Leadership Theories

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it” Eisenhower Dwight D Leadership is one of those things that are often awfully hard to define but you know when you see it, and you definitely know when it is missing. Leadership is a process that is ultimately concerned with fostering change. In contrast to the notion of management, which suggests preservation and maintenance, leadership implies a process where there is movement-from wherever we are now to some future place of condition that is different.

Leadership is not mouthing we do, it is something we are. Leadership also implies intentionality, in the sense that the implied change is not random-“change for change’s sake”- but is rather directed toward some future end or condition, which is inherently value-based. A traditional definition of leadership: Leadership is an interpersonal influence directed toward the achievement of a goal or goals. Three important parts of this definition are the terms interpersonal, influence, and goal. Interpersonal means between persons.

Thus, a leader has more than one person (group) to lead. Influence is the power to affect others. Goal is the end one strives to attain. Basically, this traditional definition of leadership says that a leader influences more than one person toward a goal. Consistent with the notion that leadership is concerned with change, we view the “leader” basically as a change agent-one who fosters change. Leaders, then, are not necessarily those who merely hold formal “leadership” positions; on the contrary, all people are potential leaders.

Furthermore, since the concept of leadership and leader implied that there are other people involved; leadership is, by definition, a collective or group process. In short our conception of leadership comprises the following basic assumptions: Leadership is concerned with fostering change Leadership is inherently value-based All people are potential leaders Leadership is a group process Ideas about leadership has changed considerably in recent times, people are more educated and articulate.

People can also no longer be commanded in the same way as before, more participation and involvement is needed form everyone involved in an organization. In order to achieve this, managers should be seen more as leaders instead of managers. Everywhere it is acknowledged hat more and better leadership is needed at all levels of the organization. Leadership is both a social and a cultural phenomenon. A person who is considered as being a good leader in Japan might be seen as being too authoritarian in Sweden, and the charisma of an Egyptian leader might have no effect at all on people in France or Germany.

To have a good understanding of leadership it is essential that the cultural context in which the leadership takes place is also understood. Leadership development theories over the past century The roots of the modern leadership can be traced back to the industrial evolution that took place at the end of the 19th century. There are three definite development eras of leadership that can be identified: Trait era: 1800-mid 194(Yes Behavior Era: 1940-sass Contingency Era: Early sass’s till present Each of these eras made a distinct contribution to our modern understanding of leadership.

The Trait Era The theory that leaders are born and not made dominated the early part of the 20th century. It was believed that heredity formed an integral part in the development of a leader; it was believed that innate qualities shape human personality and behavior. The early research efforts into leadership focused on traits as being essential to leader effectiveness. Traits can be classified as distinguishing personal characteristics of a leader such as intelligence, honesty, self-confidence and appearance.

Researchers early in this century who examined leaders who had achieved a level of greatness became known as the “GREAT MAN THEORY’. The fundamentals of this theory were that people are born as natural leaders. The great man approach identifies traits that leaders possess that distinguish them from people who are followers. But research found that there is only a weak relationship teen personal traits and leader success. During the sass and sass’s researchers expanded their examination of personal attributes by making use of aptitude and psychological tests.

In more recent studies conducted in the ass’s and offs, it was shown that although factors such as intelligence and assertiveness have some relationship to leader effectiveness, it alone couldn’t account for leader effectiveness. In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in examining leadership traits. One study found that the traits of intelligence, masculinity and dominance were strongly related to how individuals perceive leaders. The trait theory has played an important role in the development of research regarding leadership throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century.

Some traits are still regarded as being essential for a leader to be effective, but it must be combined with other factors. A leader’s personality is by no means the only or even the dominant factor in the development of effective leaders. This approach helps to classify and identify leaders but Johnson et al (2006:179) indicate that there are several problems that can be identified regarding this approach: There are endless numbers of traits Different traits suits different situations Many people who possess these traits aren’t necessarily leaders People can be developed into leaders it is not all about nature 5. The Behavior Era The inability of research to solely define effective leadership based on personality alone, led to research into the behaviors of leaders and if behavior has an impact on the success or failure of leaders. The behavior approach believes that if anyone adopts the appropriate behavior he will become a good leader. Focus therefore shifted from looking at what a leader is, to what a leader does. This approach studies the behavior of leaders rather than certain traits that a leader possesses; this approach believes that behavior is more easily learned than traits.

There have been a number of different studies done to explore the behavior approach, including the following: o Autocratic vs.. Democratic o Ohio State Studies o University of Michigan Studies o The Leadership Grid 5. 2. 1 Autocratic vs.. Democratic An autocratic leader centralizes his authority, he controls rewards and his power is based in his position, he also uses coercion to get things done. A democratic deader in turns delegates authority encourages participation and trusts his subordinates for the completion of tasks.

He also influences subordinates by means of respect. Kurt Lenin of the University of Iowa did the first studies on this subject. He took two groups of children and assigned a leader to each group, the one leader being autocratic and the other democratic. This study laid the foundation for further research and it found that leaders could be categorized into two categories of leadership namely democratic and autocratic. The Leadership Continuum Boss-Centered Centered Leadership Subordinate-

Leadership Manager makes Manager presents Manager presents Manager permits decision and ideas and invites problem, gets subordinates to announces it questions suggestions and function within limits makes decisions defined by superior Manager Manager presents Manager defines “Sells” tentative decision limits, asks group decision subject to change to make decision Harvard Business Review. An exhibit from Robert Attainment and Warren Schmidt. “How to Choose a Leadership Pattern” 1997 5. 2. 2 Ohio State University Studies At Ohio State University they made use of survey research to identify specific mentions of leader behavior.

They used the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBS.) and they identified 150 specific dimensions. This resulted in two types of leader behavior namely: consideration o Initiating structure Consideration A leader, who shows consideration is sensitive to his subordinates, respects their ideas and feelings, listens to their problems and seeks their input regarding important decisions. In donating Structure This type of leader is task orientated and directs the groups work activities towards a goal. This leader is achievement oriented and likes ruling his abbreviated with an iron hand.

Although some leaders may use both of these strategies, the two categories fall independent from each other. Thus a leader can display a high degree of both of these types of behavior, or a low degree of both. A leader can also be high in consideration and low in initiation or low in consideration and high in initiation. Research indicated that all four of these styles could be used effectively. 5. 2. 3 University of Michigan Studies In this study the effective and ineffective behaviors of supervisors were compared against each other.

It found that leader effectiveness is determined y the productivity of the subordinates. The study identified two types of leader behavior namely employee centered and job centered, both of these behaviors has two dimensions underneath it. Employee centered This behavior places focus in the human need of the subordinates. Leader support and interaction facilitation are the underlying dimensions here. These days’ positive relationships play a very important role in the work environment, thus leaders who can facilitate positive interaction amongst fellow workers are needed.

Job centered This leadership behavior directs activities towards efficiency, cost cutting and scheduling. Goal emphasis and work facilitation are the dimension here. The focus here is to reach task goals and to facilitate the structure of the tasks. 5. 24 The Leadership Grid Blake and Mouton of the University oftenest developed a two-dimensional leadership theory called the leadership grid; this builds on the Ohio State studies. The grid identifies two criteria namely a concern for people and a concern for production, these dimensions are plotted on a grid that depicts 5 major leadership styles.

The 5 styles that can be identified are as follows: country Club (1:9): Focus is on people rather than on outputs o Team Management (9:9): Considered to be the most effective o Middle of the road (5:5): Here a moderate concern for people and production exists. o Impoverished (1:1): Here little effort exist for people or production o Authority-compliance (9: 1): Here efficiency in operations is the dominant factor. The Leadership Grid: Robert R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton 1999 The question however is if a concern for people and a concern for production can exist together in one leader and if so, how?

The grid theory of Blake and Mouton says yes, both the people and the task orientation are present when people work tit or through others to accomplish a certain activity. It is believed that the best leaders are high on both the task and people orientation. 5. 3 Contingency Theories Both the trait and the behavior theories attempted to find one best leadership style to use in all situations, they are therefore called universal theories. Since then the leadership paradigm shifted to the contingency theory approach.

It attempts to explain appropriate leadership style based on the leader, follower and the situation. In other words which traits and behaviors will result in success in given situational variables? Importance is put on situational variables including factors such as the nature of work and the external environment. Contextual and situational variables that will have an influence on effective leadership should also be taken into consideration. The ideal theory would be that a leader should analyses a given situation and then tailor his behavior to the situation as to improve the effectiveness of his leadership.

Leadership cannot be understood in a vacuum separate from elements impacting on the group or organization. In the contingency theories, leadership behavior is still examined but the situation is the new focus, because behavior effective in one situation will not necessarily be effective in another situation. Contingency means that one thing depends on another, for a leader to be effective a good fit must exist between the leaders’ behavior, style and the context of the situation. A quick background will be given on Fiddlers contingency model, Hershey and Blanchard Situational Theory and the Path-Goal Theory. . 31 Fiddler’s Contingency Model This model is an early effort by Fiddler and associates to link leadership styles to the organization. A successful leader should be able to match his leadership style o fit in with the situation so that the most favorable outcome will be achieved. The cornerstone of this theory is leadership styles, and whether the style is relationship or task orientated. A relationship-orientated style the leader is concerned with people; he tries to establish mutual trust and respect between employees and subordinates and listens to them.

In a task orientated leadership style the leader is mostly motivated by accomplishments, he also tries to provide clear guidelines and sets goals to be met. Fiddler used the Least Preferred Co-worker Scale (LAP) as a measurement scale, he scale uses 16 bi-polar adjectives along an 8-point scale; the following is an example of the scale: o Open quarrelsome o Efficient ossifies-assured o Gloomy o Guarded o Harmonious o Inefficient o Hesitant o Cheerful With regards to leadership style, if the leader describes his least preferred co- worker using positive concepts such as efficient or harmonious, then that leader is relationship orientated.

If the leader uses negative concepts such as inefficient to describe least preferred co-worker, his is more task orientated. The leadership situation is described in terms of 3 key elements that can be favorable or unfavorable to the leader 1. Leader-member relation 2. Task structure 3. Position power 5. 3. 1. 1 Leader-member relation Here the atmosphere in the group as well as the attitude of the group members is examined. When the group has trust, respect and confidence in the leader then a good leader-member relationship exists and vice versa. 5. 3. 1. Task structure The tasks to be performed by the group are clearly defined and have specific procedures to follow; the goals are also very explicit and clear. An assembly line worker is a good example of a task that is well-defined and very routine, hush they have a high degree of structure. People working in a research and development environment are usually creative and their tasks are ill defined, thus they have a low task structure. When task structure is high then the situation is favorable to the leader and when task structure is low then the situation is unfavorable to the leader. 3. 13 Position Power If a leader uses his position power, he has formal authority over his subordinates. The leaders’ position power is high when he can plan and direct the work of his subordinates, and it is low if the leader has little authority over his abbreviated. 5. 3. 2 Hershey and Blanchard Situational Theory This theory is an extension of the leadership grid theory, and it focuses on the characteristics of the followers as the important element of the situation, and this will consequently determine effective leader behavior.

Hershey and Blanchard argue that subordinates vary in readiness level. People who are low in readiness because of inability or insufficient training needs a different leader than people who are high in readiness and have good ability, skill and confidence. A leader can adopt one of four styles, based on a combination of task and allegations behaviors. 1. ) Telling, which is high task and low relationship, thus people with a low level of readiness requires a telling leader. 2. Selling, which includes both high task and high relationship behavior, thus people with moderate levels of readiness requires such a leader. 3. ) Participating, which includes low task and high relationship behavior, thus people with moderate to high levels of readiness, requires such a leader. 4. ) Delegating, which is both low task and low relationship, thus people with a high level of readiness is suited for such a leader. The essence of this theory is to select the appropriate behavior to fit the readiness level of the subordinates (such as degree of education, self- confidence and work attitude).

An effective leader should be able to evaluate his subordinates and to adopt a style of leadership that is appropriate in the 5. 3. The path Goal Theory Robert House developed this theory in 1971, and it uses the LBS. framework (leader, follower, and situation). This theory tries to recognize conflicting findings concerning the task/relationship-orientated behavior. This theory also fits into he framework of contingency leadership variables, where the leader is supposed to use the appropriate leadership styles, regardless of his preferred traits or behavior.

The path-goal theory states that it is the leader’s responsibility to increase subordinates motivation in order to obtain personal and motivational goals. This theory is also regarded as the most sophisticated and comprehensive of all the contingency theories. At a fundamental level an effective leader should provide and ensure the availability of valued rewards for followers (goal) and help them to find the best way of getting there (path). An effective leader will along the way help his followers to identify and to remove roadblock and to provide them with emotional support.

The leader’s actions should strengthen the follower’s beliefs that if they exert a certain level of effort, they will be more likely to accomplish their tasks, and if their tasks are accomplished they will be more likely to achieve value added outcome. The path goal theory determines the most appropriate leadership style, best suited to the situation, subordinate or the environment in order to maximize performance and job satisfaction. Four different styles can be identified here: receive, supportive, participative, achievement and orientated.

Directive A directive leader gives structure, this style is appropriate to use when followers are seeking authoritative leadership. It is also used when the task environment is complex and when the follower’s ability is low. Supportive In this situation the followers don’t want an autocratic leader because they have internal locus of control and their ability is very high. Here the environment is also not complicated at all. Participative Here the leader includes input from subordinates into the decision making process.

The followers want to be involved in the decision-making process and they have an internal locus of control. The environment also tends to be complex. Achievement orientated Here the leaders sets difficult but achievable goals, and he expects followers to perform at their best, he also rewards good performance. 5. 4 Transactional leadership Transactional leadership is a leadership style that functions on agreement and rewards. Employees know from the start what their pay and salary will be for following expected procedures. Transactional leaders are known for their strictness and discipline.

Transactional leadership also requires the leader to delegate to do a certain task be accountable Transactional leaders are in the mindset that if things are running well and getting done there is no problem to be addressed. Transactional leadership is based on telling subordinates what to do. Many managers and supervisors still choose this approach. This leadership style focus more on management instead of leadership 5. 5 Influential Leadership Theories (Charismatic) Charismatic leadership has for a long time interested researcher, especially those studying politics, social movements and religion.

In more recent times the impact hat charismatic leaders have on an organization have been studied. Although it is difficult to define what charismatic leadership is, it can be described as a leader who has the ability to inspire and motivate people to do more than they would normally do, despite obstacles and personal sacrifice. Charismatic leaders have an emotional impact on people, they appeal to the hearts and minds of people, they often emerge in troubled times and they have strong and inspiring personalities.

An organization’s overall performance can be lifted if charismatic leadership is used in the correct manner, they can influence people by using their own passion for their work as an example. Charismatic leaders put their emotions into their daily work activities and they are very energetic and enthusiastic. Anyone can become a stronger leader if they utilize the behaviors and qualities of charismatic leaders. Such leaders like to create an atmosphere of change and to show a future vision that is significantly better than the current.

Their source of influence comes from personal power, rather than position power, people identifies with charismatic leaders and wants to be like them. But research has indicated that charisma can be a blessing as well as a curse. Examples of good charismatic leader are Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ghanaian and Nelson Mandela. Examples of well-known individuals who used charisma in a negative way are Doll Hitler, Charles Manson and Did Main. Charisma is not always used to the benefit of the group, it is often used for self- serving purposes, leaders use their charisma to exploit, manipulate and to deceive their followers.

Transformational Leadership Transformational leadership is characterized by the leader’s ability to bring about significant change in his followers and on the organization. The focus here is on he leader’s transformational abilities, rather than the personal characteristics and his followers relations. They are known to move and change things in a big way. As with charismatic leaders, the transformational leader’s followers trust, admire and respect them. Such a leader gains a collective “buy in” into the organizations vision that is put on the table by the leader.

As organizations change so rapidly these days it is necessary for leaders to successfully implement bold strategies that will transform the organization and that will put them one step ahead of their competitors. Transformational traders influence their followers to shift their focus form self interest to a more collective interest. A transformational leader wants to change the status quo by communicating to his followers the problems that exist in the current system, and by sketching a vision of what the transformed organization would be like.

All transformational leaders are charismatic, but not all charismatic leaders are transformational. Transformational leaders are charismatic because they articulate a future vision and a strong emotional attachment to followers. Transformational leaders will always involved in some level of conflict and hangs, but they must be willing to embrace the conflict, make enemies, must be thick-skinned and focused in order to reach his goals.

To be a successful transformational leader, the following qualities should be present: o Must see themselves as change agents. o Must be a visionary who has a high level of trust in his intuition. o Must be able to take risks, but must not be reckless. o They must posses’ core values that guide their behavior.