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Researchjournalis Journal of Management

Vol. 2 | No. 2 March | 2014 ISSN 2347-8217

A Literature
Review On
Leadership Styles
Dr. C.L Chandan

Professor, Himachal Pradesh University, Business

School, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Rita Devi

JRF Research Scholar, Himachal Pradesh

University, Business School, Shimla, Himachal
Pradesh, India

Researchjournalis Journal of Management

Vol. 2 | No. 2 March | 2014 ISSN 2347-8217

An effective leader influences his or her followers in a desired manner to achieve goals and objectives. It is
evident from the literature that different leadership styles may affect an organizations effectiveness and
performance. The objective of this paper is to analyze the review of literature on various leadership styles
over the past years. How different leadership styles have emerged over a period of time. Information was
obtained after reviewing many articles, research papers on leadership styles from different journals,
magazines and books. Moreover, the study recommends that transformational and transactional leadership
styles are more important as more work has been done in the field of these leadership styles.

Keywords: Leadership styles, Transactional leadership, Transformational leadership.

1. Introduction
In order to run the organizations effortlessly, effectively and efficiently, the most important and valued factor
organizations need are Human resources. The success of an organization depends on the diligent, loyal and
concerned managers and employees. Leadership is required in every organization at every level, the success
or failure of an organization depends on the quality of leadership particularly on the part of top management.
In this competitive era where world has become a global village, firms are considered to be competitive on the
basis of competence of their human resources. Management of employees mostly depends on the quality of
leadership organizations have (Albioon & Gagliardi, 2007). Concept of leadership is not a new concept in the
field of social science studies. In the recent years, the area of leadership has been widely studied more than
any other aspect of human resource management.
We are now in a era of great leadership. The 20th century was a era of great influential leaders. No doubt ,we
want effective leaders in huge numbers at all strata in all organizations, rather than only a small number of
great leaders. This change from great leaders into great leadership is in reaction to the rapid changing
environment. These changes in the organization needs high quality and quicker decision making which is
possible only when there are proficient, effective and competent people, who are able of taking such
decisions at all levels. Faster and worth decision making will direct to dehierarchization, decentralization and
debureaucratization, which will result in empowerment at all levels. There are countless definitions of
leadership and there are a number of researchers who have made an attempt to explore this concept. Although
numerous specific definitions may well be cited, most of them would depend on the theoretical orientation
taken. Besides influence, leadership has been defined in terms of group processes, personality, compliance,
persuasion, power, goal achievement, role differentiation, interaction and combination of two or more of

Researchjournalis Journal of Management

Vol. 2 | No. 2 March | 2014 ISSN 2347-8217

2. Theoretical Framework
The study of leadership has been an important and central part of the literature on management and
organization behavior for several decades. Indeed, no other role in organizations has received more interest
than that of the leader (Schwandt & Marquardt, 2000). The concept of leadership has been studied since ages
dating back to the times of Plato, Caesar (Bass, 1981). Over the years, researchers have generated a surplus of
work and data that adds value in the field of leadership research. Although leadership is just an expression
that is often used in conversation and is frequently described by various adjectives such as good leadership,
influential leadership, effective leadership, poor leadership and bad leadership. Most scholars have come to
the conclusion that the concept of leadership does not attribute to one specific definition.

Although a lack of harmony continues to exist about an exact meaning for leadership, most of the researchers
agree that leadership is an influence relationship between the leaders and the follower who have their shared
purposes and the leader achieves goals through continuous inspiration and motivation of their followers.
It is very important to have a better understanding of the historical evolvement of the concept of a leader and
the leadership. For the purposes of this study, a discussion of these concepts will be provided as they
originate from traditional leadership theories of the mid 1900s to the more modern theories of leadership.

2.1 Historical Evolvement Of Concept Of Leadership

The earlier concept of leadership focused on great men born with qualities of leadership. The Great Man
Theory of leadership attempted to explain leadership on the basis of heredity. The fundamental concept of
the theory is that the leader is genetically gifted with superior qualities that differentiate him from his
followers. In the early years of the twentieth century, several leadership theorists were motivated by Galtons
(1870) study of the hereditary background of great men. He projected that great leaders take over their ability
to lead to their descendants through their genes. In 1900s, the concept of leadership was studied in terms of
qualities or traits which distinguished leaders from the rest of the people(followers). The trait theory was
based on the assumptions that generally people are born with certain special characteristics or traits like
intelligence, alertness, scholastic achievement, dependability, persistence, adaptability, relational competence
and higher socio- economic status. The presence of above mentioned traits, or specific characteristics
apparently enable people to attain such leadership positions. The search for such universal traits or qualities
was eventually seen as pointless, because the general approach to leadership seemed to be more important.

After the trait approach the behavioural approach came into existence. Researchers began to focus on the
apparent leadership behaviors. It was known as behavioral leadership theory. The development of behavior
theories was strongly based on leaders behavior. At that time, two major research studies were conducted by

Researchjournalis Journal of Management

Vol. 2 | No. 2 March | 2014 ISSN 2347-8217

researchers from the University of Michigan and Ohio State which paid attention on apparent leadership
behaviors. Both studies yielded similar results. The researchers at Ohio State sought to identify independent
dimensions of leader behavior. Beginning with over 1000 dimensions, they eventually narrowed the list to
two categories that accounted for most of the leadership behavior described by employees. They called these
two dimensions initiating structure and consideration. Initiating structure refers to the extent to which a
leader is likely to define and structure his or her role and those of employees in the search for goal attainment.
It includes the behavior that attempts to organize work, work relationships and goals. Consideration is
described as the extent to which a person is likely to have job relationships that are characterized by mutual
trust, respect for employees idea and respect for their feelings.

Similar research results were obtained at the University of Michigan Study. They also came up with two
dimensions of leadership behaviors that they named:

(1) production oriented (2) employee oriented. Production oriented leaders were who tend to emphasize on
technical or task aspects of job. Their main concern was in accomplishing their tasks and the group members
were just a means to accomplish that goal. The second leaders, employee oriented, were describes as those
who emphasized on interpersonal relationships. Leaders who showed the employee oriented behavior also
showed human-relation oriented skills. These studies supported the fact that effective leaders had to be a mix
of both production and employee oriented behavior.

After concentrating just on leaders themselves proved to fall short of being an adequate overall theory of
leadership, attention was paid not only to the group being led and the exchange relationship, but also to the
situational aspct of leadership. Researchers began the search for situational variables that affect leadership
roles, skills and followers performance. So at that time Situational or Contingency theory came into
existence. The contingency approach suggested that a single leadership style was not appropriate under all
the situations.

The contingency theories represented a shift in leadership studies from focusing on the leader to looking at the
leader in combination with the situation in which the leader works (Fiedler, 1978). The main contingency
theories are the Fiedlers Contingency Model, Hersey and Blanchards Situational Leadership Model, Houses
Path-Goal Model and the Leader-Member Exchange theory. Fiedler demonstrated that the effectiveness of
production orientation and employee orientation depends on the situation. Simple and clear tasks but
situations with very high or very low leader acceptance requires production oriented leadership and complex
tasks requires employee oriented leadership.

Researchjournalis Journal of Management

Vol. 2 | No. 2 March | 2014 ISSN 2347-8217

2.2 New Approaches To Leadership

Besides these traditional theories of leadership, a number of other theories have emerged in the recent years.
These include the charismatic, transactional, transformational and authentic theories of leadership.

Charismatic leadership theory

Max weber was the first scholar to discuss charismatic leadership. The first researcher to consider charismatic
leadership in terms of organizational behavior was Robert house. According to him, followers make
attributions of heroic or extraordinary leadership abilities when they observe certain behaviors. Charismatic
leaders have these four key characteristics- they have a vision, they are willing to take personal risks, they are
sensitive to followers needs and they exhibit behaviors that are out of the ordinary.

Transactional leadership theory

According to this theory there is an exchange of rewards between the leaders and the subordinates for
services rendered. Transactional leaders try to motivate their followers through extrinsic rewards. The roots
of Transactional leadership theory is grounded in the social learning and social exchange theories, which
recognize the equal nature of leadership.

In Transformational leadership however, the leader fails to

understand followers motives and needs. The focus shifts from the need of the leader to the followers needs.
By gaining an understanding of their followers needs, the transformational leader can potentially convert
followers into leaders. Bass and Avolio described transactional leadership in terms of two characteristics: the
use of contingent rewards and management by exception. They described contingent reward as the reward
that the leader will give to the subordinate once the latter has achieved goals that were agreed to. Contingent
reward is therefore the exchange of rewards for meeting agreed-on objectives. Transactional leaders can also
act by relying on active management by exception which occurs when the leader monitors followers to ensure
mistakes are not made. In passive management by exception, the leader intervene only when things go wrong.

Transformational Leadership theory

Transformational leadership theory focuses more on change, and inspires followers to have a shared vision
and goals of an organization, challenges them to be innovative, problem solvers, and also helps to develop
followers leadership capabilities through coaching, mentoring, and by providing both challenge and support
to the followers. In a transformational theory, the purposes and goals of leaders and followers become related
that might have begun as separate. . A transformational leader influences his or her followers to look beyond
their self-interest for the good of the group. From a transformational leadership perspective, leadership is
considered to be about doing what has never being done, and it includes visionary and charismatic leadership.

Researchjournalis Journal of Management

Vol. 2 | No. 2 March | 2014 ISSN 2347-8217

The transformational approach views leadership as a shared process. For many researchers charismatic
leadership and transformational leadership are similar, but the charismatic leadership is just an important
component of transformational leadership. The scope of transformational leadership is wide enough.
Bass and colleagues have identified five components of transformational leadership: 1) idealized influence
(attributes); 2) idealized influence (behaviour); 3) inspirational motivation; 4) intellectual stimulation and 5)
individualized consideration.

1) Idealized influence attributes- when followers identify with and follow those leaders who are trusted and
seem to have an achievable mission and vision. The leaders have specific attributes which are adorable to
their followers.
2) Idealized influence behavior refers to the leader behavior which results in followers identifying with such
leaders and wanting to follow them. Leaders representing idealized influence behavior have certain charisma
which inculcates pride in their subordinates and command respect.
3) Inspirational motivation- leaders behave in such a way that motivates and inspires those around them by
providing meaning and challenge to their followers tasks. The leaders constantly motivate their followers to
attain their goals.
4) Intellectual stimulation occurs when the leader motivates their followers to provide alternative solutions to
the problems and challenges. Intellectual stimulation also occurs when leaders encourage their followers to
be innovative and creative by questioning, reframing problems and approaching to the old situations in newer
5) Individual consideration occurs when leaders relate to their followers on one-on-one basis. The aim of the
leader is to elevate goals and develop skills. Leaders who display individual consideration treat each
employee as an individual and are attentive to the unique needs, capabilities and concerns of each individual.
They treat their employees as an individual.

Authentic Leadership
Although charismatic, transactional and transformational leadership theories have added greatly to our
understanding of effective leadership, they do not explicitly deal with the role of ethics and trust. Some
scholars have argued that a consideration of ethics and trust is essential to complete the picture of effective
leadership. Authentic leaders are those who know who they are, who know what they believe in, who act on
the values and beliefs openly and candidly. Their followers consider them to be ethical people. Concept of
authentic leadership is recent, there has not been a lot of research on authentic leadership. However its very
promising to think about the ethics and trust in leadership because it focuses on moral aspects of being a

Researchjournalis Journal of Management

Vol. 2 | No. 2 March | 2014 ISSN 2347-8217

3. Literature Review
Different scholars in social sciences have highlighted a variety of leadership styles.

Elance & Aggarwal (1975), investigated the leadership behavior taking different variables affecting the
leadership style along with delegation of authority of 123 executives from public and private sector. They
found that 67% executives in private sector and 57% in public sector units have employed democratic
decision style or leadership.

Norman (1970), the women in leadership position were found by Norman to be women of high intelligence,
confidence, composed, preserving, experimenting, liberal, socially precise, self motivated and calculating,
with an intellectual approach to situations. They could maintain cordial relations with their superiors. He
conducted a study of women in leadership position in north California.

Singh (1978), in a study of leadership behavior found that total leadership was significantly related to the
four personality factors: outgoingness, intelligence, emotional stability and assertiveness. He conducted a
study of leadership behavior of head of secondary school in the state of Haryana.

Noel. M Tichy,David.O. Ulrich (1984), authors purport that a new brand of leadership-transformational
leadership is the key to revitalizing large U.S corporations such as general motors, AT&T, general electric
etc. Based on the premise that the pressure for basic organizational change will intensify, mnot diminish, over
the years, they argue that transformational leaders must develop a new vision for the organization. Mobilize
employees to accept and work towards achieving the new vision and institutionalize the needed changes.
Unless the creation of this breed of leaders becomes a national agenda, the authors are not very optimistic
about the revitalization of the U.S economy. Based on the premise that the pressure for basic organizational
change will intensify, the authors concluded that transformational leadership is required for revitalizing our
organizations. Ultimately, it is upto our leaders to choose the right kind of leadership and corporate lifestyle.

Reichmann (1991), examined the characteristics of team leaders in higher education. Team leaders exhibited
certain characteristics including conceptual leadership and attributes such as honesty, integrity and a sense of
fairness. He conducted a study on team leader effectiveness, high performance teams in higher education and
mainly observed the characteristics of team leaders.

Researchjournalis Journal of Management

Vol. 2 | No. 2 March | 2014 ISSN 2347-8217

Northouse (2001), leadership is described as the selection of bases of influence. The transformational
approach views leadership as a shared process. The outcome of this process is the ability to transform oneself,
others, and the organization to new, unimagined heights of motivation and performance.

Alpana Priyabhashini, Venkat R. Krishnan (2005), studied the relationship between transformational
leadership, leaders expectation from follower(pygmalion effect) and followers readiness for promotion
using a sample of 101 managers from two organizations in India. Respondents answered questions on their
readiness for promotions and on their superiors transformational leadership and expectations. The readiness
for promotion was captured through two dimensions. The first one related to motivation of the subordinate to
perform and to rise. The second dimension was measured on confidence of the subordinate. The results
showed that leaders expectation was significantly positively correlated to followers readiness for promotion.
Each of the five factors of transformational leadership was significantly was significantly positively correlated
to leaders expectation. Readiness for promotion is positively related to only three factors of transformational
leadership-idealized influence, inspirational motivation and intellectual stimulation and is not related to the
fourth factor-individualized consideration. Results also showed that leaders expectation mediates.

David.M.Harold, Donald.B.Fedor (2008), in this study, investigated the effect of transformational and
change leadership on employees commitment to a change. The effects of transformational leadership on the
outcomes of specific change initiatives are not well understood.

Omar Bin Sayeed, Meera Shankar(2009), in their study attempted to examine multivariate relationships
between emotional intelligence and transformational leadership. The canonical correlation between emotional
intelligence and transformational leadership dimensions revealed significant relationships, which confirmed
emotional intelligence as an important element of managerial temperament.

Vimal Babu (2011), studies have emphasized that expatriates leadership styles play a pivotal role. It has been
considered as a prime criterion to be successful and effective in the host country. Study has examined 25
Japnese and 23 American expats in India focusing on their leadership styles. In order to determine the
leadership styles of these managers from altogether different countries, the study has investigated ten
leadership components. Results were analysed to identify the differences and similarities between the
leadership styles. Statistical tests revealed that there were significant differences on four leadership
components out of ten and the remaining six leadership components had non significant differences. Results
showed that American managers had good communication skills . Japanese managers often motivated their
subordinates to work harder by stating clearly what the desired performance is and what is not. American

Researchjournalis Journal of Management

Vol. 2 | No. 2 March | 2014 ISSN 2347-8217

managers had more knowledge and skills to transfer and train their subordinates. The study also sheds light on
the implications for expatriates with regard to leadership effectiveness.

Rezvan Mirsafaei Rizi, Aida Azadi, Maryam Eslami Farsani, Shahram Aroufzad(2013), relationship
between leadership styles and job satisfaction among physical education organization employees in Isfahan.
Results showed that the positive correlation between overall leadership styles and job satisfaction was
significant at the level of P<0.05. Also, the correlations between leadership styles sub-scales such as
transactional leadership, transformational leadership and passive/avoidant leadership and job satisfaction was
significant at the level of P<0.05. Based on these results, among determinants of job satisfaction, leadership is
viewed as an important predictor and plays a central role.

4. Conclusion
After reviewing the literature on leadership, it is clear that accountable and suitable leadership is essential for
the success of any organization. Every organization needs effective leaders who fulfil organizational
productivity by increasing follower's job satisfaction, performance and commitment. Although there is a
plethora of research on the topic of effective leadership styles, there are some researchers that claim a cross
between transformational and transactional leadership to be the best leadership for todays world. Some
researchers claim that for effective leadership there should have a balance between transformational and
transactional leadership. It is widely understood that the face of leadership is changing and in order to be an
effective leader one must embrace the changes that are before them. There is not just one ideal leadership
style to use for every issue, because one may have more knowledge and experience in one situation, but may
not be in another. An effective leader must be open ended and able to accept feedback and adjust their style of
leadership, if necessary. In conclusion, change is necessary if an organization wishes to keep up with the
times. The old styles of leadership must be broken and the organizations should encourage and train their
leaders to be more transformational.

5. References
Alpana Priyabhashini, Venkat R. Krishnan (2005), Transformational leadership and followers career advancement: role of
pygmalion effect Indian journal of industrial relations, vol.40, no.4, p.p 482-499.
Bass, B.M and Avolio, B.J (1990): Transformational Leadership development: manual for the multifactor leadership questionnaire
Palo alto: C.A consulting psychologist press.
Bass, B.M &Riggio (2006), Transformational leadership (2 nd edition) NJ Lawrence Erlbaum associates.
David. M Harold, Donald Fedor (2008), the effects of transformational and change leadership on employees commitment to a
change Journal of applied psychology, vol 93, no. 2 p. 346-357.
Elance & Aggarwal (1975), Leadership behavior Delegation of authority Lok Udyog, vol.6, p.p 9-20.

Researchjournalis Journal of Management

Vol. 2 | No. 2 March | 2014 ISSN 2347-8217

Fred Luthans, Organizational Behavior 11th edition 2008, mcgraw hill international edition.
Norman B.N ( 1970): A study of women in Leadership position in North California the delta-kappa-gamma bulletin, 36, p. 10-14.
Northouse (2001) : Leadership ; theory and practice thousand oaks, sage publications.
Noel. M Tichy,David.O. Ulrich (1984),The leadership challenge: a call for the transformational leader, Sloan management review,
vol.26, no.1.
Omar bin sayeed, Meera Shankar (2009), Emotionally intelligent leaders and Transformational leadership styles Indian journal of
industrial relations, vol. 44 no. 4 p.593-610.
Stephen P. Robbins, Timothy A. judge and Seema Sanghi , Organizational behavior 13 th edition2009, pearson prentice hall.
Singh (1978): a study of leadership behavior of head of senior secondary school in Haryana and its correlates Ph.D. dissertation,
kurukshetra university.
Vimal Babu (2011), Divergent leadership styles practiced by Global managers in India Indian journal of industrial relations, vol.
46, no. 3, p.p 478-490.