Leadership Models

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Leadership Models
Jaimie Wimer
University of Phoenix

Leadership Models
The word leadership has different meanings to different people. There appears to be no one exact definition of leadership, just as there is no one exact leadership style. According to Wren (1995) the definition and style can vary depending “on the kind of institution in which it is found” (p. 38). For the purpose of this paper, the models discussed are the trait approach, the diamond model, the normative decision theory, and transformational leadership. Definition of Models

Trait Theory
The trait theory (also known as the “Great Man” Theory) began around 1910. Clawson (2006) stated that the trait approach “emphasizes the personal traits of leaders” (p. 379). The idea behind the trait theory was that leaders were born, not made. Those who became leaders had a unique trait that nonleaders did not have. In 1948, this theory was debunked by Ralph Stodgill. He proved through research that leadership varied in certain situations (Wren, 1995). Normative Decision Theory

The normative decision theory has a contingency view of leading and decision making (Nahavandi, 2006). The assumption behind this model is that a leader’s leadership (or decision-making) style varies, depending on the situation (Wren, 1995). Through this theory there are four decision-making styles a leader may use: Autocratic, Consultative, Group, and Delegation. Autocratic decision-making includes very little (or none at all) involvement from followers. Consultation decision-making utilizes followers to consult, but the leader makes the final decision. Group decision-making uses a consensus to make a decision. Delegation decision-making utilizes one individual (not the leader) to make a decision (Nahavandi, 2006). The Diamond Model

Clawson (2006) introduces the diamond model of leadership in organizations. This model allows for emphasis on individuals, situations, coworkers, strategies, and organizational design. This model is designed for flexibility during the various settings and situations that can occur in the workplace. The concept behind this model is that “leadership only has meaning if it has a direction and a means of achieving that direction” (Clawson, 2006, p. 34). The model focuses on individual personalities of leaders, relationships between leaders and followers, and also contingency of leaders and situations. Transformational Leadership

Avolio and Yammarino (2002) refer to transformational leadership as “the new leadership genre” (p. xvii). The basis behind transformational leadership, according to the two authors is respect, trust, and emotional attachment. Transformational leaders have within them a vision others find attractive, optimism, enthusiasm, and high ethical standards. These leaders sacrifice for the good of the group, provide support and encouragement, and provided challenges to followers (Avolio & Yammarino, 2002). This type of leadership is appropriate and effective in most situations (Yukl, 2006). Similarities of Models

Though the models are quite different, they do have some similarities, specifically in the relationship department of leading. The diamond model and transformational leadership have the most in common. Both models have a focus on relationships. The diamond model focus is leader-follower and is built on trust and respect (Clawson, 2006). Transformational leadership has a focus on vision and empowerment (Mehmood & Arif, 2011). The normative decision model can be very similar to these two models, as well. When using the methods of Consultative and Group, leaders have to “pay attention to their followers’ needs and reactions when making a decision” (Nahavandi, 2006, p. 148). To recognize followers’ needs and reactions, a leader must have built a relationship with them. Allowing followers the opportunity to participate in consulting or making decisions can lead to followers feeling a sense of...
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