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What factors drive dependent and interdependent behavior in leaders in organizations?

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Module 6 DQ 3: Factors of Leaders Behavior in Organizations


Module 6 DQ 3 What factors drive dependent and interdependent behavior in leaders in organizations?



Effective leadership in today`s chaotic global world requires strength and courage in order to address the challenges faced by leaders and their organizations on a daily basis. The strength and courage of leaders is based in part on a variety of cognitive and psychological dimensions including emotional intelligence, social intelligence, spirituality, and moral reasoning. Many of these dimensions are related to each other.

 The Interdependence of an Individual`s Values, Spirituality, Sense of Meaning, and Moral Reason

Although we often discuss some of the individual internal characteristics of a person separately, this research shows they are all interconnected. Researchers have shown that "a sense of meaning in life" is related to a person`s values and beliefs as well as to their interconnectedness with other people (Fry, 2000; Steger, Frazier, Oishi, and Kaler, 2006). Spirituality is also related to a person`s sense of and nature of interconnectedness to other people (Delgado, 2005). This interconnectedness with other people, including stakeholders, is also a function of one`s moral reasoning in that people with high levels of moral reasoning are empathetic with others as a result of their high level of moral reasoning (Rest, Bebeau, and Volker, 1986). A discussion of these individual concepts requires one to understand their definitions and the context in which they are used in order to ensure that the discussion is based on a common set of assumptions.


Spirituality is a very different concept than religion. The definition of spirituality goes beyond religiosity. Researchers tend to define spirituality in many different ways. Some define it the same way, or in a similar way, to religiosity (Hyman and Handal, 2006; Sheldrake, 2007; Speck, 2005). For the most part, researchers consider spirituality different than religiosity in that spirituality goes beyond religious concepts (Delgado, 2005). Some researchers define it in terms of an individual transcending themselves with a focus on others (Delgado, 2005). Other researchers like Hyman and Handal (2006) have taken on a psychological approach, based on a study of the soul or psycherather than religion. Fry (2000) approaches spirituality based on a sense of meaning. Burkhardt and Nagai-Jacobson (2002) describe spirituality in terms of interconnectedness with other people, higher powers such as God, and even the universe. Delgado (2005) may provide one of the most comprehensive views of spirituality. His description of spirituality includes a sense of meaning or purpose at an altruistic level, an acceptance of a set of values in the context of a belief system, and an interdependence or interconnectedness to others.

In trying to differentiate spirituality and religiosity, some researchers consider religiosity associated with the external practice or observance of rituals associated with a particular religion or faith (Cartwright, 2001). Spirituality, on the other hand, is about the internal experience of a human being or group of human beings (Daly, 2005).

Dependence and Interdependence: A Connection with Moral Reasoning

Burkhardt and Nagai-Jacobson (2002) described the concept of interconnectedness or interdependence as being about the relationship between a person and other people or even a higher authority. This interconnectedness can include both dependence and interdependence. The interconnection with others develops based both on one`s values and one`s sense of meaning or purpose that enables them to develop a collective sensitivity with others.

This sense of interconnectedness or interdependence is based on a value or belief in moral responsibility or moral obligations toward others as well as society as a whole. Social responsibility results from a person`s moral reasoning or moral judgment in which society is seen as a key stakeholder with rights. Moral reasoning at the higher levels requires that an individual can empathize with the other stakeholders, understanding their values, beliefs, and sense of meaning. This sense of shared meaning or purpose can create a culture with a sense of community and interdependence in an organization. As a result, moral reasoning also influences how people treat others: Do they see them as human beings to be valued or objects to be used? Stables (2005) showed that moral reasoning influenced justice and responsibility toward others. Ashley (2000), on the other hand, showed that there is a relationship between moral reasoning and social responsibility as well as environmental protectionism.

Moral reasoning involves the merging of three factors: cognitive reasoning, social beliefs or values, and behavioral choice (Dellaportas, Barry, and Leung, 2006). Moral reasoning is then a matter of psychological cognition that uses moral principles, not moral beliefs, for evaluating and selecting conflicting alternatives involved in a moral dilemma. Moral reasoning can be measured by Kohlberg`s 6 stages of reasoning, which is based on a set of universal rights or principles or other variations of his original model (Rest, Narvaez, Babeau, and Thoma, 1999).

Emotional Intelligence

Another psychological dimension of human beings is emotional intelligence (EQ). EQ has been compared to Analytical Intelligence (IQ). EQ is about a person`s ability to identify, understand, and manage their own emotions as well as those of others. This ability to both self-manage and help others manage their emotions has been correlated with higher levels or performance for organizations (Rosete and Ciarrochi, 2005). It has been used to craft new models of leadership such as resonant leadership or primal leadership in which leadership is about "driving the collective emotions in a positive direction and clearing the smog created by toxic emotions" (Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee, 2002, p. 5).The effectiveness of the leader in this model depends on his or her level of EQ as measured by four dimensions: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Social awareness and relationship management in this model are related to the concepts of interconnectedness.

Instruments to Measure Personal Values, Sense of Meaning, and Spirituality


Module 6 DQ 3 Name: Institution: What factors drive independent and interdependent behavior in leaders in organizations? The behavior of leaders plays an important role in the growth and development of an organization and can substantially influence the performance. Several factors drive the indepe


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