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Contemporary Leadership Theory - Literature review Example

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Contemporary Leadership Theory

According to the paper findings there is a wide range of leadership theories which have been developed through the years. The theories are classified into seven. The first is the known as the Great Man theories, which are founded on the idea that leaders are extraordinary individuals whose leadership qualities are inborn. The use of the term “Man” was intentional since it was generally held throughout the early half of the twentieth century that leadership is a male attribute; in fact, William James wrote that the course of history is determined by great men, without whom the masses could not progress. The next group is the trait theories, referring to the focus on traits or qualities that a good leader is thought to possess (though which are not necessarily inborn). The study of “great men” that preceded this yielded very few commonalities among them, giving rise to the idea that what defines a leader would be the set of admirable characteristics he possessed, such as intelligence, self-confidence, determination and integrity . Behaviourist theories are anchored on the actions of leaders rather than their attributes. Behaviour patterns are studied and categorised to comprise “leadership styles”. The next school of leadership theories is known as situational leadership. This set of theories views effective leadership not in terms of traits or actions, but the match between these and the situation being addressed. The situational leadership model holds that “the style of leadership should be mathed ot the level of readiness of the followers”. ...Show more


This paper will discuss and compare two academic articles involving leadership theories with each other, citing contributions that each makes to the body of literature on leadership in the interest of further exploring the many dimensions by which leadership has been conceptualized…
Author : arenner
Contemporary Leadership Theory essay example
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