If great leaders embrace the
different leadership styles, this will enhance organisational performance.
Democratic and paternalistic leadership are the two best leadership styles when
reviewing the advantages that employees reap, which will inherently add to the
overall success of the business.
Because this is indeed the
tipping point between organisational success and failure. Leaders can affect
organisational change, but it can be both negative and positive – it all
depends on who the employees have at the helm within a leadership position.
To conclude, different studies
have demonstrated that for any organisation to prosper, great leadership is required.
Emphasis on the word “great”.
Many organisations and
entrepreneurs avoid predominant leaders who continually ask for financial
Dominating leadership makes for
a troublesome business relationship – whether that be with subordinates, peers
or even seniors.
When this happens, managers
and workers alike may be less eager and motivated to help these overwhelming or
critical leaders with achieving objectives and goals, hence detrimentally
impacting the overall organisation performance.
Conversely, leadership can
also negatively affect organisational performance. Both good and bad leaders
exist within any organisation – and when you have a leader who is excessively
predominant or turns out to be fixated on accomplishing objectives above all
else, they can ignore different subtle elements within the organisation and
team dynamic. So, this really boils down to the “quality” of the leader as
touched upon briefly before.
Research into the relationship
between leadership and performance isn’t definitive. Numerous researchers have
analysed the adequacy of administration and how they influence organisational
behaviours (Analouis, 1999; Avery, 2004; Drath, 2001; House and Aditya, 1997;
Kakabadse et al. 1993; Shamir and Howell, 1999; Yuki, 1999). They suggest that
current research on the leadership-performance relationship is brimming with
troubles and has numerous unsolved issues. Furthermore, when
there is great leadership in a company, there will be corporate conduct by the
representatives which means that most of the targets will be met and there will
be fulfilment with respect to the worker and business.
Referent Power (personal
power) is control over a person or a group of devotees, based on credentials
with profound respect/ regard for the leader. Referent Power is one of the
“five bases of social power” (Raven, 1958). This form of power alludes to the
leader ability to impact a follower due to the adherent’s faithfulness,
respect, love or a desire to gain endorsement. Moreover, referent power is
picked up by a leader who has strong interpersonal skills. An example of
referent power is Satya Nadella. He is an appropriate example to use as he is a
Microsoft CEO – Nadella is known as being a practical man. He portrayed how he
was unexpectedly constrained to get intense with his employees keeping the end
goal in mind which was to get the message across.
Expert power enables a leader
to influence their employees’ behaviours through their specialist knowledge,
background experience or aptitudes that relate to the work that the
subordinates do. Being an expert gives the employee the impression that the
leaders know exactly what they are doing and that they can provide their
representatives with the right strides in which they can end up noticeably
Coercive power is the direct
opposite to reward power. This form of power gives the employees the idea that
the leader has the strength to punish or provide those employees who don’t
comply with the mandates with consequences.
Reward power includes the
utilisation of rewards and is where the leader presents their employees with
some sort of reward to acknowledge their accomplishments, or when their actions
have surpassed the leaders’ expectations. These rewards can be tangible or
intangible. Some examples of these rewards include pay rises, bonuses, employee
awards, discounts, promotions, more duties and so on.
Legitimate power (positional
power) is based on authority. It is the sort of power that leaders have within
an organisation because of the status of their position within the
organisational hierarchy. For example – the manager of Apple has certain powers
because of the office he holds in the business.
Legitimate power is dependent on discernment and reality. It is based on
a reality that the leader holds a particular position in a business – it is
also based on the fact that the employees believe that the leader has full
control over them (Gbadamusi, 1996).
Okafor’s research suggested
that there are five different forms of power – legitimate power, reward power,
coercive power, export power and referent power.
But regardless of the type of
leadership style that’s implemented, the true impact that leaders have on their
employees will be dependent on the type of power that they possess or are
perceived to possess. “Power is the capacity to influence” (Okafor, 1981,
Leadership Beliefs and Organisational Effectiveness).
Laissez-faire leadership is
straightforwardly inverse to autocratic leadership. Normally, there is a single
individual making independent decisions for an organisation, however, this
particular style of leadership is where the leader allows their employee to
make all of the appropriate decisions by themselves. The topic of trusting one
another is majorly important when it comes to laissez-faire leaders. An example
of a laissez-faire leader was Steve Jobs. He was recognised for giving his employees
direction on how he needed things to be, communicating the vision, but then was
very much hands-off with the implementation.
Paternalistic leadership is
where the leader behaves as a parent or father figure towards their employees.
The leader is mainly responsible for taking care of their workers’ needs. This
leadership style is by and large used to acculturate and admonish the working
environment. It has been said that paternalistic leadership assumes a vital
part in organisational performance. It is exceptionally fundamental that the
employees feel safe and motivated at their workplace, so that they can work
more efficiency and enable an association to accomplish more elevated amounts
Democratic leadership is where
leaders support criticism and gain input from their colleagues, however, the
duty of settling on a ultimate choice rests with the participative leader. This
kind of leadership boosts employee morale due to the fact that the employees
are able to make contributions to the decision-making process. When an
organisation needs to make improvements within the association, this style of
leadership enables employees to acknowledge changes effectively as they play a
role in the process. Democratic leadership is claimed “to be one of the
earliest form of leadership in comparison to all of the other leadership
styles” (Akpala, 2010).
An autocratic leadership style
is where leaders settle on decisions as they see fit and rarely give their
employees the opportunity to provide their input. This form of leadership is
generally utilised where the nature of work is encompassed by rapid decision
making. Whilst this form of leadership will not work in all organisations and
with all employees, it can be valuable when it comes to unpractised or
demotivated team members. Quite understandably, employees who are substantially
more innovative and capable of working despise this leadership style (Lewin,
There are a wide range of
leadership styles which include autocratic (authoritarian), paternalistic,
democratic (participative) and laissez-faire.
One could argue that leaders’ ability
to positively impact organisational performance really comes down to the
calibre of the individual leader themselves, the type of management style that
they use with their employees and their perceived power within the
The purpose of this essay is
to clarify the connection amongst leadership and organisational performance.
However, comparative studies (Pfeffer
1977) suggest that leadership isn’t
important in achieving organisational performance.
Previous research has suggested
that the role of leadership in increasing
organisational performance is varied. Certain examinations propose that
leadership is significant for an association to accomplish high quality
organisational performance (Katz and Khan 1978, Peterson, Smith, Martorana and
Organisational performance is
the way in which the business’ assets are utilised to achieve goals and deliver
Leadership is “lifting a
person’s vision to high sights; the raising of a person’s performance to a
higher standard or the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations”
(Drucker, 2005). To that end, leadership involves motivating employees to help
them achieve an objective. And for this to be done properly, it’s vital that
leaders possess a combination of skills. A good leader should be both
emotionally and intellectually intelligent, with a great mix of both the
technical skills and softer, people skills to connect with employees on an
individual and human level.
Let’s first look at what
leadership and organisational performance mean.
Every organisation needs leaders
to drive business forward in the quest to achieve corporate goals, but to what
extent do they really affect organisational performance?
“A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees
farther than others see, and who sees before others see” (Leroy Eimes).