rms of knowledge and learning with the help of such concepts as “learning organisation”, “intellectual capital”, “people-centred approach” or “knowledge based management”. Cakar and Bititci (2001) perfectly summarise this trend in the following statement: “1980s were all about automation. In the manufacturing industry FMS, FAS, Robots, AGVS etc. were commonplace. The 1990s have been about people, this is evident in the development of… concepts throughout the 90s focusing on delegation, involvement, ownership cross functional teamwork, self managed works teams and so on… The needs of modern business emphasize the role and importance of people and knowledge” (p.2). The ideas of Peter Drucker (1994), whom was the first to use term ‘knowledge worker’, and other theorists and practitioners working in the same direction became popular in 1980s when investments in human resources were increasingly justified as being more cost-efficient than investments in machines.
Strong and effective leadership is a critically important aspect of modern human resource management practices and organisation’s functioning. Defining what makes a great leader is not a simple task. Leadership is an exceptionally complex phenomenon and the amount of literature covering various aspects of leading and managing people highlights this complexity. Despite huge amount of books and articles dedicated to the issue, there is still a great deal of ambiguity surrounding the true meaning of effective leadership in contemporary organizational environment.
In psychology the phenomenon of leadership has traditionally been associated with in-group dynamics of social interactions. In any group, regardless of its size, members differ in their degree of social influence over one another: “… the person who exerts the most influence on the rest of the group thus affecting group beliefs and behaviour is usually addressed as leader” (Hollander, 1985: 14). Although this