Human Resources South Africa



January 25
10:08 2011

These effects seemed to be independent of previously believed concepts such as pay level or other working conditions, such as lighting or rest breaks. This discovery was revolutionary as it now implied that attitudes have a direct affect on behavior where as the previous belief believed only physical or “real” stimuli, such as heat, light and pay, affect behavior. The human relations study was the most important consideration for management and the analysis of organizations. Organisations were now to be developed around the workers and these organizations had to consider human feelings and attitudes.

Even though the legitimacy of Mayo’s conclusion has been tried and tested over the years, at the time the results appeared, it was revolutionary in the world of business management. The new concept was introduced to replace scientific management, and the human relations movement started. The new change had many new factors including that the satisfaction and productivity went beyond individual’s pay level and that these factors could be determined by the worker’s attitudes that they hold towards various aspects of their work. One of the major implications of this theory affected leadership so that supervisors should be more sensitive towards workers in order to improve productivity. Over the next 60 years human relations led to an interest in job satisfaction, work motivation and leadership, areas of study that remain extremely important today. So basically the human relations movement stressed the emphasis for relations of people. The recognition of these two movements has characterised the importance of leadership ever since the conflict between these to movements have become apparent.

The Nature of Leadership
Leadership can be defined as the ability to have the influence over a particular group in order to make them achieve a certain vision or set of goals. Leadership means using persuasion, motivation of employees, and shaping culture and values to support the new strategy. Leaders can make certain things to motivate employees like making speeches to employees, building coalitions of people who support the new strategic direction and persuading middle managers to go along with the vision and goals of the company. Another way leader build consensus and commitment is through broad participation. When people participates in strategy formulation, implementation is easier because managers and employees already understand the reasons for the new strategy and feel more committed to it.

The first organised efforts to learn more about leadership by psychologists involved the analysis and identification of the personal qualities of leaders. The reason behind this was that if certain basic traits could be isolated and identified, that distinguishes strong leaders from non-leaders, potential leaders and leadership traits could be identified. Studies did find that leader’s traits include qualities such as intelligence, assertiveness, above-average height, a good vocabulary, self-assurance, an extrovert personality and other similar characteristics. There were however no conclusive evidence and the research can be regarded as unsuccessful as there were so many exceptions because a lot of people had these characteristics but just weren’t leaders.

The study of leadership is a more traditional area of interest for organizational psychologists. The ultimate question for leadership is: Are leaders born or made? Based on many years of research the answer seems to be a bit of both. In an organizational context leadership is one of the most significant aspects and leaders must fulfill three functions in order to be considered leaders firstly they must be able to provide for the well-being of the led, secondly they must be able to provide a social organization in which people feel relatively secure and thirdly they must provide a set of beliefs which could be good beliefs or bad beliefs.

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