Leadership is all about learning on a daily basis to get better ways through to manage people. One of the most important ways to learn new ideas on this management of people is being closer to the followers and listening to their contributions about organizational plans and the future. This is not easily achieved by many lenders for fear or relinquishing their stature within the company and industry. In this paper, there is a comprehensive analysis of leadership and the ability to share responsibilities through the concept called delegation. In delegation of leadership, organizations do not have followers but business partners who have relevant experience and ideas that would be ofbenefit to the wellbeing of the firm. As a result, delegation of leadership is recommended ton use the relationship approach as opposed to task orientation as much as it is possible to do so. However, alternatives to delegated leadership especially for big organizations have been addressed and include de-concentration, delegation, devolution and divestment. These approachesin leadership have many benefits such as encouraging participation, democracy and equality in organizations, promotion of diversity, firm efficiency benefit besides having s bearing on Conflict resolution
Leading is a dynamic process in a work environmentthat can influence group members to commit themselves freely towards the achievement of group and organizational goals and tasks and goals. Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee (2013) observe that leadership corresponds to the way a leader gives directions, motivates followers and implements organization strategic plans. Good leadership in organizations therefore promotes commitment to work, team spirit and a desire for efficiency. Many studies of leadership havefocused on behaviorand style of the leader, with their argument revolving around the way in which the leader exercises leadership. There are therefore manytypes of styles in leadership but this study analyses how delegatedleadershipcan be helpful to organizations and their employee relations.
Relationship leadership as delegated authority
Before understanding delegation of leadership, it is important to have a glimpse of knowledge on the general overview of leadership. In general, Organizationsbase their leadership on either relationships or tasks to be achieved over a specific period of time. According to Auh, Menguc, and Jung (2014), task-oriented leadership could be internally oriented or externally oriented. The task oriented internal leadership practicallyexercises more supervision and tight control from the leaders whose role is to plan, coordinate budgets, and make decision on issues affecting the organization. However, task oriented external leadership requires its leaders to expand and establish the organizational domain (Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee, 2013).
In other words, task oriented leadership is generally owned by managers who expect followers to be the instruments towards achieving the goals. The fact that followers receive the communication in top-down mechanism, they are not expected to give in their input but remain committed to the execution of tasks they are assigned.In abstract terms, task oriented leadership whether external or internal, believes in no division of leadership powers and privileges and therefore draw a line between the leader and the follower. Indeed, this leadershipmay be characterized with centralized decision making mechanismsas well as more authoritative management of resources and people in organizations.
Auh, Menguc and Jung (2014) contend that direct leadership improves employees’ satisfaction when the task is ambiguous and stressful because it helps to clarify the situation at work. This is consistent with Balkin, Cardy and Gomez (2005) argument that planning is a process that helps leaders set objectives for future to achieve goals and objectives of the organization, that if planning was not strategized using centralized forms of leadership, organizations would not have a future. Although this seems to hold water, it looks out dated, uncivilized and a very barbaric way of leadership. Today, organizationshave employees with diversity of knowledge and generally, there is no single owner and commander of all knowledge in the world. This means that involving followers in management and leadership would be a sure way to havewell-reasoned and diversity of opinions that build organizations’images. Indeed, it is no longer the period when the leader literally knew everything as followers waited for directions. It is quite easy to find followers with better skills and qualifications than leaders, and these calls for collectiveness or at least delegation of duties for quickmaking of decisions that re rich in helpful firm-oriented content.
Given the authoritative nature of task oriented leadership style, there are several challenges. For instance, employees are discouraged to be creative because they are afraid of breaking the rules. According to Giessner, et al (2013), authoritative leadership allows a leader to make decisions without consultation and expects subordinates to accept their decision that could encourage employee. Therefore, this form of leadership hinders creativity because the employees have no autonomy and opportunity to give their input in organizational plans and projects.
This type of supervisory leadership can be compared with the relationship leadership whose focus is rather different. Relationship leadership focuses on maintaining good interpersonal relationship. For example,relationship leadership in a company could be characterized by relaxed methods of task management as long as the results are achieved. The leader is not concerned on how and when their employees work provided the outcome and the result are successful. In this context, the leader is more concerned with interpersonal relationship. In this leadership, a decision has delegated the authority to the employees. The leader uses a more participative approach. This approach has become a slogan in modern leadership, because it implies that subordinates should be provided with an opportunity to participate in decisions processes made in their work settings.
Furthermore, relationship oriented internal leadership implies that the leader encourages employees to seek self-fulfillment by giving them incentives in case of good performance and encourages good interpersonal relationships which obviously has the power to reduce the level and degree of conflicts in the organization. Leaders of high producing groups tend to be employee-centered in their approach. This means that relationship oriented external leadership is concerned with managing the organizations external environment, for example training the staff to deal with challenges from the external environment. From this assessment, it is vivid that relationship leadership focuses less on participative approach, which according to Giessner, et al (2013),involves delegating decision making mechanisms; a real measure of leadership style that has to do with how a leader makes decisions. It can also be assessed from this concept that a leader who involves employees in decision-making will be rated highly by the employees. In brief, when employees are given autonomy in their work, they tend to be more creative and therefore end up increasing their productivity and that of the organization, an aspect that is perhaps missing when companies find it difficult to delegate powers.
Althoughdelegating leadership is encouraged, it may have its challenges but that should not make people in authority do everything without considering their followers. For instance, the leaders should evaluate their organizations to apply appropriate task or relationship styles because different tactics are greatly influenced by the attitudes of followers and the leader’s personality. For instance, if the followers are less responsible, the leader may have to use a more authoritative approach like task orientation leadership which is more tight and highly supervised to make employees to work in order for the goals of the organization to be achieved. When personal relationships cause problems in task execution, a sandwich of task and relationship leadership styles could be ideal.
Approaches to Delegated organizational leadership
From theanalysis of relationship orientation leadership, it is not difficult to argue that there is an increasing desire for organizations to exercise decentralized forms of leadership in their functions. As a result, many organizations have decision-making mechanisms decentralized as well as authority and accountability of actions. This system also has its own impacts on current leaders especially in the scope of control, planning and general management (Scharmer, 2009). Delegating leadership is an aspect thought by many as promoting equity, inclusiveness and encouraging participation of all people in management decisions. Whereas Carnall (2007) perceives leadership decentralization as a noble decision in relation to exercise of power controls, responsibility and accountability, Antonakis, Cianciolo and Sternberg (2004) postulate that many leaders are not ready to share or delegate their leadership powers and functions. However, in organizations, Björk and Blase (2009) opine that delegation is common through participation in decision-making authorities and responsibilities of the top managers in civilized firms. The firms have limited options andapproaches to delegation of leadership that include de-concentration, delegation, devolution and divestment.
De-concentration is considered as a weak form of decentralization where decision-making, execution of some public functions and finance are shifted from central to local institutions that are subjected to direct control of the central authorities. Delegation on the other hand involves passing of responsibilities to semi-autonomous organizations for example responsibilities in finance, authority and decision-making. Delegated authority, finance of decision-making is not wholly under the control of central authorities. However, the central authorities are finally accountable to the delegated duties and responsibilities.
Delegation can be said to involve special tasks (projects), services or private/public enterprises where central authorities choose to use alternative decision makers and managers to support them. The new leaders could however be people in other leadership roles or simply members of the organizations. On the other hand, devolution refers to full transfer of leadership and decision making mechanisms to regional, local or sub-national levels. The new officers are fully accountable and responsible for the actions involved in the dispensation of their duties.
Divestment applies to public organizations and is a process of contracting services to private owners normally called privatization. It therefore involves full transfer of management, decision making and public functions implementation. The central authority totally relinquishes all its duties in relation to the mentioned tasks. Generally, in the decentralization mechanism, selling of facilities, firing or transfer of workers as well as permission to offer new services is certain.
Impacts and Implication of Leadership Delegation for Individual Leaders
The first and one of the most important benefits of delegated leadership concerns participation, democracy and equality in organizations. According to Wong, Ormiston and Tetlock (2011), delegating leadership through the subsidiary principle helps to increase overall performance quality and effectiveness of governance systems as well as helping to increase the subnational level capacity and authority. This reveals that good practice of delegation promotes participation especially in mechanisms of making decisions, democracy, liberty and equality far from the highest authority. It is also eminent that delegation increases the intensity of democratic voice essential for quick adaptability and acceptance of decisions within service sectoras well asmanufacturing firms. Theorists opine that there is a lot of potential in delegation for example ensuring equity, local efficiency and promotion of development. On the this note, Faguet (2014) established that the main delegation trends are increased form of participation, partnerships, consultations and involvement of local jurisdiction in managing organizationalaffairs.
Because of the delegation philosophies, it has been argued that leadership delegation is counter-globalization for multinational firms, which relegates local and national decision-making powers to global platforms. However, it is almostfallacy to think in that line since leaders in central authorities become specialized on policy rather than day-day running activities that give them ample oversight role. Central authority leaders are also relieved off some duties that permeate them to concentrate on long term rather than short term organizational goal building when delegation is allowed.
The second benefit in delegation of leadership is promotion of diversity. In the light of this statement, leadership delegation has been associated with diversity in relation to experiences, competences and quality as well as quantity of options available in leadership. By delegation of leadership, the door way is opened for unique agents, entities and individuals that could be lacking in the large group. Generally, through diversity, there is increased participation because of varied interests and opinions that open room for careful evaluation of available alternatives before choosing the best option. This process often leads to formation of well informed decisions than those made by central powers and authorities and makes the decision process shorter than expected because smaller groups of people are allowed to manage affairs that only affect them other than looking for a single strategy to solve central problems where a diversity of interests, needs, challenges and preferences. Some proponents of delegation in fact claim that it is called for because of demands raised from diversity trends.
The implication with diversity is that local leaders are subjected to more specialized roles based on local needs good for them but risk being left out in national businesses due to lack of time to find out what is happening elsewhere. However, leaders of various diverse groups could easily rival each other to be noticed. For example, delegation of various functions of Marriott hotels in the US and regional counties have seen the proliferation of the firm into multi-billion enterprise derived fromexpandedmarkets s suggested through delegated leadership of the firm hotels. Other firms such as Coca cola and John Lewis supermarketshave to concentrate on commercial activities hence specialization as fruits of delegated leadership.
Thirdly, delegated leadership has the efficiency benefit to firms that practice it. Based on the arguments of Weingast (2014), delegation is responsible for organizational efficiency because it works on the principle of managing by results, which mainly remains focused on specific objects intended for a particular unit of results. In addition, Hempel, Zhang and Han (2012) suggest that since delegation reduces congestions in lines of organizational communication, there is increased rate of response to emergency problems. Besides, the decongestion improves delivery of services because of increased awareness of local conditions.
By ensuring that managers who are closest to local circumstances make appropriate decisions, delegation is thought to be an efficient decision making mechanism for multinational organizations as well as organizations with a national reach. This is also because the beneficiaries of a localized program offer appropriate support. As a whole, delegation is attributed to high level of efficiency and effectiveness. However, if poorly managed, delegation can be affected by problems of accountability and professionalism. The implication to individual leaders is the rise of competition based on performance of some units compared to others. Competition would make such leaders expand their horizons to adopt more developmental activities.
The fourth benefithas bearing on Conflict resolutionas a result of leadership delegation in organizations. When organizations engage the delegation gear, they are very much able to deal with conflicts amicably. For instance, Robbins and Judge (2012) argue that organizational conflicts are prevented because of the real or virtual inequities within organizations, regions, branches etc. and their headquarters if centralization was exercised. Generally, organizations that allow local based leadership also delegate the duty of identifying and solving conflicts even before they occur in the real sense.
Challenges and remedies towards achieving delegated leadership in organizations
According to Grindle (2007), the main challenge of decentralizing organizational functions – especially decision making – include the risk of fragmentation and reduced control among leaders. In the former, fragmentation refers to detachments that arise from delegated authority and decision making when the central authorities seem to be parallel to the localized authorities in big organizations. Therefore, the central structure, which must always work in tandem with decentralization, risks suffering from problems of teamwork as well as cooperation. This is because of the risks of potential misappropriation and working for the individual rather than group interests while offering services. Additionally, spreading of quite innovative ideas become sluggish and where they spread, they only remain within some departments, units or branches of the organization.
In the former, many individual leaders oppose delegation of leadership because of the need to relinquish some power leading to less control. The basic is that a leader should confer some level of trust to other people in relation to the execution of functions that affect the mission and vision of the organization. Ideally, the leader becomes less influential and popular in the future especially when delegation becomes very much adored and adapted. Similarly, the question of reduced control comes also with the risk of mismanagement once duty is delegated to ‘trusted professionals’. The newfound autonomy especially to local leaders could highly be prone to abuse since many of them develop.
Delegation of leadership even for multinationalshas never been aneasytask but needs to be relied as soon as possible. The reason this argument is substantial is that power or leadership is not vested into personalities but in organizational systems. This implies that unless lenders learn to share their responsibilities, even the organizations face the risk of collapse should these die-hard lenders become incapacitated all of sudden. This also implies that delegated leadership in organizations solves the problem of handover and taking over of leadership because it concentrates on empowering as many people as possible to take up leadership roles in good time and learn important strategies from their colleagues in sharing sessions. Leaders need to appreciate the need for delegation off leadership responsibilities as well as understand that shared duty is the key to efficiency. Although some leaders fear relinquishing power, it is expected that individual leaders would develop efficiency, equity, participatory philosophy and service provision capabilities even though this may risk the aspect of unity and team spirit for centralizedleadership functions.
The main challenge of decentralizing organizational functions – especially decision making – include the risk of fragmentation and reduced control among leaders. In the former, fragmentation refers to detachments that arise from delegated authority and decision making when the central authorities seem to be parallel to the localized authorities in big organizations. Delegated leadership has the efficiency benefit to firms that practice it. Based on the arguments of Weingast (2014), delegation is responsible for organizational efficiency because it works on the principle of managing by results, which mainly remains focused on specific objects intended for a particular unit of results.
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