Ldr 531

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Approaches to Leadership
LDR / 531
May 30, 2012
Teresa Knox

As evidenced by the varied opinions regarding the definition of leadership, it is difficult to agree on what leadership is and to develop a formula for a suitable leadership model. Companies recognize the importance of choosing an effective leadership model, but scientific research into the qualities and techniques of leadership, which only began in the twentieth century, is a relatively new field of study (Gary, 2010). The multiple research approaches used to categorize the techniques used in leadership have produced varyingly inconsistent results. A person who is an effective leader in one organization may not be able to demonstrate the same effectiveness in a different position in the same or similar organization. It is important to understand what makes people good leaders and good managers and to keep in mind that the two are not automatically interchangeable because not all managers are leaders and not all leaders are managers (Robbins and Judge, 2011). There are five approaches that can be utilized to conduct research on leadership methodology. According to Gary Yukl, they are the trait, the behavior, power-influence, the situational and the integrative approach. A few of the strengths and weaknesses of performing research of leadership by using an integrative approach will be examined. Strengths of utilizing an integrated approach are that it allows more flexibility when studying the methodology of an individual whose leadership techniques are being studied. Using an integrated approach will allow the research to be conducted across a very wide breadth of organizations. A weakness of utilizing an integrated approach is that the data collected on the selected leaders may not clearly demonstrate which leadership style was truly effective. This subject matter is very difficult to evaluate and discuss without bringing in personal experiences and opinions. One example that is related to...
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