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Symposium on the Coevolution of Technology-Business Innovations

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Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness in a Fast-Changing World

Effective coordination of organizational activities is a major determinant of organizational effectiveness. The need for coordination is drastically enhanced when the pace of change in the strategic environment is high. Visionary and responsive leadership becomes critical under such conditions. The presentation will review the nature of effective leadership, historical understanding of leadership, and the challenges that the modern business environment creates for organizational leaders.


  Martin M. Chemers - Bio
Photo of Martin Chemers

 Martin M. Chemers
 Professor, Psychology Department
 University of California at Santa Cruz

 Web Sites

 Symposium Materials
   pdf icon  Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness (slides) (pdf)
   pdf icon  Leadership, Change, and Organizational Effectiveness (paper) (pdf)

Martin Chemers is a social psychologist with interests in leadership and team and organizational effectiveness. Much of his work has addressed how cultural and personality characteristics of leaders and followers affect the intrapersonal and interpersonal processes that give rise to highly motivated and effective teams. Also of interest are factors that influence the leadership effectiveness of "non traditional" leaders such as women and minority group members.

Chemers' current research is focused on the construct of "mettle" which refers to confidence in one's leadership capability and optimism about the outcomes of one's efforts. Confident and optimistic (i.e., high mettle) leaders are seen as highly effective by superiors, peers, and subordinates; are able to persevere in the face of difficult and stressful circumstances; and have a strong influence on the confidence and optimism of teammates. Recent research on mettle includes both laboratory and field studies. For example, a laboratory experiment found that high mettle leaders were able to maintain feelings of self-efficacy and hopefulness in the face of negative feedback about task performance and follower acceptance. A study of men's and women's college basketball teams determined that the mettle of the team's on-the-floor leader was the most powerful determinant of team success in terms of won-loss records and conference rankings. Studies in progress are examining the effects of leader mettle among unit managers in a large fast-food chain and officers in a military setting. Of particular interest are the interpersonal mechanisms by which the leader's confidence and optimism have their effects on follower motivation and performance.

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