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Updated October 13, 2020

Leadership Approach Analysis

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Leadership Approach Analysis essay
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“Leadership is that the process whereby a leader influences a group of people to realize a standard goal” (Northouse, 2016, p. 33). Leadership is very significant to company as employees need someone to look, learn and grow with. Every leader has their own style and way of influencing individuals. The four main approaches are trait, skill, situational and behavioral approach. Accordingly, the situational approach is the best because it suggests that there no single best leadership style. Instead, it all depends on the situation at hand and strategies are best suited to the task. Secondly, the skill approach as it suggests many individuals have leadership potential and by learning from their experiences it helps them in becoming better and effective leaders. Thirdly behavioral approach as it focuses on what leaders do rather than who leaders are (Northouse, 2016). Lastly trait approach which focuses on leaders are born with specific traits and lacks to provide a conclusive list of traits.

Situational Approach

Situational leadership approach suggests how leaders can become effective in many different types of organizational situations involving a wide variety of organizational objectives. This approach provides a clear picture of leaders defining how they should react based on the demands of a specific situation. The situational approach classifies leadership into four styles from S1 is high directive–low supportive, S2 is high directive–high supportive, S3 is low directive–high supportive, and S4 is low directive–low supportive (Northouse, 2016, p. 137).

Strengths:

Firstly, it helps in recognizing by several as a typical for coaching leaders.

Secondly, it sets forth a transparent set of instructions for the way leaders need to act if they need to boost their leadership effectiveness.

Lastly, it acknowledges and stresses that there’s not one best sort of leadership; instead, leaders got to be flexible and adapt as per the situation demands.

Criticisms:

Due to the lack of a strong framework to justify and support the theoretical bases on which it stands. As well there is unclearness relating how the approach justifies certain aspects of leadership. It lacks the facts about how followers move from developing to developed levels. With insufficient research findings, it doesn’t match with different leadership styles. Therefore it does not provide strategies as to how leaders should use this approach in group settings together with one on one context.

Example:

For instance, Sports teams present an examples of Situational Leadership because team rosters are regularly changing (Stu Online, 2019).

Skill Approach

Skills approach is a leader-centered approach that emphasizes on the capabilities of leaders. As Katz presented on the three-skill approach along with recent work of Mumford and his colleagues who presented a comprehensive skills model of leadership, generally, this approach takes into consideration the information and talents that the leader has (Northouse, 2016, p. 96).

Three Skill Model: Katz claimed that these skills are quite different from the traits, as skills are what leaders can accomplish (Northouse, 2016, p. 40).

Strengths:

Firstly it focuses on a leader’s skills that help in putting learned skills at the core of effective leadership performance.

Secondly, it helps in describing leadership in a way that is accessible to everyone, skills are competencies that can be learned and developed along with time.

Lastly, it provides an overview of the effectiveness of leadership performance, as well as helping researchers in developing creative plans for studying the leadership process.

Criticisms:

Firstly, due to the broadness of the model, it seems to extend beyond the limitations of leadership, for example, conflict management, and motivation theory.

Secondly, the skills model is weak as it lacks to explain how a person’s abilities lead to effective leadership performance. Finally, the skills model cannot be implicated in the general application because it findings are based on data collected only from military personnel (Northouse, 2016, p. 95)

Behavioral Approach

The behavioral approach differs from alternative approaches to leadership because, it focuses on what leaders do and the way they act towards achievement of goal. This approach involves two primary styles of behaviors: task behaviors and relationship behaviors. Therefore with a combination of those two styles of behaviors determines a way to influence others. This approach is based on research findings from the Ohio State studies, the University of Michigan studies, and the work of Blake and Mouton on the Managerial Grid (Northouse, 2016, p. 115).

Strengths:

Firstly, it has widened the scope of leadership research which includes the study of the behaviors of leaders and what they do in various situations.

Secondly, it provides reliability due to the wide range of studies which in turn helps in a better understanding of leadership approaches.

Thirdly, it provides wide conceptual may that helps to understand the complexities of leadership (Northouse, 2016, p. 115).

Criticisms:

The research on behavioral lacks in justification as to how behaviors of leaders are associated with performance outcomes such as job satisfaction and productivity.

Besides, the approach has failed to find a universal behavior that could be implemented in every situation, as well as findings, implicates that high task and high relationship style cannot be applied in every situation as certain situations require different styles (Northouse, 2016, p. 116).

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