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Leadership Models

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Leadership models have been used in uncountable ways to increase productivity and efficiency of organizations. This is done through various approaches, methods, and techniques. Some methods focus on specific job duties or individuals performing the job, whereas other methods are designed to help followers and leaders to perform their duties adequately, and as a group. Human’s collective knowledge has improved and continues to expand. Consequently, this desire fuels researcher’s efforts to evaluate old doctrines and uncover innovative truths regarding leadership models. The ideal leadership theory depends on the workplace setting and the dynamics of the organization or company. In fact, the human resources divisions employ different supervision models and theories to extend productivity and efficiency within the organization. Ultimately, this paper will compare and contrast four dissimilar leadership models or theories. The four leadership models employed involves such as the behavior approach, the power and influence approach, trait theory, and the social exchange theory. Behavior Approach

During the 1950s the behavior approach was introduced because researchers expressed disappointment with the well-known trait theory (Clawson, 2013). Consequently, they begin placing their central focus on leader’s behavior on-the- job, to observe what causes a leader to be effective oppose to ineffective (Clawson, 2013). Researchers deem the leader’s behavior essentially empowers the effectiveness of an organization. However, the follower’s behavior can also have a major influence on the work environment (Tangpinyoputtikhun, & Tiparos, 2011). In other words, the group can lose time on tasks not significant to production of the organization goal because of unwarranted leadership tactics. Even though human behavior can be influenced by various contextual such as followers, structure, and culture process (Tangpinyoputtikhun, & Tiparos, 2011).

For example, the neurotransmitters serotonin plays an important role in regulating mood, sleep impulsivity, aggression, and appetite (Lemonick, 1997). There are different theories involving leadership behavior that can shape essentially followers mind-set within the workplace. The components that play a significant factor in connecting good leadership theories to a company, and its employees are through a range of situational variables, and method along with the instinct to know when an appropriate theory is necessary to apply in any given situation (Clawson, 2013). Nevertheless, no single leadership theory or model is inherently better than the next as each is designed to attempt to rationalize leadership behavior within the workplace. The Power and Influence Approach

The power and influence approach scrutinizes the interaction amid leaders in a workplace environment (Clawson, 2013). This particular theory central focus is emphasizes the leadership effectiveness and the use of their power toward others (Clawson, 2013). The two faces of power entail dominating power and empowering power. The dominating power leaders will try to keep vulnerable individuals by overpowering them (Clawson, 2013). The empowering power leaders will facilitate the vulnerable individual and they will use his or her power cautiously (Clawson, 2013). An empowering leader will place the organization ideals before self-interest to display commitment; as the leader’s behavior empowers the effectiveness of the organization (Clawson, 2013). Trait Theory.

“The traits as defined by Stodgill (1974) were being adaptable to situations, alert to social environments, ambitious and achievement-orientated, assertive, cooperative, decisive, dependable, dominant (desire to influence others), energetic (high activity level), persistent, self-confident, tolerant of stress and willing to assume responsibility” (Khan, 2013, p. 831). The underlying belief regarding the trait theory implies that certain people possess natural distinctiveness that makes an individual a better leader than others (Clawson, 2013). This particular theory is one of the former approaches employed by researchers to analyze leadership behavior (Clawson, 2013). However, currently the trait theory is not employed in any isolated criteria, but certain traits do still plays a significant role in determining potential applicant for a leadership position (Khan, 2013).

The trait theory contains certain intrinsic flaws, such as good leaders can be based only on their traits, or other contingency factors (Khan, 2013). “The theory remains alive however, and has even made somewhat of resurgence in recent years, primarily (a) because of the vast wealth of data and research that support its roots and (b) because of recent research in genetics that suggest that we do in fact acquire a large portion of traits from our ancestors”(Khan, 2013, p. 832). The social exchange theory.

Typically, social exchange occurs between a leader and other individuals within the group (Clawson, 2013). Perhaps most important the group allows the leader to possess a certain degree of control over him or her, even if his or her plans fail (Clawson, 2013). Subsequently, a successful ground-breaking proposal the leader gains more influence, power, and idiosyncrasy credits (Clawson, 2013). For example, persuasion can be employed to achieve good as well as bad in most circumstances. Accordingly the leader essentially gains power over the group by making him or her more vulnerable to the leader’s extreme proposals (Clawson, 2013). If the proposal fall-short, the leader will eventually lose his or her power and influence, according to the social exchange theory (Clawson, 2013).

“The loss will be greater if the failure appears to be due to poor judgment, rather than factors beyond the leader’s control; if the leader is thought to have pursued selfish motives; if the plan was especially divergent from group norms; or if the leader had a particularly high degree of status beforehand” (Clawson, 2013, p.410). This theory suggests that job fulfillment in the nomological network and the mechanism operates as a mediator linking volitional workplace behaviors, and other prior inconsistencies (Crede, Chernyshenko, Stark, Dalal, and Bashshur, 2007). Compare and contrast.

Each theory can be categorized under the behavior approach, but some possess dissimilar leadership behavior tactics. The trait theory can be considered similar to some, but it could not be identified to any other theory because, the theory is based on an individual genetic traits. This theory does possess similar categorizations in both the power and influence approach and the social exchange theory as each entails dominant leader leadership behavior. Consequently, the power and influence approach and the social exchange theory possess similar leadership behavior because each leader likes to prey on others weakness. Ultimately, an empowering leader is similar to both the behavior approach and the trait theory.

Furthermore, it can be a considered neighboring with the behavior approach because it involves leadership behavior. Moreover, this theory can be neighboring to the trait theory because the trait theory entails similar factors such as ambitious, achievement-orientated, assertive, cooperative, and decisive leadership behavior. As mentioned earlier, an empowering leader will place the organization ideals before self-interest to display commitment (Clawson, 2013). Conclusion

As the United States continues to become more culturally and ethnically diverse, so are the workplace by which leaders are mostly implemented. Many believe because of the growing diversity in today’s society, it appears it is becoming even more important to promote behavior approaches in the workplace. These models may not work in every workplace environment, yet the advantage is relevant in the outcome of job performance and job satisfaction. Each theory can be categorized under the behavior approach, but some also possess dissimilar leadership behavior tactics.

Researchers deem the leader’s behavior essentially empowers the effectiveness of an organization. In efforts to encourage a more positive work setting, to increase productivity, and job satisfaction, the manager can review leadership styles and incorporate one that best fits the task at hand. Nevertheless, the question is not whether or not any of these theories should be considered the leading leadership model because, they have each contributed to future research knowledge regarding leadership behavior.


Clawson, J. G. (2013). Level three leadership: Getting below the surface. (5th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Crede, M., Chernyshenko, O. S., Stark, S., Dalal, R. S., & Bashshur, M. (2007). Job
satisfaction as mediator: An assessment of job satisfaction’s position within the nomological network. Journal Of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, 80(3), 515 Lemonick, M. (1997). The mood molecule. (cover story). Time International (Canada Edition), 150(13), 54. Khan, A. (2013). Approaches in Leadership: Trait, Situational and Path-Goal Theory: A Critical Analysis. Pakistan Business Review, 14(4), 830-842 Tangpinyoputtikhun, P., & Tiparos, K. (2011). A STUDY OF CONGRUENCE OF THE BEHAVIOR OF FOLLOWER FIT WITH LEADERSHIP STYLE THAT AFFECT WORK PERFORMANCE. Journal Of The Academy Of Business & Economics, 11(3), 57-70.

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