Friday, January 17, 2014

Substitutes for Leadership

In the last byte, we looked at the Leader-Member Exchange Theory. In today's byte, we look at what could act as substitutes for leadership.
A simple question that would definitely arise in anyone's mind is - Given all the discussion, could we ever substitute leadership?

The answer seemingly is yes - sometimes situation can neutralize or even replace leader behavior, and this forms the central idea behind finding substitution to leadership. Here are some examples:
  • When one finds a task very satisfying and feedback about performance -  there would be no need for leadership behavior. The satisfaction of the employee comes from the interesting work and feedback there in.
  • Other examples are:
    •     employee's high skills
    •     team cohesiveness
    •     formal controls on the part of the organization
  • It would be interesting to think of a services settings where employees with extensive contact with customers receive a larger amount of the leadership from the customer and the need for formal supervision would be reduced!

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