Contingency Theory

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Maybe leadership isn’t about who you are, what skills you have or how you act. 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. Contingency theory is merely predictive. Intro to Leadership Theory. Why Theory.

Skills Theory

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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. Skills theorists sought to discover the skills and abilities that made leaders effective. Similar to trait theory, skills theories are leader-centric, focused on what characteristics about leaders make them effective. Why Theory.

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Situational Leadership Theory

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If you haven’t noticed it yet, most leadership theories build on the previous one. In the same manner, situational leadership theory builds upon contingency theory. Where contingency theory asserts that certain leaders work best in certain environments because of their leadership style, situational leadership theory argues that any leader can work best in any environment by changing their style accordingly. Intro to Leadership Theory.

Path-goal Theory

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Path-goal theory is half leadership, half motivational theory. It was developed to explain how leaders motivate their followers toward a determined end. 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.

Goal 76

Leader-Member Exchange Theory

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Originally referred to as the “vertical dyad linkage theory,” Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) has been the subject of much research (and an upgraded name). Leadership’s focus, then, should be on developing these dyads. As the relationship moves from stranger to partner, mutual trust, respect and obligation toward each other develops. It explains why leaders often develop “go-to” people and utilize their skills more than others. Intro to Leadership Theory.

Transformational Leadership Theory

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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.

Strengths-Based Leadership Theory

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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.

Style Theory

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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.

Intro to Leadership Theory

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These books continue by laying out the authors’ simple framework for developing the perfect leader. 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. Leaders lack an understanding of leadership theory because it isn’t presented in pocket-sized form. Trait Theory.