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Leadership and the significance of formalized organizational structures

Leadership and the significance of formalized organizational structures Management literature commonly suggests authoritarian leadership (AL) as the ideal leadership style during crises and extreme situations. This study aims to question this view, exploring servant leadership (SL) as an alternative.Design/methodology/approachIn the field of leadership research, surveys and interviews are the most dominant research methods. In light of this dominance, this paper draws on a rather unorthodox research approach: a historical examination.FindingsThe elaborations in this paper suggest that SL exerts a higher influence on followers than AL, when organizational structures are absent or disregarded. Consequently, the higher influence of SL implies a lower need for regulations and directives within organizations.Practical implicationsBureaucracy and red tape can be reduced. Particularly in situations of crises, SL’s relatively reduced reliance on formalized organizational structures can be advantageous to leaders.Originality/valueThe relationship among leadership (SL and AL) and formalized organizational structures is elaborated and illustrated in a historical examination. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management History Emerald Publishing

Leadership and the significance of formalized organizational structures

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References (66)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1751-1348
DOI
10.1108/jmh-12-2018-0066
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Management literature commonly suggests authoritarian leadership (AL) as the ideal leadership style during crises and extreme situations. This study aims to question this view, exploring servant leadership (SL) as an alternative.Design/methodology/approachIn the field of leadership research, surveys and interviews are the most dominant research methods. In light of this dominance, this paper draws on a rather unorthodox research approach: a historical examination.FindingsThe elaborations in this paper suggest that SL exerts a higher influence on followers than AL, when organizational structures are absent or disregarded. Consequently, the higher influence of SL implies a lower need for regulations and directives within organizations.Practical implicationsBureaucracy and red tape can be reduced. Particularly in situations of crises, SL’s relatively reduced reliance on formalized organizational structures can be advantageous to leaders.Originality/valueThe relationship among leadership (SL and AL) and formalized organizational structures is elaborated and illustrated in a historical examination.

Journal

Journal of Management HistoryEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 7, 2019

Keywords: Organization; Historical research; Leadership; Military actions

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