Evolvement of Leadership

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The evolvement of leadership has changed over time. In order to fully understand how leadership is viewed today it is important to know the history of where leadership has been. The all begins with the Great Man theory in the first era, all the way through to the relational theory in the fourth era. The first era, occurring during the 1930s and 1940s, was the time of Great Man leadership. During this time leaders were known to be born with certain heroic leadership traits and natural abilities of power and influence (Daft, 2011). Most companies were small in size and consisted of friends and family working together, not necessarily because they had qualities which could make the company better. Many leaders within this era were men who could see the big picture and how everything fit into a whole. The focus on leaders was mainly on the different traits they had. The Great Man theory examined the physical, mental and social characteristics of individuals (Barnett, 2010). During this period leaders were based on things like their gender, height, intelligence and personality attributes. The initial conclusion from studies showed no connection between the effective leaders and other individuals. This is due to the lack of significant findings. During the early 1950s the focus of leadership shifted away from leader traits to leader behaviors. Research conducted during this time by The Ohio State utilized the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ), administering it to samples of individuals in the military, manufacturing companies, college administrators, and student leaders (Barnett, 2010). Conclusions of the research found leaders during this period showed consideration and initiating structure. Leaders were planning, organizing and coordination the work of subordinates while showing concern for them, being supportive, recognizing their accomplishments and providing for their welfare.

The second era brings hierarchy and bureaucracy. The small companies...
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