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The Effects of Poor Leadership

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Poor leadership has a number of effects on organizations, as it can affect their output both directly by mismanaging resources and indirectly by not taking the best out of organization members. According to British researchers Kelloway, Sivanathan, Francis and Barlinghe, the issue of poor quality leadership has been the center of various studies since the early 1960s, proving its influence on employees' performance, as well as on their mental and physical health.

Morale Drop

Leaders who do not inspire the members of the organization nor prove their abilities through rational and accurate administration can be the reason of low morale between individuals. Low morale can subsequently lead to a lack of discipline and will for employees to give their best. A survey between employees of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, published in the East Valley Tribune in May 2011, shows how leadership can have such an effect, as from the employees who reported their morale was low, 67 percent identified the director as the main factor and just 17 percent blamed outside factors, such as budget cuts.

Physical Effects

In their study "Sources of Work Stress," researchers E. Kevin Kelloway, Niro Sivanathan, Lori Francis and Julian Barling mention the 2003 report by Wager, Fieldman and Hussey on the physical effects of poor leadership. The report focused on the increase of systolic and diastolic blood pressure of nurses when they worked with supervisors they did not like, amplifying the risk of a coronary failure, as well as the risk of stroke. In the same study, the researchers also associate poor leadership and the subsequent work stress with cardiovascular diseases.

Resources Mismanagement

Poor leadership skills not only have an effect on employees' performance, but also on the administration's own tasks. Managing resources, keeping a record of the organization's income and expenses, as well as the management of human resources -- such as how shifts are scheduled -- are good leadership skills. Without these the organization can face problems such as financial deficit, lack of raw materials and even low productivity because of employee fatigue.

Lack of Motivation

According to the Integrity Training Institute, one basic type of leader is the so called "buddy" who focus on being nice to employees. Such leaders avoid confrontations and disregard negative issues, such as behavioral and performance problems. This can lead to lack of motivation -- on the employees' behalf -- to try their best, since there is no penalty for below average results and no rewards for top performers.


Tasos Vossos has been a professional journalist since 2008. He has previously worked as a staff writer for "Eleftheros Tipos," a leading newspaper of Greece, and is currently a London-based sports reporter for Perform Sports Media in the United Kingdom. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication and media from the University of Athens.

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