership literature is grounded in the work of many researchers (Yukl, 1989; Kozlowski & Klein, 2000; Morgeson & Hofman, 1999).

Lee-Davies, Kakabadse and Kakabadse (2007), proposed that in an organization, leadership is not necessarily hierarchical. The lower level managers and staffs interact with each other and with senior and middle level managers continuously. These interactions are not dialogues but polylogues. Polylogues provide multiple inputs from different levels of organization; these inputs are continuously deliberated, analyzed and then used for the best suited organizational decisions.

Denison, Hooijberg and Quinn (1995); Carte, Chidambaram and Baker (2006); Hooijberg, Hunt and Dodge (1997), had talked about the leaderplex model in which leadership behavior manifested as eight roles: innovator, broker, producer, director, coordinator, monitor, facilitator and mentor. From the shared leadership perspective different members can assume different roles in the leadership team. Kahai, Sosik and Avolio (2004) had proposed that shared leadership behavior will be more pronounced in the facilitator and mentor roles than in any other roles. Carte, Chidambaram and Baker (2006), empirically established that monitor behavior of leaders was shared but production oriented producer behavior was not shared in the context of high performing virtual teams. Yang and Eric (1996) studied shared leadership based on the leaderplex model and figured out that the mentor, innovator, producer and director roles were shared rather than the roles of facilitator, broker, coordinator, and monitor.

Arnone and Stumpf (2010) wrote that in certain cases shared leadership can be justified by the very fact that two heads are better than one. They further stressed upon that generally at the strategic organizational level the current shared leaders had previously been functional or divisional heads. …

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