Explanation and Evaluation of Leadership Theories



"I used to think that running an organization was equal to conducting a symphony orchestra. But I don't think that's quiet it; it's more like jazz. There is more improvisation"-Warren Bennis.

Good leaders are made not born. If you have the desire and will power, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never ending process of self-study, training, education and experience (Jago 1982). In an organizational setting, it is not just the individual's leadership skills that leads to success but the skills of the others in the team. Changes can occur anytime, anywhere, anyhow and the main concern is how leadership skills cope up with this change in an organizational setting. This is briefly explained in leadership theories, traits, styles etc.

The great man's theory assumes that the capacity for leadership is inherent- Great leaders are born, not made. These theories often portrays that great leaders are heroic, mythic and destined to rise to leadership when needed. The term "great man" was used because that time leadership was thought of primarily a male quality, especially in terms of military leadership.


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Similar in some ways to great man's theory, trait theory assume that people inherit certain qualities and traits that make them better suited to leadership. Trait theories often identify particular personality or behavioral characteristics by leaders.


Contingency theory of leadership focus on particular variables related to the environment that might determine the particular style of leadership best suited for the situation. According to the theory, no leadership style is the best in all situations. Success depends on a number of variables, including the leadership style, qualities of the followers and aspects of the situation.


The changing nature of organization has equally placed a growing importance on leadership. Different styles are required for different leaders in situations. The behavior of individuals can be influenced by various factors, leader needs to apply and cope with the changes that take place in the organization. It is the leader's responsibility to inspire and motivate his team members to bring in a positive change.


Case studies and management resources-Introduction to organizational behavior:

Available at <www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadc...>

By Kendra cherry-about.com guide (online) -Leadership theories


Changing minds (nod) Leadership theories [online] available from <http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/theories/leadership_theories.htm>


Organization should change its structure when the environments in which the individual operate become difficult to control. It is better to plan action one step ahead. Here I chose to focus on the changes that occur in the organizational set up.


A few will comfortably accommodate the degree of change, but most people of a change journey to undertake. Many people will hide their negative feelings, as it is not wise to openly critical of new ideas. 1. The main tool for promoting change is communication like coaching, collaborative workshops etc. 2. Identify the members; assess their capabilities, behavior, attitude, culture. 3. Define the goals and finally brief about what is required to bring in a change. All the employees should have the opportunity accept the changes and non specialist employees should be trained in basic skills and understandings to bring in an organizational change.

In order to survive, organizations must adapt to fit to their changing circumstances. Organizational change must be necessary to maintain a competitive edge or adapt to changing economic factors. Unfortunately the change is definitely not a smooth process. Impediments to change exist in all levels from the individual to the organization as a whole. Individuals often fail to see the positive impact on the change and tend to develop work habits that maybe impacted by the proposed organizational change. The insecurity which the individuals feel regarding the organizational change can manifest itself in an increased absenteeism and employee churn. In extreme cases individuals may also take extreme steps to stop the change from occurring. Thus changes are unpredictable and employees should suit the threats and challenges of the organization with the help of effective leaders.


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Leaders should inspire and motivate the employees into higher levels of teamwork through his skills and knowledge. They should learn to adapt to the various organizational changes which acts as an integral part. Employees should consider, accept, learn and welcome changes with a positive mindset for the betterment of the organization.


Simon Wallace- the EPM book (1999-2007) <http://www.epmbook.com/orgchange.htm>

Carter McNamara (loc) organizational change and development <http://managementhelp.org/org_chng/org_chng.htm> <http://tutor2u.net/business/strategy/what_is_strategy.htm>


Changes have to be incorporated in order to lead a well-established and a successful organization with a good understanding of leadership. There are various arrays of changes appertaining to globalization, crisis management, innovation and organizational change.

GLOBALIZATION Every leader has a set of challenges and opportunities unique to the organization's history, Market segment, customer changes and technology. These are presented by rapid globalization of business. it is the process of interaction and integration with the companies, among the people, government of different nations. Thus the leader should help and monitor the employees in various tasks for achieving desired results in these competitive organizations.

CRISIS MANAGEMENT This involves identifying crisis, planning a response, responding to sudden changes etc. here the leader should do: 1. Event tackling 2. Managing human considerations and communications 3.controlling expectations and information 4.co-ordinating with the external bodies 5. Managing legal requirements. 6. Development of contingencies. The leader should act as the strength of the organization and help the employees in eliminating the problems and preparation of unexpected or unwelcome events.

STRATEGY Organizations depend on capable leaders to guide the employees through unprecedented changes. Without proper leadership even the best and the boldest strategies die on vine, their potential never realized. Thus the leaders should implement to strategic plans successfully and prepare the employees for the uncertain future.

INNOVATION Innovation and Leadership are closely related. Leaders should always have a focus to bring in a better future and have to be necessarily innovators. The leader should improve on existing processes and perhaps accomplish break through results with his creativity skills. New ideas and advancements should be encouraged by the leader, so that the employees will also have an opportunity to give in suggestions.

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE The leader plays a vital role in bringing a change in the organization and he should set an example to the employees. The leader must be collaborative, consultative, directive and coercive. He should challenge a process and inspire a shared vision. Firstly, it is the leader's responsibility to bring in a positive change and then motivate his employees to follow so. This will bring about a long -term success.


Thus the above mentioned objectives clearly state the functioning of leadership through globalization, strategy, innovation, crisis management and organizational change. This will help the organization to achieve desired results and long-term success.


1. Gary Mitchell - globalization impact on leadership (automation world) august2008


2. Globalization 101 developed by Silicon Valley


3. Tutor to you (conducted by NUS-27th june-1stjuly) executive program for leaders.


4. Developing a leadership strategy (a critical ingredient for organizational success)

<http://www.ccl.org/leadership/pdf/research/LeadershipStrategy.pdf >

5. Jim Selman- Leadership and innovation: Relating to circumstances and changes (

. <http://www.innovation.cc/discussion-papers/selman.pdf>


Leadership in general is about certain things like- vision, principles and integrity. It is about the power to motivate others through words and deeds. Leadership is about ethically motivating people in ethical directions. Therefore there are certain limitations to be followed as well


On the procedural side, we would like to find issue connected with ethical decision making such as consultation. Ethical issues provide a great foundation for various concepts of work, business and organization. There are certain ethical principles:

1. Step back from every decision before you make it and look at it objectively. There are certain unethical behaviors, so make sure you don't fall into that trap example: dishonesty, withholding of information, misleading or confusing communication, deception, rule-bending, kidology, trickery, exploitation of weakness, irresponsibility, neglect of duty etc.

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2. Strive for fairness rather than "winner takes all "outcomes. Understand the psychological concept and understand situations. Learn from history and previous experiences. Reviewing how previous situations were handled reduces the risk of making daft mistakes, not many things are fundamentally new in this world, despite how unique your situation is. Understand the long-term consequences.

3. Aim for solution and harmony, objectivity and detachment. Facilitate rather than influence. Diffuse situations don't polarize or inflame.

4. It begins with values- with understanding and commitment of core values, vision- the ability to frame our actions, voice- process of articulating our vision to others in a convincing manner and finally virtue- striving to do well.

Leaders can sometimes be blinded by their own feelings of self-importance, and more dangerously and believe the leaders job requires to shoulder the burden of decisions which cause anguish and suffering and worse. Leadership carries some sort of right to take risks with other people's well-being is nothing more than arrogant solution. A strong feature of leadership is, knowing when, and having the strength, to find another way -the ethical way.

What stands in the way of ethical leadership?

Sometimes consideration of the obstacles to ethical leadership can teach us a great deal. Lack of courage or independence of thoughts is obvious obstacles.

Ethical leadership requires knowledge:

There are many dimensions in ethical leadership such as moral obligation to do the job right. Personal integrity and respectful decision making processes. According to my peer feedback fairness and motivation would dominate my special quality in leadership.


Thus the fundamental starting is having a good understanding of human nature such as needs, emotions and motivation. The leader must know the employee's be- such as beliefs and character, know- such as jobs, tasks and human nature and do attributes such as implementing, motivating and proving directions.