Thursday, 15 April 2021

Leadership Theories from Early to Modern Leadership Model

Who is the leader and what is leadership?

Are you a leader? Or

Do you want to be a leader?

You maybe a general person but you have certain abilities to alter someone or something. 

Let’s find out …..


Leadership is a complex or simple process to be understood or implemented. It depends on you and some factors or context. Don't you understand?


Leader and leadership

A leader is a person who can guide, affect and control a person or a group of people. Leadership is a process through which one or more people are influenced to achieve the objectives of the team or organization. Leadership is a strategy to influence others, not to use force. Managers should lead employees because leading is one of the management functions.


You can find leaders anywhere. We see leaders not only in political parties but also in playgrounds, in educational institutions, in classrooms and so on. The difference between a leader and a worker is obvious. A leader is a person who controls the whole process. A leader can easily gain the help and support of other people to get a job done. On the one hand, he gets work from the workers, on the other hand, the responsibility of listening to the workers also falls on his shoulders. The leaders show the dream to the workers, but at first, he has to see and understand the dream.


A/ Early Leadership Theories in Organization and Management


Trait Theory and Great Man Theory

In ancient times, it was thought that leaders acquire power because of their birth in certain families. At the time, the idea of ​​'Leaders are born, not made' was popular. According to the Great Man Theory and the Trait Theory, leaders are not created, they are born - as we see in India, the family system of the Congress party (the Gandhi family: Indira Gandhi - Rajiv Gandhi - Sonia Gandhi - Rahul Gandhi … ).


People usually get some styles, qualities from their family environment. The body structure has also effects on people. Employees can be distinguished from the leader by looking at the qualities of the leader. They are born with the right ability and qualities to lead. They get all these powers from their family.


They have innate qualities and skills that make the leader great and these are things that cannot be taught. Leaders are qualified to hold office because of their special inborn qualities. But later, theories and research have shown that many have established themselves as leaders through their education and hard work. Now everyone understands ‘Leaders are made, not born.


B/ Behavioural Theories of Leadership - Behavioural Approaches to Leadership

Behavioural Theory: Leadership depends on the behaviour of the leader. The behaviour of successful leaders will be different from that of failed leaders. Certain behaviours set leaders apart from others.


Four Studies on Behavioral Theories -

a. The University of Iowa studies explained three leadership styles (the autocratic style,  the democratic style and the laissez-faire style) to find out the best and suitable leadership types for leading. It was revealed that group members were more satisfied with a democratic leader than an autocratic one.


More on three leadership styles - Click 


b. The Ohio State studies found two dimensions of leader behaviour - initiating structure and consideration.

The initiating structure specifies the role of the leader and what his / her staffs need to do. It also includes arranging tasks to achieve the goals of the organization and figuring out how to relate to each other. The work must be completed within the standard process and due date.

Consideration means being considerate of followers’ ideas and feelings. It includes good relationships, trust, respect, feelings between leaders and staffs. Employees' opinions and feelings should be valued.

The leader who does well in both of these dimensions will be more successful at performing the teamwork and gaining the satisfaction of the group members, but not always.


c. The University of Michigan studies has revealed two dimensions of the leader's behaviour -

Production-Oriented: it emphasis on work aspects in the organization.

Worker-Oriented: it gives importance to social relationships and cares for the needs of workers.

Employee-oriented leaders were able to achieve high group productivity and greater job satisfaction.


d. The Leadership Grid

The Leadership Grid is a model of behavioural leadership developed by Robert R. Blake and Jane Mouton in the early 1960s. Formerly known as the managerial grid, the leadership grid used two behavioural dimensions “concern for people” (the vertical part of the grid) and “concern for production” (the horizontal part of the grid) and evaluated a leader’s use of these behaviours, ranking them on a scale from 1 (low) to 9 (high).


1.1 Impoverished Management/ Weak leadership

At this stage, the management pays the least attention to both the employee and the production. Managers keep themselves away from all kinds of troubles.


1.9 Country Club Management/ The Accommodating Style / Employee-centric leadership

In this situation, the leaders focus more on the entertainment, well-being, and welfare of the employees instead of the production of an organization. It creates a friendly environment in the organization although production is not considered important here.


9.1 Task Management / The Dictatorial Style  / Production-Oriented Leadership

In this case, the highest concern is given to the production factor. Therefore, the leader has to pay special attention to increasing productivity so that the interpersonal relationship does not create any problem. This stage is called the stage of control and governance. The manager pays maximum attention to production and pays the least attention to employees. In this, the importance of the manager towards the employees is less.  


Managers want to keep employees tied through different rules and penalties to meet company goals. This theory is based on Douglas Mc Gregor's Theory X.


5.5 Middle-of-the-Road Management / The Status Quo Style

This stage is called the stage of balance and compromise. The manager balances the needs of the employees and the goals of the company. In this way, equal care is taken towards the employees and production. The leader shows equal concern for the production and staff of the organization. As a result, the leader can manage the organization properly by maintaining balance.


9.9 Team Management   

At the format, maximum attention is given to both employee and production. The manager pays more attention to teamwork and commitment to employees. As a result, employees consider themselves a part of the company. The highest concern from the leader is undeniable for better productivity and staffs. A leader has to keep a sharp eye on production and the opportunities of the workers. This style of leadership has been identified as the most successful and effective.


Unfortunately, this grid model did not answer the question of who made a manager an effective leader; It simply provided a framework for leadership style. But it concludes that a 9.9 style (a leader who is concerned about production and has a high level of concern for the people) is most effective. However, there is no evidence to support this conclusion.


Understanding Leadership Grid has shown that putting undue emphasis on one region, focusing on the other, suppresses productivity. The model suggests that team leadership styles, which show a high level of concern for both production and people, can increase employee productivity. There are, of course, some limitations to the leadership grid.

C/ Contingency Theories of Leadership

If the leader's style or behaviour is effective in one situation, it cannot be said that it will work in another situation. Due to the various factors, the situation is changing inside and outside the organization and the success of the leader depends on the situation. There is no best approach to leadership, you have to act according to the situation.


Fiedler’s model

Effective group performance depending on a match between the leader’s style and favourable situation. As a result, the leader can easily control and influence the whole thing. If the situation matches the style of the leader, good performance will be obtained. To be most effective and successful, a leader must be able to adapt to his style to different situations.


Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Theory  

In this theory, followers or staff is very important. Whatever the leader does, it depends on the performance of employees or teamwork. Followers can accept or reject the leader. Readiness refers to the ability and desire of employees to perform a specific task.


The path-goal model theory

The leader's job is to help employees achieve their goals and to provide the necessary guidance to ensure that their goals are consistent with the organization's goals.


                                    D/ Modern Theories of Leadership

Transactional Leadership and Transformational Leadership

Leadership depends on the quality of the leader and staff, and the environment.


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