Leadership Styles In Western Business

Essay by aayushmailUniversity, Master'sA-, April 2009

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Introduction:Leadership is a critical issue and can be understood in different perspectives and different contexts. It would be difficult to give leadership a general definition because many authors have tried without reaching a consensus.

"Our images of leadership are entirely personal" wrote Georgiades and Macdonell (1998).

In terms of management, Robbins and DeCenzo (2005) referred to leadership as influencing others and possessing managerial authority. There are countless definitions of leadership and still no general conclusion.

Moreover the western theories of leadership do not cover sufficiently the structures prevalent in Asia and Africa.

This work would thus not be focusing on definitions of leadership but rather would be taking a critical look at some of the different approaches and theories of leadership and their relevance across a broad spectrum.

Main Leadership Theories:The study of leadership has been going on for a long time and researchers have put forward a number of theories to explain the concept.

Those who accept the verdict, that leaders are born and not made, maintain, ... that there are certain inborn qualities such as initiative, courage, intelligence and humour, which altogether pre-destine a man to be a leader ... the essential pattern is given at birth (Adler, 1991) Two leadership theories which concentrate on this point, are the Great man/great woman and the Trait theories. The great man/great woman theory says that those persons in power, both nationally and internationally, influence major events. A sudden act by a great man could, according to this theory; change the fate of the nation (Wrightsman, 1977). The trait theory expands further on this conjecture, by concentrating on the personal characteristics of the leader such as personality, communication skills, intelligence etc.

The trait theory does not fully explain leadership as traits are numerous and have different patterns. For example the fact...