Corporate Leadership Models
In order to systematically organize people management and leadership in organizations, well-designed and theoretically sound solutions are needed that take into account the complexities of human behavior. The art of HR lies in organizing human work in economic terms without losing sight of the particular potentials, characteristics, and legitimate interests of employees. In this, HR management and leadership are one and the same, because in an organizational context this traditional yet artificial distinction is unhelpful. Effective people management cannot in the first place be achieved by the personnel department but only decentrally — i.e., by line managers.
Leadership models can be build using various theoretical perspectives; however, not all of them are equally helpful when it comes to effectively improving leadership quality. The » Complementary Leadership theory describes people management from a task perspective — i.e., in the sense of a normative bundle of complementary single tasks. Furthermore, it points out the main actors of people management — the employee, the manager, his/her superior, and the HR function — and describes their complementary interaction in accomplishing the distinct tasks mentioned above. According to the model, employees should basically manage themselves but be supported by the complementary activities of the manager whenever needed. Following the same mechanism, the other two parties only intervene if the situation so requires — i.e., when the manager does not act, even though it is necessary. This way, a practice-proven system of “checks and balances” is built, in which the strategic core element is to bring about the highest possible — but still controlled — autonomy. Good leadership is always strategic leadership as well, and corporate leadership models are its basis.