The paper "Challenges on Traditional Leadership Theories" is an outstanding example of management coursework. Earlier leadership theories assumed that leaders with high concern for production and people would be generally effective. However, leadership issue is an expanding field of study and it remains in its growing stages. It has no unifying theory to this date that can provide common direction to thinkers and researchers. Contrary to traditional views of leadership, some theorist suggests that in order to be effective, managers should be flexible in their choice of leadership style. They generally believe that a particular leadership style may not be equally effective for every situation.
For this reason, our discussion will focus on the challenges faced by traditional leadership theories and the way managers using different leadership style motivate their teams. Leadership Style Challenges on Traditional Leadership Theories “ Leadership can be displayed in different ways and takes many forms (Rodd 2006, p. 11). The study of leadership in the organization moved its emphasis away from the study of the ‘ traits’ of leaders towards their ‘ style’ . Leadership style and behaviour are usually treated as similar since both of them is emphasising to what leaders do (Bryman 1986, p. 36).
It has been censured as being too predisposed on investigating what leaders do and the qualities they have rather than what is actually in leadership itself. Good examples of these are the key leadership theories that centre on the trait, behavioural and situational aspects approaches (Rodd 2006, p. 11). These models according to Rodd (2006, p. 11), do not offer insight into the complex process of leadership, which is complex and founded on mutual relationships. On the other hand, ‘ style’ theories are making some effort to explain the behaviour in which leaders carry out their roles in various circumstances to facilitate and realize their goals effectively.
There are some research findings that show leaders as having a unique set of rather indescribable virtues and proficiencies, which are merged into an ability to get others to do what the leader wants them to do. “ Leadership is not inherent to the personality of the leader” (Van Wormer et. al. 2007, p. 198). Generally, past leadership theories perceived that those leaders with indisputable concern for production and great concern for people will be generally successful.
It was only in the 1970s when path-goal theory surfaced, that leadership theory began to think about the idea that a specific leadership style may not be similarly useful for all situations or for all employees (Stockdale and Crosby 2004, p. 103). The absence of support on the contribution of personality traits on leader’ s success has not prevented modern leadership theorist from attempting to connect personality style variations, which they alleged are significant to leader effectiveness (Kegan 1995, p. 202. According to Christ (1999, p. 211), every person has a ‘ personality profile of qualities’ , and this profile operates within ‘ latitudes of potential’ .
While a person may sporadically elude this personality, the basic profile will almost certainly re-emerge. Moreover, it is very important not to equate this personality with a leadership style, because the leadership style is a ‘ priori’ labelling of various personal profiles and the personality is exclusive to the person.
1. Reference List
Brody Ralph, 2005, Effectively Managing Human Service Organizations, Published by SAGE, U.S.
Bryman Alan, 1986, Leadership and Organizations, Published by Routledge, U.K.
Christ William, 1999, Leadership in Times of Change: A Handbook for Communication and Media Administrators, Published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, U.S.
Creighton Theodore, 2004, Leading from Below the Surface: A Non-traditional Approach to School Leadership, Published by Corwin Press, U.S.
Furnham Adrian, 2005, The Psychology of Behaviour at Work: The Individual in the Organization, Published by Psychology Press, U.K.
Heerkens Gary, 2002, Project Management, Published by McGraw-Hill Professional, U.S.
Gibson Cristina and Cohen Susan, 2003, Virtual Teams That Work: Creating Conditions for Virtual Team Effectiveness, Published by Wiley, U.S.
Gill Roger, 2006, Theory and Practice of Leadership, Published by Pine Forge Press, U.K.
Kegan Robert, 1995, In Over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life, Published by Harvard University Press, U.S.
Locke Edwin, 1999, The Essence of Leadership: The Four Keys to Leading Successfully, Published by Lexington Books, U.S.
Rodd Jillian, 2006, Leadership in Early Childhood, Published by Allen & Unwin, Singapore
Rowitz Louis, 2003, Public Health Leadership: Putting Principles Into Practice, Published by Jones & Bartlett Publishers, U.S.
Stockdale Margaret and Crosby Faye, 2004, The Psychology and Management of Workplace Diversity, Published by Blackwell Publishing, U.K.
Van Wormer Katherine, Besthorn Fred, and Keefe Thomas, 2007, Human Behavior and the Social Environment: Macro Level: Groups, Communities, and Organizations, Published by Oxford University Press, U.S.