Matching Items (3)

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Organizational Structures and Leadership Challenges Within Private Law Firms

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This thesis will focus on the organizational structures and leadership challenges within private law firms. It begins by explaining the different roles within the organizational structure. It will then discuss

This thesis will focus on the organizational structures and leadership challenges within private law firms. It begins by explaining the different roles within the organizational structure. It will then discuss various other duties that are carried out by lawyers in addition to legal work. Through the use of qualitative methodology, including a review of scholarly literature and semi-formal interviews with private firm partners, this research mainly focuses on the challenges that exist in private law firms. The study concludes with possible solutions to address the discussed challenges in private law firms.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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The buck stops where?: examining leader and collective accountability in teams

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Accountability has been commonly referred to in the literature as a person’s expectation about others’ evaluations. However, in this study, I develop an alternative perspective of leader accountability by defining

Accountability has been commonly referred to in the literature as a person’s expectation about others’ evaluations. However, in this study, I develop an alternative perspective of leader accountability by defining it as an individual’s degree of ownership regarding good or poor performance and acceptance of associated rewards or disciplinary actions. Based on attribution theory, leaders can have internal and external ownership regarding good and poor performance. I propose that accountability can be categorized into two correlated but distinct aspects: self-benefitting and other-benefitting. Leader self-benefitting accountability refers to leaders’ attributions towards their own benefits (i.e., internal attribution of good performance and external attribution of poor performance). Leader other-benefitting accountability reflects leaders’ attributions towards others’ interests (i.e., internal attribution of poor performance and external attribution of good performance). Using multiple samples, I develop and validate a leader accountability scale, and then test a theoretical model with a focus on leader accountability and collective accountability (i.e., a group of individuals’ degree of ownership) by collecting data from 57 leaders and 162 followers in three Chinese companies. The findings show that leader humility is positively related to leader other-benefitting accountability. Both leader self-benefitting and other-benefitting accountability are associated with collective self-benefitting and other-benefitting accountability, respectively. Moreover, the relationship between leader self-benefitting and collective self-benefitting accountability is enhanced when the leader has high organization prototypicality. Furthermore, collective self-benefitting accountability decreases leader effectiveness and team effectiveness, while collective other-benefitting accountability increases leader effectiveness.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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The character to lead: a grounded theory ethnography of character in U.S. Army combat leaders

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After decades of dormancy, character is re-emerging as an important research topic among organizational leadership researchers in response to the need to better explain the source of certain exemplary and

After decades of dormancy, character is re-emerging as an important research topic among organizational leadership researchers in response to the need to better explain the source of certain exemplary and ethical leader performance (Hannah & Avolio, 2011; Leonard, 1997; Thompson & Riggio, 2010; Wright & Goodstein, 2007). However, efforts to operationalize character are criticized for their abstract and idealistic trait-based conceptualizations that fail to capture the reality of leadership and situational dynamics (Conger & Hollenbeck, 2010). The purpose of this study is to develop a more robust theoretical approach to character that is empirically grounded in the real life complexities of leadership. Combat provides the context for this study because the adversity of such an extreme context tends to make character a more salient and readily observable phenomenon than in more conventional organizational contexts (Wright & Quick, 2011; Hannah, Uhl-Bien, Avolio, & Cavarretta, 2009). I employed an ethnographic grounded theory design to gain a unique insider's perspective absent in many studies of leader character (Charmaz, 2009; Parry & Meindl, 2002). Data collection involved (1) physically embedding for six months with U.S. Army small unit infantry leaders operating in combat in Afghanistan; (2) participant observation in the full range of combat activities engaged in by these leaders; and (3) in-depth semi-structured interviews with key informants. An important contribution of this study is that the emergent concept of leader character is fully situated in the leader's social and environmental context represented by the leader's inner struggle to resist the adversity of combat and uphold the standards of leadership. In this dialectical framework, certain agentic resources important to resolving this inner struggle emerge as the locus of leader character. This agency-based concept of character is rooted in the internalization of the standards of leadership through identity-conferring normative commitments and entails particular motivational and volitional capacities. These produce a distinct mode of functioning--a strong form of personal moral agency--characterized by the leader's willingness to sacrifice in upholding standards in the face of adversity. This primacy of leader agency over adversity is the hallmark of leader character--what I call the character to lead.

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Date Created
  • 2013