Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

Leader Subordinate Relationships

Leadership is considered valuable by subordinates, but leaders become an integral part of an organization only after proving their value to subordinates. How is this accomplished?

One of the key methods available to management is creating an overall sense of direction and purpose through effective strategic planning.

First, most employees have some idea about the performance of the organization and have some degree of understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for, and threats to their organization.

Next, each employee also has a concept of what the organization is presently doing.

Finally, employees are influenced by the organizational structure and leadership and develop a concept of what they should be doing to improve organizational performance and for their own self interest.

The challenge of leadership in an organization is to develop systems that bring these three perceptions in line or as close as possible.

A few important research studies indicate that subordinates may actually affect leaders as much as leaders affect subordinates. For example, one study found that when subordinates were not performing very well, the leaders tended the emphasize initiating structure, but when subordinates were doing a good job, leaders increased their emphasis on consideration.