Contingency Theory


This inquisitive contemplation brought forth the idea of Contingency theory, and moved the field of leadership theory forward by another drastic step. Developed by Fielder, Contingency theory examines the leader in conjunction with the situation the leader is in. In essence, it argues that effective leadership is contingent upon a match between the leaders style and the work situation. Contingency theory is merely predictive. Why Theory.

Transformational Leadership Theory


Transformational leadership theory is supported by nearly 30 years of research correlating transformational leadership to positive performance outcomes including individual, group and organizational level variables. Transformational leadership was the first developed and validate theory to emphasis morals and values in leadership. However, research on the theory is primarily based on the multifactor leadership questionnaire, which has produced inconsistent results.

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Why Theory?


This is where theory comes in. Leadership and organizational theories are constructed and tested by examining not just the successes but also the failures. Good and bad leaders, successful and failing change efforts, all get included in the analysis and the resulting theories spare us from our survivorship bias. Intro to Leadership Theory. Why Theory. A Word on Theories. Trait Theory. Skills Theory. Style Theory. Contingency Theory.

Leader-Member Exchange Theory


Originally referred to as the “vertical dyad linkage theory,” Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) has been the subject of much research (and an upgraded name). LMX was also the first theory to focus its study on the leader-member relationship, rather than just the leaders attributes or behavior. However, LMX is merely a descriptive theory. Intro to Leadership Theory. Why Theory. A Word on Theory. Trait Theory. Skills Theory. Style Theory.

Strengths-Based Leadership Theory


Strengths-Based Leadership Theory (also known as Strengths-Based Organizational Management or SBOM) is a method of maximizing the efficiency, productivity, and success of an organization by focusing on and continuously developing the strengths of organizational resources, such as computer systems, tools, and people. Strengths-based leadership theory is supported by over 30 years of research from the Gallup Organization and others. Intro to Leadership Theory. Why Theory.

Path-goal Theory


Path-goal theory is half leadership, half motivational theory. It is derived from expectancy theory, which argued that employees will be motivated if they believe that a) putting in more effort will yield better job performance b) better job performance will lead to rewards, such as an increase in salary or benefits and c) these rewards are valued by the employee in question. It also builds on a motivational theory as its foundation. Intro to Leadership Theory.

Servant Leadership Theory


The magnum opus of Robert Greenleaf, Servant Leadership is a recent theory of leadership that argues that the most effective leaders are servants of their people. Greenleaf first presented the theory in a 1970 essay, “The Servant as Leader.” Servant leadership is one of the more popular theories of leadership, especially among Christian leaders who vigorously cite Jesus as the penultimate example of servant leadership. Intro to Leadership Theory. Why Theory.

Style Theory


Style theory differs drastically from trait or skill theories. Instead of focusing on who leaders are, style theories considers what leaders do. At the core of all style theories is the idea that leaders engage in two distinct types of behavior: task behaviors and relationship behaviors. Style theory refers to three main theories or lines of research: the Ohio State University studies, the Michigan University studies and the Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid.

Skills Theory


The skills theory grew from the obvious flaw in the trait approach; traits are relatively fixed. This meant that trait theory was not particularly useful for developing new leaders who lack those traits. Similar to trait theory, skills theories are leader-centric, focused on what characteristics about leaders make them effective. Skills theories are also weak in their predictive ability, failing to explain how a person’s competencies lead to effective leadership.

Intro to Leadership Theory


Leaders lack an understanding of leadership theory. And because it is easily digestible, leaders continue to gorge themselves on it until there is very little room left for real, solid theory. Most see theory as complex and hard to digest. When leaders think about leadership or organizational theory, they think back to the 400+ page textbook they had to buy in business school. In the coming weeks, I’ll survey the major leadership theories. Trait Theory.

The Best Model of Leadership

Weekly Leader

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