Organizational Growth and Survival
In examining the various terms depicting organizational strategies, leadership behaviors and traits, I connected six elements that I will call organizational growth and survival. Specifically, I am interested in seeing what the organization needs when it reaches a crisis point at the entrepreneurial-collectivity stages. The six components are organizational life cycle, transformational leadership, concern for people, expert power, participative leadership, and effectiveness. If the organization is to overcome the many problems associated during a time of crisis, it will need effective leadership, committed employees, and a sense of purpose and direction.
The first component that captured my attention was organizational life cycle. Although there are several stages in the life of an organization spanning from its inception to its demise, I was particularly interested in the early entrepreneurial-collectivity stages. At some point in the growth process, as entrepreneurs are gaining a foothold in the marketplace with the success of their products or services, they are likely to reach a crisis point that will demand effective leadership. Business owners will need to navigate through management issues to bring about a more stable structure within the organization. If the organization is to reach the collectivity stage, it will need to establish a sense of purpose and direction for its growing number of employees and create goals and strategies that will deal with both the internal and external environment. Entrepreneurs need strong leadership which they themselves must provide or bring aboard individuals capable of resolving the crisis.
The type of leadership that is necessary in this scenario is transformational leadership. The transformational leader is able to create a sense of direction and purpose amidst a chaotic atmosphere where employees may feel uncertain about their roles and responsibilities. The transformational leader is able to inspire, motivate, and clarify goals so that the followers begin the process of achieving organizational success. Suddenly, the work of the subordinates becomes meaningful and a higher purpose involved with creative energy takes hold within the company. The transformational leader is pivotal in communicating a sense of shared purpose.
At the heart of the transformational leader’s success is his or her concern for people. The leader understands that a successful resolution to conflict or crisis is the conviction that it is the employees who will either make or break a company’s future. How the leader attends to the needs of the subordinates will determine whether trust and commitment are achieved. Apart from providing good working conditions and incentives for a job well done, the leader needs to build relationships based on respect. One way of achieving this type of loyalty and influence is if the leader is perceived as highly competent and knowledgeable. The leader possesses expert power in that the followers have confidence that they are being led by someone who is not only inspirational, but also skillful with the task at hand. If the leader achieves such influence, he or she should use it to develop the subordinates so that they are highly trained in their roles and responsibilities. The confidence that followers have in their leader may initiate the process toward participative leadership.
In participative leadership, the leader has oriented the followers towards the importance of their involvement. The goal of participative leadership is to involve the subordinates in the day to day functioning of the organization. Followers are encouraged to become partners in decision-making, problem-solving, and planning activities. The hope is that this type of involvement can enhance performance and job satisfaction. The success of subordinate involvement depends on the leader’s continued guidance. While the...