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Leadership style determines the whole organization culture in the private sector. Many organizations are changing their organization culture and moving from traditional leadership style to modern leadership. The “Saith” or traditional leadership is the one in which the organizational structure is more centralized. This means the decision making power lies in the upper management only. The culture in Saith leadership is stricter and organizational hierarchy is more vertical as compared to flatter organization. On the other hand, modern leadership consists of more decentralized organizational structure where certain decision making powers also lie in the hands of lower management and employees. This kind of organizational culture promotes innovation and flexibility (Meehan). Many organizations in Pakistan still have the old leadership style and all authority lies in the hands of one leader where everyone has to obey the decisions made by him.
The Saith leadership style in Pakistan revolves around one boss holding all the responsibility. He does not take consult his subordinates while making the decision. After he reaches a decision, he communicates it with the subordinates and expect immediate implementation of the task (12 Different Types of Leadership Styles, n.d.). Another attribute of Saith or traditional leadership in Pakistan is that women leaders are encouraged and found in the private sector. Although much transformation is seen in the sector and women are being recruited for human resource and marketing positions but still women entrepreneurs are seen less. Leadership style has an impact on the environment of organization and productivity of workforce. A study was carried out to find the effect of leadership style on organizational commitment in Pakistan. The mediating factor in the study is employees’ value. It aims to theoretically prove that leadership style effects the organization commitment of employees, when the organization culture is reflecting the employees’ values. First it gives a brief overview of the transactional and transformational leadership styles and then through literature review shows a strong relation between leadership style and employees commitment. The results show that employees are more committed if the organization meets their expectations and follow transformational leadership. More satisfaction is seen when employees worked in teams and allowed to innovate rather than having traditional leadership where leader has the power who is in charge of rewards and penalties (Sohail, September 2011).
An article published in DAWN newspaper shows the present leadership in private sectors and what organizations should do to build competitive advantage in this innovative world. Apart from improving an industry’s value chain and supply chain, people need to work on having strategic organizational model where members in the organizational hierarchy are able to make sound, innovative and spontaneous decisions. The business world all over the globe is focusing on developing human resources to achieve targeted goals. Organization structure is adopting people oriented approach to management whereas in Pakistan mostly organizations are still following traditional leadership approach. Business leaders in Pakistan follow mostly asset building approach in the private sector. This involves top management having a strong natural leader. This type of method is also seen in some of America and in some European countries too. Under this strong natural leader (SNL) management style, leaders are action oriented, energetic, visionary and at the same time they are intolerant and egoistic. Little attention is paid to the people of organization. Though some organization are showing growth while adopting asset oriented approach but without focusing on their workforce and people they would face recession in the long run. In terms of financial sector of Pakistan, an immediate action is needed to be taken for hierarchical set up in banks. The banks need to have a management hierarchy where its main concern is on human resources. They need to develop their field staff and treat them as the most important ingredient in organization. It is the operating staff or junior management that knows the expertise of Information Technology and has direct contact with the consumer so they should be involved in decision making process with regard to producing better products and services (People-oriented management, Nov 11, 2002).
Carlzon, a behavioral scientist studied a lot on leadership styles and management hierarchy of the service industry in particular. He is in favor of shifting and reversing hierarchical pyramid. This involves operating staff to be placed at the top and given decision making powers regarding research and development of new products/services. According to him the top management should be restricted to just managing the environment and implementation of decisions (People-oriented management, Nov 11, 2002).
Saith leadership in Pakistan also prevents women from getting opportunities at the upper management. Measures are being taken to reduce this and provide neutral platform for both genders but still a lot has to be done to make a change at mass level. An example of measures taken involves Pakistan First Women Leadership Forum which was a full day workshop for business women and entrepreneurs. It turned out to be a big success with large turnout of women and involved in promoting of women in business. It provides entrepreneur women to present and discuss business ideas, proposals and goals (Women’s leadership forum, Dec 21, 2002).
Although Saith leadership gives power to the company but in today’s changing world, Pakistan’s private sector needs to evolve and be more people oriented to achieve long term sustainability and success. Workforce is the main weapon to any organization, thus taking care of employees’ values and giving them a certain power will automatically make them more committed to the firm which will increase the overall productivity of that firm.
12 Different Types of Leadership Styles. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wide Toast: http://wisetoast.com/12-different-types-of-leadership-styles/
Meehan, C. L. (n.d.). Flat Vs. Hierarchical Organizational Structure. Chron.
People-oriented management. (Nov 11, 2002). DAWN.
Sohail, A. (September 2011). impact of leadership style on organizational commitment. research gate.
Women’s leadership forum. (Dec 21, 2002). DAWN.