Analysing The Principle Theories Of Leadership Essay

Leadership is a wide and complex term and in recent old ages the importance of the leading construct has increased significantly every bit good. Nowadays no subject is considered to be a more of import to concern success than leading. Harmonizing to Cole ( 2004: p.53 ) leading can be defined as follows:

“ Leadership at work is a dynamic procedure whereby one person in a group is non merely responsible for the group ‘s consequences, but actively seeks the coaction and committedness of all the group members in accomplishing group ends in a peculiar context and against the background of a peculiar national civilization. ”

Frequently the term leading is confused with direction but both are of great importance to administrations. In fact the function of the direction is to acquire the things done through other people in the administration in order to accomplish organizational aims while the function of leading “ revolves around vision, thoughts, way, and has more to make with animating people as to way and ends than with daily execution. ” ( Bennis, 1992: p.139 ) It is besides said that a good director have to be a good leader. The purpose of this essay is to compare the two principal theories which are trait and behavioral with the aid of an illustration of a leader for each theory from the twentieth century.

The first chief theory of leading which is the trait theory assumes that leaders are born and non made. Harmonizing to the trait theory leaders are born with right combination of certain traits that differentiate them from non-leaders. Harmonizing to Drucker cited in Mullins ( 2005: p.367 )

“ Leadership is of the extreme importance. Indeed there is no replacement for it. But leading can non be created or promoted. It can non be taught or learned. ”

There have been many researches carried out on this theory in order to happen out the traits of a successful leader but all these researches had small success in placing the common traits of a leader because most of the researches came with lists of traits which tends to belie or overlap. Some of import traits which were common in most of the researches are intelligence, personal appeal, assurance, finding, unity and sociableness. To see leading through the trait theory will hold some strengths and some failings. One of the strength of sing through the trait theory is that it can be used for development and personal consciousness as it will let people and directors to analyze their strengths and failings and what should they make which will assist them in heightening their leading. Another strength of the trait theory is that it provides a complete apprehension of what is a leader in the leading procedure. The failing of the trait theory when sing leading is that it can non be used in preparation and developing persons because an person ‘s personal qualities are comparatively fix and hence his/her traits are non willing to alter. In add-on, the trait theory has non sufficiently linked the traits of leaders with other results such as group and squad public presentation. ( Northouse, 1997 ; Mullins, 2005 )

The individual who clearly exemplifies the trait theory of leading is Mohammad Ali Jinnah ( 1876-1948 ) . It was under his leading Muslims of India were able to make a separate state for themselves called Pakistan and now he is hailed as ‘Father Of Nation ‘ and ‘Quaid-i-Azam ‘ ( a great leader ) in Pakistan. It was his personal appeal, intelligence, finding and assurance ( traits ) that made him a great leader because he neither spoke the linguistic communication of his followings nor wore their frock and nor shared their confident and warm-hearted nature but yet he successfully led them to make a separate state. One of the celebrated American historian Stanley Wolpert quoted in his book ‘Jinnah Of Pakistan ‘ , “ Few persons significantly alter the class of history. Fewer still modify the map of the universe. Barely anyone can be credited with making a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all the three. ” ( hypertext transfer protocol: // ) This citation clearly sums up that yes Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a born leader.

The 2nd principal theory which is the behavioral theory besides known as manner attack is based on a premise which is wholly opposite to trait theory premise that leaders are made non born or in other words leading can be learned instead being built-in. Behavioural theory focuses on the different sorts of behaviors of leaders and what they do and how they act in different state of affairss. Many surveies have been conducted on this theory but the most extended research surveies are the ‘Ohio State Leadership Studies ‘ by the Ohio State University and ‘Michigan Studies ‘ by University Of Michigan. The purpose for these surveies was to happen out the cosmopolitan set of leading behavior which will assist to explicate the effectivity of leading in different state of affairss. These surveies identified that leading comprises of two general sorts of behaviors. First one is the ‘task behavior ‘ which help in accomplishing the ends successfully by assisting the group members to accomplish their aims. Second one is the ‘relationship behavior ‘ which helps in doing certain that subordinates feel comfy with themselves, each other and the state of affairs they find themselves in. Like the trait theory, behavioral theory besides has its positive and negative sides. The positive side of behavioral theory is that it has stretched the range of leading. Second, it is much more dependable attack because it is supported by a broad scope of surveies. Third, the behavioral theory has identified two core dimensions of leading behavior which are undertaking and relationship doing behavioral attack really valuable. The negative side of behavioral attack is that even though it was able to place the two general sorts of leading behavior which are undertaking and relationship, it was non successful in placing cosmopolitan set of leading behaviors that would ensue in effectual leading. So overall, the behavioral theory demands to be more refined so that it can supply an organized universal set of leading behavior required for effectual leading. ( Northouse, 1997 ; Mullins, 2005 ; “ hypertext transfer protocol: // ” LeadershipHYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: // ” _HYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: // ” TheoriesHYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: // ” .doc )

Nowadays leading is really of import in an administration because leaders are the people who will make alteration and will be important in bettering the public presentation of an administration. So an administration ‘s long-run success is dependent on good leading and ability of leaders to actuate and act upon others. This significance if leading has led to different surveies to assist explicate good leading and these surveies have came up with different leading theories among which trait and behavioral were the chief theories. After discoursing these two above it can be concluded that no theory holds the key to unlock the door to successful leading but alternatively each theory adds a alone set of values which can assist the bing leader to accomplish success and supply a model within the administration in which leaders can work.


Mullins, L. ( 2005 ) . Management And Organisational Behaviour. 8th erectile dysfunction. Essex: Pearson Education Limited

Cole, G. ( 2004 ) . Management Theory And Practice. 6th erectile dysfunction. London: Thomson Learning

Bennis, W. ( 1992 ) . On Becoming A Leader. London: Random Century Group Ltd. ISBN 0-7126-9890-6

Northouse, P. ( 1997 ) . Leadership Theory And Practice. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Last Accessed on 20th June 2010 ] “ hypertext transfer protocol: // ” LeadershipHYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: // ” _HYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: // ” TheoriesHYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: // ” .doc [ Last Accessed on 20th June 2010 ]