• Unit 5: Leadership

    A business' success hinges on how its leaders can inspire all stakeholders – especially employees – to commit to success. Numerous theories of leadership explain some aspects of leadership. Employees need assurance that their efforts will be acknowledged and rewarded. This unit explores leadership theories, the behaviors and characteristics of good leaders, and how good leaders establish trust. We also examine dysfunctional leadership.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 10 hours.

    • 5.1: The Role of Leadership

      Although leadership occurs in everyday situations, organizations have formal roles for leaders. Informal leadership also occurs in organizations. Furthermore, sometimes leaders serve for temporary purposes, such as on a project team. This section focuses on the role of leadership within the organization.
    • 5.2: Theories of Leadership

      We can examine leadership from different viewpoints, which give rise to theories. For example, a behaviorist will develop different theories than someone exploring cognition. Today's four most common theories are modern trait theory, behavioral theory, contingency theory, and full range theories. This section will explore these theories of leadership.
    • 5.3: Styles, Behaviors, and Traits

      Consider what you have learned in the previous units, and then think about the leaders you know. Does your understanding of individual behavior, motivation, communication, and decision-making help you understand how managers manage and leaders lead? Is there a clear distinction for you? Is there a process to becoming a leader, or can you practice certain behaviors to demonstrate leadership? What are leadership styles, and is there only one way to explore leadership styles? This section provides an overview of leadership styles, behaviors, and traits. We will explore each of these in more depth in the upcoming sections.
    • 5.4: Situational Leadership

      There is some logic in using different leadership styles in different situations. Consider leading a group of volunteers at a social function versus leading a project in your workplace. Using the same style or behaviors may not work well in each situation. This section examines research that has studied leadership in operating within certain situations. We will introduce you to the Fiedler model, Goleman's model, normative decision theory, Hersey and Blanchard's model, the path-goal theory, and the Vroom-Yetton-Jago model.
    • 5.5: Destructive Leadership

      We have examined how to become a better leader or the characteristics of leadership that we admire. However, almost all of us have been exposed to negative leaders or toxic leadership. This is more than just having a leader that we do not resonate with. Destructive leadership harms the people who work under the person, or the behavior reduces productivity and efficiency. The materials in this section will provide a brief overview of poor leadership. This is an emerging field of study. When managing people, these are the behaviors we want to avoid.
    • 5.6: Strategic Workforce Management

      It is time for us to turn our attention to how leaders apply their efforts within the organization. Managers and leaders have responsibilities in the organization; otherwise, they would not be in the position that they are in. One of the duties of a manager is to ensure that the workforce they have in place is right for the job and high performing. The resources in this section will help you understand the duties and responsibilities of leadership positions.
    • 5.7: Trust

      No leadership discussion would be complete if it did not address the issue of trusting the leader and the organization. This topic has been touched upon in your prior resources, but this section will explore the impacts of trustworthy and untrustworthy leaders. If you consider your own experience with leaders, you know that you have to trust the person leading you into an unknown future. You need to trust that they are committed to the vision that they see. Within the organization, trust builds an atmosphere of security and commitment.
    • 5.8: Characteristics of Trustworthy and Untrustworthy Leaders

      What factors determine whether someone is seen as a trustworthy or untrustworthy leader? We have looked at leadership styles, characteristics, and behaviors. We have looked at the rapidly changing business environment that requires companies to be nimble in their business practices, implying that firms must be prepared for constant change. How can leaders build trust with their followers in a constantly changing environment? This section will explore those characteristics.
    • 5.9: Organizational Trust

      While organizations do not have a formal way to measure trust in an organization, researchers have found that high-performing organizations have high levels of organizational trust. The reverse is also true; low trust levels reduce performance levels. This section explores the concept of trust within the organization and how it permeates an organization's culture.

    • 5.10: Creating a Collaborative Organizational Culture

      Companies benefit when teams can collaborate. However, collaboration depends on the team members trusting each other and the leaders in the organization. The benefits of collaboration are a higher commitment to implementing group decisions and fostering open dialogue across the organization. Open communication improves the quality of decisions because people are more willing to share all their information. When the organization's culture is collaborative, people deal with conflicts differently. This section illustrates that building a collaborative culture is not easy because leaders must put the group's interests above their own.
    • Study Guide: Unit 5

      We recommend reviewing this Study Guide before taking the Unit 5 Assessment.

    • Unit 5 Assessment

      • Receive a grade