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Both the culture and the structure of organisation reflect the leadership style of organisation


Hi all. I am new here and will appreciated your help and expertise. I need to write a paper for the above subject. I have some ideas but somehow i am stuck with these ideas and don't know in which direction to move. The ideas are:
1. Effective leadership style is the syle where leader considers the importnace of HRM function and with it expertise motivates and leads people to the achievement of the firm objectives.
2. The Leader must review and change organisational structure according to its lifecycle and environment.
3. The leader has influence on organisational culture and he is responsible to change it, if the culture becomes dysfunctional.

These are brief ideas which i have for the paper. Could anyone suggest something else? Thanks a lot.
Natalia Kissina

4 Responses

  1. Organisational structure, leadership etc.
    Is this an academic paper, a paper to your director or some other sort? I think what and how you say it depends very much on the purpose and who it is for.
    However, generalising, I’d say that effective leadership needs to be driven by the desired future state of the organisation. the style and tactics will be influenced by the history, culture, people, functions, the leader’s own skills and values, the business outcomes, market conditions…and so on.
    Once you know what you aim to achieve – from business goals to organisational climate – then you can look at your role as a (transformational) leader of change.
    There is alot being done at the moment around organisation design. But I do have concerns about those leaders who jump to restructuring and think that means change. Restructing may be necessary as a consequence of change but there is much more to it than that. The environment will influence the structure but so will many other things. I don’t subscribe to the view that organisations have life-cycles – or at least not ones that you can usefully identify for structuring purposes.
    The leader certainly is one of the main influences on culture. But this is influence not control. Talk to any CEO and he/she will tell you how hard it is for them to change culture.
    To go back to the title of your message, I think that the culture and structure of an organisation is both a reflection and an influence on the leadership styles you will see with in it. If you compare a typical police force with an advertising agency you will see how these things play out differently. But, arguably, all these factors are a product of the organisation’s history, core purpose and social context.
    For breadth of coverage on this and much more I’d suggest ‘Management and Organisational Behaviour’ by Mullins. If you are writing an academic piece then go back to the precise title of the assignment and search on that.
    Best of luck

  2. Academic paper in leadership, company’s structure and culture.
    Dear Graham,

    Thank you very much for your comments.

    This is an academic paper and probably this is the main reason which does not allow me to move forward. First it seemed to me that without doubt structure and culture reflect the leadership style of organisation. From other hand it is not because culture is something that forms through time and everyone in the organisation contribute to it. Organisational structure on the other hand must be in place for the achievement of company objectives, so i would say that the structure should probably reflect the objectives rather than leadership style. Finally, the leader must be an agent for change and initiator of change in company’s culture or in structure if this changes required. But then again if Leader is the one who will initiate change than the answer to my question is Yes – both the culture and the strcuture of the company reflect the leadership style, isn’t it?
    I would really appreciate if you could comment on the above, because obviously you have a deep understanidng of the subject. Thank you.

  3. “Chicken and Egg”
    Hullo Natalia – I think there’s a bit of a “chicken and egg” situation here. On the one hand the predominant leadership style will be shaped by structure and culture. But at the same time the structure and culture will be heavily influenced by the leadership style.
    Of course this will depend on how long the “leader” has been in post, whether or not they are trying to change things, if so how much change have they so far been able to bring about?. Also the leadership style that predominates throughout the organisation is not entirely in the hands of “the leader” – many others are involved, both now and in the past –history and tradition will live on to a greater or lesser extent, as many “leaders” have discovered when they wanted to change things.
    I think that it is often said that the structure should be related to objectives – “form follows function” – but again in practice this may not be as simple as it sounds. As well as meeting objectives there is the issue as to “how” we meet them – what values and mental models about people/resources/environment are we espousing and living?

    In rather general terms we work with a threefold framework of culture, namely:
    Culture 1: Authority-based – the authority and leadership of seniority and/or professional expertise

    Culture 2: Improvement based – gaining commitment – of employees and citizens – to the
    purpose, vision and mission of senior managers

    Culture 3: Engagement-based – managers, employees, citizens and other stakeholders work together on deciding purposes and priorities

    I have some slides that go into this in a bit more detail if you are interested

  4. Slides
    Dear Tom,

    Thank you very much for the comments. I appreciate your input and will be very interested to see the slides that you mentioned. If you could please email me to nkissina at starline dot ee

    Thank you very much!


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