EIGHT MAJOR LEADERSHIP THEORIES


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1) Great Man Theory:

This theory "assumes that the capacity for leadership is inherent...that great leaders are born, not made. This theory often portrays great leaders as heroic, mythic and destined to rise to leadership when needed."

2) Trait Theory:

Trait Theory "assumes that people inherit certain qualities and traits that make them better suited to leadership. Trait theory often identifies particular personality or behavioral characteristics shared by leaders."

3) Contingency Theory:

Contingency Theory of leadership "focuses on particular variables related to the environment that might determine which particular style of leadership is best suited for the situation. according to this theory, no leadership style is best in all situations."

4) Situational Theory:

"Proposes that leaders choose the best course of action based upon situational variables. Different styles of leadership may be appropriate for certain types of decision-making." Similar to Contingency Theory.

5) Behavioral Theory:

Behavioral Theory of leadership is "based on the belief that great leaders are made not born. According to this theory, people can learn to become leaders through teaching and observation."

6) Participative Theory:

"Participative leadership theory suggest that the ideal leadership style if one that takes the input of others into account. These leaders encourage participation and contributions from group members and help group members feel more relevant and committed to the decision-making process."

7) Management Theory/Transactional Theory:

"Management/Transactional Theory focuses on the role of supervision, organization and group performance. This theory bases leadership on a system of rewards and punishment. Often used in business."

8) Relationship Theory/Transformational Theory:

"Relationship/Transformational Theory, focuses on the connections made between leaders and followers. Relationship/Transformational leaders motivate and inspire people by helping group members see the importance and higher good of the task. Leaders with this style often have high ethical and moral standards."

http://psychology.about.com/od/leadership/p/leadtheories.htm


Leadership Types and Styles