Management And Leadership

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Management and Leadership

Management and Leadership


Management and Leadership have been significantly associated with one another since leading itself is one of the core components of effective management that is, planning, organizing, leading and controlling. The reason leading is a key component is because when employees and groups are required and obliged to follow certain rules and principles set by an authoritative individual or body or organization that runs the entire setup (Caligiuri, 2008, 494). Thus for effective management, strong and effective leadership skills are necessary and inevitably crucial in order for the entire system of conduct, to survive accordingly. Strategic management clearly implies the positioning and undertaking of organizational goals and tailoring them in order to improve the external reputation and portfolio in the overall market.

Theories of Leadership

Leadership theories abound in the organizational and business literature. With so many approaches, strategies, and theories from which to choose, it is difficult for organizational leaders to discern which approach or style of leadership best suits the needs of their organization. In addition, the thought that one particular theory can meet the needs of all leaders, all organizations, and all situations may add to the confusion of those hoping to navigate a path for their group or organization and exercise leadership (Greenleaf, 2009, 87). Contemporary understanding of leadership began with the “great man theory” in the early 1900s, which essentially claimed that leadership could be best understood by studying the great men who led nations. This approach led to an examination of presidents and generals, such as Sir Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. By understanding the actions, approaches, and styles of these men, proponents contended, one could understand good leadership (Bordas, 2007, 115).

The great man theory evolved into trait theory, a theory that suggested certain people contain the necessary traits for leadership essentially saying that leaders are born. From this perspective, leadership is viewed as being linked to certain traits and people who have those traits will make good leaders. In the first part of the 20th century, leadership was understood by studying the traits and behaviours of people who held leadership roles. Around the middle of the century, the focus shifted as scholars began recognizing the complex social influences on both individuals and organizations. Situational leadership claims that the most appropriate action of a leader depends on a variety of situational factors. Hersey and Blanchard's (1977) situational leadership theory claims that a leader should base his or her style and leadership behaviour on the specific situation of the followers (Covey, 2009, 221).

Similar to situational leadership is contingency theory. Made popular by Fiedler (1967), contingency theory acknowledges the many influences on leadership activity and suggests that leadership behaviour is contingent on many different factors, such as the leader's preferred style, the group of followers, and the situation (Covey, 2009, 223). These more classic theories dominated the leadership literature for a large part of the 20th century.

As the issues facing organizations became more complex, leadership theories began ...
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