Leadership Theory And Contingency Theory Essay

Leadership Theory And Contingency Theory Essay

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Are leaders born or created? Do they manifest in certain situations and not others? Does it depend on the dynamic or even demographics of the followers? In every society there are leaders, people who stand out from the crowd. Such a peculiar role and instrument of human interaction has been the subject of research for centuries. Leader’s use wisdom to guide other or manipulate social situations to gain followers. Over the years, new research promotes new ideas of leadership. Beginning with the trait theorists and Great Man concept through behavioral and situational ideologies, leadership theory is constantly evolving.
When conceptualizing leadership theory it is easy to acknowledge what sets each school of thought apart. To illustrate a deeper insight, this paper will analyze two theories within the same school of thought. This paper attempts to dissect the reasoning and shortcomings behind each theory. Two popular theories from the classical school of leadership theory are trait theory and contingency theory. Early leadership theory focused on a heritability of genetic makeup all leaders possess.
Trait theory has experienced a critical recent history. Having many followers and support through the middle of the twentieth century, it was soon denounced for ignoring the significance of situations and its disregard that traits can evolve. Early trait theory credited an innate, heritable quality that fostered leadership. An individual either had it or he did not. Recently, trait theory has accepted the idea that such traits can develop over time and in certain situations. It has also furnished an extensive list of what traits and qualities create successful leadership.
Stephen Zaccaro has elaborated on the early trait theory, provid...


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...ble (bright) (Judge 863). Some leaders possess undesirable traits, which he calls dark. Leadership has a positive connotation when throughout history we have seen leaders who have not advanced or had a positive impact on society. He posits leaders can have both bright and dark traits. In his theory, Judge identifies and explains each bright trait and each dark trait. He elaborates on each trait citing a paradox, that even some bright traits could foster negative implications in certain situations and some dark traits could foster positive implications depending on context. For each of the twelve traits, Judge provide a bright implication and a dark implication. Such traits, moderated by certain situations lead to leadership effectiveness. A significant point, Judge provides different moderators for subjective leader effectiveness and objective leader effectiveness.

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