Leadership, HR Management

Leading groups and teams

Although leadership is discussed in detail in a following unit, we will briefly touch upon issues here that are specific to teams: leadership functions idiosyncratic to teams, the delicate balance between control and autonomy, and being fair to all team members. According to Burke et al. (2006, p. 289) a leader performs four functions that contribute to team effectiveness:

For Katzenbach and Smith (1993) the main challenge of a leader is to give the team as much control as they are ready to handle, without either commanding them in a hierarchical manner or abandoning all decision-making responsibility to them. This is a difficult balancing act in which the leader must take calculated risks. Too much command will stifle the development of mutual accountability and synergy within the team. Too little guidance will leave the team to disintegrate into a collection of individuals.

Another way in which the leader could influence group dynamics is the perceived fairness and equity of his/her actions. Effective leaders vary their leadership style when interacting with different members of the group. However, if these variations in leadership style are seen as inequitable, for example if one group member gets too much of the leader's time, problems can arise. Treating group members unfairly (even if it is only a perceived unfairness) could create conflict as people fight for the attention of the leader or resent what other people seem to be getting.

Posted Date: 4/24/2013 2:20:49 AM | Location : United States

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