Leadership and Organizational Culture


The link between the leadership and organizational culture is stronger than generally assumed. The culture of an organization is heavily influenced by its leadership, while the organization’s culture also plays a significant role in forming the leadership. The organization and its practices are strongly configured by the leadership. Leadership is so deeply rooted in an organization that the absence of leadership is considered as the absence of organization (Smircich & Morgan, 1982). Absence of leadership often results in paralyzing the functionality and productivity of the organization because the people feel that there is no sense of direction and organization without a leader leading them.

Management of the complexities beleaguering the organization becomes easier when there is a synergy between the leadership and the organizational culture. Effective leadership enables an organization to deal effectively and efficiently with the complexity. Understanding the link between leadership and organizational culture can be one of the important prerequisites of orchestrating consistency and order in an organization. Leadership can help create an organizational culture that enables the organization to deal effectively with the change. Leadership gives a direction to people by establishing future vision and goals and influencing and inspiring people to achieve those goals.

Organizational leadership is concerned with processes and outputs that help the organization in achieving its goals. Leaders in an organization apply a significant influence on the day to day routine of the organization. Leadership and organizational change are interdependent in the context that leadership helps the organization in defining its overall culture for achieving its goals and objectives . Leadership defines, identifies, establishes or translates the directions to facilitate processes in an organization to achieve the goals. Leadership is a social phenomenon and is mainly carried out through interactions resulting from the actions and constructions of the leaders and the human resource being led by them. The power of a leader is greatly defined by the willingness of the individuals to follow the leader either because of the power, pressure or inclination.

Leadership and organizational culture- direction and purpose

Sub-units and departments of an organization achieve their departmental and sub-unit goals by the direction of the leadership established in the organization. Organizational purpose defines the reason of existence of the organization and defines directions for combined action of the employees of the organization. Leadership defines, identifies, establishes and translates these directions for collective action to enable and facilitate the processes existing in the organization to achieve their goals and purpose. The direction and purpose of the organization is usually defined by defining vision, mission, goals, plans, strategy and tasks of the organization and this in turn defines the relationship between leadership and organizational culture. Leadership processes are concerned with the continuous achievement and development of the organizational goals. The effectiveness of performance of a leader depends on what needs to be done to achieve the specified goals and not on what the leaders should do. Leadership can be identified with the ability to respond to changing demands in order to achieve the goals of the organization and the team.