The Dynamics of Power - Part 4 - The Relation in Leadership

in psychology •  last year  (edited)

Social Reality: Violence, Power, and Change
The Dynamics of Power - Part 4 - The Relation in Leadership

On this series on the Dynamics of Power in Part 1 we talked about the Legitimacy of Authority, in Part 2 about the Models of Leadership, in Part 3 the Characteristics of Leadership, in this post we will analyze Interrelationship in Leadership, and the next one is about the Decision-making processes.


As we have seen, the Leadership style is circumstance-dependent and that there is not an optimal style.
The Contingency Model, it is associated with the type of organization, the technology used, the subordinate competencies, the degree of task specialization, of the external context to interact with the personality of the leader.
Leadership appears to be emerging as a way of completing formal organization in terms of regulation and influence on the behavior of members of the organization.
But one of the most comprehensive definitions is to understand Leadership as basically an interrelated process in a group with a central person.
"A leader has to be one of two things: either he has to be a brilliant visionary, a true creative strategist, and in this case he can do what he wants and he can, or he has to be a real 'empowerer' that may reveal the best of others "- Henry Mintzberg - (b. 1939) Canadian business and management theorist
We are going to start with the model of the contingency of Hersey and Blanchard to see all the circumstantial factors working on the leadership processes.

1- The Hersey and Blanchard Contingency Model

The Situational Leadership Model developed by Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey assigns a different type of Leadership corresponding to the stage of development of the led, that will enable the development of people until they become successful and accomplished.
This model, in addition to including the leader's focus on task or people concern, introduces a new variable related to the maturity vectors (motivation and knowledge) of each group member and task.
(See in this post the table with the definition of the four types of theories of Leadership).

“Leaders walk their talk; in true leaders, there is no gap between the theories they expose and their practice.” - Warren Bennis (b. 1925) U.S. lecturer and writer
Let us then learn to modify our style of leadership according to the abilities and will of the people in each group.

From personal experience in numerous projects and large teams, in the beginning, there is a very easy way to discover the level of leadership required depending on the maturity of each collaborator.
On a sheet of paper with four squares that can have graduation, we will try to **put in each square the type of each one of the collaborators putting in the first one (D4) the people who do not know and do not want, in the second (D3), in the **third **quadrant those who want but do not know and in the fourth those who want and know.

And, Eureka, we already know the best way to work each different person from the team with the respective style of leadership, as we will now analyze.
From what has been exposed so far, the key to effective leadership lies in the correct identification of the level of maturity of the individual or group that we want to influence and adopt the appropriate style.
Let us now look a little more in detail, what means maturity.

1.1 -The Style Determine or Drive (E1)
This style should be used people with low maturity (D4).
These people do not know (knowledge) and do not want (autonomy and motivation) and are afraid to assume responsibilities, they have few skills and are insecure of themselves.
For them to evolve, it is necessary to use a Leadership Model, starting by determining and giving people the teachings in deficit but with little affective connection, as this may lead them to think that the leader is complacent and makes their personal growth impossible.
If people do not know and do not want to, we have to teach them to be focused on the function because they gain more confidence in themselves and may feel their motivation.
This style is a combination of great concern with the task and low with people.

1.2 - Sell ​​(persuade) or Guide (E2)
Is the style suitable for people with low to moderate maturity (D3).
They are people who do not know (abilities) but want (willingness to take responsibility), already have some confidence in themselves, but do not dominate the tasks due to lack of knowledge.
Adopting the style of Advisor is to have a behavior-oriented to teach the knowledge needed for the task and aorientation to the people, which reinforces the motivation to adopt the desired behaviors.

1.3 - Participate and Support (E3)
This style is suitable for people who have moderate to high maturity (D2).
People with this level of maturity know but do not want their lack of security and confidence in themselves.
The leader needs to communicate (bilateral communication and active listening) in order to motivate each person in his team to use them so that they feel more willing to use what they already know.
A participatory style of non-managerial support is used, increasing its **level of effectiveness by engaging people in decision-making processes, opening the communication.
The behavior appears directed towards the people and little connection to the task.

1.4 - Delegate and Accountability (E4)
This style is used when people have high maturity (D1).
These people know (will) and want (competent) to take responsibility for performing the tasks.
In the Delegation Style, there is almost no directivity and little relationship affective support and it is usually excellent for people with high competences who normally know their task better than the leader and have a lot of motivation and autonomy.
The leader no longer needs to accompany the people and should only *do so at the request of those led.

Delegation has advantages and disadvantages, and when using this Leadership Style, if the degree of delegated tasks is too high, it may hinder coordination and control of activities but increase the** degree of freedom of the subordinates and their motivation.

2 - The Exchange Model

There are studies on the Interchange Model dealing with the ways a leader can acquire or lose power in this behavioral reciprocity.
In this Interrelationship, we will find the model of game theory linked to economic exchanges always conditioned by a cost/benefit relation co-related to the** strategies of the behavior of the Leader**.
On the other hand, in this interrelationship, there are always also unconscious mechanisms related to processes of identification and transfer based on the ego ideal of each subordinate.

Hollander in 1958 discovered that the popularity and power given to a leadership could be measured in the contributions of the leader to the group.
His experiments involved the Leader's Credit-related with the best solutions to solve a problem in a situation that increases the satisfaction inside the group, but we must know that if the leader fails the expectations people** this credit would decrease or even vanish.

2.1 - Coercion
When the leader do not trust the subordinates, he turns hyper-protective and steals responsibility from people.
This can create contradictory subgroups, the docile, and subservient, that the líder trusts and reward and can generate contestatory groups with secret animosity.
The Coercive Model creates like a drug dependency for the satisfaction of the subordinate's needs.

2.2 - Delegation
The leader must find an adequate level of delegation, which is conditioned by several factors such as the type of tasks performed, the level of qualification and motivation of the workers, the size and organizational structure and the environmental context.
Delegation can be a double-edged sword, where you are free to do what you want but you have to serve the leader, unconsciously assuming his/her desires as a dependency.
Thus, the Leader positively evaluates the subordinate on success, but keeps the credits to himself and can blame the subordinates for the failures, taking advantage of the inadequate behaviors to attribute the failures to the dominated ones.

3 - The Transfer Model

We have seen that the psychoanalytical model studies the process of interrelationship and the transference processes.
Freud saw transference as an unconscious process, where a person projects on the other ancient patterns of behavior of people that had strong positive(love) or negative(hate) influences in that person and the therapist use it to make a counter-transfer in a conscious process in the person generating a catharsis (see the figure below - includes the countertransference process that hardly happens in Leadership).

So this repetition of the ancient people's interrelationships structures as a projection in relations, can deteriorate the interactions in day-to-day exchanges in a social context.
Kets de Vries in 1984 found out three types of transference: the Idealization, the Mirror and the Pursuit

3.1 - Idealization
It is the result of a feeling of fusion of his ideals in a central person, such as admiration (with the wonder of approval) or sometimes idolatry, through a process of identification, using the mechanism of projection in the leader.
Idealization has two sides of a coin. On one side we have a positive reaction to the leader as a reference model and on the other side, we have a dependency based on passivity and voluntary servitude.

3.2 - Mirror
This happens in the called Narcissistic Leader that wants to be the focus of exclusive approval of all his/her actions, taking sometimes high-risk behaviors to enhance their, grandeur, splendor and impressiveness using the others.
This seems to work well with servile people, sycophants, and kiss asses, waiting for the leader's admiration and approval.
People with autonomy hate this kind of environments.

3.3- Pursuit
The Relation of Pursuit is born in antipathy and hostility (use the pulsion of death to destroy, smash another person) and shows its face in masochism (hostility felt as self-punishment) and envy (based on a sense of self-inferiority and resentment for others successes).

In my personal point of view there are two ways in which the envy mechanism revealed by Freud can operate:
The ** Positive** try to understand the actions and steps other people take to achieve their goals
and the Negative, behaviors of destruction and annihilation of the others and a deep wish to destroy what the others have built (with the unconscious dream of replacing their position to become worst than the ancestor).
Positive Envy is the pillar of a healthy society based on constructivist individualism and self-sustainable and equilibrated growth.
Negative Envy generates wars, chaos and collective hostility, antagonism, animosity, and sometimes is confused with anarchism.

We have finished here the study of The Relation in Leadership to finish in the next post with the processes of Decision-making in the leader's behavior.
We have ended here the study of Leadership on the topic of Inter-Relation into finish in the next post with the processes of decision-making in the behavior of the Leader.

Last posts in this series on Social Reality: Violence, Power and Change

Social Reality: Violence, Power and Change

A - Violence:

An Introduction to Violence
The Concepts of Violence, Aggression, and Aggressiveness
The Theories on Violence
The influencers of Violence -Part One - Culture and Social Context
The influencers of Violence -Part Two - Social , Cognitive and Environmental Factors
The ascend of Today's Violence

B -Power:

What is Power? - Introduction
The Nature of PowerThe Dynamics of Power:

Articles from the next series of posts about Social Reality, Violence, Power and Change:

  • Part 5 -Decision-making and Leadership
The Effects and Consequences of Power

C - Change:

Change and Culture
The Theories and conceptualization of Change
Factors determining Change
The ways of Change
Social Change

References consulted:

Les concepts fondamentaux de la psychologie sociale - Gustave-Nicolas Fischer
La psychologie sociale - Gustave-Nicolas Fischer
The social-violence dynamics, Power, change - Gustave-Nicolas Fischer Planeta / ISPA, 1980
Gustave-Nicolas Fischer is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Psychology Laboratory at the University of Metz.
French, J. R. P., and Raven, B.H. (1959). The bases of social Power.
Raven, B. H., and Rubin, J. Z. (1976). Social psychology: People in groups
Castel, R. The metamorphoses of the social question. Voices, 1998.
Moscovici, S. (1976). Social influence and social change. London: Academic Press
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison
Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes.
French, J. R. P., Morrison, H. W., and Levinger, G. (1960). Coercive Power and forces affecting conformity
Dahl, R.A. (1957), The Concept of Power.

Giddens, Anthony, Capitalism and Modern Social Theory: An Analysis of the Writings of Marx, Durkheim and Max Weber, 1971.
Grabb, Edward G., Theories of Social Inequality: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives,1990.
Weber, Max, Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology, 1968
Porter, L. and Lawler, E. (1968). Atitudes e Performances Administrativas. Homewood, Ill.: Dorsey Press.
Vroom, V. (1964). Trabalho e Motivação. Nova Iorque: Jon Wiley and Sons.
Vroom, V.H., Yetton, P.W., 1973, “Leadership and Decision – making”, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

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This is such a precise article, I think there is no detail that you didn't mention!

Regarding the transfer model, I would almost say that most leaders embody all three, Idealization, Mirror and Pursuit, perhaps with a stronger or weaker tendency to each of those, but still all to some degree.

Most leaders are subject to their own emotions and conditioning, thus emotionally have a rather low maturity. But all this depends of course on the angle of perspective.

The level of your language is really striking! :)

Thanks a lot for the added value to this post.
You are right, they almost have this three facets, Idealization, Mirror and Pursuit, but we must try to find the predominating forces.
I use to say in a simplistic way, that we all have the six basic mental diseases (depression, paranoia, compulsion, obsession, schizotypy, phobia), like six balls, that if they are equal you are the most equilibrated person with strong ontological security.
The problem is, that we have always some predominant balls and some very weak, so the goal is to equalize it.
I'm very happy I made my rorschach test when I was studying psychology and doing groupanalisys.
Everybody should do it when they are young to get a good path to the "know thyself" for life.
My language is a product of reading, questioning reality and learning overdosis.:) Thanks

Decision-making can be regarded as an outcome or outcome of a mental or cognitive process that leads to the selection of an action path among several available alternatives. such as using the approach of intuition, experience, fact, authority, logic or rational. Using this method every decision-making process always produces a final choice.