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What Is the Relationship Between Leadership and Organizational Behavior?

Different leadership styles can have different impacts on the behavior of workers in an organization.
Leadership in an organization is one of the most significant determining factors of both organizational culture and values.
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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2014
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The relationship between leadership and organizational behavior refers to the manner in which the type of leadership in an organization affects the behavior of the individuals working there. There are several leadership styles, and the particular one in place in an organization may affect the way employees in that organization behave. Examples of the various types of leadership include autocratic leadership, collaborative leadership, negotiative leadership and delegative leadership.

Leadership and organizational behavior are intertwined because the type of leadership in place in an organization may mean the difference between the success of the organization and the inability of the organization to make an impact on its environment. An analogy of a captain steering a ship is often used to describe corporate leaders, and the competence with which the leader handles the helm will determine whether the vessel will successfully reach its appointed destination on time. One example of the link between leadership and organizational behavior can be seen in the autocratic style of leadership and its effect on organizational behavior. This style of leadership is typically a one-way street with the chain of command flowing from the top, down the hierarchy in the organization. Employees in a company where this type of leadership is the norm may only be expected to obey directives instead of trying to display individual assertiveness.

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Collaborative leadership is the opposite of an autocratic leadership, and the relationship between this type of leadership and organizational behavior is apparent in the response of the employees. Employees in an organization where a collaborative style of leadership is the norm are encouraged to contribute to the running of the organization. The employees may be given challenges they are expected to solve by using their initiative, rather than relying on directives from management. A collaborative style of leadership is connected to organizational behavior by the level of individualism that is exhibited in the organizational behavior of the employees.

An organizational leadership that is based on negotiation is one where the employees are motivated by the leaders to strive for ever-increasing levels of excellence though a combination of bargaining and motivational approach. For instance, the employees may be encouraged to be productive by the offer of certain benefits that will only accrue to the workers at the successful execution of stated assignments. Such a leadership strategy also shows how leadership and organizational leadership are related. The leader who uses the method of delegation may assign work to employees based on an assessment of their individual human capital.

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stoneMason
Post 3

@fBoyle- As far as I understand, the ideal organizational behavior is when employees are very involved with the organization and see organizational success as sort of their own, individual success.

For example, when there is autocratic leadership in an organization, people are not given the opportunity to make decisions or contribute with their ideas. And so their job just becomes a matter of getting a paycheck. This is not ideal organizational behavior. We want employees to enjoy what they do and care about the organization they're working for.

fBoyle
Post 2

@fify-- But what do we mean by ideal organizational behavior? What's the best response from employees?

fify
Post 1

I think that the leadership style that results in the desired type of organizational behavior the most is collaborative. I really don't know why autocratic leadership still exists, because this is not the way to get the best response from employees.

I work in an organization where the leadership style is collaborative. We are very successful as an organization and I can say that the whole organization works in unison and is very productive. I think that most of us, as employees, don't feel that we work for an organization but rather, that the organization is us. This is all thanks to the collaborative style.

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