Similarities and Differences between the Trait and Behavior Leadership Theories by Walter Johnson

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Describe the Major Similarities & Differences Between the Trait & Behavior Leadership Theories by Walter Johnson, Demand Media
Leadership theories debate over what makes a good leader. Over the years, many schools of thought have developed that give different explanations about where leaders come from, how they can be identified, and what causes an “executive” rather than a “servile” personality. Trait theory and behaviorism are two similar approaches to these questions. They both see leadership as an objective set of qualities or actions that must be mastered. They differ on who can develop these behaviors.
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Online library of books, journals, articles. Research online. www.questia.com / Online_Library Trait Theory
Trait theory is a “virtue theory” of leadership. It begins with the idea that there are specific virtues a leader must have. These are usually inborn traits, manifesting themselves in the “born leader” that cannot help but take control and guide situations. Trait theory stresses that there is a certain set of basic personality markers that set leaders apart from followers. In a business following this model, management is always scanning and analyzing the actions of their employees to see which workers show the necessary "leadership potential." These people then are promoted and trained to make the most out of their capabilities.
Behaviorism
Behavior theories reject any talk about “inborn potential” or “virtue” approaches to leadership. Behaviorism reduces leadership to a set of actions that any leader must take relative to an organizational situation. In the behavior theories, there are no “born leaders.” Leaders can be trained, and traits that a leader must have can be taught and developed. Therefore, anyone can be a leader, but they must have the proper environment and training for leadership qualities to develop.
Related Reading: What Are Differences & Similarities Between American Leadership Styles



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