Leadership Theories Essay

1465 words - 6 pages


In the age of information and ever-changing business environment business leaders are expected to progress as the pace of change accelerates. Development and success rests upon the leader’s competence to fashion intelligent strategy and influence people to accomplish organizational goals. Emerging views over the past decade has made tremendous progress in uncovering some of the enduring mysteries associated with leadership (Avolio, Walumbwa & Weber, 2009). Understanding these different frameworks and their impact on leadership styles are examined in this paper as it relates to international business.

Adaptive Structuration Theory

E-leadership is a relatively new ...view middle of the document...

In the era of globalization, where the greatest challenge for leadership is to successfully work through cultural barriers, how best to strategically apply the different behavioral styles depends on the effectiveness of the leader.

Under the autocratic style, the division between leader and follower is clear with the leader having total authority and control over decision making. This leadership style is best applied in circumstances where there is little margin for error, time is of the essence or the leader is the most knowledgeable member of the group. However, since this style of leadership has the potential to be viewed as controlling and dictatorial, to preserve group stability, an autocratic leader may thus be forced to give group members input into the decision-making process, perhaps by adopting a democratic or laissez-faire leadership style (Van Vugt, Jepson, Hart & De Cremer, 2004).

The democratic style of leadership also referred to as participative leadership, values collaboration and affirmation of followers. The leader empowers the team to perform at their highest levels through shared ideas and opinions and by synthesizing the variety of viewpoints into the best possible decision to accomplish the overall vision and mission. This style of leadership not only increases job satisfaction by involving employees or team members in what’s going on, but it also help to develop people’s skills; however, participation takes time and can lead to things happening more slowly but often the end result is better (Bhatti, Maitlo, Shaikh, Hashmi & Shaikh, 2012).

As the least structured method of leadership and sometimes referred by “hands-off,” the laissez-faire leadership style involves non-interference policy, allows complete freedom to all workers and has no particular way of attaining goals (Bhatti, Maitlo, Shaikh, Hashmi & Shaikh, 2012). The leader’s behavior is not related to follower performance, but greatly depends on the trust that their subordinates will accomplish the goals in his or her main responsibility. With a highly trained and highly motivated team in place and in the right situation the laissez faire approach can be effective, but lack of group cohesion can hinder achievement resulting in conflict and confusion.

Contingency Theory

Originally established by Fred Fiedler, contingency leadership theory stress using various leadership styles suitable to the demands imposed by different contingencies in the form of location, subordinate, task, and/or group variables. Fiedler explains that managers should be matched and placed in leadership situations that fit their personal style, and the alternative is to change the situation so it matches the leader’s dominant style in order for him or her to be effective (Mujtaba, Khanfar, & Khanfar, 2010). Since no leadership style is best in all situations and individuals from different regions valued different characteristics among leaders, precision talent mapping of the...

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