Individual Leadership Enactment in an Organization’s Cultural Context

Posted: October 17th, 2013


Individual Leadership Enactment in an Organization’s Cultural Context







Individual Leadership Enactment in an Organization’s Cultural Context


For a long time, people have been dwelling on the perception that leadership exists in one way and that good leadership is similar in all situations. This school of thought ultimately led to expansive ways that seek to identify this single leadership method and to train individuals this method of leadership. However, in situation and context, leadership is very contingent. Therefore, our rapidly globalizing and diversifying world of work is calling for leadership approaches conscious of cultural contexts. It is important to identify significant cultural and national differences in values and attitudes related to work. These values and attitudes include religion, language, level of economic development and geography. In leadership, this is very fundamental to embrace the importance of leadership approaches in work that considerate of the different cultures present. This is because differences in culture have a massive influence in leadership practice and theory. A good leader is one who has an informed understanding of the different cultures in his environment and identifies the most appropriate approach to execute his responsibilities. Therefore, being a leader in a cultural context stands for consideration of the different cultures in a work place and identifying the most appropriate approach to employ.

In recasting the notion of person organizational fit in a sense making perspective, this would be the best explanation in my opinion. The hiring process in an organization or firm involves identifying an individual who has the ability of “fitting” well in the prescribed job. In this case, “fit” involves a situation where the candidate chosen from the hiring process has been evaluated and considered to possess valid suitability to undertake the tasks and responsibilities pertaining to a specific job, and do so in a specific manner. In a cultural organization context, the fitting process will involves performing an examination of the individual’s personal traits in relation to the job requirements. This is because it provides valuable information as to whether this individual will be able to handle the pressures and challenges associated with that particular job. Therefore, person organization fit is the application of a person’s values and beliefs with norms, culture, and values of the organization in question.

Of the cultural descriptions in the article ‘People and organizational culture, I decided to highlight on three that have a similar reflection in my personal experience of the organization’s culture. These three cultural descriptions include predictability. I personally participate in research conducting organization and my experience with the organizations culture has enabled me to realize that the management has put into consideration the interaction of both situation and personal factors. This is a means of predicting and understanding personal behavior. I was able to understand that the setting of the organization’s environment is focused on predicting and undertaking the ways employees conduct themselves in the organization. This approach utilizes one method of analysis. The first is the approach on individual difference. This approach has a proposition that personal behavior is subject to prediction through an analysis on the person’s values, traits, abilities, and motives. This is because these elements are reflected in a person’s behavior. The individuals in the organization played a big role in the implementation of this cultural description. The employees were compliant with the strategy and exhibited their true values, norms, abilities, values and motives. The management too played a bid role in developing this cultural attribute. Officials made staff feel comfortable and secure in the working environment. This way, every worker can exhibit their qualities without any reservations.

The second cultural description I identified from the list is sharing information freely. In my organizational experience with my place of work, the management considers assessment as organization unspecific and that there are cultural sets and values that complicate the cultural type identification of an individual in the work place. Therefore, members in the organization may have different perceptions on the organizations values. This may be caused by different interpretations of the relevant values or may be affected by their personal values. The organization therefore sought to undertake qualitative interviews as a means of assessment. In my opinion, this approach was used as a complementary way of helping develop a more valid understanding of the values in the organization. The organization used the qualitative research findings to inform on the decision they should undertake when managing the workers. During the process of interviews, the employee played a big role in developing this cultural description. Responses to the interviews and questionnaires were straight forward and were encouraged by the management to feel free. Hence the staff was honest and at ease when offering their responses.

The third cultural description in the article I feel has a similarity with my personal experience with organizational culture is high pay for good performance. The organization in my work place has incorporated a pay per performance cultural plan. This compensation program is aimed at motivating the employees to offer their best performance. In addition, this is a means of identifying individuals with laxity qualities, and aims of eliminating these kinds of qualities to promote success. The idea of advancing payment in relation to an individual’s performance is a good organization measure according to the management. However, in some cases in my organization, this mode of payment proves hard to implement and is not as desirable as the management might perceive it to be. Both the employees and management played and big role in developing this cultural description. Both parties agreed that granting pay with regard to performance is desirable and has a positive impact on the staff’s output. With this opportunity, all employees have been motivated to work harder and receive bigger payment rewards.

In Robert Milliner’s video, a collaborative change process can have significant contribution in influencing organizational culture. This process causes responses to changes by the organization’s culture. It ultimately leads to changes in beliefs, values, attitudes as well as the structure of the organization. This is to allow room for incorporating adaptations to new markets and technology. The organizational culture and environment can in turn influence the collaborative change process. This can happen through situations that warrant changes in the process such as introduction of a new product line to satisfy consumer’s taste in case of a production organization.


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