For instant, their needs at the most basic level of income, jobs, housing, health care and their larger needs for a sense of community and mutual trust, for recognition ND respect, and for new challenges and visions. In society, leadership is dispersed throughout all segment of the society – government, business, social agencies, associations, the minority communities and so on. The development of more and better leaders is an important objective, thus citizens must understand the responsibilities and limitations of leadership.
For that reason, followers must know how they can strengthen and support good leaders, and must be able to see through the leaders who can be judged by their accountability and trustworthiness. The conventional wisdom asks followers to believe in their traders, but do leaders believe in their followers. This paper will focus on how trust and empowerment affect leaders, followers and organizations alike. It will look into some of the important questions as: what does it mean to trust and be trusted? What does it mean to be empowered? What is the relationship (if any) of trust and empowerment have on organizations effectiveness?
Leadership itself can be defined as a process of persuasion or example by which an individual (or team) influences a group to pursue objectives held by the leader or shared by the leader and his or her followers (Gardner, 1990). Authors Souses and Poster (2007) describe leadership as “ultimately about creating a way for people to intricate to making something extraordinary happen”. In addition, author Schemers (2002) expanded the definition of leadership as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”.
Meanwhile, Daft (2008) summarized “leadership involves the influence of people to bring about change toward a desirable future”. Leaders have a desire to make something happen, to change the way things are, to create something that no one else has ever created before. They have to enlist others in a common vision, and in order for leaders o enlist support, they must have the necessary “knowledge of people’s dreams, hopes, aspirations, visions and values because leadership work best through dialogue” (Souses & Poster, 2007, p. 7). Most of the time, leadership is practiced on four levels: 1. Personal – the relationship with own self. 2. Interpersonal – the relationship of own self and interactions with others. 3. Managerial – own responsibility to get a job done with others. 7 4. Organizational – own needs to organize people, to recruit, train, compensate, build teams, solve problems, and create structure, strategy and systems. With hat, in what ways trust and empowerment play an important part of leadership?
Is there any inter-relationship between both factors and how do both impact organizations? What is trust and what is empowerment really mean in the context of leadership? Consequently, we can say that the questions raised could be related to employee empowerment, interpersonal trust and organizational effectiveness. Below is an illustration from Covey’s ‘Four Levels of Principle- Centered Leadership Key Principles’ that will give a clearer picture of the association between trust and empowerment as a focus of this paper.
Figure 1 ORGANIZATIONAL (Alignment) MANAGERIAL (Empowerment) INTERPERSONAL (Trust) PERSONAL (Trustworthiness) Source: Covey, (1991 Four Levels of Principle-centered Leadership Key Principles, 0 1991 Covey Leadership Center Modern Leadership Literature Review Trust 8 Leadership is “equally a task of building harmonious, collaborative teams. It is also a task of teaching a common vision and common organizational principles” (Fairchild & Fairchild, 2000). Fairchild and Fairchild (2000) explained that “leadership is not an individual, but a collective, relation-based activity’ (p. 02). For leaders to lead, they need a united and harmonious environment characterized by mutual trust. To achieve such environment, leaders and followers must be in a context in which “each can be free to trust each other enough and trust the purposes, actions, and intent of others and further the goals of the organization” (Fairchild & Fairchild, 2000, p. 102). Therefore, trust or the lack of it is at the root of success or failure in relationships and could influence results of an organization, industry, education and even government.
As illustrated at the beginning of this paper in Figure 1, it is obvious that trustworthiness is the foundation of trust. Trust is the emotional relationship between two people that enables them to trust each other. Based on trustworthiness, they can enjoy clear communication, empathy, synergy and mutual commitment. Appellate, Barometric, Bumpier, Ballooner, Corcoran, Door©, Gerard and Sermons (2004) mentioned in their research that trust is a positive expectation through words, actions, or decisions act and the key dimensions underlining trust are integrity, competence, consistency, loyalty and openness.
Arrant (2007) suggested that ‘trust is a belief in the reliability of a third arty, particularly when there is an element of personal risk”. Simple forms of trust enable people to approach each other and gain the experience necessary for stronger emotions, more sophisticated assessment and higher risk choices (Young, 2006). In addition, Arrant (2007) also acknowledged that “any successful relationship, from friendship and marriage to partnerships and business transactions, is dependent to a greater or lesser extent upon the degree of trust between the parties” (Arrant, 2007, p. 81). Hence, it can be said that 9 trust is conceptualized as an evolving affect, that is, an interacting set of motions and assessments that develop and change over time (Young, 2006). As a result, when followers trust a leader, they are willing to be vulnerable to the leaders actions and they are unlikely to look up to or follow someone whom they perceive as dishonest. Researchers Money and Hankie (2006) clarified that trust contributes to a positive working environment characterized by honest, supportive relationship. Appellate et al. 2004) pointed out that trust seems to be the primary attribute associated with leadership because honesty and integrity are found consistently associated with it. But then, Notebook (2003) deed, trust “has its limits because trustworthiness generally has its limits” (p. 5). The focus of this paper is not only to illustrate trust between leaders and followers, but also trust within organizations. For that reason, Bossism and Conman (2003) stated that “trustful relations between organizational members can promote voluntary cooperation and extra-role behaviors” (p. 543).
It is also a matter of common understanding that trust is influenced by past experiences and chances of future interactions, both relevant with and between organizations (Bossism & Conman, 2003). Consequently, it can be mingle accurate to say that trust is at ‘interpersonal-level’ and as an important component in organizations because “interpersonal trust involves one’s trust in others in the organization” (Money & Hankie, 2006, p. 102). However, Young (2006) argued that “there are nearly as many types of trust as there are situations in which trust is occurring” (p. 42). In addition to that, she underlined that “whether trust is based upon perceptions of motivation or competence in the trusted other and whether social or economic benefits are primarily sought” (Young, 2006, p. 442). Young (2006) explained that within the different types of trust, a Mathew different combination of emotions and cognitions combine to form trust. Therefore, trust is primarily important and that it is linked to relational performance and can improve organizational effectiveness, but reveals 10 very little about why that is so.
Without such comprehension, managing and understanding trust is impossible. Young (2006) indicated that during these two decades, the study of trust in organization and business has experienced phenomenal growth, as has recognition of trust’s importance. Yet, despite widespread recognition of the importance of trust, conceptualization of trust in organization and business relationship literature remains limited. Apparently, in this modern world, societies are specialized, time-poor, consumption-oriented, and legally constrained, thus must rely on and trust others.
It is either we trust someone or we do not, because evidently, trust is “complex and multi- dimensional” (Arrant, 2007, p. 983). Empowerment To motivate people to peak performance, a leader must find the areas where organizational needs and goals that extend over individual needs, goals, and capabilities. Once established, people can govern or supervise themselves within which would create self- erecting, collaborating and “self-leadership” (Carson & King Jar. , 2005).
Greasily, Barman, Dainty, Price, Stanton, and King (2005) wrote that the meaning of empowerment itself tend to be “associated with the concept of power”. To justify this, Carson and King Jar. (2005) stated that power is the root of empowerment, and followers or employees in organizations must be given the ability to exercise that power. Furthermore, they added that “empowerment focuses on delegation and on passing power from higher organizational level to lower ones” (Carson & King Jar. , 2005, p. 1050).
Moreover, Daft (2008) formally refers “empowerment to power sharing and the delegation of power or authority to subordinates in an organization”. The act of empowerment suggests both the giving of power or authority to someone as well as the recognition within oneself of the power that has been increased and one’s ability to exercise that power (Harrison, Waite & Hunter, 2006). Hence, empowerment is simply the ability of every member of an organization or society being able to take control of their own destiny and realizing their potential to the full (Brown & Brown, 1994).
However, Money and Hankie (2006) 11 anointed out that empowerment is an enabling process rather that a delegating process. They argued that enabling involves creating condition for enhancing motivation for task that can be accomplished through the development of a strong sense of personal efficacy. Individuals have a need for self-efficacy, which is the capacity to produce results or outcomes and to feel they are effective (Daft, 2008). Daft (2008) further explained that “empowerment provides strong motivation because it meets the higher needs of individuals” (p. 43). Leaders and followers want empowerment; in fact, once they understand the concept, hey will demand empowerment. It should not be forced upon anybody, but sometimes we will gladly take it because followers often want to contribute. They are capable people trying to do a good job. They want to be empowered because it makes them feel as though the organization recognizes them as the valuable asset they know they are truly capable of being. Empowerment must be understood by all that are to participate in the process.
The concepts and perceptions of empowerment will differ depending upon the audience. The needs of the leaders of an organization, for example an executive needs would fifer from the middle manager, and supervisor. Empowerment will result in better organizational decisions because of improved organizational effectiveness due to job satisfaction (Appellate et al. , 2004). Greasily et al. (2005) found this as acceptable and argued that while the primary motive of empowerment is usually to improve the economic performance of the organization, benefits to the individual have also been identify.
They added that “benefits of empowerment can be broadly divided into two areas, benefits for the organization and the benefits to for the individual” (Greasily et al. 2005, p. 357). They also wrote that empowered individuals have a greater sense job satisfaction, motivation, organizational loyalty and feel more involved in the achievement of the organizational goals. As empowered individual, they are able to control at certain extent their own environment [at work], thus reducing conflict and ambiguity of their role in the organization (Greasily et al. 2005). Empowered work environments provide the 12 starting point from which self-leadership can result in positive organizational outcomes. Empowerment and self-leadership are avenues to influence and r improve direction and motivation within organizations by placing greater emphasis on individual mindset and skill development (Carson & King Jar. , 2005). Highly empowered people feel that they understand leader’s vision and strategic direction for the organization.
Given this understanding, they will more likely feel they have the capability to act autonomously in their work rather than wait for permission and direction, thus improving their self-leadership and benefit the organization at general. Most empowered people commonly have these four characteristics. Firstly, empowered people have the sense of self-determination ND self-leadership. In other words, it means that they are free to choose how to do their task, and they are not micro-managed. Secondly, they have a sense of meaning where they feel that work is important to them, and they care about what they are doing.
Thirdly, empowered individuals have the sense of competence, which means that they are confident about their ability to do their work well, and they know they can perform. Fourth and final, they have a sense of impact, in which it means that other people believe they can influence their work unit, and others listen to their ideas. Empowerment, then, is not something hat leaders do to followers or employees, but rather a mind-set which employees have about their role in the organization.
They must see themselves as having freedom and discretion and must feel personally connected to the organization (Appellate, H©Bert, & Leroy, 1999). Furthermore, in order to feel empowered, followers or employees need to have confidence that leaders must understand the special commitments and circumstances that make their contribution is valuable (Money & Hankie, 2006). Modern Leadership Discussion Trust and Empowerment 13 Trust and empowerment present many benefits on an organization.
As previously noted, trust is recognized as fundamental element in well functioning organizations. Interestingly, Money and Hankie (2006) found that there is a relationship between empowerment and interpersonal-level trust. Individual who perceived higher levels of empowerment had higher level of interpersonal- level trust. Individual who feel empowered in their position appear inclined toward more positive relationship with their leaders or managers, relationship dependent on a substantial, noticeable level of interpersonal trust between them.
In addition, there was also a significant interaction found between education and impact on the interpersonal-level trust, and as individual who had less education and perceived that they have a low impact in their organization perceived less interpersonal trust. Moreover, the positive effects on followers perceptions of leadership trustworthiness, the willingness to share control, and when followers are satisfied with their level of participation in the organization. Leaders can engage in behaviors that promote trust and empowerment, while demonstrate consistency, integrity, concern, and a willingness to share control.
Furthermore, research completed by Greasily et al. (2005) indicated that there re two main ways that empowerment can be achieved, that is through the demonstration of trust, and by allowing individuals to make their own decisions in relation to their task or work. They recognize that trust is demonstrated through the level of monitoring and the less they are monitored, the more they feel trusted. Greasily et al. (2005) added that individuals recognized the distinction between being ‘trusted’ and being ’empowered’.
Empowerment as pointed out by the individuals in their research was described as not being left alone, but is a sense that they can be trusted and competent enough to conduct task without the constant direction of their leader. They research subjects also stated that trust should not be something 14 that is given away freely, but is something that has to be earned based upon experience, knowledge, previous actions, and training. Since trust and empowerment can have an impact on job satisfaction and have implications on organizational effectiveness, Appellate et al. 2004) mentioned briefly that it is important to have continuance commitment which could ensure followers or employees do not resort to exit in response to their dissatisfaction ND ensure that organization members remain in their organizations despite being dissatisfied or discontented. Dissatisfied followers or employee who stay in an organization because of continuance commitment have two alternative responses to their job satisfaction in addition to voice or creativity: loyalty and neglect.
This is because voice and creativity are active responses, while loyalty and neglect are passive responses to job satisfaction in an organization. In addition, studies by Young (2006) shows that there is a remarkable consistent pattern of emotional and cognitive elements of trust that both play an important ole in functioning of organizational and business relationships. However, Young (2006) asserted that trust evolves within broader relationship and effectual trust often results in certain benefits for an organizational relationship and those participating in it.
Therefore, it is imperative to acknowledge that empowerment is related to trust. As studies show, followers or employees in organization want to be empowered. They feel that the opportunity given to them in making decisions indicates that they are trusted and allows them to feel that they are directly involved and connected to their organization. If the meaning of trust and empowerment is to be fully understood, it is crucial that leaders create the necessary opportunity for their followers or employees to be heard and it need to be recognized.
Modern Leadership Summary and Conclusion 15 In order to survive in a competitive environment and global expectation, today’s organizational leaders are looking for new innovative ways to enhance the creative potential of their followers and organizational workforce. Leaders exercise empowerment as a result from an increase in overall employee ownership, involvement, and job satisfaction. It seems that the leader is the most important person in an organization; he/she is ultimately responsible for successes or failures of group efforts.
However, anyone who has been in charge of a group understands that some portion of control lies in the followers’ hands. In organizations, the followers are the ultimate vehicle through which leader’s goals are executed. It can be concluded that empowerment and trust is actually encompasses a very complex and multifaceted continuous process. Nonetheless, the development of empowerment and trust (conditional and unconditional) s a function of an organization’s ability to create the setting within which trust and empowerment can develop over time.
Therefore, increased attention to developing effective followers is a must for any organizational SUccess. The literature view and discussion on trust and empowerment in this paper illustrated a clear indication that both are inter-related in achieving ultimate organizational effectiveness.