Sample Essay

The fist theory of leadership was called ‘the great man-woman theory’ this theory stated that leadership is an innate which means that leaders are born, not made. There is little evidence to support this theory as it is just a mere speculation that personal qualities and abilities make certain persons natural leaders. Another theory similar to this is the trait theory which states the there are certain traits that are associated with leader success. Some of these traits are intelligence, extraversion, dominance and psychological adjustment. The result of this study was also inconclusive as there is no solid evidence that there would be a single or a group of traits that all effective leaders possess. (Bratton, Grint, Nelson, 2004)
The contingency theories of leadership examine the interaction between leader characteristics and elements of the work situation. They take into account the circumstances or framework within which the leadership transpires. Fielder’s contingency model states that effective leadership depends upon a leader’s behavioral style and the extent to which the work situation gives the leader power, influence and authority. Leaders can be either task-oriented or relationship oriented. The degree to which a leader is task or relationship oriented is determined by the method of LPC (least preferred coworker). High scores indicate the leader as being relationship oriented and low scores indicate task oriented leadership. Fiedler also identified three situational characteristics or controls which are leader-member relations, task structure, and position power. These situational characteristics combine to create circumstances that are either very favorable, very unfavorable or neither. Thus, the effectiveness can be determined by observing that the task oriented leaders perform best in high and low situational controls and relationship oriented leaders perform best in moderate situations. (Munro, 2007)

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