Is It Possible to Measure Leadership?

מנהיגות 5

[Free photo uploaded by webology101 to flickr]

[This article was written with Eng. Sarit Unger-Massiah]

Organizational Network Analysis – ONA open new dimensions in Management. One of them is the ability to express terms that were previously considered 'soft', - like: power, influence, cooperation, and even leadership - in numerical grades.

How does "leadership" being reflected in the network, and how can we measure it?

First, lets define the main concepts that we need for this purpose:

  • Power is the ability to make someone in the organization do what I want, even if it contradicts his interests.
  • Infuence is an indirect power.The ability to make someone in the organization do what I want, without using a direct power.
  • Dominance is the combination of all measures of power and influence.

Now we can define Leadership: This is a non-formal dominance of a manager, beyond the formal dominance, granted to him in his capacity. Leadership can be measured both, in positive and negative values.

The Figure below describes dominance in a four platoons military company . The functions of each platoon leader is the same, but naturally, their dominant position is differant. Platton 3 commander leads with a Dominance score of 69. Platoon 1 commander is second with a score of 64, and Platoons 2 and 4 are in the bottom with a score of 62:

גרף דומיננטיות

Organizations are artificial complex systems. Its members do not develop their dominance in a natural way. Platton comanders are getting it through authority and responsibility giving them by the organization. If we calculate the average dominance score of all four Platton Commanders, we will know the formal dominance, means, the dominance that was formally given to them by the organization: A dominance score of 64 .

If leadership is an informal dominance, then its numerical score is the actual dominance minus the average dominance. Hence, the leadership score of Platton 3 commander is 5; Platoon 1 commander is 0; and Platoons 2 and 4 commander is -2.

גרף שני

What qualities made Platton no. 3 commander a leader? The Company soldiers mentioned mostly his experience and seniority, his special expertise and his decision making!

למה רוצים קשר

The ability to provide a leadership numerical score opens up many possibilities, from periodic monitoring to executive compensation. The ability to know, why one person was marked as a leader and the other do not, allows us to understand what are the exact leadership qualities in every particular area ...

... and it seems that we only start to explore the possibilities of this fascinating world of organizational network analysis ...

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