1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Leadership in any form and at any level is vital to the survival of any establishment. “An organization without leadership is like a car moving without a driver”. Leadership is very crucial to the smooth running of the family, private or public organizations, religious organizations, it is often said can not grow above or below its leadership. That is to say that the success or failure of any organization hinges on the quality of the organization’s leadership, since all institutions or organizations need able and dynamic leadership for effective performance. It was in recognition of this fact that Bennis and Nanus as quoted by Higgins (1991) observed that “a business short of capital can borrow money, they one with poor location can move, but a business short of leadership has little chance of survival”.
Omolayole (1993) argued that in any given society or community, leadership is always present at any point in time, either formal or informal, conferred or assumed, because as he puts it, “nature abhors vacuum”. Therefore, he observed, “if there is a formal leader and he refuses to lead, somehow a person will emerge unofficially to fill the role”. The formal or the unofficial leader may be ineffective, but a vacuum most not be allowed to exist.
When one ponders over the subject of leadership, many ideas come to mind. One might relate leadership to power, authority or influence. In fact, the concept of leadership always evolves a multitude of thoughts, which make the subject of leadership an exciting one.
Higgins (1991) agreed with popular opinion that leadership is essential and a pivotal force for organizational success. He supported the position that leadership involves influencing others and that a leader is a person who has followers. People, he believed follow their leaders because they (leaders) take certain actions and behave in certain ways. Arising from his understanding of what leadership entails and who a leader is, Higgins (1991) defined leadership as “the process making choices about how to treat people in order to influence them and then translating those choices into actions”. He submits that those choices and actions are design to influence others to follow the leader.
But is leader necessary, or even desired in all situations? Must there always be someone who shows the way for others to follow in all work situations? The answers to these questions and more are not always in affirmative because of the nature of some jobs and the calibre of people performing them as well as the condition(s) under which they work.
Supporting this line of argument, Certo (1992), Bateman and Zeithaml (1993) maintained that “leadership is not always necessary in all situations” they argued that sometimes leaders do not have to lead, or they simply cannot lead. They posits that the situation may be on which makes leadership have very little or no impact at all. “Situational substitute” they argued, sometimes have as much influence on employees just as any leader would. Situational substitute, according to them can arise due to a number of reasons, including factors that are beyond the leaders control. Because so many factors affects a situation, they observed, some people argues that “leadership is actually irrelevant in many organizational settings”.
These opposing views on the relevance or otherwise of leadership to organizational success have actually aroused the interest of management schools and practitioners. This study attempts to investigate whether or not managerial leadership contributed to the attainment of corporate goals in Dangote Flour Mills Plc., Calabar.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM