The role of mental models in enhancing effective leadership behaviour
- Authors: Johnson, Andrew Joseph
- Date: 2013-05-01
- Subjects: Leadership , Organizational change , Management , Executive ability
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:7504 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/8361
- Description: Ph.D. (Industrial Psychology) , As a key on-going concern for modern organisations, effective leadership is the focus of this study. Effective leadership is probably the primary factor in how well organisations deal with on-going change. This creates successful organisational cultures that are conducive to employee engagement in order to achieve outcomes of great customer service, which in turn will have desired business results. Leadership effectiveness is defined as the extent to which a leader achieves the consequences intended. In other words, that which I as a leader envisaged as an outcome of my actions has been achieved. In reality, one finds big mismatches between what leaders intend and the outcomes of their actions. This has perplexed me, even in cases of well-meaning leaders who did aspire to making themselves and their organisations more effective. This ineffectiveness has remained, notwithstanding a myriad of leadership advice on what constitutes “good” leadership, and how to implement such advice. The advice and its implementation have a poor record. At a very minimum, this advice fails because it is not actionable, and simply represents that which somebody else espouses, but cannot enact. These mismatches between what leaders say and what they actually do in practice lead to leaders being ineffective. The study endeavours to assist the executives who participated in this study in becoming aware of the root causes of this ineffectiveness. In particular, this study proposes a theory of action (Action Science) approach to explain why there is a gap between the espoused values of leaders and their actions. A theory of action asserts that human action is not accidental, it is deliberately planned, i.e., all human beings have a particular picture, model or belief of how to view the world in their minds, and go about executing a particular task within the constraints of this model.
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