Leadership and Theories of Leadership - Kickoffall Info Hub

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Leadership and Theories of Leadership

Leadership is the process of social interaction, in which the leader influences his followers for attaining the organizational goals (R. Stogdill, 1974). Leadership in the organizational context is the application of non-coercive influence to develop the group and organizational goals and to motivate the members of the group to achieve those goals.  
Leadership is also explained by the degree of willingness of followers to accept the leader's status and direction. The leadership involves authority and responsibility; Authority in terms of determining the future actions and responsibility in terms of success or failure in achieving the goals.
Theories of Leadership
Leadership has been explained through various approaches such as individual traits, behavioral mechanisms, situational processes, and participative methods. Some of the major theories of leadership are:
The Great man theory:
The great man theory is one of the oldest leadership concepts that submit the leaders are born and not made. According to the great man theory, some individuals come into the world with certain characteristics and traits of leadership which is not found in all people; only those people born with these leadership characteristics can be successful leaders. 
Trait Theory of Leadership
The trait theory of leadership is based on the following assumptions that there are some traits which particularly suit for leadership; and the people with the right (or sufficient) combination of these traits only can be good leaders.
R. M. Stogdill (1948) identified six broad categories of successful leadership attributes such as physical characteristics, social background, intelligence, personality, task-related characteristics, and social characteristics.
Managerial Grid
The Blake and Mouton developed the managerial grid in 1964 which is a leadership model that identifies five different leadership styles based on the concern for people and the concern for production.
Participative Leadership approaches
The participative leadership theories are developed based on the assumptions that involvement of subordinates in decision-making improves the understanding of the issues and people are more committed to actions where they have involved in the relevant decision-making.
Lewin's leadership styles and Likert's leadership styles were theorized under the Participative Leadership approaches.
a)Lewin’s Leadership styles:
Kurt Lewin identified three different styles of leadership, in particular around the involvement of subordinates in decision-making.
Autocratic: In the autocratic leadership style, the decision is made by the leader without any form of consultation with subordinates.
Democratic: In the democratic leadership style, the subordinates are involved throughout the decision making process.
Laissez-Faire: In the laissez-faire style, the leader may not involve and reduce the involvement in decision-making, and hence allow the subordinate to make their own decisions. Laissez-faire suits wen when subordinates are capable and motivated in making their own decisions.
b) Likert's leadership styles
Rensis Likert identified four main styles of leadership which are also around the involvement of subordinates in decision-making.
Rensis Likert explained the model in a Participative Leadership Style Continuum which includes
(a) The autocratic-exploitive leadership style where leaders make decisions without collecting any suggestions or feedback from subordinates. In the exploitive authoritative leadership style, the leader ignores subordinates and adopts fear-based methods to achieve goals.  
(b) The autocratic-benevolent style where the leader makes decisions centrally, but after collecting the feedback from the subordinates. This style of 'benevolent dictatorship' uses rewards to encourage the required performance.
(c) The consultative style where the leaders present suggestions to the group and finalize the decision along with the participation of the group
(d) The participative style where the leaders work along with the group to determine what decisions are to be made and
(e) The democratic style where the leader works toward the consensus in group situations and  motivate and facilitate the group for decision making (Likert, 1961).
The Fiedler Contingency Model
The Fiedler Contingency Model was created in the mid-1960s by Fred Fiedler based on the assumption that prioritization of leaders between task-focus and people-focus relationships, power and task structure are the three key factors that determine effective styles. Fiedler’s situational contingency theory holds that group effectiveness depends on an appropriate match between a leader’s style and the demands of the situation.
Transactional leadership theory
Transactional leadership theory is based on the assumption that people are motivated by reward and punishment, and social systems work best with a clear chain of command. Transactional leadership is a style of leadership in which leaders promote compliance by followers through both rewards and punishments. The theory was introduced by Max Weber in 1947 and then by Bernard Bass in 1981.
Transformational leadership Theory
Transformational leadership theory is based on the assumptions that people will follow a person who inspires them with vision and passion and inserts enthusiasm and energy in the mind of the subordinate. Transformational leader works with subordinates to bring a desirable change, creates a vision to achieve the objectives through inspiration, and attains the goal with subordinates (Bernard M. Bass & Avolio, 1990).
Transformational leadership has four dimensions (Bernard M Bass, 1990):
(a) The idealized influence that is to guide  the subordinates
(b) The inspirational motivation that is to act as role models
(c) Intellectual stimulation that is to motivate towards innovation and creativity
(d) Individual consideration

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