Review of: An Integrative Definition of Leadership
History shows an incredible amount of work in science and literature to define leadership and yet, no one has accomplished the task completely. This includes the authors of “An Integrative Definition of Leadership,” Kathleen Patterson and Bruce E. Winston. In the article, Winston and Patterson note the more than 26,000 articles available on leadership in 2003 of which they used 160 to construct the 91 dimensions of leadership (Patterson & Winston, 2006). The quest was to holistically define leadership. In the end, they find that the definition of leadership is somewhat ambiguous and tied to organizational culture so much that a pure and finite definition is likely impossible. However, the definition provided through their research is a definite evolution from earlier studies. The entire definition requires many pages so included here the first sentence, which is a concise summary of the whole definition. A leader is one or more people who selects, equips, trains, and influences one or more follower(s) who have diverse gifts, abilities, and skills and focuses the follower(s) to the organization’s mission and objectives causing the follower(s) to willingly and enthusiastically expend spiritual, emotional, and physical energy in a concerted coordinated effort to achieve the organizational mission and objectives (Patterson & Winston, 2006). The primary concern with Patterson and Winston definition is the role in the relationship between leader and followers as is the prime role in many leadership theories. What separates theirs is the concept of leadership being plural and that the elements of leadership may exist through a group of people who have a single goal or mission and are able to gather followers to work towards that vision.
This idea of group leadership adds a new facet to an old tradition. Leadership generally considered a single person conducting a group, however, in hindsight, there is reason...
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