Chapter 23:THEORIES OF LEADERSHIP
Introduction to Leadership
It is a subclass of management , a leader needs to influence
the behavior of a manager. Its the activity to get people to
cooperate to achieve common goals.
Sources of Leader's influence
- Coercive power: Capacity of leaders to punish his
followers for not performing assigned tasks.
- Reward Power: Ability of leader to positively recognize
his followers and provide them with appropriate reward.
- Legitimate Power: Based on his position in organizations
- Expert: Derived from knowledge, special skill, specific
expertise or information possessed by leader.
- Referent: Followers view him as a role model.
The first three are position powers derived from the
organizations structure and the last three are personal powers
derived from individuals qualities.
Styles of Leadership
It is the behavior of a leader during supervision.
Autocratic: Leader has all authority. He
decides policies and gives orders to subordinates withholds
Democratic: Leader allows subordinates to
participate in decision making. All policies are achieved by
group discussions. Communication flows freely in multi
Laissez Faire: He gives full independence to
subordinates to choose own goals and achieve them. Minimum
participation of leader as his job is to supply information
and various materials asked by subordinates.
Functions of the Leader
- Setting of organizations goals, formulating policies.
- Help meaning of policy to percolate to lower levels.
- Maintain core values and distinctive identity of
- Ordering internal conflicts.
- Representation of organization before others.
Theories of Leadership
Trait Theory:Person becomes a leader
because of the traits possessed by him. Leader is born not
made. Behavioral research found that leadership traits are
not in born but acquired by learning, experience.
Criticism: They failed to provide a common
list of leadership traits. It doesn't include a comparative
importance of different traits.It failed to consider that
all traits are possessed by others who are not leaders. It
failed to distinguish between traits needed for acquiring
leadership and necessary for maintaining it. It ignores
needs of subordinates or recognizes the influence of
situational factors on leadership.
Behavioral Theory: This theory focused on
what leaders do e.g. how they lead, behave, motivate,
communicate etc. The following conclusions have been drawn
by this theory:
- Democratic style of supervision was most effective in a
- Employee centered thinking was most important.
- Combination of high initiating structure and
- Participative group was the most preferred leadership
- Team approach i.e. high focus on both employee welfare
and production was preferred.
Both the trait and behavioral theory failed to consider
situational factors in determining effectiveness of
leadership. This theory asserted that leadership
effectiveness is determined by various situational forces in
addition to trait or behavior. Leadership is dynamic
interaction between number of situational variables like
leader, follower, task situation and environment. So
leadership is multi dimensional.
- Leadership style can be chosen based on forces in
himself, subordinates or situation. Styles can be boss
centered leadership or employee centered leadership.
- Contingency model of leadership: Effectiveness of leader
depends on leader member relation, task structure, leaders
position power. Task oriented is best for extremely
unfavorable or favorable condition. Human relations
oriented is suitable for moderately unfavorable and