What you’ll find out to do: Describe the background of management as a object inside business behavior

We deserve to all identify a an excellent leader once we view one, but defining what qualities and practices a great leader has actually can it is in difficult. In fact, the one point that researchers seem to agree on about leadership is the they don’t always agree.

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Are an excellent leader characterized by their accomplishments? space leaders defined by the appraisal of their followers? Is nature or bite the an ext important element in identify leadership? can leadership be learned, or is there a magical mix of trait, behavior and also situation that enables leaders to increase to the occasion? Historically, in western civilization, we’ve struggled come answer these questions, and in the next few sections we’ll give you sufficient information that you deserve to start contemplating this issues together with us.


Learning Outcomes

Discuss our understanding of leadership from the historic perspectiveDescribe the early on trait approachDescribe the behavioral approachDescribe the contingency approach and its variations

The history of Leadership

A leader might be thought about a leader due to the fact that of a officially relationship, detailed by the possession the managerial location in an organization. Or a leader deserve to be informal, someone who measures up and provides that guidance from within a group of people, not necessarily the person who has actually been provided decision do authority. (As we’ll comment on later in this module, no every leader is a manager and not every manager is a leader.)

Those room some fairly basic concepts around leaders and leadership. Exactly how did we arrive in ~ what us understand about leadership today? in the history speaking, the been fairly a ride. Let’s take a trip way back and also take a look in ~ how far we’ve come. (Note: this text will focus on the background of European and also North American history, due to the fact that we’re addressing a mostly US-based audience. There is that course, a much more comprehensive and diverse history of leaders across the world not discussed here.)

Leadership—Historically Speaking

There are a couple of different varieties of King Arthur’s story, one of the most influential folklore stories from England. Most versions tell one of two people of exactly how Arthur came to be king when the Lady that the Lake provided him a sword referred to as Excalibur, or of how he to be the just one qualified of pulling the knife from a stone. One of two people way, he to be the preferred one, he possessed a certain something, and, by magnificent right, he ended up being the king the Britain.

There’d it is in very couple of leaders amongst us this day if we relied ~ above a pulling-sword-from-stone choice process. Or, more likely, wednesday watch the procedure unfold and then say, “Hey, quite trick, yet why must I listen to you?” ideas in management have changed since the 6th century.

Surely, anyone who knew the legend the King Arthur taken that it aided illustrate the concept that those who led to be born and not made. Early principles of monarchy had the element that king to be a divine selection and was bound to no earthly rules. The right to preeminence was obtained directly native the will of God. Those the were not queens were instead heroes, possessors the God-given an abilities that helped them attain victory in battle. Few of these heroes to be mythological, favor Odysseus, descendant the the gods and hero the the Trojan War, and also others, prefer Alexander the great and Hannibal Barca, earn their distinction in battles won against nearly insurmountable odds, immortalized in stories retold over generations.

Plato, Plutarch, Lao-Tzu and even Machiavelli had actually an impact on how these rulers and also heroes were characterized in their instruction and shared opinions of what it intended to it is in a leader. That course, they no use the word “leader.” the word “leader” together we use it this day didn’t come right into the English language till the 19th century.

Still, thanks to them, the “leader together hero” concept had to be a clear an interpretation for hundreds of years. In 1840, Scottish writer cutting board Carlyle proclaimed that “the history of the civilization is but the story of great men.” The an excellent Man theory took hold—the idea that history can be defined by the affect of great men and also the decision they made. These an excellent men were figured out by their charisma, intelligence, and wisdom. Carlyle argued that these an excellent men shaped history through these personal attributes and, yes, magnificent inspiration, too. (And because he resided in Scotland in the 1840s, there was no point out of women.)

In Carlyle’s publication On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in Society (Carlyle, 1840), the author dove right into the stays of several males he deemed “heroes,” like Muhammed, Richard Wagner, Shakespeare, boy name Luther, and Napoleon. He thought that background “turned” top top the decisions of these men, and also encouraged others to research these heroes together a means of learning one’s very own true nature.

Studies were conducted on topics who were currently leaders, regularly members of aristocracy that had inherited your positions. Very couple of people with lower status had the possibility to lead, and also this added to the idea the these leadership attributes were something one was born with.

This an excellent Man approach was pretty fashionable in the 19th century, particularly with background professors that deferred come biographies of great men come teach their subject, rather than social histories. ~ all, it seems as if, when we challenged some of our most challenging moments in history, a man arised to command us efficiently through it. The visibility of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and also others choose them just seemed come prove the theory.


The good Man concept was a predecessor the the at an early stage Trait Theory stage of management research. In the unified States, us were well right into the experience of our commercial revolution, and also it to be clear that leaders weren’t simply heroes and also rulers. In ~ the revolve of the twentieth century, us were beginning to understand the nuances of management and also what it supposed to be an ext strategic in leading. Could personality traits predict success in leadership?

Early trait Approach

From the rotate of the century till the 1940s, most management studies concentrated on the personality characteristics of people that made them leaders and also not followers. Cutting board Carlyle collection the phase for the good man theory, and also other researchers complied with suit, trying to identify what sort of traits make a great leader great.

Francis Galton, one English scientist and researcher, created a book Hereditary Genius in 1869, which was the an initial social clinical attempt to examine genius and also greatness (Galton, 1869). To determine if human ability was hereditary, he determined “eminent” males (men who showed extraordinary leadership qualities) and also counted the loved ones to see exactly how many extr “eminent” men were in your background. Galton hypothesized that there would certainly be a greater percentage that “eminent” males in their lineage than in the basic population. His testing (for which he designed methods that historiometry) verified that number of eminent loved ones dropped off once going from an initial degree to 2nd degree relatives, and from 2nd to third. He take it this as evidence of the inheritance that abilities.

As you could guess, even Galton recognized the constraints of this studies. He went on to research twins and embraced children, experimentation the “nature vs. Nurture” term the he’d coined, but never strayed too far from the idea that qualities were inherited instead of taught.

In the beforehand 1900s, American psychologist (and, choose Galton, a eugenicist) Lewis Terman learned gifted children, and he conducted a selection of researches on the children and their parental to reinforce the idea of inheritance that abilities. And also in the July, 1928 concern of The journal of Abnormal and also Social Psychology, researcher W.H. Cowley wrote,

The strategy to the research of leadership usually has actually been and perhaps constantly must be v the study of traits. Management obviously is no a basic trait but rather a complex of key traits fashioned together as a unity. An enough appraisal of management would reduce this facility to its separation, personal, instance units, and also any research of leadership to it is in of value should create a perform of traits i beg your pardon go with each other to make the leader. (Cowley 1928)

In 1948, after years of experiments and also studies, researcher Ralph Stogdill determined that management exists in between persons in a social situation, and also that persons who room leaders in one case may no necessarily be leader in other cases (Stogdill, 1948). This significant the finish of researchers’ tenacious principles that individual differences characterized leadership, or that they’d be able to predict management effectiveness. In the following sections, we’ll talk about the behavioral and contingency viewpoints these new theories sparked. However we need to acknowledge below that this wasn’t the finish of researching traits in leadership. The trait method wasn’t done—it simply took a break.

Looking in ~ Trait concept Today

So, if studying leadership traits isn’t useful, why space we talking about it? Well, surprisingly, attention in the object continues, supported by media and also general publicly opinion. Think about how media describes organization leaders like Mary Barra and also Bill Gates. They’re innovative. Lock make challenging decisions. Lock philanthropic. The media is continuous throwing your personality traits out there for us to digest.

Twelve percent of all the research published on the object of leadership between 1990 and also 2004 includes the keywords “personality” and also “leadership.” interest persists, and brand-new information has actually been uncovered. Researcher Steven J. Zaccaro mentioned that, even in Stogdill’s argument against traits, his studies contained conclusions saying that individual distinctions can tho predict leader effectiveness.

Remember that Cowley composed that traits collectively lent us to leadership effectiveness. Taking a web page from this book, Zaccaro and also colleagues occurred the trait-leadership design that test to deal with traits and their affect on a leader’s effectiveness. The premise of the Trait-Leadership model (Zaccaro, Kemp, Bader, 2004) is that (a) management emerges from the merged influence the multiple characteristics (integrated, rather than individual, traits) and also (b) leader traits different in your proximal influence on leadership.

Zaccaro’s version looks prefer this:



This design comes with a perform of leader traits, i beg your pardon Zaccaro reminds us are always not exhaustive. However traits based on his 2004 model incorporate extraversion, agreeableness, openness, neuroticism, creativity, and also others.

Two various other models have arised in current trait management studies. The Leader characteristics Emergency efficiency Model, produced by researcher Timothy Judge and also colleagues, combines behavior genetics and also evolutionary psychology theory of exactly how traits are developed and puts them into a model that do the efforts to define leader emergence and also effectiveness. A second model, the integrated Model that Leader Traits, Behaviors, and Effectiveness, produced by D. S. Derue and colleagues, combines traits and also behaviors in predicting leader effectiveness and tested the mediation effect of leader behaviors on the relationship in between leader traits and also effectiveness.

In despite the of the increased emphasis of researchers on characteristics theory, that remains among the much more criticized theory of leadership. Part argue it’s as well simplistic. Others slam that it research studies leadership efficiency as it’s regarded by followers, fairly than actual management effectiveness. But we desire to leave you through two think on the trait technique before we relocate on:

Traits deserve to predict leadership. Years earlier the evidence suggested otherwise, but the presence of proper framework because that classifying and also organizing characteristics now help us recognize this better.Traits perform a much better job the predicting the introduction of leaders and also the figure of management than they perform distinguishing in between effective and ineffective leadership.

Stogdill’s comments urged researchers come look in various other directions back in the late 1940s. If it’s no the personality traits that predict reliable leadership, perhaps it’s the habits of those leaders we must be studying. Let’s take it a look at the behavioral approach to management next.


Behavioral Approach

If the answer no in the traits a leader exhibits, possibly it lies in what a leader does. Behavioral theories of leadership indicate that certain behaviors distinguish leaders native nonleaders. The ramifications for this idea room pretty big. Think around it. The trait technique can assist you choose out a leader, or predict that an individual can step up to leadership. The behavioral approach suggests the leaders have the right to be trained.

Let’s head earlier to the 1940s, around the time that Stogdill sent leadership studies off in a various direction, and look in ~ the appearance of a couple of different instances of behavioral leadership research.

The Ohio State university Studies

Back in the so late 1940s, research started at The Ohio State college to recognize independent size of leader behavior.<1> The team started with a list of over a thousand various dimensions and eventually small the list to two leadership behaviors as lock were defined by employees. Those behaviors were task focused and people focused.

Those leaders the are came to with the task room engaging in habits called initiation that structure. This doesn’t mean that they nothing care around people—it method that they method leadership indigenous the task allude of view. Castle organize and define the task so that followers can achieve the goal. For instance, a CEO can want to obtain a brand-new company for a conglomerate. In the initiation of framework framework, the CEO will bring in his or her an elderly staff and start to direct them as to how and also when he or she to trust the work need to be done.

Alternatively, consideration is a leadership habits aimed at creating mutual trust and respect with their followers. An instance of factor to consider might be a leader who, in a time of readjust and turmoil in one organization, walks the floor the the assembly plant to see just how workers room faring, or meets through the his team to determine if they need extra support.

Extensive research proved that leaders who rated high in both initiation the structure and consideration (a “high-high”) were much more likely to achieve high employee performance and satisfaction much more frequently 보다 those the scored high in only among the two categories, or low in both categories. However, “high-high” scoring did not always result in confident consequences. Those leaders the scored high in initiation of structure frequently experienced greater levels of grievances, absenteeism and turnover. Others uncovered that high factor to consider scores because that a leader resulted in lower performance evaluation scores from the leader’s own manager.

The Ohio State team argued that “high-high” usually resulted in confident outcomes yet there were enough exceptions to indicate that situational factors also needed to be considered.

The college of Michigan Studies

Studies at college of Michigan were conducted approximately the same time the Ohio State study was walk on, and they had comparable research objectives.<2> The university of Michigan team want to locate behavior characteristics of leader that appeared to be related to measures of performance effectiveness.

The university of Michigan team likewise came up with two dimensions of leadership behavior. They labeling them employee-oriented and also production oriented.

Employee-oriented leaders emphasized interpersonal relations. They take it a personal interest in the needs of employee and adopted individual differences among members. The production-oriented leaders tended to emphasize the technical or task facets of the job. Their main issue was accomplishing objectives and the group members were just a method to reach that goal.

The university of Michigan team concluded that employee-oriented leader were associated with higher group efficiency and higher job satisfaction, and production-oriented leaders often tended to score low in both those areas.

Blake and also Mouton’s Managerial Grid

In 1964, researchers Robert Blake and Jane Moutin presented their managerial grid as a graphics portrayal the a two-dimensional watch of leadership.<3>

Like the Ohio State and University the Michigan studies, Blake and Mouton concentrated on issue for production and also concern because that people. Castle scored every of those locations on a scale of 1 (low) come 9 (high) to create 81 different positions in i beg your pardon the leader’s style might fall. The an outcome was five different types of behavior styles.



In the accommodating monitoring style, leader yield and comply. Castle pay fist to the comfort of the employee in hopes that they’ll be productive. This layout often outcomes in happy employees but is no necessarily productive.In the indifferent administration style, leader evade and also elude. Castle don’t provide much consideration to human being or production, and shot to fly under the radar a bit without getting into trouble.In the sound monitoring style, leaders contribute and also commit. They pay high fist to both people and also production and encourage teamwork and commitment. It’s really Theory Y!In the dictatorial monitoring style, leader control and dominate. They pay attention to production yet not come people, and also use rules and also punishment to attain goals. It’s an extremely Theory X!In the status quo monitoring style, leaders balance and compromise. They room middle-of-the-road, and also as a result, world needs and also production needs aren’t have to met.

Managers performed finest when they scored in the “sound” area. However the grid offered far better framework for conceptualizing leadership layout rather than presenting any new information in clarifying leadership behaviors, due to the fact that there’s very tiny substantive proof to support the conclusion the a sound style is most reliable in all situations.

The Scandinavian Studies

We’re going to rapid forward a few years come the 1990s, once Scandinavian researchers Ekvall and also Arvonen began to reassess the idea the there were only two size that captured the essence of management behavior.<4> In a an altering world, they decided, leaders would exhibit development-oriented behavior. By exhibiting development-oriented behavior, this leaders would value experimentation, seek out new ideas and also generate and also implement change.

In their evaluation of the Ohio State studies, Ekvall and Arvonen uncovered that the researchers had identified habits such as “pushes brand-new ways of doing things” and “encourages employee to do new things,” but those items didn’t define much around leadership in 1940s, as soon as those actions didn’t have actually as great an impact. Their studies suggest that simply concentrating on two various dimensions of habits may no be sufficient to catch leadership in the twenty-first century.


Behavioral theories had modest success in identifying regular relationships in between leadership behavior and also group performance. Yet none of these consider instance as a factor. Would certainly Ralph Nader have actually been as successful a customer activist if he’d remained in Nicaragua and not the joined States? would certainly Franklin Delano Roosevelt have been as successful leading the nation through the Revolutionary or the civil Wars? nobody of these behavior theories might clarify these situational differences. So, together we continued to thrive in our theory of leadership, we started to look in ~ contingency theories—theories that taken into consideration the leader and the situation.

Contingency Approach

We understand that traits and also behaviors both have an impact on a leader’s success, however what about situation? This is the contingency approach. Circumstances could lead come peers and also followers shunning a specific leader, and then seeing him or she in a different means later on. Because the 1960s, the guiding light because that research has actually been the assumption that what provides a leader good depends ~ above the situation.

The failure of researchers to arrive at any consistent results roughly leadership in the mid-twentieth center led to the examine of situational influence. As they began to realize that a certain style and set of skills was ideal for one situation and failed in another, they sought to determine which conditions matched which styles and skills. This caused several theory on isolating crucial situational variables, and also we’ll look at a few of those now.

Fiedler Model

Fred Fiedler emerged the first comprehensive contingency version for leadership and also proposed that effective group performance depended upon a hard match in between the leader’s style and also the level to i beg your pardon the situation gives regulate to the leader.<5>

Fiedler began his research by determining even if it is a leader was more task oriented or partnership oriented in his or her behavior traits. He determined to measure up the leader propensity to one trait or another by arising the least wanted coworker questionnaire (LPC). The least wanted coworker asked leader to react to sixteen sets of difference adjectives the would define their least wanted coworker. LPCs respondent that explained their least wanted coworker in reasonably positive terms, the stood to reason that the leader work a connection based approach. Those that described their the very least favorite coworker unfavorably were understood to be an ext task oriented.

It’s precious noting that about sixteen percent that those acquisition the review scored right in the middle and fall external the suspect of this theory. For this reason the remainder of our conversation concentrates on the 84% of respondents that took one side or the other.

At this point, Fiedler seek to define situations through which to to compare these results. The did, in fact, identify three contingency dimensions the he was convinced defined the crucial situation factors that determine leadership effectiveness. Those cases were

Leader-member relations: the level to which members have confidence and trust in their leader (good or poor).Task structure: the level to which task assignments are proceduralized (high or low).Position power: the degree of influence a leader has over strength variables, such as hiring, firing, discipline, promotions and salary rises (strong or weak).

Fiedler then started comparing task-oriented and also relationship-oriented leaders and their performances, based upon the twenty-four possible combinations of the instances above, and also this was the result:


Figure 1. Fiedler Model


Fiedler break up that job oriented leaders had tendency to perform far better when situations were very favorable or really unfavorable come them. Relationship oriented leader perform better when instances are moderately favorable. Fiedler then modified his conclusions to state that job oriented leaders performed much better in situations of high or low control, while connection oriented leaders performed better in situations of center control.

While there are troubles with the LPC evaluation and also studies present that respondents’ scores space not stable, there is significant evidence to assistance Fiedler’s conclusions. Still, it’s often complicated in exercise to recognize the top quality of leader-member relations, the framework of task and how lot position strength the leader possesses.

Cognitive resource Theory

More recently, Fiedler and also an associate, Joe Garcia, reconceptualized Fiedler’s initial theory, this time focusing on the duty of stress and anxiety as a kind of situational unfavorableness and also how a leader’s intelligence and experience influence his or her reaction come it.<6>

Essentially, Fiedler and Garcia propose the it’s challenging for leader to think logically or analytically once they’re under stress, and also how your intelligence and experience effects their effectiveness in low- and also high-stress situations. In various other words, bright people perform worse in stressful situations, and also experienced civilization perform worse in low-stress situations. This concept is garnering solid research study support.

Hersey and also Blanchard’s Situational Theory

The ax “situational leadership” is most frequently derived from and also connected with Paul Hersey and also Ken Blanchard’s Situational management Theory. This approach to leadership says the need to enhance two crucial elements appropriately: the leader’s leadership style and also the followers’ maturity or preparedness levels.

The concept identifies 4 main management approaches:

Telling: Directive and also authoritative approach. The leader provides decisions and also tells employees what to do.Selling: The leader is quiet the decision maker, however he communicates and works to persuade the employees quite than just directing them.Participating: The leader works through the team members to do decisions together. He supports and also encourages them and also is an ext democratic.Delegating: The leader assigns decision-making obligation to team members however oversees your work.

In enhancement to these 4 approaches to leadership, there are additionally four level of follower maturity:

Level M1: Followers have actually low competence and also low commitment.Level M2: Followers have actually low competence, but high commitment.Level M3: Followers have high competence, yet low commitment and confidence.Level M4: Followers have high competence and also high commitment and also confidence.

In Hersey and also Blanchard’s approach, the crucial to successful leadership is matching the proper leadership style to the matching maturity level of the employees. Together a general rule, every of the four leadership styles is appropriate for the corresponding employee maturity level:

Telling layout works best for leading employees in ~ the M1 level (low competence, short commitment).Selling style works finest for leading employees at the M2 level (low competence, high commitment).Participating layout works finest for leading employees at the M3 level (high competence, short commitment/confidence).Delegating format works finest for leading employees at the M4 level (high competence, high commitment/confidence).

Maturity levels and leadership styles


Identifying the employee maturity level i do not care a very important part of the process, and also the leader must have actually the willingness and ability to use any of the four leadership layouts as needed.


Leader-Member Exchange Theory

The leader-member exchange theory considers leader relationships through people, and also proposed that, because of time constraints, leaders develop relationships through a little group of your followers.<7> this individuals make up an “in-group” and are more likely to receive attention from the leader. Other followers autumn into the “out-group.”

How the leader choose the “in-group” is somewhat unclear, but it’s assumed that the leader chooses the individuals based on their similarity to his or her very own characteristics, or due to the fact that of their greater competence levels.

Research testing the leader-member exchange theory has actually been typically supportive and also provides evidence that leaders execute differentiate among followers, the these disparities no random, and also that the individuals in the “in-group” will carry out better, have lower turnover, etc.

Path-Goal Theory

In the Path-Goal theory, that the leader’s project to assist followers in attaining their goals and to provide the vital direction and/or assistance to certain their purposes are compatible through the all at once objectives the the group or organization.<8> occurred by Robert House, he established that there were four species of leaders that played into this theory:

The donate leader: is friendly and also shows involves for the followers.The participative leader: checks v followers because that suggestions before making a decision.The directive leader: allows followers understand what occupational is to it is in done, provides guidance on exactly how to attain tasks.The achievement-oriented leader: sets daunting goals, expects pendant to carry out at high levels.

The factors are environmental (task structure, formal government system, occupational group) and also subordinate (locus of control, experience, regarded ability). The environmental determinants are past followers’ control, and the subordinate factors are, clear within their control. Environmental determinants dictate which of the management behaviors over will be many effective, and also the subordinate components dictate exactly how those leadership behaviors are interpreted.

In other words, if a directive leader is paired through followers who already have a high ability and experience, the leader’s skills are most likely to be viewed as redundant. The followers don’t need someone come tell them what to do. They’d be an ext successful through an achievement-oriented leader.

Research support this theory. That logical the a leader will be successful if the or she is “filling in the blanks” wherein environmental and also subordinate determinants are concerned, and giving the team what lock don’t already have.

Leader-Participation Model

Victor Vroom, the researcher who emerged the expectations framework whereby we contrasted motivational approaches, likewise has things to say about leadership.<9> he paired with Phillip Yetton to produce a leader-participation model, and then through Arthur Jago to develop a revised one. The revised design , the more widely embraced of the two, provides a set of rule to determine the kind and lot of participative decision making in different situations.

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In fact, there space 12 contingency variables, 8 trouble types, and 5 leadership styles to be taken into consideration in the process, and that’s part of what renders the model daunting for managers to use. Past the complexity of the model, this design doesn’t take it stress, intelligence and experience into factor to consider as crucial variables.


All of these contingency models, which have actually been discussed and contemplated for an ext than fourty years, seem to suggest, above all things, the there is nobody right method to lead. However don’t worry, the doesn’t mean we’ve wasted our time!