Leadership Theory

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Spb19099
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There are several theoretical approaches to what creates an effective leader. Four main approaches are identified for this report; they are the Trait Approach, the Skills Approach, The Style Approach, and the Situational Approach. For over a century researchers have been trying to define what makes an effective or good leader, there are several theories with the most common question appearing to be are good or effective leaders born or bred. Our book, Leadership Theory and Practice, treats leadership as a complex process having multiple dimensions. (Northouse, 2013).

The Trait Approach was identified as one of the earliest attempts to study leadership in the early 20th century. The characteristics traits of great political, military, and social leaders were studied and examined to identify qualities that clearly separated the leaders from the followers. The concept that leaders were born with these trait and only the “great” people possessed them. (Bass, 1990; Jago, 1982).

Stogdill (1948, 1974) in his first study identified that the average individual who was in a leadership role posses the following eight (8) traits which separated them from the average group member:
Self confidence
The person who posses these traits is not automatically a leader, and a person who is a leader in one situation may not be the leader in a different situation. Stogdill’s second study in 1974, identified the following ten (10) traits that are positively associated with leadership:
Drive for responsibility and task completion;
Vigor and persistence in pursuit of goals;
Risk taking and originality in problem solving;
Drive to exercise initiative in social situations;
Self-confidence and sense of personal identity;
Willingness to accept consequences of decision and action;
Readiness to…...

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