Leadership Theories Andrea Reger Theories



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Leadership Theories

  • Andrea Reger

Theories

  • Trait Approach
  • Skills Approach
  • Style Approach
  • Situational Approach
  • Contingency Theory
  • Path-Goal Theory
  • Leader Member Exchange
  • Transformational
  • Transactional
  • Team Leadership

Contingency Theory

  • This is a leader match theory because it tries to match leaders to appropriate situations
  • A leader’s effectiveness depends on how well the leader’s style fits the context
  • The theory was developed by studying the styles of leaders in situations and whether they were effective (primarily in military organizations)
  • Concerned with styles and situations

Contingency Theory

  • Leadership styles are either task motivated or relationship motivated
  • Situations have three factors: leader-member relations, task structure and position power

LPC Scale

  • Used to measure a person’s leadership style
  • For example, it measures your style by having you describe a coworker with whom you had difficulty completing a job. (not necessarily someone you dislike, but someone with whom you least like to work with)
  • After you choose this person, the LPC instrument asks you to describe your coworker on 18 sets of adjectives

Least Preferred Coworker (LPC) Scale

  • Pleasant 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Unpleasant
  • Friendly 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Unfriendly
  • Rejecting 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Accepting
  • Tense 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Relaxed
  • Cold 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Warm
  • Supportive 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Hostile
  • Boring 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Interesting
  • Quarrelsome 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Harmonious
  • Gloomy 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Cheerful
  • Open 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Closed
  • Backbiting 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Loyal
  • Untrustworthy 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Trustworthy
  • Considerate 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Inconsiderate
  • Nasty 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Nice
  • Agreeable 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Disagreeable
  • Insincere 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Sincere
  • Kind 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Unkind

Scoring

  • Your final score is the total of the numbers you circled on the 18 scales
  • 57 or less = Low LPC (task motivated)
  • 58-63 = Middle LPC (socio-independent leaders, self directed and not overly concerned with the task or with how others view them)
  • 64 or above = High LPC (motivated by relationships)

Contingency Theory

  • How it works
  • By measuring a leader’s LPC score and three situational variables, one can predict whether the leader is going to be successful in a particular setting.
  • It is important to note that contingency theory stresses that leaders are NOT successful in all situations.

Contingency Theory

  • Pros
  • Empirical research supports this theory
  • Includes the impact of situations on leaders
  • This theory is predictive and therefore provides useful information about the type of leadership that is most likely to be successful in a specific context
  • Does not require people to be successful in all situations (perfection is not required)
  • Data from this theory could be useful to organizations in developing leadership profiles

Contingency Theory

  • Cons
  • Fails to fully explain why people with certain leadership styles are more effective in situations than others
  • Questions regarding the LPC scale have been made because it does not correlate well with other standard leadership measures.
  • LPC instructions are not clear – leaders are unsure how to choose a least preferred coworker
  • Also fails to explain what to do when there is a mismatch between the leader and the situation in the workplace
  • Path –Goal Theory

Path-Goal Theory

  • Path Goal theory is about how leaders motivate subordinates to accomplish designated goals
  • The stated goal of leadership is to enhance employee performance and employee satisfaction by focusing on employee motivation
  • Emphasizes the relationship between the leader’s style and characteristics of the subordinates and the work setting
  • The leader must use a style that best meets the subordinates motivational needs

Path-Goal Theory

Path-Goal Theory

  • Leadership Behaviors
  • Directive leadership – leader gives instructions, expectations, time lines, and performance standards
  • Supportive Leadership- leader is friendly and approachable, attends to the well being of subordinates, and treats everyone as equals
  • Participative Leadership- leader invites subordinates to give ideas, share opinions and integrates their suggestions into the decision making process
  • Achievement-Oriented Leadership- leader challenges subordinates to perform at the highest level possible. Leader has high standards of excellence and seeks continuous improvement.

Path-Goal Theory

  • Subordinate Characteristics
  • Need for affiliation- prefer supportive leadership
  • Preferences for structure – prefer directive leadership
  • Desires of control- prefer participative leadership
  • Self-perceived level of task ability- prefer achievement orientated leadership

Path-Goal Theory

  • Pros
  • Helps understand how leader behavior effects subordinates satisfaction and work performance
  • Deals directly with motivation – one of the only theories to address this
  • Provides a very practical model – make a clear path and follow it

Path-Goal Theory

  • Cons
  • This is a very complex theory that incorporates many aspects of leadership
  • Research only partially supports the theory
  • Fails to explain adequately the relationship between leader behavior and subordinate motivation
  • Treats leadership as a one way street, places a majority of the responsibility on the leader

References

  • Northouse, P.G. (2007) Leadership Theory and Practice. Sage Publications, Inc. Thousand Oaks, CA.


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