Leadership Theories and Concepts

Topics: Leadership, Motivation, Management Pages: 17 (3917 words) Published: March 30, 2013
Evolution of leadership theories
1) The Great man Theory (Trait Theories)
These were basis of leadership research until 1940’s. The great man theory from Aristoteham philosophy asserts that some people are born to lead whereas others are born to be led. Trait theory(ies) assume that some people have certain characteristics or personality trait that make them better leaders than others. (refer to traits as stipulated by Bass (notes)

Behavioral Theories
During human relations era, many behavioural and social scientists studying management also studied leadership.

Emphasis was on what the leader did – leaders style of leadership (Lewin 1951) and White & LippiH (1960) came up with leadership styles:

i) Authoritarian
ii) Democratic & leissez-faire
Authoritarian leader is characterized by the following behaviours (refer previous notes also)

i) Strong control is maintained over the work group.
ii) Others are motivated by coercion.
iii) Others are directed with commands.
iv) Communication flows downwards.
v) Decision making does not involve others.
vi) Emphasis is on difference in status (“I” and “you”). vii) Criticism is punitive (should be constructive)

Productivity is high but creativity, self motivation and autonomy are reduced. Authoritarian leadership is useful in crisis situations and frequently found in large bureaucrasis such as Armed Forces.

Democratic leader exhibits the following behaviours
* Less control is maintained.
* Economic and ego awards are used to motivate.
* Others are directed thorough suggestions and guidance.
* Communication flows up and down.
* Decision making involves others.
* Emphasis is on “we” rather than “I” and “you”. * Criticism is constructive.

Because many people have to be consulted it takes time and therefore frustrating to these who wants modified. Leissez-Fair Leader
* Is permissive with little or no control.
* Motivate by support when requested by the group or individuals. * Provides little or no direction.
* Uses upward and downward communication – members of group. * Places emphasis on the group and does not criticize.
* Leissezfare leadership is appropriate when problems are poorly defined and brainstorming is needed to generate alternative solutions.

Situational & Contingency Leadership Theories:
No one leadership style is ideal for every situation
Situational Theories:
Leaders are product of a given situation. It supports the follower theory which states that people will follow people who they see as means of accomplishing their personal ends. Contingency Theory

.The theory urgues that leaders must alter their style in a manner consistent with the aspects of the context Combines traits and situation. People become leaders because of their responsibility and situational factors. * Leader subordinate relationship (a leader/people to lead). * The extent to which the leader is liked, trusted and respected by followers. * The task structure, whether jobs are structured and clarified. The position power and degree of influence a leader has over the group e.g. hire or fire, discipline promotes rewards and 1. Blake and Moutonris managerial grid 9 roles of managerial gnd). The managerial grid

Five leadership styles are plotted in four quadrants of a two dimensional grid. The grid depicts various degrees of leader 1. Impoverished – Low concern for both production and people. 2. Authority compliance – high concern for production and low concern for people. 3. Middle of the road – moderate concern for production and people. 4. Country club – High concern for people and low concern for production. 5. Team – High concern for both production and people.


91.9 Country club9.9 Team
Concern for people
55.5 Middle of the road
1 1.1 Impoverished9.1 Authority Compliance
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