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Practical Perspectives: Thoughts on Leadership and Subordinate Development (Part II of II)
By Major Clifford G. Tebbitt, Jail Administrator, Scott County Sheriff's Office
Published: 02/07/2011

County jail Editors note: The following is a continuing series of articles written by Major Clifford G. Tebbitt, of the Scott County Iowa Sheriff's Office. Mr. Tebbitt is a Jail Administrator and a PhD candidate. The series includes: contemporary issues with jail/corrections administration.

Part I of II discussed the difficulty of searching through the leadership literature to identify what to base your organization’s subordinate leadership development on. Picking up from this thought, with the desire to make the difference in influencing subordinate leaders, what can an administrator hinge subordinate leader development on to successfully develop quality and effectiveness in the organization’s leadership… So how do we as leaders in local corrections, as jail administrators, develop subordinate leaders? Where do we find information and material that clearly defines the way?

Due to the applied nature of leadership, in general, leaders that exercise legitimate power and influence affecting behavior in organizations directs their attention at how various individual and/or group behaviors benefit and enhance organizations and the antecedent conditions associated with those beneficial behaviors. A survey of the leadership literature clearly indicates leadership typically examines at the group level how the organization might improve leadership effectiveness and the leader's ability to motivate workers to achieve high levels of performance and goal attainment (Van Fleet & Griffin, 2006). Supposedly speaking then, the nature and challenges of leadership are both responsible for and focused on performance (Lynham and Chermack, 2006).

How does one judge subordinate leadership development success? How do effect their subordinate that could be one indicator of your subordinate leader development training success? Certainly, a test of any manager’s influence is the ability to address conflict in the organization. With very little challenge within literature on conflict, you will find significant support of the concept that some conflict supports the goals of the group and improves its performance. This is referred to as “functional” constructive forms of conflict. There are conflict influences that hinder group performance. This on the other hand is referred to as “dysfunctional” or destructive forms of conflict. The research evidence indicates what differentiates functional from dysfunctional conflict is the type of conflict. Specifically, there are three types: task, relationship, and process (Robbins, 2007). Task conflict relates to the content and goals of the work. Relationship conflict focuses on interpersonal relationships. Process conflict relates to how the work gets done. Studies demonstrate that relationship conflicts are usually dysfunctional (Yang & Mossholder, 2004).

It is this Administrator’s opinion that what sets an effective subordinate supervisor or manager apart is leadership, and the ability to combine decisive action with definitive results. Appling this assumption, the manager’s ability to lead the organization to conflict resolution typifies leadership and power. Leaders, moreover, are perhaps the most powerful determinant of organization culture related to systemic constructs such as individual differences, work performance, decision-making and the ability to influence of leadership, power and politics on an organization.

We may better understand leadership, power and politics in the context of organizational behavior through its relationship with resources. We can increase our understanding of leadership through its relationship with culture. Culture is considered here in a broad sense to be the organization’s values, history, principles, power structures, politics and importantly its climate. Stogdill, (1950) claimed that, perhaps, there are as many definitions of leadership as there are scholars, and Schlechter and Engelbrecht (2006) reported that researchers had defined leadership in over 350 different ways in the 30 years prior to 1985. Leadership might be more usefully understood as a process of individual and organizational engagement with time, culture and change that differ from management's relationships with these processes (Rowe, 2006).

The manager is considered as the most important key player in shaping any organization. The manager’s task and responsibilities is too crucial and fragile that it does not qualify for constant enhancement and development thus maintaining several forms of traditional managerial styles which will generate innovative ideas (Kahalas, 2001). In the light, the role of the manager, who’s fundamental scepter follows a line of sensitivity, serves as the thumb of the whole group, the brain for that matter, that in every false move done by the manager or the leader, the whole organization suffers from the consequence of such (Bartels, 1974).

Given the fact that the leader is vested with the power and authority to run and supervise the organization’s goals and objectives along with the regulation of its members, it is evident that the fate of the whole group rests initially on how well the leader is able to lead the group (Deshpande & Webster, 1989). This fact alone maybe the most important drive in the administrator’s subordinate leader development training philosophy. As a matter of fact, and possible equally as important for the administrator to consider is the fact that the highest expectation in the form of service is stressed on the manager’s sleeve, which creates severe pressure and challenge as the output of the multifarious factors that influence and affect the leader’s performance is then taken by risk, by work and by strategy; three distinct dynamics that make up a triumph (Creech, 1995). Indeed, this lays claim to the challenge an administrator is faced with when contemplating the importance leadership development for the jail’s organization.


Bartels, R. (1974). The Identity Crisis in Marketing. Journal of Marketing, 38(4), 73-76. Retrieved October 19, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1175186).

Creech, B. (1995). The Five Pillars of TQM: How to Make Total Quality Management Work for You. New York, NY: Plume.

Deshpande, R., & Webster, F. (1989). Organizational Culture and Marketing: Defining the Research Agenda. Journal of Marketing, 53(1), 3-15. Retrieved October 19, 2010, from JSTOR online journal archive, DOI: 10-2307/1251521.

Kahalas, H. (2001). How Competitiveness Affects Individuals and Groups within Organizations. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 22(1), 83-85. Retrieved October 19, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 70024543).

Lynham, Susan A. and Thomas J Chermack. (2006). Responsible Leadership for Performance: A Theoretical Model and Hypotheses. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 12(4), 73-88. Retrieved November 20, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1042698751).

Richards, N.D and Greenlaw P.S. (1972), Management Decision Making, Homewood, IL: Richard D. Irwin Inc.

Robbins, Stephen P. and Judge, Timothy A. (2007). Organizational Behavior (12th Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Rowe, James (2006). Non-defining leadership. Kybernetes, 35(10), 1528-1537. Retrieved November 20, 2010, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 1150356831).

Schlechter, Anton F. and Amos S Engelbrecht. (2006). The relationship between transformational leadership, meaning and organizational citizenship behavior. Management Dynamics, 15(4), 2-16. Retrieved November 21, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1273049021).

Stogdill, R.K. (1950), Leadership, Membership and Organization, Psychological Bulletin, 52, p 4. Retrieved November 19, 2010, .

Van Fleet, David D. and Ricky W. Griffin, (2006). Dysfunctional organization culture: The role of leadership in motivating dysfunctional work behaviors. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 21(8), 698. Retrieved November 20, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1164895491).

Yang, Jixia and Mossholder, Kevin W. (2004). Decoupling task and relationship conflict: the role of intragroup emotional processing. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25(5), 589-605. Retrieved November 20, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 729558061).

Link to Part I

Other articles by Tebbitt:


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