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Leadership Theories Steven Harrison
These leadership styles are servant leadership. Bass (2002) asserts that organizations of the future will become more flexible. globalization. implies 10 characteristics ingrained in servant leaders. Spears (1995). motivation stems from ensuring that all stakeholders’ needs are met instead of the exploration of money and power (Trompenaars & Voerman. transactional leadership. transformational leadership. Under the servant leadership model. managers may have to understand various leadership styles and apply various leadership styles within their organizations. Servant Leadership Servant leaders are leaders who have the natural inclination to serve (Spears. To ensure flexibility in organizations. and situational leadership. The challenges that may affect organizations are structural changes.Leadership Theories 2 Leadership Theories According to Navahandi (2006). The 10 characteristics of servant leadership are: • • • • • • Commit to listen to others Attempt to empathize with others Heal themselves and others of emotional scars Foster self and general awareness Rely more on persuasion than positional authority Focus on the day-to-day realities instead of short-term goals. Servant leaders are dreamers. 2009). organizations face challenges that may affect the organizations from realizing their goals. and technological changes. demographic changes. The leadership theories paper will elaborate on four leadership styles. 1995). • Have foresight .
and build community within the organization (Spears.Leadership Theories 3 • • • Provide stewardship Make an effort to understand the intrinsic value of each individual Build community into the organization at the lowly end of the hierarchy Issues Servant Leaders May Face Tarr (1995) asserts three issues that a servant leader may encounter. 1995). To ensure optimum reconciliation of the followers’ and organizations’ interest. foster self-awareness. listen to their followers. Servant Leadership in Contemporary Issues and Challenges Navahandi (2006) conveys that the paradigm of a leader’s effectiveness. . Further. servant leaders have to demonstrate strength and perseverance during the collaborative process. the servant leader has to become vulnerable and share his or her personal information to followers. • The elements of servant leadership assist leaders in reconciling the interests of the followers to the organization’s goals. Seek common ground between the followers and the organization. Servant leaders empathize with their followers. The first conflict is that servant leaders may have to be empathetic toward followers for an extensive period. is the ability to reconcile the interest of the followers and the organization. particularly in the global market. servant leaders have to be equally empathetic and collaborative. leaders must: • • • Understand and explore the desires and values of their followers. understand the intrinsic value of their followers. Encourage follower individuality and uniqueness. Ensure that leadership within the organization understands the culture and values of the organization. Given that servant leaders have to be mutually empathetic and collaborative. Last.
Avolio. Burns (1978) asserts that transactional leaders are task-oriented. Further. and rely on contingent rewards and punishment to facilitate employee performance. Moreover. Conflicts of Transactional Leadership Burns (1978) asserts that the underpinning of transactional leadership style is bureaucratic authority and legitimacy. managers may be prone promptly to reprimand subordinates. and Goodheim (1987). The MBE may discourage follower commitment because followers tend to avoid superiors who appear during adverse situations (Emery & Baker. if mistakes happen. the traditional method of command and control does not address the needs of . 2004). According to Navahandi (2006). organizations may not effectively reconcile the followers and organizations needs. The passive transactional method. Conversely. management-by-exception (MBE). 2004).Leadership Theories 4 Transactional Leadership Transactional Leadership focuses on managing the organization (Friedman. transactional leaders may employ a passive transactional leadership model. transactional leadership entails clarifying the organization’s goals and identifying areas of improvement (Friedman. Transactional Leadership in Contemporary Issues and Challenges Navahandi (2006) asserts that organizations should reconcile followers and organizational needs. 2004). Transactional leadership entails accomplishing the organization’s objective by providing contingent rewards for effective performance while penalizing poor performance (Friedman. permits managers to allow the status quo to exist as long as the old method is working. If organizations rely solely on the transactional leadership style. emphasize work standards. 2007). According to Bass.
Flexible organizations in the future will have little time to employ managers whose jobs is exclusively to oversee followers. . 83). intellectually stimulate their followers. even alienating effects” (Deci & Flaste. and meet their followers’ emotional needs. The incubator for change. according to Bass (1990). 1995). Subsequently. is leadership developing a relationship between themselves and the followers. Organizations that rely solely on the framework of leadership may not be able to deal with complexity and change (Knotter. p. Transformational leaders may employ charisma to motivate and meet the needs of the followers (Bass. Knotter (1995) suggests that organizations with strong leadership and weak management may have adverse effects on the organization. Under the transformational leadership paradigm. Management is about dealing with complexity. “Leaders want to influence people. Transformational leaders may elevate their followers’ goals and motives by positive influence (Couto. 1990). 1990). 1995). so unless they understand why people behave the way they do. their efforts may have random. 1996. Transformational Leadership in Contemporary Issues and Challenges Transformational leadership is an effective leadership style to influence follower buy-in. leaders are charismatic to their followers. Transformational Leadership Transformational leaders desire and seek change.Leadership Theories 5 the organization. Conflicts of Transformational Leadership Organizations must be able to cope with complexity and change. followers develop a rapport with the leader and followers buy-in on the organization’s goals (Bass. Navahandi (2006) conveys that organizations must reconcile followers’ needs to the organization’s needs. perhaps unpredictable.
Leaders must be sensitive to the followers’ readiness level (Hersey & Blanchard. The more the followers engage in the new task. and the level of followers’ readiness may change. the appropriate leadership behavior is not well defined from situation to situation (Graeff.Leadership Theories 6 Situational Leadership Leaders who incorporate a situational leadership model into the organization adjust their behaviors according to the situation. situational leaders must be able to discern when and how to apply their chosen leadership style to a particular situation (Hersey & Blanchard. After the followers reach a level of maturity. Readiness. 1995). The follower maturity levels are not well defined. For the . When followers begin a new task. The situational leadership model does not provide a framework for enlarging the followers’ vision unlike the transformational leadership model. the organization may establish new goals and assign new task to followers. The situational model does not make clear how the leader access maturity levels. Situational leadership. When issues arise within the organization. according to Hersey & Blanchard (1995) entails the willingness and ability to perform a specific task. 1995). unlike transactional leadership. 1995). Situational Leadership in Contemporary Issues and Challenges Reconciling organization and followers’ needs may be difficult because the elements of the situational leadership model are not well defined. the followers’ confidence rises to higher levels of readiness (Hersey & Blanchard. 1983). Unlike servant leadership. followers may be insecure because of lack of knowledge of the task. transactional leadership. the situational leadership model does not clearly enable leaders to build community at the lowest levels possible. and transformational leadership. Conflicts of Situational Leadership Unlike servant leadership. does not clearly specify how the model will manage employee performance.
The vision is essential to the success of an organization. Organizations applying the transformational leadership and servant leadership model may want to incorporate the transactional leadership model to provide a balance. Transformational leadership will provide the vision for the organization.Leadership Theories 7 reason that situational leadership lacks empirical support. . 1990). Transactional leadership will clarify the vision and ensure accountability. Conclusion Organizations should understand and apply leadership and contingency models within the organization to reconcile the followers’ and organization’s needs. Organizations may want refrain from the situational style of leadership because situational leadership lacks empirical support. situational leadership is an insubstantial contingency model (Navahandi. there will be no revitalization (Tichy & Devanna. 2006). Without the vision. Perhaps organizations may want to consider incorporating transformational leadership and transactional leadership simultaneously.
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