BASIC APPROACHES TO LEADERSHIP
After studying this chapter, students should be able to:
Summarize the conclusions of trait theories.
Identify the limitations of behavioral theories.
Describe Fiedler’s contingency model.
Explain Hersey and Blanchard’s situational theory.
Summarize leader-member exchange theory.
Describe the path-goal theory.
Identify the situation variables in the leader-participation model.
Leadership plays a central part in understanding group behavior, for it is the leader who usually provides the
direction toward goal attainment. Therefore, a more accurate predictive capability should be valuable in improving
The original search for a set of universal leadership traits failed. At best, we can say that individuals who are
ambitious, have high energy, a desire to lead, self-confidence, intelligence, hold job-relevant knowledge, are
perceived as honest and trustworthy, and are flexible are more likely to succeed as leaders than individuals
without these traits. The behavioral approach’s major contribution was narrowing leadership into task-oriented
and people-oriented styles, but no one style was found to be effective in all situations. A major breakthrough in
our understanding of leadership came when we recognized the need to develop contingency theories that
included situational factors. At present, the evidence indicates that relevant situational variables would include the
task structure of the job; level of situational stress; level of group support; the leader’s intelligence and experience;
and follower characteristics such as personality, experience, ability, and motivation.
At the end of each chapter of this instructor’s manual you will find suggested exercises and ideas for researching
the WWW on OB topics.
The exercises “Exploring OB Topics on the Web” are set up so that you can simply
photocopy the pages, distribute them to your class, and make assignments accordingly.
You may want to assign
the exercises as an out-of-class activity or as lab activities with your class.
Within the lecture notes the graphic
will note that there is a WWW activity to support this material.
The chapter opens introducing Andrea Jung CEO of Avon.
Jung took over a company in deep trouble, but in four
weeks had a turnaround plan worked out.
Jung launched new lines of businesses for Avon, developed
blockbuster products, and began selling in retail stores.
More importantly, she breathed new life into the ranks of
the “Avon Ladies,” the company’s sales force, by rewarding current reps for signing on new reps.
After two years,
Jung’s leadership has made a difference.
Sales have grown, operating profits are strong, and the company’s
stock is up 70 percent.