The Nature of Executive Leadership: A Conceptual and Empirical Analysis of Success

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The intersection of new technologies, globalization, and market shifts among assessment providers have created significant tensions for both science and practice that require ongoing vigilance and creativity. Few forums exist to integrate the advancements in practice fueled by these trends and the streams of research that might inform their course of development. The LEC is focused on bringing together a diverse group of thought leaders who explore the evolving state of practice and related science and frame out practical solutions for managing the disruption and incorporating new insights and technologies into organizational assessment programs.

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I-O Business Resources. Theory X sees man as inherently lazy and dislikes work while theory Y sees man as regarding work as a natural phenomenon and does not only accept work but seeks it. These two theories are the two ends of a continuum. At the negative or harsh end is the theory X and the more benevolent end is theory Y. Leadership styles that have been suggested include those by Likert , Vroom and Yetton , Bass and Goleman Likert identifies four models of leadership styles or systems: System 1: Exploitative authoritative, System 2: Benevolent authoritative, System 3: Consultative and System 4: Participative group.

These models of leadership are a continuum. At one end of the continuum is the Exploitative authoritative and at the other end is the Participative group. The most authoritative is system 1 and the most democratic is system 4. Likert consistently found that most effective organizations exhibit system 4 characteristics and the least effective organizations portray system 2 characteristics.

According to Dowling system 4 leadership improves performance and profit. Vroom and Yetton identify five leadership styles in terms of the participation of subordinates in decision making process. These are autocratic 1 A1 , autocratic 11 A11 , consultative 1 C1 , consultative 11 C11 and group participation G. These are again a continuum with autocratic 1 being the most autocratic and group participation being the most democratic. In group participation leadership style, managers act as coordinators in order to enable the group reach a consensus which is accepted and implemented.

Of course, once a consensus is reached all group members are committed to the implementation which impact positively on performance. Bass contracts two styles of leadership; the transactional and the transformational. The transactional leader determines what the subordinates need to achieve personal and organisational goals , classifies the requirements and assists subordinates to have the confidence that they can reach the determined goals.

Transformational leader motivates subordinates to do better than they would have by raising motivation and the importance and value of their tasks within the organisational goals. This leadership style emphasises the importance of the subordinates and their tasks and therefore motivates employees to greater performance. Goleman found that leaders who used styles that positively affect climate in an organization make better financial results than those who did not. The six styles identified are coercive, authoritative, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting and coaching.

The coercive leader requires immediate compliance in a drive for achievements. Subordinates are required to do what they are told. The authoritative leader mobilises subordinates towards a direction by having a clear vision and making subordinates know how their work fit into the overall organisational strategy. The affiliative leader creates strong harmony and keeps subordinates happy.


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He creates strong loyalty, improves communication through sharing ideas and initiatives. The democratic leader forges consensus through participation. This style does not tolerate poor performance from all and is obsessed with doing things better and faster. In the coaching style, the leader who is the coach helps subordinates identify their strengths and weaknesses and encourages them to establish long-term development goals.

The coach relies on delegation and agrees with the subordinates their roles and responsibilities. In the light of the above, it is evident that all the authorities are agreed that leadership styles range from autocratic to the very democratic. Leadership style used by a given leader is not static but dynamic based on what is to be done Goleman, ; Schaeffer, Having identified several leadership styles the next step is to examine what leaders do. In the view of Prentice effective leaders take personal interest in the long-term development of their employees and they use tact and other social skills to encourage employees to achieve their best.

Leadership does not only exercise expertise but it also empathizes with the subordinates Pagonis, ; Ohiwerei, ; Goleman, , communicates vision Ohiwerei, ; Tiger et al. Leadership, with the activities highlighted above, galvanizes organizational efforts to achieve intended and emerging organizational goals.

The research population comprised companies quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.


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There were twenty six industrial categories in the 1st Tier Securities as at December 31st, There were two hundred and three listed companies as at that date. A sample of the research population was taken since time and costs were constraints. Great care was exercised to get a fair representation of the population as sample. Consequently, proportional stratified sampling method was utilized in selecting participating companies.

The number sampled is immediately beside the name of the industries while the number of the listed companies in each industry is in parenthesis. These industrial categories and the organizations sampled were selected by the lottery method. These categories of respondents were selected because the organization was our unit of analysis and the persons occupying these positions were not only expected to be knowledgeable about the variables we were interested in; they were also the driving force for each of the organizations.

Present study was both ex-post facto and cross-sectional survey research methods. The reasons for the choice of these methods were first that we investigated events in which the interactions between the dependent and independent variables had already occurred and were not manipulated.

The Nature of Executive Leadership: A Conceptual and Empirical Analysis of Success

Second, the questionnaire method of gathering data was adopted. Third, data for the dependent and independent variables were gathered as at a particular point in time. Both primary and secondary data were used in the conduct of this research. The primary data were from the responses to questionnaire administered to the selected sample as indicated above. The questionnaire elicited information from the companies on the research variables. Secondary data were the financial statements of the selected companies for from which we calculated accounting based organizational performance.

Organizational performance was defined using return on total assets.

The Nature of Executive Leadership: A Conceptual and Empirical Analysis of Success

Style was defined as the characterization of the leadership style of the chief executive officer of each organization adopted to achieve organizational goals. This consisted of concern for employees. Six Likert type questions obtained from Blake and Mouton were used to measure style Appendix 1.

The simple regression model was used to identify the relationship of the independent and the dependent variables. Research hypothesis: The research hypothesis tested was: Leadership behaviour of the Chief Executive officers is positively related to organizational performance. Limitations of the study: The first limitation of this study is that the majority of the limited liability companies in Nigeria are not quoted on the Stock Exchange.

Therefore, the size of the sample was small in relation to all companies in Nigeria. It is however expected that further research would examine the relationships of other independent variable and ROTA and other performance measure with style. Here, we present the analyses of the data acquired.

Table 1 shows the spread of the administered questionnaires, the responses of each industry and the response rates. Table 1 shows that the total number of quoted companies of the six industries selected were Testing for the assumption of regression: We tested below the acquired data to check if it qualified to be used for regressions based on the assumptions of regression model. Measurement error: That the dependent and independent variables are observed without measurement errors. Normality: That the population distribution of the variable should be randomly distributed.

To test the normality assumption, the skewness and kurtosis of the data were determined. The results are shown in Table 2. However, the actual value of skewness in the table was It will be seen from the table that the mean and the median of the data coincide indicating normality of the data. Moreover, the value of kurtosis of the variable was These results indicate that the distribution of the variable was normal.

Randomness: That the dependent variable is an unvaried random variable for each specific combination of independent variables.

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According to Oyesiku this is satisfied by random sampling choice. As indicated earlier, we used proportional stratified random sampling method in which the industries and organizations were selected by lottery method. This assured randomness. Autocorrelation: That there be no autocorrelation. Autocorrelation refers to a situation where the stochastic error term is correlated with itself over time. The generally accepted autocorrelation test is the Durbin-Watson test, which calculates the d-statistics. In Table 2 , Durbin-Watson value was 2. This was within the acceptable range of one which is the lower limit and four which is the upper limit Iyoha, Howard has also noted that internal candidates may be too associated with organizational culture and norms to provide new and fresh approaches.

External candidates can bring different experiences, new industry knowledge, and novel perspectives to the organization. Their evaluations of existing organizational policies, structure, and projects are likely to be more objective than those of internal candidates. Likewise, although external candidates will have less social capital within the company than their internal brethren, they may have broader capital outside the company, enhancing their ability to form industry alliances and networks.

In larger companies, and Generally, internal candidates are likely to be favored when the organization is performing well, when the company is established and maintaining a slow but steady growth rate, and when the rate of change in the strategic environment is not fast enough to render skills and knowledge too quickly obsolete. Alternatively, external candidates are likely to be favored in companies that are performing poorly, in young companies experiencing a high rate of growth, and in organizations where greater numbers of external members sit on the board of directors.

Preferences for external candidates also may occur when change rates in industry environments require rapid upgrading or refreshing of leader human capital. In typical instances, however, the circumstances of most organizations will suggest a varying mix of internal and external candidates for the range of executive positions. External recruitment sources include executive search firms, electronic or Internet-based searches, and personal networking. In Daniel DeVries noted that executive search firms aid executive selection by facilitating the process for both potential candidates and hiring firms.

Search firms will help companies define position responsibilities and corresponding candidate competencies. They will also recruit and identify candidates who best fit position characteristics. Executive search firms can help candidates understand the dynamics within the hiring company and coach them through several critical stages of the selection decision process. Many executive search firms, as well as human resource departments in major corporations, use the Internet as a source of executive recruitment.

ISBN 13: 9781557987327

Although the canvassing of active candidates may occur through job boards, companies and search firms may use searches of company records and online directories to identify candidates who are not actively searching for new executive positions but may be approachable or persuaded to consider a position change. A third strategy of executive recruitment is for existing company executives to pursue their social networks and personal contacts for executive position candidates.

Internal executive recruitment generally rests on the succession planning and executive development programs established by companies to grow the pool of high-potential executives. If development programs are linked to the anticipated strategic considerations of the organization, they can produce a strong pool of potential candidates.


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  • Even when strategic concerns are likely to shift as when the company operates within a dynamic organizational environment , executive development that emphasizes the ability to manage change and uses a breadth of developmental experiences can produce sizable numbers of suitable candidates. Some strategies used to assess candidates for lower-level managerial positions have been extended to executive selection, although with limited success. For example, assessment centers, used with mixed effectiveness in lower-level managers, have been used less extensively with executives.

    However, research has shown ratings of managerial potential, established in part through assessment centers and structured interviews, have predicted long-term promotion levels, including to executive ranks.

    Executive Selection - Recruitment - IResearchNet

    Some assessment approaches examine how well the candidate might handle simulated executive work situations. Companies typically assess past performance effectiveness through biographical data resumes , references, structured interviews, and, in some instances, multisource surveys and interviews in which data come from peers, supervisors, subordinates, and self. Each of these strategies carries some strengths and weaknesses.



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