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2010 | 2 | nr 2 | 7--17
Tytuł artykułu

Leadership Ambiguity and Ambivalence : a Critical Solution

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To identify the empirical reliability of contemporary leadership traits research found in management studies, the authors conducted a content analysis of the use of transformational and charismatic concepts from a sample of leadership research published in refereed journals from 1988 to 2008. The content analysis of the operational definitions revealed the use of leadership traits was opaque at best and demonstrated that the management research surveyed was comprised of a hybrid of psychological constructs. Upon closer inspection, the authors identified an implied habitus of stakeholders' leadership perceptions that informed a social psychological structure comprising 10 distinctive intrapersonal and interpersonal referents associated with organizational and social conduct. The iconic referents are inferred from implied social and organizational heuristic biases subjects employ in an organizational setting. This distinction allowed the authors to present an alternative method for mapping emergent leader and follower perceptions. A weighted score is obtained that proves parsimonious and empirically feasible instead of fixating on a leader's ephemeral traits or simply workers' self-reports about management effectiveness. Employing a postmodern mixed-method evaluative methodology in place of contemporary modernist perspectives, the authors portend an end to ambiguous and ambivalent leadership traits studies and recommend strengthening research efforts to reveal socially structured decision-making heuristics that result in successful or unsuccessful emergent group performances. Moreover, the authors believe a postmodern paradigm would help organizations identify a group's willingness to act in a way that tests individual limits and stretches group or all stakeholders' boundaries, what the authors term a Star Trek Affective State. (original abstract)
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