This volume presents an alternative perspective on the problem of leadership in organizations. Dr. Charles H. Kime argues that while individuals ultimately take actions we call leadership, structural and non-structural characteristics of the organization influence the ability and inclination of organization members to engage in these actions. Further more, evidence is presented suggesting that these organizational features become assimilated into the normative structure of the organization over time and formal and informal organizational norms shape the ways in which organization members envision their roles, functions and relationships to the organization. Once institutionalized, organizational leadership may be understood as the capacity of the organization to respond to endogenous and exogenous stimuli, which present themselves as challenges, opportunities, and threats to the organization. Drawing upon general systems and complexity and chaos theory, Kime presents organizational leadership as a normative feature of organizations, that can help or hinder their negotiation of a complex, nonlinear environment.Kime tests his formulation on a sample of fire services organizations in the United States. In addition to confirming the viability of organizational leadership as a concept, he explores the empirical relationship of organizational leadership with organizational size, texture, age, labor management process and other variables.
The Problem of Organizational Leadership - Purpose, Questions, Importance of organizational leadership as a concept, Paradigmatic shift in thinking, Correlates of organizational leadership, The link between organizational leadership and culture, Limitations of the current work, Plan of the book. Theory and Research on Leadership - Leadership in social science, Early research, Modern theories, Contemporary research, Popular press, Conclusions from the leadership literature. General Systems, Complexity and Leadership - General systems thinking, Linear systems, Nonlinear systems, Learning from general systems thinking, Complexity in organizations, Paradigms, Emerging theoretical context, Gaps in research. Measuring Organizational Leadership - Leadership, systems, and complexity, Measuring organizational leadership, Measuring the correlates of leadership, Research questions. Organizational Leadership in the Fire Services - Data collection overview, The organizational leadership scale, Organizational size and capacity for leadership, Unions and organizational leadership, Organizational texture, Age and genesis of the organization, Management tenure, Task range of fire departments, Ratio of employees to mangers, Organizational stability, Summary of data analysis. Elaborating the Concept of Organizational Leadership - Key findings, Status of organizational leadership, Directions for future research.