Traditional Leadership Theories
Leadership theory can be studied from at least five perspectives: the trait approach, the
behavioral approach, contingency (situational) approaches, the role approach, and
The first four represent traditional theories that we discuss in this
involves discovering how to be a leader by
examining the characteristics and methods of recognized leaders. Pioneering studies were
performed several years ago;
however, these have been discredited to some extent by
A more recent empirical study of 200 European CEOs and over 1000 key
subordinates identified five key leadership styles that support TQ.
These styles and their
key traits, in decreasing order of impact on success factors, are
Tolerant, motivational, inspirational, supportive.
Respectful, trusting, reliable, fair.
Innovative, visionary, courageous, inspirational, confident.
Obsessed with new ideas, curious, energetic, participative.
The leadership profile of any individual is a composite of multiple styles; however,
the predominance of some styles over others will influence the success of that individual.
attempts to determine the types of
leadership behaviors that lead to successful task performance and employee satisfaction.
Researchers at Ohio State University performed an extensive series of leadership studies
in developing this theory.
Work done Independently at the University of Michigan on
leader behavior came to similar conclusions.
Both groups of researchers showed that
effective leadership depends on a proper blending of an employee relationship-centered
approach to employees’ needs with a production-centered approach to getting work done.
A more recent study by Zenger-Miller, an international consulting and training firm,
analyzed 1,871 examples of good and bad leadership, and used them to develop a list of
17 competencies that people most often associate with leadership:
setting or sharing a vision