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Leadership in including psychology all actions by supervisors aimed at cooperation , coordination and communication of all members of an organization act. In humane ethics, it is the justified attempt by a manager to steer and guide one's own and other people's actions with suitable leadership techniques in order to realize an idea of ​​the leadership goals. Leadership is a method to motivate “guided” people for the set goals and to take them along on the path to achieving the goals, for mutual success . The leadership process is a "constant accompaniment" of those being led. As Guided under the able individual guidance individual persons , but also groups of people are called. The more specific term team leadership is also used for working groups and school groups . If management refers to the entirety of all employees, then we speak of personnel management or employee management. These forms of leadership are referred to as "leadership" in the English-speaking world.

Leadership takes place against the background of different social contexts such as family , school , university , politics , economy , military and sport inside or outside an institution or organization . Leadership is considered mandatory in the military, due to the special objective of enforcing goals by force when there is an acute threat. At the same time, the military leadership is moderated by modern knowledge of leadership and by knowledge of the effectiveness of motivation. The leader principle , which was heavily strained in the 20th century , has been replaced in principle everywhere else since the middle of the century because of its implicit claim to absolute power in society.

In modern industrial society, the management principle of an organization is in the foreground. It introduces the person of the leader as a (preliminary) knowledge, (initial) task and (accompanying) motivation mediating member of a group with defined decision-making power. Depending on the intellectual and social competence of the manager, the prominent position in the self-image of the manager or also in the understanding of the “group” or “staff” changes from the manager to the manager.

The management task is particularly important in the consistent application of humane ethics . Leadership is not only based on the factual leadership of a group and its maxims of action, but also on the exemplary leadership of the leader himself and the leadership of the people she leads according to ethical guidelines. From this, the leader of the people gains a legitimation which consequently not only tolerates leading influence on the actions of the group members in the sense of an ethical norm, but also authorizes them on the basis of ethical authority . In this context, leadership also means leadership , power and role model function .

In world history there are also other views on the legitimation of leadership. In a Fascist worldview, the leadership was founded in "Providence". In Stalinism , the leadership sees itself as a legitimate leadership elite and the anarchists totally reject the rule of self-appointed elites.

Justification of leadership

The attribution theory of psychology provides explanatory models for recurring strategies of the simplistic description of complex social relationships in industry and society. The anthropological attempt at justification claims that

  1. People need to be led and that
  2. People want to be led.

This first reason excludes people who do not want to be guided and also express themselves in this way. It is overlooked that individual self-determination in no way implies striving or even having to strive for a higher-value goal declared by third parties.

The second attempt to explain the origin of the leadership phenomenon is of a functional nature. It is initially assumed that many problem solutions require joint action. In the context of such an interaction , however, a need for coordination arises , which increases with the number of people involved in solving problems together. In addition to the possibility of cooperation by coordinating actions with discussion and finding consensus , “leadership” is an option for coping with the given coordination needs. The functional justification attempt consists in the leadership from a given coordination need of people in the context of joint problem-solving attempts. However, the differentiation of the theory of motivation in leadership and leadership is overlooked.

Acceptance of leadership

A more precise understanding of leadership is of central importance, especially when it comes to leading people in organizations. Leadership is different from a leadership role . The supervisor (or head) has rights and obligations solely through his position in contrast to a manager. This requires recognition and acceptance by those being led. Leadership is only given if the leader's attempt to influence those to be influenced is accepted by them and is reflected in their behavior. Leadership is not the attempt to influence itself, but must be expressed as an "accepted attempt to influence" in the behavior of those to be influenced.

Only the criterion of recognition and acceptance enables the distinction between a supervisor (headship) and a manager (leadership). Any person can formally be the superior of another person, but does not necessarily have to be accepted as a leader. The acceptance can result from a corresponding charisma or be worked out through performance.

Leadership theories

Leadership is one of the most discussed topics in business and social science literature. In the last few years a lot of work on leadership research has been carried out in different disciplines. At the same time, when looking through the leadership literature, it becomes clear that it is difficult to consistently grasp the content of leadership. Leadership is a “multifactorial” event which can be understood by starting with various factors: manager, led, tasks, organization, environment. In order to be able to process these complex interrelationships appropriately, various leadership theories have been developed in leadership research. Taking into account the theory definition of the philosophy of science , leadership approaches should be spoken of. A distinction must be made between the following management approaches , which are clearly and comprehensibly presented in the comprehensive works by Neuberger, Staehle , Weibler and Wunderer:

Property approach,

which, as the historically oldest explanatory approach of leadership, puts the personality of the leader and his characteristics in the foreground. This approach assumes that the leadership success above all the qualifications and commitment of the leadership are crucial. For example, Stogdill has evaluated over a hundred studies to identify leadership qualities, intelligence , expertise, activity, self-confidence, motivation. Leadership is primarily reduced to the person of the leader and their characteristics and skills.

Creativity is also important for leadership. According to a meta-analysis of 27 studies with a total of more than 47,000 people, the ability to think divergent correlates with performance and success in the field of leadership.

Behavioral approach,

who particularly deals with leadership styles . While Robert Tannenbaum and Warren H. Schmidt contrast the authoritarian and cooperative leadership style ( leadership continuum ), Blake and Mouton consider the person-oriented and task-oriented style. Hersey and Blanchard describe the type of leadership style as a function of the maturity of the person being led. These authors relate the maturity of the person to be led and the behavior of the manager to task and employee-related leadership styles.

Situation approach,

where the type of tour depends on the particular situation. In the context of the contingency theory , Fiedler brings the high or low positional power of the leader, the good or bad relationship between manager and employee and the task structure (structured or unstructured) in direct relation to one another. Depending on the favorable or unfavorable situation, the appropriate situational leadership style results, which is either task-oriented or person-oriented. A further development of Fiedler's approach is the theory of situational leadership according to Hersey and Blanchard.

Interaction approach,

which aims at the interactions of all those involved in the management process and was discussed in particular in the German-speaking area, such as Lukascyk and Macharzina. This approach highlights the leader's personality structure, group members, the group as a whole, and the specific situation. The factors mentioned are in an interactive relationship to one another, i. i.e., they influence each other.

Systemic leadership

As a management approach, it not only examines the interactions between managers and employees, but also takes into account the interactions between employees, colleagues and customers or with suppliers in order to enable a better understanding of the many dimensions of leadership. The manager is just one of the many contextual factors that affect those who are led. The systemic leadership approach developed by Daniel F. Pinnow builds on the findings of more recent systems theory, especially those of Niklas Luhmann . Above all, the processes of self-organization are emphasized, which appear alongside the order consciously created by “substantial organization”. The approach is based on the assumption that the structures and cultures that have arisen in organizations are too complex and elude traditional control concepts (cause-effect relationships). In contrast to this, social systems are networks of actions, effects and consequential effects with diverse feedback loops and taking self-reinforcing mechanisms into account. Systemic leadership is therefore a concept of the actions of the executives taking into account the importance of structural and cultural leadership. It is important that systemic thinking expands and supplements the tools of a manager - and does not replace them! Based on their personality and competence, systemic managers set development processes in motion, improve structures and relationships. This has a positive effect on communication, blockages are broken down and thus more efficient work is possible.

Personal system approach,

which is based on the knowledge of cybernetics or systems theory . In the system-related human management approach ( Horst-Joachim Rahn ), a manager (controller), using management instruments as control variables ( management styles , management techniques and management tools) and taking into account the management situation ( influencing variable ) and the management objectives (command variable), influences the person being led (controlled system) that the management success (control variable) can occur. The individual system components not only influence each other, but the input factors, as elements of the management process, are geared towards the joint success to be striven for between the leader and the leader.

Management functions

Management differs from leadership in that tasks can also be completed without actual leadership. Leadership without the conscious consent of the led is manipulation .

Leadership is a responsible job. Management errors can cause damage to the company and the employees concerned. Evidence of bad leadership is difficult to provide, especially when failed leaders evade analysis. Especially if it is not clear what would have been possible with other actions.

In general, leadership always takes place against the background of the given conditions of the environment, which can be described as a leadership situation. Organizational leadership takes place in the context of organization , business administration , business education and organizational psychology . Leadership is the intended and goal-oriented influencing of the behavior of employees in order to achieve the goals of a company. Leadership is methodically considered, planned and controlled exertion of influence on others and their future competence development , while at the same time legitimizing the leading interests. A distinction must be made between leadership and management.

Leadership has one

Line, however, has a weaker one

  • Coordination function for the causal, final and temporal connection of the contribution work of individuals
  • Organizational function for the causal, final and temporal order of the contribution potential of individuals.

Leadership can be based on the task, on the people being led, or a mixture of both. There are various leadership styles and models for this .

Leadership styles

The leadership style describes how executives deal with those they lead. It is a management tool that shows the basic attitude with which leaders influence those who are to be led. The leadership itself and the way it is implemented has an impact on the different characteristics of an organization, institution or company.

For example, different leadership styles have different degrees of influence on employee job satisfaction, according to a meta-analysis from 318 empirical studies with a total of over 148,000 people. Out of 14 leadership styles examined, the relationship between leadership and job satisfaction was highest for servant leadership (r = 0.73) and authentic leadership (r = 0.53).

Another meta-analysis of 270 studies with a total of over 101,000 people examined the relationship between leadership and organizational performance / effectiveness. Of 16 leadership styles examined, the relationship between leadership and organizational performance was highest for safety leadership (r = 0.72), ethical leadership (r = 0.70) and shared leadership (r = 0.51).

Other leadership styles are:

  • autocratic (without taking subordinates into account),
  • authoritarian (obedience relationship),
  • bureaucratic (basis: objectification, regulations, competencies),
  • charismatic (leading according to obedience, but more like a fatherly command)
  • democratic (strong participation of subordinates),
  • group-oriented (involving the whole group: team leadership ),
  • individualistic (respectful promotion of the individual employee in the sense of good cooperation)
  • cooperative (treatment of subordinates as employees),
  • participatory (leadership based on models, which allows employees to participate in business decisions according to their capabilities). With the participatory management style , the manager involves their employees in the process. This has the advantages that those being led are motivated and show more independence at work. The disadvantage is that the speed of decision-making may be delayed by lengthy discussions.
  • personality-oriented leadership (further development of situational leadership based on the factor of the personality of the individual employee),
  • laissez-faire (strong freedom of behavior for the subordinates),
  • direction-oriented leadership ( task orientation or employee orientation),
  • meaningful leadership ( leadership strongly oriented towards value and context of meaning),
  • Situational leadership (adapting leadership to the difficulty of the task and the level of maturity of the individual employee).
  • Transformational leadership (bringing about change processes in behavior and awareness)

In recent years, there has been increasing discussion of charismatic, transformational or visionary leadership .

Other types of leadership

In addition to leadership , the following types of leadership can be distinguished:

Corporate governance

as the goal-oriented design, control and development of a company (according to Bleicher ), which is carried out by a company manager who acts as an entrepreneur or top manager . If the management is exercised by a department head, this can be referred to as area management. In the English-speaking world, top or middle management is spoken here.

way of life

of a person as the way in which he comes to terms with his personal life , which is shown in how he masters his own existence. It can be interpreted as a process.

Management of animals

through people as the targeted influencing, design, control and development of certain living beings, for example the management of horses or dogs.

Leadership in mechanics

as the sum of certain forces and in technology as part of a machine that keeps a component or workpiece on a straight movement, namely the linear guide.

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Guidance  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

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  2. ^ O. Neuberger: Lead and let lead . 6th edition Stuttgart 2002, foreword
  3. J. Weibler: Personnel management . 3rd edition, Munich 2016
  4. ^ H. Laufer: Basics of successful leadership . 6th edition Speyer 2009
  5. LvRosenstiel: Fundamentals of organizational psychology . 6th edition Stuttgart 2007
  6. RJ Gerrik, PG Zimbardo: Psychology . 18th edition Munich 2008, p. 637 f.
  7. ^ H. Albert: Theories in the social sciences . In: H. Albert (Ed.): Theory and Reality . 2nd ed. Tübingen 1992, pp. 3-25
  8. R. Wunderer: Leadership and Cooperation . 8th edition, Stuttgart 2009, Chapter D
  9. ^ WH Staehle: Management . 8th edition, Munich 1999, p. 347 ff.
  10. ^ HJ Drumm: Personalwirtschaft . 6th edition, Berlin / Heidelberg 2008, p. 427 f.
  11. G. Schanz: Personalwirtschaftslehre . 3rd edition, Munich 2000, p. 661
  12. KYUNG HEE KIM: Meta-Analyzes of the Relationship of Creative Achievement to Both IQ and Divergent Thinking Test Scores . In: The Journal of Creative Behavior . tape 42 , no. 2 , June 2008, ISSN  0022-0175 , p. 106–130 , doi : 10.1002 / j.2162-6057.2008.tb01290.x ( wiley.com [accessed July 31, 2018]).
  13. ^ AB Weinert: Organizational and Personal Psychology . 5th edition, Weinheim / Basel 2004, p. 505
  14. ^ AB Weinert: Organizational and Personal Psychology . 5th edition, Weinheim / Basel 2004, p. 484 f.
  15. ^ HJ Drumm: Personalwirtschaft . 6th edition, Berlin / Heidelberg 2008, p. 421 ff.
  16. ^ P. Hersey: Situational Leadership . Landsberg 1986
  17. ^ K. Macharzina, J. Wolf: Corporate management . 5th edition, Wiesbaden 2005
  18. DF Pinnow: Leadership: What really matters . 3rd edition, Wiesbaden 2008
  19. ^ HJ Rahn: Compact personnel management. A system-oriented approach . Munich / Vienna 2008
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