November 21, 2018

Leadership - Koontz and O'Donnell - Review Notes

Basic Theories of Leadership - from OB Books

4th Edition of Koontz and O'Donnell

Along with motivation and communication activities, leadership is a means of directing.

Carter identifies five approaches to leadership definition:
(1) polarization of members of a group around some central person.
(2) the person able to direct a group toward its goals
(3) the person selected by group members to lead them
(4) the person able to move a group along a specific dimension, such as sociability or integration and
(5) the person possessing certain behavior.

Groups require a common sense of authority. According to Bronislaw Malinowski, authority means the privilege and the duty of making decisions, of pronouncing in cases of dispute or disagreement, and also the power of enforcing such decisions. Authority is the very essence of social organization.

A leader is given authority by his group. They accept him voluntarily as the common center of authority.

People also seem to require frequent reminders of group goals to overcome forgetfulness and indifference. The leaders have long view and foresight to overcome boredom and limited vision.

Leadership is the ability of a manager or in general a person to induce subordinates (followers) to work with confidence and zeal. Zeal reflects ardor, earnestness, and intensity in the execution of assignments; confidence reflects experience and technical ability.

No doubt subordinates of a manager are driven by the need for a job and income. If they are guided only by rules and requirements enforced by the organization structure through managerial authority, they tend to work at abut 60 or 65 per cent of capacity. To raise output toward total capacity, the manager must induce zealous response on the part of subordinates by exercising leadership. He does this based on the needs of subordinates, especially their ego and self-development needs.

The sociological view of leadership:

Selznick is an important contributor.
The leader has the task of building goals and policies into the social structure of the enterprise.

Confidence Building

The confidence exhibited by a subordinate manager rests upon the quality of his knowledge and his sense of security.

Orientation of a subordinate comes first. Second is follow up supervision. Third is providing job security to the subordinate.

Zeal Building

Koontz and O'Donnell write that zeal building escapes scientific analysis. They provide two idea for this activity.

1. Inspiration

2. Stregthening personal qualities


From a different edition

The essence of leadership is followship.

A person has to attract followers to become a leader and practice leadership.

Koontz and O'Donnell defined leadership as influence, that is, the art or process of influencing people so that they will strive willingly and enthusiastically toward the achievement of group goals.


Presentation Based on Recent HBR Article and a Book

Be selfless - Be compassionate
Become Better Leader – Human Relations First Perspective

Compassion is the intention to bring happiness to others.


Book - The Mind  of the Leader

“The Mind of the Leader”, is published by Harvard Business Publishing
Rasmus Hougaard, M.A., Jacqueline Carter, M.Sc. and Vince Brewerton


Based on extensive research, including assessments of more than 35,000 leaders and interviews with 250 C-level executives, “The Mind of the Leader” concludes that organizations and leaders aren’t meeting employees’ basic human needs of finding meaning, purpose, connection, and genuine happiness in their work.

 “The Mind of the Leader” offers a  practical solution and helps  managers and executives to lead with three core mental qualities: Mindfulness, Selflessness, and Compassion.

With real world inspirational examples from Marriott, Accenture, McKinsey & Company, LinkedIn, and many more, “The Mind of the Leader” illustrates  this new kind of leadership. It represents a radical redefinition of what it takes to be an effective leader – and a practical, hard-nosed solution to every organization’s engagement and execution problem.


Updated 2018 - 22 November 2018,  8 February
10 Feb 2015, 11 Dec 2011

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