Leadership and innovation are integral to the success of any organization, team or cohort. Leadership is often recognized as a process of social influence, which “maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal” (Kruse, 2015). While, innovation is seen as “challenging notions of how things have been done before [or] bringing ideas from one industry to another” (Greenwald, 2014). Innovation enhances the leadership process by allowing the leader to offer new ways to “accomplish goals or make jobs easier, better, happier, more exciting, satisfying, or more productive” (Greenwald, 2014).
In the field of applied psychology, organizational psychology has been an innovation in leadership that has allowed workplaces to study human behavior to better reach and accomplish their set goals as an organization. This paper will explore how organizational psychology and behavior are a beneficial innovation for leaders, organizations, and understanding the root of human behavior for improved leadership. In addition to the innovation of organizational psychology, the healthcare field has seen innovations in supervision, leadership, and patient care. These healthcare innovations fulfill unmet consumer needs, “create meaningful points of difference for products and services,” and generate alternatives for care (Greenwald, 2014).
Leadership Does Not Mean Management
Innovation in leadership allows for individuals and organizations to “accelerate [their] pace of change” (Barsh, Capozzi, & Davidson, 2008). In an innovative culture, “employees know that their ideas are valued” and believe that it is safe to express and act on those ideas and to learn from failure (Barsh, Capozzi, & Davidson, 2008). Leaders reinforce this state of mind by involving employees in decisions that matter to them. In everyday conversation, the word ‘leadership’ is used in two very different ways. Sometimes, ‘leadership’ refers to a process that helps direct and mobilize people and their ideas (Kruse, 2015). At other times, ‘leadership’ refers to an individual or group of people in a formal position where leadership is expected. Leadership is influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while accomplishing the mission and improving the organization (Kruse, 2015). Many people mistake leadership for management, but leadership is different. Leaders lead people.
Leadership is not management. Management is concerned with “planning, budgeting, measuring, monitoring, coordinating, solving, hiring, firing, and so many other things” (Kruse, 2015). For management, it means establishing steps and time tables for the needed result and then allocating the resources to make it happen. On the contrary, leadership involves creating directions, developing a vision for the future, and the strategies needed to achieve a particular concept. Leadership can be seen as the process where the ‘leader’ sets a direction for a team and motivates them to work together as one unit with competence and full commitment. Leadership involves accomplishing organizational purpose through people.
The leadership process is a function of the leader, the follower, and other situational factors. Leadership is a property of the social relationship because, without followers, there cannot be leaders, and without leaders, there cannot be followers. Leadership is effective when it moves people to a place where those who depend upon the leader are genuinely better off, and when it does not impede on the rights of others. Leadership is crucial in organizations because it is the force that brings people together and leads to organizational effectiveness. It has been acknowledged that the differences between effective and ineffective organizations are the quality of leadership that is attained (Kruse, 2015).
Organizational Psychology & Leadership
Organizational psychology has been seen as an innovation in the study of the application of knowledge about how people, groups, or individuals behave in an organizational setting. This involves the interpretation of their behavior as an individual, group, or an entire social system in relation to the realization of the organization’s set goals and objectives (Schein, 2010). From a critical perspective, this definition of organizational psychology entails several factors that define the efficiency and effectiveness of organizations such as human behavior, leadership, change, and organizational teams (Davis, 1967). It is, therefore, imperative to understand the different models of organizational behavior and find out how different leadership elements and styles affect these models. Organizational management has an intuitive role to play in as far as the development of appropriate organizational psychology is concerned. Ideally, an excellent organizational structure entails directing the behavior and attitude of the workers towards the realization of organizational goals and getting things done as they should be.
Organizational psychology has various elements that are entirely based on the management philosophy and aspects such as value, vision, as well as goals (Igbaekemen & Odivwri, 2014). These elements play an essential role in driving the organizational culture that can be either formal or informal. The organizational culture is also dependent on the organizational environment, which is defined majorly by the type of leadership that exists within the organization (Davis, 1967). Organizational culture is mostly concerned with aspects such as the leadership styles and how they affect the aspects such as communication among the employees, the dynamics of change within the group and group dynamics within an organization and the issues that relate to the social environment and issues of diversity within an organization (Stewart, 1996). It is also crucial to note that the integration of all these organizational elements results in a system that is driven by a specified model or framework. These create an avenue for improved performance in as far as understanding of issues like employee motivation, personal satisfaction within the organization, and increased the performance index of the organization is concerned.
Models of Organizational Behavior
Organizations mostly work based on four fundamental models that define the behavior in the entire system. These include the autocratic model, the custodial model, the supportive model, and the collegial model (Cunningham & Eberle, 1990). The autocratic model works on the basis that organizational power and authority rests with organizational management. In this model, the employees are obliged to obey the leaders and the instructions that they give in as far as operations within the organizations are concerned (Clark, 2015). This model is entirely subjective and in most cases, results in reduced performance as a result of pressure and decreased motivation. The custodial model of organizational behavior works based on the assumption that organizations work towards the financial benefit of the firm (Cunningham & Eberle, 1990). In this model of organizational behavior, the workers work towards the increment of a firm’s security, benefits, and increased independence of the organization. This causes a passive performance among the employees, and their core focus is their security within the organization.
The supportive model of organizational behavior works on the basis that organizational leadership must support the operations of the organizations (Clark, 2015). This is achieved through the support offered to the employees and the organization of work structure and activities that occur within the organization. It can also be achieved through the creation of a supportive environment in which all the employees work towards the realization of a common goal and objective within the organization (Clark, 2015). For this to be effectively realized, the performance of the employees must be recognized through an effective performance appraisal system. The collegial model is based on the assumption that management must work together with the employees as a collective team with common goals and objectives (Cunningham & Eberle, 1990). This makes the employees oriented towards the realization of the company’s goals and objectives in such a manner that the performance of the employee is driven by intrinsic factors that are defined by aspects such as self-discipline and self-actualization. From the analysis of these four models of organizational psychology, it is evident that there is an intuitive relationship between organizational psychology and leadership and this will increase the need to explore elements of leadership that impact organizational behavior.
Influence of Organizational Behavior on the Performance Index of the Organization
Organizational behavior is dependent on the behavior of the employees and their attitude towards work, work culture, and the workplace environment. The leaders of an organization must, therefore, take the lead role in ensuring organizational behavior in terms of the culture of performance and good working relationships are maintained for the purposes of organizational sustainability (Root III, 2017). While various leadership styles can affect organizational behavior in multiple ways, it is imperative for the leaders within an organization to understand these leadership styles and know how best they can integrate them in their leadership skills to promote a progressive organizational culture, work structure, and environment. Leadership is about influencing others to work willingly towards the realization of organizational goals and objectives with some degree of confidence. Therefore, when exploring the interrelationship between leadership and organizational behavior, there are fundamental elements that must be explored. These include management, time, people, and tasks that are performed within the organization (Root III, 2017). These elements come in handy in defining the difference between a successful and a failed organization.
Organizational management defines the policies, rules, and the guidelines by which regulatory, operational framework are managed (Clark, 2015). This means that when the systems are not favorable and harsh to the employees, the culture of the organization towards work can be changed significantly. Besides, when the policies are clear and understood by the employees and are founded on issues such as understanding organizational diversity and through a consultative framework, the corporate culture will be geared towards the realization of the objective and the goals of the organization. This means that the organization will prosper and meet its operations as planned (Root III, 2017). Leaders provide direction and guide the employees in the accomplishment of their tasks. They also play an essential role in creating an enabling environment in which the goals and the objectives of an organization can be achieved and realized. The organization must, therefore, ensure that there is a proper understanding between the management and the employees as this relationship between the leaders and the employees are very crucial. When it is not handled with care and caution, a bad culture can be taught to the organization, and this can jeopardize the competitive ability of the organization (Stewart, 1996). However, if the leadership of the organization is prudently managed, then the success rate of the organization can be a particular event. This is the imperative association between organizational behavior and leadership.
So, Why is Organizational Psychology Important for Leadership?
The understanding of the various human aspects in terms of their work and attitude towards work and the workplace environment is the fundamental principle behind the knowledge of organizational behavior and psychology, and this is important in understanding the difference between a successful and unsuccessful organization (Schein, 2010). Different organization behavior models define different leadership styles concerning organizational goals and objectives. Organizational behavior can be understood based on different models like the custodial model, the custodial model, the collegial model, and the supportive model (Clark, 2015). Each of these models brings different experiences among the employees within an organization. They also lead to the creation of different work environments, which, in turn, define the performance indices of the employees at different times within various organizations. This means that the management of an organization, through its leaders, should establish a framework through which corporate policies, rules, operational, and environment can be understood well among the employees.
When the organizational behavior is based on an open framework, a collaborative culture is created in which the relationship between the employees and the management is increased (Cunningham & Eberle, 1990). This promotes teamwork within the organization, and the performance index is increased. Organizational culture can also be influenced through the understanding of diversity, the recognition of its value, and the appreciation of all factors that appertains to it. This means that if leadership is focused on embracing diversity, then a culture of understanding can be established, and this can be quite motivational to the workers (Purcarea, Fleaca, & Dumitriu, 2009). Workers will feel valued, respected, and recognized in terms of their differences, and this creates a culture of understanding within an organization.
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