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The Importance Of Leadership Essay

1813 words - 8 pages


The Importance Of Leadership |
Theory & Concepts |
The definition of leadership and a look into the classical leadership theories and concepts. |
Toni James |
10/29/2012 |


Introduction p.2
Defining Leadership p.2, 3
Introducing Theory and Concepts p.3
Traits Theory p.3, 4
Behaviour Theories p.5, 6
Contingency theory p.5
Transactional and Transformational Theory p.5, 6
Conclusion p.6, 7
Reference List p.8, 9
Bibliography p.9
Appendix 1 p.10

The following report will focus on defining leadership, research and comparison into leadership theories and concepts. It will look at appropriate leadership ...view middle of the document...

(Bolden, 2004)
Mullins (2009) suggests “that it is difficult to generalise about leadership, but essentially it is a relationship through which one person influences the behaviour or actions of other people”.(Mullins, 2009)
The Department for business innovations and skills (BIS) relate leadership to a business environment and define that “Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent” (BIS, 2012)

Introducing theory and concepts
Within an applied field such as leadership, theory and practice are inextricably related. Traditional and contemporary theories of leadership strongly influence current practice, and offer a useful framework for the selection and development of leaders.

The emergence of leadership research in the early 1900s was based on the idea that certain traits predisposed an individual to emerge as a leader, that leaders are born and not made, and that certain characteristics or personality traits are inherited. This is known as the “Great Person” theory of leadership.
When looking at leadership from the quality approach it suggests that attention should be given to a selection of leaders rather than training for leadership. Traits unlike skills cannot be learned, they are part of an individual’s personality. (Mullins, 2009))
The trait approach assumes that certain individuals have a special set of inborn characteristics.
Drucker (1955) cited in Mullins said: "Leaders are born, not made and leadership cannot be created, promoted, taught or learned.( Mullins, 2009)

Surveys of early trait research by Stogdill (1948) and Mann (1959) reported that many studies identified personality characteristics that appear to differentiate leaders from followers. (Doyle and Smith, 2001)

Some of the major leadership traits in reference to Stogdill (1948) and Mann (1959) included:
•Intelligence: Intellectual ability is positively related to leadership
•Self-confidence: The ability to be certain about one’s competencies and skills
•Sociability: The pursuit of pleasant social relationships. Leaders who show sociability are friendly (Northouse, 2007, p19)

A limitation of trait theory is that while it may assist in the selection of people who could be successful as leaders, it does not clearly identify traits needed in specific situations or how much of each trait is required to be a good leader.
Although not to rely fully on this theory alone the managing director should take into consideration the usefulness of a leader who possesses these traits, along with considering the situation of the business and the specific traits that are required. (Khairuzzaman, 2012)

Behaviour Theories
Theorist started to focus more on what leaders did and how they behaved, it moved from leaders to leadership. Patterns of behaviour were grouped together and labled as styles.
Behaviour theory focuses on what an...

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