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1 Definitions:-
3.2 Concept / meaning of Leadership:-
3.3 Characteristics/Features of leadership:-
3.4 Functions of leadership
3.5 Importance of leadership
3.6 Types of Leadership
3.7 Qualities of leadership
3.8 Assignment Questions

3.1 Definitions:-
Different management thinkers have defined the term
leadership in different ways. The following are some of prominent
definitions of leadership.

1) According to Prof.George terry, “Leadership denotes the

relationship in which a person i.e. the leader influences others
to work together willingly on related tasks to attain that which
the leader desires.”

2) According to R.Shukla, “Leadership is the process of

exercising an authority and decision making”.

3) According to Prof .H.Koontz and O’Donnell, “management

leadership is the ability of manager to induce subordinates to
work with confidence and zeal.”

3.2 Concept / meaning of Leadership:-

The concept of leadership is very old. With the emergence of

human society, the need for leadership was increasingly felt in
almost all spheres of man’s life; it was very much needed in the
field of industry and business.
As management has the responsibility of getting the
work done through people, its success very much depends upon
the ability of the leader who are called upon to manage
.Leadership therefore, implies the combination of specific
abilities, qualities and skills acquired by an individual.

3.3 Characteristics/Features of leadership:-

1) All pervading/present:-
In all spheres of human activities wherever group exists,
leadership is essential to ensure profitable output. For
example, these spheres may be social, political, economic,
educational, and cultural or even the households.

2) Optimizing the use of resources:-

It is the ability which ensures the optimum and full utilization of
available physical and human resources.

3) Existence of followers: -
One cannot imagine a leader without the existence of
followers. In an organizational set up, the followers are the
subordinates, who are lead by their managers

4) Co-coordinating agency :-
Leader has to perform the work of establishing co-ordination,
integration and balance between the works of individual
employees among the departments and interact with the outer
segments. The leader i.e. manager has to has to establish
working relations between himself and the members of group
whom he leads.
5) Full knowledge of the abilities of the sub-ordinates :-
The manager has to take in to consideration the abilities,
qualities, experience, attitude and aptitude of subordinates
before entrusting any work to them. This requires that the
manager should be fully aware about the characteristics and
competence of subordinates.
6) Making policy and important decisions:-
The leader in an organization is entrusted with making basic
decisions, formulating policies and developing strategies. He
has to find out the ways and means for implementing such
7) On-going process: -
Leadership is an on-going process or continuous
phenomenon. The effectiveness of leadership can be
measured by, to what extent organizational objectives have
been achieved. In case of any deficiency the leader needs to
make necessary improvements.
8) Related to particular situation: -
Leadership is situational in nature. In accordance with the
change in situation or circumstances, the leadership style will
differ. The leader must study the situation and accordingly
decide himself as to the style of leadership to be adopted.

3.4 Functions of leadership:-

Leadership in business is a managerial function. In
the capacity of a leader the manager has to perform the following

1) To initiate: -
The leader has to initiate the action and motivate the
subordinates to follow him.
2) To represent: -
A leader is expected to represent management before the
workers. The leader is also expected to represent his
subordinates before the management and put forward their
competence, suggestions etc.
3) To provide guidance:-
A leader has to provide timely guidance, and counsel the
subordinates regarding the work to be performed by them.
4) to introduce change:-
An organization being a dynamic entity, introducing change
and seeking acceptance of the subordinates to such changes
is the responsibility of business leadership.
5) To bring unity:-
The leader has to make efforts to build team spirit, discipline,
and a sense of belongingness among the members of this
work group. The leader has to continuously perform the
function of establishing unity among the subordinates.

3.5 Importance of leadership:-

1) Establishing co-ordination:-
In a large sized organization, the total work is split up and
divided into smaller departments. It is necessary to establish
proper co-ordination, between the job of one individual with
that of another and one department with the other. In the
absence of such co-ordination there is likely to be disorder in
the organization. The managers have to perform as a link, and
bring effective co-ordination in the organization.

2) Maximum utilization of human resources:-

In modern large sized organizations, many people are
engaged to manage the jobs at different levels. Due to
individual differences, each of them differs from the other as far
as their personalities, abilities, education etc are concerned.
The leadership in the organization has to see to it that the
principle of fitting the right man to the right job is strictly
followed. This facilitates the maximum use of the efficiency of
the employees and also provides maximum job satisfaction to
the employees.
3) Motivation and morale building :-
A good and dynamic leader knows the art of inducing,
encouraging and motivating the followers to give their best
possible performance .He can make the people work towards
the attainment of group goals.
Good leadership is also an indispensable aspect for
employee morale building. Employees with high morale show
positive behavior, attitude and high productivity.

4) Basis of all other management functions:-

The management process consists of many functions which
are inter-related to each other. It involves planning,
organization, directing, budgeting etc. Among all these,
effective leadership is of critical importance because if the
leader is competent enough they can perform the other
functions in a better manner.

5) Effectiveness of communication: -
In an organization, the workers, employees, managers and
others perform their work at different levels. The interpersonal
and inter-departmental communications necessary for bringing
co-ordination in the organization. Effective leadership is only
capable of developing an efficient communication network
within the organization.

6) Removal of obstacles or problems: -

There arise problems of varying nature during the course of
working of any organization. These problems may or may not
be of a predictable nature. The responsibility of removing these
difficulties lies with the leader.

3.6 Types of Leadership:-

1) Positive and Negative leadership:-
On the basis of thinking pattern, outlook and approach of the
manager towards his subordinates the leadership may be
classified as positive or negative.
In case of positive leadership the manager is optimistic
and carries high hopes from the subordinates. He grants them
adequate authority and uses, positive incentives to motivate
the employees. Such leadership though not effective in the
short run, it proves result giving in the longer period.
Negative leadership is opposite of the above type in
which the leader uses pressure and penalties on the sub-
ordinates for obtaining good performance from them. This type
of leadership may show results in the short run; but in the long
term, the results are discouraging.

2) Personal and impersonal leadership :-

This classification is based on the relations prevailing
between the manager and those who are being managed. The
manager who believes in personal leadership issues verbal
order, instructions to one’s subordinates and personally
interacts with them. He enquires regularly regarding their
problems and difficulties in the performance of their job. The
adoption of this style is not feasible (suitable) for a large size
Impersonal leader believes in impersonal relationship
with the employees. They issue the orders in “black and white”
and call for their periodic progress reports.

3) Autocratic leadership:-
An autocratic leader concentrates all authority with him
and uses it as per his own will. He exercises strict control over
the work performances of his subordinates without listening to
their opinions, reactions, suggestions, etc. They are kind of
dictators in their own area of work .The manager following this
style of leadership puts emphasis on results at any cost.
In the past, such leadership was commonly seen in the
field of industry and business. However, as the employees became
aware of their rights and exercised powers through the trade
unions such form of leadership became difficult to practice.
Autocratic form of leadership is rarely seen these days.

4) Democratic leadership:-
The main characteristic of democratic leadership is the
direct participation and involvement of the employees in the
decision making process. The manager develops personal
relations with his subordinates and tries to know their opinions and
feelings. Such a leader allows the employees to use their common
sense instead of interfering in their work or threatening them with
The Democratic leadership helps in establishing
healthy relations between the management and the employees.

5) Paternalistic leadership:-
A paternal leader guides his subordinates assists
them, resolves their problems and difficulties and ensures their
overall development. When the manager plays a paternal role in
performing his functions it is called as “Paternalistic leadership”.
This type of leadership proves beneficial in many
ways. It helps to create a feeling of security among the employees.
The subordinates tend to develop due respect towards the
manager and obey their orders willingly.
However, under this style the employees may
become dependent upon the leader for all purposes and their
decision making abilities are not developed.

6) Institutional leadership:-
In an organizational setup, each of the managers is
granted official authority to the extent of the position that they hold.
The subordinates are supposed obey the orders and instructions
issued by managers. Despite the fact that such manager is
adequately knowledgeable, skilled and confident in performing his
duties or not .The subordinates have to show respect and opinion
to him.
Thus, under this type of leadership, the manager
commands respect and obedience from his subordinates due to
official authority and not necessarily because he is a good leader.
Till recently, in the industries and business organizations in India,
this type of industry were very popular.

7) Intellectual leader:-
Certain individuals command respect from others
mainly due to high level of intelligence, good personality, decision-
making ability and other qualities. The followers always take their
advice and guidance irrespective of whether they hold official
position in the organization or not. Such leadership is known as
“Intellectual leadership”. Such leadership although effective at
times may not be continuous.

8) Task-oriented leadership:-
The task oriented leader always strives for and lays
emphasis on attending pre-determined goals. Such leadership has
minimum concern for people. The manager is a hard task master.
Under this type of leadership, the needs and
expectations of the people are to be ignored and sacrificed.
However such leaders are capable of materializing their plans.

9) Employee-oriented leadership:-
The employee oriente4d leadership always takes into
consideration the needs, expectations and problems of the
employees in the course of execution of their plans and policies. It
lays emphasis on human factor in management. Such leader
strongly believes that desired organizational goals can be
achieved through satisfied employees. He sees to it that the work
load is equitable and efficiency is duly rewarded.

10) Laissez faire leadership:-

Under this style of leadership, the manager gives
complete freedom and autonomy to the employees. The
employees make their own policies take their own decisions and
are self-guided; such style provides maximum scope for individual
development (complete freedom).
However, such leadership may lead to misuse of
authority by the subordinates, low productivity, lack of team spirit

3.7 Qualities of leadership:-

The qualities of leadership may be classified into
four categories:-
1) Physical
2) Psychological
3) Intellectual
4) Character related qualities
These qualities of a good leader may be discussed as below:-
(1) Physical qualities:
(a) Good health:
As the leader is cast upon with heavy responsibility and
has to face pressures and stress; it is of utmost
importance that he should take care of his health. A
man with good physique and free from any physical
disorder can deliver the goods more efficiently as a
(b) Vitality:-
The leader must have good resistance, physical
strength, energy and tolerance, so that he is able to
withstand any adverse situation. For e.g. military
commanders may be required to execute their duties at
places with extreme weather conditions.

(2) Psychological qualities:-

These qualities include the attitude of the leader.

(a) Personal magnetism:-

The leader should possess personal magnetism
or the power that will attract others to them. He
should develop his personality in a way that will
help him to win the confidence of his followers.
(b) Co-operative attitude: -
The leadership behavior and attitude towards the
subordinates should be co-operative. He should
adjust and work together like a team. The leader
should be capable of developing unity of thought
and action.
(c) Enthusiasm:-
The leader should develop a positive attitude and
be enthusiastic in doing his work. The manager
should develop such a feeling not only in himself
but also see to it that the subordinates are doing
the same.
(d) Ability to motivate others:-
The manger is expected to motivate, inspire and
induce others for better performance .A leader
with motivational qualities can make the
subordinates work willingly.
(e) Ability to communicate:-
The manger must make full use of the
communication network within the organization.
The obstacles that arise during communication
should be promptly removed.
(f) Persuasiveness:-
A good leader should not be discouraged,
disappointed or disgruntled by petty failures and
set backs. It is through persuasion which is an act
of influencing the mindset of others by argument,
reasoning, logic and rational thinking.
(g) Forcefulness:-
The leader should possess a dashing nature, be
aware of what is appropriate, ensure the
rationality of his decisions and forcefully make the
subordinates to implement the same.

(3) Intellectual qualities:-

As the leader is called upon to guide, advice and teach
others and ensure the optimum utilization and direction of
the available resources for productive use, he should
possess a high intellectual capacity. He should be open-
minded and transparent in his ideas.
(a) Technical competence: -
The production of goods and services has become a
complex phenomenon. The managers at all levels are
expected to possess needed technical skills and expertise.
Gone are the days when the manager could perform his
managerial tasks and duties on the basis of his high intellect,
general education, general knowledge and experience.
Today, the scenario of industry and business has undergone
a radical change due to the use of sophisticated technology,
research and development.
(b) Decision-making power:-
An important quality of a leader is the decision making
power. A leader has to deal with different people of different
nature and different abilities. In the process of leadership, he
has to take many decisions on many occasions. The leader
must have the capacity to take decisions according to the
situation. The decisions must be taken at the right time after
considering the various internal and external factors.
(c) Scientific attitude and outlook:-
The manager should not adopt unscientific methods like trial
and error, hit and miss policy in doing things. He should not
be a blind believer but a rational thinker.
(d) Good judgment and receptiveness:-
The leader should be capable of foreseeing the future,
assessing the situation, making proper analysis of prospects
and retrospect of any business decision. He should judge
the strengths and weaknesses of the organization assess
the possible opportunities and dangers or threats in the
execution of decisions. It is on the basis of facts and figures
only that the inferences and conclusions should be drawn
and the final decision be arrived at. While making a decision
he should provide every opportunity to his subordinates to
contribute their ideas, feelings and opinions to which he
should give a proper heed. Receptiveness is a test of
successful managerial communication.
(e) Teaching skill:-
The manger in the capacity of the leader of a group of
subordinates had to teach, coach and guide them, resolve
their problems and difficulties in the course of a job
performance. He should have a good command over
language, in depth knowledge, clarity of thoughts and
expression which makes him an effective teacher.

(4) Character –related qualities:-

The manager is expected to be a man of character. The
character is the sum total of the sense of responsibility,
integrity, self-discipline, humanism and courage. The
sincerity, loyalty, morality, devotion and dedication towards
the work are the essential pre-requisites for imbibing the
quality of integrity in one’s own self.
The manger being a leader of a
group of individuals requires adherence to the humanitarian
approach towards management of human resources.
The manager is expected to be a
good disciplinarian and task master. This requires that he
should imbibe in his own self a high sense of discipline
because he has to set an example before the subordinates
by his own deeds and actions. The moral strength of the
leader helps to develop his courage and fearlessness.