Emerging Approaches of Leadership

Emerging approaches of leadership are: 

1. Charismatic Leadership 

Charismatic leadership theory is also called as 'Great Man Theory'. Charismatic leaders are dynamic risk-takers who show their expertise and self-confidence; express high performance expectation and use symbols and language to inspire others. They can also be mentors who treat employees individually and guide them to take action. 

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In other words, charismatic leaders are those who inspire followers and have a major impact on their organizations through personal vision and energy. Charismatic leaders may become a liability to an organization once the crisis and need for dramatic change subsides. This is so because, in the times of peace, charismatic leader's over-whelming self-confidence becomes ability. The basic assumptions and implications of charismatic leadership theory are as follows: 

  • These leadership qualities make a leader effective and situational factors do not have any influence.
  • Leaders, in general, and great leaders in particular, have some exceptional inborn leadership qualities which are bestowed upon them by the divine power.
  • Since these qualities are inborn, these cannot be enhanced through education and training. Further, since these qualities are of personal nature, these cannot be shared by others. 

2. Transformable Leadership 

Under transformable leadership, the leader pays attention towards the developmental needs of individual subordinates. The transformational leadership excites, arouses and inspires the subordinates to put an additional effort to achieve the goals of the organization. It is build on top of the transactional leadership. It means that this leadership develops people for achieving the organizational goals. The subordinates are made high performers and developed employees. Subordinates are motivated to transcend their self interest for the betterment of organization. It leads to higher productivity and higher employee satisfaction. Transformational leadership has four important features: 

  • Individualized consideration
  • Intellectual simulation
  • Inspiration 
  • Charisma 

3. Transactional Leadership 

This theory emphasizes on effort and performance. Under the transactional leadership, the leader directs his subordinates toward the achievement of goals. The leader clarifies the roles to be played by the subordinates while performing their respective tasks. The leader guides and motivated his followers to achieve the organizational goals. 

Leaders under this theory have following features: 

a) Passive Management by Exception: They intervene only if standards are not meet. 

b) Contingent Reward: They provide various kinds of rewards in exchange for usually agreed-upon goal accomplishment. 

c) Laissez-faire: They abdicate responsibilities and avoid decisions. 

d) Active Management by Exception: Leaders keep watching for deviations from rules and standards and taking corrective action. 

4. Leader Member Exchange (LMX) Theory 

This theory indicates that a leader establishes a special relationship with his subordinates. Under this theory, some of the subordinates get special privileges while others are paid less attention and may considered as out of group members. The leader categorizes some members of the group as inner members and other members as outer members. This 'in' and 'out' group are relative ordinates and have formal authority interaction. These 'in' and 'out' groups are relatively stable during the course of organization behavior and leaders seek to higher employee satisfaction. The leader member exchange theory motivates the employees personally. The leader takes personal care of the employees. The members who are not highly regarded by the leader feel dissatisfied. They try to know the likings and disliking of the leader and behave accordingly. This theory motivates only a few members of the group while other members are frustrated and many create some problems to the leader. 

5. Attribution Theory 

The attribution theory implicitly explains that a leader should have an effective influence on the followers. Employees perceive good leaders as those who are high structure and have high relations (people-oriented). People perceive such leaders best in all situations. In an adverse situation, they do not blame the leader because they have perceived him as the best leader because of this high orientation, i.e., high structured and high initiated. If such leaders fail, employees attribute the failure to the situation and adverse conditions. 

In other words, the attribution theory of leadership is related to perception i.e. how people view the leader. People establish and develop perception with cause and effect. How a leader behaves has a long lasting impact on the followers. The vent happening is attributed to some causes. The attribution or assigning of a cause to an event gives birth to the attribution theory. The followers attribute many happenings to leadership. If a country faces an acute inflation, it is attributed to the ruling party. It is known here that this attribution may be real or unreal. Just the attribution of inflation to a government is not always correct because there may be other causes of inflation. Similarly, attribution theory makes the low oriented leaders always responsible although he is not responsible for failure, because of adverse conditions.

Trait Theory of Leadership

Leader and non-leaders are different because of certain traits. The trait approach or theory seeks to determine 'what makes a successful leader' for the leader's own personal characteristics. From the very beginning, people have emphasized that a particular individual was successful leader because of his certain qualities or characteristics. This leadership approach was so popular between 1930s and 1950s. In other words, different leaders contain different traits at the different level i.e. there are no universal traits which are applicable to all the leaders. According to this theory, leadership is largely a function of certain traits or qualities. This states that there are certain unique traits or qualities essential for a successful leader. Any person who wants to be a successful leader must possess those traits. 

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A successful leader should possess following traits: 

a) Social Qualities 

A successful leader has social skills. He/she understands people and knows their strength and weakness. A leader should have self-confidence, ability to inspire, initiative, knowledge of human nature, human relation and human attitude. 

b) Intellectual Qualities 

Higher level of intellectual qualities is required for the quality leadership. Leaders generally have high level of intelligence. Intelligence means ability to think scientifically, analyze accurately and interpret clearly and precisely the situation. 

c) Emotional Stability 

A leader should have high level of emotional stability. He should be free from different biases. In other words, a successful leader is always emotionally stable. He should not be bias and have full control on his anger and fears (i.e. too soft at heart) as both these extremes are bad. 

d) Moral Qualities 

Leader should be fair at work. He should have strong will power, normal courage, sense of purpose, objectivity, achievement drive and integrity. 

e) Physical Traits 

Physical traits of a man are determined by heredity factors. In other words, physical traits and rate of maturation determine the personality formation which is an important factor in determining leadership success. Physical traits include height, weight, physique, health, appearance, vitality, endurance, enthusiasm, forcefulness etc. 

f) Some Other Traits 

This theory also emphasizes that these traits need not necessarily be inborn but may be acquired through education, training and practice. Some other important traits of leadership are:

 Major Traits of a Leadership

Personal drive

Generally high level

Personal integrity

Honest in dealing with followers

Cognitive ability

Ability to make decisions


Capability to adapt in changing environment


Confidence in ownself

Business Knowledge

Job-relevant knowledge

Personal warmth

Warmth in relationship

Desire to lead

Intense desire to lead


Implications of the Theory 

  • The theory emphasizes that a leader requires some traits and qualities to be effective.
  • Many of these qualities may be developed in individuals through training and development programs.

Limitation of Trait Theory 
  • It fails to take into account influence of other factors on leadership. 
  • There are no definite tests for the measurement of these traits. It is not clear how high score a person must achieve to achieve an effective trait.
  • Various studies prove that the trait theory cannot be used in all situations.
  • There is no universal list of traits of successful leaders. Different authors have different lists of traits. 
  • This theory does not offer any guidance for developing these qualities.

Function and Importance of Effective Leadership

Functions of Effective Leadership 

In every organization, there is a manger to carryout different activities in order to achieve the predetermined goals. Leadership functions of a manager are closely related with managerial functions. As a managerial leader, he has to set a group goal, make plans, motivate subordinates and supervise performance. 

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Leadership Concept and Nature of Leadership

Besides these functions, the important part of a managerial leader is an influencing power to make the work done as he totally depends on his subordinates. So, the managerial leadership is based on influence, not on power and authority. But, he has to perform several other functions. The more important of these functions are given below: 

Functions of Effective Leadership
1. Develop Team Work 

One of the primary functions of the leader is to develop his work group as a team. It is his responsibility to create a congenial work environment keeping in view the competence, needs and potential ability of the subordinates. 

2. Determine the Goal of Organization 

A managerial leader should determine the goal of an organization. For the achievement of organizational goal, he must inform followers about the plan, policies and goals of an organization, so that the subordinates can act collectively in the process of achieving the predetermined goal of an organization. 

3. Act as a Representative of the Work Group 

The leader of work group is expected to act as a link between the workers group and top management. The leader has to communicate the problems and grievances of his subordinates to the top management whenever necessary. He should represent subordinates to top management and vice versa for effective and efficient work at organization to achieve its goal. 

4. Provide Guidance 

When the subordinates face problem in connection with their performance at work, the leader has to guide and advice the subordinates to solve their problems. The problems may be technical or emotional in nature. So, a manager must be pioneer to his subordinates. 

5. Time Management 

The function of leaders includes not only ensuring the quality and efficiency of work performed by the team but also checking that the different stages of works are completed on time. So, the managerial leader has to manage the time for effective supervision of the work done by the subordinates on time. 

6. Coordination 

A manager cannot do all the activities by himself. Hence, he needs coordination from all the subordinates. For that, he tries his best to get coordination for the achievement of organization goal. 

7. Good Human Relations 

A managerial leader must make a good relationship among the employees. He must be loyal to the staffs and able to solve the problems. He must be well informed regarding human problems and act accordingly. 

8. Proper Use of Power 

While exercising power in relation to his subordinates, the leader must be careful and use his power in different way according to the environment and situation. It may be necessary to use reward power, coercive / expert power, formal or informal power depending on what will stimulate positive response from the subordinates. 

9. Secure Effectiveness of Group Effort 

To get the optimum contribution towards the achievement of objectives, the leader must follow reward system to improve the efficiency of workers. Beside, a managerial leader should have to delegate authority, invite participation of employees in decision making, and communicate necessary information to employees so that it will ensure effectiveness of group effort to achieve the objectives of the organization. 

10. Use of Managerial Skills 

A managerial leader faces different problems while conducting managerial activities. To solve the problem, he must have different knowledge like technical, analytical, administrative, human relation and conflict management etc. A good managerial leader must have managerial skill to make the work done through the subordinates.

Importance of Leadership

Importance of leadership can be understood by the following functions which a leader generally performs. 
Importance of Leadership

1. Representative of Subordinates 

Leader is a link between the work group and the top management. As being the representative of subordinates, he carries the voice of the subordinates to top management. 

2. Guides and Inspires 

An effective leader guides and inspires or motivates his group members to work willingly for achieving the goals. He makes every effort to direct and channelize all energies of his followers to the goal-oriented behavior. He creates enthusiasm for higher performance among his followers. 

3. Appropriate Counselor 

Employees often suffer from emotional disequilibrium in organization. Leader can render advice and can try to remove barriers, real or imaginary and instill confidence in the employees. Leadership creates a cooperative and wholesome attitude among employees for successful work accomplishment. 

4. Creates Vision and Initiative 

It has been rightly said, where there is no vision, people perish. Leaders give vision to their followers which, in turn, create initiative and enthusiasm among them. The followers use this vision and initiative to take up challenging tasks. 

5. Leader Develops Team Spirit 

Leader inculcates a sense of collectivism in the employees and forces them to work as a team. Individuals within the group may possess varied interests and multiple goals. A leader has to reconcile their conflicting goals and restore equilibrium. 

6. Creates Work Environment 

Effective leaders can create work environment in which group members can work with pleasure. For this, a leader creates and maintains interpersonal relations of trust and confidence among the group members.

7. Leader Manages Time 

Unsatisfactory human performance in organization can be primarily attributed to utilization of time. A good leader manages his time well by proper planning based on information and facts, and by arriving at decisions at an appropriate moment. He visualizes problems before his subordinates turn into emergencies. 

8. Resolves Conflicts 

Leaders play a crucial role in resolving the conflicts arising in the group. He does it by harmonizing the diverse intense interests of group members and the organization. 

9. Leader Strives for Effectiveness 

A leader throws him to fill the gap between him and his subordinates with a concrete effort to bring order out of the chaos and confusion and improve organizational effectiveness. He provides an adequate reward structure to improve the performance of employees. He delegates authority whenever needed and invites participation from the employees to achieve better results. He tries to infuse strong will to do into the group, as to secure the best contribution of human energy. He provides imagination, foresight, enthusiasm and initiative to group members and forces them to have an identity of interests, outlook and action. 

10. Ensures Survival and Success of Enterprise 

Quality of leadership goes a long way in the success and survival of an enterprise. Without effective leadership, many well-established enterprises have miserably failed.

Process of Team Development

Team is a group of members that works for common objectives. The objectives may be organizational or personal that generates synergistic efforts. Each and every members of the team are responsible for the achievement of the common goal.

Establishing a team is the leader's prime task. Effective and efficient team setting develop the capabilities of employees as well as organization as a whole. For the effective development of team, a manager should try to analyze different aspects from the multiple angles. A manager should remember following points in developing of proper team: 

  • All team members need to agree on a precise definition of what they are working towards.
  • Goal should not be set until management has discussed all possible approaches to the task.
  • Although team members are needed to finalize team goals, the objectives of the team can also dictate membership. 
  • For best results, targets should be challenging with a combination of general and specific goals. 

A lot of research has been done on team formation and development and different theories of team development have been suggested. According to Tuckman, summarizing various theories suggested five stages of team developments:
  • Forming
  • Storming
  • Norming
  • Performing
  • Adjourning
Similarly, Kormanski and Mozenter integrated various theories and suggested following five stages of team development:
  • Commitment
  • Clarification
  • Involvement
  • Achievement
  • Recognition. 
In general, the process of team development are:
Process of Team Development / Steps of Team Development

1. Projection into Future 

The team may prepare a common vision of its desirable future. Members, individually or in small groups, may prepare a picture of their team as they see it in the next five or seven years. A specific future scenario will help to inspire individuals to move towards it. The future is a better diagnostic device than an analysis of the past. 

2. Linkage with Individuals Goals 

The vision of the team's future should be linked with the individual's aspirations and goals. Individuals may discuss in small groups how their own aspirations and goals in life can be achieved through the ideal of the team's future developed by the group. 

3. Force Field Analysis 

The team may identify the forces that are positive and are helping the team to move towards the desirable future and the forces that are likely to hinder its progress towards that future. Such analysis is helpful in selecting the next step. 

4. Strengthening Positive Forces 

The team may explore ways of reinforcing the positive aspects that can help the team achieve its desirable future. They can take each positive force and work out plans to strengthen in future. 

5. Reducing Negative forces 

The team can take up all the restraining or inhibiting forces and can plan specific actions steps to reduce, if not eliminate. 

6. Monitoring 

After decisions are taken to work on strengthening positive forces and reducing negative forces, a plan can be prepared to monitor the action being taken. The responsibility of monitoring can be taken up by one or two members and the team may meet from time to time to review the progress.