Leadership Essay Example

  • Category:
  • Document type:
  • Level:
  • Page:
  • Words:


Value-based leadership theory

Value-based leadership theory


The premise of the value-based leadership theory is that visions put forward by the genre of leaders are always consistent with the collective identity of the subjects or the followers, and are motivationally and emotionally arousing. Motivational and emotional arousal causes follower identification with the entire collective vision and with the collective, outcomes in encouragement of the follower self-worth and self-efficacy, and possesses motivational effects that are powerful on follower and on organizational performance in overall. Leaders of government and industrial organizations usually articulate visions for their particular organizations.

The significance of value-based theory in an organization is that it triggers behavioral options, and in selecting options the leader comes up with a personal behavior system that helps to shape the vision of the organization. The leader is able to act alone in response to her or his personal values or perhaps consult others who may be the followers and lead them in sessions of brainstorming to increase the number of options. Willmott and Murphy (2010) observe that in a situation where the organization is experiencing a crisis the value-based leadership theory will be very useful in creation of alternative solutions to the prevailing problems. When there are many alternative solutions to a problem then it is for the organization leadership or management just to select the pragmatic solutions and put them into practice. Brainstorming and mind mapping that can be generated through this value-based leadership theory are important tools that can be used for innovation and new product development. The followers are inspired to come up with ideas and are motivated to provide alternative solutions to problems that an organization is facing. The identification of values will in many circumstances help the followers enhance their performance in their particular organizations.

Value-based leadership has a very significant impact on any organization. Every organization has to decide which of the leadership values are required to drive its particular functioning. After taking the options the results are able to be measured to determine whether an organization has to be headed in the direction it desired. Value base leaders inculcate collectives, organizations, and work with ideological values by enhancing an ideological vision, a vision for a future that is better to which followers are expected to have a moral right. Ideological values resonate theoretically with the deeply held emotions and values of followers. Visionary, transformational, and charismatic theories of leadership are the precursors of the leader behavior outlined by the theory of value-based leadership (O’Toole et al, 2002).

The value-based theory of leadership theory usually integrates the precursor theories with the assertions that have been advanced by various psychological theories of behavior and motivation. Some of the psychological theories that have been integrated into value-based leadership theory include:

McClelland’s theories of non-conscious motivation

In accordance with this theory, the human beings motivational aspects can be interpreted in terms of four non-conscious motives in a number of combinations. These motives include affiliation, social responsibility, achievement, and power motives. The entrepreneurial effectiveness theory developed by McClelland is based on the role of achievement motivation, and a more theory of leader effectiveness that is more general. Individuals who are achievement motivated are able to set goals that are challenging for themselves, they assume personal goal accomplishment responsibility, are always highly persistent in the pursuit of the laid down goals, take up risks calculated to attain goals and actively use and collect information for purposes of feedback. Achievement motivation is predicted theoretically to contribute to entrepreneurship that is effectiveness. Small groups which are led by managers enacted by achievement oriented and behaviors that are arousing have been found out to be effective as compared to groups with mangers who did not. This clearly demonstrates the importance of value-based leadership theory to any organization (Willmott & Murphy, 2010).

Affiliative Motivation

This is defined as a non-conscious concern for maintaining, establishing, and restoration of close personal relationships with others. Individuals possessing high affiliative motivation are likely to be submissive, non-assertive and depending on others.

Power motivation

Power motivation is defined as a non-conscious concern for the acquisition of status and having an influence on others. People in organization with high power motivation usually assertive social influence, drawing attention to themselves, being persuasive, and have an impact on their immediate environment even with the people with whom they interact. According to Heifetz (1994), this motive result in managerial performance that is effective in positions of high level. However, if the power motivated managers are not constrained by a disposition of responsibility they can exercise power in a manner that is impetuously aggressive for purposes that are self aggrandizing to the detriment of the organization and subordinates. High motivation is the reason for behavior that is highly competitive (O’Toole et al, 2002).

Responsibility disposition

According to Shipper (2011), those individuals who posses a high concern for the moral power exercise are able to use power in collectively-oriented and altruistic manner. Evidence of high concern for responsibility are expressions of concern relating to meeting the moral standards and obligation to other people, being concerned about others, concerned about consequences of personal actions, and self judgment that is critical. Domtar (2003) argues that the responsibility motive is to be predictive of integrity of leaders and concern of others for the consequences of their action to the rest of the people. The responsibility disposition is related to value based behavior, fairness, supportive leader behavior, follower respect and trust for leader and commitment to the vision of the leader, and eventually effectiveness of the organization.

Leader motive profile theory

This theory dictates that power motive is necessary for the leaders to be effective since it indices them to get engaged in social influence behavior, and such behavior is significant for leadership that is effective. The individuals do not engage in type of behaviors that are dysfunctional which is high related to affiliation motivation like submissiveness, favoritism, and reluctance to disciple and monitor subordinates.

The Path-Goal theory of leadership

The significance of path-goal theory is that behavior of a leader will be effective when such kinds of behaviors are able to complement organizational practices and the information social system by provision of direction, support, motivational and clarification incentives to subordinates, which are provided. This theory is able to predict that consideration of a leader toward subordinates avail the psychological support required by subordinates, particularly in times of frustration and stress (Shipper, 2011).

Dissonance theory and competing values

In accordance with cognitive dissonance theory, anxiety-inducing cognitive dissonance is experienced by individuals when their self-evaluative feelings, behavior and cognitions are in conflict with each other. Like it has been noted previously, value-based leadership theory integrates many other theories that are very significant to the effective management of organizations. It cut across this motives and theories, and the individual advantages of these theories are shared by the value-based leadership theory (Domtar, 2003).

Leadership that is value-based needs assessment that is continuous and management that is responsible for the business’s operations consequences. Owing to traditions every person is entitled to realize who he is and what is expected of him. Certain types of tradition can jeopardize diversity and compromise the extend of innovation, core value that are historical concerning gaining respect and trust are crucial ingredients to the success of the organization that has incorporated value-based leadership theory into its operations. Every one accounts for his or her actions and therefore minimizing uncalculated risks that may occur in the course of the organization operation. Value based leadership theory injects morale in the workers since there is more sense of belonging and being loyal to the objectives and goals of the organization. Accountability and responsive behavior is inculcated in the workforce of the organization.


Value based leadership theory is very important if correctly applied in the effective management of organizations. Possible linkages between subordinate response, leader behavior and organizational effectiveness demonstrate a positive relationship. If the components of this theory are applied well in an organization it will lead to effective management of organizations leading to increased productivity, profitability and competitiveness. Teamwork and maintenance of consultative forums is also encouraged.


Shipper, M. A. (2011). Values Based Leadership» Journal of Personnel Psychology, Vol 9, Iss 4, 2011,

Willmott, H. & Murphy, J.D. (2010). Organization theory and design. Cengage Learning EMEA.

Domtar, S. (2003). The Leadership-Culture Connection: An Exploratory Investigation. Leadership and Organizational Journal 24/6 (2003) 318-334.

. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press. Madison, James (1787-88). Federalist Paper No.10.Leadership without Easy AnswersHeifetz, R. (1994).

O’Toole, J. et al., (2002). When Two Heads are better than one. California Management Review, Vol. 44, No.4.