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Who Are Leaders and What Is Leadership?
Our definition of a leader is someone who can influence others and who has
managerial authority. Leadership is what leaders do. It’s a process of leading a
group and influencing that group to achieve its goals.
 Are all managers’ leaders? Because leading is one of the four
management functions, yes, ideally all mangers should be leaders.
However, even though we’re looking at leaders from a managerial perspective,
we’re aware that groups often have informal leaders who emerge. Although
these informal leaders may be able to influence other they have not been the
focus of most leadership research and are not the types of Leaders we’re
studying in this chapter.
Early Leadership Theories:
These early leadership theories focused on the leader (leadership trait theories)
and how the leader interacted with his or her group members (leadership
behavior theories).
 Trait Theories
Leader traits: that is characteristics that would differentiate leaders from
Some of the traits studied included physical stature, appearance, social class,
emotional stability, fluency of speech, and sociability. The seven traits shown to
be associated with effective leadership are described: drive, desire to lead,
honestly and integrity, self-confident, intelligence, job-relevant knowledge, and
 But it is impossible to identify one set of traits that would always
differentiate leaders (the person) from nonleaders.
 Researchers eventually recognized that traits alone were not sufficient for
identifying effective leaders.
 Behavior Theories
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The four main leader behavior studies are summarized:
The University of Iowa studies explored three leader-ship styles to find which
was the most effective.
The autocratic style described a leader who dictated work methods,
made unilateral decisions, and limited employee participation.
II. The democratic style described a leader, who involved employees in
decision making, delegated authority, and used feedback as an
opportunity for coaching employees.
III. The laissez-faire style leaders let the group make decisions and
complete the work in whatever way it saw fit.
 The researchers’ results seemed to indicate that the democratic
style contributed to both good quantity and quality of work.
The Ohio State studies identified two important dimensions of leader behavior.
Initiating structure, which referred to the extent to which a leader
defined his or her role and the roles of group members in attaining goals.
It included behaviors that involved attempts to organize work, work
relationships, and goals.
Consideration, which was defined as the extent to which a leader
had work relationships characterized by mutual trust and respect for group
member's ideas and feelings. A leader who was high in consideration
helped group members with personal problems, was friendly and
approachable, and treated all group members as equals.
 Research found that a leader who was high in both initiating
structure and consideration (a high–high leader) sometimes
achieved high group task performance and high group member
satisfaction, but not always.
The Michigan group also came up with two dimensions of leadership behavior,
which they labeled employee oriented and production oriented.
Employee oriented Leaders were described as emphasizing
interpersonal relationships.
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The production oriented leaders, in contrast, tended to emphasize
the task aspects of the job.
 The Michigan researchers concluded that leaders who were
employee oriented were able to get high group productivity and
high group member satisfaction.
This managerial grid used the behavioral dimensions “concern for people” (The
vertical part of the grid) and “concern for production” (the horizontal part of the
Grid) and evaluated a leader’s use of these behaviors, ranking them on a scale
from 1 (low) to 9 (high).
Although the grid had 81 potential categories into which a leader’s behavioral
style might fall, only five styles were named:
1. impoverished management (1, 1 or low concern for production, low
concern for people), exertion of minimum effort to get required work
done is appropriate to sustain organizational membership
2. task management (9, 1 or high concern for production, low concern for
people), efficiency in operations result from arranging conditions of work
in such a way that human elements interfere to a minimum degree
3. Middle-of-the-road management (5, 5 or medium concern for
production, medium concern for people), adequate organization
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performance is possible through balancing the necessarily to get out work
with maintaining moral of people at a satisfactory level
4. Country club management (1, 9 or low concern for production, high
concern for people), thoughtful attention to needs of people for satisfying
relationship leads to a comfortable, friendly organization atmosphere.
5. Team management (9, 9 or high concern for production, high concern for
people). Work accomplishment is form committed people;
interdependent through a “common stake” in organization purpose leads
to relationships of trust a respect.
 The researchers concluded that managers performed best when
using a (9, 9) style
Contingency Theories of Leadership
Each looks at defining leadership style and the situation, and attempts to answer
the if-then contingencies (that is, if this is the context or situation, then this is
the best leadership style to use).we will examine four contingency theories:
Fiedler, Herset-Blanchard, leader participation and path-goal.
1. The Fiedler Model
The Fiedler contingency model proposed that effective group performance
depended upon properly matching the leader’s style and the amount of control
and influence in the situation. The keys were to
I. Define those leadership styles and the different types of situations,
II. Identify the appropriate combinations of style and situation.
Fiedler proposed that a key factor in leadership success was an individual’s basic
leadership style, either task oriented or relationship oriented. To measure a
leader’s style, Fiedler developed the least-preferred coworker (LPC)
 If the leader described the least preferred coworker in relatively positive
terms (in other words, a “high” LPC score—a score of 64 or above), then
the respondent was primarily interested in good personal relations with
coworkers and the style would be described as relationship oriented.
 In contrast, if you saw the least preferred coworker in relatively unfavorable
terms (a low LPC score—a score of 57 or below), you were primarily
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interested in productivity and getting the job done; thus, your style would
be labeled as task oriented.
After an individual’s leadership style had been assessed through the LPC, it was
time to evaluate the situation in order to be able to match the leader with the
situation. Fiedler’s research uncovered three contingency dimensions that
defined the key situational factors in leader effectiveness.
Leader member relations: the degree of confidence, trust, and
respect employees had for their leader; rated as either good or poor.
Task structure: the degree to which job assignments were
formalized and structured; rated as either high or low.
Position power: the degree of influence a leader had over activities
such as hiring, firing, discipline, promotions, and salary increases; rated as
either strong or weak.
2. Situational Leadership Theory (SLT)
Is a contingency theory that focuses on followers’ readiness. Before we proceed,
two points need clarification:
I. Why a leadership theory focuses on the followers?
II. What is meant by the term readiness?
The emphasis on the followers in leadership effectiveness reflects the reality that
it is the followers who accept or reject the leader. Regardless of what the leader
does, the group’s effectiveness depends on the actions of the followers. This
important dimension has been overlooked or underemphasized in most
leadership theories.
And readiness, as defined by Hersey and Blanchard, refers to the extent to which
people have the ability and willingness to accomplish a specific task.
SLT uses the same two leadership dimensions that Fiedler identified: task and
relation-ship behaviors. However, Hersey and Blanchard go a step further by
considering each as either high or low and then combining them into four
specific leadership styles described as follows:
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a) Telling (high task–low relationship): The leader defines roles and tells
people what, how, when, and where to do various tasks.
b) Selling (high task–high relationship): The leader provides both directive
and supportive behavior.
c) Participating (low task–high relationship): The leader and followers share
in decision making; the main role of the leader is facilitating and
d) Delegating (low task–low relationship): The leader provides little
direction or support.
The SLT says if followers are:
a) If followers are (unable and unwilling to do a task), the leader needs to use
the telling style and give clear and specific directions.
b) if followers are ( unable and willing ), the leader needs to use the selling
style and display high task orientation to compensate for the followers’ lack
of ability and high relationship orientation to get followers to “buy into” the
leader’s desires.
c) If followers (able and unwilling), the leader needs to use the participating
style to gain their support.
d) If employees (both able and willing), the leader doesn’t need to do much
and should use the delegating style.
3. Path-goal theory
Is the theory that it is the leader’s job to assist his or her followers in attaining
their goals and to provide the direction or support needed to ensure that their
goals are compatible with the overall goals of the organization. Robert House,
the developer of path-goal theory, and identified four leadership behaviors:
a. The directive leader: lets subordinates know what is expected of them,
schedules work to be done, and gives specific guidance on how to
accomplish tasks.
b. The supportive leader: is friendly and shows concern for subordinates’
c. The participative leader: consults with subordinates and uses their
suggestions before making a decision.
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d. The achievement-oriented leader: sets challenging goals and expects
subordinates to perform at their highest level.
Contemporary Views of Leadership
1) Managing power
Power is the capacity of a leader to influence work actions or decisions. In
addition, because leadership is all about influence, we need to look at how
leaders acquire power. French and Raven identified five sources or bases of
a) Legitimate power is the power a person has as a result of his or her
position in the formal organizational hierarchy (also called authority).
b) Coercive power is the power that rests on the application, or the threat of
application, of physical sanctions such as the infliction of pain; the arousal
of frustration through restriction of movement; or the controlling by force
of basic physiological or safety needs.
c) Reward power is the power that produces positive benefits or rewards.
d) Expert power is the influence that results from expertise, special skills, or
e) Referent power is the power that arises from identification with a person
who has desirable resources or personal traits.
 Most effective leaders rely on several different bases of power
2) Developing trust
Another important contemporary issue for leaders is creating a culture of trust
and credibility.
o Credibility is the degree to which followers perceive someone as
honest, competent, and able to inspire.
o Trust is the belief in the integrity, character, and ability of a leader.
 Research has identified five dimensions that make up the concept of trust:
a. Integrity (honesty and truthfulness)
b. Competence (technical and interpersonal knowledge and skills)
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c. Consistency (reliability, predictability, and good judgment in handling
d. Loyalty (willingness to protect a person, physically and emotionally)
e. Openness (willingness to share ideas and information freely)
3) Empowering employees
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