Theoretical Views on Leadership Applied Term Paper

Pages: 13 (3640 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 9  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Leadership

¶ … theoretical views on leadership applied to a practitioner context within an organisation.

Report of approximately 2000 words, detailing recommendation that show the theoretical views on leadership applied to a practitioner context within an organisation.

Given the current business and resource challenges in the world, not necessarily limited to the business world, but also to the political, economical or demographical factors, the need to properly direct, organize, coordinate and plan actions, as well as to motivate and direct people has become a very important necessity. Along with this increased need for leadership and for the capacity to properly decide on the right things to do, there appeared a consolidated and continuously developing background portfolio of theories and models that help provide the basis for the leadership science.

One of the first leadership theories that appeared and gained ground was trait theory. Based on the perception that all successful leaders shared a certain sets of common characteristics or traits, the theory also supported the idea that these characteristics that gave way to an effective leadership could also be empirically identified and proven. The problem with such a theory was that the distinct set of leadership traits is formed of a very rich and diversified number of characteristics. A successful leader is at the same time adaptable and energetic, persistent and tolerant, decisive and cooperative.

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Despite this, most theoreticians agreed on a common denominator according to which the five basic characteristics of an effective leader were intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity and sociability. This theory has significant advantages, among others the fact that it can be applicable not only to all sectors and segments of the economic world, but also in the military or political sectors as well.

Term Paper on Theoretical Views on Leadership Applied to a Assignment

It is also a theory that sounds logical and makes sense, because, given the responsibilities of a leader and the decisions he needs to be able to make, as well as the resources he is administering, you would expect him indeed to share all these characteristics. However, there are also particular problems with such a theory, mostly the fact that its focus on the leader and his characteristics take away from the concentration on the leadership process itself.

If we follow the traits theory, then the psychodynamic approach to leadership helps explains how a leader actually develops, from his birth, by exposure to different external factors and stimuli that transform him into a successful leader, if these factors are correct. Based on the relationship that an individual had with the parents during his or her growing period, the theory will identify factors that affect the leader - follower relationship. Although it could be identified as too theoretical and not functional in practice, it seems that the knowledge of the leader's own experience helps improve his performance as a leader.

The cognitive resources theory and the leadership skills model are more extensive leadership theories based on the traits theory. In the case of the latter, the emphasis is placed on the skills of the leader rather than his or her traits, while the cognitive resources theory is more complex in explaining the leadership process as a combination of leadership traits, leadership behavior and leadership situation.

The transactional leadership model, on the other hand, places a greater emphasis on the relationship between a leader and the followers in an entity or an organization. The theory is more useful in explaining the style of leadership, as reported to the employees in an organization, and, from this perspective, is more practical than the other theoretical approaches previously presented. At the same time, this also seems to be a theory more adapted to the 21st century organization where the interaction between a leader and the followers tends to be greater.

The participative leadership model is a model based on the relationship between leader and follower and where the different types of leadership styles are categorized depending on the level of implication in the decision making process that the followers have. According to the level of delegation, we can refer to autocratic, consultation, joint or delegation decision making frameworks.

In fact, the concern and focus that the leader has for two essential elements in his organization, people and production or outcome, define several models, including, for example, the leadership grid. According to the leadership grid model, there are five major leadership styles: country club, team, middle of the road, impoverished and authority - compliance. These different leadership styles are formed by the interaction of the concern for people and the focus on production variables and by how a leader moves along these two axes.

A company such as Google, for example, would be a good example of a country club management style. Indeed, the concern at Google is to develop a proper working environment in which the employees can develop their creativity and imagination, which will eventually positively impact production as well. We cannot say that the focus for production is zero, but that this derives from the focus on people. This is probably the case for most software developing companies, where the focus is on creating a mutually shared culture that will then produce the right results.

An industry such as the automobile industry would probably have a lower concern for people and a higher concern for the eventual output. This is mostly because the organizations also tend to be bigger and the leadership styles generally go back several decades without much change, when this was the style of leadership that generally predominated.

On the other hand, the relationship or attitude with the followers and the human resources within the organization is not always enough, which is why some of the theories were completed with additional variables, such as the particular situation at hand. One of these is Fielder's contingency model, also referred to as LPC (least preferred worker) Contingency Model, according to which "leader's style is appropriate to the situation, as determined by three principal factor."

According to this theory, an effective leader will be able to combine into his leadership style not only the actual relations with the followers, but also the particularities of the task that the respective follower is performing and the position of power as a variable. This type of model promotes the idea of an adapted leadership style, one that is not always unitary, but tends to change in order to be able to include different situations and still be able to produce the appropriate decision making result. The pattern of the leader's behavior in different situations imposed by the followers is also examined in such models as the Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Leadership Model.

The social exchange theory is an interesting theory that explains the emergence of a leader from the group as a product of the social actions that occur within the group rather than through the distinct personality traits that this individual might have. Indeed, the social exchange theory supports the idea that the fact that the future leader has proven himself in front of a group promotes him as a leader by the group itself.

The software industry or industries that are team-based are good examples in this sense. In the software industry, the programming/developing teams are generally based on several developers, one or more testers and a project manager who ensures not only the coordination with the upper management of the organization, but also the internal coordination of the team. The project manager is quite often hired exactly from the members of the programming team, because he has proven himself as someone who can both defend the team with the upper management and have the technical resources to translate the requirements of the clients and upper management into technical specifications that everyone can understand.

If many of the leadership theories and models examine how the behavior of the follower influences the activity and behavior of the leader, others take the reverse approach by focusing on how the behavior of the leader impacts the follower. One of these theories is the path-goal theory of leadership, supporting the idea that the leader's style will affect the characteristics of the follower and his approach to the situation at hand.

The software industry presents some of the most interesting situations of both individual leaders and leadership processes. First of all, the software industry has some very interesting and unique characteristics. One of these is, for example, especially in the start-up industries, that the leaders also have a technical background. They have worked previously in the past in the software industry and this has helped them built the technical background that later on could be used to work with their followers. This is true from Larry Paige and Sergei Brin to Bill Gates, the most iconic leader in the software industry, going through Steve Jobs. Many of the leaders within these companies also have technical backgrounds: Marissa Meyer, for example, VP at Google in charge with products development has an engineering background.

The reason that many of the leaders in the software industry… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Theoretical Views on Leadership Applied" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Theoretical Views on Leadership Applied.  (2008, August 10).  Retrieved October 30, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Theoretical Views on Leadership Applied."  10 August 2008.  Web.  30 October 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Theoretical Views on Leadership Applied."  August 10, 2008.  Accessed October 30, 2020.