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Leadership Theories

Leadership Theories

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Published by Hazem Abolrous

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Published by: Hazem Abolrous on Sep 15, 2011
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Leadership Theory and Practice, Peter G. Northouse,
Third Edition
Management of Organizational Behavior, Paul Hersey,
Seventh Edition
The following material is a high level summary of twelve approaches/theories in leadership. Each sectioncovers a theory/approach to leadership. The sections cover the basic assumptions, references, diagrams,leadership instruments, strengths and weaknesses. This summary is based on the following books:
On Leadership
In perusing these materials, I did not find a simple answer or recipe for leadership. As suspected,leadership is a part of all us at home, in our business, and our community. What was extremelybeneficial to me was that reading through the various theories, and case studies, I was able to identifywith many of these examples and situations. It had enriched me with an insight about myself and those Iinteract with. Frequently, after reading a paragraph, I would relate a particular situation or method to abehavior that I or someone I know was engaged in.It is that very awareness of both my personal and other people's behaviors that makes leadershippossible. I am the first to admit that learning about all these approaches to leadership does notautomatically make one a good leader, but they give a tremendous insight and the possibility to becomea better one.My own view is that "
Leadership is a process to change or create something from what otherwise would be chaos
It must be highly flexible and demands awareness, skills, and sensitivity. It is highly dependent on situations. Leadership is being human.
" In my view, the combination of the majority of theseapproaches and theories is the true leadership theory. They are all equally eye opening for everyone inthe organization.Hazem Abolrous
Leadership Summary
Leadership Page 1
There are of course distinctions between the concepts of Management and Leadership. This is howeveranother in depth discussion. For the sake of this summary, they will both be synonymous in theupcoming sections with the exception of the snippet below.The classical description of management work comes from Drucker (1973). He has defined fivebasic functions of a management job. They are planning, organizing, controlling, motivating andcoordinating. This is the basis for many later role definitions.Leaders have different roles to accomplish. Maybe the best known definition comes from Bennis
between a leader and a manager. In his classic “On becoming a leader” (1989, 44
-45) he has writtenabout the differences of leaders and managers as follows:- The manager administers; the leader innovates.- The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.- The manager maintains; the leader develops.- The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.- The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.- The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.- The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.- The manager has eye always on the bottom line; the leader has his eye on the horizon.- The manager imitates; the leader originates.- The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.- The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his own person.- The manager does things right; the leader does the right things.
Management vs Leadership
Leadership Page 2
It should be clear that leadership can be defined in many different ways. As you read about theories andresearch on leadership in later sections, you will recognize that the theorists and researchers each hadhis/her own definitions of leadership, and that they focus on somewhat different aspects of the jobrequirements of a leader. An example of a theory that is not covered in the upcoming sections, but isworth noting is the decision tree approach.The
decision tree approach
presented by Victor Vroom is focused entirely on whether leader choosesto make a decision on his/her own or if the group should be involved in the decision. In this approach,you ask a series of yes/no questions and based on the response to each to each branch, the decisiontree takes you to the next question or to a final decision.The questions of the decision tree involve whether the leader has the information necessary to makethe decision, whether the decision has quality requirements, whether the followers have theinformation necessary, whether they are likely to accept the decision if the leader makes it alone, and soforth. The process is designed to help the leader make or delegate the decision.This approach clearly focuses on one aspect of leadership (decision making) This is an example of acontingency theory of leadershipOne distinction to keep in mind while reading the material is the difference between
leadership. Many of the approaches and theories set forth deal with emergent leadership andfew of them talk about the assigned leadership roles.
The self-monitoring scale
The self-monitoring scale was designed to measure the extent to which a person is sensitive to theexpectations of others in a social situation. It also measures the extent to which the person is able toshape his or her behavior to match those expectations. Both the males and females received varyingscores on the self-monitoring scale, but only the females' scores were related to the number of leadership nominations they received. The explanation that Gary Odous came up with goes as follows:The female students were a distinct minority in the class. Each study group had one or two femalesamong the seven or eight students making up the group. The class is offered in the college of business,where the majority of the students are male. As a result, we might assume that the subject matter of the class--and indeed the class itself--might be considered a masculine-oriented activity. For a femalemember of the study group to emerge as a leader, she had to recognize the masculine demands of thesituation and conform her behavior to those demands. The women who had high self-monitoring scoreswere better able to do this than those with low self-monitoring scores.
Leadership Theories
Leadership Page 3

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