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Leadership Theories Essay

1474 words - 6 pages

Leadership Theories
The leadership of saints, dictators, tyrants, and revolutionists serve as the building blocks for modern leadership. General humanity starts teaching the ideals of leadership to children at a young age through fairy tales and parenting. Early in life it is seen that someone will lead and another will follow. Stogdill (1948) published this thought by stating that leadership is a relationship between people in a social situation.
As leaders assume there role, they are put into categories by how they lead. Leaders are defined by their traits, such as the charismatic leader. According to Antonakis, Fenley, and Lietchti (2012) a charismatic ...view middle of the document...

38). According to Clawson (2006) behaviors of a transformational leader include; “idealized influence, individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, and inspirational motivation,” (p. 392) These behaviors assist the leader in recognizing the need for change and institutionalizing the changes in an organization (Tichy & Devanna, 1986). Followers of this particular leader will demonstrate a higher level of trust, creativity, and commitment.
Transactional leadership is based upon an exchange between leaders and followers. It is in the best interest of the follower to do what the leader wants, because in this leadership style the leader holds the power and controls the terms of the relationship. According to Rosete and Ciarrochi (2005) transactional leaders are more often referred to as managers and the exchange of values with subordinates, help advance the relationship toward rewards. Transactional leadership behaviors are often described as using contingent rewards, punishments, monitoring subordinates, and laissez-faire leadership (Clawson, 2006).
As organizations evolved into the information age, situational leadership began to get recognition as an effective form of leadership. Hersey Situational Leadership Model shows how a leader can lead based upon the needs of the follower. Like the transformational leader, the situational leader works at developing followers. The readiness of the follower is based upon their ability and willingness in completing the task (Wren, 1995). Situational leaders will use such skills as telling, delegating, selling, and participating to lead their followers throughout the model. While floating between follower directed and leader directed skills, the situational leader will also be able to adapt to a chosen style to fit each situation. A follower may need a low task- oriented/relation-orientated leadership style in one situation and a high task-oriented style when completing a task that may not fall into one of their strengths. The leader and follower should negotiate agreements as the leader assists with developmental interventions to help the follower accomplish goals set for these responsibilities (Yukl, 2006, p. 224).
While engaging in the study of leadership theories, similarities and differences become apparent within the models. Charismatic leadership focuses on the charisma of the leader and can often falter when the leader moves onto another short-term project. Charm or charisma in leaders is seen in transformational and situational leadership as leaders use it to gain the devotion of their followers, but transactional leaders rely on the power that they have over their followers. Both charismatic and transformational leaders will be found with highly engaged followers in organizations, whose structure is new or changing (Sandberg & Moreman, 2011).
Transformational and transactional leadership are closely tied...

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