Workplace Victimization and Charismatic Leadership:

n review of Samnami and Singh (2013), the article talks about three main ideas. Firstly, the article tries to understand the potential influence that charismatic leaders can have on targets and group members’ perceptions about victimizing behaviors from charismatic leaders. Secondly, the article uses social psychology and cognitive-based research in workplace victimization including attribution and information processing. Thirdly, the article applies social information in exploring victimizing behaviors, interpretation, leadership, social influence and outcomes.
This paper is about a director in a television company who is perceived by many in the company as charismatic. The first point of discussion is how the director articulated his vision; most theories of charismatic leadership incorporate vision setting as an important component (House, 1977). The vision should be compelling such that it gives the different workgroups a perfect picture of the organization. This manager had communicated his vision to the crew and the production cast, but one of the noticeable issues was how he conveyed his vision: there was no directness in his vision and conveyance. Below is an excerpt of the vision:
“I want all the employees of this organization to cooperate and work hard in order for this organization to go far in its endeavors…”
The problem with this vision is that it does not tell you where far is. This can cause ambiguity between workgroups where employees are not sure what is the end goal, this will make targets susceptible in their work. The vision should be tangible and have inclusiveness to reduce victimization of employees who may turn to their workgroups for clarity about the vision.

The director showed some sensitivity to the needs of the employees of the organization by using techniques which are influential, which earned him respect. The director does not yell to the production, neither does he disrespect them. The director understands the actors well, and he realizes their feelings: this helps the actors realize what they need in acting and not feeling stupid in front of the camera. This character trait has helped the director to nurture talent without the crew fearing him, and at the same time, they respect him. Members of different workgroups have not resulted in obtaining information about their performance on screen and this has build confidence in them.
It is said often that charismatic leaders show special traits that amazes other parties in an entity, and it is significant in workgroups (Jaussi & Dionne, 2003). In this study, the said director has engaged in several unconventional behaviors in his duties and responsibilities. The director is said t pay some of the actors more money than others so that they can perform in uncomfortable scenes which included intimacy. This irked some employees because their moral stance is being put on a balance, and they viewed this as an unfair treatment. One of the crew who was interviewed said that they should be paid according to their performance and not the type of scenes they act, simply because actors are comfortable with different scenes and that should be respected. This situation built up a work pressure whereby some of the employees were not sure if to engage in these scenes so as to have a better pay and how will their colleagues and friends would perceive them if they take part in such scenes.
This director takes a personal risk and a deviation from the status quo by paying some of the employees higher with regards to the scenes they act: this has made the organization to incur higher costs and jeopardizes the position of the director. Nevertheless, this act by the director has gained him more respect from fellow directors and employees as he has been able to attract more individuals to do these scenes without fear. The employees who are against these have been soul searching and wondering if this is acceptable or not, others have out rightly discredited the move. Another lot was interviewed, and they even weren’t sure if they were victimized or not they just acted the scenes they were given without even considering the compensation.
The self schema leadership expressed by this director was twofold: firstly, he gave the crew what they needed to help them succeed while still understanding his responsibilities and obligations as a leader. Secondly, he expressed a sense of shared leadership. The director respected accommodated the views and the opinions of his fellow directors, and as stated earlier, he does not exercise authoritarian control but rather listen to his production crew and understands them. This leadership schema portrayed by this director has reduced victimized employees in workgroups.
In conclusion, from the study of this director, it can be deduced that an ambiguous form of victimization is portrayed by this charismatic leaders with a little bit of explicit form of victimization. The ambiguous form is expressed by indirectness in conveying his vision, while the explicit form is expressed by his unconventional behavior. Another important point to note is that the director is more of a socialized charismatic leader because he aims at realizing the potential of the crew and also at the same time he is geared towards collective betterment of the organizations by encouraging more individuals to act on intimate scenes for better production.

 

Leave a Reply