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Leadership: Leaders, Followers, Environments by Art Padilla

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General environmental elements

Beyond these institutional factors, including the extent and effectiveness of external and internal checks and balances, there are several environmental factors that influence leadership. If present in sufficient strength and intensity, they can have an impact on the success of organizations and even on the emergence and duration of destructive leadership. They include economic and social conditions, environmental complexity, instability and dynamism, and perceived threat.

Economic and social conditions

Groups in Western nations obviously face vastly different economic and social conditions than do those operating in less-developed regions where poverty and low levels of education exist. Among the broader measures and indicators here are the level of economic prosperity of the region or nation within which the group lives and works; the extent of poverty and disparities in income among the population; levels of education; levels of corruption and crime; and pace of growth in the industry or region in question. These elements influence the kinds of organizations that exist and how leaders and followers relate to each other. At one extreme, principally in the less-developed nations and regions, followers will be weaker and more dependent on leaders due to high levels of poverty and lack of opportunities. Processes will be less transparent and more dependent on the top of organizations for solutions. In more-developed nations, with more balance among ...

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