People Orientated Leadership Term Paper

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People-Oriented Leadership

In 1911, Frederick Taylor wrote Principles of Scientific Management and Shop Management, and became the first to clearly introduce the study of people management. Taylor theorized that companies should identify the most efficient way to accomplish a job, train workers to complete each separate task in a specific way and provide equitable rewards for productivity improvements. Although Taylor is often criticized for his scientific approach that emphasized a strict division of labor and repetitive tasks, he is also commended for recognizing the need for cooperation between management and employees, fair rewards for positive work results and training programs. Over the past century, as increased globalization and technology has placed an emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge and a highly competitive customer-based service economy, a shift has occurred in organizations from task- to people-orientation. It is imperative for companies to meet the specific needs of their varied constituents -- customers, shareholders, employees and the general public. This scenario demands leadership that is people centric: These are caring and considerate leaders who are concerned about the relationship they have with others in the organization, pay close attention to their employees' needs and do their best to satisfy them and to build self-confidence (Bass, 2003). This positive working environment leads to people who are interested in handling their responsibilities and look forward to the benefits gained from completing their work.

Over the years, many researchers have defined leadership by differing parameters: Some have studied the specific traits or characteristics that explain why some people have more followers and have a much greater ability to succeed. Instead, the power theory of leadership identifies 1) social power, which analyzes how leaders influence followers to initiate and bring about change and 2) social exchange, or the give-and-take relationship between leaders and followers. Leaders are personally influenced as they influence others (Bensimon, Neumann, & Birnbaum, 1989). Recently, much attention has been directed toward transformational leadership, which "engages followers in such a way as to raise them to new levels of morality and motivation" (p.10). In their leadership approach, Bolman and Deal (2003) define four frames or perspectives that require a leader's attention: Structural, or specialized roles and formal relationships; human resource, or consideration of the individual's needs; political, or the need to bargain, negotiate and compromise; and symbolic, or the culture of the organization with its rituals and ceremonies. A leader can improve the degree of personal success "with an artful art ful adj.

1. Exhibiting art or skill: "The furniture is an artful blend of antiques and reproductions" Michael W. Robbins.

2. appreciation of the four lenses and how to use them [in order] to understand and influence what's really going on" (p. 40).

The Ohio State leadership studies of the 1940s presented the clearest demarcation of the leadership poles since Taylor (1911), centering on what leaders actually accomplish instead of on their personal makeup. The research differentiated the two dimensions of task-oriented and people-oriented leaders (Hoy & Miskel, 1996). The leader behavior description questionnaire (LBDQ Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire ) developed by Hoy and Miskel studies divides these two dimensions into high or low sections with four quadrants or leadership styles. Based on the LBDQ, administrators have the greatest effect when scoring high in consideration and initiating structure, for exampleConsideration and Initiating Structure are two dimensions of leader behavior identified as a result of the Ohio State Leadership Studies. According to the findings of these studies, leaders exhibit two types of behaviors, people-oriented (consideration) and task oriented

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Although each of these leadership theories differs in its approach, the commonality is the understanding of the distinction between a "manager" and "leader." As Maccoby (2000) explains: "While leadership is a relation between the leader and the led that can energize an organization, management is usually a function that has to be exercised." Or, more simply, management defines the tasks that are required to reach strategic goals and leadership determines how to use the resources available -- people -- to attain these goals. Essentially, this distinction highlights the two ways of approaching the way organizations are structured, either as function-

(task) or people-oriented. As noted above, the function/people designation can be best viewed on a continuum with most companies not being at either extreme.

In A Different Path, A Different Result: New Consciousness Model for Businesses, Archer (2009) stresses that there still remain many managers who use coercion and close monitoring of employees in order to enhance productivity, which greatly limits creativity and efficiency. When results do not come, the managers become concerned and exacerbate their negative behaviors. Archer endorses a partnership philosophy among the organization's employees where executives, management, and employees work together on shared goals in a mutually beneficial manner. Her model realizes that non-managerial employees of all companies can be very powerful, and therefore the main goal should be to simultaneously establish win-win situations for people at all organizational levels. Being "people focused" is a necessity, because the employees' sense of commitment and work will significantly influence the organization's success. People must be valued for their thoughts, words and actions and respected as unique human beings. Each employee, in his or her own way, has to be recognized as a contributing member of the company with something special to offer. When the company's people are viewed as important ingredients to the company's overall gestalt, then each employee's goals and aspirations become as important as those of management.

Hand-in-hand with an emphasis on people comes what Fleming, Coffman, and Harter (2005) call the "human value connection," which consists of the relationships among individuals within the organization and that of the employees and customers across the organization Such environments require true leaders who are people oriented and help managers portray an effective leadership identity internal and external to the organization. This connection is led by a leader who knows that "the responsibility for measuring and monitoring the health of the employee-customer relationship must reside within a single organizational structure, with an executive champion who has the authority to initiate and manage change" (p. 114). By acting as role models, leaders gain followers who are encouraged to participate and inspired to produce quality results. People-oriented leaders thus develop a productive and motivational working environment. This new paradigm thus becomes the cultural norm, which is not only recognized by people within the organization, but also by the other shareholders and greater community.

Knowing that employees are highly motivated in these people-oriented environments is not a new concept. In the 1950s, Abraham Maslow needs theory clearly recognized that once a person's basic physiological and safety needs were met, he or she will want a sense of belonging with a need for friends, romantic relationships, children and a sense of community with religious organizations, associations and the place of employment. Without this sense of belonging, a person feels alone and separate. At this point, a person begins to look for ways to establish self-esteem. Maslow recognized two versions of esteem needs, a lower level was the need for the respect of others, status, fame, glory, recognition, attention, reputation, appreciation, dignity, and even dominance. The higher level consisted of self-respect, which included such personal feelings as confidence, competence, achievement, mastery, independence, and freedom. It is only when people have self-esteem that they can actually become self-actualized. This is when the true commitment comes to their life outside and inside work. A self-actualized person will be able to creatively think out of the box and create new, efficient ways of doing things. These are the type of employees who make a company succeed, and these are the type of employees who will become future leaders and lead others.

People-oriented leaders place an emphasis on specific personal needs in the workplace. The first of these is having a sense of meaning, or knowing that one's role has value.

(Wrzesniewski, 2003) establishes a hierarchy of the meaning of work that ranges from a "job" at the low end, to a "career" in the middle range, and a "calling" as the highest level of meaning The important question that leaders must ask is: "How do I support the employee's sense of work as a meaningful calling?" In order to have a sense of meaning, people have to be engaged in their work, which Rothbard (2001) defines as "psychological presence" (p. 656) that involves "critical attention," or the "cognitive availability and the amount of time one spends thinking about a role," and "absorption," or the act of "being engrossed in a role" and "to the intensity of one's focus on a role." Researchers define engagement as the polar opposite of personal burnout; it is characterized by enthusiasm, involvement, and efficacy (Maslach, Dutton, & Debebe, 2001). Schaufeli and Bakkar (2002) define engagement "as a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption" (p. 74). It is not a temporary state, but instead "a more persistent and pervasive affective-cognitive state that is not focused on…[continue]

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