Describe the difference between Trait, Behavioural and Contingency theries of leadership.
- ?Lv 61 十年前最愛解答
Leaders are people, who are able to express themselves fully, says Warren Bennis. 'They also know what they want', he continues, 'why they want it, and how to communicate what they want to others, in order to gain their co-operation and support.’ Lastly, ‘they know how to achieve their goals' (Bennis 1998: 3). But what is it that makes someone exceptional in this respect? As soon as we study the lives of people who have been labelled as great or effective leaders, it becomes clear that they have very different qualities. We only have to think of political figures like Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher and Mao Zedong to confirm this.
Instead of starting with exceptional individuals many turned to setting out the general qualities or traits they believed should be present. Surveys of early trait research by Stogdill (1948) and Mann (1959) reported that many studies identified personality characteristics that appear to differentiate leaders from followers. However, as Peter Wright (1996: 34) has commented, ‘others found no differences between leaders and followers with respect to these characteristics, or even found people who possessed them were less likely to become leaders’.
As the early researchers ran out of steam in their search for traits, they turned to what leaders did - how they behaved (especially towards followers). They moved from leaders to leadership - and this became the dominant way of approaching leadership within organizations in the 1950s and early 1960s. Different patterns of behaviour were grouped together and labelled as styles. This became a very popular activity within management training – perhaps the best known being Blake and Mouton’s Managerial Grid (1964; 1978). Various schemes appeared, designed to diagnose and develop people’s style of working. Despite different names, the basic ideas were very similar. The four main styles that appear are:
· Concern for task. Here leaders emphasize the achievement of concrete objectives. They look for high levels of productivity, and ways to organize people and activities in order to meet those objectives.
· Concern for people. In this style, leaders look upon their followers as people - their needs, interests, problems, development and so on. They are not simply units of production or means to an end.
· Directive leadership. This style is characterized by leaders taking decisions for others - and expecting followers or subordinates to follow instructions.
· Participative leadership. Here leaders try to share decision-making with others.(Wright 1996: 36-7)
The central idea was that effective leadership was dependent on a mix of factors. For example, Fred E. Fiedler argued that effectiveness depends on two interacting factors: leadership style and the degree to which the situation gives the leader control and influence. Three things are important here:
· The relationship between the leaders and followers. If leaders are liked and respected they are more likely to have the support of others.
· The structure of the task. If the task is clearly spelled out as to goals, methods and standards of performance then it is more likely that leaders will be able to exert influence.
· Position power. If an organization or group confers powers on the leader for the purpose of getting the job done, then this may well increase the influence of the leader. (Fiedler and Garcia 1987: 51 – 67. See, also, Fiedler 1997)
- 1 十年前
It is "theories" instead of "theries".