Abzug, 7.13.2022, COM1000 Chapter 11 Review

COM1000 Chapter 11 Outline Leadership and Decision Making I. Understanding group leadership a. Leadership is the ability to direct or influence others' behaviors and thoughts toward a productive end i. Two key terms in most definitions: direction and influence b. Five sources of power (most leaders hold several, if not all) i. Legitimate power - comes from a role/title (president or coach) ii. Coercive power - comes from a threat/harm (harsh dictator) iii. Reward power - comes from an award (paid time off or money) iv. Expert power - comes from information or knowledge that a leader possesses (Quint, with decades of shark-hunting experience in Jaws ) v. Reference power - comes from the admiration, respect, or affection that followers have (popular kids in school) c. Shared leadership i. Makes members feel more satisfied with the group process and more motivated to perform 1. Higher rates of success d. Group leadership styles i. Directive - focuses on the group's tasks and controls the group's communication by conveying specific instructions to members. This style works best when members are unsure of what's expected of them or how to carry out their responsibilities. ii. Supportive - attends to group members' emotional and relational needs. This style is especially helpful when members feel frustrated with their task or with each other. iii. Participative - views group members as equals, welcomes their opinions, summarizes points that have been raised, and identifies problems that need discussion rather than dictating solutions. This style works well when group members are competent and motivated to take on their tasks but also benefit from their leader's involvement and feedback. iv. Laissez-faire ("hands-off" or delegating leader) - gives up some degree of power or control and gives that power to team members. This style is the absence of involved leadership—the leader trusts others to handle their own responsibilities, does not take part in the group's discussions or work efforts, and provides feedback only when asked. 1. Although it may seem like a lack of leadership, the laissez-faire leader can actually be effective, particularly with mature or experienced groups, where just checking in occasionally and seeing if the group has questions is all that is warranted v. Achievement-oriented - sets challenging goals and communicates high expectations and standards to members. This style works best when group members are highly skilled and are eager to produce great accomplishments
e. Leadership qualities - many of our most celebrated leaders, like Martin Luther King., Jr. and Mahatma Ghandi possess all three of these qualities. i. Vision 1. Visionary leaders are able to picture a new or different reality from what currently exists and consider the bigger, long-range picture of the group's or organization's future. They do not just consider how best to reach certain goals, but they also question the very goals themselves and are able to empower group members to take some risks, explore possibilities, and develop creative ideas ii. Charisma 1. Charismatic leaders are vibrant, likable communicators who generate a positive image among their followers. Their charisma can motivate people and make them respond receptively to their leader's ideas iii. Initiative 1. Transformative leaders see change, adaptation, and growth as the means for groups and organizations to survive. They spark change not only by having a new vision but also by conveying that vision clearly to others, showing real passion for the work ahead, and energizing the group toward meeting the goals set forth in the vision f. Unethical leadership i. Aggressiveness to try to get what they want or to "bully" others in online environments. Unfortunately, unethical leaders may also make use of such bullying tactics, which include harsh criticism, name-calling, gossip, slander, personal attacks, or threats to safety or job security 1. Example: Chef Gordon Ramsay on the reality TV series Hell's Kitchen . a. Transparent - there is little guessing for what he wants from his staff or why he punishes them i. This is opposite from Machiavellianism , which was, named for 16th-century philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli. He advised rulers to use deceit, flattery, and other exploitative measures strategically to achieve their desired ends II. Culture and group leadership a. Gender and leadership i. With a few key exceptions, research has provided little support for the popular notion that men and women lead differently 1. In fact, one study even notes that men and women's leadership styles are often dictated by factors other than sex and gender, such as the general communication style of the group or organization. b. Cultural variations i. High or low context 1. People from high-context cultures (such as Japan) tend to communicate in indirect ways, whereas those from low-context
cultures (like the United States) communicate with more verbal directness a. Imagine, for example, a manager tasked with keeping a team on target to meet a very tight deadline. i. A leader from a high-context culture might simply present a calendar noting due dates and filled with tasks and competing projects; she would rely on her team to get the point that the deadline is in trouble and expect team members to offer solutions. ii. A leader from a low-context culture, on the other hand, would be more likely to clarify the situation directly: "I'm moving the deadline earlier by two weeks; that means you'll need to accelerate your work accordingly." ii. Value high or low power distance. 1. Power distance is the extent to which less powerful members of a group, be it a business organization or a family, accept that power is distributed unequally. a. In a high power distance culture, the members are not likely to challenge their leader's opinions or authority. This means that a leader who wants all members to offer their ideas at a meeting might need to make a special effort to encourage everyone to participate in the discussion. b. In contrast, in a culture with low power distance, members are likely to offer their opinions and disagree with the leader without much prodding. III. Decision making in groups a. Groupthink : a problem in which group members strive to maintain cohesiveness and minimize conflict by refusing to critically examine ideas, analyze proposals, or test solutions i. NASA engineers testified that the climate at NASA made them reluctant to voice their concerns if they couldn't back them up with a full set of data 1. Engaging in productive conflict fosters healthy debate and leads to better decision making ii. Symptoms of groupthink: 1. Participants reach outward consensus and avoid expressing disagreement so as not to hurt each other's feelings or appear disloyal. 2. Members who do express disagreement with the majority are pressured to conform to the majority view. 3. Tough questions are ignored or discouraged. 4. Members spend more effort justifying their decisions than testing them. iii. One important way to prevent groupthink is to encourage dissent among members and manage it productively
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