Posted on: Monday, September 18, 2017
Several theories of leadership have been developed by management theoreticians. These theories may be classified into three categories.
(1) Personality Theories: Personality theories are theories that focus on the personal qualities or traits of leader. Such theories include the following:- (i) Great Man Theory (ii) Trait Theory
(i) Great Man theory of Leadership: Great man theory of leadership claims that “Leaders are born, not made”. Leadership qualities are inherited or carried in genes. Leadership qualities cannot be acquired or developed through education or training.
(ii) Trait Theory of Leadership: This theory states that there are certain unique traits or qualities essential for successful leader. Any person who wants to be a successful leader must posses those traits. This theory emphasizes that those traits need not necessarily be inborn but may be acquired through education, training and practice.
(2) Behavioural Theory of Leadership: Behavioural theory focuses on what the leaders do i.e. on the actual behaviour of the leader. Behavioural theory is based on the premise that effective leadership is the result of effective behaviour of the leader. Success of leadership depends on the behaviour of the leader and not on his traits.
A particular behaviour pattern of a leader (functional behaviour) makes him a successful leader and its opposite (dysfunctional) would reject him as a leader. The functional dimensions include setting goals, motivating employees towards achievement of goals, making effective communication and interaction, building team spirit etc. The dysfunctional dimensions of leaders behavior include in ability to accept subordinates ideas, poor communication and ineffective interaction, poor, human relations etc.
(3) Situational / Contingency Approach : The situational approach of a leadership emphasis that emergence and success of a leader is largely determined by supranational factors This theory stresses that a leadership behaviour which is effective under the particular situation may be ineffective under the other. These are several different situational models of leadership have been developed. Fiedler’s contingency model, path goal model, Blanchard’s model etc.