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Examination Of Trait And Situational Leadership

1352 words - 5 pages

TRAIT AND SITUATIONAL LEADERSHIP APPROACHES 1An examination of Trait and Situational Leadership ApproachesDana L. ZandersUniversity of Maryland University CollegeTurnitin Originality Score_________ AbstractThis paper will compare and contrast trait and situational approach leadership theories, the development of the theories and how effective each are in organizations. This paper will compare each approach, some of their research history and the challenges they faced in the past and the challenges they may or may not face in the future. The trait approach is the oldest theory that have been researched by numerous researchers. The situational approach consist of two elements that focus on leadership style and the development of subordinates. The strengths and weakness of each approach will also be compared and constrast. An examination of Trait and Situational Leadership ApproachesThere are over 200 definitions for leadership that have used since the 1900's. The ability to impress the will of the leader, acts by persons which influence other persons in a shared direction, and do as the leader wishes are a few definitions that were used during the 1900's (Northouse, 2013). Today, leadership is defined as a process that involves individuals or groups to reach a common goal (Northouse, 2013,). It's motivating and persuading people to obtain a desired result through communication and influence. Leadership is also defined as a process that happens between a leader and a follower (Northouse, 2013).During the 20th century, researchers belived that there were natural born leaders who were born with the "trait" to lead. They believed these individuals had certain qualities and characteristics such as unique physical appearance, personality features, emotional, and cognitive traits that distinguished them from nonleaders. Leaders such as Catherine the Great, Mohandas Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, and Napoleon Bonaparte were studied by researchers in an effort to determine which traits separated these leaders from the followers (Northouse, 2013).Researchers also studied how leadership would react to different situations known as the situational approach. The situational approach focused on how effective leadership was based on certain situations. This approach also matched leadership styles to the competence and commitment of employees.This paper will compare and contrast the trait and situational approach therories and the potential impact each may have on organizations.The trait approachThe trait approach is the oldest leadership theory that focuses on identifying distinctive characteristics that great political, social, and military leaders possess. During the mid 20th century, researchers argued that traits alone were not enough to identify leaders from nonleaders. In 1948, Stogdill proposed that there was no steady set of traits that identified leaders from nonleaders. He conducted a second study in 1974 because his description of...

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