The Concept Of Leadership Management Essay

The concept of leadership had now been not only within the frame of team, organization etc. it had been spread around the world and world is influenced by this concept. Leadership is very much required in today’s turbulent world because of various crises etc.

Leadership is also a universal concept. It is also a part of management and also considered as a management function. Leadership is also interconnected with other management functions such as planning, organizing, communication, motivating, coordination and controlling.

There had been various confusions in the concept of leadership starting from definition of leadership till theory and approaches of leadership. Many researchers of management concepts such as Max Webber, Mary Parker Follet, F.W Taylor etc. have lead to serious development of leadership concept.

The concept of leadership had been researched by various researchers leading to various findings. Findings such as leadership theories, approaches or styles had been analyzed and it is interpreted and given below.

Further, ‘Leaders are born or made’ is a biggest argument of century. This is what the whole research argues to conclude.

Leadership

There had been various definitions researched by various researchers.

The universal definition of leadership is ‘working with and through people and influencing the behavior of people towards the achievement of common goals’.

Leading is a management function without which management cannot step into next function which will interrupt the total organizational job and performance.

Leadership involves four element:

Leader/Persuader.

Follower/Persuadee.

Situation.

Communication.

Leader

Leader is a person with the ability to influence or persuade the behavior of his/her subordinates towards a common objective or task to which the leader is focusing on.

Effective leader is a person who positively influence another person’s behavior through effective approach or style relating to the leadership theory used which turns the behavior towards achievement of goals effectively and efficiently.

Role of effective leaders

There are twelve different roles that an effective leader performs and these twelve roles are categorized into three categories and its stated below:

Create an Inspiring Vision & Lead by Example

Create an inspiring vision, establish shared values, give direction and set stretch goals.

Manage change strategically, take risks, create change, lead change, manage resistance to change.

Lead by example, practice what you preach, set an example, and share risks or hardship.

Demonstrate confidence, win respect and trust without courting popularity.

Empower, Inspire, and Energize People

Be enthusiastic, inspire and energize people, create a positive work environment.

Empower people, delegate authority, be open to ideas, have faith in the creativity of others.

Communicate openly and honestly, give clear guidelines, set clear expectations.

Empathize, be willing to discuss and solve problems, listen with understanding, support and help.

Build and Lead a Team

Use team approach, facilitate cooperation; involve everyone; trust your group; rely on their judgment.

Bring out the best in your people, have common touch with them; coach and provide effective feedback.

Permit group decision, help your team reach better decisions.

Monitor progress, but don’t micromanage, lead your team; avoid close supervision, do not over boss, do not dictate, lead team self-assessment.

To further discuss, an effective leader acts as a :-

Clarifier who listens, summarizes and makes things clearer.

Coach who encourages others to develop skills.

Facilitator who helps the group set goals, make decisions, choose direction, and evaluate progress.

Delegator who helps each group member apply their talents and interests to the group’s goals.

Initiator who gets things moving.

Manger who helps coordinate the parts of a project and keeps an eye on program.

Mediator who helps resolve differences.

Networker who connects people with people and people with ideas to move the project forward.

Problem solver who suggests solutions and ways to get things done.

Visionary who sees creative solutions, new directions and possibilities.

It is identified six important roles are required during various changes occurring in the environment. They are:

Role model

Sponsor

Decision maker

Voice

Motivator

Enforcer

Skills of a leader

According to management concept, skills are categorized into three divisions such as conceptual, human and technical skills. After various researchers’ findings being analyzed it had been concluded that an effective leader requires the following skills:

Vision, mission and goal

Competency

Communication

Inspiration

Interpersonal

Positive attitude

Discrimination and strategic thinking

Honesty/integrity

Dedication/commitment

Magnanimity/humility

Open minded

Creative/innovative

Assertive/decisive

Self-awareness

Know the stuff

Encouraging

Practice makes perfect

Passion

Persuasion

Delegate, empowering and fearlessness

Genuine

Supportive

Motivating

Emotional intelligence

Employee-relations

Crisis management

Ownership and responsibility

fairness

Leadership Theories

Leadership had been one of the concept universally researched by many, individually or jointly and which had resulted into various theories in the past centuries and it had been revised for various benefits. Out of these various theories major eight theories are discussed below:

Great man theory

Trait theory

Behavioral theories

Role theory.

McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y.

Managerial grid.

Participative leadership

Lewin’s leadership style.

Likert’s leadership style.

Situational leadership style

Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership.

Vroom and yetton’s normative model.

House’s path goal theory.

Contingency theories

Fiedler’s Least preferred co-worker(LPC) theory

Cognitive resource theory.

Strategic contingency theory.

Transactional leadership

Leader Member-Exchange (LMX) theory

Transformational leadership

Burn’s transformational leadership theory.

Bass’ transformational leadership theory.

Kouzes and Posner’s leadership participating inventory.

Great Man Theory

This theory is brought by Thomas Carlyle in 1840s stating that “The history of the world is but the biography of great man”. This theory is informed with the assumption that leaders are born and not made. He also assumes that great leaders will arise when there is a great need and that this is power inheritance within men.

The greatest critique or counter argument for this theory arose in 1860 by Herbert Spencer that “You must admit that the genesis of a great man depends on the long series of complex influences which has produced the race in which he appears, and the social state into which that race has slowly grown…. Before he can remake his society, his society must make him” which says that great men are the product of their societies and their actions would be impossible without social conditions built before their lifetimes.

This theory makes us see a great man as heroic person from birth which shows examples such as Napoleon, Shakespeare, Martin Luther, Mahatma Gandhi etc. the counter argument of Herbert Spencer is the one that helped this theory to be alive from its findings till date.

Trait Theory

Trait theory is major area of study on human personality. Trait can be defined as behavior, thought, emotions, etc. of people that differs among people and influence behavior. It can be described as behavioral act through which leadership style has been performed. It also has similarity with great man theory.

Gordon Allport’s three tier model:

Gordon Allport was the first researcher to come up with this theory in 1936. He described four thousand personality traits. He categorized these traits into three levels:

Cardinal trait- traits that dominate an individual’s whole life and person becomes to be recognized. These traits are rare.

Central trait- these are general characteristics that form the basic foundations of personality. These are the major characteristics that is used to describe another person but not dominating as cardinal trait. Terms such as intelligent, honest, anxious are considered central trait.

Secondary trait- these are the traits that are sometimes related to attitudes and often appear only in certain situations. E.g.: getting anxious speaking to a group.

16 Personality Factors:

Then, Raymond Cattell reduced the number of main personality traits found by Allport’s list of four thousand to one seventy one by eliminating uncommon traits and combining common characteristics. Then using, a statistical technique known as factor analysis, he identified closely related terms and reduced his list to just sixteen key personality traits. This is known as sixteen personality factor questionnaire (16PF). The sixteen personality traits are openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, self-esteem, harm avoidance, novelty seeking, perfectionism, alexithymia, rigidity, impulsivity, disinhibition, psychotism. Since its findings in 1949, it had been revised four times, once in 1956, then 1962, 1968 and in 1983.

Eysenk three dimensions of personality:

Hans Eysenk, a british psychologist developed a three dimensional trait model which includes:

Introversion/Extraversion – introversion involves focusing on inner experience while extraversion focusing attention outward on other people and environment. So, person with high introversion might be quiet and reserved while those with high extraversion might be sociable and outgoing.

Neuroticism/Emotional stability – This dimension is related to moodiness versus even-temperedness. Neuroticism refers to an individual’s tendency to become emotional while stability refers to the tendency to remain emotionally constatnt.

Psychoticism – Individuals who are high on this trait tend to have difficulty dealing with reality and may be anti-social and manipulative. Eyesenk added this trait after studying individuals suffering from mental illness.

Big Five Personality Trait Model:

Big five framework of personality traits from Costa and McCrae emerged based on research findings of Eyesenk and Cattell. This emerged because Cattell focused on too many traits and Eyesenk focused on too few. This model focuses on five core traits that interact to form human personality. Those five traits are:

Extraversion

Agreeableness

Conscientiousness

Neuroticism

Openness

Many psychologist believe this model is not only universal but also have biological origins.

Totally, trait theory was researched by various other researchers such as D.W.Fiske(1949), Norman(1967), Smith(1967), Goldberg(1981) etc. One of the famous research work is Stogdill’s trait research.

Stogdill (1974) identified the following traits and skills as critical to leaders.

Traits are:

 Adaptable to situations

Alert to social environment

Ambitious and achievement-orientated

Assertive

Cooperative

Decisive

Dependable

Dominant (desire to influence others)

Energetic (high activity level)

Persistent

Self-confident

Tolerant of stress

Willing to assume responsibility

Skills are:

Clever (intelligent)

Conceptually skilled

Creative

Diplomatic and tactful

Fluent in speaking

Knowledgeable about group task

Organized (administrative ability)

Persuasive

Socially skilled

McCall and Lombardo (1983) researched both success and failure identified four primary traits by which leaders could succeed or ‘derail’:

Emotional stability and composure: Calm, confident and predictable, particularly when under stress.

Admitting error: Owning up to mistakes, rather than putting energy into covering up.

Good interpersonal skills: Able to communicate and persuade others without resort to negative or coercive tactics.

Intellectual breadth: Able to understand a wide range of areas, rather than having a narrow (and narrow-minded) area of expertise.

To be finally said that trait theory as great man theory follows the same phrase of ‘Leaders are born, not made’. The only difference it also includes an extra element of personality rather than looking it as a historic way.

Behavioral Theory

After the criticism of trait theory, many researched leadership in the form of behaviors, values etc. which lead to the behavioral theory that states behaviors of leaders pave way to learn and engage in leadership very easily. It also states that great leaders are made, not born. This theory focuses on actions of leaders, not on mental qualities. People learn to become leaders through teaching and observation. Under this theory there were two great studies:

Ohio State University Study –

This study was conducted by a group of people from Ohio state university. They developed a list of one-fifty statements which was designed to measure nine different behavioral leadership dimension. The resulting questionnaire is known as Leaders Behavior Description Questionnaire(LBDQ). This was provided to students, administers, even to military personnel. The primary goal of the study was to identify common leadership behaviors. After analyzing the results, study led to a conclusion that there were two group of behaviors that were strongly correlated. These were defined as consideration(People oriented behavioral leaders) and initiating structure(Task oriented leaders).

University Of Michigan Study(1950s) –

This study was led by Dr. Rensis Likert. This leadership study identified three characteristics of effective leadership. Two were which already found in Ohio State University study. Third dimension which was found in this study was participative leadership.

Some of the theories that are categorized under behavioral theory are listed below:

Role Theory –

Various researchers are involved in this theory. Some are Margaret Mead, Talcot Parsons and Robert k. Merton. But, this became famous through B.F. Skinner. Role theory states that followers are able to send their expectations of how their leaders might act and leaders also have expectations of their own roles and responsibilities of how to act to the situation. If the leader is so sensitive to people they may accept the followers’ expectation. This theory really states what the leader should do depending on situations. This might also solve conflicts and sometime lead to role-conflict.

It shows that the way the leader acts in the normal life must be implemented when they are needed to act as a leader. This can be considered as an ‘avatar’ or ‘second life’. The leaders who are role-playing may require their followers to act as they do. To be said in phrase “Do as I do”. This theory can take any style such as autocratic or sometimes democratic. This depends on the behaviorism of leader i.e. the way they look or the way they act etc.

McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y –

This theory was developed by McGregor in 1960s. This theory outlines the motivation need and behaviorism of leaders. Theory X outlines that leaders think their followers are lazy and doesn’t want to work, they are who wants to ignore work as wherever possible. Leaders also think that they are responsible to restructure their followers through high restrictive supervision and a punitive atmosphere. This might lead to mistrust and cause diseconomies of scale in large business.

Theory Y outlines that leaders think that their followers are ambitious, self-motivated and they know what their responsibilities and make themselves work to what they seek. This influences the leader that their only job is to make available a comfortable environment for workers’ purpose. This improves superior-subordinate relationship, participative skills, human resource development ability, conflict solving etc.

Managerial Grid –

Managerial grid is also known as leadership grid. This is formed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton in 1960s. It is a graphical portrayal that depicts two dimension of leader behavior; concern for people on y-axis and concern for production on x-axis. This grid ranges from low(1) to high(9), creating 81 different positions to which leader’s style may fall.

Five leadership styles that results in the graph are :-

Indifferent or Impoverished Management (1,1) – In this style leaders have low concern for people and production. Leaders use this style to preserve job and job seniority, and protect themselves by avoiding getting into trouble. The main concern of leaders is not to be held responsible for any mistake. Employees will have high degree of dissatisfaction, disharmony within group. Ineffective approach resulting ineffective operations and decisions for organizations.

Country club or Accommodating (1,9) – Leaders have high concern for people and low concern for production. Leaders have qualities of yield and compliance to the situation. Leaders pay attention to the security and comfort of peoples hoping that performance would increase. Atmosphere would be friendly but ineffective productivity. Employees are happy and harmony within team.

Status Quo or Middle of the road – Leaders in this style try to balance and compromise between company goals and workers’ needs. Leaders try to achieve the needs of people and production but it’s not really met. Even though if it is met it will be average production. There will be good harmony in teams and average production.

Dictatorial or Produce, Perish or Control (9,1) – Leaders focus all their attention to production related matters and very little towards the needs of followers. Leaders will dominate as they hold the belief that gain could be achieved through rigid disciplines. This style remains effective where human interaction remain less. Productivity is short lived. This style is inspired by McGregor’s Theory ‘X’. followers experience high level of dissatisfaction and there will be high level of conflict within group.

Sound or Team (9,9) – This is considered as the most effective leadership style where leaders will contribute, are committed, can motivate and are motivated while believing that trust, respect and empowerment are essential for fostering a team environment where followers are motivated which results in maximum employee satisfaction as well as most efficient productivity. This is inspired by McGregor’s Theory ‘Y’.

To this grid later certain additions were made:

Opportunistic style – Leaders using this style do not have a fixed location on the grid and they adopt the behavior that offers the greatest benefit. Exploit and manipulative characteristics.

Paternalistic style – Leaders using this style support and guide and discourage challenges to their thinking. This style defined to alternate between the (1,9) and (9,1) locations on the grid.

Behaviors of initiative, inquiry, advocacy, decision, conflict, critique, resilience were associated with managerial grid.

Participative Leadership Style

Participative model can be known as an approach or style as well as a theory in leadership concept. Participative theory is also known as democratic theory which is described under title of ‘leadership approaches’ below.

This theory views that leaders make available a clear definition roles/responsibilities to his/her followers and leaders require their views or participation to the task or situation which increases motivation, commitment level and more collaborative and creativity. Participant may be subordinates, peers etc. But, the decision will be made by the leader through various views are taken. Many methods exists such as consultation, democratic leadership, management by objectives, joint decision making etc. Negative impact is, if the participant’s view is totally neglected the followers may feel as they are betrayed and less motivated leading to less commitment.

Lewin’s leadership style –

In 1939, Kurt Lewin with Ron Lippit and Robert White came up with three set of leadership styles which are autocratic, democratic/participative and delegative/free-rein (Laissez-Faire) styles.

Autocratic leader takes his own decision without consultation of members, Laissez-Faire style leader allows the followers to work on their own and participative leader takes decision with the consultation of his/her followers. Even, Kurt Lewin says that participative leadership is the most effective leadership style among his three findings.

Likert’s leadership style –

Rensis Likert and his colleagues studies the styles of leaders for three decades at University of Michigan and identified a four model system. This model was based on basis of questionnaire which is provided to managers at various managerial positions in over two-hundred organizations.

Likert’s four leadership style are :

System 1 – Exploitative Authoritative

Responsibility lies in the hands of top managers. Superior has no trust, confidence in subordinates. Subordinates are not allowed to participate in decision making. Communication is very little and motivation is based on threats.

System 2 – Benevolent Authoritative

Responsibility lies at managerial levels but not at lower level of organizational hierarchy. Superior has confidence and trust in subordinate which involves master-servant relationship. Still subordinates do not feel free to discuss things about the job with their superior. Communication is very little and motivation is based on reward system.

System 3 – Consultative

Responsibility is widely spread throughout the organization. The superior has substantial confidence in subordinates. Some discussion about job-related things take place between superior and subordinates. Fair communication takes place and motivation is based on rewards and involvement in job.

System 4 – Participative

Responsibility to achieve organizational goals is widely spread throughout the organizational hierarchy. Superior has high level of confidence in subordinates. High level of team work, communication and participation.

Likert compares the four systems on the basis of leadership process, motivational force, communication process, interaction-influence process, decision making process and concludes that system 1 and 2 are least productive whereas system 3 and 4 are most productive. Finally, it is noted that system 4- participative model is the most effective style among the four systems.

Situational Leadership Style

As participative style, situational leadership is also considered as a style and theory. The famous leadership model discussed under this theory is Hersey and Blanchard’s leadership style discussed below. This theory shows the effective leadership style to be chosen defending on the situation i.e. depending to the maturity level and ability to willingness etc. This theory was first introduced as Life cycle theory of leadership which is renamed to situational leadership in mid 1970s.

Hersey and Blanchard’s Leadership style –

First, Hersey and Blanchard developed their own situational leadership concept. In 1970s, they mutually agreed and developed the concept of situational leadership based on task and relationship behaviors that leader provides to the followers. They categorized all leadership styles into four behavior types which they named as:

S1 : Telling/Directing – high task focus and low relationship focus. Leaders define the roles and task of followers. Decisions are made by leaders and announced, so communication is largely one way. Followers need direction and supervision to get started. This is required for people who lack competence but are enthusiastic and committed.

S2 : Selling/Coaching – high task focus and high relationship focus. Leaders define roles and tasks to followers and also seek suggestions from followers. Communication is two way. Followers need direction and supervision because they are still inexperienced. They need support to build self-esteem and involvement in decision making to restore their commitment. This helps for people who have some competence but lack commitment.

S3 : Participating/Supporting – low task focus and high relationship focus. Leader pass day to day decisions to followers but control is with the followers. This is required for people who have competence but lack confidence or motivation but, they do not need much direction because of their skills.

S4 : Delegating – low task focus and low relationship focus. Leaders are still involved in decision and problem solving but control is with followers. Follower decides when and how leader will be involved. It is useful for people who have both competence and commitment. They are able and willing to work by themselves.

Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership style developed four levels of maturity:

M1 : followers of this maturity level lack specific skills or knowledge to work on their own. They need to be directed and supervised.

M2 : they are willing to work but are unable to take independent responsibility to the task on which they are willing to work.

M3 : followers at this maturity level are experienced and are able to work on the task but lack confidence to take the responsibility.

M4 : followers at this maturity level are ones willing to take the task and be responsible for it and they have the experience to work on it.

A good leader develops the ‘competence and commitment’ in followers, So they are self-motivated rather than being dependant. So, Hersey develops four combination of competence and commitment which is known as development level.

D1 – Low competence and high commitment

D2 – Low competence and low commitment

D3 – High competence and low commitment

D4 – High competence and high commitment

Competence shows one’s task focus, experience etc. and commitment shows one’s confidence and motivational level.

Vroom and Yetton’s Normative Model –

This model is created by Vroom in collaboration with Yetton and later joining hands with Jago. The Vroom-Yetton-Jago model identifies five different styles on situation and level of involvement. They are:

Autocratic type 1 (A I) – Leader makes the decision on his/her own with the information he/she readily have at the time. This style is completely autocratic.

Autocratic type 2 (A II) – Decision is made by the leader, but information from relevant followers are collected. Decision or the problem is not informed to the followers. Followers only involvement is providing information.

Consultative type 1 (C I) – Leaders make the decision alone but he/she shares the problem to relevant followers individually and seek their ideas. Followers do not meet each other and leader’s decision may or may not reflect his/her followers’ i

The concept of leadership had now been not only within the frame of team, organization etc. it had been spread around the world and world is influenced by this concept. Leadership is very much required in today’s turbulent world because of various crises etc.

Leadership is also a universal concept. It is also a part of management and also considered as a management function. Leadership is also interconnected with other management functions such as planning, organizing, communication, motivating, coordination and controlling.

There had been various confusions in the concept of leadership starting from definition of leadership till theory and approaches of leadership. Many researchers of management concepts such as Max Webber, Mary Parker Follet, F.W Taylor etc. have lead to serious development of leadership concept.

The concept of leadership had been researched by various researchers leading to various findings. Findings such as leadership theories, approaches or styles had been analyzed and it is interpreted and given below.

Further, ‘Leaders are born or made’ is a biggest argument of century. This is what the whole research argues to conclude.

Leadership

There had been various definitions researched by various researchers.

The universal definition of leadership is ‘working with and through people and influencing the behavior of people towards the achievement of common goals’.

Leading is a management function without which management cannot step into next function which will interrupt the total organizational job and performance.

Leadership involves four element:

Leader/Persuader.

Follower/Persuadee.

Situation.

Communication.

Leader

Leader is a person with the ability to influence or persuade the behavior of his/her subordinates towards a common objective or task to which the leader is focusing on.

Effective leader is a person who positively influence another person’s behavior through effective approach or style relating to the leadership theory used which turns the behavior towards achievement of goals effectively and efficiently.

Role of effective leaders

There are twelve different roles that an effective leader performs and these twelve roles are categorized into three categories and its stated below:

Create an Inspiring Vision & Lead by Example

Create an inspiring vision, establish shared values, give direction and set stretch goals.

Manage change strategically, take risks, create change, lead change, manage resistance to change.

Lead by example, practice what you preach, set an example, and share risks or hardship.

Demonstrate confidence, win respect and trust without courting popularity.

Empower, Inspire, and Energize People

Be enthusiastic, inspire and energize people, create a positive work environment.

Empower people, delegate authority, be open to ideas, have faith in the creativity of others.

Communicate openly and honestly, give clear guidelines, set clear expectations.

Empathize, be willing to discuss and solve problems, listen with understanding, support and help.

Build and Lead a Team

Use team approach, facilitate cooperation; involve everyone; trust your group; rely on their judgment.

Bring out the best in your people, have common touch with them; coach and provide effective feedback.

Permit group decision, help your team reach better decisions.

Monitor progress, but don’t micromanage, lead your team; avoid close supervision, do not over boss, do not dictate, lead team self-assessment.

To further discuss, an effective leader acts as a :-

Clarifier who listens, summarizes and makes things clearer.

Coach who encourages others to develop skills.

Facilitator who helps the group set goals, make decisions, choose direction, and evaluate progress.

Delegator who helps each group member apply their talents and interests to the group’s goals.

Initiator who gets things moving.

Manger who helps coordinate the parts of a project and keeps an eye on program.

Mediator who helps resolve differences.

Networker who connects people with people and people with ideas to move the project forward.

Problem solver who suggests solutions and ways to get things done.

Visionary who sees creative solutions, new directions and possibilities.

It is identified six important roles are required during various changes occurring in the environment. They are:

Role model

Sponsor

Decision maker

Voice

Motivator

Enforcer

Skills of a leader

According to management concept, skills are categorized into three divisions such as conceptual, human and technical skills. After various researchers’ findings being analyzed it had been concluded that an effective leader requires the following skills:

Vision, mission and goal

Competency

Communication

Inspiration

Interpersonal

Positive attitude

Discrimination and strategic thinking

Honesty/integrity

Dedication/commitment

Magnanimity/humility

Open minded

Creative/innovative

Assertive/decisive

Self-awareness

Know the stuff

Encouraging

Practice makes perfect

Passion

Persuasion

Delegate, empowering and fearlessness

Genuine

Supportive

Motivating

Emotional intelligence

Employee-relations

Crisis management

Ownership and responsibility

fairness

Leadership Theories

Leadership had been one of the concept universally researched by many, individually or jointly and which had resulted into various theories in the past centuries and it had been revised for various benefits. Out of these various theories major eight theories are discussed below:

Great man theory

Trait theory

Behavioral theories

Role theory.

McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y.

Managerial grid.

Participative leadership

Lewin’s leadership style.

Likert’s leadership style.

Situational leadership style

Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership.

Vroom and yetton’s normative model.

House’s path goal theory.

Contingency theories

Fiedler’s Least preferred co-worker(LPC) theory

Cognitive resource theory.

Strategic contingency theory.

Transactional leadership

Leader Member-Exchange (LMX) theory

Transformational leadership

Burn’s transformational leadership theory.

Bass’ transformational leadership theory.

Kouzes and Posner’s leadership participating inventory.

Great Man Theory

This theory is brought by Thomas Carlyle in 1840s stating that “The history of the world is but the biography of great man”. This theory is informed with the assumption that leaders are born and not made. He also assumes that great leaders will arise when there is a great need and that this is power inheritance within men.

The greatest critique or counter argument for this theory arose in 1860 by Herbert Spencer that “You must admit that the genesis of a great man depends on the long series of complex influences which has produced the race in which he appears, and the social state into which that race has slowly grown…. Before he can remake his society, his society must make him” which says that great men are the product of their societies and their actions would be impossible without social conditions built before their lifetimes.

This theory makes us see a great man as heroic person from birth which shows examples such as Napoleon, Shakespeare, Martin Luther, Mahatma Gandhi etc. the counter argument of Herbert Spencer is the one that helped this theory to be alive from its findings till date.

Trait Theory

Trait theory is major area of study on human personality. Trait can be defined as behavior, thought, emotions, etc. of people that differs among people and influence behavior. It can be described as behavioral act through which leadership style has been performed. It also has similarity with great man theory.

Gordon Allport’s three tier model:

Gordon Allport was the first researcher to come up with this theory in 1936. He described four thousand personality traits. He categorized these traits into three levels:

Cardinal trait- traits that dominate an individual’s whole life and person becomes to be recognized. These traits are rare.

Central trait- these are general characteristics that form the basic foundations of personality. These are the major characteristics that is used to describe another person but not dominating as cardinal trait. Terms such as intelligent, honest, anxious are considered central trait.

Secondary trait- these are the traits that are sometimes related to attitudes and often appear only in certain situations. E.g.: getting anxious speaking to a group.

16 Personality Factors:

Then, Raymond Cattell reduced the number of main personality traits found by Allport’s list of four thousand to one seventy one by eliminating uncommon traits and combining common characteristics. Then using, a statistical technique known as factor analysis, he identified closely related terms and reduced his list to just sixteen key personality traits. This is known as sixteen personality factor questionnaire (16PF). The sixteen personality traits are openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, self-esteem, harm avoidance, novelty seeking, perfectionism, alexithymia, rigidity, impulsivity, disinhibition, psychotism. Since its findings in 1949, it had been revised four times, once in 1956, then 1962, 1968 and in 1983.

Eysenk three dimensions of personality:

Hans Eysenk, a british psychologist developed a three dimensional trait model which includes:

Introversion/Extraversion – introversion involves focusing on inner experience while extraversion focusing attention outward on other people and environment. So, person with high introversion might be quiet and reserved while those with high extraversion might be sociable and outgoing.

Neuroticism/Emotional stability – This dimension is related to moodiness versus even-temperedness. Neuroticism refers to an individual’s tendency to become emotional while stability refers to the tendency to remain emotionally constatnt.

Psychoticism – Individuals who are high on this trait tend to have difficulty dealing with reality and may be anti-social and manipulative. Eyesenk added this trait after studying individuals suffering from mental illness.

Big Five Personality Trait Model:

Big five framework of personality traits from Costa and McCrae emerged based on research findings of Eyesenk and Cattell. This emerged because Cattell focused on too many traits and Eyesenk focused on too few. This model focuses on five core traits that interact to form human personality. Those five traits are:

Extraversion

Agreeableness

Conscientiousness

Neuroticism

Openness

Many psychologist believe this model is not only universal but also have biological origins.

Totally, trait theory was researched by various other researchers such as D.W.Fiske(1949), Norman(1967), Smith(1967), Goldberg(1981) etc. One of the famous research work is Stogdill’s trait research.

Stogdill (1974) identified the following traits and skills as critical to leaders.

Traits are:

 Adaptable to situations

Alert to social environment

Ambitious and achievement-orientated

Assertive

Cooperative

Decisive

Dependable

Dominant (desire to influence others)

Energetic (high activity level)

Persistent

Self-confident

Tolerant of stress

Willing to assume responsibility

Skills are:

Clever (intelligent)

Conceptually skilled

Creative

Diplomatic and tactful

Fluent in speaking

Knowledgeable about group task

Organized (administrative ability)

Persuasive

Socially skilled

McCall and Lombardo (1983) researched both success and failure identified four primary traits by which leaders could succeed or ‘derail’:

Emotional stability and composure: Calm, confident and predictable, particularly when under stress.

Admitting error: Owning up to mistakes, rather than putting energy into covering up.

Good interpersonal skills: Able to communicate and persuade others without resort to negative or coercive tactics.

Intellectual breadth: Able to understand a wide range of areas, rather than having a narrow (and narrow-minded) area of expertise.

To be finally said that trait theory as great man theory follows the same phrase of ‘Leaders are born, not made’. The only difference it also includes an extra element of personality rather than looking it as a historic way.

Behavioral Theory

After the criticism of trait theory, many researched leadership in the form of behaviors, values etc. which lead to the behavioral theory that states behaviors of leaders pave way to learn and engage in leadership very easily. It also states that great leaders are made, not born. This theory focuses on actions of leaders, not on mental qualities. People learn to become leaders through teaching and observation. Under this theory there were two great studies:

Ohio State University Study –

This study was conducted by a group of people from Ohio state university. They developed a list of one-fifty statements which was designed to measure nine different behavioral leadership dimension. The resulting questionnaire is known as Leaders Behavior Description Questionnaire(LBDQ). This was provided to students, administers, even to military personnel. The primary goal of the study was to identify common leadership behaviors. After analyzing the results, study led to a conclusion that there were two group of behaviors that were strongly correlated. These were defined as consideration(People oriented behavioral leaders) and initiating structure(Task oriented leaders).

University Of Michigan Study(1950s) –

This study was led by Dr. Rensis Likert. This leadership study identified three characteristics of effective leadership. Two were which already found in Ohio State University study. Third dimension which was found in this study was participative leadership.

Some of the theories that are categorized under behavioral theory are listed below:

Role Theory –

Various researchers are involved in this theory. Some are Margaret Mead, Talcot Parsons and Robert k. Merton. But, this became famous through B.F. Skinner. Role theory states that followers are able to send their expectations of how their leaders might act and leaders also have expectations of their own roles and responsibilities of how to act to the situation. If the leader is so sensitive to people they may accept the followers’ expectation. This theory really states what the leader should do depending on situations. This might also solve conflicts and sometime lead to role-conflict.

It shows that the way the leader acts in the normal life must be implemented when they are needed to act as a leader. This can be considered as an ‘avatar’ or ‘second life’. The leaders who are role-playing may require their followers to act as they do. To be said in phrase “Do as I do”. This theory can take any style such as autocratic or sometimes democratic. This depends on the behaviorism of leader i.e. the way they look or the way they act etc.

McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y –

This theory was developed by McGregor in 1960s. This theory outlines the motivation need and behaviorism of leaders. Theory X outlines that leaders think their followers are lazy and doesn’t want to work, they are who wants to ignore work as wherever possible. Leaders also think that they are responsible to restructure their followers through high restrictive supervision and a punitive atmosphere. This might lead to mistrust and cause diseconomies of scale in large business.

Theory Y outlines that leaders think that their followers are ambitious, self-motivated and they know what their responsibilities and make themselves work to what they seek. This influences the leader that their only job is to make available a comfortable environment for workers’ purpose. This improves superior-subordinate relationship, participative skills, human resource development ability, conflict solving etc.

Managerial Grid –

Managerial grid is also known as leadership grid. This is formed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton in 1960s. It is a graphical portrayal that depicts two dimension of leader behavior; concern for people on y-axis and concern for production on x-axis. This grid ranges from low(1) to high(9), creating 81 different positions to which leader’s style may fall.

Five leadership styles that results in the graph are :-

Indifferent or Impoverished Management (1,1) – In this style leaders have low concern for people and production. Leaders use this style to preserve job and job seniority, and protect themselves by avoiding getting into trouble. The main concern of leaders is not to be held responsible for any mistake. Employees will have high degree of dissatisfaction, disharmony within group. Ineffective approach resulting ineffective operations and decisions for organizations.

Country club or Accommodating (1,9) – Leaders have high concern for people and low concern for production. Leaders have qualities of yield and compliance to the situation. Leaders pay attention to the security and comfort of peoples hoping that performance would increase. Atmosphere would be friendly but ineffective productivity. Employees are happy and harmony within team.

Status Quo or Middle of the road – Leaders in this style try to balance and compromise between company goals and workers’ needs. Leaders try to achieve the needs of people and production but it’s not really met. Even though if it is met it will be average production. There will be good harmony in teams and average production.

Dictatorial or Produce, Perish or Control (9,1) – Leaders focus all their attention to production related matters and very little towards the needs of followers. Leaders will dominate as they hold the belief that gain could be achieved through rigid disciplines. This style remains effective where human interaction remain less. Productivity is short lived. This style is inspired by McGregor’s Theory ‘X’. followers experience high level of dissatisfaction and there will be high level of conflict within group.

Sound or Team (9,9) – This is considered as the most effective leadership style where leaders will contribute, are committed, can motivate and are motivated while believing that trust, respect and empowerment are essential for fostering a team environment where followers are motivated which results in maximum employee satisfaction as well as most efficient productivity. This is inspired by McGregor’s Theory ‘Y’.

To this grid later certain additions were made:

Opportunistic style – Leaders using this style do not have a fixed location on the grid and they adopt the behavior that offers the greatest benefit. Exploit and manipulative characteristics.

Paternalistic style – Leaders using this style support and guide and discourage challenges to their thinking. This style defined to alternate between the (1,9) and (9,1) locations on the grid.

Behaviors of initiative, inquiry, advocacy, decision, conflict, critique, resilience were associated with managerial grid.

Participative Leadership Style

Participative model can be known as an approach or style as well as a theory in leadership concept. Participative theory is also known as democratic theory which is described under title of ‘leadership approaches’ below.

This theory views that leaders make available a clear definition roles/responsibilities to his/her followers and leaders require their views or participation to the task or situation which increases motivation, commitment level and more collaborative and creativity. Participant may be subordinates, peers etc. But, the decision will be made by the leader through various views are taken. Many methods exists such as consultation, democratic leadership, management by objectives, joint decision making etc. Negative impact is, if the participant’s view is totally neglected the followers may feel as they are betrayed and less motivated leading to less commitment.

Lewin’s leadership style –

In 1939, Kurt Lewin with Ron Lippit and Robert White came up with three set of leadership styles which are autocratic, democratic/participative and delegative/free-rein (Laissez-Faire) styles.

Autocratic leader takes his own decision without consultation of members, Laissez-Faire style leader allows the followers to work on their own and participative leader takes decision with the consultation of his/her followers. Even, Kurt Lewin says that participative leadership is the most effective leadership style among his three findings.

Likert’s leadership style –

Rensis Likert and his colleagues studies the styles of leaders for three decades at University of Michigan and identified a four model system. This model was based on basis of questionnaire which is provided to managers at various managerial positions in over two-hundred organizations.

Likert’s four leadership style are :

System 1 – Exploitative Authoritative

Responsibility lies in the hands of top managers. Superior has no trust, confidence in subordinates. Subordinates are not allowed to participate in decision making. Communication is very little and motivation is based on threats.

System 2 – Benevolent Authoritative

Responsibility lies at managerial levels but not at lower level of organizational hierarchy. Superior has confidence and trust in subordinate which involves master-servant relationship. Still subordinates do not feel free to discuss things about the job with their superior. Communication is very little and motivation is based on reward system.

System 3 – Consultative

Responsibility is widely spread throughout the organization. The superior has substantial confidence in subordinates. Some discussion about job-related things take place between superior and subordinates. Fair communication takes place and motivation is based on rewards and involvement in job.

System 4 – Participative

Responsibility to achieve organizational goals is widely spread throughout the organizational hierarchy. Superior has high level of confidence in subordinates. High level of team work, communication and participation.

Likert compares the four systems on the basis of leadership process, motivational force, communication process, interaction-influence process, decision making process and concludes that system 1 and 2 are least productive whereas system 3 and 4 are most productive. Finally, it is noted that system 4- participative model is the most effective style among the four systems.

Situational Leadership Style

As participative style, situational leadership is also considered as a style and theory. The famous leadership model discussed under this theory is Hersey and Blanchard’s leadership style discussed below. This theory shows the effective leadership style to be chosen defending on the situation i.e. depending to the maturity level and ability to willingness etc. This theory was first introduced as Life cycle theory of leadership which is renamed to situational leadership in mid 1970s.

Hersey and Blanchard’s Leadership style –

First, Hersey and Blanchard developed their own situational leadership concept. In 1970s, they mutually agreed and developed the concept of situational leadership based on task and relationship behaviors that leader provides to the followers. They categorized all leadership styles into four behavior types which they named as:

S1 : Telling/Directing – high task focus and low relationship focus. Leaders define the roles and task of followers. Decisions are made by leaders and announced, so communication is largely one way. Followers need direction and supervision to get started. This is required for people who lack competence but are enthusiastic and committed.

S2 : Selling/Coaching – high task focus and high relationship focus. Leaders define roles and tasks to followers and also seek suggestions from followers. Communication is two way. Followers need direction and supervision because they are still inexperienced. They need support to build self-esteem and involvement in decision making to restore their commitment. This helps for people who have some competence but lack commitment.

S3 : Participating/Supporting – low task focus and high relationship focus. Leader pass day to day decisions to followers but control is with the followers. This is required for people who have competence but lack confidence or motivation but, they do not need much direction because of their skills.

S4 : Delegating – low task focus and low relationship focus. Leaders are still involved in decision and problem solving but control is with followers. Follower decides when and how leader will be involved. It is useful for people who have both competence and commitment. They are able and willing to work by themselves.

Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership style developed four levels of maturity:

M1 : followers of this maturity level lack specific skills or knowledge to work on their own. They need to be directed and supervised.

M2 : they are willing to work but are unable to take independent responsibility to the task on which they are willing to work.

M3 : followers at this maturity level are experienced and are able to work on the task but lack confidence to take the responsibility.

M4 : followers at this maturity level are ones willing to take the task and be responsible for it and they have the experience to work on it.

A good leader develops the ‘competence and commitment’ in followers, So they are self-motivated rather than being dependant. So, Hersey develops four combination of competence and commitment which is known as development level.

D1 – Low competence and high commitment

D2 – Low competence and low commitment

D3 – High competence and low commitment

D4 – High competence and high commitment

Competence shows one’s task focus, experience etc. and commitment shows one’s confidence and motivational level.

Vroom and Yetton’s Normative Model –

This model is created by Vroom in collaboration with Yetton and later joining hands with Jago. The Vroom-Yetton-Jago model identifies five different styles on situation and level of involvement. They are:

Autocratic type 1 (A I) – Leader makes the decision on his/her own with the information he/she readily have at the time. This style is completely autocratic.

Autocratic type 2 (A II) – Decision is made by the leader, but information from relevant followers are collected. Decision or the problem is not informed to the followers. Followers only involvement is providing information.

Consultative type 1 (C I) – Leaders make the decision alone but he/she shares the problem to relevant followers individually and seek their ideas. Followers do not meet each other and leader’s decision may or may not reflect his/her followers’ i