Mainstream Human Resource literature over the years has emphasised to the point of obsessiveness the role of leaders and leadership in an organisation. The journal ‘Emerging Leadership Journeys’ shows that leaders and followers are both essential to an organisation. Unfortunately, most scholars have focused primarily on the leader and the leader’s role in motivating followers, and neglected the significance of followers. The authors who have focused on followers suggest that they are active participants in the leadership relationship and motivate themselves. The transformational leadership theory focuses on followers as recipients of leader behaviour and influence.
There has also been some research on the leadership styles of executives and leaders in different countries. Surveys have showed that leaders from America have very different priorities than those from India or from China. The interactions between leaders and followers also seem to considerably different from country to country. Most of this research is though from the leadership perspective.
Followers who perceive the leader as responsible for making decisions are less likely to take an active role in the decision-making process, thereby giving up autonomy. They may expect the leader to motivate them rather than taking the responsibility to motivate themselves. On the other hand, followers who take the initiative to motivate themselves to achieve goals view the leader more as a partner and therefore desire to collaborate with the leader in a relationship, thereby expressing autonomy. Two issues stand out. One issue points to the followers’ perception of expected leadership behaviour, and the other stems from the perception of the followers of themselves. Both perceptions can increase or decrease the effect that leader style has on the follower’s autonomy and motivation. If the follower has as much control over self perception, motivation, and behaviour, as these authors claim, then there is no reason why followers cannot determine the quality of their own followership and the leadership process.
In India where businesses operate in a multi-faceted environment, which is quick changing and diverse while being significantly influenced by culture and the socio-economic framework of different regions, there was a need to find if employees from differing regions, job functions and personality type have different expectations from their leaders. In this issue we publish a path breaking research by Professor Arindam Chaudhuri with respect to expectations of employees from their leaders in the Indian context, and how their expectations vary with differences of their geographical location, their job function and their personality type. In a large scale survey conducted across the length and breadth of India, employees from different geographies and job functions were asked to answer to questionnaire scored on the Likert Scale about their expectations from their leaders and bosses. The findings are interesting and at times counter-intuitive, as they seem to suggest that expectations from leaders are influenced by all the above factors. The findings may be able to help leaders tune their interactions for achieving the most out of their employees.
Along with the cover story you will also find perspectives of leadership from a wide range of professionals and experts. I am sure you will find this issue rewarding and impactful as always. Do write to us with your valuable feedback. Happy Reading.