Updated September 10, 2022

Pros and Cons of Leadership Theories

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Pros and Cons of Leadership Theories essay
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After the Japanese “miracle” had come to be recognized within America and Total Quality Management (TTS) had begun making fledgling appearances in American manufacturing, W. Edwards Deeming, the so-called “father of TTS” gave us his famous 14 Points for the purpose of enabling the manufacturer to operate under the principles of TTS and the participatory management style that it requires. Several of Demise’s (1986) 14 Points conclude with the statement, “substitute leadership” (p. 26). Even now, 20 years later, there is still confusion over the differences between management and leadership.

There are several dervish theories, most of which are applicable to different environments and situations. The purpose of this paper is to examine and practically apply four of those theories of leadership: Situational Leadership, Contingency Theory, Path-Goal Theory and Leader-Member Exchange Situational Leadership Paul Hershey and Ken Blanchard Situational Leadership Model (SSL) is a variation of contingency theory and as described by Monks (1998), does “not prescribe a single leadership style, but identifies the three essential elements of task behavior, relationship behavior and 0 Level of maturity”‘ (p. 42) to result n four possible styles of communication and task accomplishment. This model provides variation in task complexity and the relationships between workers and managers in each. An example of a high task O low relationship variation is that which generally can be seen between Iow- or semi-skilled workers and production managers.

The other end of the spectrum is the low task ј high relationship variation in which results are measured not in units produced per hour but take such forms as computer programs written for specific purposes; cost savings achieved through process improvement, or marketing innovation merging from a “brainstorming” session. Example Application of Situational Leadership The bottom line of situational theory is that leadership and management take different forms according to the needs of the situation.

The factory worker may or may not need more personal direction than does the marketer, but the factory worker has less ability to be creative in approaching the tasks associated with their job. Examine a hypothetical situation faced by the leader of an assembly line producing circuit boards. This leader is facing the problem of lack of cohesive effort among the dozen workers on the line, all of whom are women holding 4-year college degrees and working far below their abilities on a repetitive, monotonous assembly line.

Situational leadership indicates that the leader’s role should be “low relationship” because of the ‘high task” nature of the work. This would be true in most cases involving repetitive factory work, but it would not really be conducive to solving the problems of boredom on this particular assembly line. As is the case with most theories, this one describes several scenarios well but still cannot address all situations. There are many exceptions, as Cairns, Halfback, Oppression and Snow (1998) found in a study of blanket applicability of situational leadership theory.

Contingency Theory Fiddler’s Contingency model makes some of those allowances that situational theory does not, and also incorporates the nature of the situation in determining which direction leadership takes within contingency theory. In this model, leadership style is described in terms of task and relationship motivation as well, and situational variableness is determined by three factors: 1. “Leader-member relations – Degree to which a leader is accepted and purported by the group members. . “Task structure – Extent to which the task is structured and defined, with clear goals and procedures. 3. “Position power – The ability of a leader to control subordinates through reward and punishment” (Contingency Models, 2006). Situational variableness is determined by the relative positions of these three factors on a continuum. High levels of all three factors yield the most favorable situation while low levels of the three collectively return the least favorable situation.

The point of Fiddler’s contingency theory is that it may be easier for anger to alter circumstances than it is for them to change their leadership style. Example Application of Contingency Theory A new grounds supervisor has been hired temporarily by a boarding school to rejuvenate the grounds. The workers consist of a single middle-aged man with a year-round position and several high school boys who work only during the summer.

The boys are no problem at all for the new supervisor, but the man who has worked at the school for 20 years is resentful that he has to report to a new person. The new supervisor’s best option is to place the long-term employee in an intermediate position between the boys and his/herself, charge him with ensuring completion of all routine maintenance while the supervisor focuses on landscape design and implementation. So long as the boys give the man the respect dictated by his age, his subsequent elevation of esteem should contribute to a greater acceptance of the new supervisor.

Then after realizing that the new supervisor is there only to set grounds maintenance on a new path and that he will be left to keep it on course, his entire attitude will most like change to one of cheerful helpfulness and creativity of thought. Path-Goal Theory Originated by Robert J. House in 1971, the path-goal theory has received a great deal of attention and has been operational in many contexts without realization of its existence.

It constitutes a common-sense approach to leadership, though it contains a detriment that subordinates cannot easily contribute unless the leader makes specific requests for worker contribution. The basic idea is that there are certain steps required to reach any goal, “that in order to get desired organizational results, certain tasks must be performed. The results are the goal; the tasks are the path. When appropriate tasks are performed, the goals are achieved. When the goals are achieved, appropriate rewards for the individual should follow” (Price, 1991; p. 39). The leader’s job is to ensure that workers clearly understand what the goal is; facilitate workers’ ability to achieve the goal; and increase incentives for workers to want to achieve the goal (Price, 1991). Price (1991) maintains that the “path-goal theory presents a very complex view of leadership. Consequently, most of the studies conducted have focused on some specific proposition from path-goal theory rather than attempt to fully test the hurry” (p. 339).

Most of these studies focus on the many possible environmental contingencies and how they affect the relationship between the behavior of the leader and the perspective of subordinates. Application In that circuit board production facility, the goal given the leader is to produce a certain number of specific circuit board designs each day. In keeping with Price’s (1991) statement that most research into this theory focuses on environmental leaders and the perspective of subordinates, it is the environment that the leader is able to alter.

There is really nothing that the leader can do to alter the goal oration of what the workers have to produce. What the leader can do, however, is help alleviate some of the intense boredom that these educated, intelligent women are experiencing. One answer is to have the women complete a certain number of one type of circuit board, then switch to another type of board in the next group constructed, regardless of whether several groups of one type of board are needed. The results (i. E. The goal) remain the same, the leader has only altered the manner (the path) in which those results are reached. There might be some complainants that changing parts types between groups would e time-consuming and that the women would require extra time with each change to become acclimated to the new type, and that production rates would drop. While the women will most likely still be bored with their jobs, they will also likely be less bored than before. Further, they will probably be appreciative of any effort to lessen the boredom of an inherently boring job.

Rather than decline, the production rates might just increase and remain consistently higher than before the change in approach. Leader-Member Exchange Holland B. Truckload (2000) offers a definition of this theory: “The deader-member exchange theory of leadership, which focuses on the two-way relationship between supervisors and subordinates, aims to maximize organizational success by establishing positive interactions between the two” (p. 233). This author conducted a study designed to test the effectiveness of the theory in describing work relationships.

She found that “that a significant relationship exists between the quality of the supervisor-subordinate relationship and subordinates’ commitment and altruistic organizational citizenship behavior” (Truckload, 2000; p. 233). Leader-member relations also are significant in Fielder’s contingency theory in which leaders change styles depending on the group situation. The leader-member theory focuses more on individual, vertical relationships. Member-member relationships are of less consequence here than are the individual leader-member relationships for which the theory is named.

The big advantage is that the relationship between leader and member can be strengthened, but the disadvantage is that it can serve to diminish the dynamics of the group. Perhaps there was one woman on the assembly line that never did quite come round, though the rest of the group was fine and realized that everything possible had been done to improve the experiences of the eight hours spent sitting on the assembly line. According to leader-member exchange theory, the leader’s relationship with this woman will be of much lower quality than the relationships with the other women of the assembly line.

Eventually, the leader might come to see this woman as a detriment to the rest of the team which will result in decreased positive influence from the leader and might lead the woman to grow even more bored with her job and eventually quit. Conclusion The view of the employee as someone who needs to be watched constantly is an outdated one that precludes the need for leadership. Henry Ford did not lead – he combined managerial intimidation with technical innovation. That was sufficient a century ago, but it will not bear scrutiny or the pressures of today’s business environment.

Pros and Cons of Leadership Theories essay

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Pros and Cons of Leadership Theories. (2021, Apr 13). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/pros-and-cons-of-leadership-theories/


What are disadvantages of trait theory of leadership?
Limitations or Disadvantages It doesn't clear the relationship between traits and behavior, performance . Traits of a leader alone cannot be responsible for the overall personality. This theory only focuses on leaders and not subordinates. It's difficult to identify the degree of traits even.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of leadership styles?
Advantages: Leader encourages their group towards the target and makes them interactive and more communicative . Disadvantages: Risk taken can leads to bad result. Leaders have to ignore certain protocols of the organisation.
What are the advantages of leadership theories?
Types of Leadership Theories A working knowledge of the leadership theories can help you hire the right people and put together the best possible team, enabling you to get the job done with a minimum of drama and delays . Project managers can use leadership theory to improve their performance as head of a team.
What are the pros and cons of situational theory?
The Pros and Cons of Situational Leadership Pro: It is Easy to Grasp. Con: It Asks a Lot of You as a Leader. Pro: It Puts the Focus on Your Employees. Con: Grading Your Followers is Not Easy. Pro: It Promotes Flexibility. Con: Frequent Shifts in Style Can Create Confusion.
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