LEADERSHIPDM 212 Human Resource Development & ManagementRosary Gracia P. Perez Discussant
Trait theory tries to describe thetypes of behavior and personalitytendencies associated witheffective leadership. This isprobably the first academic theoryof leadership. Thomas Carlyle canbe considered one of the pioneersof the trait theory, using suchapproach to identify the talents,skills and physical characteristicsof men who arose to power. Theories of Leadership Trait Theory
Proponents of the trait approach usually list leadershipqualities, assuming certain traits or characteristics will tendto lead to effective leadership. Shelley Kirkpatrick and EdwinA. Locke exemplify the trait theory. They argue that "keyleader traits include: drive (a broad term which includesachievement, motivation, ambition, energy, tenacity, andinitiative), leadership motivation (the desire to lead but notto seek power as an end in itself), honesty, integrity, self-confidence (which is associated with emotional stability),cognitive ability, and knowledge of the business. Accordingto their research, "there is less clear evidence for traits suchas charisma, creativity and flexibility"
Criticism to Trait TheoryAlthough trait theory has an intuitive appeal,difficulties may arise in proving its tenets, andopponents frequently challenge this approach. The"strongest" version of trait theory sees these“leadership characteristics” as innate, andaccordingly labels some people as "born leaders"due to their psychological makeup. On this readingof the theory, leadership development involvesidentifying and measuring leadership qualities,screening potential leaders from non-leaders, thentraining those with potential
Behavioral and Style TheoriesIn response to the criticism of the trait approach,theorists began to research leadership as a set ofbehaviors, evaluating the behavior of successfulleaders, determining a behavior taxonomy andidentifying broad leadership styles. DavidMcClelland, for example, saw leadership skills, notso much as a set of traits, but as a pattern ofmotives. He claimed that successful leaders willtend to have a high need for power, a low need foraffiliation, and a high level of what he calledactivity inhibition (one might call it self-control).
The Managerial Grid Robert R. Blake and Jane S. Mouton developed the Managerial Grid which highlights five major leadership styles reflecting the various degrees of concern for people and production
Fiedler TheoryThe Fiedler contingency model bases the leader’s effectiveness on what Fred Fiedler called situational contingency. This results from the interaction of leadership style and situational favorableness (later called "situational control"). The theory defined two types of leader: those who tend to accomplish the task by developing good- relationships with the group (relationship- oriented), and those who have as their prime concern carrying out the task itself (task- oriented)
According to Fiedler, there is no ideal leader.Both task-oriented and relationship-orientedleaders can be effective if their leadershiporientation fits the situation. When there is agood leader-member relation, a highlystructured task, and high leader positionpower, the situation is considered a"favorable situation". Fiedler found that task-oriented leaders are more effective inextremely favorable or unfavorablesituations, whereas relationship-orientedleaders perform best in situations withintermediate favorability.
Functional theoryFunctional leadership theory is a particularly usefultheory for addressing specific leader behaviors expectedto contribute to organizational or unit effectiveness. Thistheory argues that the leader’s main job is to see thatwhatever is necessary to group needs is taken care of;thus, a leader can be said to have done their job wellwhen they have contributed to group effectiveness andcohesion While functional leadership theory has mostoften been applied to team leadership. These functionsinclude: (1) environmental monitoring, (2) organizingsubordinate activities, (3) teaching and coachingsubordinates, (4) motivating others, and (5) interveningactively in the group’s work.
Transactional andTransformational theoriesIn his explorations of the concept of transformationalleadership, Bernard Mobs has contrasted two types ofleadership behavior :The transactional leader is givenpower to perform certain tasks and reward or punishfor the team’s performance. It gives the opportunity tothe manager to lead the group and the group agrees tofollow his lead to accomplish a predetermined goal inexchange for something else. Power is given to theleader to evaluate, correct and train subordinateswhen productivity is not up to the desired level andreward effectiveness when expected outcome isreached.
The transformational leadermotivates its team to be effective and efficient.Communication is the base for goal achievementfocusing the group on the final desired outcomeor goal attainment. This leader is highly visibleand uses chain of command to get the job done.Transformational leaders focus on the bigpicture, needing to be surrounded by peoplewho take care of the details. The leader is alwayslooking for ideas that move the organization toreach the company’s vision.
McGregor’s Theory X and Theory YDouglas McGregor maintains thatthe leadership styles that managersuse are based on their assumptionsabout people. A manager does notbelieve in the ability of hissubordinates to perform on theirown would use Theory X.
The assumptions under Theory X are.1. The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if possible.2. Because of dislike of work, most people must coerced, controlled, directed, and threatened with punishment to get them to perform effectively.3. The average person lacks ambition, avoids responsibility, and seek security and economic rewards above all else.4. Most people lack creative ability and are resistant to change.5. Since, most people are self-centered; they are not concerned with other goals of the organization.
When Theory Y is used bymanagers, the managerialroles in an organizationinclude the development ofemployees to their fullpotentials. Subordinates aretreated as mature andresponsible individuals.
The assumptions under Theory Y are:1. The expenditure of physical and mental effort in work is as natural as play or rest.2. People will exercise self-direction and self-control in the service of objectives to which they are committed.3. Commitment to objectives is a function of the rewards associated with achievement.4. The average person learns, under proper condition, not only to accept but to seek responsibility.5. The capacity to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination, ingenuity and creativity in solution of organizational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed in the population.
Robert Tannenbaum andWarren H. Schmidt were among the firsttheorist to describe the various factorsthrough to influence a manager’s choice ofleadership style. While they personallyfavored the employee-centered style, theysuggested that a manager consider threesets of “forces” before choosing aleadership style: forces in the manager,forces in employee (whom they callsubordinates), and forces in the situation.
How a manager leads willundoubtedly be primarily influenced byhis or her background, knowledge,values, and experience (forces in themanager). For example, a managerwho believes that the needs of theindividual must come second to theneeds of the organization is likely totake a very directive role in employees’activities.
The characteristics of subordinates must also beconsidered before managers can choose an appropriateleadership style. According to Tannenbaum and Schmidt, amanager can allow greater participation and freedom whenemployees crave independence and freedom of action, want tohave decision-making responsibility, identify with theorganization’s goals, are knowledgeable and experiencedenough to deal with a problem efficiently, and haveexperiences that lead them to expect participativemanagement. Where these conditions are absent, managersmight need initially to adopt a more authoritarian style. Theycan, however, modify their leadership behavior as employeesgain in self-confidence, skill and organizational commitment.
Leadership Organizations An organization that is established as aninstrument or means for achieving defined objective has beenreferred to as a formal organization. Its design specifies howgoals are subdivided and reflected in subdivisions of theorganization. Divisions, departments, sections, positions, jobs,and tasks make up this work structure. Thus, the formalorganization is expected to behave impersonally in regard torelationships with clients or with its members. The higher hisposition in the hierarchy, the greater his presumed expertise inadjudicating problems that may arise in the course of the workcarried out at lower levels of the organization. It is thisbureaucratic structure that forms the basis for theappointment of heads or chiefs of administrative subdivisionsin the organization and endows them with the authorityattached to their position.
In contrast to the appointed head or chief of anadministrative unit, a leader emerges within thecontext of the informal organization that underlies theformal structure. The informal organization expressesthe personal objectives and goals of the individualmembership. Their objectives and goals may or maynot coincide with those of the formal organization. Theinformal organization represents an extension of thesocial structures that generally characterize human life— the spontaneous emergence of groups andorganizations as ends in themselves.
A leader is anyone who influences a group toward obtaininga particular result. It is not dependant on title or formalauthority. An individual who is appointed to a managerialposition has the right to command and enforce obedience byvirtue of the authority of his position. However, he mustpossess adequate personal attributes to match his authority,because authority is only potentially available to him. In theabsence of sufficient personal competence, a manager maybe confronted by an emergent leader who can challenge hisrole in the organization and reduce it to that of a figurehead.However, only authority of position has the backing offormal sanctions. It follows that whoever wields personalinfluence and power can legitimize this only by gaining aformal position in the hierarchy, with commensurateauthority. Leadership can be defined as ones ability to getothers to willingly follow. Every organization needs leadersat every level.
References Andres, Tomas D. Enhancing Organization Performance andProductivity Management Tools And Techniques, New Day Publisher,Manila Philippine 2001. Abasolo, Pacita A. Personal Management: The EfficientManagement of Employees, GIC Enterprises, Manila Philippines 1991. Maxwell, John C. The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader,Maxwell Motivation, Inc. U.S.A 1999. Padilla,Renaldo A. Civic Welfare Training Volume II, Rexbookstores, Manila Philippines 2005. Stone, James A.F, Management, Pearson Education Asia Pte,Ltd. New Jersey, U.S.A. 2001.