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Leadership Characteristics, Behavior and Style

Paper outline:

Major annotated entries

Characteristics of a narcissist leadership style
Examination of the motives of celebrity CEOs
Behavior of celebrity CEOs in relation to company performance
Ethical issues in leadership style
Leadership style in relation to organizational culture
Using leadership style as an organization’s brand

Minor annotated entries

Leadership Characteristics, Behavior and Style
Ouitmet, G. (2010). Dynamic of narcissistic leadership in organization: towards an integrated research model. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 7 (25): 713-726
The authors look at the dynamics of narcissistic leadership. They carry out a literature review on scientific findings in the field of narcissistic leadership. The article uses the definition of narcissist leadership consisting of the exercise of power for selfish ends. The article shows that workplace cultures contribute to the formation of a narcissist leader. These culture properties include; a volatile and risky organizational performance, a lack of a favorable environment for maintainable performance, the destruction of trust as well as dilapidation of the efficacy of the organization, a poorly functioning management as well as a penchant to white-collar crime and finally poor management rankings. It describes four factors that initiate narcissist characteristics in a leader. These are idiosyncratic factors such as ruthless ambitions or weaknesses of subordinates.
Cultural factors that place self-realization in individualistic determination, talent and character. The business environment conditions of severe instability and threats encourage organizational members to be receptive to the repetitive grandiloquence of a leader. As a result, the leader becomes supremely confident in his or her ability to steer the organization off the harsh conditions. Finally, structural factors like a lack of mechanisms to provide executive behavior oversight allow narcissist leaders to exercise their omnipotence.
Hayward, M. A., Rindova V. P. and Pollock T. G. (2004). Believing one’s own press: the causes and consequences of CEO celebrity. Strategic Management Journal, 25: 637-653
The article examines the character of CEOs in relation to their celebrity status in the U.S. It shows the role of media in making the Celebrity CEOs by making it seem that the successful performance of the firm entirely rests on its CEO. This is an empirical study on the effect journalist’s labeling of CEOs as celebrities in the context of America’s infatuation with the celebrity culture. In the article, celebrity CEO’s leadership style is highlighted as being overconfident and having a strategic inertia. The article points out that celebrity CEOs tend to use their extrinsic endorsements as justifications for their egocentric leadership style. Therefore, the more the CEO receives celebrity status, the higher the degree of overconfidence actions that the CEO will depict. After empirically testing the linkage between distinctive and consistent action of the CEO in relation to overconfidence and celebrity status, the study finds out that journalists are agents of manifesting the overconfidence nature of celebrity CEOs by focusing the firm’s media coverage on the dispositional qualities of the CEO. This study illustrates the negative effects of allowing a company’s reputation and its earning ability to rest on its CEO whose actual performance ability is not reflective of that depicted by the media.
Wade, J. B., Porac J. F., Pollock T. G. and Graffin S. D, (2006). The burden of celebrity: the impact of CEO certification contests on CEO pay and Performance. Academy of Managerial Journal, 4 (49): 543-550
This article looks at the impact of CEO certification contests on the performance of their organizations. The authors acknowledge the importance of certification contests in combining individual judgments on a uniform criterion that is usable in comparing actor summaries. In addition, the authors investigate whether recognition as a high-status actor has personal risks. The study is an analysis of annual contest conducted by the Financial World magazine from 1975 to 1996. The contest identifies exemplary CEOs from an annual survey of over 1000 peer CEOs and business analysts. The findings of the study show that boards of directors believe that star CEOs do great things that justify their high pay. This belief holds regardless of whether there is only a marginal contribution from the CEO in the company’s performance.
The study uses the firm’s performance and CEO compensation as their dependent variable. The study uses CEO certification, Medals in the current year and medals won in the previous years as independent variables. Company size, institutional ownership, CEO tenure, outside CEO, New CEO and year dummies formed control variables. The authors use an event study to carry out their research. The study findings indicate that there is no significant correlation on CEO certification and firm’s profitability. The authors argue that certification only raises the profile of CEOs in public and boosts their compensation, however they note a negative relationship between medals earned and company’s year returns. The later point suggests that certified CEOs become extra confident and fail to maintain a performance consistency.
Messick, D. M. and Bazerman M. H. (1996). Ethical leadership and the psychology of decision-making. Sloan Management Review, pp. 9-22
This article is a discussion on three theory types: about the world, about other people and about us. The authors examine the theories in relation to how executives make decisions. In the first type, the authors review the cascade of consequences theory characterized by: ignorance of events with low probability of occurring, Limitations in the search of stakeholders, ignorance of the possibility that the public will find out, watering down future importance and undervaluation of collective outcome. Secondly, they look at the judgment of risk theory made up of denying uncertainty, risk trade-offs and risks framing. Lastly, the authors look at the perception of cause theory characterized by a focus on people, different events and sins of omission.
In theories about people, the article reviews the social world of executives. In this category, the authors discuss ethnocentrism and stereotypes theories. Lastly, the authors look at theories about us in explaining causes of bad decision by executives. They examine the theory of superiority characterized by illusion of favorability and illusions of optimism. They also look at the theory of self-serving biases and the theory of overconfidence. Other than pointing out the causes of poor decision-making, the authors offer possible solutions. They recommend that executives focus on making high quality decisions based on data rather than hunches and avoid ethical mistakes. Secondly, decisions should come in after an assessment of the full range of consequences of the decision. Lastly, shame should not be the reasons behind the withholding of information about decisions. The authors finally note that the human mind has creative capacity to trick itself and therefore executives must learn to calibrate themselves to analyze risk. The executives should rely more on ensuring organizational culture flourishes rather than personal objectives that are often short-term cantered.
Trevino, L. K., Brown M. and Hartman P. L. (2003). A qualitative investigation of perceived executive ethical leadership: perceptions from the inside and outside the executive suite. Human Relations, 5 (56)
This article examines the similarities and differences of authentic, spiritual and transformational leadership styles in the context of ethical leadership and their outcomes. It also examines how employees’ percept their leaders based on the social learning theory, situational factors and individual characteristics. The authors conduct a rigorous social scientific study based on social theories of ethics and leadership. In analyzing individual leader characteristics, the study finds out that agreeableness are consciousness traits positively relate to ethical leadership while neuroticism negatively relate to ethical leadership style. It also finds out that inhibition of power boosts ethical leadership while Machiavellianism does not. The article places the leader’s moral reasoning, moral utilization, internal locus of control and self-monitoring tendencies as requirements for conveyance of an ethical leadership style. The authors note that ethical leaders inspire follower satisfaction, motivation and organizational commitment.
Ogbonna, E. and Harris L. C. (2000). Leadership style, organization culture and performance: empirical evidence from UK companies. International Journal of Resource Management, 4(11): 766-788
The authors examine how leadership affects performance and how culture influences performance in UK companies. They conduct a literature review of leadership, organizational culture and organization performance. The study analyzes principal components that the authors rely on in coming up with significant keys. A breakdown of elements validates adopted culture extents in the organization. In addition, the authors confirm how leadership style arrests the dimensions of an institutions culture. In their findings, the author note that each independent factor has an effect on performance but the degree of influence differs. The study shows that instrumental leadership style negatively affects performance. On the other hand, supportive and participatory leadership raise performance. On culture, the findings show that the more outward oriented an organizational culture is, the higher the probability of the organization to generate competitive advantages. Outward oriented cultures are completive and innovative. The authors note that leadership effects on performance are indirect while cultural effects are direct. Therefore, the extent to which a leadership style affects the culture of the organization is much more important that the perception of the leader as held by workers.
Ulrich, D. and Smallwood N. (2007). Building a Leadership brand. Harvard Business Review. Harvard Business School Press.
This article offers a description of five principles that organizational cultures must follow for their leaders to be effective. The article offers a practicable mathematical quality analysis formula that is usable to evaluate the organizational level branded leadership. The five principles offered in the article are, nailing the prerequisites of leadership, connecting the organization’s executives’ abilities to the reputation that the organization is trying to make, assessing leaders in relation to the leadership brand statement, letting customers and investors to do the teaching and finally tracking long-term success of the organization’s leadership brand effort. The article illustrates that having a strong leadership brand improves the organization’s price-earnings ratio. The article highlights the importance of organizational culture in company success and cautions against relying on a single leader to lead the organization to success. When leadership personality is not in tandem with the five principles highlighted in the article then the organization will lose its competitive edge.
Nana, E., Jackson B. and Burch G. J. (2010). Attributing leadership personality and effectiveness from the leader’s face: an exploratory study. Leadership and organization Development Journal, 8(31): 720-742
The article explores the processed used by individuals in making assumptions about a leader’s personality based on the leader’s photograph description. The authors conduct a survey and then use a focused group in their study. They report that perceived leadership efficacy positively correlates with leader traits examined. The authors further note that individuals rely on how leaders look like facially and generally. Individuals also depend on stories and descriptions of the leader. The research justifies the importance of a leader’s face as a rich information source for judging the leader’s personality and ability to lead. The research findings illustrate that board of directors may unconsciously choose a new CEO based on how they perceive their personality using the face rather than use the actual leadership personality of the CEO.
Khan, A., Khan R. and Mohammad H. R. (2011). Developing international executives: the capacity-building approach. Development and Learning in organizations, 2(25): 10-14
            This article illustrates why expatriates fail despite having all the technical skills needed. It explains that failure to adapt to local culture is the reason behind the failure and recommends that expatriates develop skills to allow easy and fast adaptation. The article is relevant because it highlights the importance of adapting to existing organizational cultures and this requirement extends to leaders.
Andrews, M. C., Baker T. and Hunt G. T. (2010). Values and person-organization fit: does moral intensity strengthen outcomes. Leadership and Organizational Development Journal, 1(32): 5-19
This study examines commitment and satisfaction levels in an organization as affected by corporate ethical values and person-organization fit. The study findings show that corporate ethical values and intense morality are fundamentals in having an organizational culture with a committed workforce.
Strategic Direction. (2010). When branding gets personal, big names who stamp identity to their companies. 4(25): 28-31
This article explains how leaders seen as their organization’s brand embodiment hold its reputation.it explains how personal traits of the organization’s leader matter when it comes to building a ‘must have’ organization brand.

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