Leadership Theories

Topics: Leadership, Management, Situational leadership theory Pages: 10 (3440 words) Published: January 11, 2011
Table of contents

Task 1Pass (P1)3
Leadership Theories and Styles3
Leadership Theories3
Leadership Styles4
Impact of Leadership Styles5
Task 2 Pass (P2)7
Current Assessment and Future Requirements: Large Scale Retail Business7 Task 3 Pass (P3)8
Future Proposals8

Leadership can broadly be described as influencing people through provision of purpose, direction and motivation all the while operating to accomplish established goals and improvement of the organization (West 2006, p.23). Based on this description it is clear that the role of a leader in the organizational context is pivotal to the accomplishment of organizational objectives. Perhaps the most epic example of leadership in an institutional setting is displayed in the military with its rich heritage of experiences based on recognized heroes from the past. This institution presents an example of the role of leadership but may be unsuitable for most alternative settings due to the rigidness of the structures used. In large scale retail business leadership entails a myriad of activities that include; goal setting as opposed to merely reacting to events, identifying problems and initiating mitigating measures that will improve sales performance. These businesses focus mainly on improving sales and customer relations to gain a competitive advantage. To accomplish these tasks store managers rely on implementing leadership theories that have been established to chart a plan of action. The theories vary with reference to the points of emphasis and are used in different settings to achieve different goals. Across the US today it has been noted that the large scale retail business is very competitive and employs a large portion of the population (Arnold et al. 2009, p. 129). In addition to this the industry owing to its highly competitive nature relies heavily on the role of leadership for success. The discussions presented in this paper will attempt to provide information on various leadership theories, styles and discuss the impact that they would have in a large scale retail organizational context. The discussions will also highlight the current and future requirements that can be assessed within a large scale retail business. Based upon the points identified in the discussion a conclusion will be presented that utilizes the theories and supports the choices made.

Task 1Pass (P1)
Leadership Theories and Styles
Leadership Theories
Within the context of an organization there have been several theories developed that may be used to support various styles of leadership. According to the trait theory, leaders are born with identifiable traits that can be identified and taught to create effective leaders (Judge et al. 2009, p. 857). Despite many studies with conflicting results on its relevance there is a general consensus on the noble characteristics of leaders. In efforts to alienate leadership from hereditary factors, behavioral theories were developed. These behavioral theories were formed on the basis of experiments that identified means that can be used to effectively condition specific responses from participants. One limitation of the behavioral theories stems from the underlying assumption that the conditioned environment is devoid of any external influence (Judge et al. 2009, p. 857). It is known that even in the presence of the conditioning humans are also influenced by emotional and social needs which are important. Another theory that shifts focus from genetic aspects is the role theory. This theory focuses on internal processes of understanding and the definition of roles between individuals. The premise is that leaders should perform based on all perceptions related to their role (Changing minds 2009). There are also theories such as the contingency and situational theory that focus on varying leadership based on external factors. In such cases leaders may ascribe to different styles that...
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