Howard Greenwald made a significant contribution in the research of the problem of leadership, management and organizational culture. In fact, he stands on the ground that organizations are complex socio-cultural structures and relationships between people within organizations are extremely complicated and do not always meet traditional views on the leadership and organizational culture. For instance, he suggests that leadership can produce a considerable impact on the change of the organizational culture. At the same time, he underlines that the organization and all its members cannot be totally subordinated to the leader. Instead, each individual as well as each organization can preserve their own identity and organizational culture respectively Greenwald argues that each individual and organization have certain autonomy which distinguishes them from other employees and organizations. In such a context, the organizational leadership and organizational culture should be closely intertwined in order to introduce changes which can improve the organizational culture and lead to the achievement of its objectives.
First of all, Greenwald argues that modern organizations face a problem of the management without control (Greenwald, 87). What is meant here is the fact that individuals within organizations are more or less independent.
Therefore, they are capable to independent actions, which can be different from the general organizational strategy and meet rather individual needs and interests than needs and interests of the organization. In such a context, leaders of organization can face a serious problem since they need to improve the organizational performance and, simultaneously they have to overcome possible resistance from the part of independent employees.
At this point, it is possible to speak about the conflict of interests of organizations and their leaders, on the one hand, and employees with their independence and interests, on the other hand. Therefore, the conflict interests can increase the tension and raise unsurpassable barriers on the way to the introduction of changes, which can improve organization culture and lead the organization to the achievement of its strategic objectives. Greenwald argues that leaders play a particularly important role in such conflicts because they can introduce the change and make people support the change (Greenwald, 142). In actuality, the role of leaders in contemporary organizations is larger than it used to be in the past, because they need to be able not only to perform their leadership functions, but they should be also effective managers.
Consequently, leaders should be able to think strategically and manage the organization effectively, using their leadership qualities as the basis for their managerial work. In such a situation, leaders can manage the introduction of changes in the organizational culture and use their leadership power and formal authority to convince their subordinates to support the change.
At the same time, it is obvious that they need to overcome the opposition from the part of some employees. The independence of employees affects the organizational leadership consistently as well as the organizational leadership can affect the organizational culture and, therefore, employees (Northouse, 310). In other words, there is a mutual dependence between the organizational leadership and the change of the organizational culture.
On the one hand, the organizational leadership is a powerful tool which generates new ideas, plans and implements organizational changes. In such a context, leaders mainly perform their managerial functions. However, when the practical implementation of the change begins, their leadership qualities become of the utmost importance. Leaders can use their formal power and charisma to introduce the change. In such a way, they lead the organization to the change and often they demonstrate the personal example to the rest of employees and subordinates to show that the change they offer is important and useful for the organization. As a result, employees willing support the organizational change, even if the change implies the change of their traditional style of work and change of the organizational culture. In such a situation, one of the major goals of leaders is to convince their subordinates that the change leads to the achievement of overall goals of the organization. Leaders should convince employees that the improvement of organizational culture and achievement of goals due to the implementation of change will have a positive impact on all people working within the organization. Greenwald argues that it is very important to find individual approach to each employee since the independence of employees implies that they need to be convinced personally in the necessity of any changes (Greenwald, 184).
On the other hand, this independence of employees and the existing organizational culture force leaders to take into consideration the position of employees and organizational traditions. As a result, leaders often need to involve their subordinates into the planning and introduction of changes which can improve the organizational culture and organizational performance. At the same time, leaders cannot totally reject existing cultural norms within organizations since, in such a way, they risk to strengthen the opposition to the change within the organization and, eventually fail to introduce any changes at all.
Thus, it is obvious that the organizational leadership can stimulate and guide the introduction of the change of the organizational culture to improve the achievement of its objectives. On the other hand, leaders should take into consideration the position of their subordinates and organizational culture to introduce the change successfully.