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Leadership Theories Essay

1687 words - 7 pages

Leadership Theories – EMBA7005 – Peggy MacIsaac

Leadership Theories Peggy MacIsaac University of Fredericton September 2013

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Leadership Theories – EMBA7005 – Peggy MacIsaac
Introduction Contingency Approaches to leadership theories have led to the development of two very important and effective leadership theories. The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory and the Path-Goal Leadership theory have been instrumental in guiding leaders as they learn to embrace how situational factors affect their selection of leadership style. The following will explore these two theories, look at their similarities and differences and the effectiveness of utilizing these approaches. ...view middle of the document...

According to Hersey and Blanchard, the following are the main leadership styles matched with the respective employee readiness:
• • • • Telling – low skill and low will Selling - low skill and high will Participating – high skill but low will Delegating – high skill and high will

The leadership style, itself, is based on behaviors that place more or less emphasis on the task and more or less emphasis on the relationships with the people they are leading, depending on what will be required to achieve the main goals. “Telling” behaviors are used with the lowest maturity level, as presented by Hersey-Blanchard, that is to say when the employee lacks the knowledge, skills or confidence required to work independently and they need the pushing and direction from the leader. Communication at this level requires the leader to be directive and it is uni-directional. The leader uses “Selling” behaviors when the employees are at the 2 level of
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Leadership Theories – EMBA7005 – Peggy MacIsaac
maturity. In this situation they show the willingness and motivation to work on the task, however, they are not skilled or knowledgeable enough to complete it successfully. Social and emotional support is provided by the leader and the communication is two-way although it is apparent that the leader is leading. In the “Participating” behavior there is a shared decision-making with the group and it is more democratic. The relationship component increases at this level as the followers have an increased maturity level, that is to say, have the skill but lack the motivation or confidence to carry it out. The final level of maturity involves the employee that is highly skilled and knowledgeable and has very high confidence. They are committed to the task and the “Delegating” behavior is reflected as the leader provides opportunities for the employees to work independently on tasks as assigned or delegated. The leader continues to lead however with more of an emphasis on monitoring the progress to task completion. Leadership Theories - Path-Goal Theory: The Path-Goal Leadership Theory was developed by Robert House, and organizational theorist. This theory suggests that employee performance and motivation increases through a value-based performance reward program. The leader can positively influence performance by clarifying the path to reward, as well as defining or redefining the type of reward required or valued by the employee. This strategy of leadership makes it the leader’s task to identify, clarify and motivate the follower’s goals, essentially being a coach. It is the leader’s goal to empower the follower to reach their goals and ensure that the rewards in place are appropriate to provide the needed motivation. Path-Goal Leadership Theory encourages a continuous flow of communication regarding goals and direction. This requires a strong relationship between the leader and the follower. Setting a clear set of requirements and then providing the tools...

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