رهبری تحول گرا و انتشار اهداف سازمانی: مطالعه موردی یک شرکت مخابراتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|19464||2004||22 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 15, Issue 5, October 2004, Pages 625–646
We examined how the leadership style of top and middle-level managers in a large telecommunications organization was related to their effectiveness in conveying strategic organizational goals. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, we found that transformational leaders perceived organizational goals as prospector oriented and were rated as more effective communicators by their direct reports. We examined research questions regarding the methods by which transformational leaders disseminate organizational goals. An exploratory analysis indicated that managers who reported to transformational leaders tended to have higher agreement on the strategic goals of the organization. Leaders who were effective communicators had direct reports who were more familiar with the goals of the organization. We discussed implications for linking transformational leadership with the strategic roles of leaders.
Although the market situation is tough… we are in the hottest field… We even have a great workforce, but it is lost [not utilized effectively]. If we… provide a clear message to employees we can be on the right track. However, managers can not provide direction to their employees, when they get unclear messages from the top . VP of Activity 1, interviewed for this study A core responsibility for organizational leaders is to direct followers towards achieving organizational purposes by articulating the organization's mission, vision, strategy, and goals (Zaccaro & Klimoski, 2001). Leaders at all levels are responsible for the dissemination of strategic organizational goals, as well as for convincing their constituents to effectively implement those goals. Cannella and Monroe (1997) indicated that transformational leaders form relationships with followers that may make it easier for them to disseminate and implement strategic goals. In this study, we explored how transformational and transactional leadership styles, communication style, and goal articulation were related to the dissemination of strategic goals across several organizational levels in a large complex telecommunications company. The effectiveness of strategic goal implementation depends on how well leaders in an organization perceive and clarify the goals, translate them into more specific goals tied to respective units, and then encourage an open learning environment to facilitate the pursuit and successful completion of the goals (Gillen, 2000 and Goodman et al., 1994). Previous authors (e.g., Avolio, 1999) have argued that transformational leaders articulate a strategic vision that helps guide followers to focus on and learn what is essential to implementing the vision and mission at their level, as well as at subsequent levels within the organization. They encourage followers to question assumptions, methods, and the goals to discover better ways to understand and translate them into specific actions and deliverables. By creating an open learning environment, they help foster a climate that promotes a deeper understanding of the goals, mission, and vision, which is likely to foster greater alignment, identification, and strategic focus throughout an organization (Gillen, 2000 and Boal & Hooijberg, 2001). Although previous authors have described the link between transformational leadership and the effective articulation of strategic goals, no prior research has tested this link. Consequently, we set out to explore the relationship between transformational leadership and strategic goal dissemination in a complex business undergoing change. We began by examining the relationships between direct reports' ratings of leadership style and the leader's perceptions of organizational goals. We then examined how transformational leadership relates to levels of agreement among members within their units and at subsequent levels regarding what constitutes the organization's strategic goals and objectives. Finally, we examined the extent to which communications styles and transformational leadership contributed to the detail and richness of members' perceptions of organizational goals. Fig. 1 includes a model summarizing the hypothesized links among transformational leadership, communication style, and the leaders' and their direct reports' articulation of organizational goals. Our methods and analyses involved using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods (Jick, 1979 and Yin, 1994). Using these multiple methods, we examined relationships between quantitative variables, and between qualitative and quantitative variables. Given the exploratory nature of our study, we used research questions rather than formal hypotheses to test the proposed links in Fig. 1.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study attempted to examine links between the strategic goal articulation of managers and their leadership/communication styles (Cannella & Monroe, 1997 and House & Aditya, 1997). While leadership researchers (e.g., Boal & Hooijberg, 2001, Cannella & Monroe, 1997, Conger & Kanungo, 1998 and House & Aditya, 1997) have called for examination of the strategic roles of neo-charismatic or transformational leadership, there has been little, if any research produced on this topic. Our findings indicated that transformational leaders perceive the strategic goals of the organization in “prospector” terms more than in “defender” terms. Transformational leaders tended to view the goals of their organization as risk oriented and focusing on expansion to new markets. Leaders rated as less transformational tended to endorse more conservative goals, which highlighted stability. Our findings also provided initial support for the transformational leaders' ability to create agreement over organizational goals. Alignment and integration within any organization is a key facet of managing organizational interdependencies (Miles & Snow, 1978). Consistent with conceptual arguments made by Waldman and Yammarino (1999), we saw more agreement across hierarchies where top leaders were rated more transformational. Where leaders were rated less transformational, there was less consistency in their direct reports' articulation of the strategic goals, which could ultimately lead to greater confusion and poorer alignment. For example, in a division where the leader was rated relatively low on transformational leadership, the type of confusion around strategic goals was observed in comments like, “it is not our responsibility to know strategic goals”. We recognize that strategies studied in this investigation typically originate at the top of an organization (Finkelstein & Hambrick, 1996). However, within a single company, under the same leader and the same overall strategy, subsequent levels of management produced considerable variation in the way strategy was perceived and interpreted in their own units. Our findings suggest that although strategies may be determined at the top of an organization, their ”translation” and dissemination depends in large part on subsequent levels of management and their leadership style. Future research is needed to examine links between transformational/charismatic leadership and strategy implementation within an organization (Cannella & Monroe, 1997 and James & Hatten, 1995). We found transformational leadership to be associated with careful listener, careful transmitter, and open communications styles. We believe these findings provide some initial insights into how transformational leaders convey messages to followers, which was the basis for our exploratory analyses on strategic goal communication. Our exploratory analyses of the research questions produced links between the leaders' style and communication skills and their ability to increase followers' awareness of organizational goals. By being open to others' ideas and comments, especially during times of uncertainty and turbulence, transformational leaders may be better able to determine how well followers understand the strategic goals of an organization. Such Leader×Follower interaction falls within what Bass and Avolio (1994) refer to as individualized consideration in that the leader works to understand how followers derive meaning from the strategic messages communicated down into the organization and then adjusts those messages to the level of the follower's understanding. 5.1. Limitations This study can be viewed as a case study given that all of the data were collected in one organization, and therefore, like any case study, faces threats to its external validity (Lee, 1999). Lee argued for two types of judgment researchers need to make about generalizing research findings from casework. First, the current organization was in many ways like all organizations in high-technology industries around the world undergoing significant change, especially those confronting deregulation. The similarity of challenges facing this and other organizations in this industry provides some support for generalizing our findings to a larger and similar “population” (Lee, 1999). Second, while the use of qualitative data limited our ability to test the full range of potential hypotheses, it did afford us the opportunity to examine strategic goal orientation getting “thicker” descriptions of goals within the context of this organization (Tsoukas, 1989). By using both qualitative and quantitative methods, we were able to depict specific relationships, and then to provide a deeper examination of those relationships (Bryman et al., 1996 and Lee, 1999). Third, our use of the Miles and Snow (1978) typology could be viewed as problematic when applied to one organization. Traditionally (e.g., Shortell & Zajac, 1990), this typology has been used when comparing multiple organizations, examining more complex factors, such as done in the seminal work of Doty et al. (1993). Our open-ended interview questions may limit our ability to compare our findings with others' work. However, we coded these qualitative data using an adaptation of Shortell and Zajac's (1990) self-typing paragraph, and followed James and Hatten's (1995) recommendation to use this method to examine internal alignment within a single organization. Fourth, recent findings from the cross-cultural GLOBE project (e.g., Den Hartog, House, Hanges, & Ruiz-Quintanila, 1999) have indicated that some aspects of transformational leadership, in particular the use of charisma and inspiration, and its effects may be universal across cultures. Although not all aspects of transformational leadership were uniform across cultures, the GLOBE findings provide potential support for generalizing our results across different cultures. The use of a multimethod strategy for data collection in part addresses some of the main criticisms of leadership research, which has relied heavily on using a standard set of surveys without collecting any qualitative data (Bryman et al., 1996). Nevertheless, we also realize that only by replicating this study in other cultures, will we be able to support the external validity of our findings (Yin, 1994). While most of the analyses reported above were conducted with data collected from different sources and methods, our test of Hypothesis 2 relied on the collection of survey data from the same source. As noted numerous times in previous literature, using this approach may result in common-source common method bias in one's results (see Avolio et al., 1991 and Podsakoff et al., 2003). Podsakoff et al. (2003) have recommended several strategies to control for common method/source bias including procedural and statistical remedies. The procedural remedies that are applicable to the current study included the following: the use of well-validated measures to help minimize item ambiguity, a clear differentiation between the items measuring communication and leadership style in our survey format, and assuring respondents of their anonymity. In addition to the above procedures, we pursued some statistical remedies, suggested by both Avolio et al. (1991) and Podsakoff et al. (2003) to address the potential for common source/method bias. We followed Podsakoff et al.'s emphasis on minimizing common source bias using Avolio et al.'s recommendations to correlate survey measures of leadership and communication style collected from different raters within the same department (i.e., different sources). Specifically, we used the leadership ratings collected from one group of direct reports, and randomly matched those with communication ratings collected from a second group within the same department. Nevertheless, the use of these methods does not provide a full remedy for the potential effects that common method/source bias could have on inflating the relationships reported in this study. An additional limitation of the survey measures used in this study concerned the reliability level of the careful listener scale. We discovered in subsequent analyses that the careful listener scale had one item that referred to the manager's dominance in meetings, which significantly reduced the reliability level for this scale. We felt that this might be due to low dominance not being a significant feature in the Israeli culture where power distance is among the lowest in the world (Hofstede, 1980). 5.2. Future research While our findings help explain the potential contribution of transformational leadership to implementing strategic organizational goals, future research must examine the particular strategies and interactions that transformational leaders use with followers to achieve greater agreement around strategic goals. For example, Conger and Kanungo (1998) argued that charismatic/transformational leaders are more aware of their environment and are thus better able to assimilate emerging trends into their strategic thinking and visions. Transformational leaders may spend more time assuring their followers understand the strategic goals once they have been articulated. With greater understanding and identification with the strategic direction of the firm, transformational leaders may be better able to challenge competitors in terms of developing new products and processes and getting them to market quicker. Such increased understanding not only comes from what they say, but also what they listen to from their constituents. We suspect transformational leaders will create more effective and open learning environments in which the strategic vision, goals, and objectives can be discussed and more deeply explored. By creating such an open learning environment, transformational leaders not only assure followers are aware of strategic goals, but also that they are better understood. Moreover, in a more open learning environment, followers can be reinforced for questioning the leader's strategy and its basic assumptions, which could lead to greater adaptation and innovation, especially during times of significant turbulence and change. Another line of research may examine how transformational leadership contributes to understanding further aspects of strategy implementation, such as horizontal communication and dissemination of strategic goals. Given more emphasis on project or cross-functional teams, leaders need to channel information to colleagues in addition to followers and superiors. Given that strategy implementation involves more than agreement on organizational goals, future research may explore links between other aspects of strategic implementation, such as resource allocation, communication strategies, marketing campaigns, organizational planning, and the leadership style of top management. Such activities may be more linked with transactional or contingent reward leadership (Waldman et al., 2001). 5.3. Implications for practice The above results highlight the role of transformational leadership in strategy implementation within an organization. Training and emphasizing transformational leadership may contribute to internal alignment and hence increased performance (Hrebiniak & Snow, 1982). Our results also suggest that midlevel managers play an essential role and hence should be more involved in strategy implementation. Effective dissemination of strategic information may facilitate knowledge management and organizational learning (Gillen, 2000 and Nonaka & Konno, 1998). For example, Robert H. Buckman, who is the CEO of Buckman Labs, states that the purpose of knowledge management in his company is to, “facilitate communication across all of the organization's boundaries, so that the entire company works together to help everyone to be the best they can be” (Buckman, 1998, p. 11). A practical extension to our work would involve examining the role of transformational leadership in the effective management of knowledge in organizations.