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In his book leadership in organization Yulk (2006) states that leadership is the technique of inspiring a group of people to collaborate in order to achieve a common goal and therefore requires integration of feelings, thoughts and action (p. 12). Since the beginning of time, man has always wanted to perfect the skill of leadership as evident through many centuries of war, civilization and conflict. However, the most significant aspect of leadership is the ability to differentiate between success and failure. As Yulk put sit, there has been extensive research on leadership behavior ever since the 1950s which has divided leadership into three areas: relation -oriented, task oriented and participative leadership all of which are important components of leadership. In most of the time, a successful leader will always be judged by his performance. If his results are positive, then he will be regarded as a successful; leader but on the other hand if his results are negative, he will be regarded as a failure.
Organizational culture is all about how members of an institution interrelate and work with one another. This is a very important constituent of learning institutions like universities in terms of decision making. There ought to be alteration and progressing cultural appraisal within the university for its administrators, faculty and staff to proficiently harmonize an educational surrounding that is well organized and suitable for academic excellence. According to Robbins & Judge (2007), it is not easy to separate leadership structure and culture under normal circumstances (p. 24). Most organizations try to systematize a structure that indicates the specific position that each member should take within the company but either way, you cannot rule out the issue of culture.
Culture could be defined as the beliefs, assumptions and the resultant leadership behavior that leaders come up with to solve problems outside or inside the organization and which they pass on to new members as the right method of thinking, perceiving or acting to solve problems within the organization. The trend of most leaders to select people basing on how similar they might be to those within the institution increases the issue of culture. Similarly, it's the organizational structure that groups employees according to the specifications of a certain job or position within the organization (Robbins & Judge, 2007, p. 45).
Institutions should use the course content to come up with an organizational strategy that would empower employees and more so develop their culture towards the success of the institution. The university could incorporate in its curriculum the kind of norms and values that its students and employees ought to have. Considering that the lecturers will be the ones passing on the message to the students, they will in themselves pick up the values. On the other hand the students will also be required to abide by the values. Rules could be set to punish anyone who breaks the university rules. For instance suspension from duty or university could ensure that every stakeholder abides by the rules. According to Mintzberg, Lampel, Quinn, & Ghoshal, (2004), there have been many studies to carried out in the last ten or so years to understand the concept of culture in various field (p. 28). However, in academic lines, the concept could be understood to stand for certain values integrated by leaders in their organizations. It is therefore important to understand the cultural factors of an organization in order to understand what it is involved in and what the main issue leaders in an organization might be involved in.
For effective management of activities within an institution, the employees should be involved in decision making. No man would like to always follow what leaders state. This would sound like dictatorship which of course would be opposed by a great percentage of the staff. It is important that every member gives his views about what he feels should be done then these views are liberated upon before a common stand is taken by leadership. This way every staff member will feel appreciated and therefore part of the institution. In most of the time, this will motivate the staff to work even harder to uplift the institution's standards. Experts agree to the fact that most of the leading managers of the world incorporate employees in decision making and this is what has led to their success (Robbins & Judge, 2007). Organizational cultures are mostly built by leaders and the manner in which they relate to the junior employees. It is important that leaders formulate, organize and annihilate good cultures within the institutions so that new employees can pick up the culture and work towards continued success of the organization.
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In the same way, leaders should show by example. Junior employees would time to time emulate what their leaders to and if the leaders do not uplift good standards of behavior, then employees will do the same and this could lead to the failure of the organization. According to Styron, Maulding & Parker (2008), managers can use Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) to create an organizational culture profile which is used to evaluate portions of the organizations culture that are based on how the organization works and the kind of values that its cultures are based on. The effectiveness of the tool is that it does not only look at the current organizational but also the ideal organizational culture that is expected of the organization.
With this tool, every profile indicates the most important attributes like climate, style of management, strategic plans leadership, reward systems, including the important principles of the organization. For an organization to change its culture, its leadership has to identify and customize various elements of the organization. One of the most difficult encounters for people involved in the initiation and change of an organizations culture is the identification and modification procedures (Yukl, (2006, p. 63). You have to identify what you feel does not work and eliminate it from the organization's culture and bring in what you feel will help improve the organization. If the administration uses the OCAI tool in various departments within the school, it will be able to get views, perceptions and approaches that students feel should be employed within these departments and the university cultures at large. The university will therefore use these views to make necessary alterations for the betterment of its culture for now and in future. (Styron, Maulding & Parker, 2008, p. 21).
Mechanical structure of leadership could also be used by the university administration which is characterized by high level of formulation and a centralized kind of leadership. This would create culture where the right procedure is to be followed before a conclusion is reached. There is a strict procedure that must be followed with strict regulations that also have to be adhered to. Although the decision making level might be low, it is limited within the organization and therefore whatever decisions that are come up will definitely be strictly based on the values of the university. Another advantage of this strategy is the vertical communication employed as opposed to horizontal communication. This therefore means that decisions can only be changed when the topmost leaders agree to them. In such an institution like a university where routine behavior and discipline is paramount, this structure would work very well.
In institutions like the university, culture actually comprise of the principles and values that board of governors and the rest of the stake holders put up. All the decisions made within the university are supposed to be based on these fundamental principles and values. These values are passed through the university norms and code of conduct using special language (Yukl, 2006, p. 78). You can tell the universities culture by merely looking at the dressing code of various stakeholders and the students at large. Its a good thing that the university administration is becoming aware if the importance of culture in the running and transformation of the university into a better institution.
As opposed to most business organizations, universities have goals and objectives that are not easily determined. Either way, external and internal players are different and have very fundamental but surprising roles to the running of the universities (Styron, Maulding & Parker, 2008, p. 24). Examples of external players are the neighboring community and the political authority all of which have a say on how the university is run. For instance it is important to include the views of the community in the administration of the university because the community is like the mother of the university. Similarly, the lectures and subordinate staff are important arms of the university whose views have to be sought in the decision making. If the university administration makes decisions by itself and expect everyone to follow, there will definitely be opposition from those who will feel undermined. Although it might take sometime before a common decision is reached, the decision will definitely be the right one because many brains will have worked on it.
Research has it that culture creates successful authority but only when there is trust and understanding between managers and employees (Olson, 2007, p. 67). Any change in the organization that affects the established culture will definitely affect the performance of employees considering that they will have to take some time to change and start acting as per the new culture. Effective culture should therefore be that which instills appropriate behavior in the population and help change the behavior of individuals to the better. More over it should create a conducive working environment for everyone.