The model of followership presented by Goffe and Jones indicates the significance of three emotions which an individual produces in a person which leads them to follow him. These three emotions are summarized as given below.
(a) The first emotional response an individual evokes is that of a feeling of significance or importance. Thus leaders who create an impression in people that they matter will be able to obtain even the, “heart and soul” of their followers. This is not just a response of blind adulation. It flows from an appreciation by the leader not just their personalities but also their work. Thus the follower will give loyalty and even implicit obedience.
(b) The second response is that of a feeling of community, a sense of belonging to an organization where the leader creates unity of purpose around the work which they all do. The leader is one who the follower sees as having created a feeling of the community.
(c) The third emotional response is the feeling of buzz, an excitement which is created by the sheer presence of the leader. His energy and enthusiasm is contagious. Followers are willingly led by such leaders who provide them excitement, challenge and a passion to live their lives. This may be called as charisma but actually is much more than that.
Argyris and Schon (Dick. Dalmau, 1990) have provided an understanding of the conscious and subconscious processes of reasoning. This fits in well with the emotional aspects of followership indicated by Goffe and Jones. Argyris Model II ideally fits into the theory of followership espoused by Goffee and Jones. In Model II, the leader provides a scope for double loop learning.
This implies that there is open inquiry of issues thereby which people are placed in a position of significance and respond to a situation based on a community based pattern of involvement which is highlighted in double loop learning model of Argyris. The emotional feeling of a buzz created by a leader’s presence is heightened in the Model II for the leader provides inspiration.
On the other hand, Model I is based on the single loop theory through which most leaders operate till they understood the advantage of the double loop theory (Argyris et al. 1985, p. 89). The excessive control exercised by the leader in Model I is not conducive to creating an emotional feeling of importance as well as a sense of belonging to a larger organization or establishment (Argyris, et al. 1985, p. 89).
Power: How Its Meaning in Corporate Life is Changing
Gary in his summary on the various views of power has provided us how perception of power has changed over the years. In the initial years it was the emotional response of charisma, the buzz that is categorized as the third factor by Goffee and Jones that was the essence of power in leaders. However gradually this perception has changed and power came to regarded as an issue for organizations productivity. This is the power used for creating a feeling of community of belonging and one which provided a unity of purpose. Thus we see a shift in power from Model I to Model II very gradually.
Model II or the double loop theory propounded by Argyris is a power paradigm which can be associated with that advocated by David McCelland and David Burnham. Thus managers in this model were democratic and more willing to share their power with others with a view to creating a community feeling in the organization but one which was primarily driven towards achieving goals of the organization (McCelland. Burnham, 1995).
James Hillman in his in depth analysis of power has indicated that there could be more elements or purposes to power than that indicated by the purely simplistic explanation of exercising coercive force. He provides a benign expression of power that of providing service to the organization (Hillman, 1995). While Model I denoted by Argyris has indicated power in its coercive function as defined by Hillman, for in it the leader will attempt to control unilaterally, the subsequent transformation indicates development towards Model II (Argyris. 1985).
Power in the Hillman model is to seek followership in which it is linked with the two emotions of making people feel important and creating a community feeling for achieving corporate goals.
Ronald Heifetz indicates that power does not necessarily imply the ability to protect people from threat but to let them feel the threat through simulation and adaptation. This is the new model of power which is aligned to Argyris’ Model II wherein the protection offered by Model I which also includes protection of ones group of followers is done away with. By exposing followers to disorientation by the threats which are the essence of a new age, the 21st Century, it will lead people to transformations required to fit into the new age (Heifetz, 1994).
The Living Company
The Living Company is one which survives because leaders consider the company as a congregation of people and not as an organization which produces goods and services. Thus people are more valued than assets. This focus on the people is what makes these organizations perform consistently over a long period in some cases as the Sumitomo over the centuries.
People are given importance which is due to them because they are working in the company efficiently and effectively. They provide a feeling of belonging to the organization such as Unilever and finally they have a series of leaders who define the trajectory of growth for individuals as well as the company. These leaders see themselves as shaping a human community
The Living company follows the Argyris Model II with powerful double loop learning systems which effectively provides feedback, creates internal commitment as well as leads to informed decision making. This in turn continuously provides a perception of the deficiencies to the management which undertakes continuous improvements. This also leads to generation of new ideas and development of new businesses.
Managing in the Cappuccino Economy
The companies in the Cappuccino economy provide a high degree of importance to people even in junior positions by allowing them to make independent decisions. They are in turn spurred by the faith placed by the management in their abilities even for critical decisions which affect the company’s bottom line. On the other hand the non cappuccino companies do not provide such freedom to the management. The results achieved by these companies are of a higher order which is benchmarked by the rise in equity of these companies by the author.
The top end companies of the Cappuccino economy follow Model II which comprises of empowerment and sharing in decision making right down to the last level. These companies also delimit control by the higher executives though given Argyris predictions once the companies grow, the instinctive response to control may come back. However by establishing training and coaching, Argyris has indicated that Model II skills can be built up in these companies on a continuous basis. The non Cappuccino companies on the other hand follow Model I; thereby they are unable to adjust to the changing circumstances lacking a double loop feedback.
Empowerment : The Emperor’s New Clothes
Empowerment implies enhancing an employee’s self worth which in turn will build his commitment to the organization. Thus a firm which demonstrates to an employee that he can control his own destiny, that he is important will get maximum commitment from him. On the other hand Argyris also indicates that the process of change itself does not make people feel important as it only indicates to them what change is required (Argyris, 1998). It is change that is more important than the employee, thus he may not be fully committed to the process. Empowerment is many times inhibited by leadership in most organizations.
These executives are control oriented, hence are unable to be seen as charismatic, “light houses”. He has also indicated that many people do not want to be empowered. They feel more comfortable in being led. Argyris also feels that it is performance per se which is the most important factor and not empowerment (Argyris, 1998). Thus some organizations in their enthusiasm for empowering the employee by making him feel important, tend to overlook the results that are produced by him. This empowerment is considered self defeating.
Argyris Model I corresponds to external commitment that does not provide much leeway to employees to define their own goals and tasks. This thus does not profess empowerment (Argyris, 1998) Control remains with the management or the higher leadership and employees are expected to merely follow the laid down norms. Argyris has advocated Model I for most routine jobs which may not entail too much empowerment. Such jobs are better performed through external commitment rather than internal.
Argyris Model II corresponds to an organization which offers its employees internal commitment. This enables maximum participation by employees in the project in turn enhancing the way in which they are empowered. However implementing Model II as per Argyris is an extremely difficult and challenging process, hence many organizations profess rather than practice the same.
Why Should Anyone be Led by You?
Inspirational leaders are known to possess four basic qualities, they demonstrate willingly their own weakness, they rely on intuition for seeking the appropriate time for an intervention, empathize freely yet firmly with followers and are not afraid to demonstrate their own uniqueness. By showing to the followers that they have weaknesses as other men they convey a feeling of being human thereby building up a sense of community in the group. This also helps in establishing a common bond based on a feeling of want or need.
The intuitiveness and unique differences that they demonstrate contributes to the charisma which creates a buzz about them and inspires other people. The demonstration of difference is also appreciated by followers as it indicates a spirit of adventure denoted by leaders as Sir John Harvey-Jones, CEO of ICI. By empathizing with their followers, the leaders indicate to them that they are an important facet of their lives, providing the led the sense of being of consequence, thereby inviting greater loyalty.
The inspirational leader is also able to use the right quality amongst this at the most appropriate time. The last quality is what is most important for practical application as it enables leaders to practice leadership by being themselves rather than creating a façade.
The inspirational leader denotes Model II provided by Argyris which is evident from the fact that he is not only open to a double loop feedback but also welcomes it. He uses this to sustain and support the overall good of the organization. The leader in this case is willing to share control over his self with his followers which provides them a unique sense of empowerment building an infinite sense of loyalty.
Leaders are also able to gain intuitive feedback of the system thereby contributing to the double loop of Model II. By being open, fair, transparent and appropriately empathizing with their subordinates, these leaders are the anti thesis of Model I organizations where leaders are aloof, directional and do not expect or welcome a feedback. Inspirational leaders thus seem to fit in ideally with a Model II organization.
Argyris, C. (1985) Strategy, change & defensive routines. Boston: Pitman.
Argyris, C., Putnam, R., & McLain Smith, D. (1985) Action science: concepts, methods, and skills for research and intervention. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Dick, B., & Dalmau, T. (1990) Values in action: Applying the ideas of Argyris and Schon. Brisbane: Interchange.
Heifetz, Ronald. (1994). Leadership without Easy Answers. Belkap Press.
Hillman, James. (1995) Kinds of Power. Currency Books.
McClelland, David. Burnham, David. Power is the Great Motivator. Harvard Business Reprint. Jan-Feb 1995.
(Case Study) Gary, Loren. Power: How Its Meaning in Corporate Life is Changing.
(Case Study) Goffee, Robert. Jones, Gareth. Followership. Harvard Business Review.
(Case Study). Gues, Arie de. The Living Company.
(Case Study). Shapiro, Eileen C. Managing in the Cappuccino Economy.
(Case Study). Argyris, Chris. Empowerment : The Emperor’s New Clothes. Harvard Business Review. May-June 1998.
(Case Study) Goffee, Robert. Jones, Gareth. Why Should Anyone be Let by You? Harvard Business Review. September – October 2000.