The Importance of Positive Leadership and Its Effects on Organizational Behvaior

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Master of Science in Administration (MSA) Program

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MSA610 Literature Review


John Quincy Adams once said “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”. Positive leadership is a critical area for an organization and its behavior. A good leader or leadership team can take a mediocre organization and transform it into something great. They help improve the way of life for some organizations. There are three important aspects to consider when discussing good leadership and its effects on organizational behavior: the importance of leadership, the elements of a great leader, and the effects of good leadership within an organization. The first area, the importance of leadership defines what role a leader may play within an organization. Next, there are several fundamentals that a leader must possess or demonstrate in order to be considered a good leader. This is discussed in the second sub-topic. Lastly, the effects that a good leader can have on a organization can be long-lasting and widespread, depending on the size of the organization. Examples of two outcomes are provided.

Presentation of the Literature

The Importance of Leadership
Leadership, for our purposes, is “operant behavior of one person that effects a change in the context of the operant behavior of one or more other persons and thereby changes or maintains the other persons’ operant behavior (Effective Leadership in superior-subordinate dyads: theory and data, 2005). To practice leadership requires that a person focus on their leadership skills, their knowledge, and their attitude. Leadership skills are the abilities that someone has developed through their training and education perhaps. Leadership knowledge can be described as what one knows about the practice of leadership. Leadership attitude comes from who a person is, in total the everything that makes someone who they are in their beliefs, emotions and values. Leaders provide a vision and help employees turn the vision into reality. Good leaders believe in open, honest communication and care about the welfare of the employees. According to John Kumle, good leaders “believe that people are important, and come first before things, goals and visions” (Kumle & Kelly, 2006). Leaders have a great deal of impact on organizational behavior, and the organization as a whole.

One study defined Organizational Citizenship Behavior as a type of discretionary job performance in which employees go beyond formal job descriptions and engage in helping behaviors aimed at individuals or the overall organization. Employees are not typically rewarded for engaging in OCB, nor are they punished (Melschnake & Cochran, 1993). This study found that leadership was a better predictor than job satisfaction when it came to OCB. These results suggested that job satisfaction is not a direct cause or antecedent of either dimension of OCB, but that it may be correlated with OCB only because both job satisfaction and OCB are common effects of leadership (Melschnake & Cochran, 1993).

In yet another study, it was determined that leadership is just one facet of the development of professionals in the workplace. Robert Quinn, a professor of management and organizations at the University of...
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