Leadership Approach Analysis

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Leadership is a word inviting a lot of interpretation. Peter G. Northouse has mentioned in Leadership Theory and Practice, 5th edt (2010, p2), there are as almost as many definitions of leadership as the number of people who have tried to define it. This is to say, there is hardly an absolute “right” answer for the question “What is leadership?” and, at the same time, every effort to approach the answer is appreciated as they would lighten up the way as well as bringing out perceptions in different aspects towards the term. It is summarized by Northouse there are four leadership approaches: trait, skill, style and situational.

Short summarization of the approaches

Trait approach had been researched by many authors in the 20th century, notably Stogdill’s first and second survey (1948 and 1974), Mann’s in 1959, Lord, DeVader and Alliger (1986)… It was being assumed by researchers that a leader have to possess some specific trait to become an effective one. In other words, it is his nature characteristics and his personality that counts. A wide range of different traits had been identified and developed through out various studies from then as the researchers tried to seek a final list of leadership traits that best sounds. They were different, of course, yet there are five which were considered major traits: Intelligence, Integrity, self-confidence, sociability and determination.

Skill approach, although not negating the influence of personality has in leadership, suggests that it is skills that play the most important role in leadership. Similar to trait approach, the researchers of skill approach tried to list out the knowledge and ability a leader must have to be effective. Three-skill approach by R.L.Katz and Skills Model of Mumford and colleagues are two considerable studies. Katz summed leadership skills up to three basic skills, Technical, Human and Conceptual, and analyze those in relate to the management hierarchy....
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