Leadership is "the behaviour of an individual when he is directing the activities of a group towards a shared goal". (Hemphill and Coons, 1957, p.7)
A leader is interpreted as someone who sets direction in an effort and influences people to follow that direction. How they set that direction and influence people depends on a variety of factors. To really comprehend the "territory" of leadership, one should briefly scan some of the major theories, notice various styles of leadership and review some of the suggested traits and characteristics that leaders should have.
There are many leadership theories. Arthur G. Jago (1982) proposed a framework that organizes leadership theories based on each theory's focus and approach.
"Focus" refers to whether leadership is viewed as a set of traits or as a set of actions.
Focus on Traits: Theories with such a focus see leaders as having certain innate or inherent personality traits that distinguish them from non-leaders. These personality traits are supposed to be relatively stable and enduring.
Focus on Behaviour: Theories with this type of focus see leadership as observable actions of the leader instead of personality traits.
"Approach" is concerned with whether a particular theory or model of leadership takes a universal or a contingent perspective.
Universal Approach: This approach believes that there is a universal formula of traits or behaviour for an effective leader. In other words, the universal approach assumes that there is "one best way" to lead in all situations.
Contingent Approach: Contrary to the universal approach, the contingent approach does not believe the "one best way" formula. It believes that effective leadership depends on the specific situation.
I am going to analyse two theories in detail, which according to me appear contradictory are Blake and Mouton's Managerial Grid Theory (1978) under the head behaviour theories and Fiedler's Contingency theories... [continues]
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