Leaders Determine Organizational Structure and Design

Each organization is a reflection of the senior leader. Regardless of leadership style, temperament, or business model, over enough time senior leaders develop the organizational structure and design followers exist within. It is the method in which a leader leads that determines how others will follow.

For instance, it would appear the situational leadership model is quite the opposite and the leader is always adhering to surrounding circumstances. However, the leader’s role in situational leadership is to adapt to the current situations at hand, (Northouse, 2013) requiring the leader to be flexible. (Yukl, 1989, Graeff, 1983) This flexibility is what creates an organizational environment that is beneficial to followers and their personal level of development in the organization. This adaptation by the leader compels the leader to understand subordinates, what they need, and match the leadership approach to the what the subordinate needs. (Northouse, 2013) This forces the leader to not use a single style.

An approach such as situational leadership, or any other leadership model, will create a culture within the organization that is in response to the leader. Leadership is the process where a common goal is achieved through the influence that individual exercises over a group, (Northouse, 2013) which requires every other individual to have a response of some sort to that individual in leadership. Sometimes this can even go as far as being placed into formal elements of an organization such as the mission, vision, and core values. Often these elements reflect the founding individual(s) and even dictate the type of leader acceptable for the helm in the organization long after the founding leader(s) have relinquished control. (Schein, 2010)

Being the leader to follow a founding leader, how would you integrate into the organization for maximum effectiveness and what leadership model would you most likely use?


Graeff, C. L. (1983). The Situational Leadership Theory: A Critical View. Academy of Management Review, 8(2), 285–291.

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: theory and practice (6th ed). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Yukl, G. A. (2005). Leadership in Organizations (6th edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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