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Effective Leadership And Social Identity Theory

3249 words - 13 pages

There are many definitions with regards to leadership, but what defines 'effective leadership' and how is it evaluated? Chemers (2000) explained that effective leadership is "follower satisfaction and group performance." (p. 28) G. Yukl expalined "there is no correct definition of leadership; it is only a matter of how useful it is increasing our understanding of effective leadership."(Yukl) How does an organization establish effective leadership? While some leaders of organizations direct considerable resources to find, train, and mentor managers to be effective leaders, many leaders of organizations put little research into the subject of effective leadership. Whatever the organization's policy on selecting the leadership group is, such as to promote from within or to hire from outside, most organization's leaders make decisions without a full understanding of leadership theories. The missing aspect that many leaders and developers of leaders ignore is that the construct of leadership is not an individual endeavor, but rather one that must include the organization as a whole. Leadership is not just the sum characteristics of an individual (leader) but should include the leaders, the followers, dyadic relationships, and group relationships. Hogg and Terry (2000) explained that "organizations are internally structured groups that are located in complex networks of intergroup relations..." (p. 121).
Leadership directly impacts an organization's bottom line, employee satisfaction, and turnover; it can impact how the organization is viewed by society and in particular its marketing audience. This is particularly significant during a downturn in economic markets. Organizations must meet budgetary controls, and need to communicate to their investors and consumers that the organization is fiscally sound, responsible, proficient and empathetic to the audience's needs and to the current economic times. Organizations want and expect their employees to understand the company's vision, and be able to carry out the vision effectively and ethically. The significance of studying leadership empirically as a dynamic group identity rather than as an individual prospect can further an organization's understanding of what constitutes effective leadership, with the added benefit of creating an environment in which employees can earn a living in an environment that is mutually beneficial to the group, as well as the individual.
It is useful to identify the definition of leadership, and to understand the construction of the definition. Even though there are many definitions of leadership, the essence of the various definitions consistently describe the leader as an individual who can effectively relate to and cause a group of followers to meet a goal. An individual relates to the self image of who they are whereas a group, which consists of more than three individuals, interacting with one another relates to the social image. Social psychology can...

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