1.1 Background of the Study
Leadership style is a key determinant of the success or failure of any organization. Effective leadership is essential for every organizational management and leadership style is an important variable having significant impact on the success of the organization. In practice, there are many problems facing an organization and the causes of the problems can often be traced to the managers. Some of them may have insufficient competencies or their traits may not fit with the nature of their work. Besides, they may use inappropriate leadership styles in dealing with subordinates on projects. Effective performance and great work outcomes from subordinates are always desirable, but they do not always happen. People normally respond well only to appropriate types of leadership. The best style would lead them to work effectively (Likhitwonnawut, 1996). Leadership is one of those qualities that you know when you see it, but is difficult to describe. There are almost as many definitions as there are commentators.
Many associate leadership with one person leading. Four things stand out in this respect; First, to lead involves influencing others. Second, where there are leaders there are followers. Third, leaders seem to come to the fore when there is a crisis or special problem. In other words, they often become visible when an innovative response is needed. Fourth, leaders are people who have a clear idea of what they want to achieve and why. Thus, leaders are people who are able to think and act creatively in non routine situations and who set out to influence the actions, beliefs and feelings of others. In this sense being a “leader” is personal. It flows from an individual’s qualities and actions. However, it is also often linked to some other role such as manager and expert. Here there can be a lot of confusion. Not all managers, for example are leaders and not all leaders are managers. Leaders need a new mix of competencies to properly shape their board and develop their subordinates to meet 21st century challenges. Shifting cultures, rapidly changing technology and other factors will require new patterns of leadership. The 21st century leaders will need greater awareness of diverse factors and new sets of competencies - characteristics that lead to success on the job – to help them make relevant, correct and timely decisions in the leadership of change and leadership of people. An important factor in the leadership process is the relationship that a leader has with individual followers. Previous researches have shown that successful interaction between leaders and their followers are central to the overall functioning of an organization (Noormala and Syed, (2009); Graen and UhlBien, (1995). High quality leader-fellower relationships have been found to have impact on employee performance, organizational commitment, delegation, empowerment and job satisfaction Noormala and Syed, (2009); Gerstner and Day, (1997). One rationale for this study is that good leader-fellower relationships are vital to ensure the effective functional of any organization.
The extent to which members of the organization contribute in harnessing the resources of an organization equally depends on how well the managers or leaders of the organization understand and adopt appropriate leadership style in performing their roles as managers and leaders. Thus efficiency in resource mobilization, allocation, utilization and enhancement of organizational productivity depends, to a large extent, on leadership styles among other factors. Chuang (2005), explain that the excellent leader not only inspires subordinates’ potential to enhance efficiency, but also meets their requirements in the process of achieving the common target of the organization. Fry (2003), state that leadership as a use of leading strategy to offer inspiring motive and to enhance the staff’s potential for growth and development in the organization. Burn’s (1975) approach is that leadership influences subordinates to exert greater effort in the pursuit of higher-order needs; support a greater vision for their work group or organization and in the course perform beyond expectations.
Stoner (2000) defines leadership as a process of directing and influencing the task of related activities of group members. It can also be seen as the process of influencing other people to achieve organizational objectives. Bass (1982) define leadership as an interaction between members of a group. Leaders are agents of change, persons whose act affect other people more than then other people’s act affect them. Leadership occurs when one group member modifies the motivation or competence of others in the group. Also, Nongo (2009) states that leadership entails an unequal distribution of power between leaders and group members. Group members have power, but leaders usually have more powers. According to Rachin (2001) leadership is directly connected to the practice to which people are dedicated. The most substantial of leaders is their influential personality that has positive relation with the follower, job satisfaction and the performance Lian, (2011) Leadership style is the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans and motivating people. Having acquired the human resources, there is the need to maintain and keep them together, it should be noted that every individual has his personal expectation for working in an organization. To this effect, the leader must employ the various ways of making sure that the employees stay at work, feel contented, ready to put in their best and that their expectations are met without neglecting the overall corporate objective(s) of the organization.
To this, the study is to examine the impact of leadership style in organizational growth and development.
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