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Leadership theories by Mind Map: Leadership theories
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Leadership theories

Bolden, R., Gosling, J., Marturano, J., & Dennison, P. (2003). A Review Of Leadership Theory and Competency Frameworks Retrieved from    

Contingency or Situational Theory

Contingency-situational theories were developed to indicate that the style to be used is contingent upon such factors as the situation, the people, the task, the organisation, and other environmental variables

Theory Models

Great Man Theory

Born with innate qualities

destined to lead

Until the latter part of the twentieth century leadership was thought of as a concept which is primarily male, military and Western

Trait Theory

  Although there was little consistency in the results of the various trait studies, however, some traits did appear more frequently than others, including: technical skill, friendliness, task motivation, application to task, group task supportiveness, social skill, emotional control, administrative skill, general charisma, and intelligence.   Of these, the most widely explored has tended to be “charisma”.  

(It) draws on virtually all the adjectives in the dictionary which describe some positive or virtuous human attribute, from ambition to zest for life

Traits are hard to measure

acquire leaders through traits not skills

common to the military

No consistent traits were found in many studies

'some' or no traits did not mean you were a leader

Leadership skills & traits

Traits - Adaptable to situations - Alert to social environment - Ambitious and achievement-orientated - Assertive - Cooperative - Decisive - Dependable - Dominant (desire to influence others) - Energetic (high activity level) - Persistent - Self-confident - Tolerant of stress - Willing to assume responsibility Skills - Clever (intelligent) - Conceptually skilled - Creative - Diplomatic and tactful - Fluent in speaking - Knowledgeable about group task - Organised (administrative ability) - Persuasive - Socially skilled

Behaviourist Theory

  The results of the trait studies were inconclusive. Traits, amongst other things, were hard to measure. How, for example, do we measure traits such as honesty, integrity, loyalty, or diligence? Another approach in the study of leadership had to be found.    

This concentrates on 'doing' rather than personal qualities

Theory Models

The results of the trait studies were inconclusive.

Situational Leadership

leadership 'style' is flexible

leadership is specific to the situation

different styles at different levels in one organisation

Contingency Theory

a refinement of Situational Leadership

It identifies situational variables that predict the most appropriate/effective leadership style in a given circumstance

Transactional Therory

relational importance between leader and follower

mutual benefits of working together

rewards/recognition for commitment/loyalty

Transformational Theory

central concept is change

envisioning & implementing transformation of organisational performance

Early theories



Later theories


leadership in context of situations

Leaders and Followers

Servant Leadership

Following Leadership