StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Theories of leadership - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Theories of leadership

Behavioural theories of leadership are based upon the idea that great leaders are made, not born. Rooted in behaviourism, this leadership theory focuses on the actions of leaders, not on mental qualities or internal states. According to this theory, people can learn to become leaders through teaching and observation. Conditioning occurs through interaction with the environment. According to behaviourism, behaviour can be studied in a systematic and observable manner with no consideration of internal mental states.
Behavioral theories of leadership do not seek inborn traits or capabilities. Rather, they look at what leaders actually do. If success can be defined in terms of describable actions, then it should be relatively easy for other people to act in the same way. This is easier to teach and learn then to adopt the more ephemeral 'traits' or 'capabilities'. Thus, Behavioral leadership is a big leap from Trait Theory, in that it assumes that leadership capability can be learned, rather than being inherent. This opens the floodgates to leadership development, as opposed to simple psychometric assessment that sorts those with leadership potential from those who will never have the chance.
A behavioral theory ...
A wave of researchers argued that it is the leader's behaviours that predicts success. They point out that during and after World War II, American scientists began to push the idea that everything could be scientifically explained and predicted, including human behaviour. As a result, the 1940s saw lots of research being conducted in American companies focusing on making employees more productive and managers more effective. Since the psychological stream held that behaviours are primarily learned aided them, they propounded the idea that "leaders are made, not born." Significant studies that were conducted at some of America's most prestigious research universities during this time are still referred to in today's leadership literature.

The Michigan Research Design with the efforts of Likert and his team identified two distinct styles of leadership that they referred to as "job-centered" and "employee-centered." They interviewed leaders' followers and also used questionnaires with followers. Their design defined job-centred leaders as those who believe that employees are just a means to an ends (production of the product, profit) and that the best way to get them to do what we want is to closely supervise them and use rewards and coercion to communicate with them. These sorts of leaders, they inferred, used the legitimate/position power as the basis of influencing employees.

The other form of leadership they focussed on was one that was based on employees. They defined these leaders as those who held that it is necessary to create a supportive work environment in order for workers to be successful in helping the company meet its goals. These leaders, they emphasised, were concerned with giving employees opportunities for advancement, ...Show more

Summary

From ancient times, most people were of opinions that leaders are born with inherited traits. Some traits were thought to be particularly suited to leadership and people who made good leaders possessed a right or sufficient combination of these traits.
Thus, all the early research on leadership was based on the psychological focus of the day, which was of people having inherited characteristics or traits…
Author : ocassin
Theories of leadership essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Theories of leadership"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Critically Evaluate how Theories of Leadership Define and Explain how to Identify and Create Effective Leaders
While the earlier theories tended to emphasize more on the behaviours and characteristics of the successful leaders; the theories generated later on focussed more on the followers roles and the contexts in which leadership prevailed. Majority of the theories are based on the individualistic perspective of the leaders.
9 pages (2250 words) Essay
MAIN ASSIGNMENT QUESTION: Compare and contrast trait theories of leadership with style theories. What are the strengths and wea
Leadership can be defined as a process by which a person influences others to get support and accomplish the task. An important characteristic of leadership is that, it persuades others to come under one roof in order to achieve a common goal (Daft and Lane, 2008, p.5).
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
How has leadership thinking evolved from traditional 'great man' theories to more contemporary theories of leadership
Introduction The study of leadership has been in existence for a long time in a bid to understand what makes a good leader. While leadership theories and concepts continue to evolve, there are numerous trends that symbolize leadership thought over the 19th through the 21st century.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Contingency Theories of Leadership
It tries to validate the idea that in order to be effective, an organisation must not only possess a proper 'fit' with the environment but also between its subsystems of hierarchies. It states that the requirements of organisations obtain optimum functionality when the processes of action and implementation in the organisation is effectively designed and the management style is responsive and appropriate simultaneously to the tasks undertaken and the nature of the work group.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Does the new 21st century transformational form of super leader simply represent the reemergence of traitbased theories of leadership
By looking at the history of ideas of leadership, from the writings of Machiavelli in the 16th Century, via Max Weber's hero-based theories, to trait and behavioral theories, and then to the origins of transformational theory in the 1970's, this essay will consider the similarities between such theories.
15 pages (3750 words) Essay
What makes a Good Leader Popular Theories of Leadership
Leadership in simple terms means an ability to lead others around. Leadership qualities are not just an asset for a manager, but it helps even the junior-most member of a team. It indicates towards his/ her quality of getting the work done. John Hunt (Managing People at Work) states that leadership is the capacity to mobilise in competition or conflict a potential need in a follower.
15 pages (3750 words) Essay
Critically evaluate how theories of leadership define and explain how to identify and create effective leaders
Majority of the theories are based on the individualistic perspective of the leaders. However, recently there has been increasing emphasis or recognition of dispersed leadership. This
9 pages (2250 words) Essay
Critically examine the differences between two theories of leadership and examine the effect that strategic leadership can have on the succe
A very general definition of the term is regarding leadership as the ability of an individual to influence his or her followers to achieve certain goals. In some cases the leader may define
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
How do theories of leadership provide practical advice on how to be an effective leader Discuss, with reference to at least two theories or models of leadership
These are relationship theories, contingency theories, behavioral theories, management theories, participative theories, ‘Great man’ theories, situational theories, and traits
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
How do theories of leadership provide practical advice on how to be an effective leader Discuss, with reference to at least two theories or models of leadership
This definition illustrates that leadership greatly depends on the situation. A lot of scientists agree with the validity of this definition and illustration. Organizations have been going through a lot
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation