Leadership theories discussion
Northouse’s text covers various leadership theories. The theories include contingence theory, goal-path theory, leaders-membership exchange theory, and transformational leadership theory. The theories provide various models of leadership, leadership traits, objectives, approaches and perspectives. The two theories from this list that are closely associated with my approach to leadership or leadership style are path-goal theory and transformative leadership theory.
Goal-path theory is based on the leaders need to motivate subordinates to achieve set objectives. This is exactly the way a prefer leading. I like to may my teams highly motivated to achieve set objective (Northouse, 2016). Transformation leadership also fits my leadership style because it focuses on motivating followers. The components of the theory focus on charisma and effectiveness in leadership to motivate and facilitate follower development, as well as inspire and empower the followers to succeed during instances of uncertainty (Northouse, 2016).
The two approaches have various strengths and challenges for leadership and will influence my leadership roles and power (Burke & Friedman, 2011). Goal-path theory is effective for achieving short term time or time constrained goals. It is flexible and can be modified in application to suit the situation. Due to its support for participation is for, it is good for developing highly intelligent and knowledgeable groups. Under this theory it is easy for the leader to convey the massage since based on the analogy of its name “goal-path” it easy to visualize the path toward a specific objective. Irrespective of these benefits, it has some disadvantages that can negative affect my leadership role. The theory is undemocratic and undermines followers’ autonomy by assuming they do not know what is expected of them. Since leaders are not always rational, leaders’ delusion could negatively affect all members of the team. Every task is leader oriented, thus there is extreme dependence on leaders in whose absence the team cannot function.
Transformation leadership on the other hand encourages innovation and change, self-motivations and higher efficiency. It also provides opportunity to develop leaders from within the followers, enable leaders to create inspiring visions for the followers, and motivate followers. The leadership is proactive and guarantees high productivity. On the other hand, the theory relies of the leader’s ability to motivate followers; therefore failure to inspire them can lead to drastic outcomes (Higgs, 2003). Therefore, working with two theories ensures that theories practices can complement each other thus improving the chances of success.
2. Leadership-Gender and Culture
For many years now leadership understanding has majorly based on study results which have been carried out in the US among the white men. There is a large number of researches which have been done on women and their respective styles of leadership. The view on the feminine leadership exists not only as a result of a leaders’ sex difference but also the traits in the gender.
Women’s style of leadership at the moment is more different from the men leadership style. Men can adapt and even learn the women style of leadership and implement them in their management duties (Appelbaum, Audet, & Miller, 2003). The interactive styles of leadership embraced by women across organizations have brought more benefits in moving all genders towards a specific solution. This style involves a number of factors including enhancing self-worth of others, sharing information and power, energizing others and finally encouraging participation (Appelbaum et al., 2003).
The concept of gender role on leadership and the alternative style provision helps in solving women dilemma. Appelbaum et al. (2003) has it that both genders leadership techniques may be totally different from each other but all may benefit from respective styles and learn to effectively use them. In corporate surroundings women may experience work settings which may feel less welcome. At some extent this may feel like a threat to whatever they often see as the domineering self-serving culture. A number of corporations occasionally favor the reward of stereotypical and practices values of men which are corresponding to the sex-based value (Ferrer, 2015).
In spite of the large number of women recorded to enter companies on the managerial positions and female significance given in their management operations, they remain in large corporations’ high positions. Gender differences in the styles of leadership are disappearing at a faster rate, however women’s advancement into the topmost positions is low. A number of researchers conducted researches on the group-processes differences because of the gender. Women’s leadership tends to be highly effective in the team-based context.
Women are occasionally characterized with being a little passive and submissive and also with their possession of the feminine traits. For instance selflessness, and kindness, on the other hand men are aggressive and independent. Women are more attentive to the people, while men are more attentive to tasks. Studies show women have less emphasis on the competitive achievement and a lot in carrying out tasks (Kawatra & & Krishnan, 2004). The assumption that women’s style of leadership is less effective when compared to men’s is not based on facts but is rather wheeled by socialization to the perceptions which certainly persist. A reality which is inescapable is that amid a number of senior top ranks of corporates in the northern American and several other places, women retain their conspicuous rank in regard to their absence.
Appelbaum, S. H., Audet, L., & Miller, J. (2003). Gender and Leadership? Leadership on Gender? A journey through the landscape of theories. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 24(1), 43-51.
Burke, R. E., & Friedman, L. H. (2011). Essentials of management and leadership in public health. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Ferrer, R. F. J. (2015). Gender, Diversity, Leadership, and Communication in Organizations. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/gender-diversity-leadership-communication-juan-f-ramirez
Higgs, M. (2003). How can we make sense of leadership in the 21st century? Leadership & Organisational Development Journal, 24(5), 273-283.
Kawatra, S. & Krishnan, R. V. (2004). Management Review. Impact of Gender and Transformational Leadership on Organizational Culture, 16, 2
Northouse, P. G. (2016). Leadership Theory and Practice (7th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications