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Book part
Publication date: 24 July 2020

Wayne A. Hochwarter, Ilias Kapoutsis, Samantha L. Jordan, Abdul Karim Khan and Mayowa Babalola

Persistent change has placed considerable pressure on organizations to keep up or fade into obscurity. Firms that remain viable, or even thrive, are staffed with…

Abstract

Persistent change has placed considerable pressure on organizations to keep up or fade into obscurity. Firms that remain viable, or even thrive, are staffed with decision-makers who capably steer organizations toward opportunities and away from threats. Accordingly, leadership development has never been more critical. In this chapter, the authors propose that leader development is an inherently dyadic process initiated to communicate formal and informal expectations. The authors focus on the informal component, in the form of organizational politics, as an element of leadership that is critical to employee and company success. The authors advocate that superiors represent the most salient information source for leader development, especially as it relates to political dynamics embedded in work systems. The authors discuss research associated with our conceptualization of dyadic political leader development (DPLD). Specifically, the authors develop DPLD by exploring its conceptual underpinnings as they relate to sensemaking, identity, and social learning theories. Once established, the authors provide a refined discussion of the construct, illustrating its scholarly mechanisms that better explain leader development processes and outcomes. The authors then expand research in the areas of political skill, political will, political knowledge, and political phronesis by embedding our conceptualization of DPLD into a political leadership model. The authors conclude by discussing methodological issues and avenues of future research stemming from the development of DPLD.

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Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-076-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2021

Rudolf Metz

This article aims to analyze possible interpretations of democratic leadership by revealing the implicit leadership theory (ILT) of a moral, a material and a political

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to analyze possible interpretations of democratic leadership by revealing the implicit leadership theory (ILT) of a moral, a material and a political ideal of democracy, namely deliberative–participatory democracy (DPD), aggregative–pluralist democracy (APD) and leader democracy (LD). As special “filters,” ILT helps the author to organize and compare conflicting premises and assumptions democratic theories hold about exemplary leadership and followership.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to reconstruct the possible meanings of ideal leadership (challenges and political knowledge) and the ideal followership (power relations, interactions and roles) portrayed by theories, the article sets a specific template for conceptual analysis.

Findings

The author argues that there is a contest over the meaning of democratic leadership. Political leaders use leadership fictions as political weapons to mobilize possible followers, legitimize their actions and discredit opponents. The article creates a heuristic typology providing a “plural” or nonessentialist reading of actual political situations and democratic practices.

Originality/value

The literature usually aims to find an absolute moral understanding of leadership fitted in democracy or to reconcile the idea of leadership with democracy. Extending J. Thomas Wren's approach, this article examines competing fictions of democratic leadership by blending leadership and democracy theories.

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International Journal of Public Leadership, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4929

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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2019

Jacob Torfing, Eva Sørensen and Tina Ollgaard Bentzen

The purpose of this paper is to study and assess the content, functioning and impact of institutional reforms aiming to enhance collective and holistic political leadership

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study and assess the content, functioning and impact of institutional reforms aiming to enhance collective and holistic political leadership at the level of local government.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conduct a comparative case study of two Danish frontrunner municipalities drawing on relevant documents and qualitative interviews with both elected politicians and public administrators.

Findings

The authors found that institutional design is effective in promoting collective and holistic political leadership at the local level, even if no formal design options are available and the municipalities have to invent their own designs. Support both from both councilors and administrators is paramount for successful implementation of local political leadership reforms.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the purposive selection of a limited number of cases, the findings cannot be generalized to the population from which the cases are drawn. However, other municipalities may learn from and become inspired by the positive impact of the new institutional designs on collective and holistic political leadership.

Practical implications

Whereas some institutional political leadership reforms aim to enhance the power of the mayor and other reforms aim to create a cabinet or a committee system, the reforms the authors are studying aim to create a space for local councilors to work together across party and sector lines in creating collective and holistic policy solutions. The study shows that it is crucial that local councilors are involved in cross-boundary agenda setting before developing policies in standing committees and endorsing them in the council assembly.

Social implications

There is a large amount of more or less wicked problems that require the formulation and implementation of innovative policy solutions, which, in turn, call for a clear and determined political leadership. However, local politicians typically suffer from decoupling and tunnel vision. The results show that these problems can be solved through new institutional designs that promote a more collective and holistic political leadership that can take the local community forward.

Originality/value

Few studies have hitherto addressed the need for institutional reforms enabling collective and holistic political leadership through both theoretical and empirical analyses, but that is exactly what the authors try to accomplish.

Details

International Journal of Public Leadership, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4929

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Article
Publication date: 25 November 2013

William A. Gentry, Jean B. Leslie, David C. Gilmore, B. Parker Ellen III, Gerald R. Ferris and Darren C. Treadway

Although individual difference variables are important in the prediction of leadership effectiveness, comparatively little empirical research has examined distal and…

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Abstract

Purpose

Although individual difference variables are important in the prediction of leadership effectiveness, comparatively little empirical research has examined distal and proximal traits/characteristics that help managers lead effectively in organizations. The aim of this paper is to extend previous research by examining whether and how specific distal, narrow personality traits and the more proximal characteristic of political skill are related to decisiveness, a specific competency of leadership effectiveness, as rated from direct reports and peers.

Design/methodology/approach

Self-report data on political skill and personality traits (i.e. perceptiveness and affability) from 225 practicing managers from the US, together with other-report (i.e. peer and subordinate) ratings of their leadership effectiveness (i.e. decisiveness) were used to test the mediating effects of political skill.

Findings

Results show that political skill (i.e. the social astuteness dimension) mediated the relationships between narrow personality traits and evaluations of leadership effectiveness as rated by some, but not other rater sources. Specifically, the social astuteness dimension of political skill mediated the relationship between perceptiveness and decisiveness ratings from direct reports but not for ratings from peers, and the full political skill composite measure mediated the relationship between affability and decisiveness ratings from peers but not for ratings from direct reports.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations include the availability of only two narrow personality traits, which constrained the scope of the possible mediation tests of all individual dimensions of political skill.

Practical implications

Political skill is shown to be a more proximal predictor of leadership effectiveness than personality dimensions. Thus, political skill should be considered over personality for emerging leaders. Further, differences in ratings due to source (i.e. peer and subordinate) indicate the need for organizational leaders to consider the source when evaluating effectiveness reports.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to integrate the Ferris et al. model of political skill and the Zaccaro et al. distal-proximal trait model of leadership effectiveness.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 April 2021

Alessandro Sancino

The paper discusses the evolution of leadership practices performed by local political leaders in the last decade (2009–2019, a period which we might call post-global…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper discusses the evolution of leadership practices performed by local political leaders in the last decade (2009–2019, a period which we might call post-global financial crisis and pre-COVID-19). It offers some new theoretical concepts to make sense of emerging contemporary public leadership practices, namely: leaders-hip hop; charismatic followership; and digital fabrication of charisma (digital charisma).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a single case study, and it relies on qualitative data coming from multiple sources and collected at different points of time, specifically interviews, participant and non-participant observations from an ethnography conducted in 2009; interviews conducted between 2019 and 2020, and an analysis of the posts made within one Facebook group between February and May 2016.

Findings

The paper focuses on three stories of local political leadership at three different points in time which describe three leadership practices: political managerialism; charismatic followership; and hands-on relational leadership. It highlights the importance of hands-on relational leadership through popular acts of leadership which are performed face to face and/or on social media and the shift in the dominant technologies of local political leadership from the logic of managerialism toward the logic of social media.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is focused on a limited temporal (2009–2019) and sociocultural context (North Italy). Findings are presented as three stories, although other ways of showing qualitative data could have been used.

Practical implications

Practical implications deal with the attempt to enable a reflexive view of local governance and public leadership attentive to soft and sociocultural variables. It is important to consider these implications for the purposes of training and learning.

Originality/value

The paper introduces new concepts to understand contemporary public leadership practices; it combines insights from a decentered theory of governance and collective theories of leadership; and it makes use of storytelling as a method for analyzing and reporting the findings.

Details

International Journal of Public Leadership, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4929

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Robyn L. Brouer, Chia-Yen (Chad) Chiu and Lei Wang

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between the sub-dimensions of political skill and transformational leadership, arguing that in a Chinese sample…

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1652

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between the sub-dimensions of political skill and transformational leadership, arguing that in a Chinese sample, social astuteness, networking ability, and interpersonal influence will have a stronger impact than apparent sincerity. Additionally, transformational leadership is argued to mediate the relationship between leader political skill and subordinate job performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a dyadic, cross-sectional design where all data were collected at a single point in time and supervisors were matched to their followers.

Findings

The results support that transformational leadership mediates the relationship between leader political skill and follower performance. Additionally, social astuteness was positively related to leader charisma, individualized consideration, and intellectual stimulation; whereas, interpersonal influence was related to leader charisma and intellectual stimulation. Apparent sincerity was not related to perceptions of transformational leadership.

Practical implications

The findings imply that the authors might be able to design more customized training to reduce the costs of leadership development programs. Specially, in China, focus should be paid to increasing social astuteness and interpersonal influence only.

Originality/value

This study is one of the few to examine the relationship between the sub-dimensions of political skill and transformational leadership. This is especially noteworthy in the context of the Chinese sample employed, as most political skill research has been done in western contexts.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Reginald G. Ugaddan and Sung Min Park

The purpose of this paper is to examine salient mechanism by which the quality of political and administrative leadership might influence employee engagement in public…

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3650

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine salient mechanism by which the quality of political and administrative leadership might influence employee engagement in public sector organizations through public service motivation (PSM). Specifically, the purpose of the paper is twofold. First, the psychological outcomes of quality of leadership perceptions among public employees are identified. Second, how PSM mediates the influence of leadership quality perceptions on employee engagement is examined.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses the US Merit System and Protection Board’s (MSPB) 2010 Merit Principles Survey. To establish the distinctive validity of the constructs, the authors performed exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis for latent variables, and subsequently conducted validity and reliability analyses. The authors performed a structural equation model to determine relationship between quality of political and administrative leadership, PSM, and employee engagement.

Findings

The results reveal that the quality of political and administrative leadership is positively related to PSM and employee engagement. This study also confirmed the mediating role of PSM on the relationship between the quality of political and administrative leadership.

Originality/value

The paper expands the literature through studies that may discover critical mechanisms that are of significance in enhancing employee engagement such as quality of leadership depicted in political and administrative leaders and PSM. While previous studies have extensively explored several antecedents of employee engagement, research focusing on the role of quality in public sector leadership and PSM remains limited.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Book part
Publication date: 28 August 2015

Jonathan Spangler

International relations and security studies suffer from an inadequate understanding of established theories in organizational leadership and management studies. This…

Abstract

International relations and security studies suffer from an inadequate understanding of established theories in organizational leadership and management studies. This chapter contributes to these disciplines by drawing upon such models to analyze the changes in political leadership approaches of China and the United States in their interactions over maritime territorial disputes in the South China Sea (SCS). Using the transactional–transformational and directive–participative leadership paradigms as its foundation, the analysis argues (1) that contextual factors unique to the each country shape its political leadership styles and (2) the leadership styles within each case study have changed dramatically over the past decades in terms of their rhetoric and policies for managing the SCS disputes. Empirical evidence is based on the policies, leaders’ statements, and official documents of China, a claimant to SCS maritime territory, and the United States, an influential stakeholder in the disputes. In the two case studies, the chapter discusses the implications of the changing leadership styles for the understanding of political interaction in the region and the future of the SCS disputes.

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Abstract

Details

Women in Leadership 2nd Edition
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-064-8

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Jennifer Mencl, Andrew J. Wefald and Kyle W. van Ittersum

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of interpersonal skills (emotional and political skills) and work engagement on transformational leadership and leader…

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13266

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of interpersonal skills (emotional and political skills) and work engagement on transformational leadership and leader well-being at work.

Design/methodology/approach

Emotional control, emotional sensitivity, political skills, work engagement, transformational leadership behaviors, and job satisfaction were assessed in an empirical study of 278 employees. The relationships between emotional skills, political skills, work engagement, and transformational leadership were evaluated using participants in managerial positions (n=159). The combined influence of interpersonal skills and work engagement on job satisfaction was examined as a comparison between managers and non-managers (n=119).

Findings

In addition to the positive effects of work engagement on outcome measures, results showed political skill is an important capability contributing to transformational leadership and leaders’ job satisfaction. Findings also showed the interaction of emotional skill, political skill, and work engagement contributed to job satisfaction among managers.

Practical implications

Organizations must provide managers with opportunities to develop political skills or modify selection processes to identify candidates who possess political skills for management positions. Organizations will also benefit from implementing ways to engage managers in their work to facilitate transformational leader behaviors and promote their well-being. In addition, organizations can work to identify and develop managers’ emotional control and sensitivity skills specific to individual needs.

Originality/value

Research investigating personal attributes that influence transformational leadership as an outcome is limited. This study contributes to the leadership literature and sheds light on the literature on the microfoundations of management competencies by examining managers’ skills and engagement on their leader behaviors and job satisfaction. Insights are discovered regarding the combination of emotional skills, political skills, and work engagement that indicate interpersonal skills and engagement have supplementary effects on transformational leader behaviors and leader well-being.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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