Essays on Current Theoretical Trends and Changing Perspectives Assignment

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The paper 'Current Theoretical Trends and Changing Perspectives' is a good example of a Management Essay. In contemporary organizations, leadership can be defined as the relationship developed between the leader and followers that influences the shared purposes for both of them (Carroll et al 2015). This aspect has been among the most studied continuums of the 21st century. Therefore, it has given rise to many theories that are brought together to present varied perspectives to leadership. This includes a motivational approach that is supported by the hierarchy of needs theory, behavioral approach, and trait theory among others (Northouse 2015).

This retrospect paper seeks to present a critical reflection on the seminars on leadership by providing the relationship between the theories and the ideas discussed under the seminars. Accoutrements of Leadership According to Storey 2016, leadership can be perceived from the trait perspective. Under this approach, I realized that leaders are can be distinguished based on different characteristics. The diversity in the traits demonstrated by the leaders contributes to the realization that the leadership ability can be acquired and it is not entirely generic.

According to Uhl-Bien et al 2014, these traits include honesty, integrity, self-drive and self-confidence form the personality of the leaders. This is further dependent on social characteristics like cooperativeness, education, diplomacy, and tenacity and responsibility in goals pursuit. However, it can be noted that there is a weak connection between leadership and physical traits like energy, stamina but there exists a strong link for cognitive traits like intelligence, judgment, and decisiveness (Nyberg & Sveningsson 2014). This perspective, in respect to the trait approach to leadership theory, indicates that though some traits may be missing at some point in the leadership structure, it is possible that the absence of some of these traits does not invalidate the ability of one to lead (Mihalache et al 2014). Basing on both what is held by the theory and what has been discussed in the seminar, my understanding of leadership has been reinforced in a manner that understanding the leadership structure from the traits perspective enables one to have an understanding on how some leaders demonstrate skills like administrative, charisma, intelligence, social and group task supportiveness better than others enabling an organization or a team to succeed (Dinh et al 2014). In the same workshop, I noted that leaders demonstrate behavioral characteristics which are a variant of the traits approach just as discussed by Mihalache et al 2014.

It was established that the behavior demonstrated by successful leaders can be learned. Such behaviors include task-related behaviors like innovativeness and strategy adaptation and relationship behaviors like inspiration, delegation, consultation, motivation, and support. The harmonization of these behaviors under the leadership structure reveals either autocratic, democratic, or a mix of the two leadership criteria.

It can be noted that autocratic leaders demonstrate centralized authority leading to boss centered structure in which power is associated with the position (Mihalache et al 2014). However, democratic leaders delegate authority besides encouraging participation which reveals a subordinate centered leadership structure (Dinh et al 2014). This approach is backed up by theoretical evidence like the perspective held b McGregor who developed Theory X and Theory Y managers. According to this theory, I noted that the leaders base their decision making assumptions on how they perceive human nature (Carroll et al 2015).

This gives a rise to two broad dimensions in managerial perspectives: Theory X where subordinates dislike work and can avoid it if given chance and therefore they should be directed and even threatened in order to curb the tendency to avoid responsibility among the subordinates. Theory Y on the other hand demonstrates that humans perceive work as a natural activity and therefore they accept responsibility through exercising self-direction hence demonstrating high-level creativity and intellectual potentialities.


Carroll, B, Ford, J & Taylor, S eds 2015, ‘Leadership: Contemporary critical perspectives’, Sage.

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Dinh, JE, Lord, RG, Gardner, WL, Meuser, JD, Liden, RC & Hu, J 2014, ‘Leadership theory and research in the new millennium: Current theoretical trends and changing perspectives’, The Leadership Quarterly, vol. 25 no. 1, pp.36-62.

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Mihalache, OR, Jansen, JJ, Van den Bosch, FA & Volberda, HW 2014, ‘Top management team shared leadership and organizational ambidexterity: A moderated mediation framework’, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, vol. 8 no. 2, pp.128-148.

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Northouse, PG 2015, ‘Leadership: Theory and practice’, Sage publications.

Nyberg, D & Sveningsson, S 2014, ‘Paradoxes of authentic leadership: Leader identity struggles’, Leadership, p.1742715013504425.

Storey, J ed 2016, ‘Leadership in Organizations: Current Issues and Key Trends’, Routledge.

Uhl-Bien, M, Riggio, RE, Lowe, KB & Carsten, MK 2014, ‘Followership theory: A review and research agenda’, The Leadership Quarterly, vol. 25 no.1, pp.83-104.

Vidyarthi, PR, Anand, S & Liden, RC 2014, ‘Do emotionally perceptive leaders motivate higher employee performance? The moderating role of task interdependence and power distance’, The Leadership Quarterly, vol. 25 no. 2, pp.232-244.

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