|Type of paper:
|Employment Organizational culture Leadership style
Leadership is an essential factor in various aspects of management as it contributes to nations' and organizations' general well-being. Effective leadership is essential as leaders make things happen in any given situation (Ayman et al., 2017 pg. 147.). Various models have been put forward to expound on the leadership factor. They work on the assumption that an effective leadership style is selected depending on the situational context. Therefore, it requires a leader to adapt to a leadership style, given diverse circumstances to be successful and more effective. Various theories have been developed that tend to recognize the situational context aspect of leadership by analyzing how leadership can be effective in various situations.
Tannenbaum and Schmidt’s Leadership Style Continuum
Robert Tannenbaum and Schmidt developed a contingency model and stipulated that leadership behavior is on a continuum from boss-centered to subordinate-centered. The model focuses on the individual who makes various decisions. Tannenbaum and Schmidt identified seven styles a leader can choose. Therefore, the model is used to determine how one of the recognized styles can be selected to maximize performance in an organization setup. Various factors must be considered before the selection of the leadership style depending on a particular situation:
Supervisor: A leader's personality and behavioral style, values, knowledge, and confidence of the various subordinates must be considered in selecting a new leadership style. It is because, depending on an individual personality and character, some leaders tend to be autocratic and others more participative.
Subordinates: Behavior and personality are major factors to be considered in the leadership style preferred by followers. Able and willing followers tend to participate, and therefore more freedom of participation should be granted and vice versa.
Environment: Various environmental factors must be considered when choosing a leadership style, for instance, the size of the organization, technological advancement, goals, and climate factors.
Schmidt and Tannenbaum developed two leadership styles that consist of seven continuum styles based on a one-dimensional model. Leadership styles range from authoritarian to worker freedom and are therefore categorized into autocratic, participative, or free-rein leadership styles. Indeed it's stipulated that the contingent process of leadership selection was attributed to situational context, and various models can ascertain its validity.
Fielders Contingency Leadership Theory
It is a theory that focuses on how situational factors tend to interact with a leader's behavior and personality and, therefore, the theory of leader effectiveness. Fielder postulated that leadership style is a perfect reflection of personality traits and behavior, and leadership style is constant as the leaders do not change a situation. The model determines whether a person's leadership style is the relationship of task-oriented if the case matches a leadership style to maximize performance in the organization. Indeed the model tests the validity as it postulates that leadership style is attributed to situational context.
Hersey and Blanchard's Situational Leadership Theory
The model determines how leadership styles match with a given situation to maximize performance. The style includes telling, selling, delegating, and participating (Hersey et al., 2017, pg. 420). Hersey and Blanchard identified leadership in two basic dimensions: relationship and task, which may be low or high depending on the situation.
Telling: The leadership style tends to be effective when leading followers with low maturity levels and therefore requires detailed instruction to describe the exact task, when, how, and where to perform it.
Selling style: The leadership style is most convenient when leading followers with a moderate level of maturity, and specific instructions are given and overall monitoring of performance. Leaders tend to support the followers by explaining why the task must be carried out and building a relationship by convincing the followers of the results derived from completing the task as required.
Participating: The style is always chosen when leading followers with a moderate level of maturity as the leaders do not spend more time giving general directions. Leaders spend less time monitoring the overall performance as they let the employees perform the task while focusing on the final results.
Delegating style: The leadership style is convenient when leading followers with a high level of maturity. In the case of interacting with the followers, the leaders merely advise on what must be achieved. The leader answers questions and gives direction in case it's required. Followers make their own decisions. Applying the situational leadership theory maturity level of the followers must be determined and then a leadership style that appropriately matches the juniors' maturity level.
The maturity level of the followers is measured on a continuum scale from low to high. Leaders tend to select the level that best describes the follower's capability and willingness to complete a certain task. In Hersey and Blanchard's approach, matching proper leadership style to employees' overall maturity level is a key factor in successful and effective leadership.
Theory X and Theory Y Leadership
McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y postulate a set of attitudes about individuals as members of an organization. The theories predict and explain leadership performance and behavior based on the leader's attitude toward its followers. Individuals with theory X attitudes tend to believe that employees dislike work and therefore need to be supervised to perform their assigned tasks. For theory, Y attitudes believe that employees like working and do not require close supervision when carrying out tasks. As a result, they allow the organization members significant discretion in their various tasks and encourage participation in organizational decision-making. Theory Y leaders adopt involvement-oriented strategies to leadership for their various groups.
Transformational leadership primarily depends on leaders' impact on followers. Followers tend to admire, respect, and trust leaders, and therefore leaders tend to transform followers by making them more aware of the value of task outcomes. Transformational leaders tend to influence followers by arousing strong emotions and transforming followers by serving as a mentor, teachers, and coaches. Transformational leaders move followers to a high degree of consciousness like justice, freedom, and self-actualization hence inspiring followers by making work more appealing. Transformational leadership is geared towards changing the various desires of followers to match the desires of the leader. Therefore, the follower will attain more motivation to pursue any vision and goal. Transformational leadership involves idealized influence, individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, and inspirational motivation. The theory validates the research as any situation dictates leaders to match their interests with those of the followers.
Transactional Leadership Style
Leadership encompasses motivation factors to its esteemed employees, and concerning transactional leadership, motivation is derived from employees accomplishing their set goals and tasks assigned. The style entails the leader promoting the followers' compliance through punishment and rewards; therefore, leaders pay more attention to work to identify any possible deviations. This type of leadership is appropriate in case of crisis and emergencies, and case projects need to be undertaken in a specific fashion. The style works based on basic satisfaction levels as leaders focus on the exchange model as rewards are given for positive outcomes and punishment for negative results. The transactional leaders are process-oriented and focus on contingent reward which is a positive reinforcement given after set goals have been achieved. Leaders frequently look at subordinate's performance and draft some changes to their work to make corrections. Hence it's evident that the theory validates the contingent leadership process as the theory is applied in a situation whereby lower-level needs in a more managerial style.
Based on various research findings, it is evident that the necessary skills for effective leadership may change over time. The nature of leadership and management is changing due to unprecedented changes that affect various organizations. As a result, managers may still require traditional competencies and additional competencies to cope with the changes. Due to globalization and technological advancement, managers must learn from experience to adapt to changes; therefore, typical transformational leadership competencies must be considered. Future leaders should pay sufficient attention to some leadership processes that tend to transform the way followers view their work themselves and recognize the underlying leadership requirement they must possess.
Ayman, Roya et al. "The Contingency Model Of Leadership Effectiveness: Its Levels Of Analysis." The Leadership Quarterly, vol 6, no. 2, 2017, pp. 147-167. Elsevier BV, DOI:10.1016/1048-9843(95)90032-2.
Hersey, Paul et al. "Situational Leadership, Perception, And The Impact Of Power." Group & Organization Studies, vol 4, no. 4, 2017, pp. 418-428. SAGE Publications, DOI:10.1177/105960117900400404.
Lakmal, Darshana. "Transformational Leadership Behavior: Theory And Reflections." SSRN Electronic Journal, 2017. Elsevier BV, DOI:10.2139/ssrn.2398486.
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