The of the most critical requirements of effective leadership is to stimulate employees to voluntarily contribute to the welfare of the organization. Various leadership behaviors, such as making sure that decisions are made in a fair manner and empowerment efforts are known to stimulate employee cooperation. I will, first of all, stress that leaders should look at these various behaviors in concert, rather than in isolation: Some empowerment behaviors strengthen the effect of fair decision-making on employee cooperation; others weaken these effects. Secondly, leaders should realize that when employees do not display cooperative behaviors, this is not necessarily an issue of low motivation, but often a matter of being incapable of doing so. Finally, a core problem with stimulating employee cooperation is that leaders often don’t display the behaviors that stimulate it. I will explain various reasons why leaders refrain from displaying effective leadership styles.
Marius van Dijke is Associate Professor at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. He received his PhD in social psychology from Tilburg University in 2002. His research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of morality, social justice, power, and leadership. For instance, he studies when power and leadership stimulate ethical or unethical behavior and why people value social justice so deeply. Issues like these have important implications for theory building in Psychology and Management. But they have also practical implications for organizational managers, as they suggest tools (and limitations) to stimulate employees to function productively and in an ethical manner. He publishes in journals such as Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes and Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
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