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Situational theories imply that leadership style depends on the situation, in which leaders operate. To put it more precisely, according to Situational theories leaders choose the best course of action depending on situational variables (Dessler, 2004). Hence, different leadership styles are appropriate for different situations. In such a way, leaders should respond to different situations elaborating the leadership style that matches the situation.
In this regard, Behavioral theories are close to Situational theories. Behavioral theories hold the premise that leaders are born not made (McKee, 2003). Individuals can develop leadership skills and abilities through teaching and observation. In such a context, learning is crucial for leadership because leaders should learn leadership skills and abilities. The development of leadership skills depends on the learning of individuals and their ability to learn effectively. Therefore, leadership skills and abilities become the result of the hard learning. In such a way, Behavioral theories simplify the development of leadership skills and abilities because individuals need just learn and develop leadership skills, abilities, and experience. custom term paper
Furthermore, Participative theories stand on the ground that the most efficient leadership style is the one that takes the input of others into account (Hesselbein and Cohen, 1999). Leaders should encourage the contribution and participation of their subordinates into the group work to reach the goals set by the leader or organization. In such a way, the main point of leadership is to encourage the close cooperation within the group headed by the leader and the leader should help his or her subordinates to contribute to the group performance and to reach the group’s goals.
Transactional theories imply that the leader should focus on supervision, organization, and group performance (Northouse, 2001). These theories develop the principle of reward and punishment, when employees are rewarded in case of positive performance and punished in case of failure. In such a way, Transactional theories stress the importance of the effective group management from the part of the leader. In this regard, leadership intertwines closely with management. Such a combination is extremely important, especially in the contemporary business environment. This is probably why transactional leadership grows more and more popular today (Wade, 2006).
At the same time, relationships theories are also popular in the contemporary business environment (Northouse, 2001). Relationships theories develop the concept of transformational leaders (Brown, 2003). These theories stress the importance of the development of positive relations between the leader and followers. The development of positive relations is crucial for leaders. In such a way, leadership emerges through relations and the ability of the leader to develop positive relations with his or her subordinates. In fact, relations are very important but their development naturally implies the existence of certain skills in the leader, such as communication skills, organizational skills and others.
B. Styles of Leadership
The diversity of leadership theories contributes to a significant extent the development of diverse leadership styles. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the fact that the contemporary business environment stimulates the emergence of diverse leadership styles. To put it more precisely, contemporary organizations operate in the multicultural environment, while many organizations operate internationally. Naturally, in such a situation, they have to develop the leadership style that matches the socio-cultural context, in which they operate. As a result, organizations need leaders that are capable to work in specific environment. Consequently, leaders should develop effective leadership styles that matches organizational context. At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that, similarly to leadership theories, there is no ideal or universal leadership style that could match any organization (Wade, 2006).
One of the most popular leadership styles is the visionary leadership. The visionary leadership is most appropriate when an organization needs a new direction. Its goal is to move people towards a new set of shared dreams. Visionary leaders articulate where a group is going, but not how it will get there – setting people free to innovate, experiment, take calculated risks (Murray, 2011). In such a way, the leader sets the vision and goals the organization has to reach, while group members should work hard to meet the vision and goals set by the leader. The visionary leadership puts the leader in the position of the vision and goal setter, who controls and helps his or her subordinates to work within the framework of the vision to reach the set goals.