There is a wide and ever growing variety of theories to explain the concept and practice of leadership and there exists a wide variety of different theoretical approaches to explain the complexities of the leadership process. Interest in leadership increased during the early part of the twentieth century and since then leadership has been defined and conceptualized in many ways. Early leadership theories focused on what qualities distinguished between leaders and followers, while subsequent theories looked at other variables such as situational factors and skill levels.
This section on leadership theories reviews and analyzes a large number of leadership theories and our purpose of putting these theories together in this section is to provide the learners with a toolkit to apply each theoretical approach in the real-world organizations and real world leadership challenges that professionals face today. These articles will explore how leadership theory can inform and direct the way leadership is practiced in day to day life. In addition, in these articles attempt has been made to examine leadership from an academic perspective through several theoretical lenses.
We will start with a brief overview of the generally known theories and will also discuss some of the traditional theories that are not so widely recognized or referred to and will provide the learner with tips on practically using these concepts in the workplace. Over time, a number of theories of leadership have been proposed and this section captures most of the main ideas.
The objectives of this section are to enable the learner contrast between leadership and management and be able to list the traits of effective leaders. Define and give examples of various leadership theories and compare the various concepts proposed in different theories like contrast between trait and behavioral theories. The learner will also be able to identify situations when leadership may not be necessary and explain how to find and create effective leaders. The overall goal of “Leadership Theories” section on this website is to advance our understanding of the many different approaches to leadership and ways to practice it more effectively and practically.
We have tried to follow the same format for each of the articles in this section and structured it to include overview of theory, advantages and criticisms of the theory, practical application of the leadership theory, common leadership issues and dilemmas and some toolkits to help learner apply the approach to his or her own leadership style or setting.
This section will be beneficial to both undergraduate and graduate students of management and leadership studies, and will be very effective tool for professionals in any job or business to learn core organizational behavior along with leadership tools and will supplement any leadership-development program.