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Case Studies

In an interview study of 40 managers and scientists in a science-based research and development company, Alvesson and Sveningsson claimed that: Language use matters as much as what actually goes on in terms of how we understand increasingly ambiguous phenomena [y] We suggest that the possible existence of leadership - as behavior, meanings, identity, and discourse - should be critically studied, not be taken for granted.

One of the key skills required by leaders is the ability to motivate others which, as Zorn and Ruccio noted, is based "Almost entirely [on] communication skills." Conger described the language of leadership as "The process of defining the purpose of the organization and using symbolic language to give emotional power to the message." Making sense of the words of the leaders interviewed for this study helps establish their state of thinking about important business issues such as strategy, organizational culture, leadership approaches, and professional...

An enterprise in crisis, for example, will conjure up a charismatic leader to steer the organization between Scylla and Charybdis and into a greater future; in tranquil or halcyon times, we demand only that our leaders maintain stability and maximize returns or market share! So are there aspects of leadership about which we can all agree? How should we understand leading and leadership? How can we behave to achieve the best results? How can we become leaders who have a benign influence on the behavior and beliefs of the organization? How can we best evaluate leaders? How can we identify and nurture potential leaders? A short history of leadership literature Leaders have fascinated us from the beginning of history it seems, and their stories form the bedrock of human culture.

Writers often cite Gorbachev, Thatcher, Reagan and Kennedy as evidence for the importance of charisma; some suggest that followers can bestow charismatic qualities upon their leaders - that is, they...

The business leaders were senior level managers, within two levels of the CEO and/or president, government leaders filled director and executive positions, and military leaders were at the levels of major and colonel.

For the business and government leaders the average years of management experience was 18.0 for males and 12.4 for females.

In the military, patterns for men and women diverged regarding participative vs directive trends, and the findings show that female leaders were most likely to report being directive in their intellectual stimulation.

The notion of humility and breaking down hierarchical boundaries between leader and employee came across in the examples of how meetings are conducted: We try to have fairly regular staff meetings and everybody shares what they're working on and what they're doing.

The most common techniques leaders used for encouraging participation included: getting groups of people together for meetings to brainstorm...

Multi-source assessment, often called 360-degree feedback, offers an excellent tool for targeted performance feed-back because it enhances the accuracy and credibility of performance information by enlarging the assessment pool from one supervisor acting alone.

Work associates, team members and even direct reports are quite willing to pro-vide such specific feedback - which enables improvement of individual, team, and organizational performance.

Since, for many people, multi-source assessment represents the first time they have ever received feedback on how they are perceived by others, it actually facilitates their under-standing of their performance strengths and needed developmental areas.

Performance feedback the behavior profile shown in Figure 1 represents a partial set of core competencies for OXY USA. The specific behavior feedback clearly targets developmental areas such as developing professional and technical skills.

The use of 360-degree...

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