Contemporary Leadership

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Warren Gray
Contemporary & Classical Leadership Styles
ORG 6504: Leadership and Management
Kathryn Kelly
August 5, 2012

Contemporary & Classical Leadership Styles
There has been much research compiled that compares the differences of the classic theories of leadership and management versus contemporary style of leadership and management. Both styles have been found to have their unique advantages, depending on the type of organization the theories are being utilized in. In this paper, I will be discussing the key variables needed in a leadership theory to effectively lead and manage others. I will also examine major components of each theory, and how they compare to one another. Finally, I will examine which theory best fits my leadership qualities, and my ability to lead others in an organizational setting.

Yukl, (2010). describes three major variables in leadership theories. The first characteristic of a leadership theory is character traits. This includes motive: What is the reason this person is asking others to follow him or her? The second characteristic is personality: What type of person is this; are they confident and optimistic about reaching the desired outcome? Do they have the skills and expertise to instruct others on how they can go about reaching the goals set forth? The third characteristic of an effective leadership theory is values: Does this person believe in honesty and integrity, and will this person not sacrifice their beliefs to reach a goal that seems out of reach, or can be obtained by taking shortcuts? (p. 12).

The second variable needed is the attitude of the followers. The followers must first have the need to want to succeed. They must also want to be able to be lead, and not have their own agenda or reasoning for being a part of the organization. The followers must have the skills and expertise to perform the necessary duties that are being asked of them by the leader. They also must be committed to the task, and be willing to put forth the necessary effort. Finally, the followers must be able to trust their leader, and be able to have confidence in knowing their leader has them on the right path to be successful.

The third variable of an effective leadership theory is for the leader to know the situation and circumstance that he or she will be working with. This can include the task structure and complexity, and if the followers will be given independence to get their tasks completed in a timely manner. It also may hinge upon the overall culture of the organization, and if both the leader and followers feel comfortable working in the environment (p.12). Now that I have given some insight into what Yukl (2010). views as key traits and characteristics of leadership theories, I will discuss the different types of theories, and what some of the components are to each one. According to Mahmood (2012)., the classical theory of leadership and management has four major components which it incorporates to function as a necessary entity in an organizational setting. The first is a hierarchical structure. This is achieved by breaking the organization into defined roles or positions. The highest level is the board of directors and/or corporate executive officers. Their main function is to focus on the long-term goals of the organization, and how the organization should function at the highest efficiency rate. The next level is middle management. They oversee the supervisors, and set department goals according to the approved budget that the upper level management has set. This includes organizational managers and plant managers if utilized in factory or manufacturing setting. The last level is the lowest level. These are the supervisors who oversee the day-to-day operations, address employee issues, and provide the employee with training to complete the individual tasks.

The next component of the classical theory of leadership and management is the division of labor. It is when...
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