Leadership Theories/ Approaches (Situational and Transformational Leadership)

Topics: Leadership, Situational leadership theory, Management Pages: 7 (2378 words) Published: February 6, 2013
As individuals, all seek to improve their personal, social and professional roles. As organizations, they seek people able to guide others and maximize performance. One of the thoughts that come to people on this is to achieve Leadership but to be able to do it, it is imperative to understand its meaning, its strengths, its weaknesses and all concepts that may help individuals and organizations to approach it in their modern world. Thanks to these needs, many researchers have been looking for answers and ways to represent what is leadership significance. The purpose of this essay is to analyze and discuss two theories/approaches of leadership, in order to gain a better understanding. Every individual experiments the meaning of leadership (in family, school, playground, politics, professional work, among others). Some studies present leadership as a trait or behavior and some others from an information perspective or relational position and to be studied qualitative and quantitative methods have been applied in varied contexts (Northouse, 2009). Behave as a leader determinates success in individual´s careers and outcome in organizations, in other words leadership behavior leads in effectiveness (Lussier and Achua, 2009). Theorist agreed that the perspective or how leadership is interpreted can be divided in two groups: Classical and contemporary theoretical approaches. To focus in modern views could mean to pass over the classical views such as the traits approach, behavior or style approach and the situational approach which are often condemned because according to some authors, it does not cover the whole reality (Winkler, 2009).To discuss this point one of the classics views of leadership as the situational approach is and one modern approach as transformational approach will be developed. Classical approaches undertake just one directional relation between leaders and followers where leaders have particular trait that differentiate them from those who follow them while most of the contemporaries approach consider it as an interaction process (Winkler, 2009). Classical theories describe characteristics and behavior of leaders (Rost, 1991), opposite of modern approaches which seem it as a complex interaction (Yuki, 2006). Situational approach is one of the most known and diverse approaches of leadership, developed by Hersey and Blanchard (1969) based on Reddin´s (1967). This approach says that different kinds of leadership are required for each different situation which can be inferred as the ability of adaptability to different environments to be an effective leader. Situational approach demands that there are a directive and supportive dimensions which compose it and they are highly important to be applied fittingly to the situation involved. In order to determinate what is required a leader, must understand the scenario and evaluate the employees to identify their skills to perform a task given and after the analysis to choose the level of being directive and supportive (Northouse, 2009). There are cases when one is more suitable than the other. Everything depends on the situation. In other words it means that a leader is called to match their style to the skills of their employees. The most effective leader is who match her or his own style to employees ‘needs.

Blanchard (1985) and Blanchard et al (1985) provided a model of situational approaches which was based on the previous model described by Hersey and Blanchard (1969.

Situational Leadership. Taken from Blanchard et all (1985).
To better understanding the dynamics of situational approach can be divided into two: Leadership styles and Development level of subordinates (Northouse, 2009). The former makes reference to the behavior pattern of a person who seeks influencing others, including the directive or task oriented behavior and the supportive or relationship oriented behavior. According to the graphic below the leadership styles can be...
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