Taxonomy of Leadership Theories
The term “leadership” has been inflated for many years by countless scholars from various disciplines such as sociology or philosophy, psychology or business. Extensive research has been done revealing new and innovative theories explaining the sensation of “leadership”. As with any new theory or science solving the task to identify or justify ones, opinion takes on a life of its own. This taxonomy is intended to provide an overview of four leadership theories beginning with the earliest, mentioning influential authors of the particular theory.
I. Trait Theory
II. Year Introduced 1904-1948
III. Author/Theorist Ralph Stodgill In 1948 Stodgill reviewed 128 published studies that tried to determine the traits and characteristics of leaders (Bass, 2008). The results of the survey included those characteristics and traits that were studied by three or more investigators. Stodgill concluded that to some degree the traits of leadership need to match the needs of the situation (Bass, 2008).
IV. Trait Theory Description
The Great Man Theory was the starting point leadership analyses and was connected primarily with 19th-century commentator and historian Thomas Carlyle, who commented that “The history of the world is but the biography of great men,” reflecting his belief that heroes shape history through both their personal attributes and divine inspiration (Carlyle, 1840). Considered to be one of the initial theories to identify leadership is the Trait Theory. According to Yukl, (2006) to be an effective leader it was considered that individuals were either born or created with certain qualities or specific traits that will make them transcend in leadership roles. However, evidence predicting the success of leadership from characteristic behaviors were unsuccessful. This approach suggested that some individuals
References: Bass, B. M. (2008). The Bass handbook of leadership: Theory, research, & managerial applications (4th ed.) Bass, B. M., 1990. From Transactional to Transformational Leadership: Learning to Share the Vision Bowers, D. G., Seashore, S. E., 1966. Predicting organizational effectiveness with a four factor theory of leadership House, R. J., Aditya, R.N., 1997. The social scientific study of leadership: quo vidis? Journal of Management 23 (3), 409-473. Kirkpatrick, S. A., & Locke, E. A. (1991). Leadership: do traits matter? Executive (19389779), 5(2), 48-60. doi:10.5465/AME.1991.4274679 Marturano, A., Gosling, J., 2008 Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Stogdill, R.M. (1975). The evolution of leadership theory. Proceedings Academy of Management, New Orleans. Thomas Carlyle, "The Hero as Divinity" in: Heroes and Hero-Worship (1840) Yukl, G. A. (1989). Leadership in Organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Yukl, G.A. (2010). Leadership in Organizations, 7th edition. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.