My Essay

As a group grows larger, separate cliques and factions are likely to emerge. These
subgroups often compete for power and resources, creating conflicts and posing a threat
to group cohesiveness and teamwork. Thus, the leader of a large group needs to devote
more time to building group identification, promoting cooperation, and managing conflict.
However, the pressure to carry out more administrative activities in a large group
may cause the leader to neglect group maintenance activities until serious problems arise
Just as the leader tries to reconcile demands from above and below, so also is it
necessary to make compromises in seeking to reach agreements with other units.
Subordinates expect the leader to represent their interests, but it will not be possible to
maintain an effective working relationship with other units unless the leader is also
responsive to their needs. Salancik and colleagues (1975) conducted a study of managers
in an insurance company to investigate this kind of role conflict. They found
that to maintain a cooperative effort, managers with interdependent work activities
tended to become more responsive to each other’s needs. The greater the number of
peers a manager had to interact with on a regular basis, the less responsive the manager
was to the desires of subordinates.
In his book entitled Leadership without Easy Answers, Ronald Heifetz (1994) proposed
that the primary role of leaders is to help followers confront conflict and find
productive ways to deal with it. The leader must engage people in facing challenges,
changing perspectives, and learning new ways to work together effectively. Like
Burns, Heifetz described leadership as both a dyadic and collective process. Leaders
influence individuals, and they also mobilize collective efforts to accomplish adaptive
work. The type of influence used by leaders includes not only use of rationality and
appeal to values, but also formal authority. Leaders can use their...