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Leadership Eight Major Theory and Critique

Theories: Great man theories assume that the capacity for leadership Is inherent – that great leaders are born, not made. These theories often portray great leaders as heroic, mythic and destined to rise to leadership when needed. The term “Great Man” was used because, at the time. Leadership was thought of primarily as a male quality, especially in terms of military leadership. Critique : Sociologist Herbert Spencer suggested that the leaders were products of the society in which they lived.

In The Study of Sociology, Spencer wrote, “you must admit that he genesis of a great man depends on the long series of complex influences which has produced the race in which he appears, and the social state into which that race has slowly grown…. Before he can remake his society, his society must make him. ” 2. Trait Theories: Similar in some ways to “Great Man” theories, trait theories assume that people inherit certain qualities and traits that make them better suited to leadership. Trait theories often Identify particular personality or behavioral characteristics shared by leaders.

If particular traits are key features of leadership, then how do we explain people who possess those qualities but are not leaders? This question Is one of the difficulties in using trait theories to explain leadership. Critique : The trait theory is criticized for its generality because the theory doesn’t believe traits change over time. The theory believes traits do not change from situation so people are the same at all times. The trait theory is hard to Judge using personality tests because behaviors change in situations.

The trait theory also generalizes by putting people into groups based on their results in personality inventories. These tests are often to general for a full understanding of the person and their traits. The trait theory uses group results to Judge individuals, which can cause people to appear different than they are because they are being Judged compared to others. The traits are subjective and determined by either psychologists, which can have different understanding of traits. The trait theory Is criticized for Its subjective nature and generalizations. 3.

Contingency Theories: Contingency theories of leadership focus on particular variables related to the environment that might determine which particular style of leadership is best suited or the situation. According to this theory, no leadership style is best in all situations. Success depends upon a number of variables, including the leadership style, qualities of the followers and aspects of the situation. Critique : Contingency theory, although having several strengths, generally falls short in trying to explain why leaders with certain leadership styles are effective in some situations but not others.

It is also criticized that LIP scale validity as It does not correlate well with other standard leadership measures. Contingency theory liaisons to adequately explain what should be done about a leader/solution mismatch In the workplace (Morehouse, 2007, p. 118-120). 4. Situational Theories: Situational theories propose that leaders choose the best course of action based certain types of decision-making. For example, in a situation where the leader is the most knowledgeable and experienced member of a group, an authoritarian style might be most appropriate.

In other instances where group members are skilled experts, a democratic style would be more effective. Critique : Confusion When working with people who are striving to meet your expectations, consistency is racial. If situational leadership is applied to a management situation inexpertly, the result can be visible behavioral inconsistency on the part of the supervisor. Employees may not know what sort of response to expect from the manager from day to day, potentially creating an environment of fear and uncertainty.

When applying situational leadership techniques, make sure that you are not altering your personality merely your words. 5. Behavioral Theories: Behavioral theories of leadership are based upon the belief that great leaders are made, not born. Rooted in behaviorism, this leadership theory focuses on the actions of leaders not on mental qualities or internal states. According to this theory, people can learn to become leaders through teaching and observation. Critique : 6.

Participative Theories: Participative leadership theories suggest that the ideal leadership style is one that takes the input of others into account. These leaders encourage participation and contributions from group members and help group members feel more relevant and committed to the decision-making process. In participative theories, however, the deader retains the right to allow the input of others. Critique : Ken Wilier argues that participatory epistemology is limited in its appropriate scope to observing the interior of a subjective plural domain. 6] Jorge Ferret argues that Wailer’s criticisms of participatory theory have conflated pluralism with vulgar relativism. [7] 7. Management Theories: Management theories, also known as transactional theories, focus on the role of supervision, organization and group performance. These theories base leadership on a system of rewards and punishments. Managerial theories are often used in equines; when employees are successful, they are rewarded; when they fail, they are reprimanded or punished.

Critique : 8. Relationship Theories: Relationship theories, also known as transformational theories, focus upon the connections formed between leaders and followers. Transformational leaders motivate and inspire people by helping group members see the importance and higher good of the task. These leaders are focused on the performance of group members, but also want each person to fulfill his or her potential. Leaders with this style often have high ethical and moral standards.