Leadership Theory

Satisfactory Essays
The volume of theory and research concerning leadership over many decades is a testimony to its prominence and individuals’ efforts to understand its effect in their world (Meindl, Ehrlich, & Dukerich, 1985). Stogdill (1974) noted, “There are almost as many definitions of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define the concept” (p. 259). Lewin and Lippit’s 1938 seminal research on small group performance compared autocratic to democratic leadership, a study in the function of leadership during the command-control days of industry (Kaiser, McGinnis, & Overfield, 2012). Researchers at Ohio State University compared initiating structure and consideration in developing their two-factor paradigm of leader behavior. They took a more engaging, humanistic approach, according to (Kaiser et al., 2012).
Lastly, Burns (1978) and Bass (1985) introduced the modern world to a new wave of leadership by comparing transactional and transformational styles of leadership. As seen, clearly, there are numerous definitions of leadership, but the core assumption remains that leaders affect organizational performance by inspiring, supporting, and motivating followers through influence (Bass, 1985; Burns, 1978; Hersey & Blanchard, 1977; Kaiser et al., 2012). The research on leadership contains trait theory, behavioral theory, power theory, situational influences on leadership, and much more. Perceptions of some of these leadership theories may be found in the following modern theories: Trait, Situational, and Transformational Leadership.
Trait Theory
The Trait Leadership theory states that leaders are born rather than made and that certain attributes of leaders are primarily the cause of their success (Northouse, 1997). Hersey an...

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...s or rules of an organization, but rather change or align the organization to accommodate their vision (Howell & Avolio, 1993).
Transformational Leadership theories contain the following five common leader characteristics: creative, interactive, visionary, empowering, and passionate (Hackman & Johnson, 2000). Kouzes and Posner (2002) listed five practices of exemplary leaders: model the way (interactive), inspire a shared vision (visionary), challenge the process (creative), enable others to act (empowering), and encourage the heart (passionate) (Rowland, 2008). Other researchers have paralleled those thoughts with the described characteristics of transformational leaders: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration (Bass, 1985; Bass & Avolio, 1993; Howell & Avolio, 1993; Sivanathan & Fekken, 2002).
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