MNGT 5670 – Spring 2, 2012TraitTheoryBehavioralTheoryLeader/Member ExchangeTheoryContingencyTheorySituational Leadership
One of the first systematic attempts to studyleadership. It was believed that people were born with thesetraits and only the great people possessed them(hence the term “Great Man”). Research during this time concentrated onidentifying traits that differentiated leaders fromfollowers. The theories that were developed were oftenreferred to as “Great Man” theories because thefocused on identifying the traits found in greatsocial, military and political leaders.
In a major review in 1948, Stogdill suggested thatno consistent set of traits differentiated leadersand non-leaders across a variety of situations. In other words, an individual with leadershiptraits who was a leader in one situation mightnot be the leaders in another situation. In recent years, there has been a resurgence inthe trait approach, in explaining how traitsinfluence leadership.
Allows for personal awareness and development. As a theory, it is intuitively appealing. A century of research backs it up. Can provide greater depth on understanding whata leaders is due to its singular focus. It provides benchmarks as to what to look for ifwe want to be leaders ourselves.
Failure to delineate a clear, consistent list of leadership traits. Studies over the years have been ambiguous and uncertain attimes. Fails to take situations and followers into account. Can result in highly subjective determinations of the “mostimportant” traits. Resulted in highly subjective determinations of the “mostimportant” leadership traits. Research does not effectively look at leadership traits inrelationship to leadership outcomes. Not a useful approach when it comes to training anddevelopment of leadership.
Very different from the trait approach: Trait approach emphasizes the personalitycharacteristics of the leader, this approachemphasizes the behavior of the leader. A shift in emphasis from thinking aboutleadership in terms of traits that someone has tothinking about leadership as a form of activity.
Researchers studying the behavioral approachdetermined that leadership is comprisedessentially of two general kinds of behaviors:▪ Task behaviors▪ Relationship behaviors The central purpose of this approach is to explainhow leaders combine these two kinds ofbehaviors to influence people to reach a goal.
Conducted by Stogdill with the Leadership BehaviorDescription Questionnaire (LBDQ) in 1948. Researchers found that responses of subordinatequestionnaires clustered around two general typesof leader behaviors:▪ Initiating structure▪ Consideration
The findings (initiating structure and consideration)are not two points on the same continuum – theyare concepts that are separate from one another. In other words: the degree to which a leaderexhibited one behavior was not related to howmuch s/he exhibited another behavior.
While the OSU studies were going on, Michigan wasalso conducting studies of its own (1950s). The Michigan Studies focused on the impact ofleaders’ behaviors on the performance of smallgroups. Researchers identified two types of leadershipbehaviors:▪ Employee orientation (human relations)▪ Production orientation (technical and aspects ofthe job)
Unlike the Ohio State studies, the Michiganstudies viewed these behaviors (employeeand production orientations) as opposite endof the same continuum. Implication: a leader can be strong in onearea at the expense of the other
141,9Country ClubManagement9,9TeamManagement5,5Middle-of-the-RoadManagementImpoverished Management1,1Authority-ComplianceManagement9,1LowLow Concern for Results HighHighConcernforPeopleThe Leadership Grid®
15People-Oriented Task-OrientedOhio State University(circa 1948)Consideration Initiating StructureUniversity of Michigan(circa 1952)Employee-Centered Job-CenteredUniversity of Texas(circa 1991)Concern for People Concern for Production
The behavioral approach provides aframework for assessing leadership in a broadway. It marks a major shift in the general focus ofleadership research by broadening the scopeof study. It expanded to include what leaders did and howthey acted.
The wide range of studies validates and givescredibility to the basic tenants of thebehavioral approach. The significance of the two major leaderbehaviors (task and relationship) cannot beunderstated. It applies to nearly everything a leader does.
While the research is extensive, it does not showhow leaders’ behaviors are associated withperformance outcomes.▪ The only strong finding is that leaders who areconsiderate have followers who are more satisfied. It fails to find a universal style of leadership thatcould be effective in any situation. The behavioral approach implies that the mosteffective leadership style is one that issimultaneously high-task and high-relationship.
An individualized leadership model thatexplores how leader-member relationshipsdevelop over time and how the quality ofexchange relationships impacts outcomes. Focuses on building relationships. Has been referred to as ‘leadership making.’ Offers insights as to how mangers canimprove their own leadership behavior.
20In-group Discusses objectives; givesemployee freedom to usehis or her own approach insolving problems andreaching goals Listens to employee’ssuggestions and ideasabout how work is done Treats mistakes as learningopportunitiesOut-Group Gives employee specificdirectives for how toaccomplish tasks andattain goals Shows little interest inemployee’s comments andsuggestions Criticizes or punishesmistakes
21In-Group Gives employeeinterestingassignments; mayallow employee tochoose assignment Sometimes defers tosubordinate’s opinion PraisesaccomplishmentsOut-Group Assigns primarilyroutine jobs andmonitors employeeclosely Usually imposes ownviews Focuses on areas ofpoor performance
221. Vertical Dyad LinkageLeaders’ behaviors and traits havedifferent impacts acrossfollowers, creating in-groups and out-groups.2. Leader-Member ExchangeLeadership is individualized for eachsubordinate. Each dyad involves aunique exchange independent of otherdyads.3. Partnership BuildingLeaders can reach out to create apositive exchange with everysubordinate. Doing so increasesperformance.4. Systems and NetworksLeader dyads can be created in alldirections across levels and boundariesto build networks that enhanceperformance.
Provides insights into manager/followerrelationships; how they develop and evolve. Provides insights as to how leadershipnetworks can develop. Has broad application in a variety oforganizational settings. Raises awareness as to how subordinatescan/should be treated.
On the surface, it runs counter to the basichuman value of fairness. Out-group discrimination. Basic ideas of the theory are not fullydeveloped (i.e., why high-quality LMexchanges are developed, how relationship-building concepts work together.). Questions regarding measurement (differingscales).
Fiedler (1967) is the name most associated withcontingency theory. This theory is a “leader-match” theory, which meansit tries to match leaders to appropriate situations. Basic premise: to understand the performance ofleaders, it is essential to understand the situations inwhich they lead.
Leadership Styles:▪ Described as task motivated or relationship motivated▪ Fiedler developed the Least Preferred Co-Worker (LPC) scale. Situational variables:▪ Situations can be categorized by assessing three factors:▪ Leader member relations (atmosphere and confidence)▪ Task structure (clarity of requirements)▪ Position power (authority of the leader to reward or punish) Together, these variables determine the “favorableness”of the situation.▪ Most favorable: High leader/member relations, high task clarity,strong leader position power.▪ Least favorable: Poor leader/member relations, low task clarity,weak leader position power.
By measuring a leader’s LPC and and the threesituational variables, one can predict whether ornot a leader is going to be effective in a particularsituation: Those with a low LPC score (task motivated) will beeffective in both very favorable and in very unfavorablesituations. Those with a high LPC score (relationship motivated)will be effective in moderately favorable situations.- Leaders will not be effective in all situations -
Supported by a great deal of research. Broadens our understanding of by having usconsider the impact of situations on leaders. The theory is predictive. It does not require everyone to be effective in allsituations. It provides data on leader styles that can be usefulto organizations in developing leaders profiles.
It fails to full explain why individuals with certainstyles are more effective in some situations thanothers. The LPC is not really a standard scale ormeasurement. It asks the leader to characterize theanother person’s behavior. It is a cumbersome and complex theory to apply inreal world settings. It fails to suggests what an organization should dowhen there is a mismatch between the leader andthe situation.
One of the most widely recognized approaches. Developed by Hersey and Blanchard (1969) an hasbeen revised since then. As the name implies, this approach focuses onleadership in situations. This approach stresses that leadership is composedof both a directive and supportive dimension, andeach is to be applied appropriately in a givensituation.
This approach expects the following form theleader: An evaluation of the competency and commitment ofgroup members A matching of the leader’s style to these assumptions. The SL-II Model: Believes that group members move forward andbackwards along a developmental continuum in termsof their competency and commitment.
It identifies major leadership styles. It is concerned with the development levels of groupmembers. One of the most well-known and widely used models ina variety of settings. It’s very practical. It is prescriptive. Emphasizes the concept of leaders flexibility.
Time consuming. Assessing group member levels of developmentis as ambiguous as it is subjective.
TransformationalLeadership Core elements TL is concerned withemotions, values, ethics, standards, and long-term goals includes assessing followers’ motives, satisfying theirneeds, and treating them as full human beings Encompassing approach TL describes a wide range of leadership influence Specific: one-to-one with followers Broad: whole organizations or entire cultures follower(s) and leader are inextricably bound together inthe transformation process
TransformationalLeadership&Charisma Charisma - A special personalitycharacteristic that gives a personsuperhuman or exceptional powers and isreserved for a few, is of divine origin, andresults in the person being treated as a leader(Weber, 1947) Charismatic LeadershipTheory (House, 1976) Charismatic leaders act in unique ways that have specificcharismatic effects on their follower (such as MLK)