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Leadership is neither natural, fair or useful. Discuss.

In this paper, I will argue the concept of leadership and discuss that it is neither natural
nor fair in terms of firstly, the essence of the ideology of leadership in the past and
current time, and how is the confusion of this term may change the way that
organization give to understand and practice leadership nowadays (Section 1:
leadership misconception). In conjunction, with the expansion of managerial structures
and growth in contemporary business organizations, there was an inequality treatment
between both genders and a misleading in using conceptual of leadership (Section 2:
Unfairness in leadership). Lastly, I will put a shed on the tendency of the effectiveness of
leadership and the range of beneficial outcomes that significantly reflect by applying
linkage between leadership and management in contemporary organizations (Section 3:
Does leadership useful?)
1- Leadership misconception
The confusion about the term "leadership" or "leader" has been historically examined
and has been defined in several forms taking in account changing in variables and
accompanying situations. This confusion made a strong doubt in peoples minds about
leaderships constrains, what leaders are capable for? how they can bravely displace
unclear situations and take responsibility and consequences on their shoulders. Even if
a person was in a high level of organizational hierarchy, it is not necessary that he or
she has the plenary power with no restrictions. The word leader fascinates minds and
conceive leaders with magical wand that can not be affected by external or internal
factors, however, social norms, religions and culture play an essential role in
determining the concept of leadership.
The variation of definitions of leadership also indicates the non correspondence
between leadership and something specific out there in organizations and other social
settings (Alvesson and Sveningsson 2003: 363).

When it comes to discuss and question about leadership, we should put in mind cultural
and social backgrounds, as well as, legendary stories and heroism actions that deep
rooted in the history that is, developed image or myth of great leader. In fact, it has been
argued that when people feel lack of confidence, negative emotions of failure and/or
deeply concern about taking decisions at any circumstances, they tend to throw their
faith on someone else a leader to solve problems and to initiate powerful solutions
(Gemmil and Oakley 1992). So, leadership attributes or characteristics considerably are
not natural but acquired and it can be resulted from particular status that force individual
to take control. Also, leaders have to have remarkable efficacy to upgrade their
followers to the top level of liberality and engagement in such situations to positively
encourage members and improve organizations performance.
Leadership is associated with a set of myths reinforcing a social construction of
meaning which legitimizes leadership role occupants, provides belief in potential
mobility for those not in leadership roles, and attributes social causality to leadership
roles, thereby providing a belief in the effectiveness of individual control. (Pfeffer 1977:
The use of leadership term in contemporary business organizations has been modified
and widened as well several aspects like political, environmental and/or even personal
factors separate or overlapping can affect the social perception in industrial societies.
This development has create range of theories over time such as, Globalization and
Taylorism that can be still on practice in contemporary business organizations despite
the managerial strategies and organizational structures complexity.

2- Unfairness in leadership
Diverse thoughts of understanding leadership has brought to us different assumptions
of unfairness in management, that discriminate between both genders as well as, direct
all responsibilities and its consequences on one person when thinking of conceptual of

The problem is over the years it was forced upon that leadership traits based on social
norms, are considerably suited to masculinity traits, which consequently, enhance the
absence of women in leadership positions. This has made contradictory thought to
determine what are the leaders characters? does it monopoly on one gender that carry
specific psychological traits?. Traditionally, existence of great men and mythic the
powerful charismatic leader manipulating with women intervention to manage or lead
people and rationing their ability to be equal and/or superior to others. This strong
masculine stereotyping performance can disregard others, regardless of their gender.
leadership may be assumed to imply maleness, and maleness may be assumed to
carry with it inherent qualities of leadership that women lack. (Hearn and Parkin 1986:

Another point of view that appears to be cause of unfairness when perform the concept
of leadership, that significantly distinguish one person to bear either, positive outcomes
and reproduce to us CEO celebrity (Hayard et al 2004) or negative outcomes and
treat leader as scapegoat (Alvesson and Sveningsson 2003). Interestingly, both point
of view provoke to rethink thoroughly when making decision and that in fact may make
people to avoid being in the front line.

Making a decision, or standing by a decision once made, exposes carefully nurtured

images of competence and know-how to the judgements of others, particularly ones

As a result, many managers become extremely adept at sidestepping

decisions altogether and shrugging off responsibility, all the while projecting an air of

command, authority, and decisiveness, leaving those who actually do decide to carry
the ball alone in the open field. (Jackall 1988: 80)

3- Does leadership useful?

Although I argued that leadership is neither natural nor fair in the previous
sections, but, indeed, the conception of leadership has been formed over history to
compel its importance and usefulness in todays life. In the context of the 'romance of
leadership' perspective (Meindle 1982), leadership might be useful at some level in
which fairly focus and motivate followers and guide them in right direction. Even if,
romanticize leadership has not been exactly proven a distinct improvement in
organizational performance or outcomes. Notably, there are a portion of correlation
between successful performance when select and apply the appropriate leaderships
tools and techniques that rise the competence of the performance of the organization.
An example from our current time would be many well-known companies which went
bankrupt for some uncontrollable reasons during the world financial crisis, but brought
powerful leaders in the business world (eg; Richard Fuld ex-CEO of Lehman Brothers ).

Leadership creates results (Alvesson and Sveningsson 2003: 1435)

In the recent decades, the ideology of leader or leadership crystallizes into various
meaning to link managing people or followers to be professional managers with
consideration of various influential elements. Therefor, this recent ideology differs from
the historical myth of superhuman or non-worldly leaders, coach or motivator that
gather and persuade people around an idea and superior that has control on
subordinators which means there are no one specific example represent the optimal
leader. In that sense, we can extract important attributions and characteristics from
different type of leadership definitions and model them into strategic options and mix or
combine different type of leadership theories to accommodate particular situation.

Alvesson and Sveningsson (2003), stated that practicing managers behaviors like,
informal communication and interaction with workers and potential engagement in the
production process reflect significant positive impact on their performance. Accordingly,
that enhance much more of teamwork and respect of others contribution as well as
create a productive environment to at least strive to achieve business goals. Rather
than centralization and attribute most of the work to one person as it in the business
press (Hayward et al 2004) which is actually, push the key power all the way to the top
peak of the hierarchy that in turn increase managers concern and reinforce the idea of
running away from taking decisions.

It has been argued in this section how the leadership concept can be useful in some
level of it, preferably, used in link with romanticize the content of leadership and move to
learn more about leadership skills that can be developed through training and changing

To conclude, I have argued in this paper that leadership is neither natural nor fair in
relation to what precisely is the meaning of leadership and how it is despite its
ambiguity prevail its value in wide fields in current business life. The argument
consists of Three sections. In section one, I argued on the opposing side of that
leadership has scholarly various definitions and how that forced the image of leadership
or leader on our minds. Respectively, the second section states that depending upon
our previous perspectives about leadership, it produces gender inequality and causes
pressure and stress on the leader-centered approach. lastly, I absolutely belief that
leadership has benefits in creating a positive atmosphere that would motivate and
reflect quality in the outcomes. Another fact is that extracting leadership attributes and
modeling them to be effective and resilient when interacting with humans. Leadership
might not be natural or fair by default, however, we still desire to deeply dig in to explore
the broad concept of leadership to achieve organizational objectives and goals.


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