Four Types Of Leadership Theories Commerce Essay

Leadership is a extremely attractive and of import wealth ( Northouse, 2011 ) . Majority people consent that the leading can better their single, societal, and vocational lives. Therefore, research workers paid attending to leading and been studied with both qualitative and quantitative methods. Since Stogdill ( 1974 ) pointed out the definition of leading in a reappraisal of research, there are 1000s of people who have tried to specify it, merely like the word love. Although each of them has their ain ground, bookmans and practicians have attempted to specify it for more than a century without common consensus. In the traditional position, leading is about a place and power, which lead others to accomplish organisational ends. This position restricts leading to those who are born to be leaders and believed to hold particular features separating leaders from non-leaders ( Bass, 1990 ) .

However, in the modern position, leading is the ability or a procedure whereby a individual influences a group to accomplish common ends ( Northouse, 2011 ) . As leading theory progressed, accomplishment degrees and status factors were studied and research workers have presented and summarized different theories to explicate leading and leading behaviour in any establishment. While there are three major theories and one type of leading are important: Trait Theory, Behavioral Theory, Contingency Theory and Transformational Leadership.

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Trait Theory

To be a leader, some traits are must. But, where do these traits come from? The Trait Theory, besides known as “ Great man/Hero ” Theory assumes that leading is inherited and attempts to place features that ever differentiate leaders from followings and capable leaders from uneffective leaders. The Trait Theories were singular in the civilization from 1904 to 1947, ab initio big measures of traits considered to be possessed by leaders were presented in this theory ( Spotts, 1976 ) .

Leadership traits

Trait of features




Emotional intelligence ( qualified )


Honesty and unity

Leadership motive


Job-relevant cognition


The tabular array above provides a sum-up of the traits and features that were classified by research workers.

However, the Trait Theory has some serious failings every bit good.

1. Sometimes leaders do non hold all the traits, while non-leaders may possess most or all of them.

2. The Trait Theory failed to associate with state of affairss. A individual who has certain traits that make him/her a leader in one state of affairs may non be leader in another state of affairs.

3. Relationship between leader ‘s features and success is non clear.

Behavioral Theory

The unfavorable judgment of Trait Theory laid a foundation of the birth of the Behavioral Theory in the 1930s and the point of view began to travel from a religion in the familial traits of leaders, to a focal point on behaviour which could be acquired or learned ( Uma, 2006 ) . Apparently, the Behavioral Theory is founded on behaviourism, where believe that leaders are non congenital that manner, but are learned to be leaders, which strongly opposes the Trait Theory. Harmonizing to Behavioral Theory, the successful leading depends more on suited behaviour and actions and less on personal traits.

There are four chief behavioural surveies:

Iowa University

Ohio State University

Michigan University

Texas University



1940s and 1950s



Behavioral Dimensions

Democratic, Autocratic, and Laissez-faire manners ( Lewin & A ; Lippitt, 1938 ) ( most effectual ) ( Bass, 1990 )

Consideration, and Initiating construction ( Kerr et al, 1974 )

Employee oriented, and Production oriented ( Cartwrifhr, 1960 ) .

Managerial Grid: concern for people and concern for production ( Blake & A ; Mouton, 1964 )

Meanwhile, the Behavioral Theory still has failings. The relationship between these behaviours and dependent public presentation and satisfaction is non necessarily clean cut. The theory ignores the circumstance in which leading occurs.

Contingency Theory

Contingency theory is a leader-match theory, which means that it attempts to fit leaders to proper fortunes ( Fiedler, 1974 ) . It is called eventuality because it indicates that a leader ‘s efficaciousness depends on whether the leader manner adapts the making. To understand the enforcement of leaders, it is necessary to understand the milieus in which they lead. Effective leading pivots on fiting a leader ‘s manner to the appropriate state of affairss.

Contingency theory has several major excellences. First, it is supported by a big figure of empirical researches ( Peter, 1985 ) . Second, eventuality theory has extended our apprehension of leading by driving us to see the influence of state of affairss on leaders ( e.g. , trait attack ) . Third, it is provides helpful information about the leading that is most likely to be available in certain conditions ( e.g. leader-subordinate dealingss, place power and undertaking construction ) . Fourth, this theory does non necessitate that people be effectual in all state of affairss. In a word, eventuality theory is really much involved with manners and state of affairss. It establishes the construction for effectually fiting the leader and state of affairs.

While many surveies support the handiness of eventuality theory, it has besides received many remarks ( Northouse, 2011 ) :

1. It fails to explicate wholly why people with some leading manners are more effectual in some fortunes than in other conditions, which is called Black Box Problem by Fiedler ( Fiedler, 1993 ) .

2. It fails to explicate wholly what establishments should make when there is an incongruousness between the state of affairs and the leader in the on the job topographic point.

Transformational Leadership

Recently, one of the extremely sought-after ways to leading that has been studied by many research workers since the early 1980s is the transformational attack, and Transformational leading enters into the New Leadership illustration ( Bryman, 1992 ) , which attracts more attending to the magnetic and emotional factors of leading. It is the attack whereby single engages with others and establishes a relationship which improves the degree of morality and motive in both the leaders and their members ( Northouse, 2011 ) .

Transformation occurs in one or more of the undermentioned attacks ( Bernard et al, 2006 ) :

1. By bettering people ‘s degree of consciousness about payment and methods to carry through them: have the ability of profound influence on followings ; take attention of concerns of followings.

2. By doing people give up their ain involvements for the interest of group/organization: Change followings ‘ apprehension of jobs.

3. By acquiring people to concentrate on secondary satisfaction.

4. By assisting followings to follow drawn-out and broad position.

5. By assisting people realize the demand for alteration: encourage workers to do farther attempts.

Transformational leading is based on trait theory, because the focal point of analysis is the leader ‘s personal features, which contains personal appeal, the ability to take others by personal appeal, inspiration, and emotion. So it regards leading as personal features or personality traits instead than a behaviour that people can get from larning ( Bryman, 1986 ) .


Based on the study, the four different leading theories have their ain strengths and failings, but they are all applicable in the concern organisation. In order to be successful in one ‘s leading function, people should non merely possess the features that mentioned, but besides put these into pattern. A successful leader should larn everything about the leading that fits him/her best, acquire feedback from the direction squad and his/her group members, think over the feedback and alteration anything that needs to alter, and so use them in existent concern for optimal accomplishment ( Leadership Theory and Practice, 2012 ) .


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