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Two weeks ago this column discussed how corporate managers can use criticism to maximize their employees performance But what about improving the bosss own performance Is there any way of predicting which leadership styles are likely to be most effective and which ones ineffective There is according to a growing body of academic research Studies both in the United States and in Canada have shown that the personality of a senior executive can have a significant impact not only on employee morale-no real surprise there-but also on group productivity and profitability One of the most frequently cited studies of leadership effectiveness took place at the University of British Columbia during the early 1980s One hundred and forty-four undergraduates were recruited to work on a project that was ostensibly Abstract A study of business leadership styles found that charismatic CEOs are more effective than considerate or structuring CEOs Charismatic managers were able to motivate employees and produce greater morale and productivity Another study found good CEOs can increase profitability by 15-25 Full Text COPYRIGHT 1996 Maclean Hunter Canadian Publishing Ltd intended to measure the practical business skills of commerce students What the students did not know was that their bosses were in reality actresses portraying one of three leadership styles defined as charismatic structuring or considerate The charismatic leader stressed the importance of the project expressed confidence in the students abilities and encouraged them to be as creative as possible The structuring leader behaved in a more businesslike manner explaining in detail how the work should be done Meanwhile the considerate leader emphasized shared responsibility and tried to establish an emotional bond with the students by conveying warmth acceptance and support The results showed that people who worked under a charismatic leader generated more ideas and reported greater job satisfaction than those with structuring leaders In addition students with charismatic bosses performed at a higher level displayed higher satisfaction and developed
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