The Quantum Leadership for Indian Organizations*-What is best for the contemporary time for the Indian companies and social system?
Quantum Leader has been defined here as a leaders who combines Intelligence (IQ), Emotional Intelligence (the so called EQ) and Spiritual Intelligence (SQ) and more and uses it for the successful functioning of his/her life, society and organization to which he/she belongs.
Deloitte achieved 21 percent revenue growth and increased market share by aligning leaders at all levels on its strategy by developing strategy-specific skills. Leadership is one of the most observed phenomena on earth. Throughout history, it has been recognized that the difference between success and failure, whether in a war, in business, in a protest movement, or in a basket ball game, can be largely attributed to leadership. Yet, despite all the attention given to it and its recognized importance, leadership remains an unexplainable concept. Howsoever we may make attempts to spell out its inner workings and specific dimensions, it remains elusive.
Leadership as a concept has dissolved into small and discrete meanings. A large number of definitions have been given. Let us consider some of these, as examples:
- “Leadership may be considered as the process (act) of influencing the activities of an organized group in its efforts towards goal setting and goal achievement” (Stogdill, 1948),
- “Leadership is the behaviour of an individual when he is directing the activities of a group towards a shared goal”. (Hemphill and Coons, 1957).
A common element in the above mentioned and many other definitions imply that leadership involves a social influence process in which a person steers members of the group towards a goal. Another important aspect of these definitions is that of the leader / non-leader distinction which is taken to be indicative of role differentiation in interpersonal interactions within the groups.
Leadership is not simply a matter of affecting change in other people’s behaviour, but more to do with enhancing their voluntary compliance and personal growth of the followers/subordinates. Katz and Kahn (1966), therefore, say that organizational leadership is the influence increment over and above mechanical compliance with the routine directives of the organizations. In general, then, one can define leadership as a process of influencing the activities of an individual or a group of individuals in efforts towards goal achievements in a given situation.
The Chapter is classified into four parts. They are:
- Western Views and Theories on Leadership in Management,
- Indian Thought and views on Leadership in Management,
- An Indian Model of Leadership in Management and
- Integrating the Two Shores and Applications.
- Western Views and Theories on Leadership in Management
In recent years, a number of authors have sought to forge a distinction between managers and leaders. The former are interactive “organization men” concerned with routine and short-term projects whereas leaders adopt a personal and active, attitude towards goals.
Leadership Theories :
The basic types of leadership theories can be classified in three main categories as:
- Trait Theories
- Behavioural Theories
- Situational Theories
“No amount of learning will make a man leader unless he has the natural qualities of one” (Said General Archibald Wavell). General Wavell, here, has subscribed to the “Great Man Theory” that leaders are born and not made.
Such an approach was consistent with the emergence of psychological techniques in the 1930s and 1940s. The earlier studies (prior to 1949) of leadership were based largely on attempt to identify the traits that leaders actually possessed.
Leadership literature search yielded three broad types of traits as under:
- Physical traits: Height, weight, etc.
- Ability characteristics: Intelligence, fluency of speech, scholarship and knowledge, etc.
- Personality features: Conservation, introversion, extraversion, dominance, etc.
However, decades of research which addressed the question of whether there are natural leaders failed to provide conclusive evidence that general qualities and abilities are discerned. And, hence, search continued and finally shifted in late 1940s, its emphasis away from the study of the traits of leaders to their ‘style’ or behaviour. This view particularly gained momentum with appearance of Michigan researches under the leadership of Renesis Likert. At least three factors seem to have contributed to this change of emphasis, viz;
- The lack of consistent findings,
- General psychological work on leadership seemed to be moving in the direction of examining what leaders do, and
- The emergence of the ‘Human Relations Approach to the Study of Leadership’. The human relations movement emerged in the wake of the Hawthorn Studies. One of the principal findings of this research was that, friendly, loose or distant supervision (supervision from a distance, that is, ‘not breathing down the neck’) had a positive impact upon workers’ morale and productivity.
Behavioural Theories- Leadership Behaviour and Styles:
Likert’s System Theory:
The basic tenet upon which Likert built his approach is the ‘principle of supportive relationship’. In addition, Likert advocates that supervisors should seek to cultivate group problem-solving by consensus and consonant with his preference, a structure within the organization of overlapping groups, performance goals and technical competence on the part of supervisors and managers are also necessary.
On the basis of this conceptual infrastructure, Likert distinguished four Kinds of management leadership behavior systems :
System 1: ‘Exploitative authoritative’ management
System 2: ‘Benevolent authoritative’ management
System 3: ‘Consultative’ management
System 4: ‘Democratic’ management
As one moves from System 1 to System 4 management, the principles advocated by Likert are more in evidence and participation by organizational members increase consequently. He advocated for System-4 and Democratic style. Likert had tremendous influence on human relations movement. Actually he shaped the trends of leadership researches in the West as well as in India.
Leadership and the study of organization :
Leadership researches have frequently addressed the impact of organizational factors on leader behaviour as well as their role in mediating leadership style-outcome relationship.
The managerial grid was conceived by Blake and Mouton (1964) who in a series of publications have developed an approach to organizational development which is one of the best known in the literature. The infrastructure to their approach is a contrast between the approaches to the managerial role :
- Concern for task (production), and
- Concern for people
Both concerns are essential ingredients of effective management. Each concern is conceptualized on a 9-point scale. According to Blake and Mouton, managers often oscillate between 9, 1 and 1, 9 style. The former responses are to a need to enhance output; the later when interpersonal relationship suffers. They proposed the 9, 9 type of combination to be the most effective. 9, 9 system is called ‘Team management’ and constitutes the recommended managerial stance in that both task and people responsible for the production are also supposed to be involved in work planning and execution. Real team management conditions exist when individual goals are in line with those of the organization.
The Iowa State University studies
The lowa State University’s studies began in 1940 and yielded the following results
- In the authoritarian climate, the leaders determined policy, work techniques and organization, remained aloof and was personal in his praise or criticism of group members. In the democratic conditions, policy matters were decided on group basis, only general procedures were suggested by the leader. Work organization was relatively freely decided and the leader was objective in his praise or criticism. The laissez-fair leader allowed complete freedom to the group, was a non-participant in the group’s activities, was reactive in terms of matters of work organization and made few comments on group members’ work. Narsimbha Rao (a prominent minister of HRD during Rajeev Gandhi’s Prime-ministerial days and later himself a prime minister of India) may be considered one such example in the recent Indian history.
- While authoritarian leaders tended to have more productive groups in quantitative terms, democratic leaders groups had greater work motivation. Inlaissez-fair condition, less work was done and it was of poor quality.
As the emphasis shifted toward style and behaviour approaches, greater attention was given to the developments of leadership skills and abilities.
‘Situational leadership’ approach:
Empirical studied suggested that leadership is a dynamic process, varying from situation to situation which brings changes in leaders, followers and situations. The central focus of the situational theory was that the effectiveness of particular leadership style is situationally contingent. This means that a particular style or pattern of behaviour will be effective in some circumstances but not in others. Rise and fall of two prime ministers e.g.; Indira Gandhi in India and WINSTON CHURCHILL in UK are bright examples of such a hypothesis.
Fiedlers’ Contingency Model of Leadership Effectiveness:
Fiedler’s (1967,1971, 1981) theory implied that leadership is any process in which the ability of a leader is exercised to influence and it depends upon the group/task situation and the degree in which the leaders’ style, personality and approach fit the group.
Fiedlers found three “critical dimensions of the situation” that affect a leader’s most effective style. They are:
- Position power: This is the degree to which the power of a position enables a leader to get group members to comply with directions.
- Task Structure: Leader’s position is facilitated by tasks which are clear and unambiguous rather than those which are unstructured.
- Leader-Member relations: This dimension is regarded as the most important from a leader’s point of view. It is concerned with the extent to which group members like and trust a leader and are willing to follow him or her.
Fiedler postulated two major styles of leadership:
- a) One is primarily task oriented, in which a leader gains satisfaction from seeing tasks performed, and another b) is primarily relation (consideration) oriented. He is primarily concerned towards achieving good interpersonal relations and towards attaining a position of personal prominence.
The same idea was further developed by Blake and Mouton (1964) in their Managerial Grid theory
To measure leadership style and determinants whether a leader was more task oriented or people oriented, Fiedler used an unusual testing technique. He based his findings on two types of scores:
- Scores on least preferred co-workers (LPC), rating made by people in a group as to those with whom they would least like to work.
- Scores on assumed similarity between opposites (ASO), ratings based on the degree to which leaders perceive group members to be like themselves.
Fiedler found that (1). People who rated their co-workers high and least preferred co-workers low were those who derived major satisfaction from successful inter-personal relationship; and (2). People who rated their co-worker with high assumed similarity between opposites also rated them fairly high on the scale of least preferred co-workers and vice-versa.
Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Theory (1967):
This theory is highly perspective contingency theory of leader behaviour, which has undergone a number of revisions. For its description of leader behaviour, the approach draws heavily on the Ohio dimensions of consideration and initiatingstructure. They categorized all leadership styles into four types of behavior, which they named S1 to S4:
S1: Telling – means one-way communication in which the leader defines the roles of the individual or group and provides the what, how, why, when, and where to do the task
S2: Selling – means while the leader is still providing the direction, he is now using two-way communication and providing the socio-emotional support that will allow the individual or group being influenced to buy into the process.
S3: Participating – this is now shared decision making about aspects of how the task is accomplished and the leader is providing less task behaviors while maintaining high relationship behavior.
S4: Delegating – the leader is still involved in decisions; however, the process and responsibility has been passed to the individual or group. The leader stays involved to monitor progress.
Of these, no one style is considered optimal for all leaders to use all the time. Effective leaders need to be flexible, and must adapt themselves according to the situation.
They produced four basic leader behaviour styles.
- High tasks and low relationship (Telling),
- High tasks and high relationship (Selling),
- Low tasks and high relationship (Participating) and
- Low tasks and low relationship (Delegating)
Thus, a person’s leadership style involves some combination of either task behaviour or relationship behaviour.
Recognizing that the effectiveness of leaders depends on how their leadership style interrelates with the situation in which they operate, an effective dimension is added to the above two dimensional model (task and relationship behaviour). That is when the style of a leader is appropriate to a given situation; it is termed effective, when the style is inappropriate to a given situation it is termed ineffective.
Leadership style is not a fixed or rigid phenomenon. Leaders vary their styles considerably in relation to the following factors:
- Specific task at hand: Leaders are flexible in their styles in that they adopt different patterns for particular tasks
- General nature of the task: The nature of work carried out by subordinate seems to have an impact on leader behaviour.
- Performance and performance related attributes of subordinates.
- Leader’s power.
- National and organizational Culture.
In other words they emphasized the role of the maturity levels of the followers as one of the condition determining leadership style(s). That means, the right leadership style will depend on the person or group being led – the follower. The theory thus identified four levels of Maturity M1 through M4:
M1 – They generally lack the specific skills required for the job in hand and are unable and unwilling to do or to take responsibility for this job or task (as example, a portion of the Indian masses).
M2 – They are still unable to take on responsibility for the task being done; however, they are willing to work at the task (as example, educated Indian masses).
M3 – They are experienced and able to do the task but lack the confidence to take on responsibility (as example, our educated bureaucrats).
M4 – They are experienced at the task, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. They are able and willing to not only do the task, but to take responsibility for the task (as example the Indian educated and not so educated entrepreneurs and business class).
Maturity Levels are also task specific. A person might be generally skilled, confident and motivated in his/her job, but would still have a Maturity level M2 when asked to perform a task requiring skills they don’t possess.
To summarise, thus, it appears that the management thoughts emanating from the Western countries particularly the U.S.A. are based mostly on the lure for materialism and a perennial thirst for profit irrespective of the quality of the means adopted to achieve that goal. This phenomenon has its source in abundance in the West particularly the U.S.A. Management by materialism caught the fancy of all the countries the world over, India being no exception to this trend.
America and American enterprise were and are still all the rage. Their dynamic society is the result of their hardworking habits and prosperity followed. Bigger is better, and if something is good, more is better, was the American slogan. Thus Americans built big homes, big cars, big battleships, big shopping malls, and ate too many big meals. Now that too many Americans are obese, and there is too much disparity in incomes, and too much violence in American lives and hearts, there is some soul-searching. And in spite of a plethora of American Management theories all is not well with American enterprises. There is something a miss.
As mentioned earlier, like many other countries both in the East as well as in the West India too heavily imported those ideas mainly because every one felt as if any management theories emanating from West and particularly from the USA were the best. Hence our (Indian) management schools sprang up on the foundations of materialistic philosophy of management and fragmented approach to human behaviour having no place for a holistic view of life or matter.
The result is while huge funds have been invested in building these temples of modem management education, no perceptible changes are visible in the improvement of the quality of life although the standard of living of a few has gone up. The same old struggles in almost all sectors of the economy, criminalization of institutions, more and more social violence, exploitation and such other vices have gone deep in the body politic.
The reasons for this sorry state of affairs are not far to seek. The Western ideas of management have placed utmost reliance on the employees to make him/her more efficient, to increase his productivity. They pay more so that they may work more, produce more, sell more and will stick to the organization without looking for alternatives. They forgot that while there is no limit to payment so long as money keeps growing there is a limit to body’s endurance and capacity to work and also to individuals’ motivation. And above all human greed keeps rising in a sort of spiral manner, endlessly. Money alone cannot bring passion and urge to work (recall Maslow). The sole aim of extracting better and more work is for improving the bottom-line of the enterprise. Employees have become a hirable commodity, which can be used, replaced and discarded but without motivation and passion to work and achieve. Thanks to the materialistic management theories of the West.
Thus, we have reached a situation where management and workers have become contradictory in their approaches and interests. There is no common goal or understanding (in spite of all lofty views expresses and beautiful words used) which predictably leads to constant suspicion, friction, disillusions and mistrust. The absence of human values like passion and compassion in the organizational structure resulted in crisis of confidence.
The Western management thoughts although acquired prosperity failed in their aim to ensure betterment of individual life and social welfare. It has remained by and large a soulless management edifice and an oasis of plenty for a chosen few in the midst of poor quality of life to many.
To cap it, as explained above, the theories and approaches to management borrowed from the West has by and large failed in the Indian and in many Eastern organizational and social contexts. The result is: we see in India MNCs failing and Indian sethia companies succeeding. Paradox is: “Sethia” is a derogatory word used by modern Indians, educated in the Western business moulds, but these (sethias) are the people who are succeeding and turning professional in their own ways e.g., Ambanies, Ruias, Tatas, Dalmias, Amins,Patels and thousands more. Hence, there is an urgent need to have a re-look at the prevalent management discipline on its objectives, scope and contents.
This is surprising that a very simple logic did not appear to worthies of Indian B-Schools and IIMs professors and so called enlightened management that had any of the American or British or for that matter any European management theory been valid there would not have been rise of so many Western management and leadership theories in the West itself. Almost every day a new book appears mostly carrying old wines in new bottles with new terms for the same concepts making a fun of management as a science. It is only recently (around 1990s) that appeared to greats of IIMA to start taking Indian business wisdom seriously and they started an specialization in the history of the Indian family businesses.
As the Indian economy grows, as globalization reshapes our lives, as Indian politicians actively try to undermine progress, as well-meaning “progressives” offer regressive panaceas, and as the world we live in is sought to be taken over or managed by jihadists and ideologues of all stripes, may be we could do with some soul-searching, some big picture taking, some careful unpacking of the dynamics that leads to healthy, and careful husbanding, of our human, material, and spiritual resources.
Management and leadership should be redefined so as to underline the employees’ development as a human being with all his/her positive and negative characteristics and not as a mere wage-earner. In this changed perspective, management ceases to be a career-agent but becomes an instrument in the process of organizational and national development in all its segments.
This paper, in the above background, endeavors to attempt an Indian theory of Managerial Leadership. But before that let us see in brief what the Indian tradition and scriptures say about management and its leadership.
*The first version of the theory A, p+N was first written in 1985 and received the Times Research Foundation Award but was published by The Times Research Foundation in 1986 (see the reference section).
My model of AP+N will follow in further parts of this article… so read on details in next parts of this article……
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