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Major Leadership Theory Issues

Are leaders born that way or do they learn leadership behaviors? (Traits vs. Behaviors) Is there one best way to lead in all situations? (Universal vs. Contingency)
If Contingency, what variables are important?
e.g., Followers, Task, Environment

How much should the leader allow subordinates to participate in decisions? How can you improve leadership?

Types of Leadership Theories


Universal Traits
Leader Attributes Stressed Type I: Trait Theories Type II: Ohio St., Mich., Lead. Grid

Type III: Fiedler Type IV: Hersey-Blanch., Path-Goal, Vroom


Types of Leadership Theories

Trait Theories
e.g., Self-Confidence, Persistence Dont predict actions well Dont explain how traits translate into action

Universal Theories
Research disproves

Contingency-Style Theories (Type IV)

Most prevalent today

Traits that Generally Differentiate Leaders from Nonleaders

Drive Desire to Lead Honesty and Integrity Self-Confidence Intelligence Job-Relevant Knowledge


Low Initiating Structure High Initiating Structure High Consideration High Initiating Structure Low Consideration

High Consideration

Consideration Low
Low Initiating Structure Low Consideration

Low High Initiating Structure

Contingency Approaches
Identify relevant Situational Variables and what Leader Traits or Styles are appropriate for each.

Situational Variables
Leader-Member Relations Task Structure Leader Position Power

Hersey and Blanchard

Follower Readiness (Ability, Willingness)

Path-Goal Theory
Subordinates Ability, Personality Environment
Task WorkGroup Organization Authority System

What is needed to facilitate a Quality decision What is needed to bolster employee Morale

Fiedlers Contingency Theory (Type III Theory)

Situational Variables
Leader-Member Relations Good vs. Poor Task Structure Structured vs. Unstructured Leader Position Power Strong vs. Weak

Leader Traits
Relationship-oriented (High LPC) Task-oriented (Low LPC) (Fiedler believed it is easier to change a situation than to change a leader)

Fiedlers Contingency Theory

Task-Oriented Leaders
-Most effective when situation is either highly favorable or highly unfavorable (research supports well)

Relationship-Oriented Leaders
-Most effective when situation is moderately favorable (less research support)

Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Theory (Type IV)

Situational Variables Followers Readiness / Maturity is due to : Ability Willingness
Leader Behaviors Task Behavior (High or Low) Relationship Behavior (High or Low) 4 Combinations Including: Telling (H-L) Selling (H-H) Participating (L-H) Delegating (L-L)

Path-Goal Theory (Type IV)

A leaders responsibility is to increase subordinates' motivation by: Clarifying the subordinates' path (i.e., helping them reach the goal) Giving things they value as rewards for reaching the goal A major contribution is the Achievement Oriented leadership style in which the leader is able to provide goals that give subordinates an incentive

Vrooms Normative Decision Model (Leader-Participation) (Type IV)

Helps gauge the appropriate amount of participation for subordinates 5 levels of leader participation styles ranging from highly autocratic to highly democratic.

Vroom Model
Participation is permitted primarily to: Enhance Decision Quality Foster Subordinate Morale Or Both Series of questions asked about the situation (e.g., Does the leader have the expertise to solve the problem alone?, How important is subordinate commitment to the decision?)

Vrooms Normative Decision Model Styles

AI Leader makes decision alone AII Leader obtains information from subordinates, then makes decision alone CI Leader obtains suggestions from subordinates individually, then makes decision alone CII Leader obtains suggestions from subordinates collectively, then makes decision alone G Decision by group consensus

Trends Toward Greater Participation

Reasons: Education Technology Deregulation Downsizing Globalization

Newer Leadership Concepts

Not highly developed as leadership theories. Often seen as beyond the bounds of traditional theories. Stress what you might call the Visionary Hero Transformational Leader
Brings about innovation and change. Imagines how the future could be and inspires followers to work toward creating that future.

Charismatic Leader
A leader whose personality motivates subordinates to exceed their required performance level.

Kinds of Charismatic Leaders

Unethical Charismatics
control and manipulate followers only want positive feedback motivated by self-interest

Ethical Charismatics
recognize others contributions open to positive and negative feedback concerned with the interests of the group

(and earlier views)
Strong Man Authoritarian (similar to Type I) Transactor - Motivates subordinates using feedback and rewards (similar to Types II IV) Visionary Hero - Inspires using emotion, but still the decision maker Superleader - Helps followers become self-leaders or superfollowers

Yes People

Effective (Super) Followers

Employee Activity/ Initiative




Alienated Followers

Employee Critical Thinking

Implications of Leadership Theories

Know your preferred Style. (Fiedler) Know and care about your Followers. (Hersey &
Blanchard, Path-Goal)

Know and care about the Task. (Fiedler, Path-Goal) Understand the Environment affecting you and your followers. (Path-Goal) Fit your Style to your Followers, the Task, and the Environment. (This may include making changes in S, F, T, or E.) Enhance your Referent and Expert Power
(Charismatic, etc.)

Visualize the Future and prepare your Followers for it (Charismatic, Superleadership)