Essay: Leadership Theories

Pages: 4 (1159 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Leadership  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] A couple decades ago researchers such as Wright and Stogdull started reviewing more of the types of traits that work together to produce success in leadership (1996, 35). They begin t combine groups of traits related to personality to specific situations. Still this is a very subjective manner to determine what makes a good leader (Wright, 1996, 33-37).

3. In reviewing the various traits that were considered prerequisites for leadership in the mid 20th century attention turned to the actions of leaders vs. their inherent traits. With the shift to behavioral theories. At that time behaviors were documented as styles based on the way a leader functioned within the organization. Some of the most common theories of the 1960s was Blake and Mouton's Manager Grid (1964). There were four main tenets under behavioral theory. The first was Concern for Tasks Style which referred to getting results to preset objectives given by top management. This focus required maximizing productivity and workforce management around meeting the company objectives (Wright, 1996). The next is Concern for People, this style focuses on the people or subordinates and meeting their needs in providing resources to resolve problems. The workforce is not considered a way to get results but are considered a valuable asset to the organization that should be invested in and developed. Directed Leadership Style is the next tenet which is more traditional or top down in approach. Where the manager or leader tells subordinates what to do and when to do it. The subordinates under this style simply follow directions and do what they are told. The next tenet is Participative Leadership Style where decision making is shared between managers or leaders and subordinates who have valuable knowledge about the products, processes, or services of a company (Wright 1996, 36-37). There are times when these styles overlap.

4. With contingency theory, there is no single way of defining leadership. It is contingent on the ability of the leader to adapt and resolve issues based on intrinsic traits and external factor of a situation. When the leader is effective they have a high level of control over the productivity or success of the workforce. The relationship of the leader and the task at hand is the central basis of the contingency theory according to Fieldler (Sacbusiness, 2011).

Even though a leader within this form of leadership may be very successful for a time, this could change simply because the situation or needs of the followers changes and is no longer compatible to the leader's direction. The main contribution to this form of leadership is knowing what type of attributes a leader has and which type of situation is contingent or most productive under this style for a specified time (SacBusiness, 2011).

References

Aditya, R.N. And House, R.J. (1997). The social scientific study of leadership: quo vadis? Journal of Management. May-June 1997 v23 n3 p409(65).

Fiedler, F.E. (1967). A theory of leadership effectiveness. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Lord, R.G., Foti, R. & DeVader, C.L. (1984). A test of leadership categorization theory: Internal structure, information processing, and leadership perceptions.

Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 34: 343-378.

Sacbusiness.org. (2011). Fieldler's contingency theory. Retrieved December 24, 2011

from http://sacbusiness.org/marketing/john%20materials/Bus%20120/Fiedler.pdf

Stogdill, R.M.(1948) Personal factors associated with leadership. A survey of the literature. Journal of Psychology 25: 35-71.

Stogdill, R.M. (1974). Handbook of leadership:… [END OF PREVIEW]

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