The Value Based Leadership Theory
Managers do things right
Leaders do the right things…
Value Based Leadership Theory
“Leaders are dealers in hope” Bonaparte Napoleon
“We will build a winning tradition” Vince Lombardi to the Green
Consider the above quotations. These statements of leaders reflect
commitment to a value position. In this paper I am going to describe a
brand new theory of leadership, developed by Professor House - the Value
Based Leadership Theory. I will also present a preliminary test of several hypotheses derived from Value Based Theory. The tests of hypotheses are based on data descriptive of 25 relationships between chief executives and their immediate subordinates. As a concrete example, I am going to present the results of the real interviews, which took plase in Russia in 1999 among the CEOs. In the process of testing these hypotheses I replicate the study of charismatic leadership in the U. S. presidency conducted by House,
Spangler & Woycke (1991) using a sample of chief executive officers and different measurement methods. What I am trying to prove in this paper is the following: It was considered to think that managers are always the leadres in the organization. This opinion was proved to be wrong. According to the first research which appaered in press in the end of 70-s: manager is the position, and leader is the person who leads others to the desired result. According to the personal trends and characteristics, managers should be leaders, and they are, but not always. The question of leadership is a very interesting topic for me, personally.
I am deeply interested in the question of leadership, and I do think,
that this question and the existing theories have a long life to live.
Leadership is a real fact, which has already been proved. You can be a born leader, but you also can create the leader in yourself. You can manage to influence, motivate and enable others. You can succeed, because there is nothing impossible for a human being. Especially, if he is intelligent on the one hand and really wishes to achieve something on the other.
A BRIEF HISTORICAL REVIEW
During the period between the mid-seventies and the present time a
number of theories have been introduced into the leadership literature.
These new theories and the empirical research findings constitute a paradigm shift in the study of leadership. The theories to which I refer are the 1976 Theory of Charismatic Leadership (House, 1977), the
Attributional Theory of Charisma (Conger & Kanungo, 1987), and the
Transformational Theory (Burns, 1978; Bass, 1985), and Visionary Theories of Leadership (Bennis & Nanus, 1985; Sashkin, 1988; Kousnes & Posner,
I believe these theories are all of a common genre. They attempt to explain how leaders are able to lead organizations to attain outstanding accomplishments such as the founding and growing of successful entrepreneurial firms, corporate turnarounds in the face of overwhelming competition, military victories in the face of superior forces, leadership of successful social movements and movements for independence from colonial rule or political tyranny. They also attempt to explain how certain leaders are able to achieve extraordinary levels of follower motivation, admiration, respect, trust, commitment, dedication, loyalty, and performance.
The dependent variables of earlier theories are follower expectations, satisfaction, and normal levels of performance. The dependent variables of the more recent theories include a number of affective consequences such as followers’ emotional attachment to leaders; followers’ emotional and motivational arousal, and thus enhancement of follower valences and values with respect to the missions articulated by leaders; followers’ trust and confidence in leaders; and values that are of major importance to the followers. These more recent theories also address the effect of leaders on several follower conditions not addressed in earlier theories, such as followers' self-worth and self-efficacy perceptions, and identification with the leader’s vision.
Earlier theories describe leader behavior that are theoretically
instrumental to follower performance and satisfy follower needs for
support, generally referred to as task-and person-oriented leader behaviors
(Fleishman & Harris, 1962; Katz & Kahn, 1952; Likert, 1961; Feidler, 1967;
House, 1971, House, 1996). In contrast, the more recent theories stress the infusion of values into organizations and work through leader behaviors that are symbolic, inspirational and emotion arousing.
Earlier theories take follower attitudes, values, desires, and preferences as given. The more recent theory claim that leaders can have substantial, if not profound effects on these affective and cognitive states of followers. Accordingly, leaders are claimed to transform both individuals and total organizations by infusing them with moral purpose, thus appealing to ideological values and emotions of organizational members, rather than by offering material incentives and the threat of punishment, or by appealing to pragmatic or instrumental values.
Also, McClelland (1975) introduced a theory intended to explain leader effectiveness as a function of a specific combination of motives referred to as the Leader Motive Profile (LMP). As will be shown below, this theory complements the newer theories referred to above.
Since the early 1980s, more than fifty empirical studies have been
conducted to test the validity of the more recent theories of leadership.
Empirical evidence is discussed in more detail below. First, however, the valued based leadership theory will be described.
VALUE BASED LEADERSHIP THEORY
The theory is intended to integrate the newer theories and the empirical evidence alluded to above. Value based leadership is defined as a relationship between an individual (leader) and one or more followers based on shared strongly internalized ideological values espoused by the leader and strong follwower identification with these values. Ideological values are values concerning what is morally right and wrong. Such values are expressed in terms of personal moral responsibility, altruism, making significant social contributions to others, concern for honesty, fairness, and meeting obligations to others such as followers, customers, or organizational stakeholders. Value based leadership is asserted to result in: a) exceptionally strong identification of followers with the leader, the collective vision espoused by the leader, and the collective; b) internalized commitment to the vision of the leader and to the collective; c) arousal of follower motives that are relevant to the accomplishment of the collective vision; and d) follower willingness to make substantial self sacrifices and extend effort above and beyond the call of duty.
The title Value Based Leadership Theory has been chosen to reflect the
essence of the genre of leadership described by the theory. The 1976
theory of charismatic leadership is a precursor to the value based
leadership theory. The title “charismatic leadership” has been chosen
because of its cavalier popular connotation. The term charisma is often
taken in the colloquial sense, rather than the somewhat technical sense
conceived by Max Weber. The word charisma commonly invokes impressions of a
person who is charming, attractive, and sometimes macho, flamboyant, and
sexually appealing. In contrast, Value Based Leadership is intended to
convey the notion of a leader who arouses follower latent values or causes
followers to internalize new values. Such value communication can be
enacted in a quiet, non-emotionally expressive manner or in a more
emotionally expressive manner. Examples of leaders who have communicated
values to followers in an emotionally expressive manner are Winston
Churchill, Lee Iacocca, Martin Luther King, and John F. Kennedy. Examples of leaders who have communicated values to followers in a less emotionally expressive manner are Mother Teresa, Mahatma Ghandi, and Nelson Mandela.
A second reason for abandoning the term charisma is that in current
usage it implies that the collectivities led by charismatic leaders are
highly leader-centered and that the leader is the source of all, or almost
all, organizational strategy and inspiration of followers. One popular
conception of charismatic leadership is that it is necessarily highly
directive and disempowering of followers (Lindholm, 1990). In this paper,
I hope to demonstrate the huge potential for value based leadership to be empowering and effective.
The Process and Effects of Value Based Leadership
In this section, an overview of what Value Based leadership is and how
it works is presented. There is both theory and empirical evidence to
suggest that value based leadership has a substantial effect on
organizational performance. Waldman and his associates reported two studies
of value based leader behavior as an antecedent to organizational
profitability (Waldman, Ramirez & House, 1996; Waldman, Atwater & House,
1996). In these studies value based leadership accounted for between fifteen and twenty five percent of firm profitability over the three years following the time at which value based leadership was assessed. The design of these studies controlled for executive tenure, firm size, environmental turbulence, and prior firm profitability.
The theoretical process by which value-based leadership functions is described in the following paragraphs. Evidence for this process is presented in more detail in later sections in which the specific theories contributing to value based leadership theory is discussed.
Value based leaders infuse collectives, organizations, and work with ideological values by articulating an ideological vision, a vision of a better future to which followers are claimed to have a moral right. By claiming that followers have this right, the values articulated in the vision are rendered ideological - expressions of what is morally right and good. Ideological values are usually, if not always, end values which are intrinsically satisfying in their own right. In contrast to pragmatic values such as material gain, pay, and status, end values cannot be exchanged for other values. Examples of end values are independence, dignity, equality, the right to education and self-determination, beauty, and a world of peace and order. Ideological values theoretically resonate with the deeply held values and emotions of followers.
Acccording to value based leadership theory the visions articulated by this genre of leaders are consistent with the collective identity of the followers, and are emotionally and motivationally arousing. Emotional and motivational arousal induces follower identification with the collective vision and with the collective, results in enhncement of follower self- efficacy and self-worth, and have powerful motivtional effects on followers and on overall orgnizational performance.
Leaders of industrial and government organizations often articulate
visions for their organizations. Such visions need not be grandiose.
Visions of outstanding leaders in the normal work world can embrace such ideological values as a challenging and rewarding work environment; professional development opportunities; freedom from highly controlling rules and supervision; a fair return to major constituencies; fairness, craftsmanship and integrity; high quality services or products; or respect for organizational members, clients or customers and for the environment in which the organization functions. Whether conceived solely by the leader, by prior members of the collective, or jointly with followers, the articulation of a collective ideological vision by leaders theoretically results in self-sacrifice and effort, above and beyond the call of duty, by organizational members and exceptional synergy among members of the collective.