Why Do People Tend to Give Leaders Too Much Credit or Blame for Organizational Outcomes? Discuss Using Appropriate Theories and Examples

2825 Words12 Pages
The objective of this essay is to critically evaluate why followers and public give too much credit or blame to leaders for organisational outcomes. The content of this essay comprises an analysis of what makes leaders effective and how followers view the leaders’ influence on organisational outcomes. I will discuss a number of theories (attribution, contingency, initiation and consideration) and examples of leaders from international organisations; including James Burke Chief Executive Officer of Johnson and Johnson and Tony Hayward Chief Executive Officer of British Petroleum (BP). These leaders influenced their employees, the public and world media and were subjected to credit or blame. An effective leader is one who achieves…show more content…
My argument is not that ethical leaders are more effective as leaders, merely that followers appreciate leaders that are ethical in their approach; thus increasing trust in leaders. We want our leaders to be trustworthy, transparent and forthright, with the ability to know if they are not. During the Tylenol tampering scandal at Johnson and Johnson (1982) where seven people died, CEO James Burke and his team led a company culture that admitted the problem and set out to rectify it. He did not wait for the problem to fade away or just react to regional problems. He launched a Public Relations (PR) campaign and recalled several products whilst remaining calm and in control under the spotlight. He launched a further recall in 1986 costing Johnson and Johnson more than $200 million, when one person died after ingesting a capsule laced with cyanide (Yang, 2007). By doing so, James retained employee and customer loyalty. His achievement was of dealing with a crisis; he did not know cyanide was being planted into bottles, nevertheless he dealt with it. He remained trustworthy, transparent and engendered confidence. As an example, whilst at Johnson and Johnson, had James used questionable means for the success of the business, the organisation and the public would probably have forgiven him, following his conduct in the Tylenol tampering scandal. Not because they eventually forgot, but due to the importance in which

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