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The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/1463-5771.htm Benchmarking a leadership model for the green economy Daryl D. Green Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA, and A leadership model for the green economy 445 Jack McCann Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, Tennessee, USA Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine benchmarking leadership theories in order to build a new leadership model for the green economy
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  Benchmarking a leadershipmodel for the green economy Daryl D. Green  Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA, and   Jack McCann  Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, Tennessee, USA Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine benchmarking leadership theories in order tobuild a new leadership model for the green economy. Design/methodology/approach – The collection and critical analysis of secondary data fromrelevant publications were used to evaluate the feasibility of a new leadership model in the greeneconomy. Analysis of organizational and leadership theories has been utilized in order to benchmarkfuture successful efforts. Findings – The paper found five key issues: there is little research in how the green economy willimpact contemporary organizations’ strategy, structure, and culture; new theories may need to bedeveloped to assist organizations in developing the right kind of leadership for the green economy; thecreation of green jobs may infuse organizations with more emphasis on values and leadershipcompetency; the over dependence on technology to create jobs and sustain society’s quality of lifecarries unintended consequences; and agrarian leadership may offer organizations a better ability tolead workers in the green economy. Research limitations/implications – The paper examines benchmarking applications that areexclusively relevant in both private and public organizations. Practical implications – There are several implications for researchers and practitioners related toimproving the personal and organizational success of leaders guiding their followers in a greeneconomy.Manycountries hopethatthegreen economywillbeabletoimprovetheirfinancial situation.Yet, organizations are struggling with the issues of ethical behavior by managers and how to motivatetheir employees toward greater performance. A new leadership based on agrarian values may be apositive step in addressing these matters. Originality/value – The paper is significant because it presents a theoretical framework forinterpretinghowagrarianvaluescanworkbuildingthequalityoflifewhenappliedinagreeneconomy. Keywords Social values, Benchmarking, Leadership, Organizational performance, Ecosystems Paper type Conceptual paper 1. Introduction Americans’ lives continue to unravel as individuals see their way of life disintegratebefore their eyes. Institutions are failing. Ethics and moral conduct continue to decline.Wall Street continues to prosper as “Main Street” bears the financial hardship for ourcountry. No one can escape the carnage from the recent global financial meltdown.Everyone has been impacted – from the executive to the factory worker. According toTheConferenceBoard(2010)ResearchGroup,only45percentofAmericansaresatisfiedwiththeirwork.Inordertobemorecompetitive,organizationsneedtoretoolandinspireworkers to new levels of performance. The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/1463-5771.htm The authors want to express their gratitude to the reviewers. Without their thoughtful analysisand insight, this paper would not have been possible. A leadershipmodel for thegreen economy 445 Benchmarking: An International JournalVol. 18 No. 3, 2011pp. 445-465 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited1463-5771DOI 10.1108/14635771111137804  With the emergence of the green economy, society has the opportunity for financialgrowth and moral revival. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts’ 2009 study, passageof a federal clean energy and climate bill would create a significant amount of jobsexponentially by spearheading new green technology innovations. In fact, the cleanenergy jobsin the USA have grownat more thantwicethe rateof the overall job marketover the past decade (Ringo, 2010). Like the Industrial Revolution’s mark on society, it ishoped that the green economy will bring positive values to society such as innovation,family values, and strong work ethics. The new economy will be fueled by moreenvironmentally friendly and socially conscious leaders. In fact, good leadershipexemplifies positive virtues. Hackman and Johnson (2000) further suggestedthat exemplary leaders provide a model for their followers by seeing these virtues intheir leader. Concerned leaders treat their followers as though they possess intelligenceandcreativity.Cultivatingeffectiveleadershipdevelopmentduringaneraofrapidchangeseverelychallengescurrentorganizationsastheyconsidersuccessionplanningforfuturemanagers. McCall and Hollenbeck (2002) maintained that experience is the primaryvehicle for developing global leaders. However, globalization and the advancement of technologies provide a new set of problems for leadership and organizational theorists.The key elements of remodeling today’s are leadership, values, and culture (Figure 1).Benchmarking the concept of agrarian leadership will bring justification for muchneeded improvements. Benchmarking can be a catalyst for assisting organizations tobecomemorefocusedandcompetitivethusimprovingthenationaleconomy.Inordertoimplement meaningful changes, executives, legislators, educators, and environmentaladvocacy groups must take a leading role in this reform. Yet, organizations need toimplementthe rightkindofstrategies. GambleandThompson (2009) maintainedthat acompany’s business strategy strengthens its long-term competitive position. However,managersmustbewillingtoadapttheirstrategiesinresponsetounplannedoccurrencesin the market or their customers. This paper examines benchmarking leadershiptheories in order to build a new leadership model for the green economy. Through thisprocess, three key areas will be reviewed: leadership, ethics, and values. 2. Research objectives and methodology The primary objectives of this paper are to explore benchmark applications associatedwithleadingorganizationsduringagreeneconomyandincreasedepthofknowledgeinthisfieldinordertomakearelevantanalysisofeachtheory.Thisinvestigationprovidesexploratory data by utilizing an extensive literary review of over 20 documentsincluding scholarly opinions and practitioner discussions. The collection and critical Figure 1. The key elements fortransforming leadershipin the green economy LeadershipValuesCultureGreeneconomy BIJ18,3 446  analysis of secondary data from relevant publications were used to evaluate the resultsof agrarian leadership in a green economy. Analysis of organizational theory has beenutilized in order to benchmark future successful efforts. The contributions made bywell-known researchers in the fields of leadership theories, such Bass and Yukl, wereinvestigated. Electronic databases such as ABI/INFORM Global, were searched usingkey words “agrarians,” “leadership,” “green economy,” “values,” “benchmarking,”and “organizational theories.” There was a significant absence of literature related toagrarian leadership with benchmarking applications in scholarly research.Consequently, there is an opportunity to further enhance research.Benchmarking studies are a well-known commodity in private industry. Elmuti et al. (1997) noted there are four types of benchmarking: internal, competitive, functional,and generic. Although the four types of benchmarking are widely accepted in education,therearemanydefinitions.Thedefinitionsareusuallyrelatedtokeythemes:measurement,comparison,identificationofbestpractices,implementation,andimprovement(AnandandKodali,2008).Infact,benchmarkingisanactivitythatlooksoutwardtofindbestpracticesand high-performance solutions and then measures actual business operations againstthosegoals(KumarandDhakar,2006).Rigby(2009)furtherdescribed benchmarking asatool that improves performance by identifying and applying best-demonstrated practicestooperationsandsales.Managerscomparetheperformanceoftheirproductsorprocessesexternally with those of their competitors and those best-in-class companies. In addition,benchmarkingisperformedinternallywithoperationswithintheirownorganizationsthatperform similar activities. The objective of benchmarking is to improve performance,understandrelativecostposition,andgainastrategicadvantage.Companiesthenimprovetheir performance by tailoring and incorporating these best practices into their ownoperations not simply by imitating best practices, but by innovating.Camp (1995) determined four main areas for finding best practices in benchmarking.These areas were internal benchmarking (department to department, leader to leader,location to location); competitor benchmarking, functional benchmarking (yourorganization to an external one, your leader to an external leader); generic benchmarking(comparing our leaders or organizations to all industry groups). Benchmarking worksfrom a premise that a leader or organization somewhere is currently performing in aworld-class or best-in-class manner.Benchmarking is often used as a performance tool by managers and organizationsand is sustainable in its popularity (Francis and Holloway, 2007). Managers typicallyuse it as a tool to serve the interests of employers and shareholders to impact thefinancialbottomline.ThevalueofbenchmarkingwasassessedbyCoopersandLybrand(1994); they found that 75 percent of large organizations viewed benchmarking assuccessful because they set good targets, improved productivity, provided innovativeideas, gave early warning of competitive challenges, and motivated staff. Rigby andBilodeau(2009)foundintheirglobalresearchthatbenchmarkingisthenumberonetoolthat managers use and is effective. This survey had a database of nearly 10,000respondents. For inclusion in this research, the tools needed to be relevant to seniormanagement, topical, and measurable. 3. Literature review of benchmarking effective leadership Leadership and organizational behavior theories provide researchers an opportunity tounderstand leader-follower relationships in a green economy. With the continual A leadershipmodel for thegreen economy 447  disruptive changes in societies, leadership theories may needto beretooled to deal withnew emerging organizational issues. According to Drucker (2001), effective leadersdiffer widely in personalities, strengths, weaknesses, values, and beliefs, however,all have in common; the ability to get the right things done at the right time. Therefore,benchmarking leadership is a very difficult task. Blake and Mouton (1985) stated thatstructure, plan, and concept are elemental to an organization’s effectiveness. However,the greatest single variable is that leaders must accomplish objectives through theability to guide, motivate, and integrate the efforts of others through their actions asleaders. Benchmarking leadership is about determining what traits, behaviors, andactions make leaders successful. Kouzes and Posner (2007, p. xvi) stated: The most significant contribution leaders make is not simply to today’s bottom line; it is tothe long-term development of people and institutions so they can adapt, change, prosper, andgrow. The benchmarking of best practices in leadership and management is critical insharing and building knowledge in a global economy. Traditional leadership focus Contemporary leadership theories have a clear focus. According to Sayles (1979),the traditional emphasis on what good managers should achieve was based on:effectiveness in planning ahead, delegation, coordinating, staffing, organization, andmaking their organization profitable. A good manager therefore makes good decisionsabout plans and delegations that produce the desired results. Managers described theirwork as fragmented and unfinished. They also described it as action oriented, withcontact with others required, and the development of relationships with others asrequisite. Even more importantly, management was found to be a contingent activity.Asroutinesbreakdown,themanagermustadjustandadaptwithlimitedresources,suchastimeandinformation.Managementroleswereoftenfoundtobedifficultandcomplex. Contemporary leadership focus Sarros and Santora (2001) concluded from their exploration of today’s businessexecutives is that leadership success in today’s global workplace requires leadersto inspire others to achieve through their hard work, commitment to people, andcommitment to the organization. Leadership is about taking people in the desireddirection and to lead by example. Leadership success is only as good as the “what”(leadership behaviors) and “why” (personal values) of how you lead. Therefore,leadershipcomesdowntotrust,respect,honesty, andintegrity. Togainthesustainablerespectandauthoritytoleadovertime,itisessentialthatleaderspracticeormodelwhattheleaderespouses.Inadditiontothefivepracticesofexemplaryleadership,KouzesandPosner (2007) presented a list of these practices along with their accompanyingcommitments. This information is recreated in Table I.Furthermore, Kouzes and Posner (2007, p. 29) stated that these five practices paintonly a partial picture. They found that across countries, cultures, ethnic groups,organizations, genders, education levels, and age groups the majority of people believethat the leader must have the following traits: . honest; . forward looking; BIJ18,3 448
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