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.

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