Theories and Types of Leadership


Different Models of Leadership

Theories and Types of Leadership is about the different leadership types that have been identified by academics and business leaders.

Learn about the different schools of thoughts on leadership and also the type of leader you are.

Over the years, many academics have come up with several theories of leadership, some of them are relating to:

  • The traits of leaders
  • The leadership models
  • Behaviours of leaders
  • And more..

All of them seek to explain the traits that define leaders. In this section I will review the major theories of leadership and they will help you in understanding the many facets of leadership.

Bass and Colleagues’ Five Styles Of Leadership

Bernard M Bass developed this model for types of leadership based on two simple objectives; which is task orientation and people orientation.

The leadership styles proposed below reflect different levels of task and people orientation.

» Directive leadership style
The directive leader tells his followers what to do, and how to do it exactly. He specifics standards required of his followers and exercise firm authority over them.

» Consultative leadership style
The consultative leader seeks the counsel of the whole team before making a decision on what the team should do. He is also task oriented, but he seeks the opinion of his followers as well.

» Participative leadership style
The participative leader puts himself as a member of the team and discusses possible decisions with the team. He seeks consensus before coming to a decision and everyone is supposed to take ownership in the final decision.

» Negotiative leadership style
The negotiative leader employs a more political approach to leadership. He has a personal interest in his decisions and he uses incentives to entice his followers to do certain things.

» Delegative leadership style
He takes back seat toward decision making, and allows his team to take their own course of action. He only sits down together with the team to discuss possible decisions that could be adopted.

The Contingency Theories of Leadership

The contingency theories of leadership basically state that there is no best style of leadership. Rather, it is the situation that will decide what kind of style would be the most effective in achieving the organizational objectives.

» Fiedler’s contingency theory
Fred Fiedler was one of the foremost proponents of contingency leadership. He stated that the effectiveness of types of leadership styles was determined on three factors.

» Path-goal theory
The path-goal theory of leadership was developed by House, Evans and Mitchell. It proposes that a person’s motivation to complete any task was dependent on three factors.

» Situational Leadership theory
Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard developed the situational model of leadership relates four different leadership styles to the follower’s confidence and ability to carry it out.

The New Leadership Model

The new leadership consisted of new words describing leadership like visionary, charismatic and transformational, and it was developed by Burns in 1978. He contrasted the transactional leadership style to the transformational leadership style.

» Transactional leadership
Transactional Leaders practice what you would call management-by-exception and contingent reward. They set performance standards and do performance reviews for their followers.

» Transformational leadership
Transformational leaders have the ability to inspire and motivate their followers beyond their job description. They seek to bring change in their environment or community by improving on the current situation, whatever it may be. They tend to anticipate problems before they come and act accordingly.

» Charismatic leadership
Charismatic leaders have a natural ability to attract people and inspire commitment to their cause.

» Visionary leadership
Visionary leaders have the ability to see what things could be in the future, rather than what things are. Through the attractive visions that they give, they are able to draw followers to themselves.

Other Theories and Types of Leadership

» Servant leadership
Servant leadership is not so much a style, but an attitude that a leader adopts. It finds its roots in the Bible.

» Strategic leadership
One would find strategic leadership in business organizations where change management is required and a strategic vision is necessary for the business to grow.

» Autocratic Leadership
An autocratic leadership style is somewhat like a directive leadership style; but autocratic leaders are generally more task oriented. They expect their task to be done and they do not consider their follower’s feelings in their decision-making.

» Democratic leadership
A democratic leadership style is in the opposite spectrum of the autocratic leadership style. Also known as the participative leadership style, this type of leaders generally seeks a consensus on the direction of a group. They are generally more people oriented and the feelings and thoughts of their followers matter to them.

» Expectancy Theory
The Expectancy Theory is a model that seeks to understand the work motivation of every individual. It states the work motivation of any individual is dependent on his/her assessment on whether the effort would lead to good performance, the probability of a reward as a result of the good performance and the value of this reward.

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Leadership: Types & Theories

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