In section 1, I shall discuss the concept of bureaucracy in leadership by drawing upon the article by Koremenos (2005) and the impact of bureaucratic leadership in Kodak’s bankruptcy (Kotter, 2012). In section 2, I shall show how the practices have changed by drawing light upon the use of skills, style and contingency approaches in leadership in a non- bureaucratic environment (Browning, 2007) and support it by relevant examples. Moreover, in section 2, I shall support my argument by illustrating the writings of Bolden and Golsing’s (2006) regarding the use of competency approach in a post bureaucratic environment. Rather than leaving it there, in section 3, I attempt to explore the implication, need and benefits of virtuousness as discussed by Cameron (2011)and organizational compassion from the writing of Dutton, Frost, Worline, Lilius, and Kanov(2002). In conclusion, I shall question the effectiveness of different approaches in post bureaucratic era in producing better leaders, if it is really relevant or if bureaucracy is required in some organization to function better.
During the age of rapidly changing organizational environments, some bureaucratic leaders emphasized on historical methods to solve problems. Leaders of bureaucratic era were complacent, driven by goals; they discourage independent thinking, add layers of control to protect their status and restrict the flow of information to aid their power. As described by Koremenos (2005) in her research on IDOA's former leadership style:
Director Otwell communicated directly only with her Division Managers. When asked whether she had had much contact with more subordinate levels, she stated: ‘No, I never felt the need to. That wouldn’t have been my role anyway.
This behavior incorporated with others led to conflict and mistrust within the organization and hence, poor performance. In addition, bureaucratic practices have led to Kodak's bankruptcy. Kotter (2012) argues that Kodak overflowed with complacency as no one devoted their priorities to grab an opportunity while Fuji started to take benefits. Moreover, employees who recognized the problems and had creative thoughts were ignored by the bosses. With the above examples, we find that bureaucratic leadership approaches have caused certain consequences to organizations; therefore, for better performance, new practices are implemented by leaders of post bureaucratic era.
In the post bureaucratic era, under the competency theory, a leader is defined as one who encourages participation, development and commitment of others within an organization (Bolden & Golsing, 2006). In the above definition, the authors suggest that post bureaucratic leaders embrace varied opinions, consider ethics, are driven by discovery and create a culture of leadership in an organization. These practices along with skills, style and contingency approach are found to be missing in the bureaucratic era. Browning (2007) illustrates an example of Sir Ernest...