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Longitudinal Assessment of the Impact of Leadership on Organizational Performance

FEATURED PAPER

Léo F. C. Bruno, PhD 

Fundação Dom Cabral

Brazil
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ABSTRACT

The study sought to evaluate, seven years later on (2005 – 2012), the personal values profile, the predominant leadership styles, the leadership effectiveness, the relationship between personal values balance and leadership effectiveness, and the relationship between personal values balance and organizational performance of a group of Brazilian executives. In order to evaluate the personal values profile a closed instrument of the rank order type has been developed and applied. To identify the predominant leadership styles, as well as the leadership effectiveness of the involved executives, it has been used an instrument available in the market. To verify the relationship between personal values balance and leadership effectiveness, it has been used the linear regression method computing the linear correlation coefficient between the before mentioned variables, involving 400 executives. The study has shown that the executives have an unbalance in their personal values profile, with predominance of economic and theoretical values. Additionally the study has uncovered lack of flexibility regarding the leadership styles, presenting styles of selling and sharing ideas as dominants. The study also showed that the leadership effectiveness of the involved executives was at a moderate level. The research also pointed out a high positive relationship between executives` personal values balance and leadership effectiveness. Additionally to that, the study suggested a positive relation between executives’ personal values balance scores and organizational performance. Finally, the research found that executives’ values had not shifted, neither their leadership profile.

Key words: personal values, leadership style, leadership effectiveness, personal values balance, organizational performance.

INTRODUCTION 

Values

Many personal aspects will interact to determine the actions of a person in a leadership role. Perceptions, attitudes, motivations, personality, skills, knowledge, experience, confidence, and commitment are a few of the variables which are important for understanding the behavior of people. They are no less important for understanding the behavior of people at work, whether they are leaders or not. However, this study will highlight what may well be the crucial and underlying determinant of leaders’ behavior – values.

According to Spranger (1928), an early and influential writer, values are defined as the constellation of likes, dislikes, viewpoints, shoulds, inner inclinations, rational and irrational judgments, prejudices, and association patterns that determine a person’s view of the world. The importance of a value system is that once internalized it becomes, consciously or subconsciously, a standard or criterion for guiding one’s action. Thus the study of leader’s value is extremely important to the study of leadership.

A number of studies have been done to uncover the values leaders and managers actually have. The most influential theory is based upon the thinking of Spranger (1928) who defined several types of value orientation as shown in Table 1, and has been developed by Guth and Tagiuri (1965). They studied the expressed values of 653 American executives, using a closed instrument, of rank order type, detecting that the executives in the sample in terms of group averages presented a predominance of economic, political and practical values. Additional support to these findings is available in the studies of England (1967) involving a survey of 1,072 American managers.

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About the Author

flag-brazilpmwj15-oct2013-bruno-AUTHOR IMAGE 120x176Léo Fernando Castelhano Bruno

Associate Professor and Researcher

Fundação Dom Cabral

Minas Gerais, Brazil 

Léo Fernando Castelhano Bruno is an Associate Professor and Researcher at Fundação Dom Cabral in the fields of People, Organizational Behavior and Innovation, since 2004. He is a member of the FDC Leadership Development Center and of the FDC Innovation Center. He is also an Assistant Professor in the field of Science and Technology at VolkswagenAutoUnion, Wolfsburg/Germany; Professor in the Master’s courses at UNICAMP – Campinas State University, and UFAM – Amazonas Federal University, in the disciplines Strategic Planning, Organizational Change Management, Leadership, Organizational Culture, Research in Organizations, and Organizational Behavior; Technical Coordinator of the Fundação Dom Cabral PAEX – Partners for Excellence program; and President of the Council at CLSB – Center for Leadership Studies do Brasil, São Paulo/Brazil.

Prof Bruno is a member of the Executive Committee at the UNESCO Global Leadership Forum; member of the Executive Committee at CASA – Chinese-American Scholars Association, New York/USA; and international lecturer in the fields of Leadership, Organizational Change, Organizational Culture and Science & Technology (Innovation). He has worked as an executive for several companies such as: Ford, Embraer, Philips, Whirlpool/Brastemp, Samsung, Gradiente, Genius Institute of Technology and Flextronics. Some of his lectures abroad include: “Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations” at the 10th Global Leadership Forum/UNESCO in Novosibirsk/Russia, 2008, and “Impact of Leadership on Organizations” at the E-Leader Conference in Krakow/Poland, 2008.  He is the author of several books and numerous articles and book chapters.

He has a Doctorate in Applied Behavioral Sciences, specialization in Organizational Behavior, California American University (1982); Master in Administration, California American University (1978); Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo (1977); Specialist in Quality Management, University of California at Los Angeles – UCLA (1979); and Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Escola de Engenharia Mauá do Instituto Mauá de Tecnologia, (1970).  Prof Bruno can be contacted at [email protected] .