Leadership, the Determinant of Organizational Culture and Diversity
With the world becoming smaller and smaller from the increasingly intensive business trade, the globalization not only bring huge opportunity, but also bring more challenges to organizations than ever before. Multicultural teams, therefore, are used in workplace, and workforces become more divers than ever before (Schein, 2010).
But ethnicity is only one part of diversity, and the concept of it includes some visible ones, for example religions, gender, disabilities and other less visible ones, like social class or sexual-orientation. In organizations, the key issue of diversity is how to benefit from differences and eliminate the stereotype and avoid automatically judge people on the basis of differences (Coleman Marianne, 2012). Therefore, dealing with this issue appropriately can enhance organization’s effectiveness and motivate talents to innovate.
There is another topic which is contributed to company’s effectiveness-organizational culture in recent years. Researcher (Schein, 2010) suggested that organizational culture can influence how people set individual and organizational goals, perform tasks and manage resources to achieve those goals. So, identifying the culture of company becomes a popular and effective method to achieve high performance in workforce.
Whether a company can value diversity and set strong organizational culture is mostly depend the way of the parties concerned manage it, and in particular the group leader. Therefore, analyze the leadership of a company can be a key to get known this organization’s culture and the effectiveness of its staff performance.
The Definition and Traits of Leadership
In the twenty-first century, leaders must create an atmosphere in which people believe in strategy, believe in management decisions, and believe in their work. Once people believe in management decisions, there is an excitement within the organization. Such an atmosphere makes an organization proper. Successful leaders create this sort of environment both inside and outside the organization. (Chowdhury, quoted by Keith, 2006)
In searching the definition of leadership, I found that it is hard to find the universe agreement on this topic. Warren Bennis (quoted by Keith, 2006), an acknowledged expert on this subject says he has come across over 350 definitions, and the elements that constitute effective leadership are ‘hazy’. According to John Harvey (quoted by Keith, 2006) , leadership imply making people act in a way without threatening or coercing them; they have ability to get others to what they don’t want to do and like it (Harry S. Truman, President of the USA, 1945-1953); Leadership is an influencing process aimed at goal achievement (Ralph Stogdill, quoted by Keith, 2006). Kirkpatrick and Locke (1991) summarize the traits of leadership as following: drive to achieve; the motivation to leader; honesty and integrity; self-confidence, standing firm and being emotionally resilient; cognitive ability; knowledge of specific area.
As the importance of leadership in management area, a question has been haunting in researchers’ minds from time to time – are leaders born or made? Or what the traits leaders must have? The same as the definition of leadership, its traits are also very hard to get an agreement among academic researchers, because different historic period and different industry sections produced different kinds of leadership. Most of people extract the leader’s characteristics from analyzing those historic figures, such as Churchill, Napoleon, Mao tsudung, Churchill, etc, and we can illustrate some typical abilities which contribute to “strong leaders” (Keith, Paul, and Roger, 2006).
* Direct, lead, and manage well in crisis
* Take effective decisions, if necessary under pressure
* Act consistently with stated views or aims
* Enjoy credibility with ‘followers’
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