Self-assessment process Paper
In the modern context, women are obviously gaining the world’s tolerance to their desire for leadership. This is evident in the areas of business and politics, in arts and sports and even in the Defense Ministry where women pilots and women soldiers and policemen are now recruited and being allowed to serve. However we cannot deny the fact that there are areas where men’s skills and capacities are dominant while women are up in other areas.
This is due to the biological facts that men are physically stronger than men and that there are specific areas of interest common to men only and vice versa. Gender bias is therefore normal in some situations. In the study conducted by Kent and Mass on Leadership and the Role of Gender (Kent, Russell L. and Sherry E. Mass), they found that gender or sex still matter when it comes to leadership issues.
Their research found that there are three implication of having men and women the same chances of leadership emergence: (1) masculinity is still an important predictor of leadership emergence, (2) emergence of female leaders suggests that feminine characteristics does not decrease women’s chance of emerging as leaders, (3) women have better chances of leadership emergence in certain contexts if they if they exhibit androgynous characteristics rather that masculine (Russell and Kent, p. 97).
The results are obvious in specific fields like for example in the military where men are more likely to have better physical endurance than women and therefore it has to be led by men. In other fields like in the field of education where there are more women teachers than men, it can be rationalized that women can lead better than men since handling children are at stake here. With all other factors such as the population of women and men in certain context or situation, the researchers concluded that self-perception and group perception of gender roles are important factors of leadership emergence (Russell and Mass p. 98).
The author also stressed that it is gender role that matters and not the sex. This means that perception of leadership does not rely on being women and men but the role they are to play as leaders. The difference in leadership styles also plays a big role in assessing leadership emergence. Eagly and Johnson assert that there are several reasons to expect the difference in leadership styles of men and women (Eagly, Alice H. and Blair T. Johnson, pg. 101). Eagly and Blair specifically mentioned biological personality traits that somehow affect the leadership styles of men and women including childhood experience of group plays (p.
102). From here we can extract the role of self-perception in the self-assessment process. Based on Kent and Mass’ research, self-perception of leadership is congruent with group perception (p. 98). This gave us the idea that the perceived leaders by the group also think of themselves as leaders. The desire to lead must therefore be backed with an assessment of the leader’s ability to take the role they are required to play. The question is therefore whether the leader can play the role well, regardless of his being a male or female.
Therefore, before deciding in what field one has to engage into, men and women need to assess their own skills and capacities including their knowledge and interest in the area in order to be effective. To emerge as leaders, it is important that leaders also consider the group perception because it is in the group perception that compliance and commitment to the objective of the group initially rely. Women as commanders in the military may seem weird in the perception of the whole group and therefore commitment to the new rules and regulations and the projects implemented may not be taken as seriously as when men are leaders.
This however does not mean that such perceptions will remain the same for all times. Remember that women are previously perceived as non-leaders in history but as time passed by and these women were gives the opportunity to lead, they have proven their worth. Therefore group perceptions of leadership changes overtime and maybe affected by the factors of development and technology including education. In conclusion this writer prefers to borrow Baril and others’ conclusion that “effectiveness of managers depends on the way masculinity and femininity are integrated and displayed, the social climate and other factors” (Baril, Galen L.
et. al, pp. 117-118). Essay# 2: Self-Monitoring Self-monitoring refers to the ability and the willingness to read verbal and non-verbal social cues and alter one’s behavior accordingly (Snyder, 1979 cited in Dobbins, Gregory et. al. ). Dobbins and others described High Self-Monitors (HSMs) as “adept both at reading social cues and at regulating their self-presentation to fit a particular situation” (Dobbins, Gregory et. al. , p. 134). On the other hand, Low Self-Monitors (LSMs) “lacks the ability and the motivation to regulated self-presentation.
” Based on these descriptions we can say that HSMs are more likely to become better leaders that the LSMs since HSMs has the ability and motivation to read social cues which is important in group leadership. Because HSMs also can regulate self-presentation they are more likely to perceived as leaders and therefore has the better change of leadership emergence. Although leadership perceptions by subordinates do not have a guarantee of accuracy, such perceptions are importance in compliance and commitment in tasks being asked to them.
Because HSMs can regulated their display of emotions in different situations, their behaviors as leaders are dependent of situations wherein in the leader acts according to the demand of the situation and not according to how he genuinely feels. At some point, this type of behavior maybe beneficial for both the leader and the organizations especially in situations where displaying annoyance and anger cannot help solve a problem.
For example when a customer in restaurant expressed his dissatisfaction on the service of one crew, handling customer complaint may help HSMs solve the problem. Even if the customer is wrong, holding back anger and annoyance by the manager towards the customer may help ease the situation, let the customer calm which may just be worsen when the manager displays his true feelings. On the other hand, being HSMs especially within the organizational set up may not help the organization to bring the desired results especially in conflict resolution.
For example hiding the true feelings of annoyance towards an employees repeated mistakes in his job may be make the leader appear lax and tolerant of errors. In contrast, LSMs who do not have the capacity and the ability to regulate self-presentation maybe ineffective in handling customer complaint and in handling black sheep in the organization. Because they lack the sensitivity in reading social cues, LSMs may not become emergent leaders as they lack the ability to act properly according to the need of the situation.
Relative to self-perception and self-assessment, it is important that a leader be able to develop way of making traits inventory, by making an assessment which traits are proper in certain situations and what are not. Failure to accurately assess such abilities may do harm to the organization as with assuming to take the responsibility of handling stressful situations when in fact his traits does not match the need of the situation and his inability to control self-presentation makes the situation worse. Leaders who are HSMs and LSMs need both improvements as they may both harm the organization where they belong.
It is however recognized that is still the need of more studies and researchers relative to the leadership effects of self-monitoring in order to fully understand how such personalities can affect the organization and leadership of individuals possessing them. Essay #3: Influence Tactics Influence tactics are being used by managers and even other members of the organization in order to acquire the desired compliance to a certain task requests. For managers, success in influencing people and developing their commitment to task objectives are determinant of their effectiveness (Yukl, Gary 1989 cited in Yukl, Gary and J.
Bruce Tracey, p. 153). But in order to exercise influence an individual must first attain leadership of which emergence as leader of the group depends on the perception of the subordinates. Such leadership emergence is determined by the group members’ perception that the leader is competent enough to lead and primarily that he is a member of the group (Hollander, E. P. p. 126). It is however important to note that influence tactics do not only involve downward direction of influence but also upward and lateral direction of influence.
Studies show that influence tactic’s effectiveness can be measured on through the results of performance appraisals as being done by Kipnis and Schmidt (1988 cited in Yukl, Gary and J. Bruce Tracey). In Yukl and Tracey’s model of Influence Tactics, there appears to be nine currently used tactics wherein rational persuasion was assumed to be the most socially desirable tactic while pressure tactic at the bottom of the list (Table 1, p. 154). These influence tactics are regarded as separate and distinct which means that there can only be one in the list that are generally used by one manager (Yukl and Tracey, p.
158). The authors’ own research found the following: (1) consultation, inspirational appeal and rational persuasion were moderately effective regardless of direction, (2) pressure, coalition and legitimating tactics are ineffective, (3) ingratiation and exchange were moderately effective for the downward and lateral direction of influence but are ineffective in the upward direction and (4) personal appeals are moderately effective for downward and lateral direction of influence but results are hard for the authors to interpret (Yukl and Tracey, p.
159). The research concluded that rational persuasion, regardless of direction was the best predictor of effectiveness ratings (pp. 159-160). Using the table of Influence Tactics, we can say that rational perception, although proven effective, require a logical persuasive skills that are developed by experience, backed up with knowledge and maybe such innate factor of making things persuasive. If request for compliance to a certain task is well backed up with the clear and factual objectives, target possibly can possibly see no reason to comply.
For example, using downward direction (Manager to subordinates), a manager can effectively persuade his subordinates that the idea of having extended weekday working hours will save them from other expenses compared to the regular eight-hour weekdays with four hours during Saturdays. Logical presentation of the details of such argument may effectively persuade the subordinates to accept the idea and comply with commitment. In comparison, if the manager uses the pressure tactic wherein demands and threats are employed, it cannot possible encourage subordinates to comply and commit.
Relative to self-assessment, it is important that a manager, in this context reflect on the tactic that he employs to influence his subordinates. It is important that a manager objectively look into the effects of such tactic on the personality and performance of his subordinates. For example, despite the pressure that a manager inflicts with his subordinates, the volume of finished goods rejection is still high based on the company’s quality control standards. Managers should critically look into how pressure affects the performance of the employees and ask him if pressure positively or negatively affect them.
Using upward direction of influence, subordinates may also employ pressure tactics by persistent reminders that instead of positively influencing the decision of the manager towards the request it will most likely irritate the manager and feel that he is not given enough time that he requires to decide. Performance appraisal results are therefore tools in self-reflection and in the self-assessment process. Regardless of direction, performance appraisals give a general idea if an influence tactic has to be changed or to be retained.
What is important is to gain commitment from both managers and their subordinates in order to make the goals easier to achieve. Finally, Hollander found that “the task-competent follower who conforms to the common expectancies of the group may emerge as a leader while the leader who fails to fulfill the expectancies will lose credit and will be replaced” (Hollander, E. P. p. 128). Essay #4: Personal Power Profile Power in the context of leadership should not be misunderstood as the common interpretation of power as “dirty” and “bias” as with political power of leader being used to degrade others.
Power is simply the “ability to get things done the way one wants them to be done” (Salincik, Gerald A. and Jeffrey Pfeffer, p. 129). Salincik and Pfeffer also assert that power does not come from the individual possessing it but from the activities brought about by situations and opportunities (p. 130). The exercise of power in the in the society is dependent on the culture and the scarcity of resources, according to the authors. For example, during times of calamities, where there is food shortage including the difficulty of transportation, store owners or traders may exercise power the general public.
They have this power exercised by dictating higher prices, as much as they want, for their goods since the public does not have other choice but to but from him. Flooded areas may provide opportunity for the creative people who can make rafts to transport residents to other areas and of course can dictate price. There are several bases of power according to French and Raven: reward, coercive, legitimate, referent and expert power (French, John R. P. Jr. and Bertram Raven, p. 146).
Reward power is the ability of the leader to make rewards and that his power emanates from the magnitude of rewards. Coercive power is the leader’s power to influence compliance to the subordinate in the fear of punishment. Legitimate power emanates from culture, acceptance of social structure and designation of legitimizing agent. Referent power is based on identification which means that influence is being enforced to someone who feels or sees that he has something in the group or the person that he likes and he is attracted to.
Lastly, expert power is based on knowledge and perception of the leader or the group attributed by the subordinate or follower (French and Raven, pp. 147-151). Using power to influence others in the context of formal or business organizations, scarcity may not be the factor of power sharing but instead the need of the organization (Salancik and Pfeffer, p. 129). For example, the accounting department exercises their power (authority or control in organizational set up) over product pricing as they have the access to information relative to costs aside from their expertise in analyzing such information.
They cannot however get control over the purchasing of manufacturing machines as they do not have the expertise of determining which brand or type works better over the others. In this regard, the engineering department has the control over such need. Therefore power distribution in an organization depends on the “whats” and “whens” of the organizational needs. This will give us the idea that control of the organization is not absolute or long-term. Relative to self-perception and self-assessment, leaders and subordinates must be able to stick to their roles in their exercise of power.
To make it clear, the legal department should stick making decisions over the situations or things that they are given control over, an example of which is on deciding what measure is best taken when labor laws require companies to increase wages when they cannot afford to do so. On the other hand, the accounting department should stick to decisions whether the company can still survive with the implementation of new wage increase or it is better to retrench. The engineering department can still exercise their share of power in the situation by recommending ways and means by which machine use can save overhead costs for the company.
The main point here is that everyone should know where they stand and by doing so, conflict maybe significantly avoided while maintaining respect for others. Personal power profile therefore must be objectively assessed in order for an individual to know the scope and limitations of their powers. As Salincik and Pfeffer argued, the exercise of power on decision-making is affected by the factors of scarcity, criticality and uncertainty (Salincik and Pfeffer p. 131). The ability of leaders to gage or judge which resources are critical, scarce and uncertain affects how decisions are supposed to be made.
It is important to note that consultation of matters to be decided upon will not weaken the power of the leader over the situation, rather it will give him a better idea of how his power can be worthily exercised regardless of the situation.
Baril, Galen E. et. al. Are Androgynous Managers Really are More Effective? Reading 13. pp. 115-118 Dobbins, Gregory H. et. al. The Role of Self-Monitoring and Gender on Leader Emergence: A Laboratory and Field Study. Reading 16. pp. 134-136 Eagly, Alice H. and Blair T. Johnson.
Gender and Leadership Style: A Meta-Analysis. Reading 12. pp. 100-110. Hollander, E. P. Emergent Leadership and Social Influence. Reading 14. pp. 125-128 Kent, Russell L. and Sherry E. Mass. Effect of Sex and Gender Role on Leader Emergence. Reading 11. pp. 95-98 Salancik, Gerald R. and Jeffrey Pfeffer. Who Gets Power- And How they Get Hold to It: A Strategic Contingency Model of Power. Reading 15. pp. 129-133 Yukl, Gary and L. Bruce Tracey. Consequences of Influence Tactics Used with Subordinates, Peers and Boss. Reading 18. pp. 153-160