Leadership Power Struggles
Leadership is an incredibly complex concept that has been the focus of study from many different academic disciplines -- Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Social Psychology, Business, Sociology to name a few. The literature comes in a wide variety of many differing opinions both from within the academic world as from professional practitioners. Most of the literature seems to focus on effective or ineffective leadership and the role that the organizational culture and environment play in the leaders ability to meet particular organizational objectives. However, there seems to be little literature that is directed at the consequences of power struggles between aspiring leaders in an organization and the consequences this might have for the organizational and its effectiveness. This proposal will attempt to craft a niche in this realm.
There are many individual instances of power struggles in organizations. One specific instance that is worthy of discussion is in the formation of cross-functional teams. A cross-functional team by definition includes an array of professionals from varying professional backgrounds, many of which are leaders in their specialty....
The complexity and dynamism of team tasks are greater in contemporary organizations than ever before, and our study suggests that managers must dynamically adapt their understanding of situational demands and what resources are needed to address those demands; one research study findings suggest an increasing importance of team leadership functions that focus on reading the team's task environment, providing autonomy and fostering empowerment (Aime, Humphrey, Derue, & Paul, 2014). This research suggests that as more cross-functional and dynamic teams are designated to specific projects, there will need to be a greater understanding of leadership and how power struggles can be successfully mitigated in such situations.
Other researchers have also noticed shifting trends in organizational leadership. Leadership is one of the most important factors to organizational success, yet it is argued that the models have not kept pace with the evolutions in the dynamics of leadership in the modern business environment (Spisak, O'Brien, Nicholson, & Vugt, 2015). Some research has attempted to use biological science with existing organizational theory to model the evolution of leadership and its impact on organizational change (Spisak, O'Brien, Nicholson, & Vugt, 2015). This perspective looks at leadership as a niche phenomenon that can change and vary from moment to moment at could also be potentially used as a model for power struggles in leadership in modern organizations.
Power struggles in leadership can also commonly be found in publically traded companies that still comprise family members who are in leadership positions based on the organizations heritage. The…
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