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Leadership orientation

Hausarbeit (Hauptseminar) 1999 18 Seiten

Pädagogik - Pädagogische Psychologie



Definition of Leadership
Human Development and Leadership
The Antecedents of Leading
The Antecedents of Following
Two forms of leadership
Utility of Charismatic leadership in Complex Organizations by Etzioni (1961)
Behavioral Dimensions of Charismatic Leadership
The relationship between managerial motivation, leadership, nurse outcomes and
patient satisfaction (McNeese-Smith, 1999)


Definition of Leadership

Human Development and Leadership

„I view leadership as a process that occurs within the minds of individuals who live in a culture - a process that entails the capacities to create stories, to understand and evaluate these stories, and to appreciate the struggle among stories. Ultimately, certain kinds of stories will typically become predominant - in particular, stories that provide an adequate and timely sense of identity for individuals who live within a community or institution. This focus on stories presupposes that some individuals can identify with these stories, and that various individuals feel included or excluded once these stories have spread.“ (Gardner, 1996). His point of view comes from a cognitive and a cultural approach. The question is what makes a person being a leader or a follower or maybe both?

Therefore Gardner mentioned four factors which are important in research on leadership/followership:

First is our „primate heritage“. The order of primates is organized into hierarchies with clear dominance relationships among ist members. Primates recognize individual members of their species from an early age, compete with one another for positions within the hierarchy, an ultimately assume specific relationships of dominance or submission to conspecifics. These processes are mostly found among men living on savannah. Beginning with the rough play of childhood and later, when they have to control the colony, protection of offspring, and their wives. We will find various primate species among females, too.

Dominant males exhibit characteristic patterns of neurotransmitters, these are substances that transmit nerve impulses across synapses, such as a gerater production of serotonin, and lower overall levels of stress, which their non-dominant species do not have.

Second factor is the „proclivity to imitate“. Imitation is almost always unidirectional, which means lower-status primates imitate the actions of higher-status conspecifics. For instance dominant youngsters control toys, initiate and organize games, and help to keep the group together; less-dominant children orient themselves with reference to the more dominant ones and spend much time with imitating the dominant ones. There is an expectation on social structure in leadership/followership. Size, strength, skill, intelligence, attractiveness, and gender all contribute to the determination of which organisms will occupy superior positions in the emerging social hierarchy. To understand the processes and phenomena of leadership one has to unterstand the early socialization of an individual, the sense of self and the group identification. It is very important how a person grow up. At the age of eighteen months, young children have already become aware that they exist as separate entities, when they begin to use names and labels as well as when they recognize their own appearance in the mirror. A strong bond of attachment between the child and the caretaker will influence the later life of the child in trust or mistrust others. The endproduct of these processes is an individual as part of a group; as a holder of certain beliefs,attitudes, and values; and a practitioner of certain behaviours. The leaders burden is to support others determining their personal, social, and moral identities.

The third factor is the „mind of the five-year-old child“. From early childhood, children have a keen interest in understanding the world about them - the physical objects, the biological objects, and the mind (mental objects like thoughts and dreams or one’s memories, one’s imagination). Even without formal instructions children develop powerful notions, for example they think that heavier objects fall more rapidly than lighter ones; that entities that move are alive, while those who do not, or cannot, move are dead; that all individuals have minds, but that individual share similar minds to the extent that they look alike, have the same name, or come from the same neighborhood. It is Piaget’s great work where we can find all these theories. Where he felt was in his assumtion that such misconceptions would necessarily dissolve. Even students who have taken courses in the formal disciplines continue to believe - in contrast to fact and teaching - that an object’s mass determines its acceleration; that evolution leads to an optimal species. There is only one group of persons who can change this beliefs. These are „experts“; just the physicists, biologists, and social analysts are able to relinquish our enduring theories of early childhood. Like they develop „theories of the world,“ children as well develop coherent notions about everyday activities and this proves crucial for an investigation of leadership. When an individual provides leadership for a group of experts in his chosen domain then he does it by virtue of his work, which means indirect leadership. But even when the leadership takes place through the direct and explicit communication of a message the leader will address the fellow members of the domain in a sophisticated way.

The fourth and last factor to the explication of leadership is called „The Attainment of Expertise in Domains“. The five-year-old has advanced as far as she can on the basis of information that is readily accessible to her senses and her motor systems, as well as the set of concepts and theories that are most readily acquired by members of our society, which means the formal education in the years following the first half-decade of life.

They do apprenticeship and are placed near „masters“ where they get example, practice, and occasional explicit testing, and eventually attain the traits and practices associated with one or more varieties of expertise. When they work comfortably and productively with teachers and masters, they are likely to identify with them, and to anticipate that one day they are experts themselves. A lot of individuals today have to deal with two contrasting presentations, sophisticated indirect leadership (like a particular science, art, or craft) and direct leadership (such as leadership of a political entity). One group of youngsters is singled out as potentially accomplished in school activities; these are the culturally gifted who are recognized by their teachers, identified by use of an intelligence or scholastic aptitude test. Other are identified because they have an extraordinary gift in a specific domain like music, chess, or mathematics. Another group is sensitive to the needs and interests of others or to their own personal configuration of talents, needs, aspirations, and fears, which is termed „personal intelligences“. These are children who become religious or military or political leaders like the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, or J.F. Kennedy the former President of the United States. After all, we have to understand, that we all interact with others from an early age, and we all develop some capability in appreciating the minds and motivations of other people.



ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
529 KB
Institution / Hochschule
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München – Pedagogic Psychology
1 (A)



Titel: Leadership orientation