Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Different Leadership Theories

This blog post by the team of assignmenthelpexperts.com would help our students and readers learn about different leadership theories. Leadership can be defined as the process of influencing the behavior of others to work eagerly and passionately for achieving the predetermined goals. Some specific theories of leadership are as follows:

Great Man Theories:
This theory is based on the term of military leadership, because at the time, leadership primarily thought about male quality. It is one of the first attempts to explain the leadership. This concept also refers to belief that great leaders are not made but born with unique characteristics (Schyns and Meindl 2005).

Trait Theories: It shows the characteristics and leadership quality of both successful and unsuccessful leader. It is a logical pleasant theory. Trait theory creates awareness among managers about their weaknesses and strengths. Additionally it also helps the leaders to understand quality of a good leader (Winkler 2009). This theory of leadership also explores that some an individual born with some traits but few leadership traits are developed by his efforts. It identifies the intelligence and knowledge level of a manger related to the particular task. It also shows the level of energy and confidence of leader.

Contingency Theories: This theory of leadership is basically focuses on individual variables as per the environment. It suggests leaders that which traits are adopted as per the environment or task. Additionally, in this, style leader always identifies favorable and unfavorable situations (Wart 2007). This also maintains and describes the relationship between leaders and subordinates. Contingency leadership theory explains leadership in term of individual and as well as response of group.

Situational Theories: This theory refers to those leaders, which are flexible for each situation and implements best course of action as per environmental changes. This theory is also known as life cycle leadership theory. The situational leadership theory refers to most effective leadership style the level of maturity (Bryman 2011), for example, Richard Benson, who manages his leadership behavior as per different situations.

Behavioral Theories: This theory is based on the belief that great leaders are not born and they are made. This theory is not assumed the mental quality and internal status of leaders but only focus on the actions of the leaders (Wart 2007).

Participative Theories: This theory is suggested the ideal leadership style that takes the input of subordinates and followers. Formal authority is in hands of leaders but he always takes suggestion and ideas from followers to manage situation as well. In participative theory leaders treats to subordinates as equal and encourage them to work with zeal and enthusiasm (Kusluvan 2003).

Management Theories: This theory is also called as transactional theory. It concretes on the supervision of organization and all managerial activities. Management theory is also based the system of giving punishments and rewards. When the employees are successful, the management gives rewards and vice versa. This theory also emphasizes the procedures and efficiency of organization, and as well as rules and contracts (Schyns and Meindl 2005).

Relationship Theories: This theory is also known as transformational theory. It explores the relationship between the leaders and followers. In this theory leaders focuses on performance of each group member (Bryman 2011).

Thus, different leadership theories focus on different characteristics and ideas of leaders to motivate subordinates. If you would like to know more about leadership theories or if you need assignment help, please email us to info@assignmenthelpexperts.com


Bryman, A. (2011) The SAGE Handbook of Leadership. Singapur: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Kusluvan, S. (2003) Managing Employee Attitudes and Behaviors in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry.USA: Nova Publishers.

Schyns, B. and Meindl, J. R. (2005) Implicit Leadership Theories: Essays and Explorations. USA: IAP.

Wart, M.V. (2007) Leadership in Public Organizations: an Introduction. USA: M.E. Sharpe.

Winkler, I. (2009) Contemporary Leadership Theories: Enhancing the Understanding of the Complexity, Subjectivity and Dynamic of Leadership. NEW YORK: Springer.