Essay by nirmalk.reddyUniversity, Master'sA-, December 2005

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Leadership as a concept is a widely researched concept in an organizational context. From an organizational viewpoint, leadership is vital because it has a very powerful influence on individual and group behavior. Leadership is both a process and a property. As a process, leadership involves the use of non coercive influence. As a property, leadership is the set of characteristics attributed to someone who is perceived to use influence successfully.

Leadership and Management:

Leadership and management are related but not the same. Organizations need both management and leadership if they are to be effective. While leadership is necessary to create and direct change and to help the organization get through tough times, management is necessary to achieve coordination and systematic results and to handle administrative activities during times of stability and predictability. Leaders are also expected to energize people to overcome major political, bureaucratic and resource barriers to change by satisfying very basic, but often unfulfilled, human needs.

In comparison, managers are more concerned with monitoring results, identifying deviations and then planning and organizing to solve these problems.

Early Approaches to leadership:

A) Trait Approaches to leadership:

* In this approach, researchers believed that notable leaders had some unique set of qualities or traits that distinguished them from their peers. Also, these traits were presumed to be relatively stable and enduring.

* The earliest traits identified were intelligence, dominances, self-confidence, energy, activity and task-relevant knowledge. But the trait approach could neither specify nor prove how presumed leadership traits are connected to leadership per se. Due to this, the trait approach was abandoned.

* However, the trait approach has received renewed interest. The new traits identified are drive, motivation, honesty and integrity, self-confidence, cognitive ability, knowledge of the business and charisma. The role of gender, age and cultural differences are...