organizational goals and objectives

there are many factors that may moderate andmediate the relation of traits to outcome variables (DeRue, Nahrgang, Wellman, & Humphrey, 2011; Judge & Long, 2012; Meyer, Dalal, & Hermida, 2010), and how a particular person actually leads may vary with their tenure and position in a particular organization (Hambrick & Fukutomi, 1991; Katz & Kahn, 1978), or with the complexity of a leader’s organizational environment (Uhl-Bien & Marion, 2009). In fact, the literature on organizational com- plexity illustrates the need for organizations to continually innovate to meet the demands of changing external environments, and this need requires that leaders go beyond merely applying their extant knowledge and traits to achieve personal and/or or- ganizational goals and objectives. For instance, leadership effectiveness in adaptive organizations or work teams may depend on the leader’s ability to create new emergent structures (e.g., self-regulatory processes, goal orientations, creative thoughts and ideas) in the self and others to flexibly adapt their behaviors to the complexities created by their environments (Hannah et al., 2011; Lord et al., 2010; Uhl-Bien & Marion, 2009).

From this perspective, the appeal of dispositional approaches may be limited when our goal is to understand how dynamic intra- personal processes can affect leadership perception and performance as leaders adjust to a wide array of organizational tasks and so- cial situations. These goals may be important as modern organizations become increasingly complex and global (Osland, 2010), requiring leaders to coordinate new needs with existing structures, sensemake, and influence others; while flexibly adapting to changing organizational systems, team dynamics, and workforces (Boal & Hooijberg, 2001; Carmeli & Halevi, 2009; Katz & Kahn, 1978; Kozlowski, Watola, Jensen, Kim, & Botero, 2009; Morgeson et al., 2010; Uhl-Bien & Marion, 2009). It is during these periods of change that leaders are likely to emerge and influence the direction of organizations (Katz & Kahn, 1978), and as we will discuss, obtaining a clearer understanding of such dynamic leadership processes requires a finer grain of analysis that considers events and specific points in time (Day, 2012). Although we note that there are important differences between dispositional and more process views, it is also important to recognize that each provides valuable insight into leadership. Hence, the two approaches should not be viewed as being mutually exclusive, but rather as two different, yet valid approaches to leadership research.

  1. Mediation of dispositional effects by skills or leader behavior
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