The term leadership has been explained in diverse terms with varied meanings highlighting the attributes of a successful leader. Leadership has been explained by means of physical attributes and personality by some whereas others have defined leadership based on the behaviour of the individual. The trait and the behavioural theories of leadership help in understanding certain leadership styles which help in impacting the performance appraisal of an individual. There may be diverse styles displayed by a leader. According to trait theories certain attributes like capabilities, abilities and intelligence have been identified as traits for a successful leader. The behavioural theories, on the other hand, have identified leaders to be goal oriented and task oriented. These individuals have the talents to direct the activities and tasks of subordinates to attain certain organizational objectives. One of the important considerations of behavioural theories is that of consideration. A successful leader is supposed to have empathy for followers and successfully establishes an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect and at the same time also emphasizes on fulfilling the aspirations and needs of followers. Depending on this leadership styles may be either job centred which focuses on attaining certain organizational goals or employee centred which focuses on fulfilling the needs and aspirations of followers.
Performance appraisal and leadership styles
The laissez faire and bureaucratic leadership style displays less concern for both followers and attaining goals. Autocratic leaders are totally job centric and do not care about their followers’ needs and aspirations. Leaders who strive in attaining a balance between fulfilling organizational goals and emphasizing on attaining the desires of followers have the ideal leadership style. This style is best displayed by participative leaders. In this context, the path goal theory of leadership helps in determining crucial qualities like aiding followers to fulfil objectives, providing the required direction and support needed for the well being of the organization and the followers.
Performance appraisal requires leaders to evaluate followers from time to time on the basis of job performance and overall development. Scholars have observed that autocratic leadership style promotes less motivation among followers. Such leaders rate followers on the basis of fulfilling objectives as the only focus in on attaining organizational goals. On the other hand, participative leaders are those who encourage followers to perform better and refrain from taking coercive actions for those subordinates who may not be able to attain certain organizational goals. This kind of leader in fact acts as a mentor and guide to help followers in improving and attaining goals. Such leaders may be associated to follow transformational style (Camps & Rodrigues, 2011). Laissez faire leaders are those who have a total disregard for the organizational goals and employee welfare and hence their performance ratings of subordinates may depend on certain personal characteristics like personal disliking or liking for a subordinate. Further studies on autocratic style and performance appraisal have associated such leaders to use discriminatory practices to appraise the performance of subordinates. In this case, instead of objective judgment, leaders often judge their followers subjectively. This is especially true for all public sector enterprises wherein followers may stagnate due to such subjective judgments of leaders (Khan, 2010).
Successful leaders are those who objectively assess the performance of followers and accordingly rate them. The main focus should be on the overall development of the organization which concentrates in fulfilling certain mission and also structuring out a potential career development path for employees. Hence, performance appraisal and leadership styles are highly connected with each other and helps in determining the overall growth of the employees and the organization.
Khan, A. (2010). The Dilemma of Leadership Styles and Performance Appraisal: Counter Strategies, Journal of Managerial Sciences, 4(1), 1 – 30.
Camps, J. & Rodríguez, H. (2011) Transformational leadership, learning, and employability: Effects on performance among faculty members, Personnel Review, 40(4), 423 – 442