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Leadership Theory Inventory and Leader Shadowing

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Leadership
Wordcount: 3153 words Published: 27th Jul 2021

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Research and Outline Leadership Theories, Principles, and Impact Theory and Practice of Organizational Leadership

Leadership Theory Inventory





19th Century

Thomas Carlyle

Great Man Theory

This school of thought espouses that great leaders are born, not made. These individuals come into the world possessing certain characteristics and traits not found in all people. These abilities enable them to lead while shaping the very pages of history. Under this theory leaders throughout the course of history were born to lead and deserved to do so as a result of their natural abilities and talents (villanovau.com).


Ralph M. Stogdill

Trait Theory

People are born with inherited traits. Some traits are particularly suited to leadership. People who make good leaders have the right combination of traits (Straker, 2015).


Douglas McGregor

Theory X

Management has little trust or confidence in workers. Communication flows down, not up. Workers prefer to be closely supervised. Subordinates have little say regarding their jobs and do not participate in problem solving. In order to meet goals, managers use threats and coercion to gain compliance. Subordinates do not participate in or feel responsible for organizational success. Without precise supervision, employees will underperform (Noland, 2014).


Douglas McGregor

Theory Y

Workers are self-motivated and require little supervision. Workers will direct themselves in they are committed to the organization and the job is satisfying. Workers possess the ability for problem solving and creative thinking. Workers seek responsibility and want to be challenged. Workers feel rewarded from their accomplishments and doing a good job. Workers are motivated by recognition and acknowledgement (Noland, 2014).


Paul Hersey

Ken Blanchard

Situational Theory

Leaders should use a different leadership style, depending on the situation. This model encourages the leader/manager to analyze the needs of the situation, and then use the most appropriate leadership style. Depending on employee competence in their task area and commitment to tasks, the leadership style should vary from person to person (12manage.com)


Chris Argyris

Maturity / Immaturity Theory

A persons’ development is process along a continuous break of an immaturity situation to maturity situation. A mature person is characterized for being active, independent, self-confident and self-controlled. An immature person is passive, dependent, has lack of confidence and feels need of control by others (modelsofmaturintyblog.wordpress.com).


Abraham Maslow

Theory of Eupsychian Management

Importance of managers supporting their subordinates and contributing positively to their self – esteem. Emphasizes a need for self-actualization so that everyone would have the opportunity to become what he or she had the capacity to become (Landis, Hill & Harvey (2014).


Margaret Mead

Talcott Parson

Robert K. Merton

Role Theory

People define roles for themselves and others based on social learning and reading. People form expectations about the role that they and others will play. People subtly encourage others to act within the role expectations the have for them. People will act within the roles they adopt (Straker, 2015).


Fred Fiedler

Contingency Theory

The success of the leader is a function of various factors in the form of subordinate, task, and/or group variables. The effectiveness of a given pattern of leader behavior is contingent upon the demands imposed by the situation. This approach departs from trait and behavioral models by asserting that group performance is contingent on the leader’s psychological orientation and on three contextual variables: group atmosphere, task structure, and leader’s power position. This theory explains that group performance is a result of interaction of two factors; leadership style and situational favorableness. In this model leadership effectiveness is the result of interaction between the style of the leader and the characteristics of the environment in which the leader works (12manage.com)


W.E. Scott

Behavioral Theory

Identified the need to replace the conception that leadership is due to influence of persuasion with analysis of the observable behavior of leaders that change the behavior of followers (Landis, Hill & Harvey, 2014).



Kenneth Burke

Barbara Sharf

Communication Theory

Based upon the use of rhetoric in small groups in regards to the emergence of a leader. Sharf created a rhetorical framework derived from a theory developed by Burke. Burke sought to reveal the importance of leaders attaining cooperation from members in the group, to analyze the success of leaders in small groups. Sharf concluded that the analyses revealed how important it was for the leader to go beyond the symbolic divisions in an evolving leader (Landis, Hill & Harvey, 2014).


Fritz Heider

Attribution Theory

Attributions are the result of the fundamental cognitive processes by which people ascertain cause and effect so that they can solve problems and become more efficacious in their interactions with their environments (Martinko, Harvey & Douglas, 2007). This theory posits that every leader and follower have his or her own implicit theory of leadership (Landis, Hill & Harvey, 2014).


William Ouchi

Theory Z

The value of the company is the people. Everyone who will be affected by a decision is involved in making the decision –

consensus decision making (Inman Review, 2016).


Frederick Herzberg

Two – Factor Theory

People are influenced by two factors – hygiene factors and motivation factors. Satisfaction and psychological growth are a result factor of motivation factors and dissatisfaction is a result of hygiene factors. Hygiene factors are needed to ensure that an employee does not become dissatisfied. they do not cause higher level of motivation, but without them there is dissatisfaction. Motivation factors are needed in order to motivate an employee into higher performance. These factors result from internal generators in employees (12manage.com).


Robert K. Greenleaf

Servant Leadership Theory

Emphasizes the good of followers over the self-interest of the leader by valuing and developing people, practicing authenticity in leadership, building community, providing leadership for the good of followers, and sharing status and power for the common good of followers, the organization as a whole, and person served by the organization (Washington, Sutton & Sauser, 2014).


James McGregor Burns

Transformational Leadership Theory

Builds commitment to organizational objectives and empowers followers to accomplish objectives by making followers aware of the importance of task outcomes, orienting followers toward performance beyond established organizational standards, activating high-orders intrinsic needs, and focusing on follower empowerment instead of dependence (Washington, Sutton & Sauser, 2014).


James McGregor Burns

Transactional Leadership Theory

An exchange process in which the leader recognizes followers’ needs and then define appropriate exchange processes to meet both the needs of the followers and leaders’ expectations. This theory relies on hierarchical authority, task completion, and rewards and punishment (Washington, Sutton & Sauser, 2014).


Fred Dansereau

George Graen

William Haga

Leader – Member Exchange Theory

Describes how leaders in groups maintain their position through a series of tacit exchange agreements with their members. These relationships follow three stages very soon after a person joins the group. Role taking – the member joins the team and leader assesses their abilities and talents, the leader may offer them opportunities to demonstrate their capabilities. Role making – the leader and member take part in an unstructured and informal negotiation whereby a role is created for the member and the often-tacit of benefit and power in return for dedication and loyalty takes place. Routinization – a pattern of ongoing social exchange between the leader and the member becomes established (Straker, 2015).


Robert House

Charismatic Leadership Theory

A belief that some people act in certain ways that would lead others to attribute special or extraordinary abilities to them. One of these ways is through having certain personalities characteristics, like being dominant, aspiring to influence others, having confidence, and possessing a strong moral compass. Charismatic leaders engage in certain behaviors, the have strong vision, are risk takers, and are sensitive to the needs of their followers and are strong role models for the values they espouse (Gentry, 2017).



I choose to observe the Associate Vice President of Hospital Operation of my current organization, Chad Key. I realized very quickly that Mr. Key aligned with that of the profile of the transformational leader, the servant leader, and the situational leader. This paper will discuss a critical analysis of Mr. Key’s leadership traits and behaviors, and discuss the lens through which his leadership style is most effectively observed.

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Critical Analysis

The Transformation Leader

Transformational leadership is defined as a leadership approach that causes change in individuals and social systems. The transformational leader creates valuable and positive change in the followers with the end goal of developing their followers into leaders (langston.edu). Chad exhibits the ability to self-manage, not needing much direction from others and is highly energized and internally motivated and uses his motivation to affect change within the organization. Chad is all about takes the right risks by making informed decision after seeking input from his team to make decision that promotes growth. Chad doesn’t shy away from making difficult decisions however, makes those decision with a clear focus on the organization. Chad is very inspirational and motivates others to do more than they expect they can do, he treats others like his equal and values their individual contribution and take the time to uncover what moves or excites you.

The Servant Leader

 Servant leadership places the leader in a non-focal position within a group such that resources and support are provided to followers without expectation of acknowledgement (Smith et al., 2004). Servant leaders are motivated by a desire to serve than to lead ((Washington, Sutton & Sauser, 2014). Chad exhibits the ability to be a great listener and does so intently and values the contribution of his team and always seeks out others point of view. He is hell-bent on developing other leaders, serving as a mentor by sharing his skills and teaching them how to become more effective leaders. He is invested in others beyond the work environment and seeks to help with their personal development.

The Situational Leader

Situational leadership is an adaptive leadership style; this type of leadership is flexible and adapts to the work environment. This type of leadership is not based on a specific set of skills but instead a modification of their leadership style of management to suit what is required (online.stu.edu). Chad is able to identify and exercise the leadership behavior appropriate for the circumstance that he is faced with and from that is able to draw lessons from his experience for future situations. Even as a senior leader he does not suggest he knows it all, he is able to show humility by rely on the expertise of his team while providing a clear vision of where the team is going.

Leadership Style Most Effectively Observed

 The lens of a transformational leader is the lens through which Chad Key leadership style is most effectively observed. He has a strong vision for the future of the organization and challenges the organizational norms and encourages a different way in which we think and pushes his subordinates to think outside the status quo and develop innovative strategies through the creative process.  Chad is viewed as a social architect; he creates the environment that encourages involvement, autonomy, creative freedom, and innovation. He understands the importance of his organizational role and uses it to build collaborative relationships to support others and include others in the strategic vision. 


In my experience, all leaders have something to offer that could result in one being a more effective leader. I am reminded of the leadership style of my first leader while being a young leader, and remember being committed to not be affected by their leadership style in order to be an effective leader and it was honestly the most important lesson as a leader to date. That experience opened my eyes to not be ungrateful to those lessons because in those lessons I was able to cultivate my leadership philosophy. Fast forward to now and observing a leader like Chad who possesses in high degree the qualities of an effective leader, I can use these examples to allows for the development of a set of skills to become more of an effective leader. This deeper understanding of Chad as a leader allows me to understand the importance of my role as a leader and helps me to think more globally about leadership and how it can help to increase my capacity as an effective leader.


  • 12 Manage: The executive fast track. Contingency Theory. Retrieved from https://www.12manage.com/methods_contingency_theory.html
  • Gentry WA. (2017). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. (2nd Edition). Charismatic Leadership Theory. SAGE Publications, Inc. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/978143386874.n60
  • Landis EA, Hill D, and Harvey MR. (2014). A Synthesis of Leadership Theories and Styles. Journal of Management Policy & Practice, 15, 2, 97 – 100. Retrieved from https://eds-a-ebscohost-com.proxy1.ncu.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=2&sid=109029ec-4283-468d-976d-42c3c506ce5e%40sdc-v-sessmgr01
  • Martinko MJ, Harvey P and Douglas SC. (2007). The role, function, and contribution of attribution theory to leadership: A review. The Leadership Quarterly, 18, 561 – 585. Doi:10/1016/j.leaqua.2007.09.004.
  • Models of Maturity. (2016). Argyris Maturity Theory. Retrieved from https://modelsofmaturityblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/argyris-maturity-theory/
  • Noland C. (2014). Teaching Theory X and Theory Y in Organizational Communication. Communication Teacher, 28, 3, 145 – 149. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/17404622.2014.911333.
  • Smith, B.N., Montagno, R.V., & Kuzmenko, T.N. (2004). Transformational and servant leadership: Content and contextual comparisons. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 10(4), 80- 91.
  • Straker, J. (2015). Leadership theories. Retrieved from https://ncuone.ncu.edu/d2l/le/content/93348/viewContent/748464/View
  • Transformational leadership. Retrieved from https://www.langston.edu/sites/default/files/basic-content-files/TransformationalLeadership.pdf
  • Washington, R. R., Sutton, C. D., & Sauser, J. I. (2014). How distinct is servant leadership theory? Empirical comparisons with competing theories. Retrieved from https://ncuone.ncu.edu/d2l/le/content/93348/viewContent/748462/View
  • What is Situational Leadership? How Flexibility Leads to Success. (2014). Retrieved from https://online.stu.edu/articles/education/what-is-situational-leadership.aspx
  • Villanova University. (2015). The Great Man Theory. Great leaders: natural ability or learned behavior? Retrieved from https://www.villanovau.com/resources/leadership/great-man-theory/


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