Warren Bennis, Ph.D., once said, “Managers are people who do things right, while leaders are people who do the right thing.” In order for us to differentiate between management and leadership and to examine the role and responsibilities of leaders in creating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture, we first must define leadership and management. Leadership is the ability to motivate and inspire others to meet and exceed their own expectations. Management on the other hand is defined as the process of administering and coordinating resources effectively, efficiently and in an effort to achieve the goals of the organization. There are similar factors between leadership roles and management roles. However, the two may suggest the thought or desire to accomplish the same goal or idea. Businesses can maintain a healthy organizational culture by examining key concepts and terminology of organizational behavior, organizational culture, motivation, communication, organizational effectiveness and efficiency and organizational learning.
According to Donald R. Clark, organizational behavior is the study and application of knowledge about how people, individuals, and groups act in organizations. It does this by taking a system approach. The system approach interprets people-organization relationships in terms of the whole person, whole group, whole organization, and whole social system. Its purpose is to build better relationships by achieving human objectives, organizational objectives, and social objectives.
Organizational culture is a system of shared beliefs and values that are developed within an organization and guides the behavior of its members. Organizational culture encompasses beliefs, customs, knowledge, and practices. Organizational culture influences human behavior although it may never enter into our conscious mind. Organizations depend on their culture because it gives them stability, security, understanding and the ability to respond to a given situation. If one were looking from the outside in, the company culture should reveal itself in more than one way. Company cultures demonstrate certain ways that employees should behave. Also, physical manifestations of a company are revealed by written rules and regulations, organizational structure and dress codes. These behaviors reflect the company’s values.
For instance at Sears Company, they have two rules, the first one being, the customer is always right. The second rule is that if you think the customer is not right, refer back to rule number one, the customer is always right. The company’s written rules and their actions should reflect these values. This is one reason why people fear change. People are afraid of becoming unstable, they fear they will not understand the new process and they will not know how to respond to the new situations. We all come from different backgrounds and it is important to reflect one’s own national and cultural identity to understand what is different among people of different nations. History has taught us that culture always changes because of internal and external influences. How can one know where someone is going, if one does not know where one has been?
What is communication? Communication entails transmitting and receiving ideas, information and messages. A company’s success largely depends upon them being able to connect with employees in ways to boost morale and performance. Employers must understand that the lack of communication has a great impact of the company’s success. A good leader, gains knowledge about individuals within an organization and to improve the overall functionality of the organization, measures the organization thorough feedback, goal setting and skills training. Another way is for a study of the decision making process in business and how listening, or the lack of it, affects the process and lives of the employees and employers that are involved. One must realize that external communication such as advertisements and public relations influence organizational behavior but internal communication is the glue that helps the company stay together. In order to boost morale and performance, employers must implement motivation sources.
Motivation means to move. Motivation has three common characteristics. Motivation concerns with what activates human behavior, involves what directs this behavior toward a particular goal and motivation concerns how this behavior is sustained. The concept of motivation is then linked to goal directed conscious or unconscious behavior. Motivated persons choose and direct action to achieve their ends. In order to narrow the concept a bit more, it is necessary to introduce the concept “Workmotivation”. Generally this term is used to describe the employees’ motivation to perform their tasks and to maintain and develop their professional skills. The emphasis is especially put on the employees’ will and wish to work for the goals they have set. The result, however, is a function of both ability and motivation. According to Maslow’s theory of motivation, there are five levels of human needs. The five levels consist of physical safety and security, social safety and security, communication and response, self-respect and acceptance and fulfillment of goals and dreams. On the first level, which is accounted for by a biological theory of motivation, in order for one to survive, the body must have enough sleep, food, clothing, shelter, comfort and be free from pain.
The second level, one’s body needs to have a predictable future. In order to achieve a predictable future, one must work, save for the future, be responsible, improve skills or talents and get organized. The third level, which entails communication and response causes one to join and be active in groups, be able to talk to others, contribute to society, marry and have a family. The fourth level, which consists of self-respect and acceptance, allows one to desire to feel important. This allows one to display his/her talents and skills and builds self-confidence in order to allow one to appreciate attention and recognition from others. The fifth level is fulfillment of your goals and dreams. You’ve finally made it to the top. You have actually realized your full potential and you have become the best that you can be. You have become a self-starter, you have enthusiasm, you are dedicated, and you enjoy challenges and love to accomplish results. Organizational effectiveness and efficiency in this age of rapidly changing technology, are forcing leaders and managers to be faced with new challenges. “Many believe that leadership is simply the ability to make people do what you want them to with as much will and determination and enthusiasm as possible.
In other words, leadership is getting people to do what you want them to do without introducing methods of coercion” (Robbins, 1998). Leadership is a mixture of give and take between the leader and his or her followers as well as influences from the outside environment on their relations. In my opinion, since an individual’s level of motivation also depends on external factors, it is important for a leader to focus on facilitating both internal changes as well as an environment, which encourages achievement. In order for us to examine the role and responsibilities of leaders in creating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture, we must first define leadership. Leadership is the ability to motivate and inspire others to meet and exceed their own expectations. Management on the other hand, is defined as the process of administering and coordinating resources effectively, efficiently and in an effort to achieve the goals of the organization. There are similar factors between leadership roles and management roles.
However, the two may suggest the thought or desire to accomplish the same goal or idea. Leadership and management actually have many different roles and responsibilities. In the rim of leadership roles, there are certain criteria and standards in which a leader must take on in establishing a leadership role. The responsibility of a leadership role has to have many positive contributory attributes. The individual who has been chosen for the leadership position must have attributes that can be effective in a leadership role. In order to be adequate and effective, an individual must be a problem solver. This is an attribute that all individuals face at some point in their leadership role. The responsibilities in the problem solving area require the leader to be knowledgeable about the organization. The leader must possess intellect that exceeds the groups’ intellect. The leader must have the capacity to rationalization and the power to relate to the organization’s problems. The problem solving area of a leadership role is not an easy quest. Members of an organization might question a leaders ability or integrity as a person.
As a leader, taking on the responsibility in a leadership role, one must display a code of values, morals, soundness and completeness. A leader must have the ability to coordinate and function with the organization while maintaining a leadership role. A leader must gain the respect of his or her organization. Often, many leaders come under scrutiny from members in the organization that may cause a division. In this particular situation, the leader must be able to integrate with the group as well as lead the members to a common ground to find the effective solution. In a leadership role, there are bound to be problems that occur on a regular basis. The leader must be able to incorporate a good sound judgment. The leader must possess good social skills, which enables the leader to have a solid relationship with the members of the organization, which allows the members to develop a trust in their leader. The leader should possess qualifications of being able to influence people in order to be an effective leader.
A leadership role requires an individual to have exceptional communication skills. The leader must be well versed in assessing the organizations perceptions of how the members think the organization should function. In a leadership role, the individual must be able to determine the morale of the organization in order to be an effective leader. If a leader cannot determine simple things, he or she will be ineffective. The leadership role requires the leader to be a great motivator. Leadership requires motivation to maintain the morale of the members of the organization. Members of an organization generally tend to act on what they see the leader exemplify. If a leader is in an upbeat mood or has a positive attitude, this carries over to the members of the organization that are directly under his or her leadership. It is very important that a leader of an organization, lead by example. A person in a leadership role must have self-discipline in order to lead. Self-discipline is a key ingredient in a leadership role. Although having a leadership role allows one to have a lot of freedom to conduct as he or she sees fit, a leader still recognizes that there are many other thoughts, ideas, and perceptions to be reckoned with from other members of the organization.
Leaders tend to not conduct business as usual. Leaders have the responsibility of incorporating disciplinary actions within the organization. An organization without rules and guidelines from a leadership standpoint will not be successful. There must be some form of direction. It is impossible to lead and have no insight or direction. The leadership role causes the individual to establish good viewpoints for the organization. The role of leadership requires creating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture, which will result in good productivity. The bottom line in any organization is productivity. A leader must provide a goal that the organization feels comfortable with. A leader must layout an objective that will ultimately result in profit for the organization. The leadership input of organizations, large or small, determines how successful the organizational culture will be.
In relation to organizational learning, how individuals are able to obtain knowledge is something that psychologists have studied for a number of years. The ability to store and retrieve knowledge allows individuals the ability to form logical thought, express emotions and internalize the world around them. In closing, as I have stated previously, businesses can maintain a healthy organizational culture by examining key concepts and terminology which include organizational behavior, organizational culture, motivation, communication, organizational effectiveness and efficiency and last but not least, organizational learning. The organizational chart below represents the profession that my company is in. One must know the organizational objectives and have the knowledge to influence others to do with a smile, what they have to do anyway.
Dessler, G. (2005). Human Resource Management, 10th ed. (p. 524). Boston,
MA: Pearson Custom Publishing
Warren Bennis, Ph.D. “On Becoming a Leader” Created March 19, 1998. Last
Update – February 27, 2000. Big Dog’s Leadership Page, Donald R. Clark http://www.nettskolen.com/forskning/14/motivate.htm