An Examination of Self-Leadership
Sharon E. Norris
The increased competition that some organizations face requires change from traditional management to shared leadership. Employees who possess personal attributes such as need for autonomy and general self-efficacy may be more likely to take responsibility and work effectively in empowered environments. These employees may also be more likely to make efforts to improve their individual performance, such as making use of self-leadership strategies. This study examines individual differences that may influence the use of self-leadership strategies. The results of the study show a positive significant relationship between general selfefficacy and use of natural reward, constructive thought, and general self-leadership skills. The study finds women are more likely than men to use behavior-focused, natural reward, constructive thought, and general self-leadership skills.
The increased competition that some organizations face requires a change from traditional management of employees with command-and-control leadership to shared leadership among employees in the organization (Arnold, Arad, Rhoades, & Drasgow, 2000; Pearce, 2007). Rather than top-down structures where leaders make decisions, some contemporary organizations need employees to take more responsibility and participate in decision making (Costello, Brunner & Hasty, 2002). These changing conditions require leaders who are capable of helping employees become self-leaders and followers with interest in sharing leadership responsibility (Stewart, Manz & Sims, 1999).
Employees who possess personal attributes such as need for autonomy and general selfefficacy may be more likely to take responsibility, participate in decision making, and practice self-leadership strategies. Previous research by Yun, Cox, and Sims (2006) has shown that individuals differ in the way they respond to opportunities to share leadership responsibility. People with need for autonomy and general self-efficacy may be more likely to view themselves as capable and expect success (Gardner & Pierce, 1998; Judge, Locke, & Durham, 1997; Chen, Gully, & Eden, 2001; Shelton, 1990; Sherer, Maddux, Mercandante, Prentice-Dunn, Jacobs, & EMERGING LEADERSHIP JOURNEYS 44
Emerging Leadership Journeys, Vol. 1 Iss. 2, 2008, pp. 43-61 © 2008 School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship, Regent University ISSN 1930-806X, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rogers, 1982; Yun et al.). They may also desire control and influence over their work and may want to make decisions related to their jobs (Yun et al.). Individuals with high general selfefficacy may also be more likely to believe they can accomplish what they want to accomplish (Maddux, 2002). Individuals characterized as self-leaders direct their own efforts, persist in situations of adversity, personally motivate themselves, and continually renew thinking patterns (Manz & Sims, 1989).
Self-leaders may be more likely to engage in innovative behaviors in the workplace (Carmeli, Meitar, & Weisberg, 2006), and self-leadership represents a self-influence process that involves self-direction and self-motivation (DiLiello & Houghton, 2006; Manz & Neck, 2004). Individuals who use self-leadership strategies enhance their personal effectiveness through behavior-focused, natural reward and constructive thought strategies (Manz & Neck; Manz & Sims, 2001; Prussia, Anderson, & Manz, 1998). Behavior-focused strategies help facilitate behavior management. Natural reward strategies helps individuals shape perceptions and build enjoyable aspects into activities and constructive thought strategies create positive ways of thinking (Neck & Houghton, 2006).
In environments where...