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Essay On Leadership Theories


TRAIT THEORY3 The Trait Theory of LeadershipFor numerous ages, traits have been admired and looked upon ascharacteristics affecting human behavior. Therefore, it is no wonder that thetrait theory of leadership is one of the basic and first theories of leadership. The trait approach to leadership is a powerful theory which determinesleaders both past and present. This approach to understanding leadershipbegan, in today’s recorded history, with the great man theory. Trait theorydetermines leaders by defining key personality traits and connecting thosetraits with successful leaders. Trait theory has the following three mainassumptions: 1) leaders are born, not made 2) some traits are particularlysuited to leadership 3) people who make good leaders have the rightcombination of traits ("Leadership Theories," n.d.). These assumptionsguided the trait theory of leadership from its beginning to the research thatis being discovered today. To understand a man or a women one would have to first find thebeginnings, or childhood, of the individual. Trait theory is no different. Thegreat man theory, founded by Thomas Carlyle, could be defined as traittheory’s childhood. The great man theory is a philosophical theory that aimsto explain history by the impact of “great men”, or heroes with certaincharacteristics. The great man theory’s main assumption is that great menarise as leaders when there is a great need ("Leadership Theories," n.d.). This theory has the tendency to focus only on men, or males. The leadership


A person can be a good manager, but not necessarily a good leader; another person might be a good leader, but might not a good manager. The difference between them is that the manager is committed to creating order and stability, while leaders are embracing and process change. “Leadership” is to create a vision for others to follow established organizational values and ethics, and find some method to improve the effectiveness and efficiency. All organizations need effective managers who can inspire staff, set the general direction and responsible for the outcome from the organization. Leadership is often been as a crucial variable which affecting organizational performance.

Definitions of Leadership

Leadership is the ability for one to develop a vision, and move others toward a common goal. According Northouse’s, he defined that ‘Leadership is a process by which an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve common goals.’ Therefore, leadership is a process, a person to influence others to achieve a goal, and to guide the way the organization, making it more cohesive and coherent.

Leadership also includes changes in vision, the people with the vision and strategic adjustments, motivate and inspire them.

Different classical leadership theories

Trait theory

There were so many review of the concept of leadership theory and empirical literature reveals a variety of methods have been developed for many years. One of the approaches was the traits approach; this approach has been studied for many decades. The theory assumes that leader are born rather than made. Basically there were three major assumptions: 1) leaders are born; 2) certain traits are particularly fitted to leadership; 3) People who take the perfect combination of leadership qualities. And the scholars have identified some main leadership traits: intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity and sociability.

In recent year Yukl (2006) reviewed that there were several traits which related to leadership effectiveness; a high energy level and stress tolerance, self-confidence, including the self-esteem and self-efficacy; control direction, emotional stability and maturity, as well as internal genes personal integrity.

Behavioural Theory
After trait theory, there was a big jump to the behavioural theory; it assumes that leadership can be learned, not intrinsic. Leadership behaviour theory is leading theory that the reaction in certain circumstances observable behavior and leaders and followers. Behavioral theory focuses on the behavior of the leadership, and that the leaders can be, not born, leadership success is based on definable, can be learned behavior. his theory can be adjusted in a particular stimulus may have a particular way of behavior-based response to the following principles. Rather than seeking natural leadership qualities, look at this theory by studying their behavior in response to different situations, by studying their actions and behaviors associated with significant success actually doing successful evaluation leadership. The practical application of the theory is the leader’s behavior will affect their performance and different leadership behavior may be appropriate at different times. The best leaders are those who have adaptive bending their behavior and choose the appropriate style for each situation. According to this theory, people can learn to be recognized as leaders through teaching and observation of leadership styles, as well as certain behavior patterns.
Behavioural theory also promotes leadership style, emphasizing the value of people’s attention and cooperation. It promotes participation in decision making and team development, support for individual needs and adjusts the targeted individuals and groups. Leadership behavior theory focuses on the behavior of the leader, the leader of what to do and how to act, but also pay attention to the leaders actually do, rather than their quality.
Contingency Theory
Contingency theory is not a leadership style, and these properties are leadership, make-up leader, face a different set of tasks. All the situation are unique, the ideal leader to lead the situation will be unique, too. Some of the major contingency theory are : 1) Fiedler’s contingency theory; 2) Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory; 3) Path-Goal Theory.
Fiedler’s contingency theory point out that effective leadership depends not only on leadership style, but exceeds the control one. We need to have good relationship between leaders-member, task structure and position power. In general, the effectiveness of leadership depends on the situation, there are a number of factors, such as a combination of task’s nature, personality and member of the task group leader is guided.
Fiedler has created the least-preferred co-worker score (LPC), an instrument that tells to measure whether a leader is task or relationship oriented. A leader who has a low LPC score then the leader is task-oriented. If the high LPC score then the person is relationship-oriented. Fiedler claimed LPC scores can be used to determine the appropriate leadership situation. If the leaders can control tasks to do, under the circumstances leading driven, but also have power, leaders are able to create a good environment for leadership. Low LPCS is very effective to complete the task, they quickly organized a number of tasks and projects get done. For relationship building is a low priority. On the other hand relationship-oriented leaders usually view their LPCS more active, give them a higher score. These are high LPC leader. High LPCS more attention to personal relationships, and they are good at avoiding and dealing with conflicts.
Situational Leadership Theory
According to Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory, it will depend on individual circumstances and not a single leadership style can be considered the best. And each task is different for each type of task requires a different leadership style. The theory has two dimensions: leadership style and the maturity of those being led. Therefore, situational leadership is about leadership willing to adopt their style followers. Jesse Blanchard and recognition also lead four styles, they are: Telling sales, participation and delegation. Tell: This means that leaders tell their followers in the end how to do and how to do it. Sales leaders to provide information and directions, it involves more interaction with their followers. Leaders try to sell their information or ideas get the support of his followers. Participants pay more attention to the relationship between the leader and the leader of the team, also shares decision-making responsibilities. Finally, the commission, the leadership has the responsibility to appoint the most followers. Leaders of monitoring progress and decisions they are less involved in decision-making.
Path-Goal Theory
On the basis of House’s Path-goal theory, stated that the leader need to assist the followers in attaining their goals and to give the direction and support to the follower to ensure them to obtain the overall goals and objectives. Base on the theory there are four different types of leadership:
Directive leadership ‘ Tell subordinates what they should do, it is more focused on the task
Supportive leadership ‘ focus on the relationships, and the leaders show sensitivity to the needs of each team member, but also consider the best interests of the team members.
Participative leadership ‘Decisions are based on advice and information to share with the group the group. With the participation of the leadership, this is to focus on participation.
Achievement-oriented leadership ‘ Setting challenging goals, and also the ability to display confidence in the group of high-performance encouragement.