Leadership--Effective leadership depends on the situation in which it is excised.

Essay by dolphi_darrenUniversity, Master's May 2004

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Leadership - what is it? Many definitions have been offered, various theories abound, numerous programs focus on leadership development, but the question remains. It is almost always a difficult and situational process since organization, environment and social needs are continuously changing. Theories around leadership have emerged for roughly one century, such as trait theories focusing on the leaders of the organization, or behavioral theories stressing the relationship between leaders and followers, but cannot explain the nature and effectiveness of leadership. With the development of the theories, the Fiedler model, Hersey and Blanchard's situational theory, the leader-participation model, and the path-goal model are gradually welcomed, especially path-goal theory that says "it is the leader's job to assist followers in attaining their goals and to provide the direction and support needed to ensure that their goals are compatible with the overall objectives of the organization' (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg and Coulter, 2003).

These kinds of theories called contingency propose the importance of the situations in which the leadership is influenced by contextual factors, like leader-follower connection, external environment and ethical issues etc. Besides, contemporary leadership theories involve in some cutting-edge approaches: transformational-transactional leadership, charismatic-visionary leadership, and team leadership. In these theories, a leader is described as a role of coach with abilities to guide and motivate followers, offer more individual consideration, and be charismatic and visionary. Obviously, leadership theories have been getting mature with examine of time and experience. According to Robbins et al. (2003), leadership is the process of influencing a group towards the achievement of goals. Also, Daft (2002) states "leadership is influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes and outcomes that reflect their shared purpose". As a process of influence, it clarifies the goals of a group or an organization, guides and motivates behaviours of the...