Leadership theories and organizational culture

The topics of leadership and organizational culture have attracted considerable interest from both academics and practitioners. In modern World Leadership is taken as the most influencing factor of an Organization. Leaders are those people who make the organization move through definite path towards the success.

As the other topics in the field of Organizational Environment, there are numerous numbers of studies and very relative theories on Leadership.

The established study of Leadership includes.

  • Trait Theory
  • Group and Exchange Theory
  • Contingency Theory
  • Path-Goal

P1. Leadership Theories and models

Trait Theory

This theory is all about the traits present in a person. The main objective is to recognize those traits which can produce a good leader. As per the ancient scholars “The leaders are born not made”.

A theory called “The Great Person Theory” gave the right way to more realistic to the trait approach. This says that these traits are not totally in born but a mixture of nature and nurture means that the factors like Physiology, Society, and Economics have a great impact on the trait of a person which can make him a great leader.

Group and Exchange Theory

These theories have its root in social psychology. It says the leaders must have followers. And they must have some positive exchange between them i.e. Benefits, Rewards and Costs.

A recent study indicates that the leader and followers both affect each other in a great impact. Relevant to the Exchange view an approach are there, Leader-Member Exchange approach is in discussion, these says that Leader treats subordinate differently. In precise the both develop a dynamic relationship which affects the behavior of the both.

Contingency Theory

This can be treated as the extension of the trait theory which deals with the situational aspect of leadership. Numerous situational variables were identified but no solid theory could be formulated.

Fred Feeler test the hypothesis, he had formulated from the previous data findings. He develops a contingency model of leadership effectiveness. This contains the relationship between Leadership style and Favorableness of the situation.

There are some dimensions:

The Leader Member relationship.

The degree of the task structure.

The Leader’s position and power.

Source: www.scribd.com

As per this theory the trainers is taught to diagnosis the situation to change it at optimization leadership style which match the situation. Some of the ways are as follows:

Spending more informal time with the follower.

Discuss task structure with them.

Raise the position power

Path Goal Theory

This theory has been derived from the motivational theory. The path goal theory attempts to explain the impact of the leader behavior has on subordinate motivation, satisfaction and performance.

These are of four major types.

Directive Leadership

Participative Leadership

Achievement oriented Leadership

Using these for types on the situational factor the leader attempt to influence subordinate’s perception and motivation. In other word the leader attempts to make the path to the goal for the subordinate as smooth AS possible. But the leader must depend on the situational variables present.

We were been discussing the traditional theories there are some other theories which has immerged most recently:





Are some important of theories which are in discussion.


Max Weber the Sociologist described his charismatic authority as “resting on the devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordaised by him,”. Among the webaris tripartite classification of authority charismatic authority is one and has acquired wide usage within the sociologists.

This leadership is based on the leader’s ability to communicate and act in ways that reach group on a basis, touching way, to inspire and motivate. To identify the characteristic of a charismatic leader is difficult but this level of communicating is so powerful to touch the heart of followers emotionally. To be a charismatic leader its difficult and even impossible for some leaders but its true that charismatic character is not essential for being a effective leader. Hence to rely on charisma may be a problem, in succession.

Transformational Theory:-

“Transformational leadership can be defines as a leadership approach that engenders change in individuals and social systems.

It explores valuable and positive change in the group with the target of developing the followers in to leaders.

Through a variety of mechanism transformational leadership enhance motivation, morale and productivity of the followers by integrity the follower’s sense of identity to the objective of the organization. The theory was first implemented by James Mac in 1978 in his descriptive analysis on political leaders and now this theory had been given attention in organizational psychology.

“Burns described the theory as a process in which the leaders and followers help each other to advance to a higher level of morale and motivation,” He tried to described that the differentiation between management and leadership are due to character and behaviors. The theory is not based on give and take policy but target changes that are required within the organizational character. Individualized consideration and intellectual stimulation are the four elements of full range of leadership.

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This leadership style is one of power and despotism, same to a dictatorship. In the administration of a country this type of leadership is found mostly. Adolph Hitler is a historical example of the disadvantage cruelty of an autocratic leadership style.

An autocratic leader just order his followers and expect that they should obey his orders and dictation, This leadership style is suitable where the leader should take decisions in emergency, But this type of leadership style are breaking down now -a-days due to some rapid or environmental and organizational changes., While promoting fresh directions and is not connected with position, then in this case there is no better style than the autocratic in some time during emergency when the work should be done either by hook or crook and no other options are suitable.

Transactional Theory

This is a term that is used to inquire the interactions between the leaders and the followers of an organization. The leaders focus on a series of “transactions”. Here the leaders and followers exchange benefits in consequence of rewards and benefits to reach the company objectives.

The transactional leaders believe that people can be only motivated by reward or punishment. The targets are set by the leaders and throws to the followers and when the followers reaches the targets they are rewarded and for failure the followers are seriously punished. The leaders are so cruel that they set the targets but are not sure that the resource is available or not. In this type of leadership the reward and punishments are subject to performance of the follower. Taking in consideration of its limitations still this type of leadership is popular to some managers and mainly toward the management end of the scale. Transformational leadership is a selling style but transactional leadership is of telling style. Hence-

The transactional leaders must know how and by what to motivate their followers.

To ensure their followers that they properly understands the reward system and the way out of receiving the reward.

A consistent exercise of reward and punishment systems must be followed

Constructive feedback throughout the systems must be provided

Timely insurance of reward and recognition system.

Situational Leadership theory

This model is developed by Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard that relates four different leadership styles to the subordinate’s confidence and the ability to achieve their targets. Now a days most of the leadership programs suits for developing leadership styles within the followers with their strength and weaknesses. But the situational theory is not dictated by the leadership style of managers. Rather its idea is to be successful in the existing environment with the style that is suitable to achieve the objectives.

The successful managers are manager who make use of multiple leadership styles to cope up with the dynamic environment according to the desire of the organization. According to this theory the manager must decide which leadership is suitable for achieving the targets after the setting of goal. Style should change when it is required to lead the follower for goal achievements.

P2. Impact of leadership Styles with in the Organization

Importance of the Leadership-Performance Relationship

During the past four decades, the impact of leadership styles on organizational performance has been a topic of interest among academics and practitioners working in the area of leadership. The style of leadership adopted is considered by some researchers to be particularly important in achieving organizational goals, and in evoking performance among subordinates Despite the widespread recognition of the significance and value of leadership, when studying the leadership literature, it is remarkable that the concept of leadership lacks consistency and agreement. Most of the leadership literature confuses the definition of effective leadership by failing to make clear distinctions in some definitions, such as between leaders and non-leaders, effective and ineffective leaders, as well as overlooking the definition of the levels of leadership Further, there has been limited research that has specifically addressed the relationship between leadership behavior and organizational performance. Despite these oversights, it is widely believed that leadership creates the vital link between organizational effectiveness and people’s performance at an organizational level Substantial numbers of management scholars have debated the effectiveness of leadership styles and behaviors In addition, much prior research has examined the assumed leadership-performance relationship, but it has examined a restricted number of leadership paradigms. This implies that different leadership paradigms could affect performance differently, depending on the context. Thus, when researching the leadership-performance relationship, the context needs to be taken into account and more paradigms need to be considered. Moreover, there are methodological problems with most existing studies. The majority of field studies have been cross-sectional in design, and the common-method bias often has been a problem when performance has been Measured.

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Link between Leadership and Organizational Performance

Several reasons indicate that there should be a relationship between leadership and performance. The first reason relates to practice. Today’s intensive, dynamic markets feature innovation-based competition,

Price/performance rivalry, decreasing returns, and the creative destruction of existing competencies. Scholars and practitioners suggest that effective leadership behaviors can facilitate the improvement of performance when organizations face these new challenges Understanding the effects of leadership on performance is also important because leadership is viewed by

some researchers as one of the key driving forces for improving a firm’s performance. Effective leadership is seen as a potent source of management development and sustained competitive advantage for organizational performance improvement. For example, transactional

leadership helps organizations achieve their current objectives more efficiently by linking job performance to valued rewards and by ensuring employees have the resources needed to get the job done . Visionary

Leaders create a strategic vision of some future state, communicate that vision through framing and use of metaphor, model the vision by acting consistently, and build commitment towards the vision. Some scholars suggest that visionary leadership will result in high levels of cohesion, commitment, trust, motivation, and hence performance in the new organizational environments.

According to Mehra when some organizations seek efficient ways to enable them to outperform others, a longstanding approach is to focus on the effects of leadership. This is because team leaders are believed to play a pivotal role in shaping collective norms, helping teams cope with their environments, and coordinating collective action. This leader-centered perspective has provided valuable insights into the relationship between leadership and team performance. Some researchers have started to explore the strategic role of leadership, and investigate how to employ leadership paradigms and use leadership behavior to improve organizational performance. The reason for this is because intangible assets such as leadership styles, culture, skill and competence, and motivation are seen increasingly as key sources of strength in those firms that can combine people and processes and organizational performance. Previous research leads to the expectation that leadership paradigms will have direct effects on customer satisfaction, staff satisfaction, and financial performance. However, in general, the effects of leadership on organizational performance have not been well studied, according to House and Adyta’s review. House and Adyta (1997) criticized leadership studies for focusing excessively on superior-subordinate relationships to the exclusion of several other functions that leaders perform, and to the exclusion of organizational and environmental variables that are crucial to mediate the leadership-performance relationship. A further problem with existing leadership research is that the results depend on the level of analysis. House and Adyta (1997) distinguished micro-level research that focuses on the leader in

relation to his or her subordinates and immediate superiors, and macro-level research that focuses on the total organization and its environment. Other scholars also suggest that leaders and their leadership style influence both their subordinates and organizational outcomes.

Selection of Leadership development Initiatives

The models and competency frameworks detailed in the previous section are, in most cases, used as a basis for the development of leadership and management development provision within organizations as well as appraisal and performance review. It is beyond the scope of this report to offer a detailed review of the associated programmers and the range of leadership and management development initiatives available, however, we would like to introduce a number of approaches that we feel are particularly interesting in the manner in which they seek to develop the behaviors, skills and attitudes of leaders.

National and International Learning Experiences:

• Development Assignments (Lancaster University Management School)

• Transformational Thinking (Manchester University)

• Study Tour to Canada (King’s Fund)

• Duality Leadership Programmed (University of Birmingham)

Action Learning Sets (Nelson and Peddler)

Modular Programmes:

• Experienced Chief Executives Development Programmed (King’s Fund and Lancaster University Management School)

• Drive for Results (Manchester University)

Leadership programs at wipro

Wipro is the 1st PCMM level & SEICMM level certified global IT services organization. It is global one of the largest product engineering and service support service provider with product/service differentiation. The company delivers comprehensive research & development services, IT solutions, Information system outsourcing, and package implementation service world wide. the company is also having market share in niche market segment of clients product and lighting. Azim Premzi is the chairman of wipro technologies. Leadership qualities of premzi are based on the i10 model of leadership.

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P3. Assessment of the Leadership Style

Premji’s one of most achievements is creating sincerely management culture that is fruitful to work even under a high competitive pressure. Two core principles have been established that are instrumental in building proper structure of his leadership team at wipro:-

Within the organization the chairman is not the King, he should share authority and responsibility with his subordinates.

Believing in zero politic culture with hugging the honesty and openness of the subordinates.

P4. Future Requirement of leadership Program

For tracing wipro’s effort globally some steps are taken by the chairman- Azim Premji for the practice of leadership style:-

Defining the Leadership qualities within the organization is a biggest problem as it refers so many things to so many people. To be an aggressive team leader and in the same time to bring about harmony within the organization is really challenging, For this Eight leadership practices are identified at Wipro:-

Thinking Strategically

Orientation of the Customer

Commitment should be aggressive and trustworthy

Thinking and Acting globally

Crucial self confidence

Commitment to excellence in operations

Team working are an added advantage

Building future is a ladder to future growth of the company as well as the within culture.

Measurement of Leadership qualities in Global competitive context:- Wipro’s leader’s are integrated with global thinking and acting working in a team increase the motivating and bonding factor’s and hence increase in productivity.

P5. Proposal that are designed to meet specific requirement

Wipro’s Leadership qualities at a Glance:-

Leadership quality



Strategic Thinking

Focus was on the domestic player’s and only address was on local competitive forces

Now focus is on Global game, changes and competitor’s

Working in Team

Main focus was on face-to-face interactions and morale in location basis

But now the focus is on virtual teams that work asynchronously across date & time Zones.

Hence we can say that the company always studies the business environment for clues that have a direct impact of leadership strategies.

Composition of leadership for a Global organization:- Due to the Global presence of wipro it is difficult to manage cross cultural and multinational work forces for his reason wipro has infused its senior management with leaders from home nations itself. This ensures that these leaders are adapting in their own nations and can understand the business quickly.

Relevant Modification of the People Process:- The ongoing process of hiring, training & development, compensation, are affecting the operations of Global scale. For this the company has modified the people process have a complete vision of leadership. For this reason the recruitment team must be certified with a standard, trainings are conducted overseas to have engagement with the field force.

Development of Leadership Talent within the Wipro: – On a regular basis the employees are trained to develop leaders. Premji have initiated to create and explore development program adjacent to the lifecycle way of leadership development.

P6. Leadership development Program of Wipro

For horning the leadership capability five programs have been developed by Premji within the organization:-

Entry Level Program:- This is for the fresher’s (Entry level employee).

New leader’s Program: – For the 1st time manager’s this program are developed to make aware of teams building, situational leading and coaching each other.

Leader Program of Wipro: – This are for the manager of manager those are willing to manage the team directly.

Business Leader’s Program: – This are for General Manager’s covering the important attributes of finance and environmental scanning.

Strategic Leadership Program: – This is for chief executives for designing and developing strategies globally.

Lifecycle Leadership Program

Competency based performance appraisal

Objective Setting


WLO 360 degree

Early Opportunities

Meet your people Program

CSS customer output

HR Review & Planning

The Leadership Development Frame work of Wipro


Prior to the examination of associations between leadership style, organizational culture, and performance, a phase of data reduction was necessary. The construction of meaningful indices was initiated by the use of principal components analysis with Varian rotation. Factor analysis was deemed necessary since it was considered prudent statistically to ascertain whether the adopted measures of organizational culture and leadership style captured differing dimensions of culture and style. The principal components analysis of items pertaining to organizational culture and items relating to leadership style were conducted individually. It was not necessary to delete items from the analysis due to lack of variation or because of problems of interpretation. A clear case study of wipro is described at a glance to show the different situational leadership style that is being used in the organization for the proper team work and development of future leaders.

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