Identification with organizational values occurs when organizational leaders use referent power to get members to identify their values with those of the leader. However, the most important dimension of effective leadership communication is shaping meaning through perceptions of external threats; perceptions of competitors and benchmark organizations; accountability to stakeholders; and… what is valued in the organization.
Organizational leaders also use symbolic means to shape the culture including personal modeling; telling stories; using rites and rituals; and understanding the impact of history. Finally, leaders can use language to influence meaning through: metaphors, jargon, contrast, and spin.
Do you have examples (from the literature or organizational experiences) of inappropriate (or excessive) use of symbolic means resulting in the emergence of followership insensitive to cultural differences, diversity, and individual differences? In each case that you discuss – what led to the emergence of negative leadership and what should have been done to avert its impact?