Academic journal article Public Administration Research

Leadership and Its Place in Organisations: A Theoretical Synthetic Analysis (Note 1)

Academic journal article Public Administration Research

Leadership and Its Place in Organisations: A Theoretical Synthetic Analysis (Note 1)

Article excerpt


The issue of leadership in the context of its place in our organisation and, in various human terrains has elicited series of scholarly attentions over the years. Leadership has become a key concern in organisations within both the private and public sectors of polities and corporate settings in today's world where everything begins and ends with the issue of leadership and its types. In fact, leadership determines the successes or failures of any human endeavour.

Against this premise, this paper deals with the issue of leadership using a synthetic analytical approach. It seeks a further retooling of the hitherto mutually inclusive components of leadership and its various types. In the process, while examining the linkage between the concepts of leadership and power and, the latter's transformation into legitimate authority; the concept of change leadership and its currency within the matrix of organisational and management studies was examined.

The paper concludes with the emphasis that the evocation of the concept of leadership, its types and/or styles, to alter the behaviours of others in groups and organisations will infinitely continue in our world, particularly at this period of the planetary phenomenon of globalization.

Keywords: leadership, organization, power, legitimacy, authority, change leadership, management, synthetic approach, interpersonal influence, theory y, theory x, servant leadership, followership, wake-up call, change process

1. Introduction

An organization is a continuing system of differentiated and coordinated human activities utilizing, transforming and welding together a specific set of human, material, capital, ideational and natural resources into a unique, problem-solving whole whose function is to satisfy particular human needs in interaction with other systems of human activities and resources in its particular environment (Bakke, 1959; Akindele, 2010).

An organization is a system which, as the attainment of its goal, "produces" an identifiable something, which can be utilized in some way by another system; that is, the output of the organization is for some other system, an input. In the case of an organization with economic primacy, this output may be a class of goods or services which are either consumable or serve as instruments for a further phase of the production process by other organizations. In the case of a government agency the out put may be a class of regulatory decisions; in that of an educational organization it may be certain type of "trained capacity" on the part of the students who have been subjected to its influence. In any of these cases there must be a set of consequences of the processes which go on within the organizations, which make a difference to the functioning of some other sub-system of the society; that is, without the production of certain goods the consuming unit must behave differently i.e., suffer a "deprivation" (Parson, 1956; Akindele, 2010).

An organization is a system of structured interpersonal relations (within which) individuals are differentiated in terms of authority, status and role with the result that personal interaction is prescribed or structured (through which) anticipated reactions tend to occur, while ambiguity and spontaneity are decreased (Presthus, 1958, 1978; Akindele, 2010).

The centrality and relevance of leadership to organizations is clearly decipherable from its foregoing conceptualizations. These theoretical conceptualizations remain valid today despite the currency of ICT-driven organizational structures and the tendency to think that the assumed "classicalism" of such theoretical postulates which globalised leadership as a vehicle for the attainment of any organisation's goals renders them illogical to the climate and landscape of modern organizations. Thus, the climes of today's organizations cannot ignore the indispensability of leadership to their visions and missions without severe consequences in view of its dominance as a feature of all organisations' systemic existence. …

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