Leadership Models Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2045 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Leadership

Leadership Models

The objective of this work is to compare and contrast four leadership models and to determine the similarities and difference between these models and how each model might address the contemporary leadership issues and challenges in the workforce. For the purpose of this study, the models and theories will be used synonymously. This work will compare and contrast the following four leadership models: (1) Transactional; (2) Transformational; (3) Path-Goal Theory; and (4) Action-Centered Leadership.


James MacGregror Burns (1978) first conceived the idea of TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP, which was later expanded by Bernard Bass as well as others. Bass and Steidlmeier in the work entitled: "Ethics, Character and Authentic Transformational Leadership" write that that there are "four components of authentic transformational leadership:

Idealized influence;

Inspirational motivation;

Intellectual stimulation; and 4)Individualized consideration.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Leadership Models the Objective of This Work Assignment

These four components of transformational leadership are in contrast according to Bass and Steidelmeier with: "...their counterfeits in the dissembling pseudotransformational leadership on the basis of: (1) the moral character of the leaders and their concerns for self and others; (2) the ethical values embedded in the leaders' vision, articulation, and program, which followers can embrace or reject; and (3) the morality of the processes of social ethical choice and action in which the leaders and followers engage and collectively pursue." (Bass and Steidelmeier, 1998) Additionally stated by Bass and Steidelmeier is: "The literature on transformational leadership is linked to the long-standing literature on virtue and moral character, as exemplified by Socratic and Confucian typologies" and as well has been liked to the major themes "of the modern Western ethical agenda: liberty, utility and distributive justice." (Bass and Steidelmeier, 1998) There are three pillars, which the ethics of transformational leadership rest upon: (1) the moral character of the leader; (2) the ethical values embedded in the leader's vision, articulation, and program which followers either embrace or reject; and (3) the morality of the processes of social ethical choice and action that leaders and followers engage in and collectively pursue. (Bass and Steidelmeier, 1998) Transformational leadership has been found to be effective in many settings including schools, businesses, and even in leading behavioral changes among those that have failed to respond to other styles of leadership. This type of leadership involves inspiration of the followers to reach beyond their present set of abilities in gaining new skills and reaching previously unattainable goals. The transformational leader first develops the vision and communicates this vision to the team members and then moves on to selling the vision to the team in a process that enables team members to feel that they individually and personally 'own' a part in the vision and that they each play a key role in achieving the vision. The transformational leader inspires, challenges, and enables the team to move forward toward achieving the vision and at the same time remains visible and accessible in the role of leadership setting the example of appropriate behavior in a style of leadership that leads by example instead of merely by instruction.


The primary tenets of transactional leadership are that:

1) People are motivated by reward and punishment;

2) Social systems work bets with a clear chain of command;

3) When people have agreed to do a job, a part of the deal is that the cede all authority to their manager; and 4) the prime purpose of a subordinate is to do what their manager tells them to do. (Transactional Leadership, nd)

The style of the transactional leader is of the nature in which the leader works through the creation of clearly stated expectations and all team members are aware of what is expected of them and the rewards that will results from having followed the orders of the leader. Transactional leadership has its basis in contingency management is that receiving a reward is based upon performance to the expectations of the leader. The limitation of this style of leadership is in the assumption of the 'rational man' who is motivated greatly by money and a reward with its theoretical basis being in Behaviorism and Pavlov's Classical Conditioning as well as Skinner's Operant Conditioning. These two theories are combined with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs which holds that once the basic needs of a man are provided for then the individual is able to move on to more important matters. Within the scale ranging from leadership to management, this type of leadership falls on the management end of the scale.


The work of Robert J. House entitled: "Path-Goal Theory of Leadership: Lessons, Legacy, and a Reformulated Theory" states that the scope of path-goal theory "reflects the dominant paradigm of the study of leadership through about 1975. Path-goal theory is a dyadic theory of supervision. It concerns relationships between formally appointed supervisors and subordinates in their day-to-day functioning. It is concerned with how formally appointed supervisors affect the motivation and satisfaction of subordinates." (1996) This theory does not acknowledge the leader's effects on the team but instead concentrates on the effects "of superiors on subordinates." (House, 1996) This theory is one within the dominant leadership paradigm of the time in which was conceived and "is primarily a theory of task and person oriented supervisory behavior." (House, 1996) in its' original conception, this theory held that "the motivational function of the leader consists of increasing personal payoffs to subordinates for work-goal attainment and making the path to these payoffs easier to travel by clarifying it, reducing roadblocks and pitfalls and increasing the opportunities for personal satisfaction en route." (House, 1971; as cited in House, 1996) the more mature version of this theory espoused by House and Mitchell (1974) supported two propositions which include: (1) Leadership behavior is acceptable and satisfying to subordinates to the extent that the subordinates see such behavior as either an immediate source of satisfaction or instrumental to future satisfaction; and (2) Leader behavior is motivational in that is increases the effort, to the extent that: (a) such behavior makes satisfaction of the subordinate's need contingent on effective performance; and (b) such behavior compliments the environment of subordinates by providing coaching, guidance, support and rewards necessary for effective performance." (House, 1996) Within the theoretical framework of path-goal leadership there are four different leadership styles utilized depending upon situational factors which are those as follows: (1) Directive Leadership: Specific guidance on performance is provided by the leader to the subordinates; (2) Supportive Leadership: Concern is shown for the subordinates by the leader; (3) Participative Leadership: Consultation with the subordinates is conducted on the part of the leader and the suggestions of the subordinates are considered by the leader; and (4) Achievement-oriented Leadership: High goals and expectations are set for the subordinates. The 'situational factors' contained within the Path-Goal Theory include: (1) the Subordinates Personality which include the factors of: (a) Locus of control: for the subordinates with an internal locus of control the participative leadership styles is appropriate; and (b) for subordinates with an external locus of control the proper leadership is held to be the directive leadership style; (2) Self-perceived Skills: the idea is that subordinates with a self-perception of having great ability do not respond well to directive leadership. (Value-Based Management: Robert House, 1971) the characteristics of the environment within the Path-Goal Theory are that: (1) the directive leadership style is ineffective when the task at hand is characterized by being highly structure; (2) Directive leadership reduces the satisfaction of subordinates when the environment is characterized by a formal system of authority; and (3) the supportive leadership style is required when the team environment is one that provides great support on a social level. (Based Management: Robert House, 1971)


Action-Centered Leadership is a model that was conceived by John Adair and which has as its focus the things required by a leader for effectiveness. Three groups of highly interrelated activities form this model and all of which are necessary and none of which may be viewed in isolation from one another if the goals of the organization are to be realized. Those actions are: (1) achieving the task; (2) building and maintaining teams; and (3) development of the individual. The activities within each of these primary three activities are as follow:

Task Achievement:

Included in this task are the subtasks as follows:

Identify aims and vision for the group, purpose, and direction;

Identify resources, people, processes, systems and tools;

Create the plant to achieve the task: deliverables, measures, timescales, strategy and tactics;

Responsibilities are established, objective, accountabilities, and measures are established by agreement and delegation;

Standards, quality, time and reporting parameters are set;

Activities are controlled and maintained against parameters that have been set;

Overall performance is monitored and maintained according to the set plan;

The progress toward the goal is reported on;

Plan, methods and targets are review, assessed and adjusted for.

Building and Maintaining the Team:

This action includes the following subtasks:

Standards of performance and behavior are established, agreed upon and communicated;

Style, culture… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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