PARA 13.2 HRM (IC90) One Liner: Leadership (Chapter 9)

PARA 13.2 HRM (IC90) One Liner: Leadership (Chapter 9)

Insurance exams offered by the Insurance Institute of India (III), consist of various papers either in Life or Non Life or Combined. Here we are providing ONE LINER IC 90, HRM Chapter 9: Leadership for para 13.2 and III exam . These questions will be very helpful for upcoming promotional exam in 2020.

IC 90, Human Resource Management is a very important topic in insurance promotional exam. This IC 90, Human Resource Management paper comes in all GIPSA exams which makes it very important.

IC 90, Chapter 9- Leadership

  • Understanding Leadership
  • Theories on Leadership
  • Groups and Teams
  • Authority and Power

Understanding Leadership

1.Leadership is the ability to influence other people. It is also defined as the process of influencing people. Either way, leadership is related to influencing people, to shape their attitudes and behaviours. It implies that influence is exercised to get the people to do what the leader wants them to do. There is a goal to be achieved.

2.Leaders get willing cooperation: Leaders create within people an urge to do. Followers of leaders believe that if they follow the leader, they will get to situations and rewards that are satisfying. They believe that the leaders know the ways to get to these satisfactions. They also believe that the leaders have their well-being at heart.

3.Leadership is related to motivations of people: Leaders have to be aware of the need to provide satisfactions. People who seek satisfactions are motivated to achieve such satisfactions. Leadership is related to motivations of people. Leaders have to understand the motivations of their people and if necessary, kindle needs and motivations, appropriate to the proposed goals.

4.Achieving of tasks: In an organisational context, a leader‟s responsibility is to influence the behaviour of the people under his charge, in such a way that the tasks are achieved. If the task is not achieved, he is not effective. That is primary. In the performance of the task, the people work, not merely as individuals, but as a group.

  • the task,
  • which has to be achieved
  • the individuals, who have aspirations for growth and development
  • the group which has to remain cohesive

5.The complex person

5.1)Behaviour: Behaviours are the outcomes of several things, many of which are within a person. These are beliefs, values, perceptions, feelings, attitudes,  etc.

5.2) Dimensions of a person: Reference has been made in earlier chapter to the fact that a worker brings into the workplace his total person, which has five dimensions, namely:

  • Physiological:
  • Psychological;
  • Social;
  • Economic and Power Relationships

Theories on Leadership

6.McGregor‟s Theory: An important theory to understand behaviour of humans at work was postulated by Douglas McGregor. He said that behaviour was not the consequence only of an individual‟s inherent nature, but was also a result of the manner in which he is managed at work. Managers have their own ways of managing, depending on their assumptions and expectations. These assumptions and expectations could be classified under heads that represent the extremes of a continuum

  1. McGregor called this set of assumptions Theory X and said that they represented traditional patterns of management. Managers with these assumptions will attempt to structure, control and supervise closely.
  2. McGregor postulated that when workers are managed on the basis of the assumptions of Theory X, they tend to become so, fulfilling those assumptions. Therefore, managements need to introduce practices based on Theory Y to unleash the potential in workers to take responsibilities and to be creative, by allowing them to assume more and more control over their work.
  3. Theory X and Theory Y are two extreme anchors. Any worker at a time may be somewhere between X and Y. He has to be managed according to assumptions, appropriate to his personality and character. There is no “average” worker.
  4. Leadership styles: Leadership style refers to the type of behaviour and conduct the leader adopts while dealing with his people. Different experts have classified leadership styles in different ways.


10.1)Separated style (1.1) also called impoverished: cautious, conservative, procedure-minded, orderly, trying to be accurate, calm, discreet, scrupulous, not mixing easily, low interaction, role oriented, takes little initiative, gives minimal guidance. Likely to be found in accounting, banking, research related departments.

10.2) Dedicated style (9.1) also called autocratic: determined, aggressive, confident, busy, driving, restless, self-reliant, talks always of jobs, controls, ambitious, likes rewards-punishments, self-centred, inconsiderate to others, manipulative. Likely to be found in production.

10.3)Related style (1.9) also called country club: emphasises personal development, informal, long conversations, sympathetic, approving, encouraging, friendly and reassuring. Likely to be found in sales, personnel, training.

10.4)Integrated style (9.9) also called team managers: talks of ideals, goals, policies, wants, values, lot of sharing, listens, participative, problem solver, inspires. Usually, but not always, found at senior levels.

11.Robert R Blake and Jane S Mouton‟s concept of grid

Robert R Blake and Jane S Mouton developed the concept of the grid, as shown below, based on two criteria, the leader‟s concern for people and his concern for the task.

11.1)Leaders of the 1.1 type have low concern for people and also low concern for tasks. They are satisfied with the minimum effort.

11.2)The 9.1 types have very high concern for task but very low concern for people. They operate on Theory X assumptions. They are hard taskmasters, expect implicit obedience to instructions, show little concern for problems and feelings of people, and are interested in people only as instruments for production.

11.3) The 1.9 type of leader, having high concern for people and low concern for tasks, will be a very popular figure, building up fellow feeling and camaraderie. The happiness of and harmony among his colleagues has greater priority to him than the work to be done. He builds on trust and social relationships and does not impose himself.

11.4) The 9.9 type of leader has equally high concern for both task and for people, integrating the needs of the people with the needs of the organisation. He involves people in decisions, looks to their needs, but never forgets that tasks have to be performed.

12.Reddin’s 3D Theory of managerial effectiveness: Prof. Bill Reddin developed on this grid with the third dimension of effectiveness. According to him, each of these four types can be effective or ineffective depending on the circumstances in which it is applied.

12.1) In a bureaucratic organisation, for example, where impersonality is an essential requirement, and strict procedures determine the ways of doing a job, a 1.1 leader will be quite effective in running that organisation.

12.2)In a turbulent situation, where the ingenuity of the workers will become critical, a 1.9 leader will be effective and a 9.1 will fail.

12.3) In an emergency, as in a fire, someone has to take charge. Only 9.1 will be effective here.

12.4) The  table  below  indicates  the  description  of  the  styles  suggested  by Reddin‟s 3D Theory of managerial effectiveness

Less Effective Basic Type More Effective
Deserter Separated Bureaucratic
Missionary Related Developer
Autocratic Dedicated Benevolent Autocratic
Compromiser Integrated Executive


13.Hersey and Blanchard have postulated the concept of Situational Leadership which states that the leadership style should depend on the “maturity” of the sub-ordinates.

14.The word “maturity” is used to refer to:

  • Telling style: When maturity is low, a very authoritarian style will be appropriate. Sub- ordinates must be told on what to do and how to do. Close direction and control will be necessary. This is the TELLING style.
  • Selling style: As maturity increases, people orientation should increase and task orientation can reduce. Gradually the style will shift from Telling to SELLING when the leader proposes a course of action and explains it to the sub-ordinate before implementing it.
  • Participating style: As maturity increases further the style will shift to PARTICIPATING when the leader asks the sub-ordinate for his ideas or suggestions and decides after discussion.
  • Delegating style: When the sub-ordinate is fully mature, that is, both his skill and will are high, the leader can withdraw totally, leaving him to do his job. This is the DELEGATING style where the leader shows little concern for either task or the person. The sub-ordinate is competent to manage himself

15.Chrish Argyris‟s Immaturity – Maturity Theory: The concept of maturity here is different from maturity in terms of age and personality development in the life cycle.

Chris Argyris noted that, as a person moves from Immaturity to Maturity, his needs move from:

  • Dependence to independence, passive to active participation,
  • Erratic shallow interests to deeper stronger interests,
  • Being sub-ordinate to being in control,
  • Having a fuller awareness of self and a choice of more behavioural options
  1. Schmidt and Tannenbaum‟s Leadership Continuum model: The Hersey and Blanchard concept follows closely the Leadership Continuum model proposed by Schmidt and Tannenbaum, which classifies the style according to the extent of participation or freedom given to the sub- ordinate, in decision making,
  2. Participation

17.1)Varying degrees of participation: The concepts of Hersey-Blanchard and of Schmidt-Tannenbaum refer to the increasing role of the sub-ordinate in the decision making process. Such participation may be of varying degrees, telling, selling and finally, delegation. In delegation, the area of freedom for the subordinates is the highest. He takes full responsibility to plan, decide and act.

17.2)Benefits of the process of participation: The process of participation helps to develop the subordinate‟s competence by giving him increasing experience and opportunity to learn the rationales of decision. The leader moves from telling to selling to delegating as and when his confidence in his subordinate increases.

17.3)Leaders who allow participation

Leaders who allow participation by subordinates are:

  • Showing concern for subordinate development
  • Sharing their knowledge and skills with subordinates
  • Expressing confidence and trust in subordinates to perform
  • Relieving themselves of some burden, becoming free to attend to other tasks of importance

17.4)Leaders who may not practice participation

Leaders may not practice participation if:

  • They do not have faith in their subordinate‟s competence and / or reliability they think that work will be done faster and better without participation they think that participation is a waste of time
  • They do not perceive subordinate development as their responsibility they are afraid they themselves may become redundant
  • The subordinates are not willing to accept responsibility the subordinates are afraid of making mistakes
  • The subordinates do not respect the leader‟s competence
  • The subordinates perceive that the leader‟s intentions are not bonafide

17.5)Participation with regards to Theory X and Theory Y: Theory Y assumptions will make a leader resort to increasing participation. A leader who does not practice participation may be operating on Theory X assumptions, resorting to detailed instructions and close supervision. A subordinate may show unwillingness to take responsibility because he perceives that the leader is operating on Theory X assumptions.

17.6)Structures for participation

  • Participation may take place through informal meetings or through formal meetings, on a one-to-one basis or as a group.
  • Some organisations have structures to facilitate participation like planning committees, works committees, management councils etc.
  • Quality circles are also intended for the same purpose.

17.7)Forces on which style of leadership depends

An effective leader will adapt his style, according to the situation. The choice of the actual style of leadership will depend upon three groups of forces:

  • forces within the leader himself, e.g. his sense of values, his inclination, confidence etc.;
  • forces in the subordinates, e.g. their feelings, aspirations and other characteristics;
  • forces in the situation, e.g. the type of organisation, the nature of the problem, pressure of time, availability of resources etc.
  1. Transformational leadership: Transformational leadership refers to the style that seeks to transform the employee to a higher level of maturity and motivation. The transformational leader inspires. He sets higher goals, beyond the limitations of work in the organisation. He reveals to the employee his potential strengths and encourages him to dream and visualise a big achievement.


19.1)New ideas: Excellence in performance becomes possible through innovation and creativity. New ideas have to be found to improve management systems, marketing strategy and in utilisation of resources, be it time, finance, materials or human.

19.2) Idea Stoppers: It is only the human mind that can innovate and create. When the mind applies itself to problems and seeks ways to modify the existing, it asks the question – “What can be done to ?” Ideas then begin to flow in answer to this question. The flow of ideas can be encouraged or stopped. Some idea stoppers are statements or actions that say the following:

  • “We have tried that before”
  • “It won‟t work” “Rules do not permit”
  • “How that can be done?”
  • “It does not suit our situation” “Costs too much”
  • “Too theoretical”
  • “It is too complicated”
  • “You think you are too clever?” “People won‟t accept it”
  • “There is not enough experience” “That is not our business”
  • “This will create other problems” “There is nothing new in this idea” “We do not have such skills”

19.3)Daring to think differently: All innovation and creativity and consequent developments have taken place because people „dared‟ to think differently. Some of the extremely successful businesses of current times are based on ideas which some one dared to think of, like running a taxi service with only technology as an asset and no vehicles (Ola and Uber). If people can think without having to dare, there would be many more ideas to work upon for improvement and excellence.

19.4)“Brainstorming”: Ideas germinate in minds. If two or more minds interact freely, the ideas tend to build on each other. The potential to so multiply thoughts can be exploited, if judgments and evaluation (of ideas) are kept in abeyance. The free flow of ideas stops when judgment begins. The process of building up ideas in a group under conditions of relaxed enjoyment without judgment is called “Brainstorming”.

Groups and teams

20.People are interdependent on each other: Very few jobs in an organisation can be done by an individual all by himself. Everybody‟s work connects to someone else‟s work and the final results are achieved when all these jobs are done in coordination. One person‟s output is another‟s input, the second person being the internal customer of the first. He takes on from there. People have to work in groups. They are interdependent on each other.

21.Reasons for forming groups: One of them is propinquity or nearness in time or space. Fellow travelers in a train compartment can be an example.

Another reason can be common activities or interactions or interests. Members of a club will have groups according to their interests in a sport or in politics. They may come together to fight for a common cause, as in a protest march.

22.Working groups in organisations: Working groups in organisations are sometimes Command groups, all working under one leader.

They may also be Problem Solving groups or Task Forces, put together for a specific task of solving a problem or executing a job. The group will be dismantled as soon as that task is done.

23.Informal groups within organisations: Informal groups are formed within organisations because of propinquity, from among the formal Command groups or Task forces. They come together outside the requirements of work. But, as discovered by Elton Mayo, the informal group can have an effect on work.

24.Characteristics of groups

  • In formal groups, these will be laid down by the organisation which created the group.
  • In informal groups, they evolve over time and are accepted by everyone. This is like the society we live in, where there are standards of behaviour which, by and large, everyone accepts.

25.Synergy is the concept which says that the interaction of members in a group can create energy (abilities or knowledge) more than the sum of the energies of the members themselves.

26.A group is said to be cohesive when the members desire to continue to be in the group. The more cohesive a group, the better will be its ability to function effectively. A cohesive group is called a team.

27.Characteristics of Teams

The cohesiveness of a team can be evaluated on the following characteristics.

  • Common objectives: All the members of a team should know what they are collectively working for, and what their individual role or contributions are in that collective effort.
  • Co-operation: Members of a team have to cooperate with each other. This implies that they show concern for and adjust to each other, instead of being concerned only with their respective problems.
  • Support and trust: Members of a team trust each other and are not suspicious of each other‟s intentions and bonafides. Support implies that if one is in difficulty, another comes in to help him. The difficulty may be lack of knowledge, pressure of work, personal inconveniences or making amends for errors.
  • Confrontation: When people interact with each other, it is natural that there would be differences and misunderstandings. In cohesive teams, these are not brushed under the carpet. They are brought up to the surface and discussed to clear up misunderstandings.
  • Openness: This refers to the willingness of a member to (i) express himself and also (ii) listen to and examine the validity of opposing points of view. Confrontation is not possible without openness.
  • Procedures or systems: Members of a team will have to know how work is arranged and being done, within the team. These need not be written down but must be clear and understood. Without this, cooperation becomes difficult. The role of each member should be known to him and to others in the team.
  • Appropriate leadership: In a cohesive team, the leadership is appropriate to the skills and motivations of the members and to the tasks to be achieved. Cohesion comes through appropriate leadership. The thesis of Rensis Likert (discussed in an earlier chapter) explains how leadership styles affect climate and Output.
  • Regular review: Members of a team take time off to look at what they are doing and how they are doing. This helps to keep objectives in focus, improve cooperation and improve working. All members should feel free to raise issues, express opinions and suggest changes (Openness).

28.Consensus is different from unanimity. In a unanimous decision, all the members are of the same mind. There are no differences. In a consensus decision, differences may exist. But the members agree that these differences are not such as to affect the implementation of the decision. They agree to ignore the differences for the time being.

29.Consensus decision vs. Majority decision: A consensus decision is not a majority decision. A majority decision is a mechanism to arrive at a decision, despite differences. That could leave others with a sense of having been defeated or ignored. In a consensus, the differences are listened to with respect, not ridiculed, are discussed fully and narrowed down, till agreement is found on substantial points. A leader must be able to generate consensus decisions.

30.They communicate to their teams the decisions, problems and concerns of the other teams, thus building better understanding. Such common members are called linking pins, as they link different levels of teams.

Authority and Power

31.Authority: In organisations, there is no formal position called “Leader”. There are managers and heads of departments. All such people will be required to get work done through subordinates. All of them therefore, have to function as leaders.

32.Power: The ability to influence is defined as power. An effective leader has influence over his people. He therefore has power. A leader of a group, who is not able to influence the behaviour of his people, has no power, even though he may have authority.

33.Difference between authority and power

A leader has power because the members of his group accept his leadership. If they do not, they are unlikely to follow him, they may not be influenced by him and may even get some other person to lead them. This other person would effectively be the leader, with no formal authority but with power.

Power is given to a leader by the persons over whom he exercises influence.

  • Authority is given from above. Power is given from below.
  • Authority is that of a position. Power is that of a person.

34.Power is acquired: A leader has to acquire power from his subordinates. Power is given to a leader for a number of reasons. Some of the reasons are as follows:

  • Fear that the leader may punish.
  • Hope that the leader can reward. Rewards are not necessarily official like increments or promotions, which require authority.
  • Regard for the authority of the leader. Many of the subordinates abide by the instructions of their superiors, because they recognise and respect the position of the superior.
  • Recognition of and respect for the competence of the leader.
  • Respect for the leader as a person.

35.Behaviours that help acquire power

Some behaviours that help to acquire power are as follows:

  • Enhancing self-worth: A leader who enhances the self-worth of his followers through acts like acknowledgement of performance, allotment of important or difficult tasks, consulting on important issues, listening to viewpoints (including grievances) etc.
  • Availability and accessibility: A leader who makes himself available to his subordinates for consultation, advice and help is valued highly.
  • Support and trust: A follower wants that his leader will understand him and represent him fully before the superiors and others. In other words, if someone questions an individual‟s action, the leader has to come to his support by explaining what was done and establishing it as bonafide. Leaders, who let down the followers in such difficult times, tend to lose power.
  • Sharing and caring: A leader who shows genuine concern for his followers and also shares his problems and concerns, with the group, tends to build better rapport between him and others, thus enhancing his power. Sharing will be in areas of policy directions, problems, strategies, proprieties of decisions (values) etc.
  • Character: Character is to be understood as consistency in thought, word and deed. A person without character does not enjoy much power.

36.Traits of a good leader: A good leader is respected, even admired by his followers and remembered with affection long after he has vacated the position of leadership. Threats of punishment may leave traces of unpleasant emotions like fear and hostility. Great leaders do not resort to this source of power. With them, the followers respond in ways that when the task is complete they say with pride “We did it”. They savour the experience.

37.Some studies have suggested that effective leaders possess traits and characteristics like:

  • Being hard working,
  • Lot of energy and vigour,
  • Not being afraid, integrity,
  • Having moral and ethical standards,
  • Capacity to understand,
  • Concern for others,
  • Good judgment,
  • Self-confidence and decisiveness

38.Middle Manger Role

It would be the role of middle managers to:

  • Identify the contact points with the customer determine how the contact is to be managed
  • Determine what standards of (quantity and quality) have to be maintained analyse operations and processes
  • Visualise the possible errors, what may go wrong find ways of avoiding errors
  • Find ways of compensating for the errors, if they occur find ways to enhance quality standards

39.Internal communication: The leader has to ensure that the communication within his group is complete and timely. If employees have to remain committed and empowered, they have to be informed properly and correctly on operationally relevant matters. Written circulars, bulletins or notice boards, and similar media are all useful to inform about schemes, plans, procedures etc.

40.Involve personnel at all levels in virtually everything:

  • Quality improvement,
  • Productivity,
  • Assessment of new technology,
  • layout,
  • Work assignments, work flow

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