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The Major Leadership Theories of Leadership

By floria on Friday, April 23rd, 2021inNo Comments

Thousands of researches have been conducted on leadership as their results are implemented in organizational setups regularly. When students are studying Group Dynamics, they study this topic comprehensively. It is observed that many theories are similar in content because of which they get confused. Due to this reason, they often acquire cheap assignment writing service from an authentic service.

To give clarity on different leadership theories, below is a basic outline of major leadership theory.

Great Man Theories

There’s a school of thought that claims that all leaders are born. This idea certifies that leaders are simply born with inherent charisma, confidence, charm, and intelligence. Hence, in a way, this notion asserts that leaders cannot be made so if you thought that you could work on your social skills and enhance intelligence to become a great leader, then you can’t. This theory is, in fact, against the idea of cultivation.

According to this point of view, you are born with certain characteristics that are visible in every great leader. You can refine them, but you can’t properly cultivate them from scratch. Great Man theory can also be somewhat sexist in nature because it usually implies that men turn out to be great leader as they are born with these characteristics. For example, leadership in the military is primarily a male specified job. Any person with a wider perspective and basic knowledge about the world would know that this is wrong. Women are as capable as men and they too can lead with integrity and charm.

This point can be combated with one word: nurturance. Women are inherently nurturing and that is an essential trait demanded from a leader. When you compare the pros and cons of nurturance and the ability lacking in men, it clearly hints that women make better leaders – proving Great Man Theory to be faulty.

Trait Theories

Trait theory walks on the land Great Man theories built. Basically, it derives from the idea that great leaders are born. However, it sticks with simply the idea that certain traits are present in people that make them better in leadership positions. It doesn’t speak much about the fact that you can’t cultivate or transform into a better leader by incorporating those abilities and traits.

Hence, if you’re confident, intelligent, and good with decision making, you’d make a great leader. Other traits that are highly appreciated in leaders is honesty, vulnerability, active listening, and assertiveness. However, this is also a flaw as trait theory doesn’t give a conclusive list of traits that can be found in good leaders. But you can say that this research is credible as results have approved certain personality traits to be associated with good leadership.

Contingency Theories

This theory provokes that no one way is the correct way to deal with every situation. As a leader, you have to make certain decisions that may not appeal in other situations. Hence, the ability to see the entire picture and understand the value of every variable in place is essential. Not all situations are the same and if a person in power looks at everything in black and white, then they may not work well as leaders.

So, according to this theory, all great leaders have the ability to understand the needs of the followers. They can assess the situation and take necessary actions, even if they don’t match with the primary values and goals.

Situational Theories

Situational leadership theory is similar to Contingency theory. Again, the different variables present in a situation are given the prime importance. This theory actually demands different styles of leadership and the best one is able to adjust in several unique types of environments. Sometimes leniency is required and sometimes authoritarian style is imperative – and they work well in every situation.

Another critical characteristic of this style is the decision making ability. The person in leadership should be sharp and have an objective perspective on things. An open mind is needed, otherwise you can’t make successful decisions.

Behavioral Theories

In behavioral theories, the emphasis is given to actions instead of traits and qualities. According to this theory, what you do when you’re put in a difficult situation is important. Hence, you can say that this theory is the opposite of the Great Man Theory or Trait theory because it claims that you can cultivate or acquire certain skills and traits when you’re put into the environment. You act according to the situation. Therefore, anybody has the potential to be a great leader as per the Behavioural theory.

Participative Theories

In participative theory, the leader takes the contribution of other team members into account. Therefore, they would actually encourage the followers and team members to be active and give valuable input. This gives the impression that the leader would have no problem and they wouldn’t assert their power onto everyone just to prove who the boss is. They’re comfortable in their skin and don’t mind when someone else gives a better solution than them.

Management Theories

According to management theories, leadership is constituted of rewards and punishments. The rules are simple, the manager or the person in power will reward the subordinate if they do well in the task and they will punish the subordinate if the performance is below expectations. This specific theory works tremendously in the world of business because that’s where things are mostly short term and immediate. In other domains, things take time and are strategic so no immediate response is ever mandated.

Relationship Theories

Relationship theory is also known as transformation leadership. In this form of leadership, the followers and leaders are working with a common goal in mind and the goal is given priority and it determines the form of relationship between the two. This is often considered to be the best style of leadership because followers reach their full potential as they’re now working on something that is equally important to them.


Thus, it can be established that there are eight major leadership theories and transformation theory is considered the most effective.

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