The Leadership Process The Key Point

The Leadership Process
The Key Point
Although many people think of leadership as the behavior of leaders, it is actually generated ininteractions and relationships between people. Understanding leadership as a process opens oureyes to the fact that leadership is co-produced by leaders and followers working together inorganizational contexts.
What’s Inside?
Bringing OB to LIFE
Worth Considering . . . or Best Avoided?
Checking Ethics in OB
Finding the Leader in You
OB in Popular Culture
Research Insight
Chapter at a Glance
What Is Leadership?
Print,sec262,se…1 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
What Is Followership?
What Do We Know about Leader–Follower Relationships?
What Do We Mean by Leadership as a Collective Process?
Print,sec262,se…2 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
13.1 Leadership
When we think of leadership, we often think of leaders. But leaders are only one element of leadership.Other key elements are followers, leader–follower relationships, and context. It is only when all theseelements come together effectively that leadership is produced. For this reason, leadership should bethought of as a process.
The leadership process shown in the nearby ϐigure is co-created by leaders and followers acting incontext. Leadership ( isgenerated when acts of leading (e.g., inϐluencing) are combined with acts of following (e.g., deferring).It represents an inϐluence relationship between two or more people who depend on one another forattainment of mutual goals.1 ( Theimplication of this is that leadership is not only about the actions of leaders. It also involves the actionsof followers who contribute to, or detract from, leaders’ attempts to inϐluence.
Leadership is an inϐluence process generated when acts of leading (e.g., inϐluencing) arecombined with acts of following (e.g., deferring) as individuals work together to attainmutual goals.
Because following is so important to leading, we could almost say that it is in following that leadershipis created. If others do not follow then, even if a person has a leadership position, he or she is not reallya leader. The person may be a manager—but not a leader. For example, when students in a class act upand do not respect the teacher, they are not following and the teacher is not leading. The teacher maytry to use position power to manage the situation, but in this case the teacher is acting as a managerrather than a leader.
Print,sec262,se…3 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
Leadership inϐluence can be located in one person (i.e., a “leader”) or be distributed throughout thegroup (i.e., collective leadership). For example, some teams have one project leader who everyonefollows. Other groups may be more self-managing, where team members share the leadership functionand responsibilities. While in the past leadership was largely the domain of formal managerial leaders,in today’s environments leadership is broadly distributed more throughout organizations, witheveryone expected to play their part.
Formal and Informal Leadership
Leadership processes occur both inside and outside of formal positions and roles. When leadership isexerted by individuals appointed or elected to positions of formal authority, it is called formalleadership. Managers, teachers, ministers, politicians, and student organization presidents are allformal leaders. Leadership can also be exerted by individuals who do not hold formal roles but becomeinϐluential due to special skills or their ability to meet the needs of others. These individuals areinformal leaders.2 ( Informalleaders can include opinion leaders, change agents, and idea champions.
Formal leadership is exerted by persons appointed or elected to positions of formal
authority in organizations.
Informal leaders is exerted by persons who become inϐluential due to special skills ortheir ability to meet the needs of others.
Whereas formal leadership involves top-down inϐluence ϐlows, informal leadership can ϐlow in anydirection: up, down, across, and even outside the organization. Informal leadership allows us torecognize the importance of upward leadership (or “leading-up”). Upward leadership occurs whenindividuals at lower levels act as leaders by inϐluencing those at higher levels. This concept of
leadership ϐlowing upward is often missed in discussions of leadership in organizations, but it isabsolutely critical for organizational change and effectiveness.
Print,sec262,se…4 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
Upward leadership occurs when leaders at lower levels inϐluence those at higher levels tocreate change.
Regardless of whether it is formal or informal, a key to effective leadership is “willing followership,” asshown in Figure 13.1 (ϐig13-1) .Willing followership means that others follow because they want to, not because they have to. This isclosely related to the concept of power. When leaders operate from a willing followership model, othersfollow out of intrinsic motivation and power comes from personal sources. This differs from morecompliance-based approaches-common to managers who aren’t leaders, where others follow out ofextrinsic motivation and power is more position based. Managers who are also effective leaders haveboth position and personal power. On the other hand, informal leaders who do not have formal
positions can only operate through personal power.
FIGURE 13.1 (ϐig13-1)The role of “willing followership” in leadership.
Research Insight
Participatory Leadership and Peace
In an unusual cross-cultural organizational behavior study, Gretchen Spreitzer examined the linkbetween business leadership practices and indicators of peace in nations. She found that earlierresearch suggested that peaceful societies had (1) open and egalitarian decision making and (2) socialcontrol processes that limit the use of coercive power. These two characteristics are the hallmarks ofparticipatory systems that empower people in the collective. Spreitzer reasoned that business ϐirmscan provide open egalitarian decisions by stressing participative leadership and empowerment.
Spreitzer recognized that broad cultural factors could also be important. The degree to which theculture is future oriented and low in power distance appeared relevant. And she reasoned that sheneeded speciϐic measures of peace. She selected two major indicators: (1) the level of corruption and(2) the level of unrest. The measure of unrest was a combined measure of political instability, armedconϐlict, social unrest, and international disputes. While she found a large leadership database thatdirectly measured participative leadership, she developed the measures of empowerment from anotherapparently unrelated survey. Two items appeared relevant: the decision freedom individuals reported(decision freedom), and the degree to which they felt they had to comply with their boss regardless ofPrint,sec262,se…5 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
whether they agreed with an order (compliance).
You can schematically think of this research in terms of the following model.
As one might expect with exploratory research, the ϐindings support most of her hypotheses but not all.Participative leadership was related to less corruption and less unrest, as was the future-orientedaspect of culture. Regarding empowerment, there were mixed results; decision freedom was linked toless corruption and unrest, but the compliance measure was only linked to more unrest.
Do The Research Do you agree that when business used participatory leadership, it legitimated thedemocratically based style and increased the opportunity for individuals to express their voice? Whatother research could be done to determine the link between leadership and peace?11(
Source: Gretchen Spreitzer, “Giving Peace a Chance: Organizational Leadership, Empowerment, and Peace,”Journal of Organizational Behavior 28 (2007), pp. 1077–1095.
Leadership as Social Construction
Understanding leadership as a process helps us see that leadership is socially constructed. The socialconstruction of leadership ( means that leadership is co-created in relational interactions among people acting incontext. Because of this, it cannot be meaningfully separated from context. Each leadership situation isunique, having its own particular dynamics, variables, and players. There is no one-size-ϐits-all solutionin leadership.
social construction of leadership The social construction of leadership means that
leadership is constructed and produced in social and relational interactions amongpeople acting in context.
Print,sec262,se…6 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
Social construction approaches see leadership as socially deϐined. They recognize leaders and followersas relational beings who “constitute” each other in dynamic, unfolding relational contexts.3( In other words, whether you are aleader or a follower depends on the nature of the interactions you have with other people. Because ofthis, communication and the everyday interactions of people are a key element of constructionistapproaches to leadership.
Leadership as Identity Construction An example of social construction can be seen in DeRue andAshford’s model of the leadership identity construction process. This model shows how individualsnegotiate identities as leaders and followers.4 ( As seen in Figure 13.2 (ϐig13-2) , the identity construction process involves individuals “claiming” an identity (as aleader or follower) and others afϐirming or “granting” that identity by going along with the claim.
Claiming refers to actions people take to assert their identity as a leader or follower. Granting( refers to actions peopletake to bestow an identity of a leader or follower onto another person.5 (
The leadership identity construction process involves individuals negotiatingidentities as leaders and followers.
Claiming refers to actions people take to assert their identity as a leader or follower.
Granting refers to actions people take to bestow an identity of a leader or follower ontoanother person.
FIGURE 13.2 (ϐig13-2)DeRue and Ashford Leadership Identity Construction Process.
Print,sec262,se…7 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
We can see the identity construction process occurring every time a new group is formed. When thereis no designated leader, group members negotiate who will be leaders and who will be followers. Forexample, some might say, “I am willing to take the leader role,” or “Leadership is not really my thing, soI prefer to follow.” It may also be more implicit, with some people doing more inϐluencing andorganizing and others doing more deferring and performing.
This process occurs even when there is a designated leader. In these cases it may be more subtle,
however, such as when individuals choose not to follow the designated leader (i.e., when they do notgrant the leader claim). In groups we often see informal norms emerging around leader and followergrants and claims in the form of people supporting or resisting each other’s claims.
Leader Identity and Forrest Gump
In Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks plays a character who has a mental impairment but, despite this, alwaysseems to ϐind himself in extraordinary events and situations. One of the most memorable is when hedecides to go out for a run, and ends up running for three and a half years. Forrest’s passion for runningbegan as a young boy when his best friend, Jenny, tells him, “Run, Forrest, run!” to get away frombullies. Forrest learns that running is a way to get out of his problems as well as to get over them.
As an adult, Forrest is distraught over Jenny leaving him and goes for a run. Once he starts, he justkeeps going. He reaches one coast and decides he isn’t done running, so he runs to the other coast. Thiscoast-to-coast run goes on for years, with Forrest only stopping to sleep.
Forrest’s run attracts media attention, and soon he has a large following of people who makeattributions about meaning behind Forrest’s running. Several of these followers are failingentrepreneurs who end up achieving success as a result of inspiration they take from Forrest. At theend of one scene we see Forrest on a highway with his followers trailing behind him. We hear Forrestsay, “I had run for three years, two months, fourteen days, and sixteen hours,” and then he stopsrunning and turns around. The followers behind him also stop and look to Forrest to see what is goingon. One says, “Quiet, quiet! He’s gonna say something!” and after a pause Forrest says, “I’m prettytired—I think I’ll go home now.”
Forrest’s run raises fascinating questions for leadership. Was Forrest a leader? He had followers, sodoes this make him a leader? Others granted him leader identity and claimed their own identity as afollower of Forrest. But Forrest never claimed a leader identity himself. So was this leadership? How dowe know when something is leadership and when it isn’t?
Print,sec262,se…8 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
Paramount Pictures/Photofest
Get to Know Yourself Better Take a look at Experiential Exercise 25: Interview a Leader andExperiential Exercise 25: Leadership Skills Inventory in the OB Skills Workbook. These are designed tohelp you learn more about what makes a person a leader and what constitutes leadership processes. Dothese help you understand whether Forrest was a leader in this case or do you need to know more?What would you add to these exercises to help you better assess leadership and followership in thecase of Forrest Gump?
Leader identity construction has important implications, particularly for those who are high inmotivation to lead.6 ( Althoughthese individuals may want to lead, if others do not grant them a leadership identity their efforts willnot succeed. It also helps us understand why some individuals seem to ϐind themselves in a leader roleeven if they don’t want to be. For these “natural leaders,” leadership is thrust upon them by others whogrant them leadership identities regardless of their desire to claim leadership (see the “OB in PopularPrint,sec262,se…9 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
Culture” feature on Forrest Gump).
Motivation to lead is the extent to which individuals choose to assume leadershiptraining, roles and responsibilities.
The leadership identity construction process brings a new understanding to the importance offollowership. Contrary to views that depict followers as passive bystanders to leaders, identityconstruction shows that followers play an important role in leadership by (a) granting claims to leadersand (b) claiming roles as followers. When these grants and claims do not align—for example, whenfollowers do not grant leaders’ claims or when followers do not accept their own role as followers—theresult is conϐlict and lack of legitimacy. Unless the problems are worked through, individuals will not beable to negotiate compatible identities. In these cases conϐlict will prevail, and the leadership processwill break down.
Implicit Leadership Theories
A key element affecting whether leadership claims will be granted lies in the “implicit theories” we holdabout leadership. Implicit leadership theories ( are beliefs or understanding about the attributes associated with leaders andleadership.7 ( They can vary widelydepending on our experiences and understandings of leadership. For example, some people believeleaders are charismatic, so they look for charismatic traits and behaviors in those vying for leadershipstatus. Others believe leaders are directive and assertive, so they grant leadership status to those whotake charge. Still others believe leaders are conϐident and considerate, so they identify leaders as thosewho have innovative and interesting ideas and involve others in bringing the idea to fruition.
Implicit leadership theories are our beliefs or understanding about the attributesassociated with leaders and leadership.
Implicit theories cause us to naturally classify people as leaders or nonleaders. We are often not awarethis process is occurring. It is based in the cognitive categorization processes associated withperception and attribution. These processes help us quickly and easily handle the overwhelmingamounts of information we receive from our environments every day. The categorization process isoften particularly salient when we are faced with new information. For example, on the ϐirst day of classdid you look around the room and ϐind yourself making assessments of the teacher, and even yourclassmates? If so, you did this using your cognitive categories and implicit theories.
To understand your own implicit leadership theories, think about the factors you associate withleadership. What traits and characteristics come to mind? Take a minute and make a list of thoseattributes. Now look at the sidebar on spotting implicit leadership prototypes.8( How does your list compare? Didyou identify the same prototypical leader behaviors as found in research? What is the nature of yourimplicit theory? Is it more positive, such as sensitivity, dedication, intelligence, and strength, or is itmore negative, involving leaders’ tendencies to dominate, control, or manipulate others? Why do youthink you have the implicit theory you do? What experiences you’ve had make you see leadership inthis way?
Print,sec262,se…10 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
How to Spot Common Implicit Leadership Prototypes
People hold various prototypes of attributes they associate with leadership. Researchers ϐind thefollowing prototypes are most commonly used.
Sensitivity—Sympathetic, compassionate, understanding
Dedication—Disciplined, prepared, hard working
Tyranny—Domineering, power hungry, manipulative
Charisma—Inspiring, involved, dynamic
Attractiveness—Classy, well dressed, tall
Intelligence—Clever, knowledgeable, wise
Strength—Forceful, bold, powerful
“Instead of putting charismatic leadership on an unreachable pedestal, perhaps learning speciϔiccharismatic communication techniques is a pathway to success.”
Building Charisma through Polished Rhetoric
The next time you give a presentation, check to see who’s really listening. Better yet, check to see who’sshowing signs that they are ready to accept and act on what you are saying or proposing. That’s one ofthe ways leadership claims get granted—framing and requesting things in ways that cause others torespond positively. We’re talking about people who turn listeners into followers.
Some would argue this is a special skill associated with a magnetic or charismatic quality that youeither have or don’t have at birth. Recent OB thinking suggests there is a lot more to the story. Think ofcharisma as an ability to inspirationally persuade and motivate others. How is this positive impactachieved? In simple terms it’s done by dropping bland business speech, such as “We need tooperationalize this process,” and practicing more emotive language, such as “once we put this intopractice it’ll feel like we all threw ϐifty-yard touchdown passes.”
Professor John Antonakis at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, believes that all of us should andcan learn charismatic communication skills. “Some people are naturally more talented, but everyonecan improve with practice,” he says. And he has a training program designed to do just that. After onebatch of corporate executives was trained, their leadership ratings went up 60 percent.
Some charismatic leadership techniques taught by Antonakis are verbal, breaking things down intobasic components: using metaphors and telling stories, asking rhetorical questions, taking a moralstand, and setting high goals. Others are nonverbal: using voice modulations, gestures, and facialexpressions to accent what you are saying.
Print,sec262,se…11 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
OB recognizes that not all managers are good leaders even though they should be. Instead of puttingcharismatic leadership on an unreachable pedestal, perhaps learning speciϐic charismaticcommunication techniques is a pathway to success. Learning the techniques and putting them to workin everyday conversations is a way for more of us to be perceived as “leaderlike” by others.
© Monalyn Gracia/Corbis
Print,sec262,se…12 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
13.2 Followership
Until very recently, followership has not been given serious consideration in leadership research. Weare infatuated with leaders, but often disparage followers. Think about how often you are told theimportance of being an effective leader. Now think about the times when you have been told it isimportant to be an effective follower—has it ever happened? If you are like most people, you havereceived recognition and accolades for leadership but rarely have you been encouraged or rewarded forbeing a follower.
What Is Followership?
Followership ( representsthe capacity or willingness to follow a leader. It is a process through which individuals choose how theywill engage with leaders to co-produce leadership and its outcomes. These co-productions can takemany forms. For example, it may be heavily leader dominated, with passive followers who comply or goalong. Or it may be a partnership, in which leaders and followers work collaboratively to produceleadership outcomes.
Followership is a process through which individuals choose how they will engage withleaders to co-produce leadership and its outcomes.
Our infatuation with leaders at the expense of followers is called the romance of leadership( : the tendency to attributeall organizational outcomes—good or bad—to the acts and doings of leaders.9( The romance of leadershipreϐlects our needs and biases for strong leaders who we glorify or demonize in myths and stories ofgreat and heroic leaders. We see it in our religious teachings, our children’s fairy tales, and in newsstories about political and business leaders.
The romance of leadership refers to the tendency to attribute organizational outcomes(both good and bad) to the acts and doings of leaders.
The problem with the romance of leadership is that its corollary is the “subordination of
followership.”10 ( ThePrint,sec262,se…13 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
subordination of followership means that while we heroize (or demonize) leaders, we almostcompletely disregard followers. Leo Tolstoy’s description of the French Revolution provides anexcellent example. According to Tolstoy, the French Revolution was the product of the “spectacle of anextraordinary movement of millions of men” all over Europe and crossing decades, but “historians . . .lay before us the sayings and doings of some dozens of men in one of the buildings in the city of Paris,”and the detailed biography and actions of one man, to whom it is all attributable: Napoleon. Toovercome the problem of the romance of leadership, we need to better understand the role offollowership in the leadership process.
How Do Followers See Their Roles?
Followers have long been considered in leadership research, but mainly from the standpoint of howthey see leaders. The question we need to consider is this: How do followers see their own role? Andhow do leaders see the follower role? Research is now beginning to offer new insight into these issues.The Social Construction of Followership One of the ϐirst studies to examine follower views was aqualitative investigation in which individuals were asked to describe the characteristics and behaviorsthey associate with a follower (subordinate) role.11 ( The ϐindings support the socially constructed nature of followership andleadership in that, according to followers, they hold certain beliefs about how they should act inrelation to leaders but whether they can act on these beliefs depends on context.
Some followers hold passive beliefs, viewing their roles in the classic sense of following—that is,
passive, deferential, and obedient to authority. Others hold proactive beliefs, viewing their role asexpressing opinions, taking initiative, and constructively questioning and challenging leaders. Proactivebeliefs are particularly strong among “high potentials”—those identiϐied by their organizations asdemonstrating strong potential to be promoted to higher-level leadership positions in theirorganization.
Because social construction is dependent on context, individuals are not always able to act according totheir beliefs. For example, individuals holding proactive beliefs reported not being able to be proactivein authoritarian or bureaucratic work climates. These environments suppress their ability to takeinitiative and speak up, often leaving them feeling frustrated and stiϐled—not able to work to theirpotential. In empowering climates, however, they work with leaders to co-produce positive outcomes.Individuals with passive beliefs are often uncomfortable in empowering climates because their naturalinclination is to follow rather than be empowered. In these environments they report feeling stressedby leaders’ demands, and uncomfortable with requests to be more proactive. Passive followers aremore comfortable in authoritarian climates where they receive more direction from leaders.
Workers Share Their Salary Secrets
Pay secrecy is a long-held tradition in the workplace. Workers are told they cannot discuss their pay orthey will be ϐired. Managers say pay secrecy is necessary because it helps avoid potential conϐlicts anddissatisfaction among workers. But like many other things, Millennials are questioning this practice—and shaking up the workplace in the process.
Print,sec262,se…14 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
Brian Bader took a tech-support job with Apple and during his orientation was told that he was notallowed to discuss his pay with co-workers. But this made the 25-year old Bader, curious, and heimmediately set out to survey his new colleagues about their wages. What he learned was that he wastwice as productive as the lowest performer in the group, but paid only 20 percent more. Bader decidedto quit his job: “It irked me. If I’m doing double the work, why am I not seeing double the pay?” askedMr. Bader.
Keeping salary information private is much harder for companies in today’s environment of socialmedia, with Web sites like Glassdoor, Facebook, and Twitter. Information is power, and despitecompany policies against it many people—especially young workers—are using their power to speakup against such policies. In addition to pay secrecy, the seniority system and annual performancereviews are two workplace institutions that Millennials are questioning. And answers like “because Isaid so” and “because we’ve always done it that way” are not enough for this generation. When they aredissatisϐied, they take matters into their own hands, either by acting on information power, or quitting,as demonstrated by Brian Bader.
Maskot/Getty Images
Print,sec262,se…15 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
What Do You Think? Should companies be able to reasonably expect workers to keep their pay secret?And if there is a company policy against sharing pay information, what is the obligation of the employeeto follow this policy? How far does our obligation go? In 2013 we saw Edward Snowden break hiscompany policy because he didn’t agree with the NSA policy regarding the government’s Internet andphone-tracking program. How does his action compare to that of Mr. Bader, who shared his payinformation against company policy?
Follower Role Orientation Follower beliefs are also being studied in research on follower roleorientation. Follower role orientation represents the beliefs followers hold about the way they shouldengage and interact with leaders to meet the needs of the work unit.12 ( It reϐlects how followers deϐine their role, how broadly theyperceive the tasks associated with it, and how to approach a follower role to be effective.
Follower role orientation is deϐined as the beliefs followers hold about the way theyshould engage and interact with leaders to meet the needs of the work unit.
FIGURE 13.3 Followership in Context.
Findings show that followers with hierarchical, power distance orientation believe leaders are in abetter position than followers to make decisions and determine direction.13( These individuals have lowerself-efϐicacy, meaning they have less conϐidence in their ability to execute on their own, and theydemonstrate higher obedience to leaders. They depend on leaders for structure and direction, whichthey follow without question. These followers report working in contexts of greater hierarchy ofauthority and lower job autonomy. This may be because these contexts are attractive to them, or it maybe because those with more proactive follower orientations are less likely to remain in theseenvironments.
Power distance orientation is the extent to which one accepts that power in institutionsand organizations is distributed unequally.
Print,sec262,se…16 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
Individuals with a proactive follower orientation ( approach their role from the standpoint of partnering with leadersto achieve goals.14 ( Theseindividuals are higher in proactive personality and self-efϐicacy. They believe followers are importantcontributors to the leadership process and that a strong follower role (e.g., voice) is necessary foraccomplishing the organizational mission. Proactive followers tend to work in environments thatsupport and reinforce their followership beliefs—that is, lower hierarchy of authority, greaterautonomy, and higher supervisor support. These environments are important because proactivefollowers need support for their challenging styles. They need to trust leaders and to know that theywill not be seen as overstepping their bounds.
Proactive follower orientation reϐlects the belief that followers should act in ways thatare helpful, useful, and productive to leadership outcomes.
The issue that is less clear is what managers want from followers. It seems that managers want voice,as long as that voice is provided in constructive ways. However, ϐindings with obedience are notsigniϐicant, indicating that managers may be mixed on whether obedience is positive or negative. Thisis true regardless of whether it comes from those with a power distance or proactive followerorientation. Therefore, we are not quite sure how obedience plays into followership. Do managers wantobedience? Do only some managers want it, or do managers want only certain types of obedience? Itturns out that although we have spent decades learning about what followers want from leaders, westill know very little about what leaders prefer in terms of follower behaviors and styles. Research isnow underway to better investigate the manager side of the leadership story.
How Do Leaders See Follower Roles?
One area that helps us understand the manager’s view is the study of implicit followership theories( .15( Research on implicitfollowership theories takes the approach described in implicit leadership theory research but reversesit—asking leaders (i.e., managers) to describe characteristics associated with followers (e.g., effectivefollowers, ineffective followers). It then analyzes the data to identify prototypical and anti-prototypicalfollower characteristics.
Implicit followership theories are preconceived notions about prototypical andantiprototypical followership behaviors and characteristics.
Bosses Are to Be Obeyed and My Job Is to Comply. Or Is It?
Before you answer the question in the headline, read further:
Print,sec262,se…17 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
Yale University laboratory, 1963—Psychologist Stanley Milgram runs an experiment withcollaborators posing as “learners” being taught word association tasks by their
“teachers” – the real subjects. When the learners behind a wall missed a word associationeach of the 40 teachers was instructed to give them an electric shock. The learners fakedtheir expressions of pain and cries to stop the process. When the teachers resisted goingto higher levels of electric voltage, they were told by the experimenter: “You must go on.
The experiment requires that you go on.” Twenty-six of the teachers kept administeringshocks until the ϐinal level was reached, a level they were told would be of danger tohuman life.
McDonald’s Restaurant, 2004—A telephone caller tells an assistant store manager that heis a police ofϐicer investigating employee theft. Claiming to have “corporate” on the linehe tells the assistant manager to take a female employee into the back room andinterrogate her while he is on the line. The assistant manager does so for over threehours and follows “Ofϐicer Scott’s” instructions to the point where the 18-year oldemployee is naked and doing jumping jacks. The hoax was discovered only when theassistant manager called her boss to check out the story. The caller was later arrestedand was found to have tried similar tricks at over 70 McDonald’s restaurants.
Managers are supposed to make decisions, and the rest of us are supposed to follow. Isn’t that theconventional wisdom? But these incidents suggest that even though we may have a tendency to obeyapparent authority ϐigures, it isn’t always the right thing to do.
There are times when it’s best to disobey the boss or any other authority ϐigure who is asking us to dosomething that seems odd or incorrect or just plain suspicious. And if what you are being asked to do iswrong but you still comply, you’ll share the blame. It can’t be excused with the claim “I was justfollowing orders.”
Print,sec262,se…18 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
Do the Analysis
If obedience isn’t always the right choice, how do we know when it’s time to disobey? Can you givesome examples from personal experience when it was best not to comply with what you were asked todo? How would your behavior in the situation stack up under scrutiny? What does the literature haveto say about reasons for obedience and how to double-check to make sure our obedience is justiϐied incertain situations? How about the price of disobedience? Is it possible to educate and train people to bebetter followers—people who don’t always follow orders and sometimes question them?Findings shown in the sidebar on the next page indicate that characteristics associated with goodfollowers include being industrious, having enthusiasm, and being a good organizational citizen.16( Characteristics associated withineffective followers (i.e., anti-prototypical characteristics) include conformity, insubordination, andincompetence. Of these anti-prototypical traits, it appears that incompetence is the most impactful. Inother words, leaders see incompetence as the greatest factor associated with ineffective followership.How to Spot Common Followership Prototypes and Antiprototypes
People hold various prototypes and antiprototypes of attributes they associate with followership.
Researchers ϐind the following are most common.
Print,sec262,se…19 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
Industry—Hardworking, productive, goes above and beyond
Enthusiasm—Excited, outgoing, happy
Good citizen—Loyal, reliable, team player
Conformity—Easily inϐluenced, follows trends, soft spoken
Insubordination—Arrogant, rude, bad tempered
Incompetence—Uneducated, slow, inexperienced
What is interesting about the ϐindings on prototypes and antiprototypes (see the sidebar) is that theymay show why we are uncertain of what managers desire from followers. What managers see asinsubordination and incompetence, followers may see as proactive follower behaviors. There can be aϐine line between these behaviors as provided by followers, and whether leaders are ready and able toeffectively receive them. Although it hasn’t been studied yet in research, we can be pretty sure that akey factor in inϐluencing how managers view and receive proactive follower behaviors is the quality ofthe relationship between the manager and the subordinate.
Print,sec262,se…20 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
13.3 The Leader–Follower Relationship
Among the strongest ϐindings in leadership research are studies showing that the nature of leader–follower relationships matter. When relationships are good, outcomes are positive. When relationshipsare bad, outcomes are negative, and potentially even destructive.
Leader–Member Exchange (LMX) Theory
The underlying premise of leader–member exchange (LMX) ( theory is that leaders (i.e., managers) have differentiatedrelationships with followers (i.e., subordinates).17 ( With some subordinates, managers have high-quality LMX relationships,
characterized by trust, respect, liking, and loyalty. With other subordinates, managers have low-qualityLMX relationships, characterized by lack of trust, respect, liking, and loyalty. Whereas the former (highLMX relationships) are more like partnerships between managers and subordinates in co-producingleadership, the latter (low LMX relationships) are more like traditional supervision, with managerssupervising and monitoring and subordinates complying (or maybe resisting).
Leader–member exchange (LMX) is the study of manager–subordinate relationshipquality.
Leader–follower relationships are important because they are differentially related to leadership andwork outcomes. As you would expect, when relationship quality is high it has all kinds of beneϐits:Performance is better, subordinates are more satisϐied and feel more supported, commitment andcitizenship are higher, and turnover is reduced. When relationship quality is low, outcomes are not onlynegative, they can also be destructive. At the very least, workers in low LMX relationships are lessproductive and have more negative job attitudes. At their worst, relationships are hostile, leading toabuse or even sabotage.18 ( implications of leader–member exchange theory are very clear. Bad relationships arecounterproductive for individuals and organizations, whereas good relationships bring tremendousbeneϐits. If you have a bad relationship with your boss, you can expect it to negatively impact your workand possibly your career. In organizations, bad relationships create negative environments and poormorale. They drain organizations of the energy needed to perform, adapt, and thrive.
Print,sec262,se…21 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
Social Exchange Theory
To avoid these problems, we need to work to develop better-quality relationships throughout theorganization. The question is, how?
Social exchange theory helps explain the social dynamics behind relationship building. According tosocial exchange theory, relationships develop through exchanges—actions contingent upon rewardingreactions. We engage in exchanges every day when we say something or do something for another andthose actions are rewarded or not rewarded. Relationships develop when exchanges are mutuallyrewarding and reinforcing. When exchanges are one sided or not satisfactory, relationships will notdevelop effectively, and will likely deteriorate or extinguish.
Social exchange theory describes how relationships initiate and develop throughprocesses of exchange and reciprocity.
At the core of social exchange is the norm of reciprocity, the idea that when one party does somethingfor another an obligation is generated, and that party is indebted to the other until the obligation isrepaid.19 ( We see this all the timewhen someone does us a favor and then, depending on how close we are to them, we feel indebted topay them back. If the relationship is close (e.g., family) we don’t worry about paying back right awaybecause we know it will be repaid in some way in the future. If the exchange is with someone we don’tknow as well (e.g., a classmate we just met), we are more anxious to repay so that the other knows weare “good” for it.
The norm of reciprocity says that when one party does something for another, that partyis indebted to the other until the obligation is repaid.
The norm of reciprocity can be seen as involving three components.20 ( Equivalence represents the extent to which the amount ofwhat is given back is roughly the same as what was received (e.g., the exact same or somethingdifferent). Immediacy refers to the time span of reciprocity—how quickly the repayment is made (e.g.,immediately or an indeterminate length of time). Interest represents the motive the person has inmaking the exchange. Interest can range from pure self-interest, to mutual interest, to other interest(pure concern for the other person).
Equivalence is the extent to which the amount given back is roughly the same as whatwas received.
Immediacy is how quickly the repayment is made.
Interest is the motive behind the exchange.
The way in which these components work together varies by the quality of leader-followerrelationships. When relationships are ϐirst forming, or if they are low quality, reciprocity involvesgreater equivalence (we want back what we give), immediacy is low (we expect payback relativelyPrint,sec262,se…22 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
quickly), and exchanges are based on self-interest (we are watching out for ourselves). As relationshipsdevelop and trust is built, equivalence reduces (we don’t expect exact repayment), the time span ofreciprocity extends (we aren’t concerned about payback—we may bank it for when we need it at sometime in the future), and exchanges become more mutually or other (rather than self) interested.
What makes this process social and not economic is that it is based on trust. Trust is based on thebelief regarding the intention and ability of the other to repay. Economic exchanges are necessarilydevoid of trust. The reason we make economic contracts is to create a legal obligation in case one partybreaks the contract. In social exchange, trust is the foundational element upon which exchanges occur.If one party demonstrates that they are not trustworthy, the other party will see this and stopexchanging—and the relationship will degenerate.
Trust in social exchange is based on the belief in the intention and ability of the other torepay.
If we want to build effective relationships, therefore, we need to pay attention to reciprocity and socialexchange processes. We need to make sure that we are engaging in exchanges, that we are doing sobased on reciprocity, and that the exchanges are mutually satisfying and rewarding for all involved.
Hollander’s Idiosyncrasy Credits
Another way to view the nature of exchange in relationships is idiosyncrasy credit theory, developed bysocial psychologist Edwin Hollander in the 1950s.21 ( Idiosyncrasy credits represent our ability to violate norms with others basedon whether we have enough “credits” to cover the violation. If we have enough credits, we can get awaywith idiosyncrasies (i.e., deviations from expected norms) as long as the violation does not exceed theamount of credits. If we do not have enough credits, the violation will create a deϐicit. When deϐicitsbecome large enough, or go on for too long, our account becomes “bankrupt,” and the deviations will nolonger be tolerated, resulting in deterioration of relationships.
Idiosyncrasy credits refer to our ability to violate norms with others based on whetherwe have enough “credits” to cover the violation.
Idiosyncrasy credits offer a fun and simple way to think about some key concepts we need to keep inmind in relationship building. The main point is to manage your balances. If you are expending creditsby behaving in idiosyncratic ways (deviating from expected norms), then you have to stop spendingPrint,sec262,se…23 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
and start building. If you have a rich account and the relationship is ϐlying high, you can afford toexpend some credits by acting in a quirky way or doing things that might not be seen as positively inthe other’s eyes. Others will be willing to stick with you—as long as you don’t go into a deϐicit.
Print,sec262,se…24 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
13.4 Collective Leadership
CO-LEADERSHIP ( LEADERSHIP ( interactions are the foundation of leadership, and relational approaches have allowed us tounderstand that leadership is more aptly described as a collective rather than an individual process.Collective leadership considers leadership not as a property of individuals and their behaviors but asa social phenomenon constructed in interaction. It advocates a shift in focus from traits andcharacteristics of leaders to a focus on the shared activities and interactive processes of leadership.
Collective leadership represents views of leadership not as a property of individuals andtheir behaviors but as a social phenomenon constructed in interaction.
Distributed Leadership
One of the ϐirst areas to recognize leadership as a collective process was distributed leadershipresearch, distinguishing between “focused” and “distributed” forms of leadership. This research drawsheavily on systems and process theory, and locates leadership in the relationships and interactions ofmultiple actors and the situations in which they are operating.22 (
Distributed leadership sees leadership as a group phenomenon that is distributed amongindividuals.
Distributed leadership is based on three main premises. First, leadership is an emergent property of agroup or network of interacting individuals, i.e., it is co-constructed in interactions among people.
Second, distributed leadership is not clearly bounded. It occurs in context, and therefore it is affectedby local and historical inϐluences. Third, distributed leadership draws from the variety of expertiseacross the many, rather than relying on the limited expertise of one or a few leaders. In this way it is amore democratic and inclusive form of leadership than hierarchical models.23(
Leadership from this view is seen in the day-to-day activities and interactions of people working inorganizations. Rather than simply being a hierarchical construct, it occurs in small, incremental, andemergent everyday acts that go on in organizations. These emergent acts, interacting with large-scalechange efforts from the top, can be mutually reinforcing to produce emergence and adaptability inorganizations. Hence, leadership is about learning together and constructing meaning and knowledgecollaboratively and collectively. For this to happen, though, formal leaders must let go of some of theirPrint,sec262,se…25 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
authority and control and foster consultation and consensus over command and control.24(
Another form of collective leadership is co-leadership. Co-leadership occurs when top leadership rolesare structured in ways that no single individual is vested with the power to unilaterally lead.25( Co-leadership can be found inprofessional organizations (e.g., law ϐirms that have partnerships), the arts (the artistic side andadministrative side), and healthcare (where power is divided between the community, administration,and medical sectors). Co-leadership has been used in some very famous and large businesses (e.g.,
Google, Goldman-Sachs).
Co-leadership occurs when leadership is divided so that no one person has unilateral
power to lead.
Co-leadership helps overcome problems related to the limitations of a single individual and of abuses ofpower and authority. It is more common today because challenges facing organizations are often toocomplex for one individual to handle. Co-leadership allows organizations to capitalize on thecomplementary and diverse strengths of multiple individuals. These forms are sometimes referred toas constellations, or collective leadership in which members play roles that are specialized (i.e., eachoperates in a particular area of expertise), differentiated (i.e., avoiding overlap that would createconfusion), and complementary (i.e., jointly cover all required areas of leadership).26(
Google’s Triumvirate Gives Way to New Leadership Structure
The news came as a surprise: Eric Schmidt was out and Larry Page was in as head of Google. Schmidthad been brought in by the board of directors in 2001 to provide “adult supervision” to then twentyseven-year-old founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. For ten years Google’s management structurerepresented triumvirate leadership, with Page, Brin, and Schmidt sharing the leadership role. To some,it was a three-ring circus, with co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin running the business behindthe scenes and Schmidt as the public face. Now, the three decided, it was time for Page to take the stage.“For the last ten years, we have all been equally involved in making decisions. This triumvirateapproach has real beneϐits in terms of shared wisdom, and we will continue to discuss the big decisionsamong the three of us. But we have also agreed to clarify our individual roles so there’s clearresponsibility and accountability at the top of the company,” said Eric Schmidt.
The objective is to simplify the management structure and speed up decision making. “Larry will nowlead product development and technology strategy, his greatest strengths . . . and he will take charge ofour day-to-day operations as Google’s Chief Executive Ofϐicer,” according to Schmidt.
That leaves Sergey Brin, with title of co-founder, to focus on strategic projects and new products, andPrint,sec262,se…26 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
Schmidt to serve as executive chairman, working externally on deals, partnerships, customers, andgovernment outreach. As described on the ofϐicial Google blog, “We are conϐident that this focus willserve Google and our users well in the future.”
The question now is, with the leadership triumvirate dead, will the new leadership structure work?David Strick/Redux
What’s the Lesson Here?
Do you think co-leadership models work? And would they work for you—would you be able tooperate effectively as part of a co-leadership structure? Why or why not?
Shared Leadership
According to shared leadership ( approaches, leadership is a dynamic, interactive inϐluence process among individuals ingroups for which the objective is to lead one another to the achievement of group or organizationalgoals, or both.27 ( This inϐluenceprocess occurs both laterally—among team members—and vertically, with the team leader. Verticalleadership is formal leadership; shared leadership is distributed leadership that emerges from withinteam dynamics. The main objective of shared leadership approaches is to understand and ϐind alternatesources of leadership that will impact positively on organizational performance.
Shared leadership is a dynamic, interactive inϐluence process among team membersworking to achieve goals.
Print,sec262,se…27 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
In shared leadership, leadership can come from outside or inside the team. Within a team, leadershipcan be assigned to one person, rotate across team members, or be shared simultaneously as differentneeds arise across time. Outside the team, leaders can be formally designated. Often thesenontraditional leaders are called coordinators or facilitators. A key part of their job is to provideresources to their unit and serve as a liaison with other units.
According to the theory, the key to successful shared leadership and team performance is to create andmaintain conditions for that performance. This occurs when vertical and shared leadership efforts arecomplementary. Although a wide variety of characteristics may be important for the success of aspeciϐic effort, ϐive important characteristics have been identiϐied across projects: (1) efϐicient, goaldirected effort; (2) adequate resources; (3) competent, motivated performance; (4) a productive,
supportive climate; and (5) a commitment to continuous improvement.28 ( The distinctive contribution of shared leadership approachesis in widening the notion of leadership to consider participation of all team members while maintainingfocus on conditions for team effectiveness.
Print,sec262,se…28 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
13 Study Guide
Key Questions and Answers
What is leadership?
Leadership occurs in acts of leading and following as individuals work together to attainmutual goals.
Formal leadership is found in positions of authority in organizations, whereas informalleadership is found in individuals who become inϐluential due to special skills or abilities.Leadership involves an identity construction process in which individuals negotiateidentities as leaders and followers through claiming and granting.
Implicit leadership theories are beliefs or understanding about the attributes associatedwith leaders and leadership.
What is followership?
Followership represents a process through which individuals choose how they will engagewith leaders to co-produce leadership and its outcomes.
Romance of leadership is the tendency to attribute organizational outcomes (both good andbad) to the acts and doings of leaders; its corollary is the “subordination of followership.”The social construction of followership shows that followers hold beliefs about how theyshould act in relation to leaders, but whether they can act on these beliefs depends oncontext.
Those with power distance orientation accept that power in institutions and organizations isdistributed unequally, whereas those with proactive follower orientations believe followersshould act in ways that are helpful and productive to leadership outcomes.
Implicit followership theories show managers’ views of characteristics associated witheffective and ineffective followership.
What do we know about leader–follower relationships?
Leader–member exchange theory shows that managers have differentiated relationshipswith subordinates depending on the amount of trust, respect, and loyalty in the relationship.These relationships are important because they are differentially related to leadership andwork outcomes. When relationship quality is high, performance is better, subordinates aremore satisϐied and supported, commitment and citizenship are higher, and turnover isreduced.
Print,sec262,se…29 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
Relationships develop through processes of social exchange based on the norm of reciprocity(i.e., when one party does something for another, an obligation is generated until it isrepaid).
Reciprocity is determined based on three components: equivalence (whether the amountgiven back is same as what was received), immediacy (how quickly the repayment is made),and interest (the motive behind the exchange).
Idiosyncrasy credits mean that when we have enough credits built up in relationships withothers, we can get away with idiosyncrasies (i.e., deviations from expected norms) as long asthe violation does not exceed the amount of credits.
What do we mean by leadership as a collective process?
Collective leadership advocates a shift in focus from traits and characteristics of leaders to afocus on the shared activities and interactive processes of leadership.
Distributed leadership sees leadership as drawing from the variety of expertise across themany, rather than relying on the limited expertise of one or a few leaders.
Co-leadership is when top leadership roles are structured in ways that no single individual isvested with the power to unilaterally lead.
Shared leadership deϐines leadership as a dynamic, interactive inϐluence process amongindividuals in groups for which the objective is to lead one another to the achievement ofgroup or organizational goals, or both.
Shared leadership occurs both laterally, among team members, and vertically, with the teamleader. The main objective is to understand and ϐind alternate sources of leadership that willimpact positively on organizational performance.
Terms to Know
Claiming (
Co-leadership ( leadership ( leadership ( ( ( role orientation ( leadership ( (
Print,sec262,se…30 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
Idiosyncrasy credits ( ( followership theories (
Implicit leadership theories (
Informal leaders ( (
Leader–member exchange (LMX) (
Leadership ( identity construction process (
Motivation to lead ( of reciprocity ( distance orientation (
Proactive follower orientation (
Romance of leadership ( leadership ( construction of leadership (
Social exchange theory ( (
Upward leadership ( 13
Multiple Choice
1 ( . Leadership is aprocess of ____________.
Print,sec262,se…31 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
a. (a) leading and following
b. (b) deferring and obeying
c. (c) managing and supervising
d. (d) inϐluencing and resisting
2 ( . We couldalmost say that it is in ____________ that leadership is created.
a. (a) positions
b. (b) authority
c. (c) following
d. (d) hierarchy
3 ( . A type ofleadership that is often missed in discussions of leadership is ____________ leadership.
a. (a) face-to-face
b. (b) downward
c. (c) hierarchical
d. (d) upward
4 ( . ____________occurs through processes of claiming and granting.
a. (a) Followership
b. (b) Leadership identity construction
c. (c) Implicit theory
d. (d) Status
5 ( . People use____________ in deciding whether to grant a leadership claim.
a. (a) implicit theories
b. (b) social constructions
c. (c) collective leadership
d. (d) social exchange
6 ( . ____________Print,sec262,se…32 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
involves the choice of how to engage with leaders in producing leadership.
a. (a) Implicit theories
b. (b) Followership
c. (c) Informal leadership
d. (d) Reciprocity
7 ( . Powerdistance is an example of ____________.
a. (a) an implicit followership theory
b. (b) upward leadership
c. (c) the leadership process
d. (d) a follower role orientation
8 ( . Individualswho engage in voice likely have a ____________.
a. (a) weak feedback orientation
b. (b) prototypical leadership theory
c. (c) proactive follower orientation
d. (d) power distance orientation
9 ( . Whensomeone returns a favor to relieve an obligation very quickly it is an example of ____________a. (a) economic exchange
b. (b) interest
c. (c) equivalence
d. (d) immediacy
10 ( . Theobligation created when someone does you a favor is ____________.
a. (a) feedback orientation
b. (b) the norm of reciprocity
c. (c) implicit followership theories
d. (d) distributed leadership
Print,sec262,se…33 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
11 ( . A rule ofthumb for whether you can violate norms in a relationship is to not overexpend your____________. a. (a) idiosyncrasy credits
b. (b) relational disclosures
c. (c) low LMX
d. (d) reciprocity
12 ( . ____________says that leadership is an emergent property of a group or network of interactingindividuals.
a. (a) Leadership identity construction
b. (b) Distributed leadership
c. (c) Leader–member exchange theory
d. (d) Social exchange theory
13 ( . If a managerand subordinate have a lot of trust and support for one another, we can say they have a____________. a. (a) weak norm of reciprocity
b. (b) idiosyncratic relationship
c. (c) low LMX relationship
d. (d) high LMX relationship
14 ( . When theleadership role at the top is divided among multiple people, it is called ____________.
a. (a) collective leadership
b. (b) distributed leadership
c. (c) co-leadership
d. (d) shared leadership
15 ( . Conformityis an example of ____________.
a. (a) power distance orientation
b. (b) prototypical followership
Print,sec262,se…34 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
c. (c) anti-prototypical followership
d. (d) constructive orientation
Short Response
16 ( . What does itmean when we say leadership is socially constructed?
17 ( . How dofollowers see their role in leadership?
18 ( . How doesthe norm of reciprocity work in relationship development?
19 ( . Why arescholars talking about collective leadership?
Applications Essay
20 ( . Yourroommate is student government president and has been having trouble getting others tolisten to him. Each night it is a different complaint about how terrible the other people instudent government are, and how they are lazy and not willing to do anything. You reallywant to help him ϐigure out this problem. How do you go about it?
Steps to Further Learning 13
Top Choices from The OB Skills Workbook
These learning activities from The OB Skills Workbook found at the back of the book are suggested forChapter 13 ( .
Print,sec262,se…35 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM
Case for Critical
Team and Experiential
Self-Assessment PortfolioThe New
Interview a Leader
Leadership Skills
Leadership and
Participation in
Decision Making
Least-PreferredCo-worker ScaleLeadership Style“TT” LeadershipStyleEmpoweringOthersPrint,sec262,se…36 of 36 2/3/2018, 10:36 AM

Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
The Leadership Process The Key Point
Just from $9/Page
Order Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment  Help Service Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4.      Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essaysmile and order essay PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!

order custom essay paper