You are on page 1of 13

LEADERSHIP THEORIES AND STYLES

Submitted to

Mr. G. B. SITARAM
(FACULTY, MBA)

Submitted by

MUHAMMAD SALIM 07217003909 MBA 1ST semester

LEADERSHIP THEORIES

Trait Theory

The Trait Approach arose from the Great Man theory as a way of identifying the key characteristics of successful leaders. It was believed that through this approach critical leadership traits could be isolated and that people with such traits could then be recruited selected and installed into leadership positions. This approach was common in the military and is still used as a set of criteria to select candidates for commissions. The problem with the trait approach lies in the fact that almost as many traits as studies undertaken were identified. After several years of such research it became apparent that no consistent traits could be identified. Although some traits were found in a considerable number of studies the results were generally inconclusive. !ome leaders might have possessed certain traits but the absence of them did not necessarily mean that the person was not a leader. Although there was little consistency in the results of the various trait studies however some traits did appear more fre"uently than others including# technical skill friendliness task motivation application to task group task supportiveness social skill emotional control administrative skill general charisma and intelligence. $f these the most widely e%plored has tended to be charisma.

Stogdills Trait Theory Assumptions# &eople are born with inherited traits. !ome traits are particularly suited to leadership. &eople who make good leaders have the right 'or sufficient( combination of traits. )escription# *arly research on leadership was based on the psychological focus of the day which was of people having inherited characteristics or traits. Attention was thus put on discovering these traits often by studying successful leaders but with the

underlying assumption that if other people could also be found with these traits then they too could also become great leaders. !togdill '+,-.( identified the following traits and skills as critical to leaders. Traits Adaptable to situations Alert to social environment Ambitious and achievement/orientated Assertive 0ooperative )ecisive )ependable )ominant 'desire to influence others( *nergetic 'high activity level( &ersistent !elf/confident Tolerant of stress

Skills 0lever 'intelligent( 0onceptually skilled 0reative )iplomatic and tactful 2luent in speaking 3nowledgeable about group task $rganised 'administrative ability( &ersuasive !ocially skilled

1illing to assume responsibility

Mc0all and 4ombardo '+,56( researched both success and failure identified four primary traits by which leaders could succeed or 7derail7#

*motional stability and composure# 0alm confident and predictable particularly when under stress. Admitting error# $wning up to mistakes rather than putting energy into covering up. Good interpersonal skills# Able to communicate and persuade others without resort to negative or coercive tactics. Intellectual breadth# Able to understand a wide range of areas rather than having a narrow 'and narrow/minded( area of e%pertise.

)iscussion# There have been many different studies of leadership traits and they agree only in the general saintly "ualities needed to be a leader. 2or a long period inherited traits were sidelined as learned and situational factors were considered to be far more realistic as reasons for people ac"uiring leadership positions. &arado%ically the research into twins who were separated at birth along with new sciences such as 8ehavioral Genetics have shown that far more is inherited than was previously supposed. &erhaps one day they will find a 7leadership gene7. The Behavioural Theory The results of the trait studies were inconclusive. Traits amongst other things were hard to measure. 9ow for e%ample do we measure traits such as honesty integrity loyalty or diligence: Another approach in the study of leadership had to be found. After the publication of the late )ouglas McGregor7s classic book The 9uman !ide of *nterprise in +,;< attention shifted to =behavioural theories>. McGregor was a teacher researcher and consultant whose work was considered to be ?on the cutting edge? of managing people. 9e influenced all the behavioural theories which emphasi@e focusing on human relationships along with output and performance. Tannenbaum & Schmidts Leadership Continuum $ne criticism of early work on leadership styles is that they looked at styles too much in black and white terms. The autocratic and democratic styles or task/ oriented and relationship/oriented styles which they described are e%tremes whereas in practice the behaviour of many perhaps most leaders in business will be somewhere between the two. 0ontingency theorists Tannenbaum and !chmidt suggested the idea that leadership behaviour varies along a continuum and that as one moves away from the autocratic e%treme the amount of subordinate participation and involvement in decision taking increases. They also suggested

that the kind of leadership represented by the democratic e%treme of the continuum will be rarely encountered in formal organisations. McGregors Theory X & Theory Managers

Although not strictly speaking a theory of leadership the leadership strategy of effectively/used participative management proposed in )ouglas McGregor7s book has had a tremendous impact on managers. The most publici@ed concept is McGregor7s thesis that leadership strategies are influenced by a leader7s assumptions about human nature. As a result of his e%perience as a consultant McGregor summarised two contrasting sets of assumptions made by managers in industry . Theory X managers believe that# A The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if possible. A 8ecause of this human characteristic most people must be coerced controlled directed or threatened with punishment to get them to put forth ade"uate effort to achieve organi@ational obBectives. A The average human being prefers to be directed wishes to avoid responsibility has relatively little ambition and wants security above all else. Theory managers believe that#

A The e%penditure of physical and mental effort in work is as natural as play or rest and the average human being under proper conditions learns not only to accept but to seek responsibility. A &eople will e%ercise self/direction and self/control to achieve obBectives to which they are committed. A The capacity to e%ercise a relatively high level of imagination ingenuity and creativity in the solution of organi@ational problems is widely not narrowly distributed in the population and the intellectual potentialities of the average human being are only partially utili@ed under the conditions of modern industrial life.

It can therefore be seen that a leader holding Theory C assumptions would prefer an autocratic style whereas one holding Theory D assumptions would prefer a more participative style. Blake and Mouton!s Managerial Grid The Managerial Grid developed by Eobert 8lake and Fane Mouton focuses on task 'production( and employee 'people( orientations of managers as well as combinations of concerns between the two e%tremes. A grid with concern for production on the hori@ontal a%is and concern for people on the vertical a%is and plots five basic leadership styles. The first number refers to a leader7s production or task orientationG the second to people or employee orientation.

The 8lake Mouton Managerial Grid '8lake H Mouton +,;.(

The Contingency or Situational Theory


1hilst behavioural theories may help managers develop particular leadership behaviours they give little guidance as to what constitutes effective leadership in different situations. Indeed most researchers today conclude that no one leadership style is right for every manager under all circumstances. Instead contingency/ situational theories were developed to indicate that the style to be used is

contingent upon such factors as the situation the people the task the organisation and other environmental variables. The maBor theories contributing towards this school of thought are described below.

"iedler!s Contingency Model 2iedler7s contingency theory postulates that there is no single best way for managers to lead. !ituations will create different leadership style re"uirements for a manager. The solution to a managerial situation is contingent on the factors that impinge on the situation. 2or e%ample in a highly routine 'mechanistic( environment where repetitive tasks are the norm a relatively directive leadership style may result in the best performance however in a dynamic environment a more fle%ible participative style may be re"uired. 2iedler looked at three situations that could define the condition of a managerial task# +. Leader member relations# 9ow well do the manager and the employees get along: I. Task structure# Is the Bob highly structured fairly unstructured or somewhere in between: 6. #osition po$er# 9ow much authority does the manager possess: Managers were rated as to whether they were relationship oriented or task oriented. Task oriented managers tend to do better in situations that have good leader/ member relationships structured tasks and either weak or strong position power. They do well when the task is unstructured but position power is strong. Also they did well at the other end of the spectrum when the leader member relations were moderate to poor and the task was unstructured. Eelationship oriented managers do better in all other situations. Thus a given situation might call for a manager with a different style or a manager who could take on a different style for a different situation. These environmental variables are combined in a weighted sum that is termed ?favourable? at one end and ?unfavourable? at the other. Task oriented style is preferable at the clearly defined e%tremes of ?favourable? and ?unfavourable?

environments but relationship orientation e%cels in the middle ground. Managers could attempt to reshape the environment variables to match their style. Another aspect of the contingency model theory is that the leader/member relations task structure and position power dictate a leader7s situational control. 4eader/member relations are the amount of loyalty dependability and support that the leader receives from employees. It is a measure of how the manager perceives he or she and the group of employees is getting along together. In a favourable relationship the manager has a high task structure and is able to reward and or punish employees without any problems. In an unfavourable relationship the task is usually unstructured and the leader possesses limited authority. The spelling out in detail 'favourable( of what is re"uired of subordinates affects task structure. &ositioning power measures the amount of power or authority the manager perceives the organi@ation has given him or her for the purpose of directing rewarding and punishing subordinates. &ositioning power of managers depends on the taking away 'favourable( or increasing 'unfavourable( the decision/making power of employees. The task/motivated style leader e%periences pride and satisfaction in the task accomplishment for the organi@ation while the relationship/motivated style seeks to build interpersonal relations and e%tend e%tra help for the team development in the organi@ation. There is no good or bad leadership style. *ach person has his or her own preferences for leadership. Task/motivated leaders are at their best when the group performs successfully such as achieving a new sales record or outperforming the maBor competitor. Eelationship/oriented leaders are at their best when greater customer satisfaction is gained and a positive company image is established. The %ersey&Blanchard Model o' Leadership The 9ersey/8lanchard 4eadership Model also takes a situational perspective of leadership. This model posits that the developmental levels of a leader7s subordinates play the greatest role in determining which leadership styles 'leader behaviours( are most appropriate. Their theory is based on the amount of direction 'task behaviour( and socio/emotional support 'relationship behaviour( a leader must provide given the situation and the ?level of maturity? of the followers. A Task behaviour is the e%tent to which the leader engages in spelling out the duties and responsibilities to an individual or group. This behaviour includes

telling people what to do how to do it when to do it where to do it and who7s to do it. In task behaviour the leader engages in one/way communication. A (elationship behaviour is the e%tent to which the leader engages in two/way or multi/way communications. This includes listening facilitating and supportive behaviours. In relationship behaviour the leader engages in two/way communication by providing socio/emotional support. A Maturity is the willingness and ability of a person to take responsibility for directing his or her own behaviour. &eople tend to have varying degrees of maturity depending on the specific task function or obBective that a leader is attempting to accomplish through their efforts. In summary therefore leader behaviours fall along two continua# )irective Behaviour A $ne/1ay 0ommunication A 2ollowers7 Eoles 0learly 0ommunicated Supportive Behaviour A Two/1ay 0ommunication A 4istening providing support and encouragement

A 0lose !upervision of &erformance A 2acilitate interaction Involve follower in decision/making 2or 8lanchard the key situational variable when determining the appropriate leadership style is the readiness or developmental level of the subordinate's(. As a result four leadership styles result# A )irecting# The leader provides clear instructions and specific direction. This style is best matched with a low follower readiness level. A Coaching# The leader encourages two/way communication and helps build confidence and motivation on the part of the employee although the leader still has responsibility and controls decision making. !elling style is best matched with a moderate follower readiness level. A Supporting# 1ith this style the leader and followers share decision making and no longer need or e%pect the relationship to be directive. &articipating style is best matched with a moderate follower readiness level. A )elegating# This style is appropriate for leaders whose followers are ready to accomplish a particular task and are both competent and motivated to take full responsibility. )elegating style is best matched with a high follower readiness level.

To determine the appropriate leadership style to use in a given situation the leader must first determine the maturity level of the followers in relation to the specific task that the leader is attempting to accomplish through the effort of the followers. As the level of followers7 maturity increases the leader should begin to reduce his or her task behaviour and increase relationship behaviour until the followers reach a moderate level of maturity. As the followers begin to move into an above average level of maturity the leader should decrease not only task behaviour but also relationship behaviour. $nce the maturity level is identified the appropriate leadership style can be determined.

L*+)*(S%,# ST L* 4eadership style is the manner and approach of providing direction implementing plans and motivating people. 3urt 4ewin '+,6,( led a group of researchers to identify different styles of leadership. This early study has been very influential and established three maBor leadership styles. The three maBor styles of leadership are 'J.!. Army 9andbook +,-6(# Authoritarian or autocratic &articipative or democratic )elegative or 2ree Eeign

Although good leaders use all three styles with one of them normally dominant bad leaders tend to stick with one style.
(1)

+uthoritarian or +utocratic Leadership

This form of leadership is one of the least desirable when it comes to building trusting relationships and making friendsK In a system of autocratic leadership one person has control over all of the workers or followers. The leader is in complete control and no one is permitted to make any suggestions or offer any opinions no matter how it may benefit the group.

1hen it comes to leading a group in school or in a group proBect you will find that autocratic leadership can make you very unpopular. If communication and trust are important you don>t want to lean too far toward autocratic leadership. 8ut there is a time when autocratic traits can prove beneficial. This form of leadership is effective when absolute control is needed over a group. 9ave you ever worked on a group proBect that fell flat: That happens when no strong leader is present. Bene'its o' +utocratic Leadership Group proBects re"uire strong leadership. 1ithout it nobody gets a full understanding of what is re"uired of anybody else. Jnfortunately that often means that some group members procrastinate and wait for others to do the work. In the end the proBect suffers 'and so does your gradeK(. If your group plans to work online at all you should really think about electing a strong leader. This leader should be willing to take charge divide the work and set deadlines. 9e or she must take full control. 0ommunication is difficult enough when it comes to group work but when technology is involved it often breaks down completely. If your group attempts to communicate via email or other electronic communication strong leadership is an absolute mustK It is wise when working in a group to assign a strong leader with some autocratic tendencies.
(2)

#articipative or )emocratic Leadership

Jnder democratic leadership the people have a more participatory role in the decision making process. $ne person retains final say over all decisions but allows others to share insight and ideas. This is often a highly effective form of leadership. &eople are more likely to e%cel in their positions and develop more skills when they feel empowered and people are empowered when they are involved in the decision/making process. Although it may take some time to achieve full participation from a group the end result will be rewarding if you can manage to establish a power/sharing

environment in your group proBect. Dou will find that democratic practices often lead to a more productive and higher "uality work group. *-amples o' democratic leadership. Asking all group members for ideas and input. Loting on the best course of action in a proBect. Asking group members to work with their strengths and provide input on how to divide the work. *nabling members to work at their own pace and set their own deadlines.

&itfalls of )emocratic 4eadership It doesn>t take too much imagination to think of ways that democratic leadership could backfire during a group proBect. As you probably know some members of a group will work well on their own and complete all work in a timely fashion. 8ut there are other workers who will procrastinateMand that can lead to disaster. If you are a natural democratic leader it might be necessary to learn some traits of the autocratic or bureaucratic leaders and tap into them as necessary. Always have a backup plan on handK
(3)

)elegative or "ree (eign leadership

This leadership style is also often called laisse@/faire leadership meaning that followers are effectively given free reign to make decisions and do what they think is appropriate. There is no continuous supervision or feedback from the leader to the group. Although this sounds risky this leadership style can work if team members are highly/e%perienced and re"uire little supervision to achieve the e%pected outcome. It is also useful because a leader isn>t always able to do everything and often needs to delegate certain tasks therefore this style of leadership works well if the leader is able to trust and have confidence in the abilities of the people below himNher. Oote however this style can also be an e%cuse for a la@y leader who fail to supervise their team members and essentially doesn>t lead at all. This results in a lack of control and a loss of productivity as well as higher costs especially in an organi@ation as well as bad service andNor a failure to meet deadlines.