Instrumental exchange is not the only avenue through which followers ethical and unethical behavior can be influenced. Another important factor is the quality of interpersonal treatment from leaders to their employees or followers in general. High quality employee leader relationship is considered more a social exchange than a transactional one. Social exchange relationship is enforced by norms of reciprocity, entailing future obligations which are unspecified.
To maintain lasting relationships, it is good to maintain fairness of any exchange, perceived trustworthiness and protecting contractually specified obligations.
In a social exchange system, the benefits derived may be non monetary and the obligations may be voluntarily reciprocative. Rewards may be spontaneous, which may include respect, gratitude or attraction. Such system should be adopted by all leaders to ensure that fair treatment within the organizational followers should not be seen as a burden, but a mutual commitment to all (Rhode, 2000, p. 13).
Social exchange is system that supports mutual trust and thus solves organizational deviance softly.
Values of an organization can not be maintained if followers do not have the feeling of the concern for others in the system. This can only happen if a mutual system exists, where everybody understands the other as an asset for both the present and the future. As the prime movers of the organization, leaders should learn that they are bestowed the responsibility of building trust within the organization through social exchange.
Transformation leaders dive followers towards collective moral values as opposed to self interests. Such leaders embrace multidimensional leadership through inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration and idealized influence.
Idealized influence serves the best in promoting morality. This is because its nature is concerned with sacrificing self interest for the benefit of others, communicating moral values and setting a good example.
Transformational leadership has been proved to bear good fruits in job performance, workers satisfaction, citizenship behavior building and organizational commitment. Through the element of idealized influence, leaders motivate followers to increase their self efficacy, internalize moral values transmitted by the leader and develop collectivistic orientation rather than a selfish one. Inspirational motivation joins idealized influence to instill the spirit of being charismatic in the transformational leadership pattern.
With it, leaders demonstrate through symbols an optimistic and attractive vision for the future of the organization. It arouses followers through personal identification with the leaders. This means the organizational mission is linked to followers self concept with a great sense of moral virtue. It emphasizes the value of followers feeling to be part of something larger than themselves. It is worth to argue that there is personal identification not only to the leader but also social identification with the work unit (Shaffer, 1991, p. 19).
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