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Leadership Theory Essay

514 words - 3 pages

There are several theoretical approaches to what creates an effective leader. Four main approaches are identified for this report; they are the Trait Approach, the Skills Approach, The Style Approach, and the Situational Approach. For over a century researchers have been trying to define what makes an effective or good leader, there are several theories with the most common question appearing to be are good or effective leaders born or bred. Our book, Leadership Theory and Practice, treats leadership as a complex process having multiple dimensions. (Northouse, 2013).

The Trait Approach was identified as one of the earliest attempts to study leadership in the early 20th century. The characteristics traits of great political, military, and social leaders were studied and examined to identify qualities that clearly separated the leaders from the ...view middle of the document...

Stogdill’s second study in 1974, identified the following ten (10) traits that are positively associated with leadership:
Drive for responsibility and task completion;
Vigor and persistence in pursuit of goals;
Risk taking and originality in problem solving;
Drive to exercise initiative in social situations;
Self-confidence and sense of personal identity;
Willingness to accept consequences of decision and action;
Readiness to absorb interpersonal stress;
Willingness to tolerate frustration and delay;
Ability to influence other people’s behavior; and
Capacity to structure social interaction systems to the purpose at hand.
Several researches, Mann, Kirkpatrick, Locke, Zaccaro and Kemp to identify a few completed other studies and identified five major traits possessed by persons in leadership roles:
Self confidence
The listed major traits are not all inclusive but do contribute significantly to ones ability to be a leader. The trait approach has over a century of research and establishes benchmarks to what traits a person should have to become a leader. The trait approach gives credibility to the theory that leaders are different, and their difference resides in the traits they possess, people with gifts who can do extraordinary things. (Northouse, 2013).

The Skills Approach is---

The Style Approach is----

The Situational Approach is ----


Bass, B. M. (1990). Bass and Stogdill’s handbook of leadership: A survey of theory and research. New York: Free Press.

Jago, A. G. (1982). Leadership: Perspectives in theory and research. Management Science, 28(3), 315-336

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Los Angeles: Sage

Stogdill, R. M. (1948). Personal factors associated with leadership: A survey o the literature. Journal of Psychology, 25, 35-71.

Stogdill, R. M. (1974). Handbook of leadership: A survey of theory and research. New York: Free Press.

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